Despite being the title character, Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon) wound up as a supporting player in this week’s episode.
That’s somewhat surprising, as his plot line saw him and his friends track down the man who murdered his fiancée, Esme. Though it came to no final resolution, and there may well be some twists yet to come, the identity of the killer and his motivation certainly seem to be beyond doubt by the end of the episode.
But more time is spent on Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) and Martha Kane (Emma Paetz), as they deal with Wayne’s reprobate sister, Patricia (Salome Gunnadottir), and the sublime manipulations of Aleister Crowley. Jonjo O’Neill does an excellent job with the character, providing menace much the way James Mason used to with his villainous characters, making them intelligent, relaxed, and even charming. The threat lies in the simple fact that they feel themselves in no danger, no matter what the hero is doing to try to rattle them.
Both Wayne and Kane have their sites set on Crowley, though for slightly different reasons. Crowley neatly upends the situation by revealing Thomas’ connection to the CIA, something that upsets Martha, but proves hilarious to Patricia. And while Martha Kane believes that Crowley is in league with some demonic powers, Thomas Wayne’s refusal to accept this leads him down the path to the more supernatural elements of the series.
Still, amidst all of this, my favourite scene from this week was a much smaller and simpler one, with Alfred’s father (Ian Puleston-Davies) helping his son clean the ring he had given his fiancée. The practicality of the situation allows the men to express empathy and compassion without having to openly show any of the emotions they are actually feeling. How terribly British.