Post Mortems
Gotham Jim Kills Galavan

Gotham Boss Weighs In on Gordon's 'Bad Deed,' the Big Freeze Tease and 'Horrendous' Reveals to Come

This Monday in the fall finale of Fox’s Gotham, Bruce Wayne dealt with some monk-y business, a baby bombshell was dropped at a pivotal moment and a drastic move by Jim Gordon landed someone else inside the ominous Indian Hill laboratory.

And then, just before the sophomore drama bid us adieu for the winter, we felt a seasonally appropriate chill at the hands of a familiar DC Comics baddie.

Executive producer Bruno Heller spoke with TVLine about Gordon’s dark decision, Bruce’s next move, the Freeze tease and more.

TVLINE | You’re constantly surprising me with the dark places you take Jim Gordon. Was there any debate about having him pull the trigger and executing Theo Galavan?
Yeah, there was a lot of debate, right up and down the ladder. But that’s kind of what Gotham is all about, those kind of moral quandaries that someone like Gordon is put into — no bad deed goes unpunished any more than any good deed goes unpunished. The important thing about what he just did there is that there will be consequences. Serious consequences.

TVLINE | In your mind, why did he ultimately do it despite having so many reasons not to — including the risk of becoming the man Lee does not want him to be?
What Penguin said in the scene a little earlier is the truth, and it’s precisely the moral quandary heroes are put in: Do I do something that besmirches me morally but is for the greater good? Am I willing to do something immoral for a larger good?

TVLINE | Bruce had a line like that to Gordon earlier in the season, suggesting that sometimes the “right” way is the “ugly” way.
Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

TVLINE | Why did you decideGotham_sc15_0191_hires1 to write in Morena Baccarin’s pregnancy? Was a Jim/Lee baby even in the back of your mind before the season started?
Spookily enough it was, prior to the actual, non-fictional pregnancy. I mean, it seems spooky but it’s not, really, since these two characters have a relationship on screen. They’re in love and moving forward, and that’s what happens.

TVLINE | Plus, it assigns greater stakes to the decisions Jim makes.
And not just him but Lee, as well. One of the things that we’re very conscious about — because the DC [Comics] world is born of such a masculine, macho place — is that this is a story about the men and women of Gotham. And Morena immediately brought such humanity and warmth and depth to that part, it was clear that what we would not do is make that a “Help me” part. Again, in these comic book worlds it’s very difficult to not make the spouse someone who’s just saying, “Jim I love you and I’ll support you on whatever you do.”

TVLINE | No, Lee challenges him.
Yeah, yeah. And the chemistry between them…. When I saw Ben and Morena together working, I knew very early on, “This is going to work. They feed off each other. Let’s build this relationship up.” Which leads to babies, and then all of the complications and moral dilemmas that babies bring to human life.

TVLINE | With Galavan seemingly Gotham_sc7_0032_hires1out of the picture, is it back to “business as usual” for Penguin?
No, he’s going to have new challenges. He’s going to come out of this experience a profoundly changed man. We’re going to explore his psyche and his family background [via the introduction of Paul Reubens as his father], and that will bring us back to that original pathos that Robin [Lord Taylor] created so brilliantly in the first season.

TVLINE | What are the people of Gotham to make of Edward now that he has resurfaced with a strange Penguin association? Will he stay a CSI, working at the GCPD…?
For the moment. Because you and I and the viewing audience have the privilege of hindsight, we know where he’s going, we know that he’s not the innocent, guileless character that he seems to be. But he’s one of those characters that would have to walk in covered in blood before people would go, “Hey, wait a second….” He’s such a lovable, goofy presence, and he’s also very clever. But having said that, the second half of the season is every much about that persona unraveling and being revealed to the world at large.

TVLINE | Now that Bruce is noGotham_sc16_1130_hires1 longer being sought for sacrificial slaughter, and his father’s hard drive is fixed, will he delve back into the Wayne Enterprises mystery?
Yes, he does. In the back end of the season, there’s going to be no vamping, no promised revelations that do not occur. We’re going to get to Indian Hill. Horrendous, huge, spectacular, dramatic things are going to happen. Bruce is going to get to the very heart of the mystery of who killed his parents, and there are amazing scenes coming up. One of the beautiful things that we’ve been watching over the last couple of seasons is David Mazouz growing up with such gravitas and dignity, but with all of his open, honest acting skills intact. You saw the stuff he was doing with Silver in [the fall finale], he has some weight on him. As a young actor, every day he surprises me how great he is.

