‘Pennyworth’ S02 E07 Review: ‘The Bloody Mary’

by Rachel Bellwoar

And Pennyworth’s dream of going to America died with a whimper…

Of all the things that could’ve gone wrong and prevented Pennyworth from departing, nothing could’ve been more shocking than everything going right. Pennyworth’s mom didn’t change her mind about leaving. The money wasn’t stolen. There was even money to buy a fourth ticket for Melanie (and one was available, in spite of the demand). No last-minute surprises, where there aren’t enough seats, and someone has to stay behind. No violence, despite Gully finding out about the affair and surviving being stabbed (it looked like Melanie hit him in the neck but then it looked like the shoulder when he was doing his own stitches).

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In the end, Pennyworth realized, more than a blow-up (which the show has done), the most interesting thing the series could do is force Pennyworth to make a choice. Alfie could’ve gone to America. He chose to stay in Britain. Now he has to make sure Project Stormcloud doesn’t get unleashed.

Other thoughts on ‘The Bloody Mary’:

  • Melanie is a character who could’ve served as a plot device. First, she was the woman Pennyworth was going to have an affair with. Then she was the threat to Pennyworth’s escape. Her whole existence on the show could have been confined to how her decisions might affect Alfie, but this episode in particular did a lot to flesh her character out and allowed her to become someone who will be missed rather than someone who’s absence won’t be noticed. Her interactions with Pennyworth’s mom were priceless (kudos to Jessica De Gouw and Dorothy Atkinson). In comparison, Sondra has been on the show a lot longer but even though she got a Casablanca moment, too, in an episode filled with references to the movie (including Thomas delivering the “beautiful friendship” line to Alfie) she’s always been in Alfie’s shadow.
  • Speaking of new characters, there’s nothing like alcohol to loosen someone up and it was nice to see Lucius come out of his shell a little this week (and while Patricia (Salóme R. Gunnarsdóttir) leaving puts a pin in that romance, it also keeps Melanie in the fold, since it looks like they’ll be chatting on the plane).
EPIX
  • After weeks of there being some doubt over Harwood’s sanity, it’s Harwood who gets to tell Bets and Peggy what’s been going on, not the other way around. He figured everything out and while the Raven Union stands for hate, Harwood’s death is a major loss to the series. He didn’t go out broken and died saving his friends. He also wasn’t shown taking Salt’s pills this week. Is that why his thoughts were more cogent or are the two things unrelated?
  • Scene of The Week: Pennyworth’s mom taking a moment to say goodbye to her house. While Dave Boy hightailed it out of there the moment Alfie honked, Pennyworth’s mom stayed behind for a minute. It’s one of those scenes that easily could’ve been cut for time but I’m glad it made it in.

Pennyworth airs Sundays at 9 PM EST on EPIX.

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