‘Pennyworth’ Review S02, E03 & E04: ‘The Belt And Welt’ And ‘The Hunted Fox’

by Rachel Bellwoar

As if Alfie wasn’t seeing enough ghosts, Pennyworth’s two-part mid-series finale adds a new friend to his nightmares. While Dave Boy has survived some serious injuries in the past, Bazza’s injuries in ‘The Belt and the Welt’ prove fatal and ‘The Hunted Fox’ begins with his funeral.


Between his father and Bazza, then, Alfie is pretty well-haunted. Esme’s absence is a little conspicuous (though Emma Corrin is probably busy with The Crown), but maybe she’s resting in peace now. Bazza, on the other hand, wants Pennyworth to go to America, but did he mean that he should compromise his morals to get there?

Dave Boy and Alfie don’t get much time to be alone together in ‘The Hunted Fox’ and it’s hard to gauge how Dave Boy is doing – whether Bazza’s death is driving him to pull himself together or pushing him towards drink – but Pennyworth is spiraling. Femme fatales don’t come more obvious than Gully’s wife, Melanie (Jessica De Gouw), and her husband’s not much better. Pennyworth usually doesn’t back down when he’s made up his mind, which makes him flip flopping on Gully all the more alarming. Can he still be on the fence about the guy or is he simply being self-destructive?

Salt shows his true colors this week. While Harwood made an amazing recovery last season and it’s not surprising that his health should be poor, it does seem suspicious that Salt is giving him pills on the side. Add to that the attack on Bets and it’s pretty clear that Salt is gunning for Harwood’s position. Why does he want it now, though? He already has Harwood’s support on the gas (no matter how many times Harwood tells Mrs. Gaunt (Anna Chancellor) they won’t use it). Why make a move now when he can bide his time?

The opposite is true of Katie. Why doesn’t she make a move when she has the chance? Why does she stay with Bets? Her teacher friend (Daniel Cerqueira) is dead. She’s seen Bets kill. What is causing her to stick around? Doesn’t she have friends or family wondering where she is? Granted, she didn’t lie about being an artist but that doesn’t mean she’s above board.

Other thoughts on the mid-season finale:

  • This is the second time Bets has mentioned a younger sister. Is she the reason Bets is worried Peggy (Polly Walker) will talk about her past? Did Bets have something to do with her death?
  • Martha and Thomas’ relationship continues to be the show’s weakest link and it’s because their romance feels forced. Nothing Thomas does in “The Haunted Fox” should make Martha forgive him for conspiring with Crowley, yet in the course of one episode Martha goes from saying she’ll never speak to him again to being seduced. What was the point of giving Thomas a fiancée, anyway, if his engagement was going to end off-screen? Was Betsy even real?
  • Simon Manyonda made his debut as Lucius Fox this week. It felt like a scene that was tagged on at the end, though, and hopefully he’ll get a better introduction when the show comes back.

Pennyworth Season 2 will return March 7th on EPIX.

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