Pennyworth‘s season finale had a lot of big, red flashing buttons and glowing blue bombs. It also left London’s fate to two of its most abusive characters. Mr. P and Gully have a lot in common. They’ve both mistreated their wives. They’re both father figures to Alfie. They both should be dead. By bringing them back to life, the show saved itself from have to kill off any series regulars, but does one good deed warrant a redemption arc?
To call either Mr. P. or Gully a hero is to ignore all the pain that they caused. Mr. P. may have been willing to sacrifice his life for the Raven Union, but would he really have changed his mind to save Alfie’s? Then there’s Gully, and while having him swallow the bomb was certainly preferable to Alfie’s original plan of swallowing the bomb himself, working for the League doesn’t make him a hero. It makes him a weapon with an origin story.
That swallowing Stormcloud worked in the first place doesn’t make much sense. All of the terror the show was able to build around Stormcloud has been negated by how clumsy the characters have been with the gas, like Alfie opening the door to the truck Gully was being transported in. There’s blue gas wafting out, yet he doesn’t think maybe this is a health hazard and the door should stay shut?
Other thoughts on this week’s episode:
- Why is Bet working for the League now? While it’s true that Bet’s loyalty was always with Harwood and Frances Gaunt isn’t Bet’s biggest fan, it still made figuring out who was fighting for who during the time jump that much harder. Until Pennyworth showed up, it still wasn’t clear Bet had switched sides.
- Why is Bet involved in the war, anyway? If Stormcloud was still a threat than joining the League would be in her best interest. It would be a matter of survival, but with Salt out, too, there’s no revenge to be gleaned. Bet doesn’t need an excuse to fight, which leaves Katie. They did meet when Katie was the Raven’s prisoner, so maybe she’s the League supporter, but because the series hasn’t spent as much time with them since the mid-season premiere, it’s hard to know where they stand or whether Katie ever found out Bet fell off the ‘no killing’ wagon.
- Two major milestones for Martha and Thomas this week: not only did they get married, but Martha and Thomas have… a girl? Given that there’s enough tragedy awaiting the Waynes, there’s no reason to believe the show will let anything bad befall their firstborn, but does that mean Batman has an older sister or will Batman be Batwoman (which is only confusing because the name’s already taken and DC tends to use gendered names, but otherwise Batman could be female)? Doctor Who did it. Why not Pennyworth?
Pennyworth aired Sundays at 9 PM EST on EPIX.