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Spoilers ahead for Episode 4 of Gotham Season 5, called “Ruin.”
Selina Kyle was never the lightest character on Gotham thanks to her time spent on the streets, and the last several seasons have taken her to some truly difficult places. Season 5 sent her to her darkest place yet, as she recovered from being shot and paralyzed by Jeremiah to embark on a crazed mission for revenge. In “Ruin,” Selina was seemingly successful in exacting her revenge, as it’s difficult to imagine even Jeremiah surviving Selina stabbing him over and over again.
Camren Bicondova, who plays Selina Kyle and suffered an injury of her own during Season 5, chatted with CinemaBlend about whether Selina could come back from her dark turn, saying this:
Oh, no. Once someone goes through anything traumatic, there's never going back from that. She definitely mellows out. She definitely reaches a climax, goes a little further after that, and then mellows out a little bit, but she'll never be the same after that. It's brought out things that she told herself she wouldn't have to deal with, and it's brought out things that she would never feel or she would never have to do. She did the complete opposite. Now she knows what she's capable of, and ultimately I think 10 years from this point, she'll say, in hindsight 20/20, that's probably the best thing that could ever happen to me. But I don't think she'll ever be the same.
In case you were hoping that Selina would be back to her old self after setting out to kill Jeremiah, Camren Bicondova’s comments indicate that she was changed forever due to what happened to her. While not all viewers may necessarily be able to relate to Selina’s decision to don cat-line claws, battle it out with a Harley Quinn-esque foe, and then wear a disguise to stab a madman for revenge, can any of us blame her for being permanently altered by being shot and then paralyzed because that madman was obsessed with her friend?
Selina went through her share of traumas before being shot in the Killing Joke-type twist from Season 4, ranging from her experiences with her mother to her alliances with various villains to simply living on the streets and watching her friends suffer. Even though she did ultimately regain the ability to walk -- to Ecco and Jeremiah’s surprise, as we saw in “Ruin” -- the trauma of her injury and the paralysis doesn’t just go away.
Poor Selina was pushed to such a state of despair that she wanted to kill herself. It was bad enough that Bruce turned to a “witch” (who turned out to be Ivy) for a cure to get Selina on her feet again. While the seed Ivy handed over did indeed repair Selina’s spine and enable her to walk again, it also changed her in a way that now appears to be permanent. The change was a push that put Selina further on the path to become Catwoman, and that seems to have pushed Bruce further on his path to becoming Batman.
Camren Bicondova went on in our chat to explain what makes Selina different now than she was prior to ingesting the seed from Ivy:
Selina leading up to that point was never rageful. She's very angry because she has a lot of reasons to be angry, but she never acted on that anger... In my opinion, it's the drugs. This drug that Ivy gave her releases that wall that has been suppressing all of that anger from her childhood, and of recent situations with Jeremiah, and it makes her very rageful and just a ruthless human being. I wasn't even focused on being a human being when I was playing her. I really committed to being a rageful cat, and I just focused on being so angry at someone for taking something from me that I wanted to kill them. That was the difference between pre-seed Selina and post-seed Selina.
Selina has never been a stranger to anger, and she has made her share of decisions far too reckless for Bruce’s comfort, but she never went on a furious rampage before Season 5. Viewers got a taste of her new drug-fueled rage last week when Selina knocked down a massive gang leader and proceeded to slash him across the face over and over and over again, not stopping her bloody attack until Bruce restrained her arm with a grappling gun. BatCat never was a traditional love story!
Fans who have been holding out for Selina’s transformation into Catwoman undoubtedly love seeing Selina looking more cat-like than ever, although it is a bit sad that we lost the more hopeful Selina of seasons past. Still, Camren Bicondova did indicate that she’ll mellow out a bit, so Selina’s won’t be a rage monster for the rest of the fifth and final season. Will she continue going to dark places that she’ll have to reflect on in the future? The season is set to end on a big time jump, so perhaps we’ll get to see at least some of it.
Only time will tell. Now that Selina’s quest for revenge has theoretically been satisfied, what will she do next? Of course, she may discover that Jeremiah isn’t quite as gone for good as she quite reasonably did after stabbing him multiple times. Trailer footage indicated more of Cameron Monaghan in the works, although his words may be clues that he won’t be Jerome or Jeremiah when he turns up again. Are we in for a third Valeska brother, or some new kind of monstrosity?
Find out for yourself when new episodes of Gotham air on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Lots of comic book surprises are still in store, according to what showrunner John Stephens told CinemaBlend, and there’s all kinds of craziness likely in store once Bane finally makes his highly-anticipated debut. For more DC Comics TV, check out DC Universe and/or The CW, where you can find three of the Arrow-verse shows airing new episodes. Our midseason premiere guide can point you in some non-superhero directions as well.