Sunday, September 13, 2015

Countdown To Gotham Part 2: New Stories For Old Friends

Time for another Countdown to Gotham article, where we delve into the latest news in preparation for Season Two. There are now only 8 days until the show’s second season begins! This week we’ll find out what’s up with our favorite characters from last season, look into the possibility of Harley Quinn making an appearance, and of course, share all the latest information on the show’s most controversial character – possible Joker, Jerome Valeska.

Let’s get started! (Trigger warning for blood/violence and mental illness.)

The Bruce Wayne Storyline 

Actor David Mazouz has stated in several interviews that his character, Bruce Wayne, will develop a dual life this season. His first life will be the wealthy socialite persona the public will know for the rest of his life. In this persona, he will find a father figure in the secretly sinister Theo Galavan, he will find love with Silver St. Cloud, and dishonesty will slip into his relationship with Jim Gordon.

In his second, secret life, which will one day become his Batman persona, Bruce will continue his detective work, looking to find out what sort of person his father really was, and what’s going on at Wayne Enterprises. There to help Bruce in this endeavor is Lucius Fox, who has been promoted to series regular this season.

Showrunner Danny Cannon said (via, “Again, we are starting to explain how Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne got to be so tight. How did Lucius come into his life? What was his role in Wayne Enterprises and his relationship with Bruce's father? He's instrumental in unlocking some of the secrets in what will later become the Batcave, which is now just his father's secret office.”

Detailed pictures of the secret office have been released and can be viewed here.

One fan theory – that Alfred Pennyworth secretly knew about the hidden cave Bruce discovered in the finale, and was trying to hide it from the boy – has officially been denied by actor Sean Pertwee. Alfred’s surprise at the discovery of the cave was genuine. And the two will bond over the mystery in Season Two, removing much of the strife that existed between them last season.

Introduction to the Joker (and Harley Quinn?) 

Of course, the most talked about element of the new season is the reappearance of Jerome Valeska, the possible future Joker.


In his appearance last season, as well the footage that has been released of this season so far, Cameron Monaghan has proven over and over he’s the perfect actor to play Jerome. And he seems to be having lots of fun with the role, what’s more.

Monaghan has been giving fans lots of behind the scenes sneak peeks on his instagram. Such as this photo from a dress rehearsal, which appears to show Jerome at Theo Galavan’s place.

Monaghan’s most famous move, though, took place at Comic-Con. In character, he hijacked the Gotham panel during the Q and A segment, asking the cast “How high is your pain tolerance?” before being taken away by security.

Footage of the Comic-Con Gotham panel, including Monaghan’s appearance, can be found here.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind, of course, concerning Jerome is, is he the Joker? As far as we can tell, the answer to that question is, he could be – but he doesn’t necessarily have to be, as he is preparing the way for the Joker in a way that doesn’t necessitate him actually being that character.

When the Joker, whoever he is, rises to power far in the future, he rises to power using an ideology rooted in anarchy. And it’s that ideology that Jerome, with the help of Theo Galavan, will bring to Gotham for the first time. Showrunner Bruno Heller (via said, "Is Jerome the Joker? It's too early to tell you that story. [So] it's about the creation of an ideology, the creation of an attitude, the creation of a cult, and Jerome is the key figure in that." And his fellow showrunner Danny Cannon (via zap2it) said, “[The Joker is] an ideology, he’s not just a single villain. We’re doing the origins of an ideology.”

The ideology that Jerome spreads will be the cornerstone of the entire plot this season. Season Two will strongly focus on the inner freedom that comes to the villainous characters who embrace anarchy, and the effect that has on Gotham City. Danny Cannon (via Collider) said, “It’s the kind of world where the villains run free and where, instead of being denounced by the public, the public actually starts to respect the villains for their freedom and defiance of authority. That becomes a very dangerous thing for Gotham….It was very much in our mind that, if someone like Batman is going to be necessary, the rise of the villains is about creating an environment where Gordon has to lose control. What’s unleashed upon Gotham is a villain who is only trying to outshine, outplay and out-maneuver another villain, and not the police. There’s a competition amongst villains, and a lack of honor. A type of villain that believes in chaos and anarchy and doesn’t have the same morality as any of us and is unhindered by the same ethics and morality that we have is a dangerous man, indeed.”

While Jerome’s ideology will have a lasting effect on Gotham, it has been insinuated the character will only be on the show for a limited time. Specifically, the first four episodes of the season. By that time, Bruno Heller (via said, “He gets to fulfill his destiny in a very grand way.”

