Hey hey … hello, Trashmii. Ready to find out if Brona’s the bride? Ready to find out if Caliban can be more insufferable? Ready for the super sexy fun time between Ethan and Dorian? Well, you won’t get, it suckas! It’s time for Vanessa’s back story.
Fade up on one of Vanessa’s crazy eyes as she’s writing a letter to Mina. She started writing as part of her “recovery” and as time progressed she got crazier and went from writing once a month to once a week to daily and expects soon to just write continuously, starting the next letter as soon as the last is finished, which … I get that they wanted to be poetic but really, just keep writing the same letter. Oh yeah, and Vanessa’s smoking, with a cigarette holder, in case we didn’t already know she’s “bad news.” At least she doesn’t suck the smoke up her nose. That’s gross.
Vanessa’s cross dangles on its chain as she says, in the letter, that she hopes things can return to how they were, but she knows that cannot happen. As she gets a pensive, or flatulent, look on her face we flashback to Mina and Vanessa, as girls, frolicking on the beach while VO Vanessa wonders if it was all seashore and sandcastles in their childhood?
It’s established early on that Vanessa’s the daredevil, wanting to go swimming out as far out as they can, while Mina begs off, saying they’ll get in trouble. Vanessa tries to taunt Mina for being a chicken, but Mina’s resolute. The girls return to their huge neighboring estates replete with enchanted woods in between. Mina wanders through the gate and into the Murrays’ home because she’s that comfortable with them.
She meets up with kindly, and plain, Mrs. Murray and they exchange pleasantries about what a lovely day it is for a homecoming before Vanessa joins Peter and Mina in the solarium … which is full of the children’s taxidermy. Ew. Say what you want about kids today, at least they’re not spending their time stuffing dead animals. Or at least when they are, we now know to be on the lookout for more signs of antisocial behavior.
Peter’s working on a monkey that still looks dead (Ummmm …) but Vanessa tells him it’s because he never gave the monkey a Shakespearean name. Although I don’t know if calling the monkey “Nick Bottom” will really give it a twinkle in its eye. But “Van” swears that without a name it will never come to life (because it’s dead) and she’s named the bird she’s working on “Ariel” because John Logan has a thing for “The Tempest.”
Mina’s not quite so well read so she just jokes that Vanessa’s “always working on things that eat other things, “(SPOILER!) and accuses her of being bloodthirsty. Peter doesn’t think so. He thinks she’s ghoulish. He’s bloodthirsty. Victorian aristocratic families were weird.
At least girls will be girls and Vanessa starts talking about “Mr. Andrews” the servant she saw earlier. She thinks he’s dreamy with his luxurious “mustaches” (he has more than one … or … I’m confused) and being so tall letting Mina inform us how shallow she is, since she’s like 12, that she could only marry a tall man because a “stunted” one would be embarrassing at balls. Heh. She also wants someone who’s at least six feet tall with a waxed mustache but has “tiny feet for dancing.” What?
Then they discuss what kind of man Vanessa will marry but she hasn’t really given it much thought. Especially since it’s kind of assumed she’ll marry Peter, anyway. He doesn’t think so, though, because he’ll be on expedition in Africa. Vanessa questions that but before she can crush his spirits they hear a bell and get excited.
They run to the entrance and it’s Sir Malcolm. Peter comes running out first and Sir Malcolm barely shakes his son’s hand before the girls descend upon him and he doesn’t have to deal with the awkwardness of being alone with his disappointing son. The girls don’t even notice Peter being shunned, they’re just happy and giggling about him being home while Mrs. Murray, Gladys, begins to gently sob. Sir Malcolm walks over to his wife and chastely pecks her on the cheek while reprimanding her for crying. Man, he’s really a peach, isn’t he?
Peter, still trying to get his father’s attention, and affection, asks what he brought back. Sir Malcolm actually shows some interest and produces a serval pelt and explains to the children what a serval is. Peter and Vanessa are enthralled while Mina is repulsed but Sir Malcolm soon tires of talking to his disappointing son so he gathers the girls up under his arm and they walk off, leaving Peter behind, to discuss the meal they have prepared for the evening.