So much I have sacrificed for you so you could be pure and walk with the Lord. When you were threatened, I became God's righteous minister of death. How could you know all I've done to take care of you?
— Miss Adelaide to Molly[src]

Miss Adelaide Finnister is a recurring character on Showtime's Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. She is portrayed by Amy Madigan.[1]

Adelaide is the mother of Sister Molly Finnister, who is a charismatic radio evangelist. Miss Adelaide shrewdly manages the church’s finances and oversees the growing religious empire.[1]


Adelaide has been apart of the revival circuit for many years and has had her daughter Molly on the circuit since she was four years old. Many years ago, they were in Florida without a penny. They parked their car and pitched a tent near a marsh. A hurricane suddenly struck. Then it began raining and thunder storming. Finally, a truck full of men came by and took them in and found them shelter.

Throughout the SeriesEdit

Season 1Edit

Dead People Lie DownEdit

Miss Adelaide is interrogated by Tiago and Lewis about James Hazlett. He was a deacon in their organization and had various obligations, such being one of their bursars. Miss Adelaide claims that he was a valued member of the church. Lewis asks her to take him to Hazlett’s office while Tiago stays behind.

Lewis goes through Hazlett’s office and asks if he had any enemies. While it seems as though he was murdered by Mexicans, Lewis wants to be thorough. Lewis asks Miss Adelaide if she’s ever gone to the Hazlett house or if he had any enemies. She claims they don’t socialize with their congregants. Lewis takes with him a few of Hazlett’s books and on his way out, is warned by Miss Adelaide that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Miss Adelaide and Randolph interrupt as Tiago questions Molly. She informs her mother that the car is waiting. Miss Adelaide then warns Tiago that if he wishes to speak to her daughter again, he’ll have to do it through their lawyer.

Wicked Old WorldEdit

At the Joyful Voices Ministry, Sister Molly rehearses her routine on stage as Miss Adelaide does accounting and Randolph reads a book. She cuts the song short, claiming she has a fitting with Brent. Miss Adelaide proposes that Randolph drive her, but Sister Molly turns down the offer, even as her mother insists. Molly has already agreed to wear the glasses and hat, but she doesn’t need a chaperone. She assures her mother that she’ll be home soon and leaves. As she does, Miss Adelaide signals Randolph to follow her, unbeknownst to Molly, who then goes into her room in search of an outfit.

Molly returns home to the Joyful Voices Ministry. She tries to sneak into her room, but her mother is waiting for her. Miss Adelaide turns on the light and sings I’m Popeye the Sailor Man. Miss Adelaide sings outside of Molly’s door, as Molly sits on the floor, sobbing in the fetal position.

Josefina and the Holy SpiritEdit

Sister Molly speaks to her congregation. She asks them to join her; to stand up and be heard. She claims that Satan is among them and that they are not safe. She prays to the lord to save her. Her performance is so chilling that even Miss Adelaide momentarily appears concerned. Sister Molly welcomes her congregation to be saved. She touches each of them. When she gets to Josefina, Molly invites Josefina along with her on the holy road and kisses her forehead.

Children of the Royal SunEdit

Randolph reports to Miss Adelaide how Molly went back to the beach house with Tiago, where they stayed all night. Miss Adelaide fears where this will end. She tells Randolph that he no longer has to follow Molly and that he is her good right arm.

How It Is With BrothersEdit

Sister Molly and Miss Adelaide have breakfast together. She recalls how often they struggled in the past and how they were always hungry. Adelaide tells Molly how she used to get lonely. And in those times, she’d remember her purpose; that she wasn’t living just for herself and what a privilege that is. Molly doesn’t know what to do about her feelings for Tiago. Adelaide reminds her daughter that she’s Sister Molly and that’s the only person she’s ever been. She worries that they’ll lose everything if Molly isn’t fully committed to the church. Later, Sister Molly sings in front of the congregation. Josefina watches from the crowd with the other church goers. Miss Adelaide looks on from behind the curtain.

Maria and the BeastEdit

That night, Miss Adelaide meets with Richard Goss, Kurt, Charlton Townsend, and Alex at a restaurant.

Hide and SeekEdit

Tiago arrives at the Temple, where Miss Adelaide greets him with a hug. She thanks him for bringing James Hazlett’s killer to justice. She then asks Tiago about his thoughts on the new robe for the Temple. Tiago asks Miss Adelaide about her relationship with Richard Goss. She claims that he wanted to open up his heart to the lord and says that she didn’t know that he was a Nazi. She claims their meeting at the diner was about opening a new Temple in Pasadena, funded by Goss. Miss Adelaide has only known him for a month and she’s grateful that he’s willing to contribute to their work.

Miss Adelaide then takes Tiago on a tour of the Temple. They feed over 400 people a month, not including their soup kitchens downtown. They also have a room full of beds for migrants and indigents, as well as a hospital ward; all free of charge. Miss Adelaide’s vision is to have a Temple in every neighborhood of Los Angeles. She then takes Tiago to see Sister Molly perform baptisms. Adelaide tells Tiago that he hasn’t fallen in love with Molly, rather God’s whisper. She claims that Tiago’s nothing more than a thrill to Molly and that there were many more before him and there will be many after him. Miss Adelaide adds that Tiago doesn’t know Molly at all and that she has many secrets. He then witnesses as Molly baptizes Josefina.

Day of the DeadEdit

At the Joyful Voices Ministry, Molly and Miss Adelaide debate whether it’s appropriate to get involved in politics. Molly explains that she has a responsibility to say something given that Martial Law has been instated. Molly then tells her mother that after tonight’s show, she’ll be leaving for a while. Because if she doesn’t, she’ll try to kill herself again, showing her mother the partially healed wounds on her wrists. Miss Adelaide suspects this is because of Tiago. She no longer cares if Molly is with him, but she can’t leave the church. Molly no longer wants to be a part of the church. She was four years old when her mother threw her in the revival tent. Miss Adelaide will not allow Molly to shirk her responsibilities. Molly welcomes her mother to try and stop her. She tells her mother to just let her go. Adelaide fears that she's lost Molly. She wrestled four children out of her womb before Molly and the Lord took them all, so that she could have Molly. Adelaide then reveals that Molly has no idea how much she’s done for her. When she was threatened, Miss Adelaide became God’s righteous minister of death. When James Hazlett fell in love, threatening Molly’s position at the church, Adelaide took care of it. She confesses to having James Hazlett and his family killed. Adelaide tells Molly that no one will ever be allowed to threaten her work and that she doesn’t want to hear anymore talk about Molly leaving.

Miss Adelaide enters Molly’s room to discover that she’s sneaked away. So, she orders Randolph to find her. They find Molly face down in the pool, covered in her own blood. Adelaide screams out for mercy.

Appearance and PersonalityEdit

Miss Adelaide is a middle-aged woman with pale skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. She dresses professionally, often wearing women work suits. Despite being a devoted Christian and dedicated follower, Miss Adelaide has shown to be cruel and menacing.


Season 1Edit

Memorable QuotesEdit

"You may think you know what you're doing here, but believe me, you don't. This is the Lord's house, and we are sanctified in the blood of the lamb."
—Miss Adelaide to Lewis[src]

"So much I have sacrificed for you so you could be pure and walk with the Lord. When you were threatened, I became God's righteous minister of death. How could you know all I've done to take care of you?"
—Miss Adelaide to Molly[src]


References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 ‘Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels’: Amy Madigan, Brent Spiner & Lin Shaye To Recur In Showtime Sequel Series - Deadline
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