Gotham shows a city full of bad guys with very few true heroes around to try and save it. For the most part, our collection of leads have stood up to protect Gotham City from the madness. Now it looks like we might be losing one of them to the darkness. Is Barbara Kean joining the rogues gallery?
According to a note from Entertainment Weekly, Barbara (Erin Richards) will be on her way to Arkham Asylum at the beginning of Gotham’s second season. When she gets there she’ll meet a band of villains who, as they say:
[S]hape who she’s going to be in this series.
It was clear at the end of Season 1, when Barbara killed her parents, that she’d gone off the edge and ended up in someplace dark, and that she liked it there. Now, it looks like she won’t be coming back. The source says this is who Barbara will be in the series, not just the season, so whoever she is about to become looks to be who she will be going forward. Barbara may be lost forever. It’s not that surprising. Nobody in the history of Batman ever got better inside Arkham Asylum. Worst. Mental Health Facility. Ever. She won’t be alone. Gotham’s second season is going to be chock full of bad guys. Now we’re wondering how many of them we’ll meet through her.
If Barbara is going full bad it brings up some interesting questions about how the known Batman mythos will fit into the future of Gotham. In most Batman stories Barbara Kean and James Gordon get married and she is the mother of at least one of his children, although not necessarily Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon. If this Barbara Kean is going full villain then that’s likely not the case in this version of the story. Or if it is, this show is about to get really weird.
If that isn’t the path we’re headed down then where exactly is Barbara going? Kean’s arc was one of the more uneven parts of Season 1 and if she isn’t going the traditional “love interest” route, but she is going to continue as a series regular, then how she fits into the show becomes unclear. Surely Jim Gordon will continue to try and help her, he’s that kind of guy, but if she’s beyond help that’s going to get old fast.
At the end of the day Barbara as a psychotic is a more interesting character than Barbara as a frustrated socialite, so we’ll take the change. We look forward to getting answers when Gotham’s sophomore season premieres on FOX September 21.