Hello governor, jolly good! I’m back with another episode of Pennyworth, the penultimate episode of this first season! Last we saw Alfred, he was arrested after killing John Curzon, the son of an influential lord. Meanwhile, England is in chaos as various political parties are vying for control of the country.
Before we continue, you can check out my recap of the previous episode right here.
“You need a friend. I need a name.”
Alfred Pennyworth is being questioned by two agents and Inspector Aziz. They’re asking him for the name of his accomplice that aided him in killing John Curzon, the man who killed Alfred’s fiancé. The accomplice is Bet Sykes, but since she saved his life Alfred isn’t at liberty to give her name away due to his sense of honour. Aziz makes clear that the Prime Minister wants to make an example of Alfred and sentence him to prison without a trial. Alfred isn’t cooperating, so Aziz sends in Alfred’s parents to say goodbye to him. Mrs. Pennyworth is an emotional mess and Mr. Pennyworth reminds her that they promised they would be strong for him, that they wouldn’t place a burden on Alfred.
He says goodbye to his folks and is immediately tossed into some sort of shared prison cell, to which he’ll apparently be there for seven years. He looks around at his cellmates and asks them who their leader is.
The Prime Minister announces on the telly that a general election will be held soon as he has lost the majority in Parliament. The election will involve every party, including those previously considered illegal. Which means that the Raven Society and the No Name League will also be in the running.
At Martha Kane’s apartment, she and Thomas are watching this before they get into an argument about the practicality of these radical organisations. Thomas is much more cynical about it than Martha, who seems a bit naïve about what the people of England are capable of. They agree to disagree, and Thomas is about to head off to work. Martha stops him, informing him that she’s ready to get back to work now. Thomas kindly brushes her off but after she insists, he tells her that she needs to consider not working for the League anymore.
By the way, the two of them are seeming a lot more cozy. They’ve been hanging out a lot recently and while there isn’t a sign of potential romantic entanglement, at least the writers are planting the seeds for their eventual union.
“It’s my secret to tell, love.”
Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth are walking down the street when Mr. Pennyworth spots a poster of James Harwood being put up. He raises his fist in salute but gets into a coughing fit, which we all know is a mark of death. Mrs. Pennyworth begs her husband to tell “him”, presumably Alfred, but he’s insistent on keeping it a secret.
“I feel like I’m dreaming.”
Harwood, along with Bet and Peggy Sykes, returns to his home. This was his base of operations, and we visited it back in the pilot episode all those weeks ago. Such a different time, eh? Harwood’s wife Clarissa is there to greet them, and she has an unease about her. She seems happy on a surface level but looks to be hiding something. She gives Harwood some awkward kisses and she and her husband, and the Sykes sisters, enter the living room. While Harwood is talking, Clarissa gives the drink-carrying servant standing by some awkward looks, which he returns. Clearly, they have been together since Clarissa thought her husband was dead. Pretty natural thing to do, and she gained an Adonis partner as a result. Harwood plants some weird kisses on her neck while the Sykes have figured out this whole thing.
“I know what I deserve.”
At Newgate Prison, Sid’s daughter Sandra enters. All the cellmates gather creepily around her, but when she says she’s looking for Alfred Pennyworth they immediately disperse. An older gentleman by the door calls out for Alfred and he sits her down. She’s come on behalf of Bazza and Dave Boy, and she brings a coded message. They asked her to tell Alfred that they’re planning his escape, to which Alfred vehemently denies. He wants Sandra to go back to them and forget the whole thing.
Alfred and Sandra had a brief fling following the death of Esme, and Alfred has been cold to her ever since. He finally tells her that she deserves better, than she shouldn’t have to meet men in prison. That she can have anyone she wants. She agrees and it seems she’s really pining for Alfred, but Alfred calls for the older gentleman by the door to escort Sandra out. If anyone bothers them, he tells the man to just use his name. I like how Alfred has apparently taken over this entire cell and is in charge.
Sandra gets to the pub and finds Bazza and Davey Boy, and relays Alfred’s message.
“She may be a more formidable opponent than I first anticipated.”
Harwood and the Sykes are watching Undine Thwaite, the leader of the No Name League, give her speech on television. She’s in a kitchen set, with cake materials in front of her. This gives her a homely and warm look that the Sykes actually identify with, while Harwood dismisses her speech as trash. He has Clarissa’s lover, the servant, turn the TV off.
Harwood later welcomes Duke and Duchess of Windermere, who he plans to place in power if the Queen does not support the Ravens’ rise to government. The Duke is a needy man; he’s offended that he isn’t being treated right and balks at the fact that he “isn’t allowed” to call for his tailor. Harwood insists that secrecy is paramount and nobody can know that he’s in the country, but he’s having none of it.
