Closer Than Sisters is the fifth episode of the first season of Showtime's Penny Dreadful and the fifth episode overall.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Vanessa recalls her past and the events that ultimately lead to Mina's disappearance.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Vanessa writes a letter that will never be mailed to her missing friend Mina. When Vanessa was a child she was best friends with Sir Malcolm's children Mina and Peter. Their families grow up close, with the three kids being the best of friends. Vanessa soon discovered just how close when she happens upon catching Sir Malcolm and her mother having sex in the in the hedge maze. It should have been a traumatic incident for a child however Vanessa said she enjoyed watching them. And in that wicked moment her demon slips and she stole a hair brooch from Mina. As the children grew up, Mina found the man she intended to marry. The idea of losing her best friend to a man who might move her away proved to be simply too much for Vanessa to handle. She makes a pass at Peter in the maze which he rejects and walks away leaving her confused. After being rejected Vanessa goes to attend Mina's rehearsal dinner as if nothing has happened.

Vanessa sets her sights on Mina’s fiancé Captain Branson and his luxurious mustache. Late at night on the eve of Mina's wedding Vanessa seduces Branson and has sex with him. They're caught in the act by Mina who looks dead into Vanessa's eyes as she is having sex with her fiance, ending the engagement and friendship all at once. Vanessa descends into anger and tries to reconcile with Mina but is stopped by Malcolm who closes the gates on her and her family, as Mina cries into her mother's lap of the loss of her friendship. Vanessa falls victim to a mysterious illness that is first diagnosed as epilepsy (however it is actually a demonic possession). Vanessa is sent to an asylum where she is bathed in icy water and drenched with a high-powered hose. As a last hope, trepanning is performed on Vanessa. The extreme treatments however somehow works and Vanessa is sent home in a catatonic state with no one knowing how to fix her.

Peter stops by for one last visit before going to Africa, with Mina long gone. Vanessa snaps out of her waking coma to ask for a kiss and warn Peter that he will die in Africa. However he does not heed her warning and goes to Africa anyway (where he later died). Once he's gone, the ill Vanessa sees a vision of Sir Malcolm. She believes it to be whatever is tormenting her and calls it a serpent. Vanessa ends up having sex with the "serpent". To Vanessa, she's sleeping with her tormentor. When her mother walks in though, Vanessa is all alone, having sex with thin air, with her eyes white. The shock of the scene before her cause Claire Ives to drop dead on the spot. During Claire's funeral Vanessa is seen to have found a measure of peace and encounters Mina once more, on the beach. Mina says she married a lawyer, but she's truly under the control of the Master Vampire. She begs Vanessa to save her before vanishing. It's then that Vanessa returns once more to Sir Malcolm. She lets him know of the danger Mina is in, he agrees to work with her to bring his daughter home and allows Vanessa to move into his home.

Back in present day Vanessa has completed writing her "Letter to Mina" where she says "Your father loves you very much and would do anything to save you, but I love you in a different way. I love you enough to kill you." and puts her letter into a trunk containing hundreds of letters that she has already written to her dear friend Mina.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Starring[edit | edit source]

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