Gotham tv tropes

Gotham tv tropes DEFAULT

Characters / Gotham - Criminals

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    Jerome Valeska 

An initally innocent-seeming young boy whose mother's murder Gordon investigated - until he was exposed as a deranged psychopath who was Laughing Mad. Over the seasons he would become ever-more dangerous, forming a personal hatred of Bruce, until his death in late season 4 - but even then he would have one last legacy to leave to Gotham. For tropes regarding him, see the Valeska's page.

    Jack Gruber/The Electrocutioner 

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Played By:Christopher Heyerdahl

An Arkham inmate on the lam, who uses electric shocks to the brain to condition patients, using them as guinea pigs to perfect the process — with the right amounts, they become his obedient minions that do whatever he says. The Gothamverse version of the Electrocutioner.


  • Arc Villain: For Gordon's brief assignment at Arkham.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Pretty much every weapon he uses after his escape fall into this category.
    • His deadly taser weapon for killing one person in an electrical shop, although capable of killing someone through a door, required two people to operate (or even carry).
    • His Electrical grenade despite looking really cool ultimately did absolutely nothing but cause some minor electrical burns to Maroni's crew in the restaurant it was used in.
    • His Super generator for attacking the GCPD was only capable of knocking out everyone in there, apart from Gordon because he wore thicker shoes.
    • His homemade electrocutioner suit was capable of disarming Gordon from a fair distance and could probably have been very lethal if it charged fully; but Gordon easily destroys the contraption with a splash of water and thus rendered completely harmless.
  • Ax-Crazy: Downplayed but present: he has absolutely no problems casually killing anyone in his way. When he electrocutes the entire GCPD, he expresses dismay it "only" knocked them unconscious.
  • Canon Character All Along: While he initially seemed like to be a new character using an established villain identity like Temple Fugate or Kyle Griffin, "Jack Gruber" is is ultimately revealed to be an alias and his real name is Jack Buchinsky", which means he's either the original Electrocutioner undergoing Named by the Adaptationnote as the original's first name was never revealed or the third undergoing Adaptation Name Changenote the third was the brother of the original and his first name was Lester.
  • Cold Ham: When he's on-stage he's a shouting rip-roaring ham, but off-stage he's quiet and unassuming.
  • Composite Character: The use of electricity on criminals is reminiscent of the Electrocutioner, while also bearing similarities with Maxie Zeus in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth by Grant Morrison as well as the Earth-One Dr. Hugo Strange, who not only wears glasses but also escaped Arkham with inmates he uses as test subjects.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Comes with being played by the 6ft 5in Christopher Heyerdahl - he's even taller than his brainwashed muscle (who's apparently 6ft 4in) and towers over Gordon.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Once he escapes Arkham, his targets are other criminals who betrayed him and got him locked up. He just doesn't care about the innocents that get in the way of his pursuit, making him a villainous Knight Templar.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's pretty friendly and polite, even when congratulating one of his victims on snapping a guard's neck as ordered. He also leaves Gordon an eloquent goodbye letter telling him what he's done and that he's going to keep doing it.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: A glasses-wearing rapist and murderer.
  • Graceful Loser: Surprisingly, given Gordon foils his entire scheme, his response is to more or less accept it. He doesn't even look that upset when posing for the pictures after being caught.
  • Mad Scientist: He really loves exploring electricity's more dangerous applications from using behavioural modification shocks to practice brainwashing, to murdering people. His own partner even kept all his kit serviceable for years, because he knew how important his "experiments" were to him.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: His entire psychological profile is based on a persona he made up to be admitted to Arkham so that he could experiment on patients and lay low waiting for vengeance on his compatriots.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He intentionally uses this to get himself incarcerated in Arkham as "Gruber", described as a Serial Rapist is a falsified profile. His actual crimes as Jack Buchinsky were a string of bank robberies.
  • Shock and Awe: He certainly has a way with electricity. He manages to rig a trap that electrocutes and incapacitates the entire GCPD.
  • Shout-Out: Possibly to Batman: Arkham Origins, which also saw the Electrocutioner being defeated very easily, although the characters themselves are very different.
  • The Sociopath: Subverted. His Arkham file identifies him as one, but this turned out to be a fabricated identity. Though he does meet some qualifications such as being a Consummate Liar and having a disregard for human life.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: He's very calm and even-toned always.
  • Spanner in the Works: He throws a wrench into the Falcone-Maroni war when he electrocutes Cobblepot, and in a fit of shock he lets slip to Maroni he was going to meet Falcone.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: He's foiled and captured by a cup of water; Gordon uses it to short out his equipment and render him helpless.
  • Wicked Cultured: Is introduced performing in a classic playnote The Tempest by Shakespeare, which is revealed to be of his own choosing.

    Mario Pepper 

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Played by: Daniel Stewart Sherman

A small-time crook blamed for the Wayne murders. Father of Ivy Pepper.


  • Abusive Parents: Ivy is not happy in her home.
  • Domestic Abuse: Neither is her mother.
  • Fall Guy: Gordon finds evidence fingering him as the Wayne killer at his house, but the evidence was planted by Falcone to shut the case down. And then Bullock shoots him dead when he attacks Gordon.
  • Notorious Parent: He became a criminal when suspected to be the Waynes' killer. Too bad he also had a daughter.

    Stan Potolsky 

Stan Potolsky

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Played By: Daniel London

A former employee for Wellzyn, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that deals in biogenics research. After a falling out with Wellzyn over the research Stan is doing for them, he took to the streets to distribute a dangerous drug, Viper, to strangers. His ear is scarred as a result of self-mutilation done at the lab.


  • Anti-Villain: He's trying to raise public awareness of the amoral research being done at Wellzyn, namely the fatal side-effects and human experimentation.
  • Call-Forward: It's mentioned in passing that Viper was just an early prototype formula, but the labs are already working on an improved version without the fatal side-effects, code-named "Venom" - the super-serum that Bane will eventually use.
  • Evil Genius: He's a brilliant chemist who can manufacture weapons-grade biochemical weapons in a personal lab he's put together.
  • Expy: A criminal who kills people with a green toxin, spreads it to the people of Gotham with seeming no goal except to cause chaos, and was disfigured in a biogenics lab? Sounds a lot like The Joker doesn't he? Subverted when it turns out he's not all that evil after all.
  • Not Afraid to Die: He just wants Gotham to hear his message: when Gordon corners him and holds him at gunpoint, he shows no fear because his work is done.
  • Power Degeneration: Viper gives you incredible strength and endurance, but will eventually kill you, no more than one day after you take it.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He's just a Villain of the Week in Season 1, but he also created the drug that would be used by Bane, the Big Bad of Season 5.
  • Super Serum: The Viper he created was intended to be one, but had unfortunate fatal side-effects.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He was spreading Viper to the public to try and bring light to the amoral research Wellzyn was doing, and resorts to increasingly drastic acts when his initial efforts fail.

    Richard Sionis/Black Mask 

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Played By: Todd Stashwick

A businessman wearing a black oni mask who makes people fight to the death for a job at his investments firm.


  • Adaptation Name Change: In the comics, his name is Roman not Richard. Then again, it's possible, given his age, that he is comic!Black Mask's father or relative.
  • Asshole Victim: Being a criminal and all he really did deserve to die.
  • Back for the Dead/Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: His first episode back in Season 2 has him killed off for real.
  • Bad Boss: He forces his employees to fight to the death for a job in his company. This trait follows him again when he's locked up in Arkham. It leads to his former "team mates" immediately joining the new Big Bad.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He assumes that he is the prison kingpin while locked up in Arkham Asylum. However, once outside prison he's killed quickly for upsetting a real criminal leader.
  • Canon Immigrant: Richard was created for Gotham, but he was incorporated into the main DCU as the father of Roman Sionis AKA Black Mask and the original founder of the False Face Society in the New 52Catwoman comics.
  • Cool Mask: Collects several of them and wears one when staging fights.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Makes prospecting employees fight to the death.
  • Deadly Game: The fights are transmitted in closed-circuit TV for the amusement of his employees.
  • Dirty Old Man: While in Arkham, he comes onto Barbara, intending to make her his prison wife.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: His manner of death was him being stabbed multiple times in the face, with the effects not shown.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He's stabbed to death multiple times through his face.
  • It Amused Me: Primary did his underground deathmatches just for his own personal amusement.
  • Jerkass: He's a very horrible man.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Wields a katana when he attacks Gordon.
  • Mythology Gag: This isn't the first time Sionis was unceremoniously deposed to establish a new villain as the new threat.
  • Noodle Incident: Mentions an amusing one that happened while he was in college, involving his varsity polo team and a group of ponies.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the Season 2 premiere, Theo Galavan offers him and some of the other Arkham inmates a chance to join in on the fun. Sionis declines, and is killed to make an example out of him.
  • The Sociopath: Slick and charming, he cares nothing for anybody, and enjoys watching his employee's fight to the death to work for him. He never shows any remorse, or motivation other than sadism.
  • Too Dumb to Live: When at the mercy of a criminal leader who's offering him a chance to join an elite team of criminals, demonstrating his influence earlier by breaching a prison and leading an army of elite soldiers, Sionis obnoxiously blows his captor off, refuses his offer, and even insults him. Needless to say, he's brutally dispatched for his troubles.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Wears one during his entire appearance.

    Ian Hargrove 

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Played By: Leslie Odom, Jr.

A bomb specialist who was convicted for bombing twelve buildings in Gotham. He's broken out of prison by the late Nikolai's surviving men to make bombs for them as part of Fish's moves against Falcone.


  • Anti-Villain: He only bombs munitions plants and never meant to actually kill anyone. Hargrove has a mental illness and was convinced he was making a heroic protest by blowing up weapons used to hurt other people. He always bombed at night when no one was supposed to be in the factories. When his last bombing accidentally got two janitors killed, his brother claims he was guilt-stricken and practically turned himself in, and readily plead guilty. While officially not guilty by reason of mental illness, he wasn't put in a mental institution to get help due to Gotham's lack of funding, and was simply shoved into the general population at Blackgate prison. He also betrays his employers with his Batman Gambit.
  • Bald of Evil: Is entirely bald, subverted as he's not really evil.
  • Batman Gambit: He plants a nameplate from the factory he's kept in among the shrapnel in his bomb, banking on the cops retrieving it and finding him.
  • Canon Foreigner: Is not based on a character from the comics.
  • Evil Genius: Invoked when the guard describes him as a "genius bomber". Apparently, one of his explosives was made with nothing more than match-heads and apple cider vinegar. Subverted in that he really isn't very "evil".
  • Insane Equals Violent: Subverted as it turns out. He may have a mental illness and he did kill people, but only by accident. He makes bombs for shady people because they threatened his brother and is only too happy when the police come to stop him.
  • Mad Bomber: He's not fully insane, but clearly has mental problems. He was just blowing up empty buildings, though, as a protest. He never wanted to harm anyone.
  • Scary Black Man: He's tall, muscular, and African American. Subverted when he turns out to be a tortured and sympathetic Anti-Villain.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: He took care to never kill people in his bombings. When he eventually took victims by accident, he was horrified by what he'd done.

    Dick Lovecraft 

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Played By: Al Sapienza

A billionaire and entrepreneur, who had a longstanding feud with Thomas Wayne about Gotham City.


  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He was a corrupt CEO and billionaire, and Harvey Dent had been trying to get charges against to no avail.
  • He Knows Too Much: According to him, he knew vital information regarding the Waynes murder.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: He is choked out by Copperhead, but is later killed with Gordon's pistol, making it look like he was killed by the cop.
  • Red Herring: He is set up as the main POI to the Waynes murder with a connection to Thomas Wayne, only to be killed by Copperhead.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Mayor makes him seem like an upstanding citizen who cracked under the pressure from an "over-zealous" officer (Gordon) and then killed himself.

    Mace 

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Played By: Babs Olusanmokun

A prisoner in Dullmacher's facility. Rules over the other prisoners.


  • Character Death: He's literally shivved in the neck by Fish.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: He drops his guard when Fish flirts with him and pays the price when she kills him.
  • Knife Nut: Carries a knife.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: He's unmistakably the absolute ruler of the prisoners. At least until Fish shivs him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Fish clearly warned him not to call her 'baby', and dies for his stubbornness. There's also him at least not bothering to have his henchman armed, as he's the only one with a weapon. This easily allowed Fish to kill him and assume rulership.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Attempts this with Fish, but she clearly had other plans.

    Miriam Loeb 

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Played By:Nicholle Tom

Commissioner Gillian Loeb's daughter.


  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Spends her time in the attic dancing, singing, and playing with teacups.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Loeb keeps her in a farm owned by Falcone and cared for by a couple of elderly underlings of his to keep her from being sent to Arkham.
  • Matricide: She hits her mother over the head with a candlestick for singing when Miriam wanted to sing.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: In spades. She habitually kills birds to make jewelry out of their bones.

    Jeri 

Jeri

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Played By: Lori Petty

A rock musician to Gotham's criminal underground, and another contender for the future Joker.


    Maria Kyle 

Maria Kyle

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Played By:Ivana Miličević

Selina's long-lost mother, who returns briefly in season 3.


  • Adaptational Badass: Comic!Maria was not the badass thief that she is in the show.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Defends Bruce and Selina from one of the Talons in her debut appearance.
  • Broken Pedestal: Selina ultimately learns that her mother didn't come back to Gotham to reconnect with her, but to pull off a cheap con to use Selina to sucker money out of Bruce Wayne, then skip town.
  • Missing Mom: Hasn't been in contact with Selina for a good six years at the start of the series.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: "Mommy" in this case. She claims that she left Selina behind because she was in trouble, and couldn't go on the run with a five-year-old.
  • Notorious Parent: This is whole reason why she had to leave Selina in the first place.
  • Put on a Bus: After her scam is discovered by Selina, Maria leaves town again without a look back.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: She commits suicide in the comics, but is alive and well here.

    Dwight Pollard 

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Played By:David Dastmalchian

Dwight Pollard is a former Indian Hill employee and part of a movement who are fanatic followers of Jerome Valeska.


  • Asshole Victim: He gets killed by Jerome.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted Jerome back and he succeeded. Too bad he gets killed by him soon after their first meeting.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He tries to fill in Jerome's shoes by leading his followers, but as Gordon points out he doesn't have the same strong presence as the old maniac did.
  • Casting Gag: Dastmalchian played a lunatic follower of the Joker's in The Dark Knight.
  • Cult: Dwight leads one filled with clownish figures who pattern after Jerome Valeska.
  • Dr. Jerk: He's a doctor at Indian Hill and a total lunatic.
  • Jack the Ripoff: His cult and himself all pattern after Jerome.
  • Karmic Death: Gets killed by his own hero after resurrecting him.
  • Kill It with Fire: Jerome blows him up with a bomb.
  • Large Ham: While he can be hammy, Dwight doesn't have the right amount pizzazz that Jerome had once he starts wearing Jerome's face.
  • Replacement Scrappy: In-Universe. Jerome sees him as a poser.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: You can thank this guy for bringing Jerome back into the fray. Hell, if he hadn't resurrected him, the latter would've never gotten the chance to turn his twin brother into the Joker!

    Cherry 

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Played By: Marina Benedict

Proprietor of a Narrows Fight Club, who employs Grundy and Nygma after their return. De facto ruler of the Narrows until being killed by Barbara Kean and replaced by Lee Thompkins.


  • Bad-Guy Bar: Owns one and runs the underground fights out of it.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Barbara takes her out.
  • Expy: Of Roulette, a character from the DC universe who hosts prize fights between super-powered individuals.
  • The Fashionista: She's decked out in outlandish clothing and makeup.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: All this violence is a clear turn-on for her.
  • Large Ham: She's a Gotham criminal. It comes with the territory.
  • Pet the Dog: Unscrupulous she may be, but she does let Lee maintain a free clinic in exchange for her services.
  • The Quisling: She sells out Grundy and Nygma as soon as Penguin starts looking for them.

    Wendell/Headhunter 

Headhunter

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"The second one is my trademark."

Played By: Kyle Vincent Terry

A low-level hitman who is recommended to Penguin by Zsasz as a security consultant during Penguin's Crime Licensing.


  • Affably Evil: Is a ruthless assassin willing to threaten a wounded and innocent old man for information but is otherwise jovially friendly and treats Gordon as if they were in a Buddy Picture.
  • Badass Bandolier: Wears two, though never uses either.
  • Calling Card: His oft-mentioned “signature” is that each of his victims has two bullet wounds — an instantly fatal headshot, and a second bullet just for the hell of it.
  • Catchphrase: "The second one is my signature." It refers to his trademark of killing his targets by shooting them once in the head, then expending another bullet... just because. Repeated mockingly by Penguin when he stabs Wendell twice.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He vanishes off the face of the earth after “The Sinking Ship, the Grand Applause.”
  • Delinquent Hair: He sports a silver Mohawk.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After recovering from being stabbed by Penguin, works with Zsasz to hunt down Penguin for Sofia Falcone.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Has a metal-studded eyepatch in his second appearance after losing his eye.
  • Eye Scream: Loses an eye as a result of Professor Pyg's trap.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: He wears a leather coat with a High Collar of Doom.
  • Informed Attribute: Despite claiming to never need more than one shot to kill someone, constantly invokes A-Team Firing and never actually hits anyone onscreen.
  • Laser Sight: Notably, the only character in the show to use them. Seems to be for Rule of Cool only, as it doesn't seem to actually help his aim.
  • Race Lift: Is white in the comics.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After one failure too many in "The Sinking Ship, The Grand Applause", leaves with Zsasz in the middle of a mob hit to get milkshakes.
  • Tattooed Crook: He has a skull tattooed on his right cheek. (In the comics, he had skulls tattooed on both cheeks.)
  • Those Two Guys: With Zsasz in "The Sinking Ship, The Grand Applause."

    Secretary Theresa Walker 

Theresa Walker/Nyssa al Ghul

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Played By:Jaime Murray

The US Secretary of Homeland Security, as well as Eduardo Dorrance's commanding officer.


  • Adaptational Name Change: The comics version of Nyssa uses her Nom de MomRaatko.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: The comic version of Nyssa hated her father, Ra's, and even killed him without remorse. This Nyssa clearly loved Ra's, and is looking to avenge his death. It's probably because she's really a Composite Character with her sister Talia.
  • Batman Gambit: Impressive considering who she does it to: she lets Bruce and Gordon escape and free General Wade - knowing they'll take him to his HQ where (under her control) he'll enact the protocol that will destroy Gotham for good.
  • Big Bad: She's behind all of Bane/Eduardo Dorrance's actions, and turns out to have orchestrated most of the major events of season 5 to destroy Gotham as revenge for the death of her father - Ra's al Ghul.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: While she's a much greater threat, Jeremiah is responsible for the fall of Gotham and is the Final Boss in the Grand Finale set ten years later.
  • Canon Character All Along: Many speculated she was the Gotham take on Amanda Waller due to their similar methods and surnames. Instead, it turns out she's actually another character from the comics - Nyssa al Ghul.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Gordon and Barbara have her on the ropes and are ready to get General Wade to call off the attack on Gotham - lucky she implanted a failsafe command in his mind control device that has him shoot himself instead...
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Thrashes Gordon with ease in "They Did What?" It takes some trickery and teaming with Barbara to take her down.
  • Evil Gloating: Cannot stop during her battle with Gordon. He even lampshades that she never shuts up.
  • Expy: Initially seemed to be one for Amanda Waller, due to their similar names, government positions, and methods. Subverted in that she's actually Nyssa al Ghul.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite instigating the main conflict of season 5 Nyssa ultimately evades justice by escaping in the submarine that Penguin and Riddler made. The only consolation is that her plans are in ruins and the government is likely hunting her down.
  • The Man Behind the Man: For Bane, Hugo Strange, and the mind-controlled Ed Nygma.
  • Mind-Control Device: Has Hugo Strange implant mind-control chips in the skulls of Ed Nygma, Lee Thompkins, and later General Wade, turning them into her sleeper agents.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: She wipes out Barbara's League of Assassins followers singlehandedly, with Barbara and Lee discovering the aftermath when they get to her club.
  • Revenge: Everything she does is to gain this on Bruce and Barbara for killing her father, Ra's al Ghul.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: She's only in the series for a few episodes, but her actions have a big impact on the Time Skip finale.
    • Targeting Bruce is one of the main things that makes him leave Gotham to keep his loved ones safe - leading him to abandon Selina and setting her on the path to becoming Catwoman.
    • Battling her solidifies Barbara's Heel–Face Turn, putting her firmly on Jim's side.
    • Her stealing Penguin and Riddler's submarine - and loot - is one of the contributing factors to the Heel–Face Door-Slam that solidifies their descent into villainy.
  • Truer to the Text: Zig-Zagged. This portrayal of Nyssa is a straight-up villain, lacking the Adaptational Heroism of the Arrowverse and Arkhamverse versions. However, unlike those incarnations who hated Ra's, which is true of the comic version, this Nyssa is seeking to avenge his death.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: In the penultimate episode after being stabbed by the very same knife that killed her father, and with her revenge scheme in ruins, Nyssa is forced to escape from Gotham in Penguin and the Riddler's submarine with her tail between her legs.
  • You Killed My Father: She wants revenge on Bruce and Barbara for killing Ra's al Ghul.

