Pennyworth takes a turn into the supernatural in the latest episode. It was not what I was expecting at all from this show. But then, the series seems committed to not doing what one would expect.
There are two very separate plot threads in the episode. Well, three I suppose, counting Bet Sykes and her sister’s (Paloma Faith and Polly Walker) thread, but that’s on a slow burner this time.
Alfred (Jack Bannon) is sent by the Ripper to visit the Baroness Orczy. Though she shares the name of the author of the The Scarlet Pimpernel, this seems to be a different woman, a witch being held in genteel captivity in Bedlam. Alfred does not believe in witchcraft at all, but the episode takes him on an enjoyably roundabout route, and by the end he becomes convinced of the woman’s power, and the truth in the visions she is giving him. He seems to get confirmation as to who really killed Esme, though I have my doubts. The vision could have had a different meaning, and I am suspecting a different person entirely.
While Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) is sent to facilitate a truce between the Ravens and the No Name League, his sister Patricia returns to London. Patricia is far too into drinking and drugs, and Thomas puts her into the keeping of Martha Kane (Emma Paetz). This doesn’t go as planned, and the women wind up at a party being hosted by Aleister Crowley.
In both plot threads, the supernatural elements are dealt with in a very simple manner, making them more effective, and keeping them harmonized with the overall tone of the series. Hmm, looking these people up on Wikipedia, I discovered that both Crowley and the Baroness Orczy died in 1947. I wonder how significant that is.
A couple of reviews back I talked about how I was unsure about how far to take the allusions in the show. Now I am unsure about how far to take these kinds of connections. It’s making the series increasingly enjoyable for me, but also raising the stakes for any kind of payoff.