Review: ‘Pennyworth” Episode 6 “Cilla Black”

Cilla Black
Writer: Bruno Heller
Director: Danny Cannon
Starring: Jack Bannon, Ben Aldridge, Emma Paetz, Ryan Fletcher, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, Paloma Faith, Jason Flemyng and Ian Puleston
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Review by Carl Bryan

In “Cilla Black” Martha Kane (Emma Paetz)  and Patricia Wayne (Salóme Gunnarsdóttir) attend a debauched party with famed magician Aleister Crowley. Alfred (Jack Bannon) pairs with his old mates Bazza (Hainsley Lloyd Bennett) and Dave Boy (Ryan Fletcher) to search for Esme’s killer.

What’s in that tea? Gingko Biloba?

First of all, Jason Flemyng’s Lord Harwood seems so much more healthy after being rescued by Bet Sykes (Paloma Faith) and Peggy (Polly Walker). In fact, someone must have been telling some lies, as his nose has grown back (shades of Pinnochio) and his memory seems to have suddenly reappeared as well! He declares that the Prime Minister must be dealt with for what he has done to him! What better accomplices than Bet Sykes (Paloma Faith) and Peggy (Polly Walker)?

Baroness Ortsey

Baroness Ortsey (Felicity Kendal)… here is where Alfie is challenged a bit. Given the episode where we saw him talking to a deceased old mate from his military days, it’s only natural that Bruno Heller fashions a script that has Alfred dealing a bit with the occult. The dark side of England gets a touch of New Orleans voodoo!

Try as I might, I wish I could connect the dots in the comics between a severed left hand and a rose. I got nothing but Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” from Batman Forever!  However, Alfred’s link to the dark side seems to come from Ortsey. Time will tell on my feelings about this character.

Dinner with the Parents

Alfred has a poignant dinner scene with his parents, Mr. Pennyworth (Ian Puleston-Davies) and Mrs. Pennyworth (Dorothy Atkinson) and seems to be channeling his inner Elvis Presley. His parents are super concerned over him in regards to his behavior and Esme’s death! This is the first “leveling off” of their relationship after two episodes have now focussed on healing their relationship.

Hello Brother…

Salóme Gunnarsdóttir as Thomas Wayne’s sister… “Don’t worry!  I’m not staying. 500 pounds should be enough!” and that potty mouth! What employer/former boyfriend drops his drug addicted foul mouthed sister off to his on again/off again girlfriend?  There…we finally get a clue. Who Dumped Who? At least we’re given a glimpse that there is history with Thomas and Martha romantically. Here I thought Alfie was an option. It turns out Martha had dumped Thomas, who’s a billionaire and used to getting what he wants! “Do you like parties Martha?”

Aleister Crowley – A Satanist with a penchant for Parties?

I swear I saw a crooked screen again in regards to the arrival to Crowley’s (Jonjo O’Neill) mansion. Picture Crowley as a an odd incarnation of House of Cards’ Frank Underwood. Careful Martha… she doesn’t do that good of job in caring for Patricia nor for herself. This is an odd scene filled with dancing, drugs, and an orgy of epic proportions. Hard to figure out how Martha gets out of this one! Sometimes a spy has to do what she has to do!

There’s no explanation, however, as to why she wakes up naked and in a maze. It was definitely hard to picture Batman’s mom in this position, but everyone has a history!


“Cilla Black” was definitely an episode that has Alfred and Martha careening off into the occult. While it”s an odd break from the realistic war between the Raven Society and the No-Names, ititems to stand apart from the rest of the series. I’m still trying to piece Thomas’s and Martha’s relationship together and while they appear to be on a break, Thomas seems more married to work than wooing Martha.

Alfie is wounded right now, so I’m giving him some leeway for delving into his hallucinations. I hope that, with only four episodes left this season, he can clear up who killed Esme, otherwise, this may be a tipping point for the show, as this was a dark and strange episode!

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