Review: PENNYWORTH 1×02 – “THE LANDLORD’S DAUGHTER”
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Danny Cannon
Writer: Bruno Heller
Starring: Jack Bannon, Emma Corrin, Ben Aldridge, Ryan Fletcher, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, Paloma Faith, and Jason Flemyng.
Reviewed by: Tony Farina
Episode two of Pennyworth takes place a short time after the harrowing adventures of the first. Alfred and Esme’ are back together and Thomas Wayne tries, in vain, to hire Alfred and his team to work for him. Because the last time Alfred helped out Thomas, Esme’ was kidnapped and his parents were nearly killed, Alfred takes a hard pass.
However, at a local pub were he and his pal/army buddy/co-worker Dave Boy like to hang out, the nephew of a crime boss has decided that he wants to harass and frighten the teenage daughter of the pub owner. Dave Boy convinces Pennyworth Securities to take the job to stop the little creep. That means, of course, running afoul of said crime boss called “The Ripper” who dresses like Jack the Ripper and who is a cannibal. That sounds like a great time.
Meanwhile, Bet is being held for murder and will be hung in a few short weeks. She is pretty evil in an evil genius kind of way. There is no reason to give any of this away. Just watch.
This world of Pennyworth is totally insane. At one point there are live executions, which are old timey hangings, broadcast on live TV. When is this exactly? It doesn’t really matter. The world is unique and crazy and impossible to look away.
Once again, Paloma Faith is the compelling star of this series. Based on her first two performances, I could see some award nominations in her future. The show is called Pennyworth, but I want to see how Bet becomes Bet. We do see a bit of that when we meet her sister, Dominatrix Peggy Sykes. Seriously, what was their upbringing like?
Danny Webb’s turn as cannibalistic crime lord John Ripper is terrifying. Bannon shines showing Alfred’s cool and disconnectedness as he stands in a room full of corpses. He even tries to get a job. See below. I would not have handled it that well for sure.
I know we are supposed to care about the supporting cast in any show, but so far, Alfred’s pals are dragging Pennyworth down a bit. It is not as though the actors are doing a bad job, but they really only have one thing to do. Be Alfred’s back up/muscle. I understand he can not do it all on his own, but if these are his mates, I am not convinced. It could be that the actors are both so much older looking than Bannon that they look like his uncles instead of his pals. Still, it is early, so we can hope.
Only two shows in, Pennyworth is standing strong. The crazy universe in which this takes place keeps viewers guessing. The acting is excellent. The action is just right. This is not simply relying on punching and shooting. There is a real plot that is unwinding slowly.
Remember, this it TV-MA for a reason. Do NOT let kids watch it. Seriously. If you are an adult, you should absolutely watch it.