Pennyworth Episode 1
It’s 1960 London and a bunch of young men have come back from war. One of those men commits suicide in broad daylight. His three best buds have one last drink to him and one of them happens to be named Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon).
This is an original story. One of the most famous butlers of all time: the notorious butler and friend of Bruce Wayne also known as Batman.
In Pennyworth, we meet a young Alfred who has returned from his role as a special forces officer in the English Air Service.
He is determined to become more than a doorman like his father, “his own man” as he says so he starts a security company and currently works for a club.
When Alfred is drawn into the world of the mysterious Raven Society out of no actions of his own, Alfred must prove exactly who he is.
He speaks of not wanting to be part of violence but can a man of his skill and past really be pulled away from it?
New and Original
The nice thing about Alfred not having much of a background before this is that there’s nothing to compare it to. It’s a story all on its own.
Throughout the first episode we meet all of the exciting people we will no doubt encounter through the whole series.
People you should know
Esme: Played by Emma Corrin. A dancer and Alfred’s love interest. She is tough and can take care of herself. She is an aspiring actress.
Lord Harwood: played by Jason Flemyng. He is the head of a secret group called The Raven Society. He is interested in Alfred and his skills.
Bet Sykes: played by Paloma Faith. She is a sadistic and somewhat follower of Lord Harwood. She is dangerous in more than one way.
Thomas Wayne: played by Ben Aldridge. A billionaire American whom the Raven Society is after for knowing to much. He is also the future father of Bruce Wayne.
Wallace “Dave Boy” Macdougal: played by Ryan Fletche. Wallace is one of Alfred’s friends from the war.
Deon “Bazza” Bashford: played by Hainsley Lloyd Bennett. Another close friends of Alfred’s from the war.
Looking to the future
I went into this with not a lot of faith. Usually these kind of shows just fall through the cracks, but this has the ability to be a major hit.
Not only did it pull me in, but within the hour we learned plenty about each of the major players to make them interesting but still wanting more.
From the mysterious Raven Society to Alfred’s suave demeanor and his ability to charm everyone around him, this show is destined to be a hit.
Violence vs. Non-Violence
This is a theme that Alfred’s future employer, Batman, carries as well.
Batman has always been about finding a non-violent answer to everything and Alfred is no different.
While the Raven Society obviously doesn’t mind using violence and torture, Alfred is the opposite.
Though Alfred says he doesn’t care to partake in the violence, he seems to really enjoy it when he is able to.
This show also has a lot of strong and powerful women. From Esme, a dancer who can take care of herself and speak her mind to Bet Sykes, who seems crazy and probably is but is tough and sadistic as well.
Don’t count out Alfred’s mom either. When her son was threatened, this mama bear came to her sons side with no thought at all.
The effects of war
It also looks at the effects war has on retuning soldiers. The very first scene is Alfred realizing that his fellow soldier had committed suicide and not just been in a car accident.
Throughout the episode we also see Alfred flashing back to some of the atrocious things he did in war. And when asked why he wouldn’t do that for the Raven Society, his only excuse being that it was overseas and not his own people at home.
Finding your own path
Every character in the show is trying to pave out their own future. From Alfred wanting to be more than his father to Esme’s dream of becoming an actress, each character is given a chance to grow and explore their future.
We see in a dinner scene between Esme and Alfred’s family, that Alfred’s father is not afraid to voice his opinion on class and who should marry whom.
I think Esme’s response to this was brash for a character who seemed to not care what others thought but I guess that’s how we all are. We can act like something won’t hurt us until we are faced with it.
I can’t wait to see where this show takes us. We always get the story of Bruce Wayne, I’m excited to see the story of Thomas Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth.
Pennyworth airs Sunday’s at 9/8c. on EPIX
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