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PENNYWORTH S1E8 Recap – “Sandie Shaw”

Welcome to another recap of Pennyworth!

Alfred Pennyworth continues his quest to avenge Esme’s murder, as he discovers another clue as to the truth of his fiancé Esme’s murder, while the Raven Society are planning a rally to seemingly reveal that James Harwood has survived.

Check out my recap of the last episode right here.

“If you loved Esme as much as I do, you won’t deny me.” 

Alfred and Bet Sykes are sitting in a café, and it’s slightly awkward given these characters’ history. Bet insists that she was truly in love with Esme despite having known her for only a few days. Oh, and she kidnapped her too. There are always those little wrinkles. Alfred simply isn’t taking her seriously and dismisses her as crazy while Bet brings up what Alfred has been dealing with since Esme’s death, which is that Alfred should blame himself for her death since he slighted the killer Curzon. Alfred gets up to leave but Bet drops some more information, that there was a woman with Curzon that night but she didn’t get a good look at who it was. The pair of killers also had keys to the building.

Alfred and Esme head to the real estate office which owns the building, while a pair of hooligans puts up a poster for the Raven Society promising “a new dawn” and “a new hope.” Alfred interrogates the real estate agent who lets loose that the police were aware of the fact that two people had access to the building when they shouldn’t have, which sets Alfred off. He leaves Bet as he boards a bus.

“They’re willing to destroy half the country to get what they want.” 

The Prime Minister and, uh, the Queen are discussing the very poster we just saw in the previous scene. The PM laments the state of the nation since such a radical group of people is willing to topple the government and destroy the country in order to get what they want. All the while, the Queen shows how she really feels by constantly changing into new outfits while the PM is talking about such an important topic. He wants the Queen’s permission to use a tougher and more brutal strategy with the radicals, such as rubber bullets and water cannons. The Queen denies the man, reasoning that she doesn’t want to be considered ruthless. She dismisses the Prime Minister.

“I’m just a loyal advisor. You’re the leader.”

Undine Thwaite, the leader of the No Name League, and her advisor John Ripper are analysing the Raven Society poster. Undine and the Ravens’ current leader, Frances Gaunt, made a peace pact recently and this rally is in violation of the pact. Ripper, secretly a spy installed by the American government, implores Undine to simply wait it out and let the police do the work instead of retaliating. Undine doesn’t seem too happy with that line of thought.

“Shut it, Adolf. The game’s on.” 

At Sid’s pub, some unusually calm football fans are enjoying the game when a member of the Raven Society enters and asks the pub’s patrons to attend the upcoming rally. Alfred enters the pub and makes his way to his friends Bazza and Davey Boy. He tells them to look into the whereabouts of Mrs. Pike, the cleaner who works for Curzon semi-regularly. The description of the woman from the real estate agent apparently matches her, and Alfred intends to question a police officer as to why they botched Esme’s murder investigation.

“The people love ferocity.” 

Gaunt is trying and failing to write her speech due to nerves, but Harwood is confident that she will succeed. Gaunt wants some reassurance as to the nature of Harwood’s plans after the speech, to which he responds that he will personally castrate the Prime Minister and his cronies. Harwood dismisses Gaunt’s suggestion of mercy to look more stately, as a new nation should apparently be forged in bloodshed in order to stand strong. Harwood’s plan to install the Queen’s uncle is met with vitriol by Gaunt, who points out that the man deserted the war, married a divorced American woman, and wears jewellery. Any attempt to make England great again would fail if someone like that came back to rule. Harwood agrees with her, and she gets back to writing.

“Like I said, Mr. Aziz. I’m not happy.” 

Alfred confronts Inspector Aziz in his office and demands to know why the police covered up Esme’s killer’s identity. After a brief tug of war, Aziz admits that Alfred cracked the case. Curzon is the bastard son of a very influential lord who called in some favours. Aziz won’t reveal the identity of said lord, but’s he’s willing to look into the whereabouts of Curzon for Alfred. Alfred gives him twenty four hours.

“Your son is safe.” 

The Prime Minister is having dinner with some old white dudes when Alfred’s father, the butler Mr. Pennyworth, approaches the host and informs him that a phone call has come in for the PM. It’s Aziz, who meets with the PM and someone else from the dinner table, Lord Smytth. Smytth is Curzon’s father, who asks Aziz and the PM to protect his son at all costs. Aziz warns the two that tracking down and killing Alfred will be a bloody and expensive endeavour since he’s a trained SAS operative. In return for protecting Curzon, the PM wants Smytth’s assurances that he will never lose his vote. Smytth agrees.

