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That's exactly for us. You take what you want. You make your way up. You use your brains. You use your nerve. No one's gonna give us anything, Rico, so we make them. First we make them look. Then we make them scared. We are Pachuco. We are Chicano. We are Aztec. We are spade. We are wop. We are dago. We are chink. We are queer. We are everything they fear, and we go out dancing.
Rio to Fly Rico

Wicked Old World is the third episode of the first season of Showtime's Penny Dreadful: City of Angels and the third episode of the series overall.[1]


Tiago and Molly visit Santa Monica Pier in an effort to escape their complicated lives. Livid at the murder of his friends, Lewis interrogates Brian Koenig, a young Cal-Tech student. Townsend and Alex's political agenda is jeopardized when Councilwoman Beverly Beck vows to fight them. Peter Craft discovers a dark truth when he visits Elsa at home. Mateo visits the Crimson Cat dance hall and is invited into a seductive, dangerous new world.[2]



Lewis looks at the charred remains on his friends

At the morgue, Lewis comes and sees the charred bodies of his friends Anton and Sam. He asks his friend Pat, the coroner, if they burned in the car crash. Pat confirms that the two men did indeed burn in the car crash, but shows Lewis the bullets he found lodged inside their skulls. Lewis asks Pat if he can pretend to have never seen those bullets just for a few days while he investigates it. Pat, for his part, says how he can’t lie on a report. Lewis explains how he’s not asking Pat to lie, but rather to temporize. Pat can temporarily lose the report and take his time finding it again as a favor for Lewis. He doesn’t wait for an answer, and instead walks out with the bloodied bullets in one hand. It’s not until he’s outside of the morgue that he cries. He rips part of the collar of his suit, gets on his knees and begins praying in Hebrew.

Later, at Maria’s house, she and Tiago are out in the yard. Her son asks when she has to go back to work. She tells him that it would be Sunday, when the Crafts need her for a party they’re having.

Mateo tells Raul about his encounter with Fly Rico

Inside the house, Mateo laughs as he recounts the story of how he met Fly Rico to a recovering Raul. Mateo mentions how Fly Rico stood there like fucking Pancho Villa and with a switchblade, that was like two feet long and made the cops pissed themselves. He calls Fly Rico so smooth and compares him to Fred Astaire. Raul asks his younger brother if now he wants to be a Pachuco. Mateo, for his part, just says that Fly Rico has pride. Raul is not convinced though and says that if they did have any pride, they would have stood with them down the street in the protest. Mateo changes the subject and asks Raul if he remembers the whole thing or even the police shooting at them. Raul admits that he doesn’t remember anything until the hospital. Mateo continues to prod and asks Raul if he doesn’t remember who shot him. Raul says no and jokes that it might have been Mateo by calling him a sketchy motherfucker. Mateo tearfully confesses that it was Tiago who shot him. Mateo then tells Raul that if he was a pachuco then, he would have slit Tiago’s throat for what he did. Raul grabs Mateo and tells him that Tiago is still his brother and he needs to respect him. He rhetorically asks his younger brother if he really thinks that Tiago wanted any of it to happen. Raul continues by saying how he’d rather be any fucking thing in this world than Tiago. Because in the end, he is not one them or one of the cops either. That he’s a cop, but also a Chicano and doesn’t know who the fuck he is. Raul finishes his speech to Mateo by asking him if he wants to see hell, to look in Tiago’s eyes for it. So ideally, he should be more kind to Tiago.

Once Mateo leaves, Tiago knocks on Raul’s door. Tiago asks his older brother how he is feeling, but Rail doesn’t answer. Instead, he grabs Tiago’s hand and places it near his heart.

