After the first four episodes of “Pennyworth,” season three quickly picked up the pace to build on the existing narrative by introducing its own version of metahumans and mind-controlling drugs to further political scandals; the fifth one slows the pace down a notch. The last episode of the series ended with Virginia Devereaux, the rogue CIA agent, getting caught by Scotland Yard and her plan to end Martha Wayne’s life getting foiled by Alfie’s quick wits. The ending of the fourth episode shows the mysterious caller and potential new buyer of Dr Glubb’s lullaby drug appearing in disguise, wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. The intrigue created by the first three episodes of the season was given a definite direction while keeping some questions afloat. For example, the details of the hidden stash of lullaby drugs remain unknown due to Thomas’ sudden interference, and whether Sandra’s overnight success is connected to her song being a trigger for the psychokinetic lullaby drug remains to be seen.
‘Pennyworth: The Origin Of Batman’s Butler’ Season 3 Episode 5: Recap And Ending
It has been a month since the incidents of the last episode took place. Thomas is still suffering from a relapse from the lullaby drug as he keeps having nightmares while hallucinating the stabbing scene, with Sandra’s song still lingering in his mind. Alerted and armed with a revolver, Thomas tries to search for some unknown perp. Martha wakes up and seeing this makes her feel unsafe, and she points a gun at him. Both of them argue over what they blame each other for, and they depart. Soon enough, they get a surprise visit from Patricia Wayne, Thomas’ free-spirited, socialite sister, who had a knack for getting into trouble in the previous season. Her mentioning of their father infuriates Thomas, who reveals his part in the CIA’s attempt to murder Martha by using the psychokinetic drug Lullaby to control Thomas to perform the deed. However, Patricia doesn’t seem to have too much of a reaction to the information, which is pretty typical for her. She reveals that her reason for arriving in London at Wayne’s House is to attend the art gallery installation of Francis Fuchs, the eccentric, pretentious artist we met in the last episode.
Alfie finds his mother, Mrs P, well dressed as if she were expecting company. As he inquires, we get to know she’s going on a date with Roger, the reserved suitor from the previous episode. As she meets Roger and is about to express her feelings for him, his overtly apprehensive and reserved nature almost ends the date. However, Roger has a change of heart and expresses his willingness to be bold enough to start a new relationship. As a gesture of newfound confidence, he joins Mrs P in a dance, something he confessed to being too afraid to do in the last episode.
Dave Boy finds himself in an uncomfortable position trying to adjust to high society mannerisms and etiquettes but continues to make an effort to impress his new girlfriend, Sally Prufrock. They attend the art gallery installation of Francis Fuchs, who puts on a pretty dramatic show to impress the present art connoisseurs. Sally gives him a designer drug that can apparently let them share a dream and urges him to try it. Initially skeptical and reluctant, Dave Boy takes the drug. It is revealed that the mysterious buyer from the last episode was, in fact, Francis Fuchs, who is seen to be accompanied by Doctor Glubb. Glubb shares his concerns that without a blueprint, the consumer of the drug will be rendered with a blank slate of a brain, which can spell disastrous and unknown consequences. Fuchs, however, considers this to be a method to free the mind.
Alfie meets PM Aziz, who is still bitter about the last stunt Alfie pulled off by breaking Thomas Wayne out of the Tower of London, but isn’t willing to press charges as long as Alfie complies with his utilizations. He gives Alfie the job of protecting Zahra Khin, the rival political leader of the island nation of Kalpoor, with the intention of conducting the upcoming Commonwealth summit smoothly, which might be hampered if the assassination attempts on her life become successful. Ms Khin, however, doesn’t want British assistance, and as a result, Alfie has to spy on her along with Dave Boy. Unsurprisingly, no sooner had she left 10 Downing Street than she faced a full-blown attack from heavily armed assailants. Alfred and Daveboy manage to rescue her, and Alfie takes her to a secure location, his pub. In an attempt to identify the traitor who might have given away her whereabouts to the assailants, Zahra informs her personal security team of her current location. Surely enough, a couple of armed goons arrive again, but conflict doesn’t ensue as they surrender after finding themselves outnumbered. Zahra deduces her personal bodyguard, Win, to be the traitor, and it turns out Kalpoor’s elected government was behind this assassination attempt. Disheartened at the betrayal and at her driver’s death, Zahra finds some comfort in the trustworthiness and bravery of Alfred. They both hook up, and Zahra reveals her real intention of arriving in London is to search for her dad, who was thus far considered to be dead. She also states that her dad was abducted from Morocco ten years ago, and Alfred recalls that he and Daveboy pulled off the job, probably under Gully Troy’s instructions. Dave Boy seems to be going through a drug-induced hallucination and finds himself dumbfounded.
In order to make amends with Martha and confront his father once and for all, Thomas leaves for Gotham. Meanwhile, Bet Sykes, now accompanied by Dixon’s infant daughter Julie, finds former Raven leader Frances Gaunt’s location from the Raven ledger and goes to meet her. Now a physician, Gaunt reaffirms her faith in Bet but initially refuses to reveal John Salt’s location. She asks Bet she’ll reveal Salt’s location only if she hands Julie over to her, but Bet refuses, as it seems she has grown some sort of motherly feelings for the child. After repeated requests, however, Gaunt reveals Salt’s location and urges her to stray off from this destructive path. Bet locates Salt in northern England and shoots him multiple times to death, exacting revenge for Lord Harwood. But Salt recovers instantly, and it is revealed that he has programmed himself to become a PWE (Persons with Enhancements) himself, as his body is laced with mechanical constructs. Salt’s goons appear and knock Bet unconscious as the episode ends.
Compared to previous episodes, the fifth one seemed to be less action-oriented, and the pace slowed down a bit. We met a number of returning old characters, which hints the overall connection in the narrative is still intact in this season as well. It’s always a treat to watch Paloma Faith’s Bet Sykes on screen, and it’s unfortunate that she is given too little screen time, as it’s midseason already. This episode also shows that Bet’s plot is already connected with Pennyworth’s metahuman situation, and we speculate that the metahuman plot might be linked with the psychokinetic drug plotline the main characters are involved with. The next episodes will reveal Alfie’s role in the abduction of Zahra’s father to her, which might not sit well with her. An air of mistrust continues to surround the relationship between Thomas and Martha. Martha mistakenly thinks Thomas has chosen his father and family legacy over her, and Thomas continues to blame her for keeping her life as an active field agent a secret. Therefore despite knowing Thomas was not to blame for the murder attempt and that he was being framed, they aren’t able to reconcile. As a result, Thomas leaves for Gotham, leaving a note for Martha, writing that he chose her. In her quest for vengeance against former Raven perps, Bet ends up getting caught by Salt along with Julie; it’s bad enough that none of the lead characters has checked up on her so far since the first episode. Whether the plot converges even more, remains to be seen.