“This coffee sucks. Want some scotch?”

Martha Kane enters Thomas Wayne’s hotel and finds a mess; Thomas looks terrible, his room is a mess, and he’s been drinking and popping pills. He hasn’t been the same since his encounter with Crowley. Martha wants to continue working with him despite his CIA connections, which he vehemently denies. He’s also denying that he met the devil at Crowley’s house, unlike Martha who still claims she saw him, goat head and all.

“I know a trap when I see one.” 

Alfred receives a call from Aziz, who mysteriously tells him that he has Curzon and wants to meet Alfred alone. Mysterious. He loads his gun in a dramatic fashion and heads out, only to find his parents downstairs. His dad, who is secretly with the Raven Society, claims he has a function to work at and needs to go. His mother asks for a hug and she feels his gun through his jacket, and she immediately looks worried.

Alfred enters the location Aziz gave him and finds Curzon and Pike blindfolded. He calls out to Aziz as he knew that the whole thing was a trap. Aziz implores Alfred not to kill Curzon, that he will let him escape and leave the country if he stands down. Alfred isn’t having any of it, aiming the gun at Curzon’s head and ready to fire. Curzon, by the way, is just a prick of the highest order. “My father will have you hanged,” type of prick. Alfred isn’t backing down, and Aziz is ready to fire. Just then, Bet Sykes puts a knife to Aziz’s throat and makes him have his men stand down.

Aziz and his men are handcuffed and Bet is torturing Curzon with some sort of round knife. Alfred is about to kill him but Bet begs him for ten minutes just to torture the killer. He gives in, letting her do her thing. As she’s about to start, Curzon begs for his life and Alfred quickly shoots him and Pike in the head. Bet is shocked, but Alfred just casually walks away.

“You will respect our ancient rights and liberties, and stop this violence.” 

At the Raven rally, Gaunt is introduced and speaks of what the Ravens are trying to accomplish; bring back morals, lower unemployment, and such. She talks about how the government treated her predecessor, James Harwood, of how they tortured him and disfigured him, only to throw him on the streets as a beggar. Gaunt then publically announces her resignation as leader of the Ravens, and introduces their new leader: James Harwood himself. The crowd goes absolutely wild, and his first words cause even more of a roar: “Hello, England.” The Prime Minister is watching and is in shock. As are Thomas and Martha. The PM orders riot troops to storm the rally and arrest everyone, and chaos ensues. Mr. Pennyworth is caught up in the mix as well. Troops are hitting people with batons, troops are pulled off their horses. Then, Harwood orders everyone to stop. He implores them to stand down, to cease the violence and recognise their right to gather. Surprisingly, the troops actually stand down.

“Today was a good day. Tomorrow will be even better.” 

Alfred heads to Sid’s pub for some whiskey and an aspirin. Bazza notes that Alfred looks very pale, to which Alfred responds that he took care of Curzon.

At the Pennyworth residence, Mrs. Pennyworth is treating her husband’s wound when Alfred walks in. Mr. Pennyworth tells his wife that they shouldn’t tell Alfred where he got the wound, so I assume this means his wife is aware of who he spends his time with. He tells Alfred that he walked into a door. Alfred’s mum notices that he doesn’t look very well, and Alfred asks for a hug. The Pennyworth family embraces in a pretty touching scene, with Mr. Pennyworth assures his family that things will chance and everything will be all right.

“You better think of something bloody fast.” 

The, ha, Queen is chastising the Prime Minister for how he handled this entire situation. She was under the impression that Harwood was dead. The PM says that if he were to have rubber bullets and water cannons like he requested, then things may not have turned out the way they have. The Queen isn’t happy, and wants Harwood tortured in the middle of Trafalgar Square. The PM tells her that if they were to do so, there would be mobs calling for his freedom. He tells her that he doesn’t know what to do.

“Welcome back to your lands.” 

Harwood and Gaunt are ecstatic, dancing in joy. Harwood quickly becomes serious when his secretary informs him that his guests have arrived. Gaunt is curious, and Harwood tries to convince her that the Queen won’t be open to their ideology. In walks the Queen’s uncle and his wife. Harwood greets them.

“Things are looking up.” 

Alfred visits Esme’s grave, all dressed up. He tells a touching story of their first date, and how she smiled at him when he made her laugh. Thinking of that memory made him sad before, but now he smiles back. As he finishes the story, armed policemen surround him with Aziz watching. He puts his hands up.

The End

So, that’s it for this week’s episode, “Sandie Shaw.” I still don’t understand the significance of these weird titles. I’ll be back next week for my recap of the penultimate episode of the season, “Alma Cogan.”

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