At Town Hall, in a gym, Alex has began a dietary and exercise plan for Councilman Townsend, they discuss his schedule for the day, which includes the Rotary luncheon, a radio interview, and a zoning committee session with Via Hermosa Development. Townsend sees the newspaper that Alex is holding onto with him on the front page, detailing how he made a stand. He proudly boasts how it feels good to finally get the recognition he thinks he deserves. To which Alex reminds him that because he’s more in the public eye now, that Townsend will want to mind his Ps and Qs a bit. Since his life is more exposed, he needs to be cautious and not give ammunition to his enemies. Which to put simply mean that he needs to behave himself. Shortly thereafter, Councilwoman Beck comes to see Townsend and tries to make Alex leave so she can talk to him alone. Townsend stands his ground and says that Alex stays. Councilwoman Beck doesn’t fight this decision and gets right to the point. She calls the bloody cop shirt quite a stunt and commends Townsend for the creativity. She confronts him and says to Townsend that she has been knocking down piss-pot fascists like him since Townsend himself was at his mama’s titty. Councilwoman Beck further says that she’s not about to let him turn the Los Angeles City Council into his own Third Reich.

Sister Molly rehearses

At Joyful Voices Ministry, Sister Molly is running through a rehearsal while her mother, Miss Adelaide does some work. Molly takes a look at her watch and tells Bob, the pianist that she has to run. But they can just finish up with the boys tomorrow. Miss Adelaide reminds Molly that she really should do the whole song and the sermon. But Molly explains that she has a fitting with Brent since she wants her to look presentable. Adelaide asks Molly when she will return since she scheduled some things. Molly admits she doesn’t know because Brent wants to show him some new designs. Undeterred, Adelaide lets Molly know that Randolph can drive her. Molly says she will drive herself. But Adelaide insists it’s for her safety. Molly 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.

Lewis sits in his car outside Caltech looking through Hazlett’s work. He then approaches Brian Koenig, the Caltech student whom he previously followed. He walks Brian to his car and convinces him to get in.

At the police station, Vanderhoff commends Tiago for his initiative on working during his day off. His boss also asks about Raul, to which Tiago says that he’s fine. Vanderhoff orders Tiago to go home as they give them days off for a reason. Despite telling him that he will, Tiago picks up one of the pictures of the Hazlett case. Vanderhoff says to Tiago that they will be just as dead on Monday. He continues by saying that he had to learn that lesson when he worked on the case of a 12 year old girl named Florence Moore. Vanderhoff admits to not being able to get the little girl out of his mind, since the killer cut off her arms, legs and held her eyes open with wires. Tiago asks how he sleeps with that on his mind. Captain Vanderhoff replies "Seconal." He then tells Tiago to go home.

Sister Molly tells Tiago that she wants to be normal

Tiago eventually listens and walks out of the police station. Unbeknownst to him that as he is walking to the bus stop, Molly is watching his every move. She eventually gets out of the car and gets his attention. They sit on a bench, while she tells Tiago that she has been praying for his brother. Molly praises the lord when Tiago reveals that Raul woke up. The bus eventually arrives but Tiago doesn’t get on and instead shares a laugh with Molly. She admits to not doing this often. Which has Tiago asking if it’s in reference to buttonholing policemen at bus stops. Molly admits that she doesn’t get out by herself too frequently and in her trousers no less. Molly asks Tiago if he has ever wished to be someone else entirely. A normal person who could walk through the market and buy things, just like everyone else and not be a freak. Tiago tells Molly his first name and then admits to also wanting to just be Santiago. Who as he remembers, was a decent man once upon a time. He then offers her the chance to be someone else, just for the day.

Meanwhile, Lewis has taken Brian to a deserted high way. He gets out and opens the passenger door, asking Brian to get out. Brian refuses and after the second time, Lewis hits him with his gun and drags him out. Brian is on the floor when he asks Lewis what he even did. Lewis doesn’t answer and instead hits Brian in the face with his foot. Brian groans in pain. Lewis asks the college student about the dinner he had with Goss the other day. But Brian says they’ll kill him if he says anything. Lewis reminds Brian that he’s a cop and is there to protect. He threatens Brian with throwing him off the cliff where the coyotes will eat him. Brian doesn’t back down, and tells him to go ahead since he’s had just about the worst week. Lewis mentions that so has he and that when a Jew says that, it really means something. Brian eventually decides to talk and asks Lewis if he’s ever heard of a man named Wernher von Braun. Lewis takes a sip of his alcohol and tells the younger man to educate him.

