'Pennyworth' episode 4 review: The fast-paced 'Lady Penelope' chapter reveals the relationship between Martha Kane and Thomas Wayne
The action level is upped a notch with enough fistfights that showcase bones crunching, jaws breaking and blood splatting all over the screen. Plus, there's bad news waiting for Alfred
Contains spoilers for 'Pennyworth' episode 4: 'Lady Penelope'
'Pennyworth' may not be as action-filled as the 'The Dark Knight' trilogy, but it is suspense-driven, gritty and has a pinch of humor sprinkled in its narrative. 'Lady Penelope' takes the action and suspense element a notch higher by pairing Martha Kane (Emma Paetz) and Alfred (Jack Bannon) on another mission.
The episode also answers the question of the relationship status between Martha and Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge). For starters, it appears that Wayne is part of the No-Name League and Martha works for him. Like the Brits say, 'Howzzat for a surprise?'
His mission for Martha is to find out the leader of the Raven Society and use Alfred's help for it. Reluctant at first, Alfred agrees to help, but soon realizes that they were set up and the society has learned of their task. The duo gets ambushed and after a bit of action, that sees two deaths, they escape by the skin of their teeth.
Meanwhile, Esme (Emma Corrin) starts developing a healthy relationship with Alfred's parents, but in an unfortunate turn of events, is strangled by a mysterious figure at the end of the episode. Oblivious to all these, Alfred shares a drink with Martha after their mission and the two share a romantic moment. He rushes home only to see an unconscious Esme.
The best part about the series is that it ties up the loose ends quite early allowing for a new plot point to come in the next episode. For instance, we saw a funnier shade of Bet Sykes (Paloma Faith) in the previous episode, only for her to return back to her evil ways and plan her next mission.
At this stage, we can assume that she could be the one who choked Esme, but we're pretty sure we'll know who's to blame.
Another instance is the Wayne-Kane relationship. The general assumption was the truth would be revealed by the end of the series, except that it was shown right after the first few minutes of the episode.
'Pennyworth' doesn't shy away from gore either. There are enough fistfights that showcase bones crunching, jaws breaking and blood splattering all over the screen. But it balances the violence by making sure that the quick-witted Alfred has a quip or two that eases the discomfort of the crude imagery on screen. Bannon and Paetz steal the show with their chemistry while Thomas Wayne is his usual cool-as-a-cucumber self.
The prequel may have taken its time to establish the character in the pilot at first, but is now roaring along like a batmobile on its highest gear. Except, it's Alfie at the wheel. 'Lady Penelope' is a must-watch for those who have followed the show religiously. In short, 'Pennyworth' continues to impress.
'Pennyworth' airs Sundays at 9 pm on EPIX.