Gotham fans have a couple of weeks to get through before the show returns on January 5, 2015 with a new episode entitled “Rogues’ Gallery.” Considering the sheer number of baddies that Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock and the other heroes of Gotham have had to deal with in the show’s first ten episodes, it’s an appropriate title. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the 5th to see if “Rogues’ Gallery” introduces any new ones, but for now, it can’t hurt to revisit some of the villains currently in play and look at where we left them.
To bring a little order to the disorderly, we’ve divided Gotham’s villains into three groups. We’re also leaving off any bad guys currently doing time in Blackgate or who have already met their untimely end. That’s not to say they’re no longer a threat (Blackgate sure isn’t escape proof and death isn’t always the end in comics), but for now, they’re off the table. It’s fair to say we’ll be getting into spoiler territory below, so if you’re not yet caught up on Gotham, consider this your warning!
Let’s start with the made men, shall we?
While not as colorful as some of the other villains, the Mobsters, for now at least, seem to be the bedrock of Gotham’s rogues’ gallery. They’re the most powerful, most heavily protected guys on this list. While many of the villains on Gotham have been taken down in a single episode, the crime lords who treat Gotham City like it’s some sort of sinister fiefdom are much more difficult for the good cops on the GCPD to build a case against. As long as they’re committed to working within the low, taking these guys down is going to take some time.
For now, Falcone rules the roost, but his seat is anything but secure. Not only must he contend with an ambitious boss outside his organization, it seems he can’t trust anybody inside it either. In the mid-season finale, “Lovecraft,” Falcone finally seemed to unravel a bit, killing a member of his team who failed to protect one of his vaults, unaware that the person actually responsible for the robbery was sitting just a few seats away.
Falcone’s ambitious lieutenant is one of Gotham’s breakout characters, and it’s easy to see why. Embodied to scenery chewing perfection by Jada Pinkett Smith, Mooney has one goal: replacing Falcone. As of right now, we only know pieces of her plan, but it seems the most crucial one is Liza, the beautiful, ambitious young singer who is currently serving as Mooney’s mole in Falcone’s regime. However, Liza’s allegiance was recently discovered by the Penguin. And you know he’ll be using that to his advantage.
A rival boss looking to expand his empire and unseat Falcone as the big man in Gotham, Maroni has won a few victories. However they’re looking awfully hollow at the moment after it was revealed that they were planned by Falcone. Playing a key role in all of this is the Penguin, who has worked himself up Maroni’s ranks while secretly reporting to Falcone. While calling Cobblepot’s loyalty to Falcone questionable may be the understatement of the century, it’s hard to imagine things working to Maroni’s advantage regardless of how things between Cobblepot and Falcone play out. That said, Maroni has a temper and can be unpredictable. Maybe he’ll surprise us.
The Kids may not seem like much of a threat at this point, but don’t be fooled. They’re very much a danger to Bruce Wayne and to each other. And since they’re all characters from comics, we know that the danger they represent will exist well into their adulthood. The Mobsters may rule Gotham today, but the Kids will be ruling the underworld in the future.
Okay, technically Selina—or “Cat,” as she calls herself—isn’t exactly a villain on the show or in many of the comics, but she’s not exactly a hero either. She occupies the grey area between the two, and that’s enough for us to include her on this list. When last we left our streetwise Cat, she had spent some time living with Bruce and Alfred, but left after she was nearly killed by a professional assassin. Why? Well, let’s not forget that she seems to have witnessed the murder of the Waynes, something that introduces an intriguing new wrinkle in the Bruce/Selina relationship, but also could put Cat in a lot of danger now that word seems to be getting out. A baptism by fire for the future Catwoman, maybe?
Now here’s an interesting one. Ms. Pepper initially seemed like little more than a cool cameo in the pilot episode, until she was revealed to be living on the streets in “Lovecraft.” While one could see her blaming Bruce for the death of her father, she instead seems to be pretty fascinated by him. But what really stood out in her second appearance was how frightened Cat seemed to be of Ivy. Selina doesn’t scare easily, so for her to suggest that Bruce keep his distance from Ivy makes us really wonder what Cat knows… and what Ivy may have done at so young an age.