It’s not clear if episode four will truly be the end of Jerome’s character once and for all, or if he will return in another season, or even in the second half of this season. But one thing that is certain is, what time Jerome does have on the show will be spectacular. From teaser trailers, we can see Jerome (along with Barbara, Robert Greenwood, and others) breaking out of Arkham with Tigress’s help. We can see Jerome team up with Theo Galavan. And we can see Jerome taking over television airwaves, shooting up the GCPD.


Pictures were released of a bloody chase between Jerome and Jim Gordon.

(via Just Jared)

And this vine was released of Jerome and his crew by what appears to be a children’s school bus.

Cameron Monaghan (via zap2it) said, “He causes massive amounts of carnage. You see exactly how dangerous a personality like his could possibly be. We see allusions to a very great villain.”

Interestingly, Jerome and Barbara will apparently become very important people in each other’s lives, and shape one another.


A two-minute scene with the two characters, taken from the season premiere, can be viewed here.

From the clip, it’s difficult to say if Jerome is approaching Barbara solely on his own accord, or if he’s working with Richard Sionis in some way. One has to wonder why he wanted Barbara to team up with Sionis. But it does appear Jerome seems to have genuine feelings toward Barbara, regardless.


The budding relationship between the two characters has prompted many fans to wonder if Barbara could become the “Harley Quinn” to Jerome’s “Joker” persona. This theory became even more popular when images were released of Barbara wearing white, black, and red – Harley Quinn’s signature colors.

(via Just Jared)

When Screenrant asked Erin Richards if her character could be Harley Quinn, the actress replied, “Anybody can be anybody.” And when asked if she had heard about the Harley Quinn theories, she replied, “I have read that. I thought that would be really fun. She could be anything right now. She has so many options available to her. She could be her own villain.”

Last season, Barbara was pretty much universally hated by fans. But now that the show has embraced her darkness, and added intriguing twists to her storyline, many fans are actually starting to take to her character. At Comic-Con, showrunner Bruno Heller said about the character, “She’s the crazy ex-girlfriend from hell. But she also becomes a woman in full, in her own right. And it’s the story of insanity, but it’s also a story of fulfillment and fulfilling your potential. It’s just crazy potential.”

Erin Richards told comicbookresources this about her character: “She just goes even more into the darkness. It's not going to be an easy path, but it's going to be a really fun one. She's like a tiger that's been let out of the cage. It's been great to play. But, she's also kind of at the reins….Her skill is she knows everyone's weakness. So when she meets someone, she's just like, "Oh, yeah. I got you. I got you." Then she can use that weakness, but she might not let that character know she knows that weakness. She will just play along with each individual person until she gets what she wants. She's going to be really powerful, which is exciting….[Before she embraced her dark side] she had so many layers that were pretense, all the way from who she was with her parents to even who she was with Jim. They were never really her. She never really felt like she was in her own skin. Now, she's the most 'Barbara' she's ever been. She's, like, flowing out. She's joyous in her darkness. That was always right at the center of her….She's in this really dark place, but that doesn't mean she can't go back to light someday.”

With Barbara going farther and farther into the darkness, many fans have wondered if her story will follow the canon of the comicbooks where she eventually marries Jim Gordon. When comicbookresources asked Bruno Heller about this, he responded, “That is one of those odd things about doing a show which has a future already mapped out for it. You have to try and be true to that, but come up with twists on stuff. If you just tell people what they already know about those characters and those events – there's a certain fun to that, but we are always trying to find a different angle on the secret. We are going to tell you the secrets that your parents don't tell you until you open the door after they are dead and discover, ‘Oh, my God!’ It's that kind of stuff that we will be revealing about those relationships.”

Jim Gordon and Friends

With anarchy on the rise, and the villains stronger than ever before, actor Ben McKenzie (via said, “To combat that, there has to be an arms race. The good guys have to arm up.” After being “knighted”, in a way, by Falcone in last season’s finale, McKenzie says Jim Gordon is ready to do whatever it takes to save the city from the coming anarchy Falcone warned would take over the city without his presence.

When the series starts, Commissioner Loeb has demoted Jim to a common street cop as punishment for saving Falcone. It has been insinuated that Jim will get his old job back by making a sinister deal with Oswald Cobblepot, an act said to be Jim’s most morally ambiguous move on the show so far. In his interview, McKenzie said, “In the first episode back, you’ll see a deal with Oswald that has extremely negative consequences. Jim has learned that he has to do what he has to do to get things done. It’s a real change for him to throw morality to the side. He’s still serving the greater good in his mind, but he’s doing whatever he has to do. It’s a little sad, actually, to watch that all of away, but it’s part of the road we’re on. The lesson Jim is learning, is ‘How do you attain power in Gotham, and how do you hold onto it?’ And you can only do that by playing pretty rough.”

Even Harvey Bullock, who was annoyed by his partner‘s “Boy Scout” nature last season, is surprised by Jim’s actions this season, and worries that Jim could be walking too far on the dark side.

