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Heartwarming / Penny Dreadful

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Season 1

  • Proteus politely introducing himself to Brona and shaking her hand. As a sex worker, she probably isn't used to someone being so openly nice and courteous to her.
  • Practically any scene with Proteus for that matter, right up until the moment the Creature shoves a hand through him from behind.
  • Whatever Malcolm and Vanessa are to each other, and even though she's just channeled his dead son and revealed his sexual indiscretions, Malcolm tucks Vanessa into bed after the ordeal.
  • While Ethan started out working with Malcolm and Vanessa for purely mercurial reasons, his developing relationship with Brona means he's now still helping the pair out for the order to buy his friend/lover medicine to help with her consumption.
  • Vanessa and Ethan's developing friendship.
    • Ethan swearing his loyalty not to the company, but to Vanessa alone, in "Resurrection".
    • The way Ethan treats Vanessa during "Possession", calling her "my dear Miss Ives" and prioritizing her welfare over Malcolm's manipulations and monetary hold over him.
  • Malcolm assuring Victor he not only values him for his medical knowledge, but doesn't value Ethan over Victor just because Ethan is the athletic, powerful type that is, in Victor's opinion, more use to Malcolm.
    Malcolm: Mr. Chandler is nothing to me. He is a finger on a trigger. You are not.
  • Caliban finding a friend and a home in the theater, against all odds.
    • The sheer joy he takes in carrying out his backstage tasks in episode 4, and how he and Brand have fun howling during the werewolf play.
  • The depiction of Vanessa and Mina's friendship (as well as their sibling-esque affection for Peter) in "Closer than Sisters".
  • Vanessa modelling an evening gown for Malcolm, readying herself for a night out with Dorian. It's the happiest we've seen either of them in the present-day.
  • A lot of Vanessa and Dorian's scenes together qualify, especially their one at the gardens in "What Death Can Join Together". Really, after all the hell Vanessa's been through, and still goes through, it's very uplifting to actually see her enjoy herself and be able to smile.
  • Malcolm may claim that Ethan doesn't matter to him, but this does not keep his offer to place Brona in a private hospital from being any less kind.
  • Ethan caring for a dying Brona, refusing to abandon her in spite of her contagion and confessing his love for her.
  • The sole light-hearted moment in "Possession", where Victor asks Ethan to teach him to shoot. While Victor has a rough start, Ethan is patient with him, and later shows off his sharpshooting skills to Victor's glee. Then, when Sembene comes down saying Sir Malcolm wants to know what's going on, Ethan chuckles and says: "Oops, dad caught us!"
  • Both Ethan and Victor staying in the Murray estate for an indeterminate amount of time to care for Vanessa during her ordeal, despite the fact that both of them have other things they need to take care of. And given their disdain for Sir Malcolm, it's clear neither of them are staying for his money.
  • It takes a swerve into Tear Jerker at the end, but Malcolm finally taking down the Nile maps from the study and talking light-heartedly with Vanessa about getting a Christmas tree and letting "the boys" (Ethan and Victor, presumably) decorate it is a lovely moment.
  • The look on Caliban's face when he first sees Brona, his intended mate, is sweet. Less sweet is how and why Brona is lying on Victor's lab table.
  • When Caliban is leaving the theatre, he thanks Vincent for his kindness and tentatively holds his hand out for an handshake. Vincent stare at the outstretched hand for a moment, then hugs him instead.

