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    Five Thoughts on Pennyworth’s “Julie Christie”

    By | September 10th, 2019
    Posted in Television | % Comments

    Pennyworth is back with another chapter of twists and turns in the backstory of Batman’s butler. This episode ultimately felt like filler as the main plot beats were just cleaning up threads from the last few episodes and setting the stage for the last three episodes. I had to watch the episode twice to gather my thoughts as the only real stand out moments were Thomas’ freak out and the surprise ending. Be warned that spoilers follow.

    1. What Happened to Martha?

    The episode opens where we left off last week. After waking up naked in field Martha makes her way home through London wearing nothing but a sheet. I wonder where she got the sheet from? And how did it stay so clean walking through the dirty streets? Some mysteries will never be solved, I suppose.

    When Martha gets home she’s surprised by Thomas who had been waiting at her apartment. He lets Martha know that she’s been gone for three days. Martha and I are both surprised to hear this. The episode doesn’t fill in the missing blanks for us. We just know there is something creepy going on with that six-eyed goat person and Aleister Crowley. Whatever happened to her, she is rightfully shaken up. Missing multiple days is way more than just a wild night out at a satanist’s party.

    2. Alfred’s current plot feels out of place

    Alfred and his crew spend the episode investigating the man who killed Esmé. It still doesn’t sit right that this random, seemingly inconsequential, character is the one who killed Esmé. It pulls Alfred away from the other main characters and gives the title character of the show the least compelling story of the episode.

    Alfred follows the leads to an officer’s club and after starting trouble gets an officer’s attention. The officer ends up supplying him with a time and place where Alfred can find the killer.

    This information gets around as Lord Harwood hears of it too and passes it to Bet. This sets up Bet’s first meeting with Alfred since episode one. Surprisingly, Alfred is not shocked to see someone he was certain had been executed. He also doesn’t find it the least bit suspicious that the woman who had kidnapped Esmé was in the same place as the suspected murderer. He just rolls with it and they have an old fashioned team up.

    The killer eventually gets away leaving this plot thread still unresolved. Great to see Bet back in the game though. She’s been interesting to me and I’m invested in how they’ll wrap up her arc.

    3. Thomas Wayne continues his streak of being terrible

    Thomas and Martha visit Aleister twice this episode to retrieve Thomas’ sister Patricia. When they first arrived we are all surprised to see Patricia looking better than ever. Possibly the first time we’ve seen her not strung out. Equally surprising is Jason Ripper as Crowley’s houseboy. A far cry from the tough guy he was earlier in the season.

    It’s made clear on more than one occasion that Thomas’ concern for his sister is just as much concern for the Wayne name and stock price. An argument about that is the reason why she is left with Crowley the first time around. Nice, Tommy.

    When Martha starts to have nightmares about her time with Crowley she forces Thomas to go back and get Patricia from Crowley.

    On their second visit Crowley agrees to release Patricia in exchange for Wayne’s soul. Of course Thomas laughs this off and offers him ever larger sums of money. Eventually, with a little push from Martha, Thomas decides it’s worth playing along to get his sister back. Crowley claims he’s interested in the “beast” inside of Thomas. Which of course we haven’t seen anything of.

    Crowley brings Thomas down to a basement room where Ripper sets up a projector and starts to play a movie. Turns out it’s a porn with Patricia. A “blue movie” as Thomas puts it. The look on Wayne’s face while he watches the first few moments of this movie is very strange. After a couple of minutes Thomas snaps and attacks Ripper, choking him with the film.

    “Tell me you didn’t meet the devil” is Crowley’s clever quip on the attack. Looks like Bruce has more in common with his father than we thought. At this point Thomas is free to take Patricia, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Crowley.

    Continued below

    4. What does Harwood have planned for the Raven Society, and what will the Raven Society do when they find out he’s back?

    Harwood decides it’s time to visit Frances Gaunt of the Raven Society. It’s unclear if Harwood knows there are strings being pulled leading all the way up to the queen, but he’s ready to take back the Raven Society and start fighting for the cause. This is sure to cause Thomas problems as his CIA handler and the No Name League were looking for a truce.

    Gaunt immediately suggests putting Harwood into hiding to protect him. Harwood has other plans though. He’s ready to come back into the fold and lead the Ravens to victory. We’ll see what the Prime Minister has to say about that when he hears about his return.

    5. Alfred’s dad is a fascist?

    The episode ends with Frances Gaunt giving a speech to a hall of Raven Society members, except with one major twist. Alfred’s father is there. Not just there, but a standing, engaged member. He never struck me as a fascist until now.

    Alfred’s father hasn’t played a major part in the main plot of the series until now. There had been some division between father and son that will likely be amplified with this twist. Just when they had such a great butler teaching moment with his father showing him the best way to clean Esmé’s ring.

    With only three episodes left where this show is going is anyone’s guess. Will Alfred get involved in the Aleister Crowley business? Will there be more to Esmé’s death? What about the No Names and the Ravens? We’ll have to tune in next week.


    //TAGS | Pennyworth

    Matthew Vincenty

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