WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the fifth episode of Pennyworth, "Shirley Bassey," which aired Sunday on Epix.
Ever since his first appearance on Pennyworth, Thomas Wayne has been a bit of an enigma. At first, he claimed to be some sort of accountant in town for a family matter. However, after getting roped up with the Raven Society, it quickly became clear that there was more to Bruce Wayne's future father than met the eye. Since his debut, he has sporadically appeared on the series -- and each appearance has only contributed to make the character more mysterious.
After deciding to stay in London, Thomas appeared to be working for some powerful people. Later on, we learned Wayne was actually an American member of the secret society known as the No Name League, a political rival to the Raven Society. In fact, this affiliation even led Thomas to become the handler of fellow operative Martha Kane (the future Mrs. Wayne).
However, this was only part of the truth. In Pennyworth's latest episode, "Shirley Bassey," Thomas Wayne finally shows his true colors by revealing that he's a CIA operative.
The fifth episode of the Batman prequel series picks up right where the last one ended. Following the shocking death of his fiancée Esmé, Alfred is in shambles. He is an emotional wreck, and it appears as if he has no wish to go back to security work. That is rather unfortunate, since the No Name League sees him as an asset in its ongoing war with the Raven Society.
After a dramatic bit of escalation, the League is looking to assassinate the new leader of the Ravens, and they give a hesitant Thomas Wayne the task of setting it all up. Thomas' unwillingness to take part in any sort of murder is our first sign that he may not be the secretive man he claims to be. However, he accepts the mission.
It's only later on that we finally learn why: he has his own CIA handler whom he reports back to. The agency has sent him undercover to infiltrate the No Name League in order to help influence the outcome of their battle with the Raven Society. While we don't exactly know what the CIA's interests are in this particular matter, we do know that they would prefer the League to win the battle -- wherever that may lead.
Of course, this means that the Thomas Wayne we have met in Pennyworth is a far cry from the one we know in the comics. In the source material, Bruce's father is usually depicted as both a doctor and philanthropist. There have never been any mentions of him being a secret spy -- least of all from Alfred. Then again, since Pennyworth keeps revealing plenty of twists about Thomas Wayne, it's still possible that we will later learn that Thomas was originally a doctor who was later recruited as an asset by the CIA.
However, as it stands, the more likely scenario is that Thomas' return to Gotham City and marriage to Martha Kane will be a cover of sorts -- an arranged affair that may end up being connected to the League and the Ravens.
Developed by former Gotham collaborators Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, Pennyworth stars Jack Bannon as Alfred Pennyworth, Ben Aldridge as Thomas Wayne, Jason Flemyng as Lord Harwood, Paloma Faith as Bet Sykes, Ryan Fletcher as Dave Boy, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett as Bazza and Jessica Ellerby as the Queen. The series airs Sundays at 9 pm ET/PT on EPIX.