In this exclusive clip from Sunday's episode of 'Pennyworth,' Martha Kane (Emma Paetz) fights fascists and reckons with her feelings for Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge).

By Christian Holub
December 17, 2020 at 06:54 PM EST
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At this point, we've all seen Batman's parents die so many times that it's almost become cliché. Thomas and Martha Wayne aren't just ghosts haunting the Dark Knight; more often than not, Batman-adjacent TV and movies show us their brutal, violent deaths. Pennyworth takes a different approach, showing us Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) and Martha Kane (Emma Paetz) in their youth, years before that tragic night in Crime Alley. In this exclusive clip from this Sunday's episode, you can see the young Martha fighting for freedom.

With the outbreak of civil war in England in Pennyworth season 2, Thomas and Martha don't exactly find themselves on the same side. He is working for the CIA, which wants to stay neutral in the conflict, while Martha is a partisan out in the streets fighting the fascist Raven Union. So she takes his neutrality as a betrayal, even though her boss, Inspector Aziz (Ramon Tikaram), tells her it's all a diplomatic game that must be played correctly.

"One of the best ways to really understand who somebody is, however they put themselves over, is to meet their parents," showrunner Bruno Heller tells EW. "That tells you far more than they really want to reveal about themselves. So in a kind of schematic way, Thomas and Martha are two halves of the Batman persona."

Heller continues, "I haven't read every Batman story, but it seems Thomas usually features far more than Martha does — because I think, Batman is a sort of patriarchal myth as far as that goes. But everyone knows that someone's mother is the real wellspring of character. So it was important that Martha be very powerful — if not more powerful than Thomas, then certainly more impulsive, more headstrong, more vengeful. She's the vigilante side of Batman's character, and Thomas is the analytical, sort of detective side."

As you can see in the clip, Martha seems almost as peeved about the fact that Thomas is now engaged to another woman as she is about the fascist insurgency.

"It would be kind of boring if they met and fell in love and were immediately the perfect couple," Heller says. "I thought it'd be fun to take that internal conflict that is inside Batman and play it out between his parents. Exactly the sort of struggles that Batman has with himself are the same struggles that they have with each other."

Watch the clip above. New episodes of Pennyworth air Sundays on EPIX.

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