We’re back with another episode of Pennyworth. Without a kidnapping this week, what’s Alfred to do? Let’s find out. Spoilers ahead.
1. Aleister Crowley and the Prime Minister Archbishop Potter
Crowley makes short work of the Archbishop this week. First tempting him with his group of sex addicts and then photographing him after what looks like a wild night. No surprise here that Crowley was able to make this happen. If he was able to make Martha lose several days and walk through London naked after seeing what still appears to be the literal devil; I’m sure he could trick a Prime Minister into an orgy.
The show doesn’t need an orgy to show off its TV-MA rating, but it doesn’t pass up an opportunity. The giant font newspaper headline of the scandal: “PRIME MINISTER IN SEX ORGY LEAGUE SHAMED!” was a nice touch, but I wonder about a paper running that photo on the front page. Even a London tabloid. Also the photos of Potter look like he’s protesting and not enjoying himself. This could have been much more subtle, but where is the fun in that? The scandal leads to the archbishop’s tragic suicide.
Mrs. Gaunt at the Raven Union is pleased with the news and Lord Harwood wastes no time chocking it up to liberals.
2. Bet Sykes and Lord Harwood
We catch up with Sykes and her captive Katie Browning looking for a place to lay low. Browning brings them to her old teacher’s house. This reminded me of Michael Caine’s house in Children of Men. Despite being set in the past this wartime UK has a post apocalyptic feel to it and this artist safe haven had the same vibe. Sykes is immediately suspicious of the teacher calling him a “perv” for having nude illustrations in his home. She’s not much of an art lover. Sykes is finally able to get in touch with Harwood after many attempts. Despite protestations from those around him Harwood is loyal to Bet and sends Salt to retrieve her.
I love the way Bet explains it to Harwood over the phone “A spot of argy-bargy with a bloke at work.” She’s incorrigible, and I don’t know the meaning of the word.
I’m glad that Harwood backed up Bet here. She’s the only one who supported him last season during his lowest point. He had been tortured so badly he was disfigured and had a mental break. I get that Gaunt and Salt are wary of her being a lose cannon, but out of anyone in Harwood’s inner circle, he can trust her the most.
The team Salt sent to retrieve Sykes isn’t as keen on her as Harwood and I am. They start shooting right away, killing the teacher, and forcing Sykes and Browning to make a hasty escape.
3. Thomas and Martha
Martha runs into Alfred outside the the Delaney club. She’s still rightly pissed at Alfred for letting Salt go, even though Alfred denies it. Alfred lets slip that Thomas met with Crowley recently which Martha is surprised to hear. Later when word reaches the league of the Archbishop’s suicide Aziz and John Ripper know right away it was a setup by Crowley. You’d think in the circles Ripper runs in he’d know more people into orgies. Martha immediately makes the connection to Wayne and heads to confront him. Thus we continue to drive the wedge between Thomas and Martha. To his credit Thomas does recognize he’s the baddie here. He may have wanted a scandal, but he ended up costing the archbishop his life. This might be the moment that forces Thomas to question his allegiances.
4. Alfred and his parents
The episode begins with London under attack. Alfred seems to be sleeping fine despite there being a literal Blitz happening outside his window. This gives us our dream sequence and the return of Alfred’s father.
In the dream his father/his subconscious gives him a lead on who may have stolen his money. He also mentions that Alfred never saw his body so Dad may still be alive. Longtime comic readers will know a character probably isn’t dead if you don’t see the body. His survival might be tough to explain since he was next to the bomb, but if Alfred and the Queen got out it’s possible.Continued below
The dream leads him to suspect his co-conspirator Troy from the Salt kidnapping. Dave Boy and Bazza both let him know they don’t believe it. He’s a former colleague from the SAS and they always act honorably. Alfred’s reasoning is no one else knew about the money. When confronted Troy denies involvement and even offers Alfred and team a job. Alfred turns it down, he’s no thief, but I’d be willing to bet they end up involved anyway.
We get to see Alfred’s mom happy for the first time all season. She is able to save a young girl’s life and thinks that Alfred will be staying in London now that he doesn’t have the money. For a moment this made me think his mother might be behind her own kidnapping. She’s the only thing he cares about and he would put himself into danger to save her. She was also one of the few people that knew about the money. Alas, after Alfred chats again with his crew we are reminded Dave Boy is an idiot. He let it slip they had some money and now we know a minor character Dobson from a cameo in the first episode is responsible.
They track down Dobson in an amusement park and Alfred even manages to fight him in a hall of mirrors. One of the most Batman villain locations we’ve seen on the show so far. I half expected this guy to turn into the Joker. If they did it on Gotham, why not on Pennyworth?
5. Bazza and Dave Boy
Last season Dave Boy got shot and it looked like he was going to be killed off. Despite losing a ton of blood and this being the 50s, he’s still with us with seemingly no ill effects. On the other hand Bazza was in the vicinity of a car explosion and he’s done for.
Bazza was the smart one in the group. He was cool and level headed. A great foil for Dave Boy; the three of them as a team worked together really well. It’s frustrating to see him killed off for no reason. This wasn’t an epic battle with a climactic villain. It was a throw-away villain and they didn’t even get their money back. I’m let down. If Sykes goes down this way I’ll be heartbroken.