TVLINE | Your whole young cast there is very solid. David, Natalie [Alyn Lind], Camren [Bicondova]…. I was very impressed with what they did in these past few episodes.
Because they work together, it really helps all of them. It only takes one of those “cheesy teenage individuals” in an ensemble to bring everyone down to that level, but they’re all so great it brings everyone up.

TVLINE | Speaking of Indian Hill: How soon will we first lay eyes on an example of whatever the Sam Hell Professor Hugo Strange (played by Law & Order: SVU alum BD Wong) is up to down there?gotham-mr-freeze
Very soon after we come back. And I don’t want to say more than that.

TVLINE | And lastly, will Mr. Freeze (House of Cards‘ Nathan Darrow) be operating off any specific agenda? Did we get any hint of it in the brief teaser, or was that just to show him to us?
He absolutely has an agenda. We’re telling the Freeze story in classic style, from its origins. What you saw there is the “beta test.” It’s very early on in the story of Mr. Freeze.

Want more scoop on Gotham, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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31 Comments
  1. Q2 says:

    Dang, that was a great episode. That’s how a midseason finale should be done.

  2. Jeff hunter says:

    Excellent Episode tonight,it was thrilling and entertaining both…..also matt,I know you didn’t know that you where doing g it,but,even though you where talking about Gordon and Doc Thom INS,that was a nice shout-out to DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee!jeff

  3. clint says:

    i predict lee’s baby is a girl

  4. Larc says:

    I had to laugh at that last shot of what was left of Galavan. It was apparent who got the last lick in, even after Jim finished G. off.

  5. Lauren says:

    Jim/Lee baby storyline is dumb. Unless, by some chance, Lee lets Jim call the baby “Barbara”, I’m not interested in that. Besides, based on that dream, Jim is still harbouring feelings for Barbara.

    I really want to see the effects of killing Galavan have on Jim.

    Also David was fantastic tonight. These writers certainly know how to write a young Batman!

    • rowenamck says:

      Well, Jim did have two other “canon” children. In Pre-Crisis, he had Tony and Post-Crisis, there was James Jr. Of course, that’s assuming this child even survives, which it may not. We’re also not really working in the same universe as the comics. While it is considered a sort of prequel, it most certainly doesn’t follow the origins of the characters to a T. Jim was also never married to Lee in the comic books and Barbara was never a villain (also, the name is slightly off). I think it’s best to just take it as it goes and look at this as a sort of AU.

      • Lauren says:

        Yeah I knew he had other children, they’re just not as relevant to the Batman my this as Barbara. But since Barbara isn’t even his biological kid, I wonder if they would go that route here.

        But if they’re really going for the AU angle and having Jim marry Lee and father her child, I still think that’s a poor story direction. They have so many problems as a couple, a pregnancy feels like a means to keep a couple together even if they should really be apart. Besides, that dream of Barbara seems to indicate that she’s still on his mind.

  6. ndixit says:

    I loved almost everything about this ep. The show is still maddeningly uneven but the good parts are just so damn fun and this ep had a lot of it. Just having Jim, Bullock, Alfred, Penguin, Selina, and Fox in Nygma’s apartment arguing over how to go about saving Bruce was worth every minute. Also great how everyone really stuck it to Galavan. It was very satisfying for him to have be knocked out by Tabitha and then beaten and shot dead by Penguin and Jim respectively. Don’t care for the baby angle but I suppose that was a necessity. Also, Masouz continues to impress me a lot as Bruce. His scenes with Silver were actually very impressive. The fight scene with the Monks was stupid and anti-climactic given how quickly they went down, but that’s my only big issue with the ep.

  7. Brian says:

    Such a nice turnaround for this show. Season 2 has been really good.

  8. JO says:

    I love this show! I love the visuals. I love the characters. It’s campy and dark and thrilling all at the same time. The casting has been superb thus far.

  9. ? says:

    This show is just . . . wrong. It takes a wrecking ball to almost everything appealing about the Batman mythos. I don’t understand how anyone who’s a Batman fan can enjoy it.

    • prish says:

      I love the Alfred and Bruce scenes, together, and them with others, even, solo. I fast forward through everything else. It works. That dynamic is terrific.

    • Elf says:

      How many times has the official comics’ canon been rewritten or rebooted? They change something each time, sometimes major, sometimes minor. I don’t mind all of the pieces in place with some slight reshuffling.

