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Gotham may be slowly telling the story of how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, but its the villains who steal the show on a regular basis. While most of these baddies are folks who will one day become colorful super villains or have already made that transition, but there are also a number of organized crime figures. Among the most notable is Carmine Falcone, and in Season 3, Broadway star James Carpinello will play his son, Mario, though this version of the character will have some notable differences from his comic book counterpart.
In the comics, Mario tried to go legitimate by running a shipping company to improve his family's name, but he eventually returned to his criminal ways. However, TV Line is reporting that Gotham's Mario will be a "well-respected, Ivy League-educated ER doctor." He's an all-around good guy, making him the "black sheep" in the Falcone family. However, when he comes to Gotham City, his presence will have detrimental effects on Jim Gordon's love life with Lee Thompkins. Carpinello is the latest actor to be added to Gotham Season 3, following Jamie Chung as Valerie Vale and Maggie Geha as an aged-up Poison Ivy.
Mario's primary appearance in the comics was in Batman: Dark Victory, the sequel to Batman: The Long Halloween. Although he started out as a key player in the Falcone crime family, but after he was deported to Italy, he stepped away from the family business. When his brother Alberto, who at that point had been outed as the serial killer Holiday, was released from Arkham Asylum, Mario was allowed to return to the U.S. to take care of him. Once home, he set out to run the family's shipping company as a legitimate business, but the events of Dark Victory broke his insanity. He returned to being a criminal and was later killed by Two-Face.
In Gotham Season 1, Carmine Falcone was Gotham City's most powerful mafia boss, but after the gang war involving Fish Mooney and Penguin, he retired from that life. He briefly returned in Season 2 when Harvey Bullock called him in to help rescue Jim Gordon from prison, but he didn't express any interest in returning to organized crime. For now, it looks like Mario Falcone will follow in his father's footsteps, though given his past on the printed page, maybe he'll turn into a baddie later in the season. Let's also not forget that at the end of the Season 2 finale, Jim Gordon left Gotham City to find Lee Tompkins and rebuild their relationship. Mario's interference in Jim's personal life is most definitely not going to be welcome.
James Carpinello has made a name for himself starring in Broadway productions like Hairspray and Rock of Ages. In the world of movies and television, his credits include The Punisher, Gangster Squad, So Notorious, Person of Interest and The Mob Doctor. Carpinello's Mario will be a recurring player during Gotham Season 3, so expect to see him quite a bit in the fall.
Gotham Season 3 will premiere Monday, September 19 at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.