    Magpie 

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Played By: Sarah Schenkkan

A cunning thief who steals precious treasures and leaves explosive dummy copies in their place. Penguin enlists Selina's help to take her down after she robs his secret treasury.


  • Adapted Out: She does not sport her famous Wolverine Claws in this continuity.
  • Age Lift: She's already a fully-grown supervillain before Bruce dons the cowl.
  • Animal Motifs: She's visually based on the magpie bird.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: She's incredibly eccentric, has a deep love for shiny jewelry, and even gives them names.
  • Dark Action Girl: A skilled jewel thief and acrobat who dresses in black and white attire.
  • Death by Adaptation: A frequent B-list Batman villain in the comics, she's unceremoniously gunned down by the Penguin here.
  • Karmic Death: She loves leaving booby traps behind to blow up her victims. When she goes back to Penguin's vault to steal some more stuff, she herself gets taken down by a booby trap that he set up, leaving her vulnerable enough for him to shoot her dead. Penguin even shoots her "Bang bang!" line right at her before pulling the trigger.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: She's killed in the same episode she's introduced in.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: She's a white-haired robber with a knack for explosives.

    Mutant Leader 

Played By: Sid O'Connell

A brutish cutthroat who took control of the Mutants in Terence Shaw's absence. He and his gang reign in the Dark Zone when Gotham becomes no man's land.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Sure he may be "300 pounds of ugly" as Selina put it, but he's nowhere close to being the mountain of deformed blubber he was in the original comics.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In the comics, the Mutant Leader rose to prominence during the 10 years the older Bruce Wayne spent retired from crimefighting. Here, he's causing trouble in the time before Batman ever existed.
  • Adaptational Wimp: While he's still not to be taken lightly, he goes down much easier here than in the comics.
  • Agony of the Feet: Selina manages to bring him down by slicing his Achilles tendon with her blade.
  • Bald of Evil: He's bald as ever here, though one wonders if the strip of metal on his head counts as hair of some kind.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Once Selina gets the upper hand, she absolutely wrecks the Mutant Leader, nearly killing him before Bruce intervenes.
  • Cyborg: His mechanical gloves, a metal Mohawk, and Geordi LaForge goggles all look like they're welded to his body.
  • Delinquent Hair: He's got a Mohawk made of metal. If this serves some practical purpose or just a fashion statement is unclear.
  • Facial Horror: Once Selina manages to get the drop on him, she carves his face up with her claws while pumping him for info about Jeremiah's whereabouts.
  • Fangs Are Evil: His teeth are filed to points.
  • Horrifying the Horror: He's a dangerous gang leader, but even he knows better than to get on Jeremiah's bad side.
  • Mighty Glacier: He's a hell of a lot stronger and tougher than most characters, but not very fast at all. This is what allows Selina to get the upper hand in their fight, as she can dodge his attacks while moving too quickly for him to counter her.
  • Perma-Stubble: He has thick 5 o'clock shadow in contrast to his clean-shaven comic counterpart.
  • The Quincy Punk: As a violent, uncouth street criminal with a stereotypical "punk" aesthetic, he qualifies.
  • Tattooed Crook: Unlike the comic version, this Mutant Leader has rather intricate tattoos on his arm and upper torso.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In keeping with tradition, he never wears a shirt.

Sours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/GothamCriminals

Series / Gotham

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From the ashes of Gotham, A Dark Knight will rise.note From left to right: Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Edward Nygma/The Riddler, Harvey Bullock, James Gordon, Bruce Wayne, Lucius Fox, Selina Kyle, Alfred Pennyworth and Barbara Kean.

"There is a war coming. A terrible war. There will be chaos, rivers of blood in the streets, I know it! I can see it coming!"

Oswald Cobblepot; narration used in the opening credits

A series based on the Batman mythos that started in 2014 on FOX, chronicling the story of a younger James Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie), an idealistic rookie detective for the Gotham City Police Department, before the Dark Knight and his colorful Rogues Gallery rise to fruition. In fact, Gordon's first case is investigating the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, the future Batman's parents.

Gordon's partner is the slovenly, semi-corrupt Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), while the rest of the cast is rounded out by a young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), still reeling from the death of his parents; his butler and guardian Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), trying to be a father to him; a growing roster of up-and-coming villains like Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith); streetwise teen thief Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova); and Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), Gordon's fiancée in season one.

One of three live-action DC Comics shows to premiere in 2014, along with The CW's The Flash and NBC's Constantine, with the latter being inducted into the Arrowverse with a post-cancellation crossover with Arrow. However, the nature ofGotham itself makes the idea of doing a post-series crossover with the Arrowverse pretty much impossible (it was notably missing from the Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019) crossover, when they establish other Batman films and continuities to be part of a shared multiverse), not least because up until 2019, neither FOX nor The CW had the rights to use the Batman himself in any capacity, with the Arrowverse resorting only to allusions and shoutouts to the caped crusader and Gotham City.

Originally pitched as a gritty, "Gotham City without Batman" story along the lines of Gotham Central, Gotham quickly evolved into a gleefully over-the-top show with a bold, striking aesthetic and a willingness to pursue all sorts of intentionally ridiculous plotlines.

The show ran for 5 seasons, with the final episode airing on April 25th, 2019. The showrunners then went on to create another Batman mythos-inspired show exploring how things were in the past, Pennyworth, which premiered in July 2019 on ePix and may or may not be set in the continuity of Gotham.

Compare with Smallville, a show with a similar premise in that it chronicles Clark Kent's adventures prior to becoming Superman.


Gotham contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    A - C 

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Subverted for the Wayne Killer arc; it essentially disappears after the first half of Season 1, but returns in full force midway through Season 2.
    • Also during Season 1, the importance of the Arkham deal goes nowhere. Possibly also averted, since the second half of Season 2 focuses heavily on what the corrupt elements in Gotham are doing with Arkham.
    • Late in Season 1, the corrupt members of Wayne Enterprises seem to have something sinister planned for Bruce, given Reggie Payne's line "Now's the time to make a move on the kid." This may be simply misdirection, since what they have planned seems to be merely Bunderslaw telling Bruce the truth about Wayne Enterprises and how powerless he is to stop it.
      • Then its revealed near the end of Season 3, these arcs are revealed to be connected and resolved for the most part by the end of the season.
    • Lee was revealed to be pregnant in the mid-finale of Season 2, many fans were hoping for baby Barbara (aka the future Batgirl), but sadly the baby was miscarried. Then Barbara and Jim have a one night stand in Season 5 that results in her ending up with a One-Night-Stand Pregnancy, the baby named Barbara Lee Gordon and raised by her mother, father, and step-mother (Lee Thompkins).
    • The fifth season was hit hard by this due to the reduced season; the season 4 finale and 5 premire hinted that past characters including Freeze, Firefly, and Scarecrow were going to be amongst the main threats along with new enemies including Man-Bat. None of these characters ever play a key part beyond a mention and the latter doesn't even appear again after season 4.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • In the pilot, the Pepper household is not a happy home. Ivy's plant obsession appears to be fueled by a need for escapism. Her mother looks like she has recently been punched hard in the eye. Not to mention Ivy's whispered description of her father: "He's mean!"
    • Barbara claims her parents subjected her to verbal abuse, neglect, and a generally miserable childhood. And indeed, when she visits them in "What the Little Bird Told Him", they do not look at all happy to see her. This is what eventually drives her to murder them (with some pushing from the Ogre). One can only take this with a grain of salt, however, thanks to Barbara's habit of making things sound worse than they were or transfer blame of her own mistakes to make herself appear to be the victim.
    • Not parents, but Firefly's older half-brothers treat her like crap and are the closest thing to guardians she has.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Jim Gordon was transferred to Gotham City from the City of Angels.
    • Alfred, played by the son of Jon Pertwee, fences with Bruce, whom he calls "Master." Also, Sean Pertwee has a son named Alfred. And this version of Alfred has a background in the British military and spy services, which is how Sean's father in Real Life served in World War II.
    • Jeffrey Combs performs various Body Horror jobs before becoming a victim of them himself.
    • One of the first things Michael Chiklis's character does upon taking command of the GCPD is to form a Strike Force.

      Captain Barnes: It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

    • In addition to being a psychiatrist, Dr. Hugo Strange also uses genetic manipulation to make monsters.
    • Bullock notes "I bet I'd make a kickass PI."
      • In "Red Hood," one of the Red Hood Gang says he's robbing banks because he couldn't get a loan for a small business, which is what Donal Logue did in The Knights of Prosperity.
      • After (briefly) retiring from GCPD, Bullock opens a bar, much like Donal Logue in Grounded for Life.
    • Oswald Cobblepot's father is played by Paul Reubens, who also played the Penguin's father in Batman Returns.
    • Dwight Pollard (a devotee of JeromeValeska) is played by David Dastmalchian, who previously starred in The Dark Knight as a minion of the Joker.
    • Season 4's "Let Them Eat Pie" has Professor Pyg (Michael Cerveris) slaughtering homeless citizens and baking them into meat pies. This is a nod to Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which Cerveris starred in back in 2005.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The show has added new characters, changed some of the existing characters in the Batman mythos, and is mixing/matching various elements from the 75-year-long history of the comic book into this version. The show is relying on Batman: Year One and The Long Halloween for the show's foundation.
    • A notable change is having Selina Kyle at the scene and become the sole witness (other than Bruce) to the Waynes murder thus changing up the dynamic between her and Bruce.
    • The starting point of this series' conception was the question: "What if Jim Gordon was the detective who investigated the Wayne murders?"
    • Backstories for several villains are addressed much more deeply than the comics ever have, from actual appearances by Nora Fries (who is usually only seen in stasis in other continuities) to Solomon Grundy aka Butch being a major character before he died and revived as an undead.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Poison Ivy's real name has been changed from Pamela Isley to Ivy Pepper.
    • The Dollmaker's real name is now Francis Dulmacher, rather than Anton Schott or Barton Mathis.
    • Subverted with Amygdala, a.k.a. Aaron Helzinger. Season 1's Aaron Danzig initially seemed (and was even suggested by press releases) to be this show's version of the character... until the actual Aaron Helzinger was introduced in Season 2.
    • Tigress is named Tabitha Galavan rather than Paula Brooks or Artemis Crock.
    • Firefly is named Bridgit Pike instead of Garfield Lynns.
    • Victor and Nora Fries also get a change, not in the spelling, but the pronunciation of their last name is changed from a homophone of 'freeze' to rhyming with twice.note Which is unfortunate, because 'freeze' is more correct for how the name is pronounced in the originally Dutch and/or German. Presumably hearing "Fries" and "Freeze" differently was deemed necessary to distinguish the villain-alias from their actual surname, which wasn't a problem in comics' written text.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection:
    • The murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne has always been the key element in Batman's Origin Story, but on this show it also directly impacts the lives of many of Batman's future allies and enemies:
      • Catwoman witnessed it.
      • Commissioner Gordon and the Riddler investigated it. In the case of Gordon, Batman Begins started a trend where Gordon was at least in the department the night of the Waynes' murder and had the chance to comfort Bruce. Here it was literally at the crime scene.
      • Poison Ivy's father was framed for it and she herself ended up living in the streets as a result.
      • The Penguin's interference in the frame-up set in motion his rise in the Gotham criminal underworld.
      • The murder cleared the path for the development of Venom, the substance that created Bane. Additionally, Wayne Enterprises owns Ace Chemicals, the place where the Joker had his fateful falls into the chemicals, and additionally, Mr. Freeze stole some chemicals there.
      • Hugo Strange was behind it.
    • Also in this continuity, Hugo Strange is involved in Victor Fries' transformation into Mr. Freeze, Bridget Pike into Firefly and Basil Karlo into Clayface.
    • The Court of Owls was not only responsible for the death's of Bruce's parents, which would make him Batman, but also killed Jim Gordon's father, which prompted him to become a cop. And the Court was itself established to serve the schemes of Ra's al Ghul.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Most previous adaptations of Alfred Pennyworth depict him as being almost always proper and polite when dealing with others and acting as a Servile Snarker in order to be a counterpoint to Batman's intensity and focus. In this series, Alfred is a much coarser character, speaking flippantly to Gordon and even angrily berating Bruce for disobeying him and putting himself in danger (while still calling the boy "Master"). While atypical, this gruffer portrayal is akin to the depictions of Alfred in Batman: Earth One and Beware the Batman, and is a stressed-out, grieving Alfred dealing with raising a traumatized orphan, rather than the kindly, wise butler he is in adaptations where Bruce is already a grown man.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Oswald Cobblepot has little resemblance to his short Fat Bastard self in the comics (except for a beaky nose). Justified in that he's still quite young at this point, and therefore has plenty of time to grow bald and gain some weight over time.
    • Harvey Bullock was originally a fat slob. Donal Logue's version is heavyset and usually needs a shave, but he's still pretty presentable, and his fondness for hats gives him a bit of old-school style.
    • The Mad Hatter, typically portrayed as a mousy little man in the comics, is played here by the handsome Benedict Samuel.
  • Adaptational Badass
    • In the comics and most adaptations (such as the Batman: Arkham Series), Victor Zsasz is just a serial killer who relies mainly on ambush tactics and fear, but who's not very tough in a straight fight. In here, he's the most feared mob hitman who can throw down with the best of them.
    • While the Penguin has always been one of the most formidable villains, he is usually depicted in a comedic manner. This Oswald Cobblepot is substantially more serious and dangerous than most past incarnations, is more willing to kill, and is a Magnificent Bastard to boot.
    • Every other version of the Batman story has Bruce's parents being simply there to get killed in front of him and instill his hatred of crime. This time, Thomas is revealed to have been well on his way to becoming a crime fighter himself when he was killed, and it's clear that Bruce's transformation into Batman will be built on what he started. This seems to be inspired by the comic's story "Flashpoint", which presented an alternate universe in which Thomas became Batman.
    • The version of Jim Gordon that appears in the series has fought against and defeated many of the most dangerous and deranged criminals that make up Batman's rogues gallery, all without the help of Batman. In some cases even rivaling the prowess of Batman himself.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job:
    • Barbara Kean, a redhead in the comics, is blonde (naturally dark brown) in the show.
    • Sarah Essen's hair color goes from blonde to black, but this is mainly due to her Race Lift.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Edward Nygma (The Riddler) works as a police forensic scientist who likes to speak in riddles. Of course, this is before his Start of Darkness.
    • This show's version of Harvey Bullock has more in common with his Post-Crisis incarnation in the comics, being loyal to Gordon above all and a Knight in Sour Armor, whereas Pre-Crisis he was a corrupt Fat Bastard.
  • Adaptational Sexuality:
    • Barbara Kean is bisexual, dating Renee Montoya both before and after her relationship with Jim. She later displays attraction toward both Theo and Tabitha Galavan.
    • In Season 3, Penguin is confirmed to be in love with Edward Nygma.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the comics, Sarah Essen was a clean cop, but here, she's a reluctant Dirty Cop.
    • Penguin is more willing to commit bloodshed than other incarnations.
    • Throughout Season 1, Barbara Kean isn't quite as nice as she is in the comics, as she willingly cheats on Gordon with Montoya, and tries to convince Selina that she could use her beauty as a weapon. And at the end of the season, the trope is played completely straight as Barbara becomes an insane murderer, which continues into Season 2.
    • Silver St. Cloud, one of Bruce Wayne's comic book love interests, is on the bad guys' side here, under the allegiance of her uncle, Big Bad Theo Galavan. Her romantic feelings towards Bruce are nothing more than a ruse to keep him vulnerable. At least to begin with.
  • Adult Fear:
    • In "Lovecraft", Bruce and Selina are on the run from assassins, while Alfred and Jim have no idea where the children have gone and are barely able to contain their frantic worry that they'll be killed.
    • At the self-help group meeting, Crane gets choked up when he speaks of seeing signs that his son may suffer the same crippling fear as himself. While he's actually there to kidnap a new victim rather than be helped, his confession of fear for his son may not be an act.
