Nine episodes into its first season, Gotham is not a series that seems likely to keep major surprises in its utility belt, as it’s basically a prequel to a universe that’s been around for 75 years. But this is 2014, and nothing is sacred anymore, so it makes complete sense that Gotham’s creative team might make a few bold leaps with their storytelling. It’s quite possible that not all of the characters we’ve been spending time with will actually live until young Bruce Wayne dons the Dark Knight’s cowl and cape.
Creator and showrunner Bruno Heller recently spoke with EW and revealed that flipping the script on the DC Universe isn’t out of the question for Gotham, assuming there’s an irrefutably good idea influencing it. When asked if the series’ devotion to canon was ironclad, and if there was a chance that characters could die, here’s how Heller answered.
I wouldn’t say it’s ironclad. You’d need a damn good reason to do it and a damn good end game to justify it. We’re certainly just learning the ropes at this state. Not to be modest about it, but we’re still learning how to do a show this big. I’m always deeply reluctant to kill off characters simply for the shock value of killing them off.”
From a work standpoint, Heller doesn’t want to lose anyone in the huge ensemble cast he’s set up, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be keeping everyone around forever. Again, we’ve only gone through nine episodes, so it definitely isn’t feasible for the writers to start chopping major villains out of the lineup just yet. But as time goes by and viewers become more familiar with these characters, that’s when their fates will become less secure.
I seriously doubt the Penguin is in any danger here but it would be easy to see Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney biting a bullet, since she wasn’t a part of the comics anyway. It also wouldn’t be difficult to picture a Gotham City where either John Doman’s Carmine Falcone or David Zayas’ Sal Maroni died at the hands of the other crime boss. Hell, I wouldn’t be shocked (or angry) if somebody lopped Edward Nygma’s head right off, even before he’s supposed to become the Riddler. That could even leave the door open for a different version of the Riddler to exist, which would certainly ruffle some feathers but also probably bring in curious viewers.
Heller says he and his team are keen on opening up the storytelling tactics as time goes by.
One of the things about doing the extra six episodes, and hopefully being successful enough to get a season two, is that once we’re up and running, that kind of narrative playfulness – playing with the audience’s expectations – is going to be much more a part of the show.”
Am I wrong for wanting “playing around” to mean killing off Robin before he even joins the show? Keep watching Gotham every Monday to make sure Fox even gives it a chance to kill its characters off in future seasons.