Following last week’s bummer ending, I was really curious to see where the show would take Alfred. I was miffed that the show spent a long time building Esme up only to unceremoniously kill her off, and this episode didn’t do much for me to like it. I understand it, or at least I think I do. But I don’t like it. Anyway, let’s dive into this week’s recap.
“I loved her.”
Bet Sykes is relaying the story of how she saw who killed Esme to her sister Peggy. She was waiting in a phonebooth outside Esme’s apartment, mustering the courage to confront her. She seemingly felt a genuine love for her, which is pretty insane. She spotted a man and a woman enter the building, and they had a key. Peggy seems upset at Bet, likely after their conversation in the last episode.
“Funerals are sad. You seem angry.”
We’re now at Esme’s funeral and as expected, it is a somber affair. Comically somber, maybe. A woman is playing a cello by Esme’s yet-to-be-lowered coffin, and Bet and Peggy are watching the funeral from a distance. A lot of characters are in attendance: Alfred and his mates Dave Boy and Bazza, his parents, Esme’s father, John Ripper for some strange reason, and Inspector Aziz. We have another couple watching from a distance, Thomas Wayne and Martha Kane. Thomas points out the sadness of the whole thing and tells Martha the police think it’s a burglary gone wrong. He also tells her that, on the bright side, the No Name League (which he refers to as the Legion) were very happy with her and Alfred’s work in the last episode as they uncovered the identify of the Raven Society’s new leader. Martha is barely registering any of this, visibly clearly more emotional about the whole thing that Thomas is. She lets loose that she feels responsible for Esme’s death, since Alfred didn’t want to leave her alone. In the last episode, Alfred displayed some apprehension in taking the job she offered him since he didn’t want anything bad to happen to Esme. Thomas isn’t really taking her seriously and calls her feelings on the matter absurd, which… hey. Bad move. I’m curious to see how they end up together. She says she needs to leave and storms out.
Alfred nearly brakes down as Esme’s grave is lowered into the ground. Dave Boy and Bazza stop him from toppling over.
“Oh God. What have they done to you?”
Bet and Peggy are sitting in a car, with Peggy feeling sorry for Alfred’s loss. Bet doesn’t feel the same way, saying that Alfred didn’t have any class and thus didn’t deserve Esme. Just then, she spots Lord Harwood on the pavement, chained to the wall. She approaches him and notices his feet have been cut off, presumably by the barber. We’ve only previously seen his nose lobbed off so the extent of his injuries are far more severe than I thought. The young man who has kept him chained sees Bet consoling Harwood and wants to put a stop to it. Bet backs off, only to poke his eye in with a tiny pin. She unshackles Harwood and after a quick bicker with Peggy, she brings Harwood in the car to bring home.
“A man can’t turn down a fresh plunge now, can he?”
At the Pennyworth residence, Alfred is in bed staring at the ceiling while his parents and mates are drinking together downstairs. A voice begins speaking to him, and Alfred refers to the person speaking to him as “Spanish”, who we know is Alfred’s dead war buddy. Alfred clearly isn’t in a good place right now. Spanish asks Alfred why he’s lazing about and not hunting down Esme’s killer. Alfred says he’s the one who killed her, and he did so by spending time with another woman, this woman being Martha Kane. Alfred asks Spanish to leave him alone.
“He looks like a human now. Almost.”
At the Sykes residence, Harwood is the guest of honour at the dinner table. Harwood seems to have forgotten who he is, and becomes angry when Bet tells him that he’s Lord James Harwood. Harwood says he’s a bad man and simply can’t be Harwood, and Peggy calms him and down and says they can call him Ginger.
“We must sacrifice our finer feelings for the larger cause, don’t you think?”