    • In "The Last Laugh", Bruce gave himself up to be hostage for Jerome who threatened to shoot Alfred if he didn't. Both Gordon and Alfred know they don't have a clear shot with Bruce being held at knifepoint and can only helplessly watch as Jerome taunts Bruce.
  • Advertised Extra: Ivy Pepper. Despite appearing in a handful of episodes with a small amount of screentime, she was prominently used in the show's promotional material. That changes by the third season.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Carmine Falcone and Butch Gilzean are both terribly friendly, mild-mannered gangsters.
  • Age Lift:
    • Edward Nygma, Renee Montoya, Crispus Allen, Victor Zsasz, Harvey Dent, and Mario Falcone are all apparently around Gordon's age. In a strictly faithful adaptation they would be Bruce's age or younger. Likewise, The Batman painted Cosmo Krank as around Bruce's age whereas, agian likewise, he's already an adult when Bruce is a kid.
    • Oswald Cobblepot remains older than Bruce, but he's now closer to Gordon's age. In Season 2, he states to his father that he is 31 years old.
    • Harvey Bullock and Sarah Essen are older than Gordon rather than younger.
    • Bruce is a teenager when his parents died instead of eight or ten (sources vary), and he is eighteen when he leaves Gotham and twenty-eight when he comes back. Batman: Year One establishes that he was fourteen when he left Gotham and twenty-five going on twenty-six when he returns.
    • Selina Kyle is about a year older than Bruce instead of several years younger. In the comics, she is in her late teens when she became Catwoman while he is in his mid-twenties when he becomes Batman.
    • Carmine Falcone is already old at this point. He is played by seventy-year-old John Doman, and in his first appearance, he mentions being good friends with Gordon's father. In the comics, he is around this age by the time Batman arrives.
    • While Matches Malone's age was never established in the comics, he was young enough for Bruce to pull a Dead Person Impersonation once Matches died to spy on criminals. Here, he's played by 62-year-old Michael Bowen.
    • Many characters in this series, some mentioned above and some not, are the same age as they are in the comics... at a time when Bruce is still a teenager. That makes much of the cast about twenty years older than they are in other continuities.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Reggie Payne, Alfred's old army buddy. After he left the army he became a mess, he was reduced to alcoholism and being a drug addict until Wayne Enterprises approached him to inflitrate Wayne Manor and find out how much Bruce has them. But Alfred catches him stealing Bruce's files and in desperation he stabs Alfred. He later tells the WE Board not to go after Bruce. Later when Bruce and Selina find him in a crackhouse he implores Bruce to give up his crusade before he gets killed. It isn't until Selina takes his cache of drugs and that Bruce tells him that he needs to get help that he gets nasty and threatens to tell his bosses at Wayne Enterprises that Bruce is still on to them. Then Selina pushes him out of a window. Made even worse when it's revealed that she didn't need to kill him.
    • Bridgit Pike, abused by her "brothers" and then forced into committing arson by them; it's a small wonder she goes off the deep end.
  • The Alcoholic: After spending a night drinking, Bullock jokes to Gordon that it would take him a couple more drinks for him to sober up.
  • Alliterative Name: In "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon", Fish Mooney's full name is revealed to be Maria Mercedes Mooney.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Harvey walks into this in "Spirit of the Goat". He knows that the person he's talking to is the killer, but doesn't realize the way in which they're going to attack him.
  • Already Met Everyone: While they won't be active as villains (with a few exceptions like Oswald Cobblepot who's already active in the mob), The Bat's most iconic rogues will be seen in the show. In some cases, the show makes them implied Legacy Characters by using their identities for other people; for instance "Black Mask" shows up, but it's not the same character but a relative, and his modus operandi is different.
  • Alternate Continuity: The show was advertised as being set before all the characters we know go on to fill in their more well-known roles in Batman mythology (not in any prior continuity though). As the series progressed, however, it became apparent that the show was very much its own take on that mythology. Plot Armor for characters who would otherwise be alive when Bruce puts on the cowl seems to vary, the age of characters also varies, and the show also seems to imply several more well-known figures are actually Legacy Characters. It's a show that uses the iconography of the source material and plays it up in very unexpected ways. At this point, all that's really certain seems to be that Bruce Wayne will become Batman one day and that he will have a Rogues Gallery to go up against. And even then, we have to wait and see.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Selina's father, Bridget Pike's father and Nyssa al Ghul's mother are completely unmentioned.
  • Ambiguous Start of Darkness: Jeremiah Valeska is introduced as an unassuming, moral person before his psychotic twin brother Jerome tracks him down to prove that Jeremiah has the propensity to be just as evil as himself, also alleging that Jeremiah framed him and his normal persona is just a mask. He later sends Jeremiah a gas which transforms him into the Joker. However, Jeremiah himself claims that the gas did not alter his personality, and whether or not Jerome was right about Jeremiah's past is deliberately ambiguous.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: Deliberately invoked by the show's production team to give the show a timeless feel, even though Word of God states they were emulating the works of John Frankenheimer and Sidney Lumet and The '70sNew York City. Much like Batman and Batman: The Animated Series, Gotham is an intentional mashup of different time periods:
    • Set Decorator Andrew Baseman stated in a tour of the GCPD headquarters set that the feel is "no period and all periods. So the typewriters are from the '60s and '70s, the phones are from the '80s, lamps are from the '60s. We don't have modern technology in here."
    • Jim Gordon is reminiscent of traitor/whistle-blower Serpico played by Al Pacino in the 1973 film Serpico which covers the years 1960 to 1972.
    • One Tumblr user states that "Gotham’s constant leadership and infrastructure woes are reminiscent of New York’s mid-1970’s bankruptcy and the subsequent denial of federal aide, summed up by the New York Daily News with the headline “[President] Ford to City: Drop Dead.”
    • Oswald’s club styles itself, in part, as a music club not unlike CBGB’s."
    • The cars date from all over the place. Season 1 alone features cars ranging from the 1960s to the 2010s.
    • Characters wield modern firearms note Weapons on Gotham range through various decades, with GCPD officers mostly using Glocks and SIG-Sauers, and criminals/civilians using older guns. Note that most "modern" weapons were designed/introduced in the 1990s.
    • Cops and prison guards wear old-fashioned uniforms note Police in the United States largely stopped wearing light blue uniform shirts in the 1980s and prison guards now wear much more utilitarian uniforms rather than the dressy style with Sam Browne belts that the ones on the show are seen wearing.
    • A lot of characters carry cell phones, but they are all flip phones.
    • Televisions are old CRT models.
    • The dominant portable music medium is cassette tape.
    • An old-fashioned glass aspirin bottle without a childproof top is seen in the pilot.
    • Photographers carry the latest DSLRs.
    • Advanced ATMs stand alongside public phones.
    • While Gordon is stated to be a war hero, no information about the war he fought in has been given. Barnes also says he had dealt with "insurgents" during some conflict "in the desert."
    • A radio quiz states that there are 118 known elements - this was only true in Real Life as of 2010.
    • Homosexuality is tolerated, if not accepted. In the comics, Montoya's homosexuality actually led to her being kicked off the force and pushed her into vigilantism.
    • Selina is seen eating Fruit Brute cereal, which was only available in the late '70s to early '80s ... and again in 2013-14.
    • In "The Scarecrow", Gordon and Bullock use microfiche to look up old newspaper articles.
    • The Grayson/Lloyd feud is said to have started before WWI note A little over 100 years before the airing of the episode, but only 3 generations are mentioned in allusion to it.
    • A possible one with The Ogre's plastic surgery. While the clinic looks very clean and advanced, the surgical result has a certain plastic look to it, much like the early days of plastic surgery.
    • In a scene at the Gotham Gazette, the noise of typewriters is heard in the background at the same time a computer is visible on one of the reporters' desks.
    • The ringtone on Victor Zsasz's phone is "Funkytown", which was originally recorded in 1980.
    • Bruce Wayne has a modern computer complete with flatscreen LCD monitors in his father's hidden room.
    • Costume designer Lisa Padovani stated that Oswald's suit was based on a "burlesque theater/1970s/Las Vegas/vintage look."
    • Ed's costume has influence from the 1960s.
    • In "Prisoners", the prisoners' uniforms resemble those from The Shawshank Redemption, set between 1947 and 1965, though some other prisons are seen to use modern jumpsuits. Meanwhile Arkham inmate uniforms are a very old fashioned black and white striped pattern and the women's version is a dress.
    • In certain episodes, various different years and dates can be seen on GCPD files or in newspapers. However, they all contradict each other because they place the show's 'current' events in specific time periods such as the 80s and the 21st Century. These are most likely false placeholders meant to keep eagle-eyed viewers guessing.
  • And Starring: Jada Pinkett Smith and Michael Chiklis get this treatment.
  • Animal Metaphor: The show plays with metaphors referencing Oswald Cobblepot's nickname, "Penguin", by having Oswald betray a "Fish" Mooney, and by killing a poor fisherman over a sandwich.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The series finale ended with an adult Bruce, now taking the identity of Batman, overseeing the city of Gotham as he prepared for his upcoming crusade against Gotham's villains.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Shapes suggestive of the Batman logo haveappeared in the show. Also, the Season 2 poster (pictured above) resembles an upside down bat symbol.
    • Naturally, cats are Selina Kyle's motif, as she is shown to have an affinity for them and often resembles one as she silently slinks around. In "Unleashed", she even sneezes like one.
  • Appropriated Appellation: While Oswald doesn't like the name "Penguin," Maroni encourages him to embrace it. He eventually does.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Averted. Early in the series, each case of a "freak" elicits some degree of disbelief, questioning or incredulity. However, by the time season four ends, most characters readily accept the existence of the weird to the point of even treating people coming back from the dead as just another day in Gotham.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Least worst option." Used by many characters to describe the series' theme of compromise in the face of no good scenarios.
    • "It's a new day!"
    • "There are no heroes in Gotham."
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted with Azrael, who is hit by the GCPD multiple times but shrugs it off easily due to his metal armor protecting him.
  • Artifact of Doom: The red hood has an effect on people who wear it.
  • Artistic License – Biology: While the adrenal cortex does make cortisol in response to long-term stress and worry, it's epinephrine and norepinephrine (aka "adrenaline") from the adrenal medulla which are secreted due to immediate fear, and that would have caused Gerald Crane's pupils to dilate when injected with adrenal extract.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • A major problem Gordon has with his investigations is that many of the victims are lowlifes that that could have pissed off any number of dangerous people and the public does not care if the crimes are ever solved. Bullock tends to refer to these crimes as a "social service" and feels that the victims had it coming and the world is a better place without them.
    • The guys who Oswald hitchhikes back to Gotham with. You might have felt sorry for them if they didn't yank his chain as he tries to get in the first time and laugh at him while they did it.
    • Inverted with the Waynes' murders. The Waynes were beloved and the police must find a culprit quickly or heads will roll. This being Gotham, the police brass take the easy way out and collude with the mob to frame Mario Pepper for the crime.
      • Mario Pepper is an example himself, as he is just the type of abusive lowlife who would be capable of committing such a crime. Outside his family and Gordon, no one cares that he might be innocent.
    • The Balloon Man sees himself as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, targeting the operator of a Ponzi scheme, a Dirty Cop, and a Pedophile Priest. Hundreds of people wanted them dead and the other cops only start taking the crimes seriously when a cop is killed.
      • Special mention should go to said Dirty Cop, Lieutenant Cranston. He's only in this one episode and entirely for the reason of killing him. After introducing himself to Gordon, he proceeds to beat a criminal that the GCPD has arrested, and reappears later shaking down a drug dealer before pointlessly beating up a hot dog vendor (actually the Ballon Man in disguise, who admittedly goaded him into attacking by being very insistent about selling him a hot dog) and mugging him before. Just about the only person bent up over him is Bullock, who insists that Cranston wasn't that bad.
    • In "Under the Knife", it's revealed that Kris Kringle's boyfriend, Officer Dougherty, physically abuses her, claiming that women need a "firm hand" to keep them in check. This is what prompts Edward to confront and (eventually) murder him.
    • In Season 2, the Pike brothers repeatedly abuse and belittle their sister Bridgit, and later force her to do the heavy work in their criminal activities (all the while continuing to mess with her just for laughs). It's extremely difficult to feel bad when Bridgit snaps and burns them alive.
    • In "Mr. Freeze", the obnoxious pharmacist refuses to refill Nora Fries' medication without a prescription (and he's completely in the right — he's just a total jerk about it), and later chews out an old lady in the same dickish manner. He's quick to get his comeuppance from the titular villain. Downplayed in that he returns to life at the episode's end.
    • After being reformed into a harmless, friendly person, Oswald meets his father and stepfamily, the latter of whom repeatedly harass him, kill his father (albeit accidentally, as they meant to kill Oswald instead) to get his house and fortune, and keep Oswald as a hapless servant while secretly planning to kill him as well. The moment he finds out they killed his father, Oswald snaps back into his old self, kills the children, feeds them to the mother as roast, and then stabs her to death. Brutal? Yes. Tragic? Maybe. Still, so IMMENSELY satisfying!
  • A-Team Firing: Extended gunfights where nobody hits each other happen fairly frequently on the show. For instance, in "Strike Force", Victor Zsasz and the titular strike force (supposedly graduates from the "best Police Academy in the country") trade bullets for a couple minutes. While Zsasz doesn't even bother taking cover, only one of the strike force members gets hit once in their bulletproof vest at the end of it. Zsasz appears to take a hit, but shrugs it off with an annoyed "that was unexpected" and leaves.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The weather balloons used by the Balloonman require him to get very close to handcuff his targets to them, he needs a very heavy cart to transport the balloons or else they'll fly away, and can be easily fended off by an aware target.
    • The knife-tube used by Gladwell. Lampshaded by him immediately going for a more practical gun once Gordon loses his.
    • The Electrocutioner's machines, which are capable of knocking out he entire GCPD, but, since they were built on the go and with spare parts, they could be taken out with a cup of water.
    • Viper, the drug that gives you superhuman strength, runs on calcium and will suck it out of your bones to fuel it, to the point of eventually crumbling your bones and turning you into a pile of soft tissue. It was this major drawback that turned what was suppose to be a supersoldier serum into a worthless drug (literally, the man had to give it away). Venom seems to have eliminated that flaw.
    • In "All Happy Families Are Alike", Gordon temporarily dual-wields pistols during a gunfight. While impressive, it was about as effective as you'd expect; it took him emptying a total of four handguns (most of which he retrieved from guys downed earlier with an assault rifle) to take out one guy. It didn't help that he was flipping around tables to dodge return fire. But damn if it didn't look cool.
  • Back-Alley Doctor:
    • In "Penguin's Umbrella", Gordon gets shot and is taken to a medical student, since he can't go to a hospital due to being on the run from the mob. She treats him in the middle of a dissection lab, surrounded by lab rats. The trope is downplayed, as there is no indication that the care is substandard.
    • "The Mask" plays this straight with Felton, an unlicensed black market doctor whom the police allow to keep working as long as he provides them with information (until St. Jim decides to not honor the agreement and arrests him).
    • Leslie becomes this in later seasons.
  • Back from the Dead: Happens frequently, to the point of being repeatedly lampshaded in-universe. That said, Word of God has stated that there is an unofficial "One-Resurrection-Only" rule in place behind the scenes.
    • In Season 2, this is Hugo Strange's plan for the dead people he's keeping at Indian Hill, at the behest of the Court of Owls. Among his successful subjects are Theo Galavan/Azrael and Fish Mooney.
    • In Season 3, Strange's former underling Dwight Pollard continues the work by reviving Jerome Valeska. In the season finale, Alfred dies, but is resurrected by the Lazarus Pit within minutes.
    • In Season 4, Barbara Kean returns after being resurrected by Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus water. Meanwhile, Butch Gilzean, who was left comatose in the season 3 finale, is revived by Slaughter Swamp and becomes Solomon Grundy.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work:
    • Inverted with Theo Galavan's murder. While Gordon could let Penguin bludgeon Galavan to death, he eventually steps in and finishes Galavan off with a bullet.
    • Played straight with Galavan's second death. This time Gordon finds himself out of ammo, but Penguin and Butch end up taking care of Galavan by shooting him with a rocket launcher.
  • Badass Boast: When Nygma realizes Tom is abusing Kristen (whom he has eyes for), he turns a riddle into one of these. Combined with how angry he sounds...

