Lucy’s descent into darkness on Harlots this season is a wild ride


Five episodes into Harlots season 2, and Margaret Wells’ youngest daughter is a complete hot mess.

So, Lucy Wells has had something of a rough go of it on Harlots. However, just because her life has been pretty godawful doesn’t entirely explain how the girl has fallen down the rabbit hole of bad life choices this quickly.

It’s true, Lucy’s been through a lot. Her mother basically auctioned off her virginity as her coming out party into the world of being a harlot. She was initially sold to the same man who was her sister Charlotte’s keeper. She ended up fatally stabbing him, her mother helped her finish him off and buried the body, and her sister ended up arrested for the murder and nearly hanged. The younger Wells daughter has been spiraling ever since.

The idea of someone committing a dark act and subsequently becoming darker themselves is a well worn trope for a reason. Despite her scandalous lifestyle, Lucy herself was relatively sheltered, so it makes sense that she’s being hit particularly hard by… whatever it is she’s feeling in the wake of George’s death.

After all, Margaret spoiled her younger daughter, particularly in comparison to her older one. Lucy isn’t exactly a person that ever really had to make hard choices. But now we’re five episodes into season 2, and the character has become almost unrecognizable from the girl we once knew.

Following a back and forth courtship, Lucy has finally accepted Lord Fallon’s offer to be her keeper. (But only after negotiating a higher rate by way of a public sex act.) She doesn’t know he’s a murdering creep — though viewers do — but she does seem willing to ignore some of the shadier aspects of his character. Or even openly embrace them. For most women, Fallon’s insistence that violence is awesome might be a turn-off.

Not for Lucy, though. Not anymore.

The youngest Wells girl seems to be carrying around an inordinate amount of rage. At her keeper, at her mother, at the girls in her house, at herself. She’s constantly looking for a fight, and Lord Fallon seems only too happy to indulge her baser instincts.

For him, it may be something as simple as wanting to corrupt a woman he previously saw as an innocent. For her, it’s about something else entirely. Lucy throws herself into life with Fallon, from sex to everything else. He encourages her basest instincts, whether that be sex, violence or something that combines a bit of both. And for her part, Lucy appears to love it. Or does she?

Lucy’s trip to see Charlotte this week is one of the first times we’ve seen a hint of her old self this season. Despite the fact that Lydia was aggressively blocking any real private conversation between the sisters — she’s basically holding Charlotte prisoner in her house — it’s clear that Lucy did want to come clean about something.

Did she want to confess her newfound love of darkness and violence to her more worldly sibling? Was she looking for advice? Could she possibly want to tell Charlotte the truth about what a complete weirdo she seems to have bound herself to in Lord Fallon?

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The fact that Lucy’s keeper shows up to collect her before the sisters get a moment alone means we can’t know for sure. And at the moment it certainly seems as though Lucy could go either way. She could end up as a spy in Fallon’s house, just as her sister is in Lydia’s. Or she could find herself pulled even further into her keeper’s dark social and pleasure circles. At this point, it’s not even clear that she’d mind.

New episodes of Harlots stream every Wednesday on Hulu.