Sources say that Harvey’s storyline this season will take the character away from the moral apathy he showed before, and explore the discouragement he feels toward the corruption around him. “The fight in Harvey is kind of dead” actor Donal Logue said. We’ll see what, if anything, can bring that fight back.

Jim Gordon’s new girlfriend Leslie “Lee” Thompkins has been promoted to series regular this season. It has also been revealed she will interact with Bruce early on in the season.

Her subplot this season will focus on the strain Barbara’s behavior, as well as Jim’s darker behavior, will have on Lee and Jim’s relationship. Ben McKenzie (via said, “Obviously, Barabara has gone from loving partner to psychotic ex-girlfriend. And she only gets crazier in season two. That puts a strain on Jim’s relationship with Leslie Thompkins, and Leslie is one of the few people Jim has to confide in. But as she watches Jim turn darker, she starts to question her own belief in the man. Her own love for him—can it withstand the turn he’s making? And can Jim turn back before it’s too late? It’s a nice noir, mature relationship, with two people struggling to survive while being good to themselves.”

Their relationship gets even more complicated when you take into account that Jim does still have feelings for his ex-girlfriend, Barbara. Actress Erin Richards (via comicbookresources) said, “Jim still has a bit of a weak spot for her….They have something -- there's something really dark in Jim, so he's going to see that in her. You know when two people get together and there's something from their past that is similar in real life? You have that with someone. You sort of mesh with those people. That's what is happening with those two. They might not be right for each other right now, but they are drawn to each other, like magnets.”

The King of Gotham (and his cohorts) 

Multiple sources have stated that Oswald’s storyline this season will focus on him struggling to maintain the power he acquired in last season's finale. Being King of Gotham will make him a target. And there will be a big power struggle between him and Theo Galavan. It has also been insinuated that there may be more strife between Oswald and Harvey, as well as more scenes between Oswald and Eddie.

Oswald and Jim will enter into some kind of sinister deal very early on in the season. And unlike last season, Oswald’s feelings toward Jim will be strictly business related. Actor Robin Lord Taylor spoke on the subject (via saying, “In the first season, I really do believe he was trying to get a friendship with Jim, and really did actually trust Jim. Now it’s all business. That’s done with.”

Butch Gilzean has been promoted to series regular this time around. And this time it sounds like they’ll be exploring some interesting aspects of his character, including the possibility of him transforming into a villain. Actor Drew Powell (via said, “Well, when we left Butch, he was a quivering mess on the rooftop, with really nobody left but Penguin. When we open season two, he’ll be with Penguin, Victor Zsazz’s conditioning still intact. The interesting stuff is what happens from there, which I can’t tell you much about. But I can tell you, some interesting stuff is going down. You know, they’re calling this season the “rise of the villains,” and it sure is!”

Carol Kane is rumored to be signed on to play Oswald’s mother Gertrud Kapelput again for episodes 4, 5, and 7, at least.

Victor Zsasz is also returning this season. And with his boss Falcone gone, it looks like he’s now working for Oswald. From the trailers, we can see he’s got a new outfit.


And we can also see him holding a gun to the head of someone who could be Captain Barnes.


The teaser trailers also give a quick glimpse of what looks like Oswald forming some kind of alliance with Selina “Cat” Kyle.

Cat will also be working with new villain Firefly this season.

Multiple sources have said that this season will focus on Cat trying to decide who’s side she’s on. We will also get a glimpse into her backstory.

Other Characters: 

Season Two will continue the split personality storyline introduced in the Season One finale, with Edward Nygma battling the second voice in his head that is leading him toward a new, bolder, more dangerous identity. Actor Corey Michael Smith has said this bold new voice will encourage Eddie to be “more of a man”, acting more firm and forward toward Kristen Kringle. In the recent teaser trailers that have been released, Eddie can be seen talking to his second personality while staring at himself in a mirror.


Sources say the first half of this season will focus on Eddie battling the second voice, while the second half of the season will see Eddie become the full-blown Riddler persona.

Also, rumors from last season – that we will see flashbacks to a young Eddie – still continue into this season.

Rumors abound about Jim and Harvey’s boss from last season, Captain Sarah Essen as well.

She’s seen in one of the teaser trailers. But many speculate her character could leave the show, as this season will see the introduction of Captain Nathaniel Barnes, who is most likely coming in to replace her.

As for Harvey Dent, not much news has come out about him, other than the fact he has been promoted to series regular. There have been some rumors he could become Two-Face this season, but so far nothing too solid has come up.

And that’s it for this week. Join us next week for the final installment of our countdown, where we’ll discuss the last pieces of news before the Season Two premiere!


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