    Nygma:I can start a war or end one. I can give you the strength of heroes or leave you powerless. I might be snared with a glance, but no force can compel me to stay. What am I?note "Love."

  • Bat Deduction: In "The Blind Fortune Teller", Gordon correctly concludes the titular fortune teller, Paul Cicero, had been trying to mislead him with his fake cryptic message. Then, knowing absolutely nothing about Cicero or who was important to him, he decides that (1) he must have been protecting Jerome, (2) Cicero was the victim's former lover, (3) that Jerome was Cicero's son, and (4) that Jerome genuinely didn't know Cicero was his father but would still have trusted him to help cover up a murder. All of this turns out to be completely correct.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Ironically, considering the Trope Namer, Cobblepot manages to pull one off in the pilot episode (which we find out via flashback in "Penguin's Umbrella"). Oswald asks that Falcone have Gordon kill him, knowing that Gordon's conscience won't allow him to actually kill him. This allows Cobblepot to come back under an assumed name and become a snitch for Falcone inside Maroni's organization. Falcone gets in on the action in cooperation with Cobblepot when the two of them arrange to kill off Falcone's disloyal Russian lieutenant, which also undercuts Mooney's support, and Maroni's lieutenant who is clever enough to see that Cobblepot is manipulating his boss, which simultaneously ends the conflict, sets Cobblepot up as a trusted Maroni ally, and sticks it to Fish without anyone else being the wiser.
    • Fish pulls off a fairly complex one to break out of the Dollmaker's body-part prison.
    • Sofia Falcone expertly manipulates Penguin, and tries to do the same to Gordon, but he eventually sees through her.
  • Battle Butler: Alfred Pennyworth is a former soldier who trains Bruce in hand-to-hand fighting and frequently makes use of his skills to beat up various psychos and mooks.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Barbara wanted to be more involved in Gordon's work despite Gordon doing what he could to keep her out. After the events of "Penguin's Umbrella", she learned why.
    • Gordon is desperate to bring down an "untouchable" Dirty Cop so he asks Cobblepot for helping getting the evidence he needs. Cobblepot is happy to help and Gordon is able to arrest the cop and actually have the charges stick. Gordon is then horrified that Cobblepot obtained the evidence by having one of his men torture the wife of another dirty cop and threaten to murder the man's children.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: In "Spirit of the Goat", Selina sneaks into the Wayne Manor and watches a sleeping Bruce with a small smile on her face.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't insult Thomas or Martha Wayne within hearing distance of Bruce Wayne, as Thomas Elliot found out the hard way. Likewise, Alfred actively encouraged Bruce to beat the crap out of Tommy.
    • Don't tell call or compare Cobblepot to a penguin (at least in the early episodes of the show). Likewise, don't hurt or insult his mother in any way; he'll go fucking nuts.
  • Big Bad: The show as a whole has a Big Bad Ensemble between the duo of Oswald Cobblepot and Edward Nygma, Greater-Scope Villain Ra's Al-Ghul, and the Valeska brothers.
    • Season 1: Oswald Cobblepot and Fish Mooney scheme against each other in a Gambit Pileup to overthrow Carmine Falcone, with The Penguin ultimately coming out on top. However, he's more of a Villain Protagonist that the audience can root for and he is only antagonistic in a VERY indirect way towards Jim, as he ends up jump-starting the mob war that Jim hoped to avoid.
    • Season 2 (Rise of the Villains): Theo Galavan is the leader of the Order of St. Dumas, who intend to kill Bruce for crimes committed against their family by the Waynes centuries ago. Galavan also breaks out Arkham inmates, such as Jerome Valeska, in a gambit to become mayor.
    • Season 2 (Rise of the Villains): HugoStrange is behind the Wayne murders, and uses his position as head of Arkham Asylum to create monsters and bring people Back from the Dead (such as Galavan as Azrael) on behalf of the Court of Owls.
    • Season 3 (Mad City): The Mad Hatter targets Gordon in order to avenge the death of his sister/obsession, Alice. In the final few episodes, the previously deceased Jerome is resurrected by his cultists and plunges the entire city into chaos.
    • Season 3 (Heroes Rise): The Court Of Owls plan to use the Tetch virus to destroy the city, with their leader the Shaman brainwashing Bruce and directly reporting to Ra's Al-Ghul.
    • Season 4: Ra's Al-Ghul manipulates Bruce into killing him and ending his curse of immortality, with the psychological impact on Bruce and leadership of the League of Assassins being passed to Barabara causing a large amount of conflict. Numerous Arc Villains proceed to take over, such as Sofia Falcone, who brings in Professor Pyg as The Dragon in a gambit to overthrow The Penguin and take over the criminal underworld; Jerome Valeska, breaking out of Arkham and assembling the various supervillains into a Legion of Doom; and Jeremiah Valeska, who upon being posthomously driven insane by his brother teams up with a resurrected Ra's to plunge the city into chaos once more.
    • Season 5: A Big Bad Ensemble between Jeremiah, who is responsible for turning Gotham into a No Man's Land and stalks his "friend" Bruce so as to drive him insane; and Nyssa Al-Ghul, the daughter of Ra's who, along with Bane, sets out for revenge against Bruce and invades Gotham in a hostile takeover. Jeremiah is the Final Boss in the Distant Finale set 10 years later.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In "Penguin's Umbrella", Montoya and Allen roar in to rescue Gordon from Zsasz and his henchwomen.
  • Bittersweet Ending: To really show how corrupt Gotham really is, most of the episodes end like this. No matter what Gordon does, he just can't make a difference that lasts. That of course sets the stage for Batman to begin his war and help Gordon, so no matter how high the criminals may set themselves up and feel invincible, they will all be terrorized by the Dark Knight:
    • In "Pilot", Thomas and Martha Wayne's murderer is still out there, Gordon is forced into the program, Bullock is revealed to be corrupt. The only thing that keeps this from becoming a Downer Ending is the promise Gordon made to Bruce at the end.
    • "Selina Kyle" ends with the child snatchers caught but all the kids except Selina still "sent to prison without a trial".
    • "The Balloonman" is captured, but he himself is just a victim of Gotham's corruption. The episode ends with Gordon in doubt that he can ever free the city of its corruption.
    • "Arkham" ends with Gordon preventing the murder of the mayor and thus stopping a bloody Mob War that would have killed hundreds. However, the resulting compromise means that the ambitious plan of making a rebuilt Arkham into the nucleus of a revitalized Gotham, has been suborned as yet another money-making scheme for the mob and no real change will happen. Young Bruce can only watch as his parents' dream is destroyed on live TV.
    • "Viper": the man responsible for the Viper drug kills himself. But Viper is only the prototype of a much more dangerous pharmaceutical weapon, Venom, developed by the Wayne Enterprise. When Gordon arrives at a warehouse (presumably where the drug was stored), the place is cleaned out. By a Wayne employee said to be close to Thomas Wayne himself. However, Bruce has a good formative experience as a detective with his first field interview and now knows Alfred supports his crusade.
    • "Spirit of the Goat": Cobblepot openly reveals he's alive, which gets Gordon out of potential legal trouble for killing him. However, it puts Gordon and probably Bullock in trouble with Falcone and Mooney for not killing him.
    • "Penguin's Umbrella" ends with Gordon, Bullock and Barbara alive and no longer hunted by Falcone's men. However, Falcone wins once again and it is made abundantly clear that the heroes are all alone when it comes to fighting corruption in Gotham. The other cops (with the exception of Montoya and Allen) are so scared of Falcone that they will not hesitate to hand over one of their own to be killed if it averts Falcone's wrath.
    • "Lovecraft" ends with Bruce and Selina both safe (relatively speaking) and even striking up some kind of relationship.. However, things don't end nearly so well for Gordon who is transferred by the corrupt mayor to Arkham Asylum, for his continued defiant investigation of the Wayne murders.
    • "What the Little Bird Told Him" is an aversion so rare that it's worth mentioning. Jim Gordon almost single-handedly brings down Jack Gruber (aka the Electrocutioner), as a result of which he is reinstated as a Detective in the Homicide Unit, and is now ready to pursue his campaign against the corrupt system with renewed vigor. Not to mention, he ends up getting a new love interest in Dr. Leslie Thompkins. Played somewhat straight only if you consider the brutal murder of Liza (a relative innocent) at Falcone's hands.
  • Black Boss Lady: Fish Mooney.
  • Black Comedy: The show seems to run on this, with at least one bizarre scene or death per episode.
    • In the pilot, Fish hires a comedian who seems to specialize in it. She finds it hilarious.
  • Blackmail Backfire: At the end of season 4, when the new Joker and his cult have placed bombs all over Gotham and are demanding its complete evacuation within six hours, a collection of Gotham's other criminals led by the Penguin decide to blackmail him by stealing the trigger device and convince the Joker to demand an additional fifteen million dollars from the Mayor. When this proves too inconvenient, the Joker instead blows up the trigger with a bazooka (since he had a back-up already, albeit one that is slightly more difficult to implement), bumps up his schedule, and orders his goons to kill Penguin and his lackeys.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The teenage girls who appear on the show: Silver (blonde), Selina (brunette) and Ivy (redhead).
  • Bloodier and Gorier: By far the most gruesome live-action Batman adaptation to date. What other Batman (or DC comics adaptation in general) has featured a woman ripping out her own eye with a spoon?
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted. Most primetime shows will only use small squibs to show a character has been shot, sometimes not even that. This show uses bigger squibs and also includes spectacularly exploding blood packs. Not to mention all the Eye Scream instances.
  • Body Horror:
    • People who take Viper have the calcium drained from their bones, eventually causing them to break down in a bloody mess.
    • The Dollmaker specializes in lopping off different people's body parts and stitching them together to make hideous, Frankenstein-like monstrosities.
    • The Ogre was born with a fairly extreme facial deformity that made half his face look like cauliflower in an old photo.
  • Boisterous Weakling: Oswald Cobblepot in the pilot. He would love to be a tough guy like his associates, but he just doesn't have much to work with for most of the episode. Even when Fish Mooney pushes his Berserk Button by calling him "Penguin", the result is not Unstoppable Rage but Cobblepot getting his ass handed to him once again. Of course, this is before his transition From Nobody to Nightmare.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: As one might expect from a show based on a comic book, villains boasting to their soon to be victims and failure to heed Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? that causes their victim to get away or something else to get in the way is rampant on this show. For instance, Cobblepot gloating to Falcone about how he set up the entire gang war in the Season 1 finale and how he now intends take his time taking out Falcone instead of just killing him right away and leaving gives time for Gordon and rival mobsters to show up and stop him from doing it, causing Falcone to ultimately survive and very nearly gets Cobblepot himself killed.
  • Book Safe: In "All Happy Families Are Alike", Bruce finds a remote control hidden inside his father's copy of Marcus Aurelius's Meditations.
  • Break the Haughty: Fish believes she could usurp Carmine Falcone and that he is "old and soft". Falcone pays a visit to her club and proves how wrong she is...by beating up a barman she cares about. She is forced to watch tearfully and is visibly shaken by the ordeal. Possibly she was faking the "tearfully" part however, as she quite calmly orders her second-in-command to get rid of the barman in question in the next episode, not having any use for a banged-up employee or boytoy.
  • Breather Episode: The two extra episodes in season 5,'Nothing's Shocking' and 'The Trial of James Gordon' serve as this. The former is a look into Bullock's Mysterious Past and has a sympathetic villain who is easily taken care of and also a very humorous subplot involving The Ventriloquist. The latter is a character study of Jim Gordon with a very low stakes antagonist present and a development of Bruce and Selina's relationship which ends with Jim and Lee getting married. Considering that these two episodes are sandwiched between 'Ace Chemicals' where Jeremiah attempts to recreate the murders of Bruce's parents and poisons the city's harbor and 'I Am Bane' where Bane absolutely destroys all the efforts the protagonists have made to save Gotham and begins to destroy the city, it's likely the showrunners wanted the audience to see the characters interact with one another more before the grand finale.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The Van Dahls already know that Penguin is a reformed murderer, but they still go out of their way to be assholes to him when he's shown them nothing but kindness. Three guesses how well that turns out for them, especially after he stumbles across the poison...
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Bruce Wayne finally comes face-to-face with his parents' killer, the guy doesn't even remember killing them until Bruce jogs his memory by filling in some of the details.
  • But Thou Must!: When Gordon refuses Barnes' protection from Azrael on the grounds that he's no longer a cop, Barnes pulls this on him by bringing him in on suspicion of involvement in the breakout of Karen Jennings.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Probably one of the biggest problems there is in Gotham. Despite all the crime and corruption that go on in the city virtually nobody cares or believes there is any point in caring.
  • Call-Back: Dr. Strange's "Certificate of Sanity", which had been awarded to the Penguin in "The Ball of Mud and Meanness", returns in "Look Into My Eyes" when it's awarded to Edward Nygma.
  • Call-Forward: Understandable, given this is a prequel series:
    • In the pilot, Bruce tells Gordon that he's glad that his parent's killer is still out there because "[he] wants to see him again". In several interpretations of the Batman mythos, Bruce at some point DOES see his parent's killer again.
    • Bruce's assertion that the 'Balloonman', while he hunted criminals, was as much a criminal because he killed; foreshadows the no-killing rulehe will rigidly adhere to when he becomes a vigilante himself.
    • In "Viper", the titular drug is revealed towards the end of the episode to be a precursor to Venom.
    • The fact that Bruce can perform a Stealth Hi/Bye even at this age.
    • After the titular vigilante "Balloonman" was arrested, a reporter asks who would protect Gotham now while the camera focuses on Bruce.
    • The Balloonman himself tells Gordon that there will be other vigilantes who will follow his lead.
    • In "Spirit of the Goat", Barbara tells James she is 'negotiating terms'...an interesting choice of words considering that in the comics she ends up divorcing him.
    • Edward Nygma happens to carry a mug with a question mark on it. He also has a tie printed with them.
    • Harvey Dent is often shown with one side of his face in shadow, and is already deciding others' fate with a rigged coin-toss.
    • In "Lovecraft", Bruce tells Selina that she's a 'good person', but not 'nice'. His words are, in a sense, reflective of how in most interpretations Batman traditionally has considered Catwoman to be a criminal, albeit one whose heart is in the right place.
    • In "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon", Cobblepot briefly takes over Fish Mooney's nightclub and claims it as his own. In the comics, he does indeed run his own club, the Iceberg Lounge. Eventually, he legitimately gets the entire club to himself, renaming it "Oswald's" and replacing the fish neon sign with that of an umbrella.
    • In "Beasts of Prey", Bruce interrogates Reggie (the man who stabbed Alfred) in a very Batman-esque fashion (he keeps a stone face the entire time, and threatens to have Selina toss his medicine out the window if he doesn't cooperate). When Reggie positions himself near the open window, Bruce prepares to push him out in order to kill him, but ultimately stops himself from doing so. [[Establishing Character Moment Selina, on the other hand, does the job for him.
    • Jerome has a tendency to wear green and purple suits. He also gets punched in the mouth a lot to give him bright red clown lips. In one episode he is killed by being stabbed in the lung, causing his face to go pale as he coughs up blood, leaving a clownlike visage on his corpse.
  • Camp: Though the series uses many grim noirish trappings, and is much gorier than previous Batman adaptations, it goes much further than The Dark Knight Trilogy with including comic book elements, such as the Balloonman's charmingly silly murder method. This almost unique styling has been affectionately called Grim Camp or Goth Ham.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Fish Mooney is a crime boss and nightclub owner created for the show, who has ambitions to take Falcone's spot as the top crime boss in Gotham.
    • The show introduces Kristen Kringle, a secretary and record keeper for the GCPD whom Edward Nygma becomes smitten with.
    • Season 2 introduces Arc Villain Theo Galavan. His sister Tabitha also qualifies since, despite being the show's version of Tigress, has no affiliation with the character in the comics.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Seeing Nathaniel Barnes - played by Michael Chiklis, who also played Vic Mackey in The Shield - berate Jim Gordon for roughing up a suspect is quite surreal.
    • Oswald's father is played by Paul Reubens, who also played the Penguin's father in Batman Returns—though Elijah is a far cry from TuckerCobblepot.
    • Dwight Pollard is played by David Dastmalchian, who previously played one of Joker's mooks in The Dark Knight.
    • This wasn't the first time B.D. Wong played a scientist known for making monsters, though it wouldn't be until Jurassic World that the character of Henry Wu became anywhere near as malicious as Hugo Strange; given production times, he was probably playing Strange and Wu as mad scientists at nearly the same time!
  • Catapult Nightmare: Bruce awakens from a nightmare like this in "Arkham".
  • Cat Scare: Happens to Leslie in "The Hammer or the Anvil", with her getting out of her bath and picking up a knife to investigate a noise in her apartment, only to discover it is only her cat.
  • Central Theme: Season 3 focuses on the idea of rebirth. Several characters are "reborn" one way or another; Ivy is reborn into an adult body, Barnes becomes a murderous psychopath after a fateful encounter with Alice Tetch's blood, Fish Mooney deals with a new life after being resurrected by Hugo Strange, and Jerome comes back to life and hatches a plan to rebirth Gotham itself by plunging it into anarchy.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: Selina teaches a crying kid being sent "upstate" with her to always "go for the eyes" if he needs to defend himself. Quite cute at the time, except she wasn't kidding...
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Despite initially being major characters, Montoya and Allen disappear with no explanation midway through Season 1.
    • Harvey Dent appears occasionally through Season 1 and the first half of Season 2. Since then, he seems to have been forgotten.
    • Silver St Cloud was a prominent character throughout the first half of Season 2, but hasn't been seen since the mid-season finale.
  • Circus Episode: In "The Blind Fortune Teller", Jim and Leslie are attending Haly's Circus when a snake dancer is murdered. The subsequent investigation reveals all kinds of tensions bubbling beneath the surface, including a pair of Feuding Families.
    • "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies" features Jerome running a circus with his followers, many of the games proving fatal for the citizens - but the main event involves his tying Bruce up and firing a cannon filled with explosives and knives at him.
  • The City Narrows: Yes, Gotham has a neighborhood that's considered even worse than the rest of the city, and it's even called "The Narrows."
  • City Noir: The titular city, of course. Carmine Falcone even lampshades this in a season 4 conversation with Gordon: "The sun never shines in Gotham."
  • Civvie Spandex: Selina Kyle doesn't wear a costume yet, but does sport a black jacket and a pair of goggles.
  • Clear My Name: The latter half of Season 2 involves Nygma framing Gordon for one of his crimes after he thinks Gordon suspects him, and Gordon being forced to go on the lam to clear his name.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Because Gotham premiered only a year after the start of the DC Extended Universe, they were only allowed to use the names of the characters not featured in the DCEU at the time (Penguin, Catwoman, Riddler, Harvey Dent, Mr. Freeze etc), with an exception made for Jim Gordon. The name Batman could only be alluded to. That wasn't a big deal, as the whole point of the series was to show Bruce his origin story, and path of becoming the Batman, but it did create a problem when it came to the Gotham version of the Joker. Jerome Valeska, despite the fact that he has many traits similar to those of the Joker, was never referred to by that name. Originally, the producers want to present the Joker as more of an idea rather than a character. Even though his twin, Jeremiah, becomes the next "proto-Joker" near the end of Season 4, he is never referred to by the supervillain alias either, as Cameron Monaghan revealed that Warner Brothers forbade Gotham to refer to their Joker by that name on screen or use bright green hair for the character (hence the look he had in the Grand Finale), presumably due to both Suicide Squad & Joker. However, some promotional material has referred to Jeremiah as "Mr.J" (Harley Quinn's nickname for the Joker, her Gotham equavalent being named Echo), and the producers did state that Jeremiah was indeed the official Gotham Joker.
  • Composite Character:
    • Galavan's family history has elements of Jean-Paul Valley (connection to the Order of St Dumas) and Zachary Gate from Gates of Gotham (vengeful descendent of a forgotten Gotham founding family). In addition to being a cultist monk, the fact that he also manipulates one of Bruce Wayne's love-interests into doing his bidding and has a female assistant (his sister Tabitha) gives him some elements of the Mad Monk, minus the vampire connection.
    • Matches Malone being the Waynes' killer and Hugo Strange being the one who ordered it gives them the respective roles of Joe Chill and Lew Moxon.
    • Sensei is supposedly a combination of his comic counterpart and Deacon Blackfire. While he shares both characters' extended longevity, this show's version of Sensei was a "shaman" that brainwashed Bruce into working for him similar to Blackfire.
    • Nathaniel Barnes, also known as "The Executioner", shares elements from several different murderous vigilantes from Batman's lore. The name is taken from an obscure villain named "The Executioner", who only appeared in Detective Comics #191. Barnes' backstory as a cop turned criminal-killer is reminiscent of Lock-Up in Batman: The Animated Series. Lastly, his reaper-esque pendulum gauntlet on his left hand is uniquely similar to Phantasm's blade, who was also based on another obscure Batman villain named "The Reaper".
    • In season 4, Selina Kyle gets shot and paralyzed, just like Barbara Gordon/Batgirl/Oracle was, by Jeremiah.
    • Ecco is mostly Jeremiah's Harley Quinn counterpart, but her porcelein mask suggests Alicia from the 1989 movie.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In Season 3, the necklace Ivy steals and brings to Bruce just happens to be connected to the Court of Owls, providing an excuse to move that story arc forward.
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction:
    • In "Penguin's Umbrella", when Bullock pulls a gun on Gordon in the locker room for not killing Oswald Cobblepot, two police officers arrive to see what's going on. While Bullock is telling the officers to go away, Gordon uses this opportunity to disarm him.
    • In "The Anvil or the Hammer", after Gordon holds the Ogre at gunpoint while he is holding Barbara at knifepoint, Bullock, who was previously pushed down the stairs by the Ogre, arrives behind the Ogre and gets his attention giving Gordon the opportunity to shoot him in the head and save Barbara.
    • In "The Executioner", Barnes is about to shoot Gordon when a man suddenly walks into the room, providing the distraction Gordon needs to flee.
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: A witness to a murder is brought back to the GCPD station to give a statement, then stabbed in the back twice with an icepick. It's ruled a suicide, until Gordon pursues it and finds the murderer.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In "Viper", it's revealed that Wayne Enterprises was involved with human experimentation on the drug Viper, or what will be known as Venom, to create super soldiers. One member who was supposedly a close friend with Thomas Wayne helped to clean up any evidence that might trace back to them.
  • Costume Porn: It's not really dwelt upon much, but this show does have some very nice outfits for both the regular criminals and the costumed supervillains. Fish Mooney, in particular, seems to get a new outrageously fancy dress Once an Episode, and some of the other supervillains get very nice outfits, especially Ra's Al Ghul.
  • Crapsaccharine World: On the one hand, you have supervillains, mob bosses, holding the city in a corrupt grip ruthlessly dedicated to stamping out hope. On the other hand, the city's most dangerous cult is led by a circusclown, a Vigilante Man who kills people by tying them to balloons and releasing them into the sky, Hate Plague-infected old ladies robbing corrupt banks, and the Riddler sending taunting messages in the form of singing telegramsdressed as fruit.
  • Crapsack World: Being a pre-Batman Gotham City, it should come as no surprise that the city is a Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy.
  • Create Your Own Villain: WellZyn, subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises, is responsible for the creation of Venom, the drug that gives Bane his strength.
  • Crime of Self-Defense: Despite him shooting at and trying to kill Gordon, everyone treats Mario Pepper's death as a murder justified only by the (alleged) fact that he was the Waynes' killer.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In "The Mask", we have three office personnel versus Gordon (a trained police officer who is also ex-military). Guess who wins.
    • In "The Son of Gotham", Gordon tries to go one-on-one with Theo Galavan. The keyword is "tries".
  • Cutting the Knot: After discovering the hidden cave entrance, Bruce and Alfred find that it leads to a steel door with an electronic combination lock. After a month of trying and failing to guess the code, Bruce decides to blow it open, with Alfred reluctantly assisting him.
  • Cycle of Revenge:
    • Falcone had Fish watch as her "boytoy" was beaten to a pulp due to her earlier insubordination and attempts to betray him. She retaliates by ordering a hit on his mistress.
    • What the war between Falcone and Maroni is becoming. Maroni's restaurant was attacked and robbed by Falcone's men actually orchestrated by Cobblepot to make it look like Falcone was involved so Maroni wants to rob one of Falcone's casinos. In the whole tug of war to gain land on Arkham Asylum, both mob factions hired hitmen to take out the councilmen who supported the other mob to lean the vote towards their favor.
    • Later, Falcone and Maroni re-establish their truce. Even so, Maroni is still angry enough at the Penguin to start a Cycle with Cobblepot, who's more than willing to return the payback with interest, especially when Maroni rats out Oswald's criminal doings to his mother.
  • The Cynic: Harvey Bullock has been on the police force a long time, and knows what Gotham is like, leading him to adopt a Cowboy Cop approach to his police work, much to Gordon's initial chagrin.

