‘Pennyworth’ S02 E05 Review: ‘The Bleeding Heart’
by Rachel Bellwoar
Alfred’s mom said she didn’t want to go to America. Pennyworth could’ve saved himself a lot of trouble by listening to her, but the title of this episode really hits it on the head even before Sandra sings “Love Is A Losing Game” during the closing montage (which is a song by Amy Winehouse, so who knows what time period this show is going for).
Pennyworth’s relationship with Sandra continues to die a slow death this week as the show cuts back and forth between Sandra singing at the recording session Alfie was supposed to attend and Alfie cheating on her with Gully’s wife, Melanie. If them breaking up is supposed to be a threat, it’s not, which is why the editing doesn’t work. Their relationship was never one to take seriously, so all that’s happening is Sandra’s pain is getting drawn out.
The same goes for Martha and Thomas. While their relationship is serious for what it means in the comics, it feels extremely rushed on the show and constantly on the verge of collapse, leaving little time to get invested before they’ve broken up again (and what was with the out-of-a-sitcom gaffe of Thomas missing Lucius’ SOS?) .
The show has put in the work, though, when it comes to Pennyworth’s relationship with his mother, which is why her kicking him out of the house this week was one moment that hit like a ton of bricks. Just like Pennyworth didn’t try to protest that he wasn’t the one shooting civilians at the wrestling match, it doesn’t feel like that he’ll try and delude himself into thinking she would’ve gone with him if she hadn’t found out about the money. Still, that’s two rock bottom moments for Pennyworth, and while Alfie promised Gazza he would go to America, can he if that means leaving his mom?
It sure didn’t take much for Salt to convince Harwood that Frances can’t be trusted, but he has to be doing something to Harwood’s pills, right? That should’ve been obvious the moment Salt was revealed to be his supplier, yet the show keeps emphasizing every scene where Harwood opens a pill bottle like there are fans who might not be catching on. It was a little strange that Frances chose this episode to ask Harwood if he’d been taking his medicine, but what reason would she have to be working with Salt?
The one exception to the “bleeding hearts” club this week is Bets and Katie, who officially share a kiss in this episode. As Katie herself says, she’s seen Bets kill. Finding out a lot of people think Bets killed her sister isn’t going to be a deal breaker, but while that does take the air out of the mystery of what Bets was worried Katie would find out about her past, it also tells you how traumatic that time was.
Not the strongest episode of Pennyworth overall. Those missing GLOW should get a kick out of the wrestling characters, but a few storylines feel stuck this season.
Pennyworth airs Sundays at 9 PM EST on EPIX.