We return to Pennyworth this week with another dramatic slice of crime thrills. As Alfred goes looking for answers into Esme’s death, this week’s episode feels a lot like a transitional one, setting things up for the conflict to come in later episodes.
Following the death of the No-Name League’s leader, Thomas Wayne visits Alfred looking for answers. When he fails to get any, Alfred immediately heads off to visit John Ripper for the name of the person who killed Esme. Instead, he gives him a different name – Baroness Ortsey – who allegedly will tell him who’s responsible.
Once he arrives at the hospital, Ortsey happens to be a blind witch and tells him another woman is involved. Before she’ll divulge any more information though, she asks him to trust her faith by bringing a red rose and the left hand of a murderer. He refuses, of course, heading back to John and telling him the lady is a nutcase.
Meanwhile Thomas speaks to the CIA officer who informs him another meeting between the No-Name League and Raven Society will be conducted. As there needs to be six months of peace while the US elections are going on, if Mrs Gaunt refuses to play ball then Thomas is instructed to take her out. As the two sides meet and butt heads, Martha is forced to babysit Thomas’ alcoholic sister, who convinces her to go to a party hosted by Aleister Crowley, the local satanist. Things get dark, quickly, as Martha wanders down the corridors and finds herself face to face with Cowley.
Meanwhile the two leaders come to agreement to take their goons off the street for the time being and agree to be civilized for now. Missing for two days, Thomas approaches Alfred and asks him if he’s seen Martha. Working the door as security, he tells Wayne he doesn’t trust him and instead, helps escort a drunk, rowdy punter outside. Unfortunately he gets a little rough and ends up slicing the man’s hand off. As he sits against the alleyway breathing heavily, a pool of blood next to the severed hand reveals a red rose – the witch’s prophecy has come true.
He takes it to the witch and, courtesy of a vision, sees the Captain from his time in the army and assumes it’s him that has the vendetta against him. He heads to his house with Dave Boy and Bazza and together they find a note addressed to him pinned on the door. It was the Captain after all. While Alfred scrambles to find the Captain, Bet and Peggy manage to bring Lord Harwood back from the brink and he invites them to go with him to London, which Bet accepts immediately.
The episode then ends with a naked Martha waking up under a gnarly old tree following her eventful night with Aleister.
With the mystery around Esme’s death all but solved, the final half of the season looks set to erupt into a flurry of gunfire and action. The characterisation is as strong as ever here and Alfred has gone through quite the journey over the weeks. There’s plenty to chew over this week though, especially given John Ripper’s shadowy influence and quite what happened with Martha during the night. For now though, Pennyworth delivers another decent episode, even if it isn’t quite as dramatic or action-packed as what’s come before it.