Months later, supporters of the No Name League and the Raven Society are battling it out on the streets of London. There’s a clear escalation here in terms of the conflict between the two groups now that they have supporters among the population. Thomas Wayne walks past the action and is stopped by a man named Joshua, a fellow No Name Leaguer. Joshua tells Thomas his presence has been requested by their leader. He is blindfolded and brought to a weird post-modern home with classical music gently swimming through the halls. Children are present and Thomas clearly looks immensely uncomfortable. The leader tells Thomas that they are losing the war on the streets with the Raven Society, and that he has contacted the Ravens to initiate a truce. Then, they want to kill their leader Frances Gaunt. Thomas is taken aback and when asked to organise the meeting, is hesitant. After some stares and philosophical nonsense, he is forced to agree to the job.
Thomas is reflecting on his mission at a park, and is approached by a man in a suit. Thomas tells the man that the Legion knows that he works with the CIA, which is actually something Alfred guessed about him back in the first episode. The CIA wants him to continue working for the Legion and organise the killing of Gaunt, because this is what they want. They’d rather the Legion prevail over the Ravens.
“Maid’s day off?”
Martha is at home, clearly having drank a lot. She ignores the doorbell and gets up when a knock appears at the door. It’s Thomas, who comments on Martha’s messy home. He says the Legion has a job for them, and this instantly perks her up. She’s ready to work. When Thomas tells her they need Alfred for this job, she says Alfred will likely not want to work for the League after what happened to Esme. Martha obviously wants to impress the League so she seemingly agrees with bringing Alfred in.
“So that’s the bird is it? The femme fatale.”
At the Pennyworth residence, a catatonic-looking Alfred is receiving a shave from his father. Mr. Pennyworth asks Alfred to eat something and heads off to work. Alfred is moving around, so my fears of him actually being catatonic are assuaged. He answers a knock at the door and opens the door to Martha. Alfred lets her in and very quickly declines her offer to return to work when she offers it. He tells her to tell the Legion to never contact him again. After Martha leaves, Spanish comes back and hurls a few insults Alfred’s way. Ms. Darkness from the last episode also makes an appearance, and Alfred’s exclamation for them to “fuck off” is timed with his mother’s appearance at home. She asks if he is alright and offers to boil the kettle.
“He really has cracked, hasn’t he?”
At Martha’s home, Thomas is learning of Alfred’s answer. He refers to Alfred as a “useful man”, which Martha clearly takes some issue with. I think she’s beginning to become disillusioned with the No Name League. Thomas says they need to look for someone else to help them.
“My name is Ozymandias.”
Bet has Harwood fitted into a pair of shoes that will help him walk since his feet are maimed. He reacts proudly to his progress and when Peggy walks in, apparently smells the haddock in her shopping bag. He recalls that he liked haddock, and the group praises his memory.
“It’s not the cold you know. It’s the darkness.”
John Ripper is running through the streets with a bag tied to his back. He arrives at Alfred’s house and walks in, claiming he’s been meaning to drop by for ages. He tells Alfred that he is owed a favour; when Alfred agrees he’s ecstatic since he can’t decline. Ripper throws him the bag and in it are size ten shoes. Ripper wants a new running partner. Alfred gets changed and meets the man outside, and they begin their run.
“We’re not pastry chefs.”
Thomas is at Alfred’s old club, which has attracted a bit of a rougher crowd. It’s noisier and he spots some patrons using drugs at their tables. He asks for Dave Boy and Bazza, and they instantly decline Thomas when he offers them a job. They don’t even wait for him to explain what the job is, as they already know. They know he wants someone killed. Dave Boy wants to know the price, much to Bazza’s disappointment. Thomas says the job pays five hundred pounds each, but if one man were to do the job then he’d get the whole sum. Bazza is asked by management to quell an issue in the ladies’ room which leaves Dave Boy and Thomas alone. Dave Boy asks for details.
“Feel the blood flowing through you again.”