Harwood and Frances Gaunt are discussing Thwaite and the Duke later in the day. The aforementioned servant is there too. Harwood notes that the Sykes were a bit warmer to Thwaite than he realised, and that she’s more dangerous to him than she lets on. Gaunt questions Harwood as to why the Sykes are with him, and he explodes at her. It isn’t her right to know. They saved his life so his love for them is unquestionable. Harwood wants to set a meeting with Thwaite since he claims they have similar interests.
“I’m getting old. I didn’t see this coming.”
The servant hops on a bus and sits next to Inspector Aziz. It seems the two of them are in cahoots, as Aziz enters the Prime Minister’s meeting and informs them on the potential pact between the Ravens and the Legion. He flips out, yelling that the government will be destroyed if they were to make a pact.
“How would you like to get out of here?”
Aziz enters Alfred’s cell and quickly offers him a way out of prison. He wants Alfred to kill James Harwood. If he does so, then he will be cleared of all his charges. Alfred agrees to do it, which is rather surprising.
Back at the Pennyworth residence, Mrs. Pennyworth is answering a knock at the door. To her shock, Alfred enters and gives her a big ol’ hug. Same for his dad, who comes down the stairs and laughs in joy. My heart.
At Sid’s pub, Bazza and Davey Boy are planning to bust Alfred out of jail despite his orders. Alfred walks in to their shock, and they and his parents are having a swell get-together at the pub, having fun and singing songs. It’s honestly nice to see. It seems he and Sandra are getting along nicely, and Alfred wakes up the next morning to her at his side so I imagine things went smoothly.
Outside his parents’ house, Alfred is discussing the terms of his freedom with Bazza and Davey Boy. He has to kill James Harwood, but he doesn’t know when yet. He’s waiting for Aziz’s call. His friends want in on it, though. Bazza notes that Alfred might be going down a slippery slope, that they’ll want him to kill again and again after he’s done with Harwood. Alfred’s thought about it but he’ll worry after this job.
“You’ll know when you need to know.”
Undine and John Ripper are giving Thomas a job when Martha walks in, greeting Undine warmly. She’s smooth and charismatic, and Undine asks her to join Thomas for this assigned job which he isn’t comfortable with. We aren’t exactly sure why Thomas doesn’t want Martha to work with the League at this point, but he isn’t happy that Martha wormed her way into the job.
“The game’s on. Tomorrow morning.”
Alfred is sitting with his folks when he gets a call. It’s Aziz, informing him that his job starts tomorrow. He hangs up the phone to find that his mum has been listening. She begs him to not do anymore mischief, to stay safe. Alfred assures her that it’s only government work and that she shouldn’t worry. In a fit, she tells him that his dad has been diagnosed with cancer, and it’s terminal. He doesn’t want anyone to know because he doesn’t want to start a fuss. She implores him to stay safe.
“Stand down, officers.”
Alfred and the gang are at a vantage point, watching the place where the Ravens and League will discuss their pact. Aziz radios in orders, to kill the Harwood and the two League agents, a man and a woman. Ooh, I wonder who they may be?
Harwood and the Sykes exit their car, but Bet gets back in since she thinks the place is too spooky. A white car enters the scene, and out come Thomas and Martha. Alfred’s watching through his sniper scope and spots them, cursing to himself. Bazza and Davey Boy are imploring him to take the shot. Alfred radios in to Aziz and tells him that he’ll have to think about shooting them. Aziz anticipated this, and tells his squad to use plan B.
Thinking quickly, Alfred shoots the teacups on the negotiating table which scatters the group. Harwood is escorted back to his car and Thomas and Martha take their leave. Alfred takes shots at the incoming police cars, giving everyone time to escape.
“Drastic measures are called for. And speed.”
Harwood is relaying the story of what just happened to Gaunt, and he comes to two conclusions. They have a mole and the government is willing to kill him. Gaunt also expresses that they should never have invited the Duke to stay with them now that the police will descend on them at any moment, which he agrees with.
Alfred’s back at his parents’ house and he looks packed and ready to go. He tells his mum that the government job he was tasked with has gone wrong. She’s hugging him, sobbing. She asks him if he wants to say goodbye to his father but he says he can’t, but his father enters the kitchen as he says this. He’s incredulous as his wife tells him that Alfred has to go on the run as he didn’t murder someone like the police asked him to. He bids them goodbye and leaves.
“The Queen is with me.”
Harwood is meeting with some generals, one of which helped Alfred find Curzon a couple of episodes ago. He wants them on his side but the generals remind him that if the Queen isn’t with him, then they aren’t as well. He assures them that the Queen is indeed with him.
The Queen is hunting deer with some aids. They hear a woman crying in the woods and her aids go off to investigate. One of them is killed and the other is wounded, which is when Bet and Peggy Sykes approach the Queen, guns at the ready. They shout at her to put her gun down, and she puts her hands up.
So, that was a pretty hardcore ending. Find me here next week where I’ll recap the final episode of the season, “Marianna Faithful.”