Gotham season 4 spotlight: How will Barbara Kean evolve?

Barbara KeanOver the course of this Gotham hiatus, John Stephens and the other producers of the Fox drama have left behind some key mysteries. For one, we know that Butch Gilzean (Drew Powell) is going to become Solomon Grundy — but we still don’t know quite what he will look like or how he will act. Some of the only intel that is out there about that character suggests that he will strike up a friendship with Edward Nygma. Given their history, that should be interesting.

We don’t want to spend too much time diving into Butch/Solomon here, given that a) we’ve already done that and b) the larger focus here is Barbara Kean. This is a character who’s been reinvented many times over already. Go back and look at where she was in the pilot to when she was completely unhinged at the end of season 1 to when she was working with Nygma to be the leader of Gotham’s criminal underworld last season. She’s smart, she can be cruel and calculating, and she’s also capable of leaving a trail of bodies in her wake.

As we get into the main story of season 4, the big question of “what comes next?” rings all the louder because of the season 3 finale. The character was electrocuted — if this wasn’t Gotham, you’d probably speculate that Barbara was dead. Yet, we know already that she’s somehow alive, and sporting a slightly-different look than in the past (contrast the photo above with the one below via Erin Richards’ Instagram page). The new Barbara is likely going to have some components of the old Barbara, but be a new villain in her own right. This is a show that loves to evolve characters from one season to the next.

Could she somehow have powers now? You have to consider that possible given that it’s a part of the series’ canon. You can easily imagine that her relationship with some of the other villains will be different. There’s some bad blood there, and one of the things that is so interesting about the series as a whole is that if the villains in Gotham ever got completely together, they’d probably be unstoppable. Yet, egos and grudges often get in the way there. Barbara has plenty, and she’s likely still going to have that love-hate relationship with some villains and heroes in the city. We have to assume it will still be the case with Jim Gordon.

Regardless of what her situation is in season 4, one of the things that we’d love to see more of from her is taking a more active role on the streets of Gotham, terrorizing people more directly as a villain. We’ve seen her as a puppet-master, but we wonder if her near-death experience will make her all the more empowered to live in the now and be more active and impatient with her goals. Beyond that, more scenes with Ben McKenzie! Even if they’re not on the same side, it’s hard to deny that there’s always something compelling about the two parties in the same room together.

What do you want to see from Barbara Kean on Gotham season 4? Share in the comments below!

Oh, and if you missed the latest season 4 promo…

Take a look at it here, along with some more analysis of what could be coming up with Scarecrow and others. (Photo: Fox.)

New album cover #gotham #setlife

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