Batwoman star Camrus Johnson teases the aftermath of Luke's 'dark, unexpected' choice
Warning: This article contains spoilers from the June 6 episode of Batwoman, "Armed and Dangerous."
Camrus Johnson was surprised how dark things got for his Batwoman character, Luke Fox — from corrupt Crows agent Russell Tavaroff shooting him multiple times to the tech genius' emotional near-death experience in the show's most recent episode.
"I knew I was going to get shot at some point in the season a long time ago," Johnson told EW during an Instagram Live Sunday night right after the latest episode aired. "And the reason for that was because with our new Batwoman, I was told we had to introduce her all over again. We had to do what we did last season where we have a new character, a new hero, and give them that story. So I was going to be supporting that story for quite some time. At some point, she said, somebody was going to shoot me. 'What?! What does that mean?' What's funny is I thought I was going to get shot in the leg or something. Then in the last episode when I got shot two or three times in the stomach, I was like, 'Am I going to die?! What's going on?!'"
The CW superhero drama even took things a step further. In Sunday's episode, "Armed and Dangerous," a comatose Luke traveled to a purgatory-like world where he was greeted by Bruce Wayne (Warren Christie) and could see his deceased father, Lucius Fox, standing on the Wayne Tower balcony. Naturally, Luke wanted to run outside and talk to him, but he couldn't because the only way to do so would be to… die.
So Bruce gave him an option: Fight to stay alive or join his dad. Feeling defeated by the pain of the real world, Luke shockingly chose the latter; however, he ended up coming back to life because Ryan (Javicia Leslie) and Mary (Nicole Kang) intervened and saved him with the Desert Rose in the real world.
Johnson was mystified that Luke chose to die, but he understood why his character would feel that way in the moment.
"The fact that Luke didn't want to be alive was, in my opinion, the best writing we've ever done on the show because it's like dark, unexpected, and just so sad. The fact that it proves the Bat team needs one another because if it weren't Ryan and Mary, he wouldn't be around anymore," he said. "It was really sad, but he was saying, 'I'm helping save the city. I'm working with Batman and two different Batwomen, and I still got shot for no reason. I got shot for the way that I look and not because of anything I did.' He was actually trying to help. He was trying to be a good guy and save the day and he still got shot because of that reason. The fact that he was saying, 'Why live in a world where it's dark and so much of the world is against me because of my skin color when I could go to this beautiful place where my dad is? Like my favorite person in the world who is no longer here?' Even though it was an unexpected decision, I get where he's coming from."
Johnson added: "I was so proud of our writers for going there because that is not something you'd expect to see, I think, in a CW show where we hear a character openly say, 'I want to die now. I'm going to die now. This is my decision.' ... When I read the script, I was like, "Are we actually going to put that on TV?' I was so, so happy that we could because, again, this is a very real reaction. That scene made sense. It didn't feel forced. It felt very natural. It was very impressive how they did the thing where he was going to leave and he got saved at the last minute. I thought that was beautiful."
Still, while Johnson understood Luke's perspective, he also wanted to make it clear that suicide is never the answer. "I want to remind, especially our young viewers, that there is always someone that loves you. So when you come into that crossroads where you're saying, 'Why? I don't want to be here anymore. I wanna go to the next whatever to get away from all the darkness around us,' please don't. Please talk to someone. Please call someone. You never know who is going to miss you, who is going to be heartbroken, who needs you, who loves you. Even when it seems no one does, someone does."
Next Sunday's episode, "Rebirth," will explore how Luke is coping with his involuntary return to the land of the living.
"He basically makes some decisions that he would not have made pre-shooting, because that's what happens — your personality has to change somewhat," said Johnson. "There are little things I wanted to add that most people won't really tell. I wanted to show little ways that he's not fully together, like he's not fully here. But Luke is so 'put-together Luke Fox' that he always wants to present himself like everything is fine. So next episode, he definitely will not be fine, and you'll be able to tell. But every episode after that for this season, I think he'll feel pretty much be the same because he's so good at hiding it. But I think next season he'll start to unravel quite a bit."
Johnson also teased that Luke still has some unfinished business with Tavaroff, who is one of his main foes in the pages of DC Comics. Said the star, "This is definitely not the last we see of Tavaroff and Luke Fox, baby!"
Batwoman airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.