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Spoilers ahead for this season of Gotham. If you haven’t caught up, take your Batmobile elsewhere.
The first season of Gotham was a bit of a mixed bag. Certain episodes had cutthroat mob drama, while others revolved around day players and boring characters. Barbara Kean was one of those characters- she was originally pretty simple and didn’t bring much to the table. This all changed around the time of the season finale, and season two introduced a psychopathic and villainous Barbara reminiscent of Harley Quinn.
Barbara’s season two conflict with ex-fiance James Gordon came to a glorious conclusion that left her fate in the air. After falling from a serious height, Barbara ended up in a coma and her role moving forward was unclear. However, actor Ben McKenzie spilled the beans saying:
She's in a coma, and in Gotham that means she's very much alive and she's coming back.
This statement, from Comicbook.com, comes from a recent appearance that Ben McKenzie and Barbara herself (Erin Richards) did at Wizard World New Orleans. Usually in these cases, actors are asked to keep tight lipped about the fate of their characters, but Ben McKenzie let this one slip. I wonder if he got in trouble for that one.
I couldn’t be more thrilled that Barbara will be returning to the world of Gotham. I could have done without her in the first season, but the writers essentially gave her a whole new character in season two. Her delightfully psychotic change really reminds me of Harley Quinn. This became further personified when Galavan hatched his scheme at the children’s hospital fundraiser. Dressed as a magician’s assistant, Barbara suddenly looked similar Harley, in addition to her psychotic demeanor.
This seems like a perfect time to have a Harley-esque character in Gotham. With Suicide Squad coming out in August, fans are finally going to be able to see a live-action Harley Quinn. Since she was a character that was established in the cartoon, and then eventually transitioned to comics, this is is a turning point.
Gotham has already been known to create characters that are reminiscent of Batman villains. Jerome was essentially a beta version of The Joker, who became massively popular in his short stint on the show. Fans were very disappointed when he was killed off, and probably feared that Barbara would be getting the same treatment through her coma. This would have been a missed opportunity; leaving some of the less interesting characters while killing off the dynamic ones might have caused some viewers to abandon ship.
Check out the video of Ben McKenzie spreading the good news. Barbara Kean is alive! And I couldn’t be happier.