Season 3 of Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler will wrap up its third season next week, but this week's episode, "Rag Trade", was a major turning point for Lucius Fox. While fans have already seen the character, played by Simon Manyonda, grow a great deal between Seasons 2 and 3 as he went from just a CIA agent asking to be extracted to an MI-5 officer working with PWEs (People With Enhancements), things took an even greater turn when he's forced into a situation where he has to act when the PWEs he's been caring for are taken from his care to be subjected to horrifying experimentation by Level-7. Speaking with ComicBook.com, Manyonda breaks down "Rag Trade", why Lucius felt he had to act and how what he sees changes things headed into the finale.
Heading into the episode, Lucius had discovered that the PWEs in his care had been taken by General Thursday (Tristram Wymark) — something he already knows is very bad news as he'd leaked information to Martha Wayne (Emma Paetz) about what Level-7 was doing with the PWE's captured from John Salt (Edward Hogg). While Lucius had told Martha that she was on her own in dealing with things, when his PWEs are taken, it changes things for Lucius with Manyonda explaining that Lucius feels like it's his problem to fix.
"I think that Lucius' vicious cycle is that he invents things with his brilliant mind that then get taken into the wrong hands and then corrupted. I think this is another case of that," Manyonda said. "I think that he realizes at the push from Martha that he has to go and deal with this. He has to take responsibility. As part of my research for this season, I read Batman Earth One. In that story, Lucius Fox has got a niece who needs a prosthetic limb. He's been working with neuro-prosthetics. So, I endowed Celia (Loreece Harrison) with that love. I explored that throughout the series, it being a brotherly sisterly love, a paternal love. By the time we get to episode nine, I wanted to explore him being a hero and correcting his mistakes and being chivalrous and that side to Lucius."
But Lucius soon finds that correcting his mistakes won't be quite as easy as perhaps making them were. It's something that is a major moment for Lucius.
"I think that whenever Lucius deals with the world, interacts with the world through his instruments, through his tools, through his inventions, and I think that any time one of his gadgets, inventions fails him, he takes it really deeply," he said. "Because his inventions are an expression of him, even to the point that to get Celia out of that cell using his gadget would be an expression of how he feels about her. Yeah, for Lucius, it's a gut punch, because if he didn't have that gadget, but he just found that she was locked in, he had to just shake and find a key, it would've been different. But, again, here is another example of, okay, it's fine. So, not only could I not keep these people safe in a special unit that I've made, but now I can't even get them out of a simple cage."
The situation in the episode goes a bit from bad to worse for Lucius when he witnesses the torture of a young PWE that results in their horrific death and while Lucius does manage to unlock the cells the others are being held in, they still have to escape. Lucius won't have to do this alone — Bet Sykes (Paloma Faith) ends to have been taken to Level-7 as well and she's now a PWE — Manyonda says it's a situation that will see Lucius compromise his morals heading into the finale.
"Well, look, you see this is where Lucius was having to compromise his morals, because he's in a dangerous world. So, therefore, I always say Lucius doesn't make weapons. He makes gadgets, and they get used for weapons, right?" he said. "But, if someone else is doing it, he sort of lets it slide. In this case, he needs to get out. Fortunately for him, Bet is a PWE. So, he's got to fight fire with fire at this point. Just like his gadgets, his inventions, his science gets used, it gets flipped and used against him, he's now going to hopefully use Bet against Thursday."
Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler is now streaming on HBO Max. The Season 3 finale will debut on November 24th.0comments