‘Pennyworth’ S02 E08 Review: ‘The Hangman’s Noose’

by Rachel Bellwoar

Harwood might’ve had the public’s love but, so far, his death isn’t doing much to stop Salt’s political assent. Appropriating his robe. Using his funeral to give a speech. The public may not realize Harwood was murdered (the official word is heart attack), but have they written off Frances so completely that her name isn’t even being mentioned as someone who could replace him?

Courtesy of EPIX

According to that lieutenant Harwood killed in episode six (Angus Imrie), a lot of people wanted Frances exonerated. Plus, she was in charge the last time people thought Harwood was dead, so gender shouldn’t be an issue.

In any case, the Raven Union have issued their ultimatum: the Queen has 48 hours to surrender, or London gets ravaged by Project Stormcloud. The Queen and Aziz seem to have thrown in the towel, going by their snog session, so who does that leave to save the day?

  • Martha, though now that Thomas knows about her pregnancy, she might be busy arguing
  • Thomas, though that would require him changing the US government’s mind
  • Bet and Peggy – It’s possible Harwood found time to fill them in on Project Stormcloud but, even if he didn’t, they’re already set on killing Salt, which would give Frances an opening to reseize power
  • Frances – She’s already made her opinion on Stormcloud known and has been willing to work with Aziz in the past
  • Lucius – He knows the most about Project Stormcloud, from his time undercover. Could there be a scientific solution? A way of counteracting the virus so it’s non-lethal?
  • Pennyworth, because he’s always involved somehow
  • Pennyworth’s mom – Given what we now know about Pennyworth’s dad (Ian Puleston-Davies), she might have some sway over whether Stormcloud is enacted. As much as she’s been throwing around Mr. P’s name, though, to make Alfie feel bad does she really agree with the Raven Union’s politics?

Which bravo for keeping that a secret, Pennyworth. Even the timing of the reveal was perfect. Harwood was the last one killed and even though it seemed unlikely that he’d survive two near death situations (and the Raven Union wouldn’t have wanted him back anyway), Pennyworth’s dad has been dead since season one. It’s never even been proposed that he might have survived the bombing, and then there’s his ghost. If Mr. P. didn’t visit Alfie does that mean Baz was in his head, too?

Courtesy of EPIX

Some other thoughts on this week’s episode:

  • Technically there’s no reason Gully and Alfie shouldn’t be square after their tête-à-tête in the forest, yet Gully isn’t reasonable, so is it fair to assume that he’s done or is Alfie going to regret that ambulance?
  • Question about Bet’s ongoing sex shop window solution for how to deal with people who can’t be killed but can’t be trusted: do Bet and Peggy feed them? Do they have bathroom breaks? Anyone want to bet how many people are in that window by the end of the season?
  • Dorothy Atkinson’s scene stealing continues with Pennyworth’s mom getting to throw a punch this week (anyone else reminded of when she and Mr. P took on Bet in season one?)

Pennyworth airs Sundays at 9 PM EST on EPIX.

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