While the third episode of Pennyworth brought to mind The Imitation Game, with a government persecuting a gay scientist, the fourth episode also made me think of a movie, although in this case it was the Simon Pegg classic Hot Fuzz.
As in that film, the action moves to a small British town in the countryside, idyllic and traditional on the surface, but in reality the base of a ruthless group of people who think nothing of murder to preserve the civilized façade of their nation.
Martha Kane (Emma Paetz), who winds up meeting Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) for the first time during the course of this story, enlists the aid of Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon) as they infiltrate the town, in order to discover the identity of the leader of this right wing group, The Ravens.
Alfred leaves his fiancée, Esme (Emma Corrin) behind with his parents. Up until now, Dorothy Atkinson and Ian Puleston-Davies had not been given an awful lot to do as Alfred’s family. Their characters were briefly sketched out, and mostly played for comedy. This episode allows both actors to round themselves out a bit more, and both become far more interesting, and more real, by the end of the episode, through their interactions with Esme.
Paloma Faith yet again manages to make her mark in the episode, even though the scenes between Bet Sykes and her sister Peggy (Polly Walker) don’t advance the main plot at all. Frankly, they don’t even really advance Bet’s plot thread, but the women are a howl to watch, and are worth their screen time for the pure enjoyment of their bizarre relationship.
There are a couple of shocking developments in this episode, things I absolutely refuse to spoil. Suffice it to say, by the end of the episode it becomes clear this will be a much darker series than it appeared to be.