Review: PENNYWORTH 1×04 – “LADY PENELOPE”
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: China Moo-Young
Writer: Bruno Heller
Starring: Jack Bannon, Emma Corrin, Emma Paetz, Ben Aldridge, Ryan Fletcher, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, Paloma Faith, and Jason Flemyng.
Reviewed by: Tony Farina
Pennyworth takes an even darker turn this week. That doesn’t really seem possible does it? Well. Just you wait and see. Martha and Thomas finally meet. Sparks do not fly so don’t worry that a baby Bruce will show up any time soon. Turns out the No Names have a pretty wide reach and that Thomas is part of that group too and he is sort of Martha’s boss so there is that. Thomas tells her to spend any amount of money necessary to keep Alfred on board. She does.
So, while Alfred and Martha go off hunting for the new leader of the Raven Society, Esme moves in with the Pennyworth’s. Meanwhile, Bet and Peg have a difference of opinion that turns a bit bloody. Dave Boy, Bazza and Thomas spend most of this episode standing around.
Pennyworth is 100 percent held up by Jack Bannon’s performance. It turns out, that no matter who is on screen with him, the scene is better for it. Esme and and Alfred create sparks. Alfred and Martha create tension. Alfred and the boys, creates a sense of ease. He just commands the room. His straightforward, no-nonsense approach to everything is just what we want and need. Even though this universe is totally insane, Alfred is totally sane. You feel comfortable knowing that he will one day keep Batman in line.
The complex plot continues and that is good. The No Nothings and the Raven society clearly have it out for each other. They both think they are saving the world and yet, one of them must be wrong. Because the world of this show is so bonkers, nothing that happens, which in this episode involves a misplaced shotgun blast and a man turned into a dog (sort of), seems absurd. It all makes sense. Moo-Young is the third director in four episodes, but the star of the show is really the production design team. I am not trying to disparage the directors here, but if I didn’t have to look for the review, I would not have been able to know it was directed by different people. The world looks the same and the characters move the same way through it.
OK. That tension between Alfred and Martha. No thank you. Don’t need it. Don’t want it. Don’t care. That is a distraction and it needs to go. Also, not everyone makes it out of this episode alive. I am not sure I like that. I know there must be casualties. The world is a bad place and the Pennyworth universe is even worse, but come on. I don’t want to give anything away here, but be prepared.
This show took a small step back this week, but it is very small. I am totally hooked and you will be too once you start watching it. Bet is soon to play a bigger role again and that is always good. I am looking forward to her villainy next week.