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Five Thoughts on Pennyworth‘s “Martha Kane”

By | August 13th, 2019
Posted in Television | % Comments

Pennyworth is back with another episode following our favorite future butler on his way to becoming Batman’s butler. As the title indicates, we are introduced to Bruce’s mom Martha for the first time. Martha makes Alfred an offer he can’t refuse and we get a B plot with Alfred’s army buddies. Plus we get another glimpse of the torture of Lord Harwood.

Spoilers incoming.

1. Martha, Martha, Martha

Looks like Martha is a CIA spook! She introduces herself as a photojournalist, but it quickly becomes apparent there is more to her than meets the eye. She later admits to be working with the “No Name League” which had been described as the Socialist version of the villainous Raven Society introduced in the pilot.

Similar to her future husband, Martha is played a bit wooden here. Looks like all the American characters on the show are given the same direction; either that or her and Thomas will be a perfect fit for each other when they meet. She’s got that midcentury Mid-atlantic accent you hear in old Hollywood movies.

Alfred was much more willing to work with Martha then Thomas or even the Landlord from the last episode. Guess he’s come to terms with “security consultant” meaning lots of trouble. Throughout the episode Martha plays things pretty close to the vest, not giving all the details. Even how she found Alfred is so quickly glossed over (newspaper ad) that I’m betting there is more to the story than Martha is telling. Martha says she’s not familiar with Thomas Wayne, but it remains to be seen how truthful that is.

2. Alan Turing saved by the Americans

Martha hires Alfred to save an Alan Turing type character named Ian. Brilliant computer scientist/inventor being persecuted by the British Government for his sexuality. We don’t spend much time with Ian or his partner Sam. They are just the MacGuffins of the week; them and their computer. Alfred once again shows his tactical smarts that will help him in his future career as a superhero’s butler. He bluffs his way past the Raven Society thugs who are also after Ian and gets the scientist on a plane to safety.

3. Dave Boy gets fleshed out

The B plot this week involves Alfred’s two army buddies Dave Boy and Bazza gambling at the local strip club. They are able to get some real character development here. Dave Boy’s drinking has started to take a toll on his daily life and causes some major issues for Bazza. Dave Boy gets most of the focus here and we get the feeling he’s in bad shape. He mentions that he needs the money for the Martha mission and even gets to drop some of that TV-MA humor this show loves to use. We’ve seen these guys in Alfred’s battle flashbacks and being his muscle so it was nice to give them some development on their own.

4. Break up/make up again

Seems that every other episode Alfred and Esmé are breaking up. Yes I know this is only episode three, but I hope this doesn’t become a recurring bit. This time it’s instigated by Esmé‘s father. Her father claims that she loves Alfred because of the “animal inside” him. Which doesn’t quite line up with what her character has said so far. She had mentioned that she abhorred violence. Though this romance is surely doomed, I’d rather not play the break up/make up game they’ve got going.

5. Alfred could get used to the finer things

After getting his big payday from Martha, Alfred is able to get his own place. Not sure what the exchange rate works out to, plus inflation, minus the cost of living in 60s London, but this place looks incredible. He offhandedly mentions that he paid for two years up front, we’ll see if the show lasts that long. It’s no Wayne Manor, but with digs this nice I’m betting young Alfie could really get used to this.

The episode ends with the supposed Raven Society leader Lord Harwood dumped out of a car missing his nose. Again this show likes it a little gruesome, but it makes the character much more Bond villain-esque. With him, John Ripper, and Bet still out there Alfred’s world has it’s share of dangerous characters.

//TAGS | Pennyworth

Matthew Vincenty


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