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Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 8 of Gotham Season 4, "Stop Hitting Yourself."
Butch Gilzean on Gotham went through a major change for Season 4 when he became the zombie villain Solomon Grundy. The character was killed in Season 3 and seemed like he would be gone forever until the reveal that his real name was actually Cyrus Gold, a.k.a. Solomon Grundy in DC Comics canon. In his first couple of appearances in Season 4, Grundy didn't give any sign that he remembered his life prior to taking a bullet to the head. That changed in "Stop Hitting Yourself" when Grundy faced off against Tabitha in the fight club and began to flash back to their time together. The episode seemed to indicate that there's still some Butch left in Solomon Grundy.
Of course, Grundy still spent most of the episode mindlessly fighting for Ed Nygma, so the big question is whether there's enough Butch left for Grundy to become the man he once was. Actor Drew Powell spoke with CinemaBlend about all things Solomon Grundy, and he had this to say about whether the Solomon Grundy persona is permanent:
Certainly he's changed forever. There's no doubt about that. You can't un-Grundy yourself. I think that there is an element of... it does go back to identity. Figuring out who are these people. One of the cool things I've liked when I did the research with Grundy was that there's not one Grundy across all the comics. He's taken different forms. Sometimes he goes back to Cyrus. Even Cyrus Gold has been different in different ways. So I do like that we a little bit of wiggle room in terms of where we can go. I don't think you'll see the old Butch back ever, but there may be elements still somewhere inside of him.
While few things on Gotham are entirely set in stone, Drew Powell believes that the Solomon Grundy transformation was too complete for the character ever to go back to the Butch we all knew in Seasons 1 - 3. Grundy is certainly a different person than he was before going by biology alone. His time in the Slaughter Swamp before reanimating into Solomon Grundy changed him physically, and he even regenerated his missing hand. Even if Grundy could regain all of his memories of his life as Butch, the changes in his body would mean a very different life. Still, there are clearly still some sparks of Butch in Grundy; if he continues to interact with Tabitha, he may begin to regain even more of his memories.
Many fans will undoubtedly miss Butch as he was, and Drew Powell revealed that he too misses some elements. That said, he also explained that the time was perfect for Gotham to try something new with his character. He went on to tell me this about moving on from Butch:
I had to pour a little bit out for old Butch once I kind of really realized he was gone. At least for now. I miss that guy, but I also feel like it was the right time to make the transition, because the way that storyline was going with Butch. I wasn't 100% sure what the next move would have been. He had a whole season of being a puppy dog for Tabitha, and then blammo, gets it in the forehead. It seemed like a good time for a transition. I will say without spoiling anything that where we're going from the midway point of this season forward, it's gonna be really cool. Perhaps another evolution of the character, or marriage perhaps of the two worlds coming together. I think that's gonna be fun to play as well.
Judging by the events of the latest episode, Tabitha will be the one working to get through to Butch in Season 4. Admittedly, she did whack him in the face with a spiked weapon with enough force to knock him to the ground, but it was a last resort after he went after her. She promised that she would go back for him, and her return to his life -- or death, as the case may be for Gotham's zombie bad guy -- could certainly kick off some evolution that brings Butch Gilzean and Solomon Grundy together in one man. That should make for an intense twist, although at least he has two hands now.
For more on what makes Solomon Grundy tick on Gotham, check out this exclusive clip that will be featured with the digital season pass for Gotham Season 4: