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PENNYWORTH S1E10 Recap – “Marianne Faithful”

Here it is! The finale of Pennyworth. It’s been quite a ride, but let’s delve right in and see if they manage to end the season in a satisfying way.

Before going on, you can check out my last recap right here.

“The Queen has been kidnapped.” 

One of the Queen’s men from the ending of the last episode is stumbling through the woods, his own blood blinding him. He hurriedly reaches his car and calls the authorities, claiming the Queen herself has been taken.

Meanwhile, Alfred Pennyworth gives his parents one last call. He tells them he’s found a way out of the country, but he’s hesitant to say more as he believes their phone has been tapped. Mrs. Pennyworth is an emotional mess, but Mr. Pennyworth is more calm and collected. He’s a member of the Raven Society and he assures Alfred that great change is coming, and he’ll be able to come home soon.

“He has my full trust and confidence.” 

The police arrive at Lord James Harwood’s manor to arrest him, but the place is empty save for the hanging corpses of Harwood’s wife and her lover, one of the manor’s servants.

Elsewhere, Bet and Peggy Sykes are instructing the Queen to read a prepared statement while on the phone. She says that she’s safe, and under no compulsion. She also calls for the resignation of the current government and the placement of Harwood as the new government’s leader. This obviously shocks the Prime Minister since he’s the man Harwood will be replacing.

I have to say, this was an intense move on Harwood’s part. He circumvented the Queen’s approval by kidnapping the woman. At this point, give the man what he wants. He’s willing to do literally anything for the supposed betterment of the nation.

“Resign now, or face the consequences in blood.” 

Harwood calls the Prime Minister and demands his resignation. The PM is apprehensive and genuinely scared, and asks for more time. After receiving some threats from Harwood, he explodes on the man and denies any chance of resignation. Harwood is advised to calm down and offers the PM twenty-four hours to resign his post.

Frances Gaunt is present, and she doesn’t seem too happy with the direction Harwood is going in. Kidnapping the Queen was something she didn’t anticipate nor sign up for, but Harwood is insistent that his way is the right way. He also wants her to trust his judgement.

“Anchor’s away!”

Bazza and Davey Boy are leading Alfred to his ship, and are informing him about the details of his passage. He’ll be docking in New Orleans, and he promises to send the two of them a postcard when he’s settled. Just then, a police car pulls up and they’re told that all docks have been shut down, with no ship allowed to set sail. After being asked to see some identification, Alfred and the boys take down the squad and drive away in their car.

“Forget Newgate, knighthoods all around.” 

Thomas Wayne enters Martha Kane’s apartment and tells her that they have to leave the country immediately. Thomas tells her everything, that the Queen has been kidnapped and that Harwood is staging a coup on the government, which looks to be a successful one. Martha doesn’t want to leave because she plans to save Undine Thwaite, the leader of the No Name League. Thomas is freaking out, unloading everything on Martha. He tells her that Thwaite had her husband killed so she could take his place in the organisation, and that Alfred Pennyworth himself was the assigned gunman. She doesn’t believe him, but Thomas’ desperation is showing. He’s willing to completely destroy her belief in the No Name League and what they stand for, just so they can escape safely.

There’s another knock on the door, and it’s Alfred and his buddies. They enter and sigh in relief as Thomas is the one they’re looking for. By the end of the scene, everyone’s caught up. Thomas and Martha now know that it was Alfred himself who saved them during the negotiation with Harwood in the last episode, and Alfred and the crew also know the stakes of the situation, that the Queen is gone and Harwood is taking over.

Now that Alfred is aware of the Queen’s kidnapping, he wants to help her. Martha supports this idea, as Thomas wildly flails his arms at them. He has orders to escape, you see. Alfred theorises that he may not have to leave the country after all if he saves the Queen.

I really appreciated this scene because this is the first time all our main characters are in the same room at once, and they had some excellent banter and interplay. Alfred hasn’t had any interaction with Thomas and Martha as of late and I’ve only now realised how much I’ve missed them together.

“The revolution has come.” 

The army is marching through the streets, and Mr. Pennyworth couldn’t be happier. He leaves his house, clad in his bathrobe, and salutes the approaching men and their tanks. Martial law has been declared, and the army has arrested Undine Thwaite. Her lover, the CIA spy John Ripper, skulks away as this happens.

Mr. Pennyworth is walking through the streets and spots some bodies hung, one of them being Undine herself. It’s actually a pretty horrific sight. He arrives at his Raven Society chapter and gives a rousing speech, that they have to defend this victory until their last breath.

At the Prime Minister’s office, the PM thanks Inspector Aziz for staying with him as they try to defend the government. They’ve completely accepted the possibility of death, the two of them swigging some whiskey as they load their guns.

“Pretend I’m not here.”

Alfred and the gang are in a van heading to the Sykes residence, where they think they’ll find the Queen. Martha asks Alfred if he indeed killed Julian Thwaite, and if Undine knew about it beforehand. His lack of answers in a way acted as an answer, and Martha and Thomas get into a bit of an argument. Martha asks him why he was so willing to discredit the organisation just to save her, and Thomas replies it’s because he likes her and wants her to be safe. This doesn’t phase Martha until she realises what Thomas meant, that he actually does like her. She presses him about it, clarifying if he likes her in a sexual way. Thomas is completely done with it and ignores her, but it seems Martha reciprocates as she slyly smiles.