    D - G 

  • Darker and Edgier: Definitely so, when compared to the previous Fox-produced Batman TV show with Adam West. On the other hand, it could be considered a tad Lighter and Softer than the The Dark Knight Trilogy, at least in the sense that some of the dark humor of the Burton films (and the 1990s Batman comics that took their cues from those films) is sprinkled throughout. Also like the Burton films, Gotham has a more old-fashioned, stylized, "Hollywood" look to it than the This Is Reality aesthetic of the Nolan films.
  • Darkest Hour: To say "Prisoners" is this for the good guys would be putting it lightly.
  • Dating Catwoman: To be expected in a show starring the Trope Namer. At first they're too young for dating, but as the show goes on their chemistry becomes overt attraction and a complicated relationship develops. An example that doesn't involve Selina is with Silver St. Cloud, who is manipulating Bruce and whose uncle wants Bruce dead.
  • Dead Man's Chest: In "The Anvil or the Hammer", Nygma wheels the dismembered body of Officer Dougherty through the police station in a pair of oversized suitcases.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • In "Penguin's Umbrella", Cobblepot kills Frankie Carbone, who in the comics dies during the events of "The Long Halloween''.
    • In "All Happy Families Are Alike", Salvatore Maroni meets an early end when Fish shoots him in the head.
    • In "Knock, Knock", Sarah Essen is killed years before Bruce becomes Batman, whereas her comic counterpart is killed during the tenth year of his career.
    • In "A Dead Man Feels No Cold", Nora Fries ends up committing suicide rather than going into cryogenic stasis.
    • In "Queen Takes Knight", an already dying Carmine Falcone is gunned down and killed, whereas in the comics he is still the ruling mob boss of Gotham when Batman arrives and doesn't meet his end until "The Long Halloween". This same episode, Lazlo Valentin/Professor Pyg is also meets an early death.
    • In season five, Magpie, the Ventriloquist and Scarface are killed just as their villainous careers are established.
  • Death by Looking Up: Happens in "The Balloonman" when Lieutenant Cranston's body plummets back to Earth. A woman out walking her dog looks up just in time to be squashed by Cranston's corpse.
  • Death Faked for You:
    • At the end of the pilot, when Falcone orders Gordon to get with the program by killing the treacherous Cobblepot, Gordon instead only pretends to shoot him and tosses him in the river.
    • At the end of "Prisoners", Falcone and Gordon do it again by way of a hidden blood pack and a prisoner wielding a retractable blade, after which Gordon's unconscious corpus is carried out to freedom in a body bag]].
  • Death Is Cheap: While many characters are killed throughout the show's run, this trope tends to apply to the more major or popular ones, whether they are brought Back from the Dead or revealed to be Not Quite Dead. Fitting, given the show's comic book roots.
  • Death Seeker:
    • "Matches" Malone, the hitman who killed Bruce's parents, is revealed to be this as he doesn't even try to resist when Bruce comes to kill him, even instructing him on how to shoot and urges him on. It turns out he hates himself, admitting he's a monster, and feels that Bruce showing up to kill him is a sign there might in fact be a just God after he got away with murdering people for so long. When Bruce refuses to go through with it and leaves, he kills himself.
    • Ra's Al-Ghul turns out to desire desth, as being immortal for him is agonizing. He therefore begs Bruce to kill him, and gets his wish.
  • Decomposite Character: The show's approach to Joker is to introduce a veritable smorgasbord of characters with his various personality traits, any of whom could potentially become him. We even get hints that this version of Joker could be a Legacy Character, Collective Identity, or even Gender Flip.
    • In the first episode we see a stammering comedian in Fish's nightclub, whose features are always hidden by a purple spotlight. This references (one of) Joker's origin(s) from The Killing Joke.
    • Later on, we meet the Red Hood Gang, yet another Killing Joke reference; since anyone who wears the Hood seems to be infected by the same persona, this emphasizes that virtually anyone could become the Clown Prince.
    • Jerome Valeska is a homicidal, grinning lunatic with a menacing laugh, making him a very obvious and probable candidate... but he dies in his second appearance. After he's resurrected in Season 3, his horrifying, stitched-on face is a reference to the nigh-supernatural serial killer Joker from the New 52 comics.
    • Jerome's legions of fans seem to be inspired by the Jokerz from Batman Beyond (or several comparable groups from the comics). However, a point is made that any of them could eventually be Joker as well.
    • Lori Petty's performance as "Jeri" seems to take a few cues from Heath Ledger's Joker. In addition, the concept of a female Joker who sings at a nightclub may be a reference to the Thrillkiller Elseworlds story.
    • Sonny Gilzean takes an instant disliking to Bruce, whom he beats down while giggling hysterically, and the word Bruce chooses to insult him with is "clown".
    • Clyde the Fence is also a disturbingly cheerful guy and his henchmen wear logos that resemble Harley Quinn.
    • Season 4 introduces Jerome's twin brother Jeremiah, who eventually gets sprayed by his brother with a chemical that bleaches his skin, turns his lips red, and apparently drives him insane.
  • Defying the Censors: For a network show (and even for FOX, a network known to have much more risque shows on its schedule), Gotham is pretty casual about showing violent acts, blood sputs when someone dies, the deaths and mutilations of some of the characters, etc. The show is effectively telling us just how much they can get away with for a TV-14 rated show—and in the 8:00 slot, yet.
  • Denser and Wackier: Season one was mostly a slightly-odd Police Procedural with Batman Shout-Outs, and its villainies were limited to corporate and municipal corruption, serial killings, mafioso power-struggles and the occasional Badass Normal assassin. By season two it'd widened its scope to include multiple Mad Scientist-types, crazy cult conspirators, tech-enhanced supervillains and mutants, and as of season three, Hate Plague terrorism and the supernatural got tossed into the mix. By the time season four aired, even over-the-top stuff like Poison Ivy's killer plants felt like Gotham City business-as-usual.
  • Depraved Bisexual:
    • Barbara Kean after her descent into villainy, killing her own parents then becoming a full-time criminal. She was involved with Jim, then dates Tabitha. Later she has a baby with Jim after they sleep together once more.
    • Tabitha Galavan is a ruthless criminal from the get-go, and gets involved with people of both sexes.
  • Destination Defenestration: "The Last Laugh" starts with Gordon and Bullock using this as a Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.
  • Diesel Punk: Diesel Noir to be precise. The series has a very 1930s-1940s aesthetic, but more modern devices like cell phones are common.
  • Dirty Cop: A number of people on the force are corrupt, as per usual in pre-/early-Batman stories. It's so bad at this point the cops themselves don't seem to have a problem admitting it in public.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Oswald Cobblepot's father is not mentioned before he shows up in "Wrath of the Villains: Mad Grey Dawn"; his mother having told him he died when Oswald was a baby. It turns out that his father didn't know he existed, as his parents sent Oswald's mother off because they didn't approve of their relationship and told him not to contact her.
    • Bridget Pike, a.k.a. Firefly, had her mother and stepfather. No mention of her father.
  • Disney Villain Death: In "All Happy Families Are Alike", Fish dies after being pushed by Penguin off a roof and into the river below. However, Hugo Strange finds her body and resurrects her in Season 2.
  • Disposable Woman:
    • Kristen Kringle is present solely to motivate Edward Nygma's Start of Darkness.
    • Alice Tetch exists pretty much to die and worsen Jervis Tetch's already considerable insanity.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In "By Fire", Bridgit Pike (Firefly) finally snaps after being abused by her brothers for years, and burns both of them to death.
  • The Don:
    • In Season 1, Falcone is the lord of Gotham's underworld and has been for at least fifteen years.note He tells Gordon in the pilot that he knew Jim's father and that they had an agreement. Seeing how Mr. Gordon died when Jim was ten, and the fact that Jim's about thirty years old, that's the minimum.
    • In the Season 1 finale, with Maroni dead and Falcone leaving Gotham, Penguin becomes the King of Gotham. Season 2 is about maintaining his power.
    • Halfway through Season 2, Butch becomes the King of Gotham when Penguin goes into hiding after Theo Galavan's murder, though he seems to relinquish the title in "Unleashed".
  • Do Not Go Gentle: In "Penguin's Umbrella", both Gordon and Bullock knew they were wanted men by Falcone and it was only a matter of time before they would be killed so they decided to sneak into Falcone's mansion to arrest the mayor and Falcone for framing Mario Pepper.
  • Don't Tell Mama: Oswald's mother, Gertrude, has no idea that her son is actually a murderous criminal. Instead, she believes that he's a successful club owner who achieved his club fairly (in reality, the club was given to him after Fish got the boot). Eventually, Sal Maroni reveals her son's true nature, but Oswald calmly reassures her that these claims are false.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • No matter what Gordon does throughout the series, what victories he has in his bid to clean up Gotham, eventually things have to still be bad (or get worse) enough for Gotham to need Batman. However, his own career will go from a cop alone and loathed in a corrupt force to become its Commissioner who commands the loyalty of most of the cops below him.
    • Likewise, no matter what, Ivy Pepper, Selina Kyle, and Edward Nygma (among others) are destined to become criminals.
  • Downer Beginning: "Mommy's Little Monster" opens with Oswald's mother getting killed by Tabitha, immediately after she is set free from imprisonment.
  • Downer Ending:
    • "Red Hood" ends on a rather depressing note. Alfred is stabbed by his old friend Reggie and sent to the hospital in critical condition (much to Bruce's distress). Reggie is eventually revealed to be a spy for the corrupt Wayne Enterprises board, sent in to find out how much vital information Bruce had discovered about the company (to make matters worse, they intended for him to attack Alfred as well). Meanwhile, a young boy discovers the Red Hood's mask, puts it on, and pretends to shoot the cops. This implies that the Red Hood Gang's legacy had influenced the citizens of Gotham to become violent outlaws, and that new members of the gang would eventually spread in the future.
    • At the end of "Knock, Knock", ten cops in the GCPD are killed, including the newly-promoted Commissioner Essen.
    • Towards the end of "By Fire", Edward confesses to Kristen Kringle that he killed Dougherty, ultimately destroying their newfound relationship. When she attempts to leave and call for help, Edward stops her by grabbing her throat...and accidentally chokes her to death]]. In their final scene together, Edward grievingly cradles her dead body in his arms.
  • The Dragon:
    • In the pilot, Cobblepot wishes he was this to Fish. In reality, her number two is Butch Gilzean.
    • Later in Season 1, Falcone admits to Maroni he'd rather like to have Penguin as his close adviser, because Cobblepot is clever enough to be useful, but also (or so Falcone assumes) realistic enough to know that The Dragon is the highest position a little weirdo like him could get away with aspiring to.
    • Butch becomes this to Penguin after being brainwashed by Victor Zsasz, and serves as his Dragon until the brainwashing is broken in "By Fire". He later willingly becomes his Dragon again in "Unleashed".
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix:
    • Tabitha Galavan is usually dressed in some sort of Spy Catsuit with high-heeled boots, wears her hair in a tight ponytail, wields a whip, and is adept at various forms of torture. She's implied to be some sort of inspiration for the young Selina Kyle, the future Catwoman.
    • Nancy, one of the Indian Hill escapees from early season 3, wore a full-body black catsuit adorned with belts and buckles, a mask covering her mouth, and her hair tied up in a ponytail. Somewhat amusingly, this causes hardened cop Harvey Bullock to be Distracted by the Sexy in one scene.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Captain Nathaniel Barnes, who tough-talks the whole department and fires several corrupt cops the instant he sets foot in the GCPD upon taking charge.
  • Driving Question: Who killed the Waynes, and why? Finally answered in the latter half of Season 2.
  • Dysfunction Junction: And how. When Selina Kyle is one of the more sane characters...
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first season is more or less a straightforward crime drama with some mild fantastical elements. Season 2 marks the introduction of bona-fide costumed supervillains, essentially throwing all pretense of realism out the window.
  • Eat the Rich: Since the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, several people have begun to attack the upper class and authority figures of Gotham for being corrupt. A character in the episode "The Spirit of the Goat" even name drops the trope: "Deep down...we all want to eat the rich."
  • Embarrassing Nickname: In the pilot, Cobblepot is already called "Penguin" and he absolutely hates it. He then gets a limp that causes him to walk like one...
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The mobsters and crime lords have a variety of henchmen and henchwomen of different backgrounds such as European and Asian backgrounds. Maroni's crime family may be less open-minded, as he's very pleased that Penguin claims his Italian father's heritage. (At least, Penguin says this to Maroni upon meeting him under an Italian false name.) In early season 2, with Penguin as King of Gotham it seems there are two other crime families besides Penguin's. One is most likely a Chinese triad gang, while the other seems to be lesbians (similar to the Lizzies gang in The Warriors). In the Season 2 finale, Penguin has two black henchmen. Penguin also seems to be tolerant of BDSM lifestyles stating that if Galavan "wanted to wear leather, he should just wear leather."
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the opening scene of the pilot, a criminal has a cop hostage demanding pills. Jim distracts him with a bottle of aspirin, takes the perp down with the cop being no worse for wear, and is criticized for not shooting him. Meanwhile, Bullock just lackadaisically reads his newspaper.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: In "All Happy Families Are Alike", Bruce and Alfred tear Thomas Wayne's study apart looking for some clue as to what he had been secretly working on. After failing to find anything, Alfred attempts to persuade Bruce that he is on a wild good chase and remarks "There are none so blind...". This suddenly gives Bruce the inspiration for where he should be looking.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas:
    • Oswald genuinely loves his mother, and frequently invites her to his nightclub just to keep her happy (at one point, he even allows her to perform onstage). However, his violent, criminal side remains a secret to her, and he is forced to mask it by posing as a legitimately successful nightclub owner. This eventually causes conflict when Maroni spills the beans in "Under the Knife".
    • To a less pronounced extent, Carmine Falcone also cared for his deceased "sainted mother" so very much, that he would treasure more than anything else in the world getting the days that he spent with her back.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Falcone's claim as to why Mario Pepper was framed is that it would prevent panic from breaking out because citizens lost faith in the system, and that he genuinely loves Gotham and doesn't want to see it go to hell.

      Falcone: You can't have organized crime without law and order.

    • Mayor James may be corrupt, but he'll go to any lengths—even NDAA 2012-style juvenile detention—to keep the city's children safe, even if he doesn't care about them enough to bother looking for actual homes for many of them, and when the Dollmaker's minions hijack a bus heading upstate he's genuinely upset; he just made a public proclamation that the kids of Gotham would be safe from the Dollmaker's minions and those same minions kidnapped an entire bus out from under his nose.
    • In "Rogues' Gallery", Maroni punishes Oswald by making him spend a day in jail, for going behind his back and trying to extort more money from fishermen, who, in his own words "go out into the ocean and risk their lives for you and me".
    • Hitman "Matches" Malone is willing to kill virtually anyone (and has), demanding just more money for the bigger moral compromises, including children, though he draws the line at killing babies.
    • Even Kathryn, head of the Court of Owls, shows disgust and concern over Jerome's heinous activities, plunging the city into darkness and driving uncountable citizens insane and over to his side, feeling that he nearly jeopardized her own plans.
    • Oswald "The Penguin" Chesterfield Cobblepot, is outright horrified at the mere idea that Jerome had the plan to drive the city into madness with his laughing gas. He was so horrified he went to Jim Gordon and betrayed Jerome, something that Jerome predicted and trapped him in the blimp that would release the gas. Luckily for Gotham, he figured out how to drive a blimp under such short notice.
    • Jeremiah gives GCPD time to evacuate the city before trying to demolish it. His brother, by comparison, killed one of his own men simply for stepping on his line.
    • Season 5's "Ruin" is a series benchmark for this trope, with the Haven Bombing being depicted as such a senseless act of murder and destruction that Penguin, Barbara, and Riddler all collectively put their respective plans and grudges on hold to assist the GCPD in catching the bomber.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Fish Mooney saw her lover's concerns for her as a sign he was becoming weak and had one of her henchmen dispose of him.
  • Evil Is Hammy:
    • Fish Mooney has at least one ridiculous scene per episode, although it's unknown whether she is really this hammy or if it's a show for her subordinates/customers.
    • Barbara Kean lives for this trope, after her Face–Heel Turn.
    • Season 2 gives us the Joker-esque, scenery-chewing Jerome.
    • Edward Nygma]] also cranks up the hamminess after his Start of Darkness.
  • Evil Laugh: Jerome (who the show leads viewers to believe might become the Joker) has a disturbing, maniacal one in Season 1's "The Blind Fortune Teller" and the first three episodes of Season 2. It is heard again at the end of Season 2, implying that he's back. In "Smile Like You Mean It", he certainly is.
  • Evil Versus Evil: More than half of the conflicts are between different criminal factions who fight it out for ultimate power.
    • Don Falcone vs. Crime Boss Maroni. Guess which one is the greater of two evils in charge of the Gotham underworld?
    • Penguin vs. Galavan in Season 2.
  • Exact Words: Gordon tells Essen he didn't leak news of the child kidnapping ring to the press. He didn't; he told Barbara, and she told the press.
  • Eye Scream: The show positively loves this trope.
    • Selina Kyle tells another child that if he gets into a fight, he should scratch out the other guys' eyes. Later we see the result of her fight with one of the kidnappers, and it turns out she was being more literal than you'd expect.
    • This was how the hitman in "Arkham" killed two of his victims by using a telescope device with a blade.
    • The Dollmaker harvests the eyes from one of his captives, and throws her back in the prison without so much as a bandage.
    • When Fish Mooney comes face-to-face with the Dollmaker's Dragon, he threatens to either pluck out both of her eyes or kill her alongside her team of rebels. As a "third option", she scoops her own eye out with a spoon and ''crushes it'' with her foot!
    • Theo Galavan has his sister bring in Sid Bunderslaw, the cover-up man for all the illicit goings-on at Wayne Enterprises, to interrogate and torture. He also is one of the few executives who can bypass the retinal lock on a safe. So they require one of his retinas, mercifully offscreen.
    • How Jim Gordon dispatches the first, glasses-wearing hitman in "A Bitter Pill to Swallow" as he tries to make his escape.

    "You know what I like about those glasses?" BANG"They look like bullseyes."

    • In "Mr. Freeze", Hugo Strange manipulates one of his Arkham patients into clawing out his own eyes.
    • In "Time Bomb", Mario Calvi subdues one of his assailants with a brooch pin to the eye.
    • In the penultimate episode of the series, Penguin takes a grenade to the facefor Nygma and loses his right eye in the process. And yes, we see the damage.
  • The Faceless: The masked man who killed the Waynes, to the point of Nothing Is Scarier / The Ghost. As Bullock pointed out, it was just one of ten thousand street muggings that happened to go bad and the odds are extremely low that they will ever find him again due to not having any repeat muggings, and his face is never seen. Which made him more of a concept for Bruce.
  • Facial Horror: Jane Doe acts like her face is horribly scared or deformed underneath the mask she wears. It's subverted though as she's perfectly normal. Her conviction is just a part of the delusion she has.
  • Fake Defector: Almost all Cobblepot's actions after he was caught snitching to Crispus and Montoya was to enable ingratiating himself to Maroni, not to get vengeance on Mooney and Falcone for ordering his death, but to act as a spy for Falcone while allowing Falcone to eliminate disloyalty in his own organization without anyone else being the wiser.
  • The Fall Guy: Mario Pepper is framed for the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents since the case is too high profile to remain unsolved for too long. With Pepper taking the fall, the cops are made to look like heroes, the mayor is seen as having a handle on the rising crime in Gotham and the mob does not have to deal with the extra police attention. It helps that Pepper was a violent criminal that no one, perhaps not even his family, will miss.
  • False Flag Operation: In "Arkham", a bunch of thugs rob a restaurant owned by Maroni, killing the manager in the process. Obviously, this is a move by Falcone, right? Wrong. It was actually Cobblepot who engineered everything, in order to get closer to Maroni, and heat up tensions between the mob bosses for his own ends. Though a plot twist in "Penguin's Umbrella" reveals Cobblepot did it not entirely for his own ends, but so he could get closer to Maroni on behalf of Falcone.
  • False Reassurance: Maroni tells Penguin that there is nothing wrong with being a bit nervous. Then he tells him that if the robbery he helped plan goes south, he'll kill him.
  • Fantastic Drug:
    • Viper gives its users super strength and a god complex, but at the cost of draining calcium from their bones at a rapid pace, eventually killing them. It also turns out to be a precursor to Venom, Bane's drug of choice.
    • Gerald Crane's experimental fear serum, which is a precursor to Scarecrow's toxin.
  • Fatal Flaw: Cobblepot weaponizes this in "Penguin's Umbrella" when he uses Frankie's greed for money to turn his own henchmen against him since he would hoard money for himself and give little to others.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The various mob members; special mention goes to Cobblepot and Mooney. On the flipside, however, a couple of mob figures are quite friendly, such as Butch Gilzean and Don Falcone, at least to Jim Gordon.
    • The child-stealing villains in "Selina Kyle". They talk and act like schoolteachers or children's show hosts from the 1950s. The woman even says "Oh gosh, the cops" when there are no children around to hear them, so it seems genuine.
  • Fauxshadow: In "Spirit of the Goat" Alfred warns Bruce that The Goat might target him, and that they should leave town. Bruce says no, saying that The Goat would have no reason to kidnap him. It seems to set up for Bruce going to be kidnapped and saved by Gordon, but nope. The Goat never goes after Bruce.
  • Feuding Families: The Graysons and the Lloyds have been since before World War I...over a stolen horse.

    Bullock: "Must have been one hell of a horse."