Molly and Tiago end up at the Santa Monica Pier, where Tiago wins Molly a Popeye doll. As the two of them walk, he tells Molly how for his seventh birthday his dad scraped up enough money for the bus fare to bring them here. He says how it felt like the Arabian Nights for them. They couldn’t afford to go on any of the rides, but it didn’t matter. They enjoyed being there. His brother Tomas and sister Gina were alive then. It was the best day of his life. Tiago further reveals they both died from cholera. Molly offers her condolences. All while Randolph follows the two of them throughout the Pier while eating some cotton candy.

Peter leans in to kiss Elsa

Dr. Craft calls Laura into his office and asks if Mrs. Branson has arrived for her appointment, but she hasn’t. He asks her nurse if she has tried getting in contact with Elsa, and the nurse replies that she has but no one answered. He ends up canceling all his appointments and drives to check in on Elsa. Peter arrives not too long after only to see Frank in the front yard crying. He knocks on the door and Elsa eventually opens up, sobbing and bruised.. Peter takes in her bruises and patches her up in her bathroom. He buys into her story of Frank getting bullied by some Jewish kids at school and invites the two of them to his son’s birthday party on Sunday. When Elsa accepts, Peter leans in and kisses her. She quickly pulls away saying she doesn’t want to do it in Mr. Branson’s house. Peter apologizes and eventually leaves Elsa and Frank at their home.

Back at the Pier, the sun is setting and Molly says how it’s back to the real world for them. The two eventually kiss before they have to part ways. Molly offers to drive him to the station. But Tiago says he’d like to stay at the Pier for a while longer. He doesn’t want to let the second best day of his life end just yet.

Townsend and Alex have dinner with Goss and Kurt, where they discuss the construction of the motorway and how Townsend will be receiving the funds for his campaign. Goss makes fun of Townsend for how much he ate. Which prompts Townsend to be bolder and asks Goss to do something to Councilwoman Beck. Goss doesn’t give in; instead telling Townsend that if the councilwoman becomes an obstacle, they will handle her in their own way. Not with Townsend’s grotesque simian notions. He reminds Townsend that he is an odious tub of guts of which he is making use of. He admits that Townsend has a singular gift for repellent rhetoric and putrid demagoguery. But that he Richard Goss speaks for Adolf Hitler. Not just tonight but for the next 1,000 years. Thus he reminds him that when the time comes, Townsend can either be at their side or under their boots. Townsend grows uneasy and hastily exits. Alex is concerned, explaining that she’ll have to deal with the repercussions of this for the next week. Before departing, she tells them that they’re not as smart as they think.

Alex follows Townsend outside and tries to stop him from doing anything unbecoming, hoping to sway him with drinks, but Townsend gets in his car and drives off. Alex walks down the street, transforming back into her natural state. As Magda walks down the side walk, the shop windows in her path shatter.

Rio dances with Fly Rico and Mateo

Later that night, Mateo ends up at The Crimson Cat dressed in a suit and hair gelled up. He sees Fly Rico dancing with two girls before leaving them behind and taking him out into the dance floor. He appears almost mesmerized by the scene. Fly Rico approaches him and bring him onto the floor, where they proceed to dance, both with each other and the ladies. Once the song ends, Fly Rico takes him to meet Rio whom he refers to as the queen. He mentions that in order to sit with him, Mateo has to kiss the ring. Rio takes him out to the dance floor for the next song. But not before Fly Rico tells him to not fuck it up. They get interrupted when the cops come in claiming they are all breaking curfew. Reilly tells the Pachucos that they are all going to jail now. It’s not until Reilly insults them by referring to Rio as an "albino dyke" and Rico and his boys as "pretty faggots," that the scene turns violent. Rio throws the first punch. Diego, Bernadette, and the others fight them off as Rio, Fly Rico, and Mateo escape out the back.

