gotham's shaman

Spoilers below for anyone who has yet to watch Gotham's latest episode, "Light the Wick."

While Jim Gordon has been dealing with the Court of Owls and their destructive plans, Gotham City's other protector Bruce Wayne is presumably on a different part of the planet right now, reluctantly following the guidance of Raymond J. Barry's mysterious Shaman. Tonight's episode of Gotham featured the elder character making a curious statement about having waited a long time to make the central setting pay. and when actor David Mazouz recently spoke with CinemaBlend, I asked him if that "long time" indicated the Shaman was an iteration of the age-defying villain Ra's al Ghul. In his words:

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Ra's al Ghul will absolutely be coming onto the show, and all I'll say is when he does, you will know it's him. That's all I'll say. You'll know without a doubt who he is and what he stands for, and the destruction that he'll be bringing with him to Gotham.

Interestingly, David Mazouz offered neither a confirmation nor a denial with his answer, and I appreciated what candidness he could offer at the time, considering the implications behind such a reveal. He could have just dodged it outright, but then wait, what if Gotham's creative team knows that fans are going to assume that the Shaman is Ra's al Ghul, to the point where Mazouz was allowed to give that answer to hide the actual reveal that shows Shaman and Ra's are not at all the same person? That's the kind of diabolical trickery that could only come from someone with al Ghul lineage, so clearly it's Mazouz who is the real villain lying about his name. Hmm. That's probably going too far with it, even for a show where Clayface impersonated Penguin's dead father.

Gotham previously cast Game of Thrones vet Alexander Siddig for the role of Ra's al Ghul, but I think we all know that when it comes to the leader of the League of Assassins, one visage doesn't necessarily represent them all. The Shaman's temple/palace/home is just the kind of place where walking around one corner will put someone smack in front of a Lazarus Pit, and I can't with conviction say that it's a coincidence a 78-year-old actor was cast to play the dubious mentor. (Not that Raymond J. Barry isn't as spry as anyone else on the cast.) Siddig is 51, which isn't exactly a spring chicken's age, but a 27-year difference would definitely be notable enough.

Of course, even if the Shaman himself isn't Ra's al Ghul -- and that'll rhyme with Raysh, not Rahs -- the two are almost definitely on the same side of the "give Gotham what it's got coming to it" fight, so their big impact won't be good for any of the city's population. At least the Court of Owls is looking to build things back up once their burned down, there's no guarantees that Ra's al Ghul/Shaman would allow such a thing to occur. That should make the rest of this season and then Season 4 pretty exciting. And David Mazouz also teased that Bruce's potential return to Gotham City won't necessarily be one full of heroics for the future Batman.

With lots more coming by way of Bruce Wayne and Batman's rogues gallery, Gotham airs Monday nights on Fox at 8:00 p.m. ET. (Although that won't be the case next year, as seen in Fox's 2017-2018 fall schedule.) David Mazouz also shared with us just how far Bruce will come when it comes to getting bigger and better with his fighting skills, so read up on that, and then check out our summer TV schedule to see what other shows will be hitting the small screen in the near future.

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