Synopsis: In this week’s Pennyworth. One year has passed since the events of last season. England finds itself embroiled in a devastating civil war. Alfred Pennyworth, now running a black-market club, is in search of a way out before his country burns itself to the ground and he’s got his eye on America.
A year has passed since events seen in the last series. England is divided and the Raven Society, which is now the Raven Union has taken most of the country. The League of No Names has managed to hold onto both London and Manchester, but are very much outnumbered and outmatched. Alfred Pennyworth and his mates Bazza and Dave Boy are running a night club that is neutral territory. In addition to running the club. Alfred and his mates continue to do side jobs for whoever seeks out their military experience.
When Detective Aziz, now with the No Names, comes to Alfred with a Job to abduct Colonel Salt of the Raven Union. Alfred finds himself drawn back into the political intrigues, which he is trying so hard to avoid.
Elsewhere, Thomas Wayne who has been given a promotion by the CIA has returned to England. His return is not greeted warmly by Martha Kane, who is now a lieutenant in The League of No Names and runs covert ops with a small unit of men.
In addition to all of this. The Raven Union is working on a Bio-Weapon called Storm Front. A weapon, which if successful could wipe out all resistance.
The cast of this series has become significantly more invested in their parts this season. As illustrated by just how haunted Jack Bannon’s portrayal of Alfred is for this episode. The telling scene is Alfred’s conversation with his mother, who is played brilliantly by Dorothy Atkinson. In addition to this, we get a brief dream sequence in which Alfred sees his dead father living it up with his Raven Society pals. In my opinion, all of this makes Alfred a more compelling character and Bannon does brilliantly with the role.
Edward Hogg makes for an intriguing new villain in the form of Colonial Salt. His introductory scene sees him interrogating League of No Name writer and propagandist George Orwell. Salt is efficient and savage with his methods. Much like the stereotypical fascist that he is. The brief scenes he has with Alfred also show Salt to be a slippery character as he tries to make bargains for his freedom.
Of course, this would not be a worthy Pennyworth review without mentioning Paloma Faith and her fantastic portrayal of Bet Sykes. She is now a Captain working at a Raven Union Detention Centre. She gets some great scenes where she is processing Katie Browning who has been arrested for collaborating with The No Names. Faith’s scenes with Jessye Romeo who plays Katie are fantastic. Since you are never quite sure what Bet is going to do. It’s especially fun in this instance because Katie has managed to get under Bet’s skin.
In my opinion. This is a brilliant start to the season, which sets a lot of pieces into play but doesn’t give too much away. For example, Alfred is a changed man after last season events, and rightly so. He’s not taking a side between The No Names and The Raven Union. He’s prepared to work for whoever because he just wants to raise funds to get out of England. The scene he has with Aziz and Martha when they hire him is pretty telling. It will be interesting to see if Aziz, Marth, or Thomas managed to gain his confidence again. Especially given how burned he’d be feeling after having to kill his own father for Queen and Country.
Overall. A solid start to what will likely be an epic second season.
You can check out all our season one reviews of Pennyworth right here!
- CGI & Stunts9.4
- Incidental Music9.6