Better The Devil You Know
After a week’s hiatus, Pennyworth returns with another episode, this time diving deeper into the mystery surrounding Aleister Crowley and just what happened to Martha during her time with him. The rest of the subplots do progress at an okay pace but the episode itself feels somewhat transitional, one that lays the foundation for the final act whilst moving our characters in their respective places ready for this to begin.
We start episode 7 with Martha returning home dressed in a towel after the party. As it happens, three days have passed and Patricia is nowhere to be found. They head to Crowley’s and demand to see Patricia, to which he nonchalantly agrees and she hurries downstairs, hugging Thomas. However, she refuses to leave and tells her brother that she’s finally found her home. Defeated, Thomas leaves with Martha after threatening Aleister.
Meanwhile, Alfred searches through Curzon’s things until the cleaner arrives. Gun to the face, they sit her down and she explains he’s gone out with his uniform and doesn’t talk to her much. After a fruitless search, Alfred returns home where he polishes up Esme’s ring, receiving some help from his Father along the way.
Sykes heads off to visit the Raven Society leader soon after and it’s here she reveals Lord Harwood, alive and well. Inside, he discusses the truce with Gaunt where he tells her he believes it will be broken by the No Name League soon. Leaving her to ponder these words, Alfred meanwhile heads off to the local regiment and asks around for Captain Curzon. Just as he’s about to be kicked out, a man named Malcolm comes forward and offers his help. He tells him if he hears anything, and if his story holds credibility, then he’ll send a man to meet him at 2pm the next day.
Martha decides enough is enough and heads off to get Patricia back from Crowley. Once there, they sit down to eat and our satanist mentions Thomas’ ties to the CIA, prompting Martha to immediately turn her attention on Thomas, given hes been playing the No Name League all this time. However, Thomas is granted an audience to see the Devil, which happens to be a hallucinogenic experience after watching a projected movie. After a particularly violent vision, he returns to Patricia, shaken up and unable to talk about what he’s seen.
Alfred receives his tip, as promised, where an army man arrives to the pub and hands him a letter. Unfolding the document, he sees details about when and where to meet Captain Curzon. He tells Dave Boy and Bazza his meeting is a one man job and heads to Room 7 of the hotel as requested. Once there, he runs into Sykes before spying Curzon down the hallway. He chases after him and after twisting and turning down various tunnels and alleyways, the Captain manages to get away at the last second, courtesy of a passing bus.
In terms of action, Pennyworth does okay here and the episode certainly eases back into the drama after its week break. The devil subplot does feel a little heavy-handed at times and its inclusion feels at odds with what’s otherwise been a pretty enjoyable and thrilling crime romp. Still, without the big picture it’s hard to comment too much on this and it certainly ties into the idea of good VS evil which has been peddled before with the Rippers.
With the foundation lay for the conflict ahead, it’ll be interesting to see where Pennyworth goes from here, but for now the show delivers a pretty good episode, even if plot-wise there isn’t a whole lot to write home about.