Portrayed by Joanna Vanderham, Penelope Blake is one of the main characters in the first two seasons of Max’s (formerly Cinemax) ‘Warrior.’ At the start of the series, she is married to Samuel Blake, the mayor of San Francisco. Penelope doesn’t love him and only agreed to marry him to save her father’s ailing company. She quickly learns that Samuel is an opportunistic politician who likes to keep his voters, as well as the industrialists, who donate to his campaign, happy. As a result, Samuel initially doesn’t take a pro- or anti-Chinese immigrant stance. Penelope gets involved in an affair with Ah Sahm, but that ultimately ends. As the series progresses, the bitterness and anger between her and her husband grow. In season 2 episode 7, Samuel is killed when he attacks his wife and her manservant hits the back of his head with a poker. For the remainder of the season, Penelope is forced to contend with her late husband’s former deputy, Buckley. If her absence in the third season has made you wonder where Penelope is and whether Joanna Vanderham left ‘Warrior,’ we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Where is Penelope Blake?
After her manservant, Jacob, kills Samuel to protect her, Penelope and her sister Sophie call the police. Buckley arrives as well and asks the siblings what has happened. In her accounts, Penelope explains how Samuel attacked her and how Sophie tried to protect her. She attempts to hide the fact Jacob killed Samuel, but Sophie ends up revealing it, which prompts Buckley to order the man’s arrest. Eventually, Jacob is lynched by Irish Americans and Irish immigrants. Penelope justifiably blames Buckley for this, while the latter uses his predecessor’s death to secure his political position. At this point, Penelope has lost almost everything. Her father is dead, and his company has gone belly up. Seeking justice for Jacob, she tries to tell the truth about what happened but soon realizes that the press is in Buckley’s pocket.
Penelope confronts Buckley about his control over the press, prompting him to ask why she wants to destroy her late husband’s legacy. He adds that he understands that she is probably struggling to come to terms with everything that has happened. Realizing that he is trying to insinuate that she is mentally unwell, Penelope slaps him. In response, Buckley stabs himself with a letter opener from his desk. As people at his office rush in hearing his voice, he accuses Penelope of stabbing him out of grief. She is subsequently sent to a mental health facility. In her final scene of season 2, we see Penelope waking up in the facility. She realizes where she is and starts screaming.
Did Joanna Vanderham Leave Warrior?
Given that Vanderham is noticeably absent from the press tour for the third season of the show, it’s likely that she will not appear in this season. But that doesn’t mean that she can’t return in the future. Series creator Jonathan Tropper seemed to imply something similar in his interview with Inverse. “Nothing concrete yet,” he said when he was asked about what his plans were with Penelope. “However, our goal was [to show] a fascinating piece of history we uncovered. In the 1870s a man can get a woman committed just by saying ‘She’s crazy, commit her.’ It’s a huge violation of her civil liberties. I believe that any time in a place like that, the person who comes back is not the person who went in. When she comes out of there, we can reinvent her. She’s going to be a different person.” Since her last appearance in Warrior, Vanderham has appeared in TV shows ‘Crime’ and ‘The Control Room’ and the film ‘Eddie & Sunny.’