“I won’t be thwarted.”

At the Sykes house, everyone’s playing a friendly games of cards. Bet Sykes is furious that the Queen is so damn good at the game, which terrifies the Queen. Just then, a knock at the door has them nervous.

It’s Martha and Thomas, who awkwardly try to bamboozle their way through this whole interaction. Martha punches her way in and they find the Queen with Bet’s knife at her throat. Alfred, Bazza, and Davey Boy walk in and Bet eventually puts the knife down. Davey Boy proclaims this whole thing has been pretty easy, but since he just jinxed himself an old man in a gimp suit comes out of a box and stabs him in the chest.

“I’m going to indulge myself.” 

General Malcolm, the man working with Harwood at the Queen’s feigned behest, receives a call from the Queen. She gives him orders, which he carries out immediately. He has Harwood’s men shot and arrests both Harwood and Gaunt. They’re dragged to a police van and taken away.

The Queen delivers an address, with Alfred watching from behind the camera. Mr. Pennyworth is at home, clearly seething inside. She admits that she hasn’t been the best ruler for her people, but promises to do better. Afterwards, she approaches Alfred and asks about her performance. He has nothing but good things to say, obviously, and calls her “mum” as everyone does. She insists he stops calling her that, and whispers her preferred name into his ear. He cracks a smile.

Later, the Queen watches from her bed as Alfred puts his pants on. She wants him to stay for breakfast but he says he has to go see his parents since they’re worried about him. She understands, and Alfred awkwardly leaves since he just, you know, boned the Queen of England.

“She told me, you know. She had to.” 

Alfred makes his way home and his folks are incredibly happy to see him. They ask about the law coming after him, and he lets them know he got a royal pardon. Later, he’s drinking with his dad who asks him about how he got the pardon, which he assumes came about from stopping Harwood’s Raven rebellion. Mr. Pennyworth doesn’t tip his hand and tell Alfred that he was a Raven supporter, but he comes dangerously close to that when Alfred mentions that the Ravens stood for order and strength, just like his dad.

Alfred confronts his dad about his cancer diagnosis. His mum told him about it recently but Alfred was sworn to secrecy. Mr. Pennyworth tells Alfred that he doesn’t have a lot of time, and he only wants one thing: for Alfred to think well of him after he’s gone, no matter what people say. Before Alfred can ask for clarification, Mrs. Pennyworth walks in.

“The old guard die. They do not surrender.” 

In prison, Harwood apologises to Gaunt and the Sykes sisters. He says that every leader has a plan, even one accounting for failure. Gaunt asks what he means by that, and he mentions that the old guard never surrender. This is in reference to what Mr. Pennyworth said earlier in his speech, that he is a member of the old guard and works to ensure a better future.

Mr. Pennyworth heads out of the house. He tells his wife that he loves her and bids farewell to Alfred. Obviously, something is afoot.

“You said you like me. Sexually.” 

Thomas is typing away in his hotel room when Martha knocks on the door. She looks genuinely happy, giddy in a way that we haven’t seen her. She playfully asks Thomas about what he said in the van, that he liked her. She reveals that she realised she likes him too. Thomas is hiding his feelings on the matter until she goes in for a kiss, and they melt into each other.

Honestly, I felt this moment was forced. They have had some chemistry and some close calls in the past, and I figured a better time for them to at least kiss would have been after Alfred saved their lives when tensions were high and they were excited. Here it comes across as an afterthought, and the swelling music seems more of a recognition of who they will be rather than who they are in the moment.

“Go away, son. I’m on duty.” 

Alfred’s at home when his mum answers the phone. It’s for him. He picks it up and it’s the Queen herself. She’s at a dinner party and is bored out of her mind. She thanks him for the great time she had and hopes to meet again soon. Alfred agrees and they hang up. The Queen heads back to the party, which Mr. Pennyworth is waiting at. He heads to the kitchen and inspects a bomb that he plans to detonate.

At the Pennyworth residence, both Alfred and his mum have strange feelings. Mrs. Pennyworth reveals that his dad is a member of the Raven Society and that he felt upset when their takeover didn’t work. Alfred gets a gun from his room and storms out the door.

Thomas and Martha are making out in his hotel room. He gets up to remove some clothing and a bullet comes through the window, hitting him in the shoulder. Martha tries to stop the bleeding, and Thomas looks unconscious. She performs compressions on his chest and he finally wakes up.

Alfred arrives at the party and sneaks in through the back. Mr. Pennyworth wheels the cake in and Alfred storms in, asking to have a word with his father. Mr. Pennyworth holds up the detonator and threatens to blow up the room, and for Alfred to leave. Alfred implores his father to give up, to think of his mother and what this act will do to her. He activates the bomb and Alfred shoots him in the arm, and grabs the Queen. The entire house explodes, but Alfred manages to get the Queen to safety.

The End 

So, that was an explosive finale. Heh.

I thought this was pretty satisfying. Aside from the contrived Thomas and Martha bit, I felt that the plot resolved itself smoothly and emotionally. The show has done a good job at developing the relationship between Alfred and his father, so this final confrontation between the two of them was very well done.

There isn’t any word on a second season to my knowledge, but based on the ending I do want to see more. It looks like they’re setting up Alfred to be this super suave spy character, warming the Queen’s bed one day and saving her the next.

To those of you who have been reading these since the beginning, I thank you. I hope to see you back for the second season!

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