THE BAT-VILLAINS TO BE
These are the wild cards. Emphasis on wild. Men and women who will one day develop into some of Batman’s colorful gang of adversaries—and some of the most popular villains in all of comics. Right now, they’re all in different places. Some of them are already pretty frightening. Others are on the rise. A few could currently be considered as “good guys” on the show. But we know where this group will end up in the long run. The fun is in seeing how they get there.
Oh, and we realize that you could put Selina and Ivy in this group, but we thought it made most sense to keep the Bat-Villains to Be to baddies who represent a threat to Gordon and the GCPD right now.
Arguably Gotham’s central character this season, Cobblepot has risen from being Fish Mooney’s umbrella-holding lackey to a trusted confidant of Sal Maroni and Carmine Falcone. He also knows that Liza is secretly working for Mooney and has even assisted the GCPD on occasion (albeit when it’s also benefitted him). The way Cobblepot has been playing people against each other, setting up Gotham’s crime lords like chess pieces on a board has been fascinating, as has seeing him slowly stop seeing his “Penguin” nickname as an insult and more as a symbol of power. However, after Gotham’s mid-season finale, it’s hard to figure out what’s next for Cobblepot. Falcone’s suddenly suspicious of him. Will he get wise before the Penguin’s ready to make his move?
This one may have gone over the head of our more casual Batman fans (and that’s okay!), but “Lovecraft’s” slinky, almost serpentine assassin is actually a take on the DC Comics villain Copperhead. When last we saw Larissa, she had failed in her Selina Kyle assassination attempt, but that doesn’t mean she’s gone for good. For starters, she escaped with her life, but perhaps the bigger thing to remember is that we still don’t know who she was working for. Just that they’ve very, very powerful. It’s a likely bet that we’ll be learning a lot more about these as-yet-unknown baddies when Gotham returns, which means we may very well be seeing Copperhead again.
We know Edward will eventually become the Riddler, but so far the only real signs he’s exhibited of his villainous future is his love of puzzles and his slightly unhinged way of life. In fact, you could argue he’s very much in the heroes camp for now. However, we know that’s temporary. We know eventually Nygma will crack, the question is when. Right now, we have no idea. It could be a few weeks from now or a few seasons.
Seen in “The Penguin’s Umbrella,” one of Gotham’s best episodes so far, Victor Zsasz is a crazed, violent hitman working for Falcone. Like Copperhead, Victor’s only appeared in a single episode, but made it out free and clear. It seems very likely he’ll be back. What’s unsure is the strength of his loyalty to Falcone… and his sanity. As fans know, the Zsasz who causes plenty of nightmares for Batman is less a hitman and more an out-and-out serial killer. Perhaps Victor will become unglued in a future episode, or maybe the show’s just going a different route with him. We’ll have to wait and see.
Finally, there’s our most recently introduced villain-to-be, Assistant District Attorney Harvey Dent. Much like Nygma, Dent is currently one of the show’s heroes. But he does have a dark side, and his first endeavor with Jim Gordon ended with Gordon losing his job on the GCPD while Dent escaped with his career intact. Could we expect any animosity between the two in the future? Or could any guilt Dent may be feeling lead him down a dark path? Regardless, it’s doubtful we’ll see Two-Face emerging any time too soon. But we do know we’ll be seeing him again this season and next (assuming Gotham gets a second season), so we suspect we’ll get there eventually.
That pretty much covers the villains we know. However, the most exciting villains on Gotham may be the ones we DON’T know. Someone’s responsible for the murder of the Waynes, and that person or group seems to wield even more power than the crime families. Care to speculate who that might be?
We’ll learn a lot more when Gotham returns on January 5, 2015 at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. CST) on Fox.