the riddler gotham

With so many characters milling the streets of its titular crime haven, Gotham often points back to its comic book roots by wisely sectioning off some of those heroes and villains together, creating bizarre and often dangerous team-ups. When Season 3 ended, some of those factions were on shaky ground, but executive producer and writer John Stephen gave CinemaBlend and a few other outlets the scoop during San Diego Comic-Con, and he told us about a few unexpected (and unexpectedly familiar) groupings fans can expect to see in Season 4. And one will feature Mr. Solomon Grundy himself.

We have all these families that are being created this year, and one of the families is going to be a brand new and very different Lee Tompkins, together with Ed Nygma and Solomon Grundy, who is Butch Gilzean obviously. When Butch becomes Solomon Grundy, he doesn't remember his former life, so when he runs into Ed Nygma, he doesn't remember that he wants to rip his head off. And Ed, who is suffering the effects of being frozen for three months, needs Grundy's help to get strong again. The three of them form this weird little family.

One of my favorite aspects of Gotham is how the show sometimes feels like the most epic piece of fan fiction ever, and that certainly fits into this pretty insane trio, which features three characters that will basically be the complete opposites of the characters they were introduced as. Ed's Riddler personality will still be intact, somewhere inside him, but it'll be muddled by that whole "being encased in a giant block of ice" scenario. It's entirely possible that Butch's original identity won't ever return following his bullet-to-the-head transition into Solomon Grundy, however. And though it seemed like Lee would exit Gotham City somewhat safely and virtuously after being cured of the Tetch virus, she'll apparently jump right back into the swing of things, and not without her recent antagonistic side intact.

During Comic-Con, star Cory Michael Smith also spoke with CinemaBlend (and others) about Season 4, and he went into a little more detail about forming that "family" with his new and old connections.

Evil Lee or Dark Lee is a new character. Solomon Grundy is certainly a new character. So I get to meet two new people, and interact with them, so I'm very excited about that. Feels like new beginnings. Every time Edward meets a new character and interacts with them and grows a kinship with them, he changes significantly, so I'm really excited to see what organically happens when I'm dealing with the buffoon of Solomon Grundy, not just like the physical power, but the idiocy. Then someone like Lee, who at this point, is an entirely different human being.

Hopefully Ed's time in the ice cube won't mess with his intelligence too much, since his brain-driven ego is part of what makes the character so fun.

Not that everything will revolve around those three. After all, Gotham will be rocking one of its strongest female squads yet, as the electrocuted-and-left-for-dead Barbara will be back to her old tricks. And somehow it'll be with the person who electrocuted her, as well as a young protégé. Here's what else John Stephens told us during that interview.

[Selina] forms like a group -- we really lean into the Sirens of it all -- she forms a group with Barbara and Tabitha and becomes much more of the young Catwoman.

That's right, everybody. Babs and Tabs are back again, somehow, even though they have had one of the most strenuous "friendships" in Gotham City. And they're not only keeping up appearances with Sirens, but they'll also be formally taking Selina under their collective wing in order to put the character down the path to Catwoman-dom in a more official capacity. All three woman are broken in some way at this point -- with Tabitha's hand situation and Selina's recent tumble out of a window (that resulted in a real life injury) -- and it'll be interesting to see how Barbara and Tabitha settle their differences in order to mentor one of the Batman mythos' greatest characters. We hope it's purr-fect.

Unfortunately, we still have a while to wait until Gotham returns for Season 4, as it won't hit Fox again until its new night and time of Thursday, September 28, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Until then, check out what we learned about Jerome's impending return and about The Scarecrow's horrifying reemergence, and then head to our summer premiere schedule to see everything else hitting the small screen soon.

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