Season 2

  • In "Fresh Hell", after he massacres the patrons of the Mariner's Inn, Ethan intends to leave London. When Vanessa is attacked by the witches and goes near-catatonic with fear, he refuses to leave her, even confessing his condition.
  • After the attack by the witches, Vanessa is terrified, holing up in her room, refusing to speak to anyone until Malcolm gets home. When he does, she runs down the stairs and into his arms.
  • In a reversal of a similar scene from the first season, Vanessa has been visited by a supernatural presence (namely, the witches) and badly frightened. She runs straight to Malcolm's room to be comforted, and to his credit, Malcolm does listen to her fears and try to help her.
    • Later, he takes her to a soup kitchen for cholera patients, where, it turns out, he volunteers and secretly provides funds for. He says it gives him some measure of peace, and it likewise works for Vanessa. Hidden Depths, Sir Malcolm.
      • And while Vanessa is down there, she has a very lovely and philosophical conversation with Caliban and is not perturbed by his appearance in the slightest. Not only does he get a really meaningful conversation from a stranger, but she is given hope.
  • Caliban's interactions with Lavinia Putney in the wax house are really sweet, as Lavinia's blindness keeps her from being horrified or put off by his appearance. He can actually be himself. Though it makes one wonder if she is too innocent and kind for this particular show.
    • And, as we later discover — not so much. Lavinia turns out to be just as greedy and manipulative as her parents.
  • Ethan and Vanessa's conversation after she catches him praying.
    Ethan: The first time I picked up a gun and decided my life was more important than anyone else's. You never go back from that.
    Vanessa: And are you sure that wasn't part of His plan?
    Ethan: You've never killed anyone. Talk to me then.
    Vanessa: Whatever you have done, whoever you have made yourself, I'm here to accept you. We're together for a reason.
    Ethan: God's plan?
    Vanessa: Yes.
  • Vanessa and Caliban dancing in the middle of the soup kitchen. It's one of the sweetest moments in the show.
  • Angelique's reaction to the ball/debut Dorian throws for her: she looks like every little girl who ever wanted to put on a pretty dress and dance with a beautiful boy, and not a single person in attendance so much as gives her a dirty look.
  • Many of the scenes between Vanessa and Ethan in "Little Scorpion," especially when Ethan asks Vanessa to teach him to dance. He even practices alone, which makes Vanessa smile while watching him. The scenes in the cottage are one of the only times in the show's entire run where these two characters are at peace with no hidden agenda or immediate threats to their person.
    • Special mention to the waltz that plays during the incredibly sweet montage of them spending time together, doing domestic things and genuinely enjoying one another's company. It's an absolutely beautiful piece of music that can make you smile as much as they are in the scenes.
    • Though it sadly doesn't last, Ethan and Vanessa's kiss is quite lovely to see after the slowly building tension and affection between them. Especially the way Ethan simply sweeps her off her feet like she's the most beautiful, important thing in the entire world.
  • Sembene calling his boss "Malcolm!" at a moment of crisis, rather than "Sir". For all that Victorian social proprieties may dictate a servile role for an African living in a rich white man's house, this breach of his usual deference — the fact that there is a chance that Sembene is in London because Malcolm owes his life to him, and that Malcolm is willing to travel to Africa just to bury him in his own soil — it is quite likely they were comrades and friends in Africa.
  • Though it isn't real, but simply a hallucination brought about by Evelyn's brainwashing, the scene in "Memento Mori" where Malcolm imagines his deceased wife, son, and daughter waltzing at a ball is quite sweet. Particularly the bit of Malcolm dancing with Mina, after how things ended between them. It's one of the very few times we ever see Malcolm smile.
  • In "And They Were Enemies", Satan tries to tempt Vanessa with a dream of a normal, happy life. In this imagined world, Vanessa lives a genteel life with her husband Ethan, and together they have two happy, healthy children. In this doomed dream, it is one of the rare occasions we see both Vanessa (and Ethan by extension) being truly happy and unburdened.
    • It's also mentioned in the fantasy-scene that Mina is alive and coming to visit with her husband Jonathan, meaning that all the terrible things which transpired in the previous few years never happened in that version of Vanessa's world. The fact that Mina's husband is Jonathan Harker rather than her military fiancé suggests that either Mina never became engaged to the latter in the first place, negating Vanessa's indiscretion altogether, or that Mina has long since forgiven her friend for past errors, if she's willing to visit Vanessa with her own children.
  • Vanessa's last interaction with John Claire, where she kisses him and tells the poor tormented creature that he is "the most human man [she's] ever met."