Alfred and Ripper are running, and Ripper is outrunning Alfred to a ridiculous degree. Alfred’s panting while Ripper isn’t breaking a sweat. This scene acts as a sort of montage, as we view Alfred’s progress throughout the scene. He slowly catches up to Ripper and eventually outpaces him. During a run, Ripper leads them to the graveyard where Esme is buried. Ripper wants Alfred to move on, and says he should put a gravestone atop Esme’s resting place. He also says he can help him find Esme’s killer, who is someone who wants to see Alfred suffer. He’s only help Alfred if he does a job for Ripper, which Alfred accepts.
He heads to Sid’s pub, sharply dressed, and asks for Sid’s shotgun and all his ammo. He is asking after people like Jason Ripper, people who may want to do harm to Alfred. Jason in particular is begging for scraps up in Liverpool.
Alfred gets to his old place of work and the manager is over the moon to see Alfred again, decrying the company that have taken up residence at the club. He asks when Alfred can come back to work, to which Alfred replies that he will let him know. He finds Bazza and asks after Dave Boy, who says he’s off working with Thomas Wayne.
“They’re figments. The product of weak minds.”
Alfred and Ripper are sitting in a car, and Alfred asks him if he’s ever seen ghosts. Ripper brushes him off and asks if he can trust Alfred. He says he can. He reminds Alfred that he needs to succeed in order to get the name of Esme’s killer.
“By all means, tallyho.”
At a restaurant, the Legion’s leader and his wife are sitting down. His wife expresses some concern over the outcome of what’s about to happen, and in walks Frances Gaunt, ready for their meeting.
Dave Boy enters the building in disguise and picks up a mop and bucket. A chef asks him for help but backpedals, calling him a thief as he doesn’t recognise him. Dave Boy headbutts the man and pulls a gun on the rest of the kitchen staff.
Back at the table, the two leaders have a toast and drink to a brighter future. Gaunt looks a bit hostile, not exactly trusting the two of them at this very moment. The Legion’s leader laments the loss of lives of both sides, but Gaunt drops all niceties and calls out the truce for what she think it is: a desperate plea to stop the violence as the Ravens’ victory scares the Legion. Dave Boy enters the room and shoots Gaunt’s bodyguards, but Gaunt shoots him when he hesitates and asks her to close her eyes.
Dave Boy is on the ground, bleeding. Gaunt is trying to save his life, having the leader’s wife come in and apply pressure to the wound. She takes a pin and closes Dave Boy’s wound. Alfred enters the scene and is shocked at Dave Boy’s presence. Gaunt recognises his voice, and Alfred asks her if he can move his friend. She says he is going to die anyway, so he picks up him. Before leaving, he approaches the League’s leader and blows his head clean off! This scene was super gruesome and intensely violent, and Alfred and Dave Boy shoot their way out of the place.
“Shall I wake my dad?”
Alfred drags Dave Boy over to Sid’s pub, and his daughter Sandra lets them in. He asks Sandra to hide the shotgun and call the doctor. After doing so, she brings him a drink. She asks Alfred if she should wake up her father, to which he declines. Before you know it, they’re behind the bar banging like rabbits. Time for Alfred to finally move on, me thinks.
Back at the restaurant, Aziz inspects the carnage. He goes to the Prime Minister’s office and informs him and the, uh, Queen, of their theory that Gaunt herself killed the leader. He also mentions that the leader’s wife, Ondine, is now the leader of the No Name League.
“You’re in shock.”
Ondine is in bed, and there’s someone in the bathroom washing up. She tells this person that she thought she would feel something like remorse, but feels nothing. Out comes John Ripper, robe-clad. He tells her that she’s in shock and, hey. England will be hers. They kiss and the episode ends.
So that was a bit of a shocker. I figured Ripper had ulterior motives but I didn’t expect anything like that.
This recap is a day late and I do apologise. I was busy covering the Fan Expo here in Toronto and didn’t have time to write it up when I came home.
I’ll be back next week, on time, with my recap of episode 6, “Cilla Black.”