The third season of “Pennyworth” has quickly picked up pace in the first three episodes, entangling key characters in a USA-UK cross-continental conspiracy that will probably work its way through to lead them to their inevitable fate in Gotham City in the future. A more comic-centric focus in this season has set in motion several vital plot points, which will play a vital part later in Batman lore. The first three episodes of the series dealt with the involvement of the CIA and Wayne Enterprise in the creation of a psychokinetic drug named Lullaby and the murderous frenzy the drug imbued its users with.
‘Pennyworth: The Origin Of Batman’s Butler’ Season 3 Episode 4: Recap And Ending
Dosed and controlled by perhaps the same psychokinetic drugs that led Jessica Thistle to go on a killing spree earlier, Thomas Wayne almost stabbed Martha to death in the climax of the last episode. Mrs. P’s timely intervention incapacitated Thomas and saved Martha’s life. The fourth episode opens with Thomas incarcerated in the Tower of London while a comatose Martha is being treated in a hospital. The repentant and horrified Thomas remembers the hallucinations he saw while in a frenzied state. Alfred wakes up in Sandra’s apartment, and they engage in small talk. Alfie congratulates Sandra on her overnight success, and it also seems like he still has feelings for her, but Sandra seems distant. After the usual bunch of freeloading mollycoddlers barge into their privacy, Alfie takes his cue and leaves. Alfie goes to his security firm, and Mr. Chadney tells him that his mother tried to reach him regarding last night’s situation at Wayne House, details of which remain unknown to him too.
No sooner had Mr. Chadney finished his update than Patrick Wayne entered their office. He informs Alfie about the details of the incident where Thomas tried to murder Martha, due to which he has been jailed in the Tower of London. Legal and other methods to bail him out of prison have failed, so Patrick wants Alfie to break Thomas out of prison and send him back to the USA. Alfred initially refuses his offer until Patrick offers him a million pounds in exchange for the prison break. After taking the job, he calls his mother, Mrs. P, and gets to know more about the incident. The fact that Thomas was behaving in a regular way and the sudden willingness to kill Martha came out of nowhere solidifies Alfie’s belief in the lullaby drug’s usage. He warns his mother that the sentimental CIA or behind-the-scenes conspirators might try to hurt her or little Samantha, who is now in Mrs. P’s custody.
Daveboy had hooked up with Sally Prufrock, who turns out to be a high-society art connoisseur aristocrat, a total foil to Daveboy’s baser, sentimental, and brutish personality. He is invited by Sally to a party at her art gallery, which he reluctantly agrees to attend. Meanwhile, Mrs. P apprehends an unknown visitor cautiously with a cocked gun in her hand, and it turns out to be an elderly named Roger Hammond, a fellow ‘lonelyheart’ advertisement pursuer who has arrived to meet her. She invites him inside her house even though Mrs. P. confesses that her past experience has scared her. Gradually, they begin to connect over their shared experience of grief.
Alfred meets PM Aziz and discusses what he and Martha discovered at Sister Susie’s Inner Peace Ashram: that the CIA was involved in manufacturing the drug that was used to turn Jessica Thistle into a mass murderer. He also adds that the CIA is probably behind Thomas’ incarceration and that the murder attempt on Martha was their machination. He believes Thomas is innocent and, due to their history, believes that Aziz knows that too. However, Aziz refuses to help him in any capacity, as with the global commonwealth summit about to take place, he doesn’t want to provoke the Americans to ruin international relations. He says he would rather wait for the CIA to drop clues and inquire about Martha’s knowledge of the entire ordeal and asks Alfie to stay out of the entire situation.
Dr. Glubb tries to contact Martha and grows restless as he is unable to do so. No sooner had his last call attempt failed than the phonebooth received a phone call. The unknown caller assures him that he’s not a CIA agent and would like to discuss business with him. Meanwhile, Alfred, Chadney, and Daveboy bring Lucius along with them near the tower where Thomas is imprisoned. Lucius provides them with prototype gadgets made by him to aid the mission. The trio manages to rescue Thomas amidst gunfire and a chase. PM Aziz is notified of Thomas’ escape, and he issues an emergency bulletin for Alfred’s arrest.
On the other hand, Virginia Deveraux learns about Martha’s survival and Thomas’ escape and fears that her tracks have been uncovered. She goes on to hit Patrick several times for disobedience and continues to belittle him. Through her own admission, we get to know she was, in fact, a disgraced or rogue agent of the CIA, undertaking this job to clear her name. Feeling cornered and desperate to avoid prosecution, she orders code scorched earth (a military term that refers to the deliberate destruction of any asset that might be useful to enemies) to her agents.
As Roger and Mrs.P come comfortably closer to each other, Alfred, accompanied by Thomas, intrudes and spooks Roger away. Thomas refuses to go back to the US and urges Alfie not to side with his father, as he thinks his father had orchestrated the attack on Martha. Despite knowing this, Alfred refuses to cooperate as he is fixated on his million pounds sterling. A disappointing glance from Mrs. P makes him reconsider his decision in due time.
Daveboy attends Sally’s party, where he meets an artist named Francis Foulkes, whose phony and pretentious antics get him flustered. Alfred goes to Patrick to receive the rest of the payment, but Virginia starts chastising Patrick for striking such a deal. Alfie threatens to blackmail them by reporting details of the lullaby drug to the police after Virginia refuses his payment. A furious Thomas enters the room, punches his father, and accuses him of being the conspirator. Patrick reveals that Virginia was the mastermind all along. He also reveals that after some of his debaucheries were exposed, the CIA blackmailed him into giving up Wayne Enterprise pharmaceuticals for their use. Virginia pulls out her gun and holds three of them hostage. However, Alfred’s quick wit saves the day as he knew that he already was being targeted for prison break as police enter to arrest all of them.
Unfortunately, it seems she might have the last laugh after all. As part of her scorched earth plan, agents were already sent to kill Martha in the hospital. But once again, Alfie’s preparedness saves Martha’s life since he had informed PM Aziz about Martha’s security concerns, and two agents sent to kill her find themselves literally in front of PM and packed security when they enter Martha’s hospital room. Alfie returns to his pub only to barge in while Daveboy and Sally are getting intimate, and he moves upstairs to his security office to find Sandra already present there. They reconnect as Alfie shares his experience. The episode ends with Dr. Glubb being held hostage by the mysterious caller, who is wearing Guy Fawkes’ mask and claims to be the doctor’s admirer.
Although this episode was not as action-oriented as the others, the humor provided by the interaction among Chadney, Alfie, Lucius, and Daveboy made up for it. Mrs. P’s willingness to protect Samantha echoes Alfred, eventually becoming Bruce’s guardian and performing his job with similar intensity. The indifference among the partying people at Sandra’s, even after the gruesome mass murder took place only days ago, speaks much about the prevalent postmodern flare. One of Lucius’ gadgets, the grappler gun, is a prototype of the same object Bruce will modify as Batman. Alfred’s immaturity becomes apparent when he acts visibly upset over the fact that his mother is seeing someone. It also seems years of experience and loss have turned him into a cynical businessman, as he prioritizes money over his friendship at a point. Thankfully, Mrs. P’s presence acted as a moral compass for him. Sandra’s song being used as a frenzy trigger and her overnight success also raise questions that suggest she’s indeed more than meets the eyes. Bet Sykes’s absence was felt indeed. As we approach midseason, more questions are being raised.