    • Drew says:

      It doesn’t take a wrecking ball to anything. It is a different spin on the story, but it is pretty well done and allows for what we know is coming up. By the time Bruce becomes Batman, Penguin is the old kingpin who is on the verge of going legit. Riddler’s story also plays out that way, so both of them should be on their way down at this point. Harvey Dent is probably a bit older than he should be, but not so much that it ruins anything.
      I don’t see anything that is so horribly wrong that it destroys anything.

      • prish says:

        Yah, I have warm fuzzies about the Penguin villain from my youth in the 50’s, maybe because he might have been a metaphor for big business and not a nutso. I agree that they are flushing out possible backstories, not whacking anything. They are doing a good job making the visuals tell the story, like in a comic strip. I fast forward a lot, and I am staying on top of everything. Some genius is at work. It makes it nice for the hearing impaired, just as a side thought, here. That’s cool.

  10. Unknown says:

    I man be grasping at straws but I swore it looked liked Dr.Strange had FIsh Mooney in one of those containers .Im basing it of the back of the head it was dyed just like Fish but I can’t remember the color she had

  11. Shawn says:

    There better be some twist to the baby storyline. Barbara Kean is batgirls mother. And it would be such a far more interesting story to play.

  12. Paul says:

    I’m not a big comic book/Batman guy, but my kid talked me into watching the first season and I really enjoyed the complexity of the back story of Batman that was created, even though I couldn’t see that Bruce ever becoming a “Batman” . I was really excited about the second season until the Jerome and the crew came in. I thought it got goofy with the gasoline on the bus load of cheerleaders which never lit on fire and so I took a couple of weeks off. My son said “it’s getting good again”, so I binge watched about 3 episodes to catch up, and have really enjoyed the final episodes. I haven’t watched a soap/drama since NYPD Blue, but I have to say I am completely enjoying an hour in front of the TV with my son. And this is more fun than NYPD Blue I must say. We don’t watch much TV, but me and my son are looking forward to some more father/son guilty pleasure in February. Thanks for the show!

  13. James D says:

    Very good episode particularly from David. I’m in total agreement with Bruno on that one he does continue to surprise, he’s a very good young actor. I understand the need to put your characters in rough situations in order to create good drama, and am fine with that. however, by doing that with Gordon don’t you sort of defeat the purpose of the character. I mean he is supposed to be the moral anchor in this world something Batman can’t be thus the reason he relies on Gordon. Perhaps this is the event that triggers that aspect of him maybe after this he will refuse to cross that line again. in which case okay. any way really enjoyed this and can’t wait for Strange and Freeze. Gold star goes to Bruno and his team of writers this show is so much better than what it was last season.

  14. Will says:

    I’m really liking David Mazouz playing the young Bruce. I especially liked the scene between Bruce and Silver Cloud holed up in that cell where he knows he doesn’t love her, but saves her by saying he loves her in front of Galavan.

    • Lambsilencer says:

      Yes, he was splendid, but so was Natalie Alyn Lind. She was really terrific in portraying how conflicted her character was. I already liked her in the last episode, but here, she really convinced me how talented she is. Aside from David, surely one to watch as well. And Camren Bicondova was an absolute pleasure again to watch. How she led the troups into battle on Galavan, it was just priceless – the little girl leading the bunch of tough guys to their mark. And she completely sold it.

  15. Joey Padron says:

    Great fall finale episode. Glad Theo is dead. I was surprised about Lee being pregnant. Guess Tigerness will go into hiding for awhile. Glad the monks are done. Surprised they would show Mr.Freeze in costume at the end. Can’t wait for the show to return in February!

  16. Amanda says:

    I loved the mid-season finale!!! This show has been amazing in it’s 2nd season and it’s what I hoped it would turn into to. I loved the heroes and villains teaming up to take down Galavan and save Bruce. David is amazing as Bruce and you can see him turning into the Bruce/Batman we know he’ll turn into. I love they wrote in Morena’s pregnancy like I was hoping. Batgirl is one of my favorites too and she had to show up soon. I do think Barbara is going to be furious and try to kidnap the baby as she’ll think it’s hers, so that way it still fits the comics but I think it works having Batgirl be Jim and Lee’s daughter. Just they can’t name her Barbara but she’ll still turn into Batgirl. They already teased her coming in season one when Jim met Dick Grayson’s parents and we all know Jim’s daughter falls for Robin. Loved the intro to Mr. Freeze and Hugo Strange!!! I agree that one body did look like Fish and others have said one of the men had red hair and might be Jerome. I can’t wait for the spring half!!!

  17. Jerny Ortiz says:

    I love this tv show it explained how Bruce became Batman. And each characters. My favorite one is pigeon lol.