WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the fourth episode of Pennyworth, "Lady Penelope," which aired Sunday on Epix.
This Sunday didn't just bring one new episode of Epix's Pennyworth, but two. The television series, which tells the origin story of Batman's future butler in London circa the 1960s introduced Martha Kane (eventually to become Martha Wayne) in its third episode.
But instead of debuting Martha as the socialite and humanitarian she is often portrayed as in the comics, Pennyworth reimagined the character as a spy who works for a secret organization known only as the No Name League.
And now, with its fourth episode, "Lady Penelope," Pennyworth has twisted things even further, by teasing a romance between Martha and Alfred.
In the series' previous episode, Martha came to London and hired Alfred to be her driver and bodyguard for a mission on behalf of the No Name League. Realizing that they worked well together, Martha offered Alfred an extended contract, promising plenty of adventures with the two of them.
In "Lady Penelope," Alfred and Martha find themselves plunged into a new mission: finding the identity of the new leader of the villainous Raven Society. The intrepid duo embark on a case filled with twists and turns, foot chases and fist fights. The Raven Society is dangerous, and both Alfred and Martha are hurt, captured and have their lives threatened -- all in a single day. Needless to say, it was one was filled with plenty of intense emotions.
Thankfully, they make it out alive and accomplish their mission. Later that night, when they sit down to share a drink and reminisce about the day they've just had, it doesn't take long for the two to lock lips in a passionate kiss. The kiss is surprising to say the least, and longer than you'd expect.
However, eventually, Alfred puts a stop to it, because he's currently engaged to his fiancée, Esmé. Still, there is an undeniable tension and chemistry between Alfred and Martha, and this tease at a romance between the two may not stop there. After all, the episode ends with the shocking death of Esmé, something that is bound to send Alfred on a path of vengeance. In his spiral, he might once again find himself pulled to Martha.
But the thing is, the kiss between Alfred and Martha is perhaps a little twisted when we consider their futures: eventually, Martha will marry Thomas Wayne, and the two will have a child together. And all the while, Alfred will be there, working as their butler. This surely makes for a surprising and messy love triangle under the roof of the future Wayne Manor.
What complicates matters even more is that this is also the episode that features the first meeting between Martha and Thomas Wayne. The two characters both work for the No Name League, and they will spend a lot more time together now that Thomas is essentially Martha's handler.
Pennyworth's just introduced a whole lot of new connections between Thomas, Martha and Alfred -- so much so that we can't help but wonder if this will change the oncoming future we know from the comics. Yes, we know that eventually, Bruce Wayne will be born. But can we be certain that Thomas will be his father? Better yet, could Thomas and Martha's marriage be a union orchestrated by the No Name League?
With Pennyworth changing so much from the source material, all options remain a possibility -- for the time being, at least.
Starring Jack Bannon, Ben Aldridge, Ryan Fletcher, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, Paloma Faith, Emma Paetz, Polly Walker and Jason Flemyng, Pennyworth premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Epix.