Season 3 of The Lab opens to find our tragic hero Jaws, shirt torn open and covered with blood, in the Lab offices, alone with Detective Luthuli.
While Detective Luthuli is determined to extract a confession from the injured Jaws, everyone else is helpless to intervene; the damage has already been done.
The lines that once separated business, ethics, law and morality have become terminally blurred, and the characters of the The Lab struggle to define their own personal morality.
Pearl has left the Lab to join government; Samantha and Gainsford have flown the coop, leaving Mingus installed as CEO.
Jaws, having been forced to leave the Lab at the end of the last season finds he is emotionally and financially weakened and is drawn yet again into the dark world of criminality, this time by the beautiful and mysterious Faith.
Through the season Mingus, the strongest moral force in The Lab, faces some impossible choices, loses his heart and almost loses everything he has worked to achieve. Monty struggles to keep his vision of the Lab intact as the power dynamics have shifted once again.
New females make their mark on the Lab: Pamela Dube enters as a super financial consultant. Both charming and acerbic she has hidden secrets she does not want shared. And Pike, life coach to Mingus, is not all she appears to be.
All the character journeys lead to an explosive climax where Jaws, Faith and Mingus realise that the end does not justify the means and each one will have to face the consequences of their actions. Ultimately, the season asks and answers the question – how far would you go?
Season 3 Casting
Regular leading cast who return to the season are Mothusi Magano as Mingus, Fana Mokoena as Jaws, Graham Hopkins as Monty, Terence Bridgett as Monty's lover Andre and Shoki Mokgapa as Tumi.
Those not returning are Nambitha Mpumlwana as Pearl (Pearl's joined the government) and Shannon Esra as Samantha, who's left the company and everyone associated with it.
A number of new faces join the cast this season, including Khabonina Qubeka, Renate Stuurman and Shelley Meskin. See "Cast and Characters" below for more.
Season 3 Cast and Characters
Played by Graham Hopkins
Monty is the tough pragmatist in the company. In his business dealings, he is amoral - he will do whatever is necessary to close the deal, and refuses to be distracted by sentimentality or emotion. It's all a game and all is fair.
Monty's strength lies in his connections and access to the mainstream corporate sector. This is a world which he knows backwards, whether in the boardroom or around the dinner party table. He is incredibly astute, and nothing passes him by.
Simon "Jaws" Bhengu
Played by Fana Mokoena
Jaws is the mid 30-something MD of the equity fund (a subsidiary of the Lab). He's a trend-spotter. A rainmaker. In the hierarchy of management at The Lab, Jaws, Monty and Pearl are a triumvirate.
Although married with kids, Jaws is involved in a complex affair with his co-worker Nadine.
Out of the Lab characters, Jaws has the strongest political history. But when business needs dictate it, he also finds it relatively easy to compromise what he sees as his fundamentally socialist principles.
Charles "Mingus" Khathi
Played by Mothusi Magano
Mingus is 28. He has been overseas for nine years studying, first in America and then in London. He is new to the Lab.
Mingus is a likeable guy, but naïve and innocent. He is awkward and doesn't really understand people. But when it comes to certain technical areas of business he is unbeatable. He can structure deals in ways that others would never even think of, and do it all in his head.
He is also highly ambitious and driven.
Played by Khabonina Qubeka
Faith enters the Lab as a mysterious investment partner introduced by Jaws, who is trying to drum up business having lost his position in the office.
In addition to some legitimate activities, Faith is also involved in a crime syndicate that engages in the lucrative industry of gold piracy.
She pursues Jaws who she knows is desperate enough to flirt with the criminal world and they find a partnership in illicit and somewhat desperate romantic interests.
Faith is a strong, sexy and confident woman, able to operate in both the legitimate and criminal worlds. She is clearly capable of anything but her weaknesses are revealed through her shifting sense of moral standards, which ally with her inability to trust others, and her tendency to see trust as weakness.
As a result, she tends to isolate herself from others, and from the world around her.
She is difficult to read and fiercely private, a trait that will come under pressure as she gets closer to Jaws and Mingus.
She is simultaneously a source of power and uncertainty and while at any given moment we like her and are intrigued by her, we very clearly have the sense that she may be capable of anything.
Played by Renate Stuurman
Pamela takes Jaws’ position as chief deal-maker at the Lab. She has an irreverent and disconcertingly wicked sense of humour. Her acerbic wit and knack for sarcasm especially rubs Monty up the wrong way.
Pamela can’t speak any indigenous languages, which places her at an immediate and obvious disadvantage in moving through circles of power and influence.
When Jaws comes back to the Lab, he helps her out in this area – advising and facilitating - and although she is always slightly uneasy about the arrangement they form a bond of sorts and she becomes his unsuspecting puppet, unaware of how involved she is in his untoward dealings.
Pamela is obsessive about drawing a line between her private and professional lives. She mounts stern defences against workmates learning too much of her private life and this causes her to seem initially aloof and unapproachable.
Through the season we come to find out her hidden secret and the reason why she resigned from all three of her previous jobs – without giving explanations.
Played by Shelley Meskin
Her name is Priscilla – but she insists on Pike. She is in reality an arch-opportunist, a kind of confidence trickster who talks her way into different careers and opportunities as they present themselves.
She encounters Mingus when he is in crisis of confidence over his leadership role in the Lab and becomes his life-coach, giving him advice and motivation and streamlining his ways of working and thinking.
Pike is intelligent, fast-talking, supremely confident, iconoclastic and very critical of the Lab organisation. She’s educated and well-read has a dry sharp cutting way about her.
But she is not all that she seems.