  • Fille Fatale: Silver St. Cloud is sent by her uncle Theo to get close to Bruce Wayne and manipulate him.
  • Film Noir: As appropriate for Batman, the series borrows heavily from the ethos of Film Noir: the city is drowning in corruption. Dutch angles. No one gets what they want and everyone gets what's coming to them. Black-and-Gray Morality. Bittersweet Endings are the norm.
  • Fingore: In "Beasts of Prey", Cobblepot has a guitar player's fingers cut off in order to persuade him to abandon his interest in a particular girl.
  • Fire/Ice Duo: Mr. Freeze (ice) and Firefly (fire) are a pair of Psychos For Hire.
  • A Fistful of Rehashes: One of the several plots of the series involves Cobblepot using the conflict between Don Falcone and Crime Boss Maroni to his own ends. To those that knew him after his faked death, he was a stranger, at least until he revealed himself first to Crime Boss Maroni and then to the whole GCPD.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Given that this is an origin to the Batman mythos, it's pretty obvious what will happen to certain characters.
    • The cops will lose their war for Gotham, allowing Batman to step in.
    • Gordon's fight against mob influence over the GCPD will lead to him becoming Commissioner and Batman's staunchest ally. Whether or not Montoya, Allen and Bullock remain part of his reformed police force remain in question.
    • Averted with Fish Mooney, an original character who was presumably included specifically to give the show a villain it could kill off if desired.
    • The plot of "Arkham" revolves around competing development plans for the Arkham district; however, we know that no matter what happens Arkham Asylum won't be torn down and will survive well into Bruce's adulthood and career as Batman.
    • No matter how strong of an ally Edward Nygma may be in the struggle to take down Gotham's criminals, something will eventually cause him to snap, sparking his descent into crime and madness and transforming him into the Riddler.
      • The same goes for Oswald Cobblepot. He's a central character and subjected to alot of trauma and drama, including being left for dead multiple times. Of course, he's one of Batman's most famous rogues so he's not going to be offed just like that, and, indeed, he survives through to the end of the series and takes on his proper Penguin attire with the monocle and top hat and everything in the series finale.
    • Ultimately averted for certain characters in the Season 1 finale. Sal Maroni, the man 'destined' to throw acid at Harvey Dent and transform him into Two Face, is killed; while his rival Carmine Falcone, who is traditionally Gotham's resident crime-boss at the time Bruce first becomes Batman, seemingly chooses to leave Gotham and retire to the coast. Also, Barbara Kean, who is 'supposed' to become Jim Gordon's wife and, in some continuities, the mother of Batgirl goes Ax-Crazy, meaning it's highly unlikely she will be the mother of his daughter. That last part ends up subverted by the events of Season 5—Jim and Barbara have a girl together, who will implicitly grow up to become Batgirl.
      • It's double-subverted with Jerome Valeska in particular, the series' answer to the Joker. After his debut episode, he's sent to Arkham Asylum and stays there until the second season when Galavan breaks him out. He's killed by Galavan a few episodes later as part of his plot to become Gotham's mayor, which itself is part of a larger scheme. Then it turns out that he's Not Quite Dead and is reanimated, coming back and acting out pieces of many classic Joker stories before being sent back to Arkham. He returns in the next season and is killed for real this time. And then it turns out that he has a twin brother, Jeremiah, who he sends a special batch of Joker venom to and turns him into the Joker, and this is the Joker that Batman ends up thwarting in the series finale.
    • "One Bad Day" in Season 4 has a scene where Bruce comes across Alfred, who has been hit with a huge dose of Joker venom and slices his mouth into a smile before attacking Bruce, who is forced to kill him. Naturally, of course, this is Alfred we're talking about so they hardly even bother pretending that this might really be happening and it's almost immediately revealed to have been a hallucination brought on by Crane's fear toxin.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Beasts of Prey", the Penguin walks right past Bruce and suddenly feels a strange chill, as if he senses a powerful force or enemy within his presence.
    • In a literal example, half of Harvey Dent's face is always concealed in shadow.
    • The text on Edward Nygma's license plate is "RIDL LVR".
    • Near the end of "Red Queen", a bandage is seen on the back of Mario's neck with no explanation of how he got injured there, but the show quickly moves on without making anything of it. A few episodes later, it's revealed he was injected there with Alice Tetch's virus.
    • When he arrives in Gotham to help during the No Man's Land arc, Eduardo Dorrance is accompanied by several other special forces soldiers, one of whom is referred to as "Bird". Bird is essentially the second-in-command to Bane in the comics and some other continuities, and Eduardo ends up becoming Bane by the end of the series.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: Half-way through the first season, there are distinct and mostly-separate plotlines following 1) Gordon, 2) Penguin, 3) Bruce, and 4) Fish Mooney. This tends to result in each storyline taking baby-steps in a given episode, or simplified story-lines — Gordon and Bullock's crime investigations tend to be mostly over after following up on their first lead, for instance. Earlier in the series, it was closer to Two Lines, No Waiting, as the Fish and Penguin shared a plotline, as did Bruce and Gordon, but they've since each split apart aside from the occasional brief intersection.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The main players of Gotham - Gordon (Phlegmatic), Falcone (Melancholic), Mooney (Choleric), and Cobblepot (Sanguine).
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Averted. We never actually see Gordon's apartment; that's Barbara's giant gorgeous loft, and he doesn't stay there after she leaves.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Series. We see many of Batman's Rogues Gallery before they become his Rogues Gallery, usually as nobodies or two-bit hoodlums before becoming city-terrorizing supervillains. Special mention goes to Oswald Cobblepot, who starts out as a petty mook who will later become Gotham's chief crime boss, the Penguin.
  • Gambit Pileup: Every major criminal character in Gotham has some plan to come out on top in the Falcone-Maroni war.
  • Gambit Roulette: Galavan's Arkham breakout in the Season 2 premiere. Relying on Arkham's Swiss Cheese Security is safe enough in general, but the rest of Galavan's plan relies on using Zaardon as a living sleeping gas delivery vehicle, and he arrives in the room where all his targets are just seconds before dispensing the gas. If there had been traffic during transfer, extra paperwork, if he had been hospitalized for injuries in taking him down (he was, after all, a lunatic with guns and swords. It's a miracle he wasn't shot), or if his targets didn't happen to all be in the same room when the gas went off, it would've all been for naught.
  • Gang of Hats:
    • Some of the younger-generation criminals who attend Penguin's meeting in "Scarification" use matching hair dye and makeup.
    • Jerome's followers dress up as clowns and carnival folk.
  • Genre Shift: Season 1 is a relatively grounded, neo-noir police procedural / organized crime drama. Season 2 largely ditches that, turns up the camp, and brings in more outlandish villains such as insane terrorists, a cult of assassins, a Mad Scientist, and an Ancient Conspiracy. The show basically evolves into a full-fledged live-action comic book.
  • The Ghost: Harvey Bullock's go-to judge for getting warrants, nicknamed Judge Bam-Bam, is mentioned frequently, yet has never actually appeared onscreen.
  • Go for the Eye: Selina’s go-to maneuver when in a fight; viciously enough to actually claw them all the way out.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Selina Kyle is usually seen with a pair of green goggles on top of her hood, perhaps as a nod to more modern versions of Catwoman who wears goggles as part of her costume.
  • Good Feels Good: After she steps up to back-up Gordon when he arrests a drug-dealing, witness-murdering detective, Essen admits to Gordon that it did feel good to do the right thing.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Gordon is the only decent cop in the police force and has a soft spot for children, evident by him comforting Bruce after his parents' death. But he is someone you don't want to mess with when angered.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • The Dollmaker is this in "Selina Kyle", as he's the one organizing the kidnapping of the street children. He eventually appears onscreen in "Everyone Has a Cobblepot", where we learn he's a sociopathic Mad Doctor who kidnaps people for organ harvesting.
    • WellZyn - and by extension, Wayne Enterprise was this in "Viper".
    • The culprit behind the Wayne murders — and thus the Greater-Scope Villain of the first 1.5 seasons — is eventually revealed to be Hugo Strange.
    • In turn, the above villain is working on behalf of the Court of Owls and their leader Shaman.
    • And even later, it's revealed that the Court is controlled by the League of Assassins, and the true villain behind the first three seasons is Ra's al Ghul.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • The reason Montoya goes behind Gordon's back to tell Barbara he is a dirty cop, without any real evidence to back it up, is that she still has feelings for Barbara and wants to break the couple up.
    • The first half of Season 3 features this on two fronts (and fittingly, the midseason finale is even titled "Beware the Green-Eyed Monster"):
      • Penguin becomes jealous of Nygma's relationship with Isabella, inciting him to have her murdered.
      • Mario becomes jealous over the lingering romantic tension between Lee and Gordon. This is brought out fully after he's infected with the Tetch virus, turning the jealousy into homicidal rage.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: In "Selina Kyle", Cobblepot smashes a beer bottle and stabs the two college kids who give him a lift after they push his Berserk Button by calling him a 'penguin'.
  • Gruesome Goat: A Serial Killer who preys on the children of wealthy families that Bullock investigated was known as the Spirit of the Goat, and even wore a goat mask. However, the men wielding the mask were actually themselves victims who were brainwashed with hypnotic suggestions by a Psycho Psychologist.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Exploited by Oswald and Nygma to escape the Court of Owls prison. Nygma pretends he's going to slit Oswald's throat with a razor blade, and instead of simply tranqing them both and taking the blade away while they're unconscious the guards go right into Oswald's cell leaving the two of them wide open for Oswald and Nygma to bring them down.

    H - M 

  • Hair-Trigger Temper: People infected by the non-weaponized Tetch Virus can suppress its psychological effects for a while, but still display this quality more and more as their condition progresses. Averted with Hugo Strange's accelerated version, which is a full-blown Psycho Serum from the start.
  • Hard-to-Light Fire: Played with in "Knock, Knock", in which both Jerome and one of the other Maniax try to set a gasoline-soaked school bus full of cheerleaders on fire, but can't get either of their lighters to work. Then Gordon knocks the lighter out of the second Maniax's hand, and it sets a nearby puddle of gas alight when it strikes the pavement.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: In "The Fearsome Dr. Crane", a cleaner wearing headphones fails to notice a man being outside the window behind her back.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Carmine Falcone undergoes this in the Season 1 finale. After Gordon saves his life from the clutches of the Penguin, Maroni, and Fish, he ultimately decides to retire from the Mob and leave the city, while also placing him and Gordon on good terms.
  • Hellhole Prison: The juvenile hall upstate is not a nice place if Selina and Ivy's comments are anything to go by.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: In "Penguin's Umbrella", Bullock lampshaded this as he was able to find Gordon in Barbara's apartment because he suspected Gordon would go to someplace the mob thought would be too obvious to throw them off.
  • High-Voltage Death:
    • Jack Gruber kills a man, who was answering the door, at an electronics store by running an electric current through the doorknob, and frying him.
    • Barbara Kean apparently suffers this fate in "Heavydirtysoul", thanks to Tabitha's whip knocking down some electrical wires at her foe.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Bullock mentions this to the Balloonman while he handcuffs the Vigilante Man to one of his own weather balloons. He even says the name of the trope: "How does it feel to be hoist by your own petard?"
  • Hollywood Genetics: The Galavan siblings Theo and Tabitha look nothing alike, as the actors aren't even the same race. James Frain (a White Englishman) plays Theo, and Black/European Canadian Jessica Lucas is Tabitha. We never see their parents, so it's possible (but unlikely) they come from a mixed race family with each of them just looking like one side (it's never stated they're not blood siblings).
  • Hollywood Law: It's a Police Procedural set in the universe that spawns Batman. Some instances can be disregarded as evidence of how crooked Gotham is, others less so.
    • Especially bad is its treatment of insanity. People aren't just declared insane, sent to a mental institution and get off completely. Rather, they have to make an insanity defense at trial, which is very difficult. In the US, most states that still have the insanity defense (some have abolished it) use the M'Naghten rule, which says a person is insane if they're unable to tell right from wrong, or can't comprehend the consequences of their actions (e.g. they harmed someone during a delusion which left them unaware of what was going on). So it's unlikely for most villains to be found insane and committed. There's also no such thing as a real "certificate of sanity".
    • Gordon is held due to "suspicion" that he helped a prisoner break out. In reality, there's no such thing—arrests need probable cause, which isn't presented here, otherwise they could be sued and possibly even hit with a civil rights violation. Captain Barnes, who ordered this, is a By-the-Book Cop who you'd think would know better than to try it.
    • There's no way the state and federal authorities simply would ignore Gotham city officials allowing Penguin to "license" criminals. Quite a lot of people should be facing RICO indictments.
    • You still have to read people their rights even if they know them, otherwise anything they say is not admissible.
    • Bruce, as a minor, couldn’t actually sell his shares of Wayne Enterprises to Galavan. He can’t contract until he’s of age, and his shares would be under trust until he was an adult.
  • Honey Pot: Fish trains Liza to be one for Falcone.
  • Honor Before Reason: In the early episodes of Season 1, Gordon is adamant to resolve the Wayne murders even if the case is officially closed.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Lampshaded in season 2, regarding Bruce and Silver St. Cloud. He really needs better taste in women.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Zig-zagged with Penguin. After Season 1 focused on his rise to power, every season afterward has him lose that power midway through, only to regain it by the end.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Barbara is upset that Gordon isn't entirely truthful about how he knows Cobblepot, when she herself is keeping secrets about her taking drugs.
    • Barbara again, when she calls where she thinks Gordon is staying and a woman replies (actually Ivy after she and Selina broke in to get out of the storm). She angrily hangs up thinking that Gordon is seeing another woman and declares that "I'm done with him". This after she left him a "Dear John" Letter, never stated she was coming back so he didn't know if she would be coming back, and the biggest complaint she made at him for not waiting for her, literally not even hours after she just cheated on Gordon with Renee. To be fair to Barbara, however, she was calling her own apartment in the hopes that Gordon would be there and pick up; from her perspective, not only had Jim not waited for her, but he was having other women over to - again - Barbara's apartment in her absence.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Alfred staunchly refuses to take Bruce to see a psychiatrist, apparently believing in old-fashioned Stiff Upper Lip. After all, a Bruce Wayne who comes to terms with his grief in a healthy manner would probably not become the crusading vigilante of the night he's destined to be.
    • Barbara latches onto it in "Penguin's Umbrella" when, after both Renee and Jim urge her to leave town — Jim specifically explaining to her that she's a weapon that can be used against him and putting her on a train out of the state — Barbara returns without telling either of them and goes to Falcone to plead for Jim's life. This leads to an abduction that she doesn't get over quickly.
    • Barbara picks it up again in "Rogues' Gallery", where she is unable to distinguish the voice of a 12-year-old girl from that of a grown woman in order to add more fuel to the relationship subplot fire.
    • In "Transference", three of the people closest to Gordon somehow get fooled by Clayface's masquerade as Gordon. Despite being close associates of Gordon, they blithely brush off Gordon's extremely out-of-character behavior. This lasts for most of the episode, until he starts hitting on Barbara, which is so far beyond the pale that it clues her in, just in time for the episode's climax.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: In "The Balloonman", the GCPD decides that It's Personal when one of their own gets sent to the stratosphere by the eponymous vigilante; however, Gordon and especially Bruce decide the Balloonman already crossed the line earlier by killing criminals in the first place.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: A common initiation ritual among Gotham's dirty cops. New cops are given a choice between being shot by their partner or summarily executing somebody. Gordon Took a Third Option.
  • I Have Your Wife: Falcone convinces Gordon to refrain from arresting him because he has taken Barbara captive in "Penguin's Umbrella".
  • I'll Kill You!: Fish gives a good one about Falcone. Not in his presence, of course.

    Fish: I swear, Butch, on my sainted mother’s grave, someday soon I am gonna kill that old man with my bare hands, and my teeth.

  • I'm a Humanitarian: Hitman Eduardo Flamingo uses the incineration facility as his own personal kitchen, and when his boss calls him following the attack on Theo Galavan's penthouse, he's using a retort to cook one of his victims while eating him.
  • Immortality Hurts: It turns out that being immortal hurts like hell for R'as al Ghul, and he wants to die. Bruce thus kills him at his request.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy:
    • Justified with Zsasz and his henchwomen in "Penguin's Umbrella". They have orders to take Gordon alive, and thus aim for non-lethal areas.
    • Again in "Knock, Knock", in a rare case of this trope being in favor of the bad guys. Four escaped lunatics waltz into the GCPD in cop disguises, take up position, and start firing at every cop in the precinct. The untrained lunatics hit almost every shot, while the supposedly trained cops don't even so much as wound them.
    • Zsasz again in "Mad City: Ghosts", despite this time actually ordered to kill Gordon, he only succeeds in firing in his general direction and badly missing every shot. In fact, despite being the mob's number one assassin Zsasz and his Zsaszettes rarely ever successfully kill anyone they are actually contracted to kill.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Give the Balloonman points for creativity: the vigilante kills by handcuffing his targets to weather balloons that carry them away, either to die from exposure while aloft or from plummeting down when the balloon ruptures.
  • Improvised Weapon: In "The Mask", Alfred gives Thomas Wayne's watch to Bruce, for him to use as an improvised knuckle duster.
  • Incest-ant Admirer: Alice Tetch had to run away from home and go into hiding because her brother Jervis (aka the supervillain the Mad Hatter), according to her, had "thoughts a brother shouldn't have", and used his hypnotic powers to make her do things she didn't want to. Meanwhile, he's completely in denial about it, and insists that it was mutual.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison:
    • Fish figures out Oswald snitched to the cops when she finds out the cops knew she was in possession of Martha Wayne's pearl necklace before framing Mario Pepper with it. She knows Oswald was the only one who saw her with that.
    • Inverted with Nygma's interrogation of Butch. Nygma believed Butch had killed his girlfriend Isabella, and tortured him to get him to admit it. However, Pengiun was actually the one that killed him, and Nygma realized this when Butch lied and said he shot Isabella, even though she was hit by a train.
  • In Name Only: The Ogre in the comics is a monstrous, genetically altered behemoth named Michael Adams who wreaks havoc on the scientists that experimented on him and his brother. In the show, the alias belongs to a handsome young serial killer who seduces women and kills them if they don't fit his vision of a "perfect mate". He was, however, deformed prior to becoming a serial killer; he eventually underwent facial surgery.
  • Innocent Bystander: In "Penguin's Umbrella", a poor cop happened to stumble upon Victor and his henchwomen gunning for the injured Gordon, buying Gordon enough time to escape at the cost of her life.
  • Instant Sedation: In "The Mask", Gordon is knocked out by an injection to the neck within seconds.
  • Internal Reveal: Penguin shows himself to the GCPD at the end of "Spirit of the Goat".
  • Interservice Rivalry: In the Gotham Police, there is one between Homicide Division and the Major Crimes Unit. The Major Crimes Unit want to take over the Waynes' murder case from Harvey and Jim. It gets more intense when Cobblepot tells MCU that Mario Pepper was framed, and they jump to the conclusion that Bullock and Jim were in on it.
  • It Will Never Catch On: When Alfred tells Gordon that Bruce is free to choose his own path, Gordon replies with "Sounds like a recipe for disaster."
  • It Works Better with Bullets:
    • Maroni pulls this on Penguin in "The Fearsome Dr. Crane". Penguin pulls a gun he stole from Maroni on the crime boss. Maroni tells him the gun is loaded with blanks. Penguin doesn't believe him and pulls the trigger. Maroni wasn't lying.
    • Taking a page out of Maroni's book, in "The Anvil or the Hammer", Penguin sends a group of assassins to hit Maroni. However, he has removed the firing pins from the guns he supplied them, so that the hit will fail and spark a mob war between Maroni and Falcone.
    • At the end of Season 3, after Ed brings Oswald to the pier and attempts to kill him for the second time, Oswald reveals that he removed all the bullets from Ed's gun. In fact, Oswald orchestrated the entire situation so that Edward would think he had the upper hand, only to wind up frozen by Victor Fries. It should be noted this is the third time Oswald has been brought to the pier to die, and the second time Ed has done it. Oswald is clearly learning from past mistakes.
  • It's All About Me: Barbara seems to take any problem that is going on and twist it in a way to how it is causing her problems. This goes Up to Eleven after her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Jerk Jock: The Lloyds make no secret that this is what they consider the Graysons to be.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Alfred. We know that he cares about Bruce, but he comes off as extremely abrasive, though this appears to be a sort of tough love approach. This is well exhibited at the beginning of "Selina Kyle", where after learning that Bruce has been burning himself to "test his own strength", he responds by first smacking him and calling him a "stupid boy", followed immediately by tightly hugging him and trying to reassure him.
    • Bullock shows some sign beneath his Jerkass cynicism that he's sympathetic to Gordon's naivety. There's also the implication, after Da Chief accuses him of ratting out the department to the press again, that he has a bit of a reputation as a whistleblower. In "Spirit of the Goat", it's shown that Bullock used to be a wide-eyed idealist similar to Gordon before the titular case broke him. He's also shown to be paying for his retired, crippled ex-partner's stay in a nursing home. The ex-partner tells Gordon that Harvey's a "white knight" type.
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • Gotham PD has both a Homicide division and a Major Crimes division, both of which are at odds with each other over who gets which murder cases. There's also a lot of hostility due to the accusations of one side being corrupt over the other.
    • Things really come to a head when Montoya and Allen grab Gordon for Cobblepot's murder, with even Captain Essen voicing her displeasure towards them for trying to incapacitate her best men. This time, it takes none other than Cobblepot himself showing up to stop this skirmish. But the real war will soon begin as a result...
  • Just a Kid: Bruce gets angry with Gordon in "Penguin's Umbrella" when Gordon was keeping out full details of his involvement with the mob due to the fact Bruce was a child. All Gordon could say was that it all tied into his resolve to solve the Wayne murder case once and for all.
Sours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/Gotham
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Characters / Gotham - Gotham Mob

    open/close all folders 

This page contains unmarked spoilers if you haven't seen season 3.

The Gotham Mob is split into two main factions at the series' opening — Don Carmine Falcone's family, and Don Salvatore Maroni's family. While the Falcone family has ruled Gotham's underworld for years, Maroni's power is growing and he's preparing to challenge the status quo.

Don Falcone has been the most powerful mob boss in Gotham for decades. He is an old school gangster who believes in respect and honor, though otherwise the Falcone "family" is an Equal-Opportunity Evil organization, in which several major lieutenants are either black, Asian, or Eastern European, along with more traditional "mafia" Italian-types such as Falcone himself. Falcone has divided up his territory under about a dozen captains (caporegime), who practically act as regional governors given how corrupt and controlled by crime Gotham has become. Falcone is getting old, however, and several of his younger captains do not share his older values of respect and restraint. Some, such as Fish Mooney, hope to depose Falcone.

However, as the series goes on, there are many shakeups, and the mob will never be the same, in part because of an ambitious young man named Oswald Cobblepot...