Meanwhile, Molly eventually gets back home but her mom turns on the lights as soon as she’s through the door. Then in a flat tone, she begins to sing the Popeye theme song. She then turns off the light and says nothing else.

After the raid, Mateo is hanging out with Fly Rico and Rio. Rico is pissed that they cut his clothes. Rio informs Mateo that sometimes the cops bring razors to slash up their clothes so that they’re not Pachuco anymore. However, as far as Rio is concerned, she’s Pacho stark naked, strutting down Wilshire. She tells Mateo to bite his tongue when he says she is a white. She mentions how her parents are from Sevilla in old Spain. She was born in Mexico but moved to LA when she was three. Rio admits that she isn’t really a spic; instead she is a dago. Rio asks Fly Rico when they will get involved and take a piece of that American Dream. Fly Rico says that it isn’t really for them, but Rio doesn’t back down. She urges them to take what they want and make it up. That at this point, it is a matter of pride. Rio continues by saying how no one is going to give them anything, so instead they need to make them. First by making them look. Then they make them scared. Rico isn’t fully convinced saying he doesn’t want to take part in war they can’t win. Rio tells Rico that in order to win against the gringos, they will make Los Angeles bleed. She goes on to say how 90 years earlier right where they’re standing used to be México. Rio continues by saying how it’s their city because they found it, they made it and they built it. So now they need to take it back. Rico appears to be convinced but tells Rio that before they get into the trenches they need to make Mateo fly.

Lewis reveals to Tiago that Sister Molly was having an affair with Hazlett

At some bar, Lewis ends up drinking a gimlet which he claims fights off scurvy. He tells Tiago that he will be taking a few days off and has never used any of his vacation time. Tiago asks if Lewis is leaving LA for his vacation, but he says no. He hates leaving the city and instead is using his vacation time to bury his friend Anton. As the two take sips of their gimlets, Lewis casually mentions that Sister Molly was fucking Hazlett. He figured it out thanks to the temple records and real estate contracts from his office. Lewis mentions to Tiago how Hazlett bought a love nest in Malibu and used church funds to do so. That way it’s tax-exempt and apparently went through a lot of trouble to hide it. Lewis calls Molly a fraud and goes onto say the only reason men hide anything is for money or for pussy. Seeing that Tiago has doubts, he urges Him to take the valise and run it down to find out himself. When Tiago admits that he still believes in Molly’s religious spiel, Lewis tells his partner to grow up. That it is a wicked old world, and it only has the two of them to save it. The two men toast to that and drink the rest of their drinks.

At his apartment, Tiago looks through the books whereas Lewis is back at his own home looking through the surveillance photos he took of Richard Goss and his associates. Adelaide appears to be singing while Molly is inside her room in the fetal position crying. Townsend eventually arrives at some park where he picks up a guy. He undresses him after they’re both out back and gets on his knees as he unbuttons the guy’s pants. Meanwhile, Rio and Rico have accompanied Mateo to a tattoo parlor where he gets a tattoo of the same cross Rico has on his hand. Back at his apartment, Tiago has laid out all the contents in the valise that incriminate Molly. He gets teary eyed as he looks to his shelf which has the Popeye doll he won for Molly earlier that day.



Guest Starring[]



  • Rio, the last of Magda's three major personas, makes her first appearance in this episode.
  • This is the first episode in which all of Magda's major forms - her natural state, Alex, Elsa, and Rio - appear.
  • Rio mentions that Los Angeles was in Mexico a mere 90 years before the series begins. She is referring to the Mexican Cession of 1848, in which the United States gained the Mexican territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico, which included the entirety of the eventual states of California (including LA), Nevada and Utah, as well as parts of present-day Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming.
  • Lewis directly quotes the title of this episode when telling Tiago that Sister Molly was having an affair with James Hazlett.




Episode Guide[]