'Pennyworth' Season 2 Episode 2 Review: Thomas Wayne kisses the devil incarnate in 'The Burning Bridge'
In this mystical chapter, the focus is a lot more on personal drama, and this slows down the pace of the narrative to some degree
Spoilers for 'Pennyworth' Season 2 Episode 2 'The Burning Bridge'
Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) has sold his soul quite literally. 'The Burning Bridge' sees him enlist the help of Aleister Crowley (Jonjo O'Neill) to create a scandal against archbishop Potter so that he would be richly rewarded by the CIA and also elevate his status in the Raven Union. The deal is sealed with a kiss. The reason is that the US looks to topple off Potter, the one man standing in their way as they aspire to make hydrogen bombs the new face of warfare.
Pity that Wayne is caught up doing the dirty stuff and has to use resources of mysticism to get the job done. However, it is refreshing to see Crowley again after he made heads turn in 'Cilia Black'. Martha Kane (Emma Paetz) is unaware of Wayne's latest mission and surely this piece of news would further complicate their relationship, which has pretty much become awkward after he says he is engaged to a certain Betsy Van Wick.
At the other end, Alfred (Jack Bannon) is in turmoil. His mother is kidnapped and that puts a dent in his plan to head across to America. He may have rescued his mother, but the albatross that Inspector Aziz (Ramon Tikaram) is, botches up the rescue plan and the kidnappers make away with Alfie's savings that he planned to make a living out of in another country. That he attempts to break up unsuccessfully with Sandra (Harriet Slater) is just another failed task that makes sure the writers don't intend to send the character to a new place anytime soon.
It is easy to deduce where this is going. Even if 'Pennyworth' a couple of seasons more, circumstances will tie Wayne, Martha, and Alfie together until they decide to leave their pasts and focus on leading a new life. But to do that, they need to build an entire story around the trio and that's where the pieces fall in place. Bet Sykes (Paloma Faith) and Katie Browning (Jessye Romeo) have their share of screentime as well with the latter being branded a terrorist.
Only Bet supposedly knows what she's doing, as she claims to, but the reason behind their rocky friendship is yet to be explored. Compared to the season opener, 'The Burning Bridge' focuses a lot more on personal drama and this slows down the pace of the episode to some degree. Nonetheless, a double-episode mid-series finale on December 27 is set up perfectly and has a lot of explaining to do. There's no doubt season 2 is focusing on better character development, although it surely takes its time.
'Pennyworth' Season 2 airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on EPIX.