    Spoiler warning 

Veryloosely the mob subplots follow the story outline of The Long Halloween, with the more "old school" mobsters of the older generation (who are concerned with running an orderly, money-producing business) gradually being replaced by the rise of various outlandish "freaks" and psychotics who will become mainstays of Batman's future rogue's gallery. The decades of stability under Falcone are shattered by chaotic mob wars as the series progresses, with numerous rounds of backstabbing, and the Penguin rising from nothing to top of the heap, only to lose it all, then regain everything, multiple timesas various Gambit Pileupsituations ensue. To try to keep track of it all, this is the shortsummary:
  • At the beginning of the series, Don Falcone's aging criminal empire is being challenged by upstart Don Maroni, while one of Falcone's own caporegime, Fish Mooney, intends to manipulate the situation to depose Falcone herself. Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot - one of Mooney's underlings, nicknamed "the Penguin" - runs afoul of her and is set adrift after Jim Gordon refuses to kill him as a proof of loyalty to Falcone. Cobblepot then orchestrates his own rise through the rival Maroni family, rising from a dishwasher to Maroni's underboss, to get revenge on Falcone. Yet all of this was an elaborate ruse developed by the Penguin himself. He discerned that Maroni and Mooney were working together, so he presented a plan to Falcone in which he would only pretend to turn against the Falcone/Mooney side, so he could rise as a mole in Maroni's organization, then help bring down them both, then take over Mooney's territory within Falcone's regime. This plan initially succeeds, but various spanners get thrown in the works...
  • After the Season 1 finale, Maroni and Mooney are dead, and Falcone retires, leaving the Penguin as the young new head of the unified mob. Butch Gilzean, tortured and mentally conditioned to be loyal to Falcone, stays as Penguin's lieutenant. Penguin triumphantly declares that he is now "King of Gotham". Cobblepot's hold over the city doesn't last for long, however...
  • In Season 2.0, Theo Galavan's organization arrives in Gotham and starts muscling its way into power - starting with kidnapping the Penguin's mother as leverage on him, smoothing Theo's path to power as he successfully ran for mayor (after kidnapping the current mayor to force a new election). Cobblepot's plan to have Butch infiltrate the Galavans backfired, after Theo's sister Tabitha managed to undo his mental conditioning, after which he joined them to seek revenge. Theo then had his sister Tabitha Galavan kill Penguin's mother, but he escaped and unsuccessfully tried to kill now-Mayor Theo Galavan in public - making Cobblepot a public enemy on the run. Penguin finally managed to kill Theo Galavan with the help of Jim Gordon, but was later arrested. He managed to plead insanity to be sent to Arkham Asylum, and through a complex chain of events was released by its corrupt director, Dr. Strange.
  • In Season 2.5, the death of Theo Galavan and Cobblepot's imprisonment, Butch Gilzean and Tabitha stepped in to fill the power vacuum, joined by their new accomplice Barbara Kean. Dr. Strange's experiments resurrected Theo Galavan as an assassin for the Court of Owls, causing the Penguin to return and team up with Butch to take him down.
  • In Season 3.0, the escaped army of monsters created by Dr. Strange at Arkham Asylum (for the Court of Owls) ran rampant throughout the city - but Cobblepot led angry mobs to round up many of them, and capitalized on the credit for this to successfully run for mayor (taking back everything he'd lost to Theo Galavan since the beginning of Season 2, and even co-opting Galavan's plan to become Mayor). For a time, the Penguin stood at the height of power.
  • In Season 3.5, internal conflicts within the Penguin's organization tore it apart. First, Edward Nygma usurped Butch's position as Cobblepot's right-hand advisor, while Barbara Kean rose in the underworld as a night-club operator along with Tabitha. Nygma manipulated Butch into using the Red Hood Gang to try to kill Cobblepot (and failing), causing Butch to go on the run with Tabitha. Nygma's plan succeeds too well, as Cobbleplot begins to realize he has romantic feelings for him - but when he is rejected, Cobbleplot kills Nygma's new girlfriend in revenge for "stealing" him away. When Nygma learns of this, he seeks revenge, allying with Butch, Tabitha, and Barbara. Barbara Kean, however, masterminds the plan to take down Cobbleplot, losing his mayor ship, and replaces him as the new "Queen" of the Gotham mob. Nygma, now "The Riddler", shot Cobblepot and left him for dead in the bay - but he managed to cheat death once again, nursed by to health by Ivy Pepper (Poison Ivy), who gave him the idea that he should build a new army of "freaks" from the remaining Arkham Asylum escapees (including Mr. Freeze, Firefly, etc.). Both factions then ran afoul of the Court of Owls' plan to destroy the city with an insanity virus. Butch and Tabitha, meanwhile, gradually grew uncomfortable with Barbara's increasingly deteriorating mental state (both Butch and Barbara were in love with Tabitha) and planned to depose her. Barbara's hold over the entire criminal underworld of Gotham was much more tenuous than Cobbleplot's initially was. Eventually, Barbara overreached herself by stealing the cure to the insanity virus the Court intended to unleash - intending to ransom the city for it. Jim Gordon, however, convinced Nygma that he would trade him Cobbleplot for the cure (as Nygma desired this personal revenge more than anything). Nygma thus betrayed Barbara to get the cure, but the whole plan failed: with no cure to ransom, Barbara realized too late that she had brought the full attention of the GCPD on her organization with nothing to gain, and she would have to flee into hiding. Butch then revealed that he intended to kill her during the trade-off and blame the police or Penguin, but Barbara shot him through the head (putting him in a coma). In retaliation, Tabitha killed Barbara by electrocuting her, then fled on the run herself (as Cobblepot would never forgive her for killing his mother, and her protectors were now dead). Meanwhile, the Penguin outwitted the Riddler, culminating in a final confrontation in which Cobblepot had Nygma frozen alive in a block of ice by Mr. Freeze. The Penguin then retakes control of the underworld organization, and even takes over Barbara's former nightclub, remodeling it as the center of his criminal empire: the Iceberg Lounge.
  • At the beginning of Season 4, the Penguin has once again risen to the height of power and rules the unified criminal underworld of Gotham. He has lost the mayor ship, but is unconcerned with getting it back (having had a taste of what it's really like, he says he "doesn't envy" his replacement). While the Court of Owls, before it was destroyed, was able to unleash its insanity virus attack, the Penguin's iron hold on the unified mob managed to rein in most of the chaos, which helped the police focus on capturing all the infected. Now they find themselves dependent on the Penguin, however, with the new mayor and police commissioner on his payroll. Relative to his position at the start of Season 2, Penguin has a much firmer hold on crime in the city than ever: to the point of issuing a formal license system for criminals (a very structured extortion racket). Penguin's logical argument to the mayor and commissioner is that there will always be crime in Gotham, so it is better to keep it organized and under a relative amount of control (echoing Don Falcone's philosophy given in Season 1). Indeed, he points out, he has managed to reduce crime levels to historic lows with his licensing system (down 57% from what it was before he took over), so in exchange for that relative stability and some bribes, the mayor and commissioner agree that the police will ignore any criminal operating with one of the Penguin's licenses - leaving him the de facto ruler of Gotham. A few holdout criminals here and there are popping up who challenge Penguin taking a cut of their profits (met with swift retaliation from Zsasz), while an outraged Jim Gordon refuses to just give in to the new arrangement. Unfortunately, Gordon's attempt to solicit help from Carmine Falcone ends badly, as it inspires his ruthless daughter Sofia to come back to Gotham. Slipping into the affections of both Penguin and Gordon, Sofia uses Professor Pyg to both destabilize Penguin and frame Gordon, before killing her father and using Zsasz' betrayal of Penguin to her advantage, having Oswald thrown in Arkham. Taking control of Gotham (including breaking Lee Thompkins' hand with a hammer to get to Jim), she's undone by a combination of Penguin's resourcefulness, the re-emergence of the Riddler and Lee shooting her in the head.
  • In season 4.5 the underworld is in chaos, as Penguin has lost his power base and the future Bat-villains begin to take centre-stage in Jerome's Legion of Horribles. Oswald spends this period of time instigating a risky series of alliances to restore his power, while Lee and Riddler claim ownership of the Narrows. Penguin's alliance with Jerome leads to him betraying Jerome, as their plans are too much even for him - but Jerome's death spawns an even worse threat in his brother Jeremiah who, with aid from Ra's Al Ghul, destroys all the bridges leading into Gotham. Penguin (who kills Butch in revenege on Tabitha), Barbara and the other villains carve out their own empires in Gotham, now declared a No Man's Land.

    Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin 

The self-styled King of Gotham, and the man most responsible for destroying Gotham's old order of organized crime to suit himself. For tropes regarding him, see his character page.

    Victor Zsasz 

The no.1 assassin for Falcone, and later Penguin. For tropes regarding him, see Rogues Gallery.

    Mr. Penn 

Penguin's long-suffering accountant - one who's more than he initially appears to be. For tropes regarding him, see Rogues Gallery.

    Martin 

Martin

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/martin_0.png

Played By: Christopher Convery

A mute boy introduced at Sofia Falcone's orphanage, who becomes a two-way pawn in the rivalry between her and Penguin.
  • Cute Mute: Played with, he's a sweet-looking boy but the first time we see him he's trying to set his bullies' schoolbags on fire. Oswald later coaxes out his written admission that he fantasizes about getting back at the other orphanage kids who tease him.
  • Faking the Dead: Penguin tries to protect Martin from Sofia by faking the boy's death in an explosion. Backfires when Zsasz betrays him in Sofia's favor and claims Oswald really did blow Martin up.
  • Hostage Situation:
    • The Pyg threatens to kill Martin at a benefit dinner for Sofia's orphanage, unless the wealthy attendees tuck into the pies he's baked from human flesh.
    • Later on, Sofia uses him to force Oswald to stay in Arkham after being framed for Martin's death.
  • I Have Your Wife: Once she takes control, Sofia forces Oswald to remain in Arkham and to not try and escape by threatening Martin's life.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": His name is pronounced "Mar-teen".
  • The Speechless: He never utters a sound, even when there's a psychopath in a chef's hat holding a knife to his throat. It's never made clear if he can't talk for mental or physical reasons or if he just chooses not to.
  • Punny Name: A martin is a family of birds. He's adopted by Penguin.
  • Talking with Signs: Martin carries a sketchbook and pen which he communicates with via a combination of written words and drawings.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: His first scene has him soaking his bullies' schoolbags in gasoline and getting ready to set them on fire.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He's last seen at the very beginning of "The Sinking Ship, the Grand Applause" being rescued by the Riddler who later tells Oswald that he's now being hidden elsewhere, but is not mentioned again afterwards.

    Tommy Bones 

Tommy Bones

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tommy_bones.jpg

Played By: James Andrew O'Connor

A mobster and hitman recently released from prison. In Season 2, he is seen working for Penguin.


  • Back for the Dead: After getting Put on a Bus, Bones returns in Season 3 to be framed and murdered by Barbara in a scheme to take away Penguin's position as mob boss.
  • Beard of Evil: He's a bearded murderer.
  • The Brute: The man is bigger than Gilzean and fulfills a similiar role,
  • The Dragon: Becomes Maroni's new one. Gets promoted to Penguin's later when he becomes mob king.
  • Frame-Up: Barbara and Tabitha frame Bones for abducting Nygma and have him killed after Penguin believes he turned traitor.
  • Mook Lieutenant: He has some authority within Maroni's family.
  • Psycho for Hire: One of his jobs is to carry out murders, like he tried to do against Falcone in the season 1 finale.
  • Put on a Bus: Is not really seen after the first few episodes of Season 2. The Bus Came Back in season 3, but only to kill him off.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Tabitha and Barbara frame him for abducting Nygma and betraying the Penguin, they have him executed when he's done playing his part.

    Gabe 

Gabe

Played By: Alex Corrado

A soldier in the Maroni family and Cobblepot's chief muscle. Formerly worked for Carbone.


  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When Penguin gains the upper hand on him, Gabe doesn't hesitate to try and weasel out of his impending death. It doesn't do him any good.
  • The Brute: To Cobblepot.
  • Crossword Puzzle: Is doing one of these in Season 2 Episode 3 when Penguin is watching the news about Jerome.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Getting disemboweled by a garden shear is not a pleasant way to go out.
  • A Death in the Limelight: He gets much more attention in the Heroes Rise story arc, where he stabs Oswald in the back and holds him for ransom to sell to other criminals who want his head. Ironically, the first time he receives character development is also his last appearance since Penguin kills him.
  • Dirty Coward: He only pretended to be Penguin's friend because he was afraid of him the whole time. He's also not above lying to him in order to stay alive.
  • Dumb Muscle: Gabe is very strong and ruthless, but really he isn't that bright. He at one point asks out loud what a bonsai tree is.
  • Facial Horror: Half of his face is sliced off after getting stabbed to death by the Penguin.
  • False Friend: Turns out he never liked the Penguin.
  • Fat Bastard: He's overweight and a mob enforcer.
  • Large and in Charge: Of Cobblepot's muscle.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: He turns against Penguin after finally having enough of his harsh treatment.
  • Only in It for the Money: He betrayed Carbone after Cobblepot offered him more money.
  • Put on a Bus: He is not seen after Season 2 Episode 11. Viewers assumed he may have been one of the not visible people killed by Mr. Freeze in Gotham Stories, that he was arrested and sent to Blackgate, or escaped after Mr. Freeze attacked the Penguin's new hideout. He was not seen with Penguin and Butch attacking the bus of monsters in Season 2 Episode 22. The Bus Came Back in Season 3, Episode 8.
  • The Quisling: He tries to sell out Penguin instead of crawling back to him, severing their friendship for good.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: While under control of Poison Ivy's spores, he is forced to tell his real feelings about the Penguin, which reveals that he absolutely hates Cobblepot and still sees him as the pathetic servant who carried their umbrellas. This also gets him killed.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Penguin kills him after his betrayal.
  • Slashed Throat: Penguin tears out his throat with garden shears.
  • The Starscream: It's revealed that he's been against Penguin from the start. After Penguin loses control of the mob to Barbara and he contacts Gabe for help, he immediately turns against him and plans to sell out his old boss to the highest bidder to kill Penguin themselves.
  • You Have Failed Me: Penguin butchers him for calling him a freak.

    Carmine Falcone 

Don Carmine Falcone

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/carmine_falcone_talking_with_o.png

"I never lose sleep over my enemies. It's my friends that keep me awake."

Played By:John Doman

"You can't have organized crime without law and order. I love this city, and I see it going to hell. But I won't let it fall apart without a fight."

The Crime Lord of Gotham.


  • Abusive Parents: Subverted: the only time we see him losing control with his offspring is when he backhands Sofia in "Queen Takes Knight". However, that was well-deserved considering she'd conspired to start a gang war to claim the city, and shortly afterward he says that even though he is disinheriting her, he is notdisowning her - she's still his little girl, no matter what. Which makes it even sadder when Sofia has him killed.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The comics version of Falcone was a Faux Affably Evil killer who had no qualms threatening Jim's family or Gotham itself if it meant he could hold on to power. The Gotham version is actually friends (of sorts, anyway) with Gordon's family, respects Jim (even if it isn't reciprocated) and is simply trying to keep Gotham from falling apart. At the end of season 1, he acknowledges that Gotham is now in need of a lawman like Jim Gordon to lead it instead of a criminal like him and retires peacefully. Even in his return appearances his motives are generally good - he helps Gordon escape Blackgate, is willing to challenge the Court of Owls to save his son and disapproves of Sofia's ruthlessness.
  • Affably Evil: Falcone is straight from the pages of the classic mob boss: polite, respectful, and civil to even his archenemies that he knows want him dead or in jail. In this he's the last of a dying breed in Gotham, as gangsters like Fish, Maroni and Penguin share none of his old-school morals.
  • Age Lift: He's already in his 70s and mentions being friends with Gordon's father. In the comics, he's around this age when Bruce becomes Batman.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Is associated with the Court of Owls and has worked closely with them, albeit under duress.
  • Apologetic Attacker: When he personally executes Liza for her role in Fish's scheme.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't betray him. Ever. When Fish robs the family money's reserves, Falcone kills the member who was supposed to guard it, putting the fear of God in everybody else.
    • Never use his mother to your advantage. Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas, and when he finds out that Fish had been using his "sainted mother" against him, is he ever pissed.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: While most of the conflict in Season 1 stems from Cobblepot and Mooney's scheming, Falcone is the current don, and as such the primary threat for most of the first half of the season.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: He realizes letting Gordon live is a risk, but believes that if Gordon will just get on board with his way of thinking, he can be a very valuable ally.
  • The Chessmaster: He's pulling Cobblepot's strings to make him The Mole, and is fully aware of what's happening in his own ranks that his officers think he's ignorant about.
  • Commuting on a Bus: He flees Gotham at the end of season 1, but returns in "Prisoners" to smuggle Gordon out of Gotham. He also makes several returns in subsequent seasons.
  • Cool Old Guy: For a mob boss and local crime lord, Falcone is a pretty nice guy, and is nothing but polite with Gordon and Bullock.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: His forced departure from Gotham. When Gordon comes to ask for his help in dethroning Penguin, he admits there was a time he would have done anything for Gotham, but those days are long gone.
  • Death by Adaptation: Whilst he is killed in the comics during Batman: The Long Halloween, here he's killed much earlier when gunned down by an assassin hired by his own daughter Sofia, and therefore doesn't live to see the Dark Knight rise. Since he was already dying of a terminal illness, however, his death was inevitable.
  • Dented Iron: His old age finally catches up with him in the fourth season, and as he reveals he's suffering a terminal illness that has forced him out of Gotham outright and doesn't have much longer to live.
  • The Don: In Gotham. Butch actually addresses him as such.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Falcone loved his mother and Fish used this to get Liza, her Honey Pot, close to him. Liza approaches Falcone wearing headphones and listening to an aria that was Falcone's mother's favorite. Falcone is greatly touched hearing the music again and quickly bonds with Liza. Fish trained Liza to behave in a matter that would remind Falcone of his mother and thus get him to lower his barriers. To say he's livid when Penguin eventually tells him of Fish's plan would be a massive understatement.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Say what you will about him, but he's deeply loyal to his family and shows great love for his dead mother, Mario (even though he'd distanced himself from the family) and Sofia. Hell, when the Court of Owls, the shadowy group that even he obeyed, threatens his son he's willing to go to war with them to protect him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: His entire philosophy towards organized crime is this; organized crime has to be organized, and those that are a part of it need to have morals and strength to keep the structure intact. There's no profit to be had in chaos. As part of this, he claims that the framing of Mario Pepper was done to prevent panic from breaking out because citizens lost faith in the system.

    Falcone: You can't have organized crime without law and order.

  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: His vast crime syndicate includes Eastern European and Asiangangsters.
  • Exact Words: At the end of "Time Bomb", he advises Gordon to stay away from the darker goings on involving his son. Because he doesn't want him endangered by any recklessness from those outside of the loop, something Gordon doesn't want either.
  • Friendly Enemy: He claims to have been this with Gordon's father. In the present, he's this with Maroni: the two understand the mutual need for respect and rules.
  • Genre Blind: He's considerably smarter than either Fish or Maroni, but he still never seems to realise that he's not in a traditional gangster story like The Godfather, and that the viciousness and ruthlessness of the future Bat-villains like Penguin will send the city spiralling out of even his control.
    • Most disastrously, at one point he says Penguin is "clever enough to know that a freakish little man like him is never going to be the boss", indicating that just like everyone else he seriously underestimates Oswald's ambition and cunning.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Played with: the leader of the Gotham mobs, he's indirectly responsible for the corruption Gordon has to deal with, including that of Commissioner Loeb and Mayor James - as well as having been being Fish' boss (and later Penguin's). However, their feuds with Gordon are entirely independent of his orders. For the most part he acts in ways he feels can keep the city from falling further into chaos, representing a lawful evil compared to the viciousness of villains like Penguin and Jerome.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: In "All Happy Families Are Alike". At the very least, he acknowledges that the time has come for Gotham to turn away from organized crime and towards a lawman to guide it and decides to retire. Notably, most of his subsequent appearances have him at least nominally on the side of good, most notably against the Court of Owls.
  • He's Back: In "What the Little Bird Told Him", he's looking back at all his lieutenants plotting against him and wondering if his time really has passed, and it's time to retire and leave Gotham peacefully. Then Cobblepot tells him that Liza is The Mole for Fish, purposefully dolled up to look and act like Falcone's mother, and Falcone comes back with a vengeance. Falcone sums it up best when he thanks Fish for "reminding him" why he became The Don.
  • I Have Your Wife:
    • Convinces Gordon to refrain from arresting him by pulling this, thanks to a spectacular moment of stupidity from Barbara.
    • Ends up on the receiving end in Season 3 when the Court of Owls forces him to do their bidding by threatening his son.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Other incarnations of Falcone have his last name pronounced "Fal-cone-e". This one's pronounced "Fal-cone".
  • Karma Houdini: Gets away in the season 1 finale, promising to never return. Barnes isn't too happy about it, even considering that he is now retired. Subverted in season 4 - he meets his demise at the hands of his own offspring, a woman whose ruthlessness has more in common with Penguin or Fish than him.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: He meets his end in "Queen Takes Knight" after being assassinated on his daughter's order.
  • Keeping the Enemy Close: He knows Fish wants to usurp his place as the top dog of the organized crime world, but keeps her as his go-to gal, having a civil-toned conversation with her even as he has his men beat the crap out of her boytoy. In "Lovecraft" he is even directly asked why he has continued to let Mooney live, despite her ambitions: he responds that each of his major lieutenants would like to depose him, if they thought they could. That's just how organized crime works. The trick is being strong enough to convince the rest of them that it would be easier to work for him than to try to fight him.
  • Large and in Charge: The overlord of the Gotham mobs, and at 6 feet 2 inches one of the series' most physically imposing characters.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Gordon comes to view him as this by the end of season 1, repeatedly referring to him as the least worst option when compared to having Maroni or Fish in charge. Invoked again in season 4, when Gordon starts seeking his aid in getting rid of Penguin.
  • Mama's Boy: An Achilles' Heel Fish tries to exploit by sending a young woman with a resemblance to his mother to seduce him.
  • Never My Fault: His anger at Jim for Mario's death is this considering that he acquired Indian Hill for the Court of Owls. If he had not done so, the test subjects might never have escaped and Jervis Tetch would've likely never come to Gotham looking for Alice and subsequently infecting Mario.
  • Not His Sled: In the comics, he continued his activities around the time Bruce first became Batman, only to be killed by Two-Face in one of the former DA turned murderous psychopath's first criminal acts. Here, he retires not long after the Waynes died and is murdered by an assassin working for Sofia just as a teenaged Bruce is beginning his superhero career. Outside of all this, Carmine Falcone never even existed in the comics until Post-Crisis.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Fish's plan to force him out of Gotham almost works, even though he knows she's behind it all. When he finds out the true extent of the plot against him, though, he does some things she wasn't prepared for, including strangle Liza in front of her.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Fish believes he's gone old and soft, but it's only because, thanks to having the foresight to keep Penguin alive, he knows exactly what everyone is up to and is secure in that knowledge.
  • Odd Friendship: God knows how he managed to inspire such Undying Loyalty in an Ax-Crazy serial killer like Zsasz.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • As Zsasz describes his reaction to Mario's death in "Ghosts": "He's beside himself. I've never seen him like this before."
    • After Mario's death, Falcone is typically hostile towards Jim, but in "They Who Hide Behind Masks", he shows him none of that hostility on the grounds that he literally doesn't have the strength for it on account of a terminal illness that will soon claim his life.
  • Papa Wolf: He's wary of Lee marrying his son, because if she still has feelings for Jim she'd break his heart. He also cares so much about his son, he will get extremely dangerous if anything should happen to him. In fact, when Mario is shot and Falcone finds out who pulled the trigger, he doesn't take it well at all. Not so much with Sofia, but then she's not exactly the daughter he hoped for...
  • Pet the Dog: When Lee indicates she wants to kill Gordon for what he did to Mario, Falcone tries to convince her to leave that to him so that she doesn't have to dirty her hands, which is something he doesn't believe she can live with.
    • In spite of arranging for Sofia to be banished and disinherited, he still allows her to keep the Falcone name because she's still his daughter and he still loves her. And then she has him murdered.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • Seems to want law and order in Gotham. He's not a good guy, but he seems to realize that Gotham is beginning its downward slide into chaotic violence rather than the organized crime of his generation, and that's not good for business. Also, unlike Fish, Falcone realizes that unnecessarily killing police officers has consequences, and will result in an undesirable backlash from the rest of the police.
    • He self-admittedly hates snitches, but ends up agreeing to keep Penguin alive since it gives him such an edge on Fish, and later Maroni.
    • He also decides to make peace with Maroni, since a mob war is unprofitable in the long run.
  • Retired Badass: He may be retired, but he's still got a lot of fight in him. Heaven help you if you harm his son, even if you're part of a centuries-old shadow conspiracy that rules Gotham...
  • Revenge: Sends Zsasz after Jim after he kills Mario, and only relents after Lee begs him not to after realising the insanity the Tetch virus brings on.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Tired from all the betrayals and attempts on his life, he decides to quit being The Don and just wants to get out while he still can.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The promo for "Time Bomb" makes him look like a full member of the Court of Owls, complete with the line "Gotham will burn." In truth, he's actually serving the Court under duress, and the aforementioned quote is part of a threat to the Court should any harm come to his son.
  • Villain Cred: One of the most respected people in Gotham, even to other villains. Fish refuses to kill him on Butch's suggestion, observing he was great once and she owes him that at least. Maroni has a Friendly Enemy relationship with him, while Penguin views him as an Evil Mentor and insists on killing him personally. Even in season 4, when he's retired from Gotham affairs and Penguin is at the height of his power, he makes clear that Oswald will damn well honor the deal to not kill Sofia or there'll be serious repercussions.
  • Villainous BSoD: After Fish coerces him into leaving Gotham in exchange for Liza.
  • Villainous Rescue: In the pilot, Falcone saves Gordon and Bullock from Fish. In season 3 he shows up just in time to save the two again, this time by calling off Zsasz - though this time he's not happy to do so, having been forced to by the Court of Owls.
  • Villains Never Lie: And Gordon turns out to be intelligent enough to recognize that he wasn't bluffing when he said Zsasz has taken Barbara. His honesty streak even convinces Gordon to pull a gun on his uncle.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Feeds pigeons. He also likes to purchase and breed chickens - something used against him in the season 1 finale.
  • You Have Failed Me: Personally shoots one of his men, who he claims was a friend of his for years, after failing to defend one of his vaults. Falcone admits he doesn't know if the guy sold him out, or if he was just incompetent, but either way he's dead.
  • You Killed My Father: Subverted: Gordon is certain he had some sort of involvement in the death of his father, since he had paid for the defense of the guy who did it. However, it turns out Carmine merely did that at the behest of the Court of Owls, and that Gordon's father was actually killed by his own uncle, another member of the Court.
  • You See, I'm Dying: His appearance in "They Who Hide Behind Masks" has him refusing to help Gordon take down the Penguin on the grounds that he's dying from something mysterious.

