Pennyworth review, Episode 204: “The Hunted Fox”

The slap-happy fourth episode of Pennyworth season 2 raises the stakes for London’s incoming war while introducing another iconic Batman character.

Four episodes into season 2, Pennyworth has learned from its first season blunders. “The Hunted Fox” takes things to a whole other level, escalating everything from the war to the Wayne’s relationship, and before the credits roll, another infamous Batman ally will enter the fold.

At this point, I’m starting to think that Alfie should suit up as the Caped Crusader when he finally makes it stateside, because he is without a doubt a force to be reckoned with. Jack Bannon has really made this character his own, forging a fantastic new legacy for the future Butler.

Things start off with Alfie battling his inner demons with booze. The death of Bazza hangs heavy over everyone, but Alfie feels especially responsible for the death of his friend. His funeral is a heart-wrenching affair.

The Captain shows up for the event. He and Alfie talk about their fallen comrade, but it’s a pretense for the Captain offering him the same deal that got Bazza killed. Alfie accepts but promises that when he secures enough funds, he is out of here.

Lord Harwood is having trouble maintaining control within the Raven’s Union. After an argument, he kicks Frances and the other leaders out of the meeting when Salt Sykes tells him that Bet wasn’t there when the men went to retrieve her. Harwood thinks Bet is up to her old tricks, but in reality, Salt is trying to have her killed.

Martha Wayne gets a surprise visit from her future husband, who asks her help Patricia, his sister, get out of an entanglement with an unsavory figure. Martha lets him know that Patricia is the only Wayne she will be speaking to from now on.

Martha leaves Thomas to watch John Ripper make his case to replace the former English League prime minister. His big idea is to take the criminals in prison to use them to fight against the Raven’s Union. But Inspector Aziz counters with a thrilling speech that’s much more hopeful.

At the party, Martha learns that Thomas is single again. Then, to both of their surprise, the man Thomas is worried about, Jacques Duval, asks Patricia to be his wife.

Alfie, starting to unravel, goes with the Captain to steal some gold bars and ends up beating a guy almost to death. Elsewhere, Bet and Katie Browning make their way to Peggy, Bet’s sister, only to find her house abandoned. They agree to part ways and Sykes stumbles upon the man Alfie assaulted the night before. She robs him and goes out to breakfast with Katie, who reunited with her rather quickly. And they find Peggy, who reluctantly takes them in.

Frances unveils to Harwood that Aziz is the new prime minister, and we can see that Harwood, too, is starting to lose it mentally. After the meeting, Salt approaches Frances and raises concerns about Harwood’s mental well being, but she tells him to remember his place.

Meanwhile, Duval visits Martha at her home while Thomas tries to talk Patricia out of the marriage at Alfie’s club. Upstairs, the Captain’s crew and his wife start to get on Alfie’s nerves. When the Captain moves to hit his wife for talking out of turn, Alfie stops him and the pair pull blades on one another.

Alfie says he’s done, but the Captain asks him, as a brother, to help with one last big job. Alfie says he’ll think about it and closes the club. Before she joins her husband outside, Alfie passionately kisses the Captain’s wife, who smacks him in return. That could have consequences.

Back at Martha’s, Duval comes on to her…naked, and she has no choice but to beat him and tie him up. Patricia and Thomas arrive and Patricia ends the engagement, very loudly. In the apartment, things between Batman’s future parents really start to heat up.

The final scene introduces us to Lucius Fox, who is working for the Raven’s Union on the Storm Cloud project. He turns on a hidden camera, indicating he may be some sort of mole or spy sent to gather information on the secret chemical weapons project. This weapon can kill very quickly and does not linger, meaning life could resume normally shortly after an attack, which could change the course of warfare.

This is the last new episode of Pennyworth we’ll be getting for a while, which is unfortunate, because this episode has me more eager than ever to see what happens next. The show has found its groove and established itself as unlike any other DC show out there.

One of the biggest highlights so far is the cast. James Purefoy continues to be a welcome addition, feeling like Pennyworth’s own Ra’s Al Ghul. Meanwhile, Bet Sykes and Katie Browning almost seem like the Joker and Harley Quinn.

The introduction of Lucius Fox is terrific. Whether it’s The Dark Knight trilogy or the Gotham series, there seems to always be a place for Batman’s gadget master, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for him here.

See you in March!

Episode Grade B+

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