Season 3

  • Lyle persuading Vanessa to allow him into Grandage Place despite her severe paranoia and depression. He doesn't judge her or remonstrate her, he simply cracks some jokes to make her laugh, and then tells her that he's been through a depressive period himself. He talks her into seeking treatment, and Vanessa is so overcome by his kindness that she simply lays her head on his lap while crying.
    • The therapy ultimately helps; she writes a letter to Malcolm about her determination to keep living.
      But please do not fear for me. I have no fear myself. The old monsters are gone. The old curses have echoed to silence. And if my immortal soul is lost to me, something yet remains. I remain.
  • After their last interaction being much more antagonistic, Lily gently tells Victor to move on with his life, as "(he) won't like what (Lily's) becoming."
  • Vanessa meeting Dr. Sweet in the Natural History Museum for the first time. His nerdy enthusiasm for zoology brings a smile back to her face after her deep depression. This becomes less heartwarming and more terrifying when Dr. Sweet is revealed to be Dracula.
  • Mixed with Awesome: Malcolm defending Kaetenay from a couple of racist cowboys. They may not have known each other long, but Malcolm won't let anyone talk down to his new companion.
  • Malcolm defending Ethan from his bigoted, hateful father, as well as putting himself between the two men and killing Jared himself both to protect Ethan from his father's promises of hunting him down for the rest of his life and to spare Ethan's soul the sin of committing patricide. Papa Wolf and Like a Son to Me at their best.
  • The relationship between Vanessa and the orderly in the asylum, who would later be revived as Caliban/John Clare/the Creature. The two end up forming a deep bond, and the simple, gentle humanity of the orderly ends up as the only connection to goodness Vanessa has left. At one point, Vanessa attempts to seduce him, and while he succumbs to several passionate kisses, he realizes it's wrong and pulls away. Later, when he is heartbroken over her coming trepanation, she gives him another kiss that is gentle, loving, and a sign of friendship, with no implied offer of sex beneath it. This time, he simply accepts it and promises that the last thing she sees before the trepanation will be the face of someone who loves her. All of it is summed up on Christmas, when the orderly says he has no real belief in God, "but I will pray for you." It's a human story of a man who is there to be Vanessa's friend at her worst moment and to remind her of humanity's best.
    • From the same episode, when Dr. Seward reveals that she's been unsuccessfully trying to end the hypnotism, the normally stoic and professional doctor tells Vanessa that she'll stay with her, saying "I wouldn't leave you for the world". Then, as she cradles Vanessa, she asks what her ancestor Joan Clayton would have told Vanessa, and when Vanessa says that she would have told her to be true, she repeats the words to her.
  • In "Ebb Tide", Kaetenay projects himself to London to seek out Vanessa, and discovers she is already "halfway [Dracula's]". He and Ethan have this exchange after the vision ends:
    Kaetenay: I can see why you love her, but she is damned.
    Ethan: Not while I walk this earth.
  • When John Clare remembers enough of his former life and seeks out Marjorie, his wife, she welcomes him back with almost no hesitation. The Creature has been defined by self-loathing from the beginning, believing that his deformities and his unnatural state would always make him an outcast, denied love and affection. Marjorie doesn't care about his appearance; she doesn't even seem to acknowledge it. All that matters to her is that the man she loved, once dead and lost, has come back to her.
  • Kaetenay telling Malcolm he would have made a "magnificent Apache" before they head into battle against Dracula and his minions.
  • Before the final battle with Dracula, Malcolm offers Victor, Catriona Hartdegen, and Dr. Seward, who've accompanied him into the vampire's lair, an opportunity to leave and save themselves, and that he won't think less of them if they go. They all make it clear they're going nowhere, and Malcolm replies that it's an honour to fight and likely die with them.