    Dr. Mario Calvi 

Dr. Mario Calvi

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mario_calvi.png

Played By:James Carpinello

The son of Carmine Falcone, and Lee Thompson's fiancé.


  • Adaptational Heroism: The series' version is more in-line with his debut in Dark Victory where he was trying to turn his family's name around before the stress of finding out his sister, Sofia, was the Cop Killer Hangman and killed their brother, Alberto, caused a psychological breakdown rather than his post-Battle of the Cowl appearances, where he succeeded his father and sister as the head of the family. Then again, even in his backstory, he's this, as he's the White Sheep of the Falcone family, whereas part of Dark Victory's backstory had him get arrested as a teenager for criminal behavior.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Uses his mother's maiden name instead of his father's surname, to avoid being associated with the Falcone crime family.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: He's a doctor and the white sheep of the Falcone family here, as opposed to the criminal of the comics.
  • Age Lift: In the comics, he's around Bruce's age. Here, he's closer to Gordon's.
  • Ascended Extra: He's a much more prominent character in this show; in the comics, he's just another one of his father's thugs.
  • Ax-Crazy: Once infected by Alice Tetch's blood.
  • Batman Gambit: Despite being infected by Alice's blood, he pulls one to convince Lee that Jim is just a paranoid ex. He succeeds.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Once it's revealed he's infected by the Tetch virus, he turns out to be be jealous, arrogant and rude - especially towards Jim.
  • Canon Character All Along: He appears to be a new character at first, until his last name and relations to Carmine were revealed.
  • Character Death: Is killed by Gordon before he can kill Leslie in a jealousy-induced rage.
  • Death by Adaptation: He's still around when Bruce becomes Batman in the comics, but here, he dies before any of that can happen, courtesy of Gordon.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: His jealously over Jim and Lee's remaining feelings for each other becomes the trait brought out by the Tetch virus, leading to his attempting to kill Lee at the end of the season.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: He says this to Jim, a Call-Back to what Jim said when they first met, when he told Mad Hatter to shoot Lee.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Once he realizes the Tetch virus can't be cured, he ends up enacting an episode-long Batman Gambit against Jim in order to make Lee think he'd gone mad with jealousy, before trying to kill her.
  • Sanity Slippage: He was infected by Alice Tetch's blood during the events of "Red Queen", and slowly goes mad over the next few episodes.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: After he gets infected by the Tetch virus, he exploits his status as Carmine's son to have Victor Zsasz hold Gordon at gunpoint while he enacts his plan.
  • Villainous Legacy: His death is the reason Jim and Lee are at loggerheads for the rest of season 3, and is the principle reason she takes the Tetch virus herself - culminating in her stopping Jim from defusing the Court of Owls' virus bomb, getting hundreds of others infected and leading to chaos in the city as a result.
  • White Sheep: As his father puts it, he's very "different" from the rest of the Falcone crime family.
  • Yandere: Once Alice's blood increases his jealousy significantly, he becomes obsessed with keeping Lee for himself, and is willing to murder and deceive people to ensure that nobody gets in the way of their marriage, especially Jim. Subverted when he decides to kill Lee after realizing that even after their marriage, she still cares for Gordon.

    Sofia Falcone 

Sofia Falcone

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/0bd33484_5a31_4c83_bf2e_bc71567dd4fc_gotham_403_scn8_jn0389_hires1.jpg

Played By:Crystal Reed

The daughter of Carmine Falcone. She comes to Gotham to continue her father's legacy and bring her family back into power, and to do that, she needs to wipe out the lone crime boss that stands in her way: Oswald Cobblepot.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Sofia in the comics is an enormous Brawn Hilda who towers over father. Here, she's played by the beautiful Crystal Reed.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: This Sofia isn't nearly as cruel and intimidating as her comic counterpart. Instead, she comes off as a kindhearted, child-loving motherly figure... at first.
  • All for Nothing: In the end, every action she made to recreate the Falcone empire with her at the head (including the assassination of her own father) amounts to nothing. She barely gets to enjoy her new empire for a couple of weeks before it all comes crashing down. Before Season Four is even over, she's in a coma, her empire has collapsed and permanently fractured the Gotham underworld, and whatever influence the Falcones had in Gotham is gone for good.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Has her own father killed when it becomes clear he'd never approve of her actions. That her tragic loss generates great sympathy for her with Gordon is also a plus.
  • Asshole Victim: Absolutely no one sheds any tears for her when Lee puts a bullet between her eyes.
  • Ax-Crazy: In notable contrast to Carmine: she doesn't bat an eye at the numerous deaths she causes in order to gain control of the Gotham underworld, and clearly enjoys inflicting emotional pain on Jim through the memory of all the cops Pyg killed, and actual pain on Lee through breaking her hand. It's implied that this is rooted in when she, at eight years old, walked in on her father murdering someone who was begging for mercy, and she got off on it.
  • Batman Gambit: She's a very intricate planner who always manages to stay one step ahead of the game. Throughout the season, she and the Penguin engage in an all-out Gambit ''War''.
  • Big Bad: For the first half of Season 4. She spends her time instigating a hostile takeover of the mob world.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sofia comes across as very charming and kind-hearted initially, but is just as capable of cruelty as any other villain in the series. Notably, it never 100% works - Oswald's constantly suspicious of her, while Jim swiftly distances himself from their arrangement after she lets numerous people be killed to further her plans - but it's enough to throw them off-balance until she's ready to move.
  • The Chessmaster: Does an outstanding job of playing Gordon and Penguin: from the moment she sets foot in Gotham they're unwittingly dancing to her tune.
  • Crocodile Tears: She tries to turn Gordon against the Penguin by bawling her eyes out after he almost had her tortured. He doesn't buy it.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Unlike her brother, Sophia very much wants to be a part of their family's criminal legacy.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Despite her best efforts to come out on top of Gotham's mob, even successfully dethroning Penguin, she is shot in the head and rendered comatose halfway through the season.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Most of her actions were out of a misplaced desire for her father's approval and it's also clear she loved her brother and was devastated by his death.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Can't quite believe what she's seeing when she walks in on Penguin teaching Martin how to shiv someone with his cane knife.
    • It's implied that she draws the line at hurting children - she's visibly shocked when Penguin appears to blow up Martin in a car bomb (though that might be because it was the first time Penguin hadn't reacted the way she'd anticipated).
  • Evil Is Petty: She doesn't forgive Gordon for killing her brother, affected by Tetch's blood or not - and shatters Lee's hand, just to get at him.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: A beautiful, elegant young lady more than willing to murder and torture.
  • Faux Affably Evil: She puts on a hell of an act, appearing to be kind and charitable towards everyone. But as soon as she gets power she proves she's got none of her father's morals, having people tortured and murdered left and right.
  • Friend to All Children: One of her public fronts is as head of the Falcones' children's charity, and she's remarkably good at it.
  • Genre Blind: She's far more in line with the new breed of villains in Gotham in her levels of ruthlessness, but remains convinced she can take things back to the way things were pre-Penguin, with herself at the head of a new Falcone empire. In this she underestimates how much things have changed, and how determined and dangerous future Bat-rogues like Penguin and Riddler actually are.
  • It's All About Me: It's telling that her principal concern when she has Gordon repeatedly shot and at her mercy is to hear him beg for her forgiveness. Even after all she'd done up to that point, it's clear she still sees herself as the wronged party.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Ultimately, her downfall comes as a result of her own petty and self-centered actions, culminating in Lee shooting her in the head for shattering her hand and taking the Narrows from her just to punish Gordon. She falls into a coma and her new empire completely collapses, with those under her, including enemies such as the Penguin and Lee, carving up what's left of it.
  • Manipulative Bitch: And how! Whether she's manipulating Gordon, the Penguin, or the Sirens, she always finds a way to turn things in her favour, one way or another.
  • The Masochism Tango: Even after she confesses that she actually hates Jim for killing Mario, she's still attracted to him (both physically and because he's such a gratifying pawn for her to manipulate) and offers to let them start over if he just submitted to her. This is while she's threatening him with a gun, after having already shot him multiple times, leaving him on the floor, bleeding out, and dying. Understandably, Jim tells her to go to hell.
  • Mythology Gag: After she is shot non-fatally by the gunman that killed her father, she feigns her injury by wearing a neckbrace and sitting in a wheelchair, a move that is taken straight out of Dark Victory.
  • Never My Fault: After Sofia assassinates Carmine, she considers it his own fault for never "believing" in her.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Neither Falcone's return nor Penguin's seemingly blowing up Martin figure into her plans, but she's able to spin both to her advantage - the former by assassinating him and blaming it on Penguin, the latter by her discovering the boy was alive and subsequently using it to threaten Penguin into staying in Arkham.
  • Patricide: It turns out that she was the one who ordered the hit on her father.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: She becomes Gordon's primary love interest in the first half of Season 4. In the comics, the two never interacted with each other. However, Gordon is also a pawn in her agenda.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Her Bitch in Sheep's Clothing act is a good one, but when that falls away it becomes apparent she's a spoiled brat who demands the same kind of respect her father carefully earned, and who has her own sister-in-law's hand crushed just to spite her former lover Gordon.
  • Revenge: She wants to take revenge on Jim Gordon for killing her brother Mario.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Sofia brutalizes and humiliates Lee in order to make Jim suffer, first by seizing control of the Narrows from Lee by force and then smashing one of her hands with a hammer.
  • Sadistic Choice: How she keeps Gordon in line: he can arrest her, and she'll reveal he brought her to Gotham, covered up Pyg's murder and watch the GCPD fall apart as a result of their "hero" captain's actions, or keep quiet and watch his soul erode as he gives into all her demands.
  • Short-Lived Leadership: The new Falcone Empire, which she stole from Peguin, barely lasts for a few weeks before all of Sofia's actions come to bite her in the ass, ending with her being shot in the head and Gotham's criminal underworld once again falling into disarray, finishing off the Falcones' influence in the city for good.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Courtesy of Lee, and she lives through the experience, leaving her in a comatose state.
  • Underestimating Badassery: She underestimates Penguin's resourcefulness, Gordon's determination to get rid of her, Riddler's refusal to sell out his former friend and Lee's desire for revenge. The combination leaves her shot in the head and comatose.
  • Villainous Breakdown: She begins to suffer this in "The Sinking Ship, the Grand Applause" as her enemies (Gordon, Penguin, Lee) start making their separate moves all at once.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: At the end of the day, Sofia wants Carmine to see her as a suitable heir to his criminal empire.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Despite it being mentioned that Lee shooting her in the head had put her in a coma, she's never mentioned thereafter.
  • The Woman Behind the Man: Arc Villain Professor Pyg is revealed to be a hired gun brought in by Sofia herself.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Subverted. Despite being the founder of an orphanage, she appears to have no qualms hurting Martin if the Penguin doesn't abide by her rules. However, it's implied that she was never actually planning on hurting the boy, and that she was just telling Martin to play along in an effort to once again manipulate Penguin, and she's visibly shaken when it looks like Penguin killed Martin.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Penguin is near-constantly suspicious of her due to his natural paranoia (properly, in this case), so she's constantly enacting this to stay one step ahead of him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Kills Pyg in order to frame Gordon.

    Lazlo Valentin/Professor Pyg 

    The Dentist 

The Dentist

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/played_by_d_baron_buddy_bolton.png

Played By: D. Baron Buddy Bolton

A torturer specializing in mouth-based torture. Initially worked for the Penguin before defecting to work for Sofia Falcone.


    Samson 

Samson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sampson.png

Played By: Stu "Large" Riley

A minor crime lord seeking control of the Narrows, who allies with Sofia Falcone.


  • Dirty Coward: Folds immediately to Lee's demands after losing his backing with the Falcones.
  • Fat Bastard: Is seen eating multiple meals in what is implied to be one sitting in his debut episode.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted: tells a debtee his men are brutally beating that of course he wouldn't hurt his family - then kills him in front of them and adds unless they don't pay him.
  • Large Ham: Is introduced having his lunch in an alleyway, in a Waistcoat of Style, complete with a table with a tablecloth and a fake window as a backdrop behind him.
  • Revenge by Proxy: The recipient; as she'd already gunned Sofia into a coma, Lee smashes Samson's hand with a hammer after she regains control in the Narrows - just as Sofia had done to her.
  • Scary Black Man: As his actor's nickname implies, is a very large, physically imposing man. Subverted, as it's eventually revealed that without Sofia's backing he's easily defeated.
  • Smug Snake: Taunts Lee when Sofia is about to smash her hand, confident that it's the end of her. He's wrong, and pays for it later.
  • Villainous Glutton: Samson is a very literal example of "conspicuous consumption."

    Agnes/The Scandinavian Skinner 

Agnes/The Scandinavian Skinner

Played By: Waltrudis Buck

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/agnes_the_skinner.png

An elderly retired hitwoman who used to work for the Falcones. Now runs a candy shop.


  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Gives up the information Harvey needs almost immediately after he threatens to tell her grandchildren about her old career.
  • Evil Old Folks: Skinned people alive for a living, and despite being retired, is very willing to filet Harvey with a long knife if he gets rough with her.
  • Names To Run Away From Very Fast: Her nickname, the Scandinavian Skinner.
  • Noodle Incident: Has "history" with Harvey Bullock, which apparently landed her in prison for four years.
  • Retired Badass: She's long out of the assassination game by the time we see her, but it's pretty clear she could still gut Harvey like a fish if pushed.

    Fish Mooney 

Maria Mercedes "Fish" Mooney

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fish_mooney__gotham_3.jpg

'"I am relaxed."

Played By:Jada Pinkett-Smith

"It's time... someone has to take over; it might as well be me."

The crime boss in Gotham's Theater District and a lieutenant to Falcone.


  • Action Girl: She doesn't really engage in combat herself until the end of the season, but when she does, she proves herself a formidable adversary.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Gets one hell of a makeover for the Season 1 finale.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Once Fish was rumbled and realized how much deep shit she was in with Liza and her men dead, she begged Falcone for forgiveness. Unfortunately, and reasonably, Falcone was no longer having any of her antics.
  • Alliterative Name: "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon" reveals that her full name is Maria Mercedes Mooney.
  • Anything That Moves: Implied, as she refers to her current male lover as a toy on the side, and part of her audition process for female singers is asking them to seduce her. Besides her relationship with Liza, she's also involved with Nikolai, an Eastern European mobster that also answers to Falcone.
  • Back for the Dead: Returns at the end of season 3 to save Oswald from Riddler, proposing they rule Gotham together using the weaponised Tetch virus - but she's killed by Gordon (himself infected by the virus) not long after.
  • Back from the Dead: Like Theo Galavan, she's brought back to life by Hugo Strange in "A Legion of Horribles", one entire season after her Disney Villain Death in "All Happy Families Are Alike".
  • Badass Boast: At the end of Episode 15 after killing prison leader Mace.

    "My name is Fish Mooney! I'm in charge now!"

  • Bad Boss: When Cobblepot sells her out to the cops in the pilot, she gives him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. She also has an employee/toyboy disposed of the moment he's no longer useful, and later leaves two of her Indian Hill followers to get stomped to death by an angry mob while she makes her own getaway. That said, judging by Butch's example, she can be pretty decent as long as you're loyal.
  • Batter Up!: She's shown holding an aluminum bat in her promotional portrait. She also beats a guy who owed her money with one in the pilot, and later Cobblepot.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Being betrayed, as Cobblepot and his broken legs can tell you. Threatening her is almost suicidal, as Bullock discovered.
    • Any form of sexism sets her off. She has Butch kill Saviano after he says her running the family is like "women's lib and all that", stabs Mace in the neck after he calls her "baby" (after she'd warned him not to) and shoots Maroni in the head after he repeatedly calls her "babes" as an insult.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Is opposed to the Penguin as she schemes to take over the underworld, even temporarily stealing his spotlight in the Season 1 Finale after capturing him, Falcone, Jim, and Harvey with Selina as The Dragon.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: For most of season 1. She thinks that she can become the next ruler of Gotham's underworld, but is unaware of how she has already been greatly outmaneuvered by Falcone and Cobblepot.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Prefers to keep her hair cropped short. See the picture.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Fish believes she could usurp Carmine Falcone and that he is "old and soft". Falcone pays a visit to her club and proves how wrong she is by beating up a barman she cares about. She is forced to watch tearfully and is visibly shaken by the ordeal.
    • She's freaked out when Penguin comes back as it puts a damper on her plans, and how her Honey Trap plot is going nowhere.
  • Brutal Honesty: A large part of how she wins over the prisoners in the Dollmaker's facility; she's very upfront about the fact that she could get some of them out if they follow her orders, but not all, and that they will have to make sacrifices in return for freedom.
  • The Bus Came Back: After Cobblepot lets her live, she's absent for most of the rest of season 3 but returns in the final episodes to instigate a Villain Team-Up with Penguin.
  • Came Back Strong: When she's resurrected by Hugo Strange he mixes her DNA with that of a cuttlefish, allowing her to make people do whatever she says via touch. But...
  • Canon Foreigner: Has no comic book counterpart and was specifically created for the show as part of its prequel premise, showcasing a big name in Gotham's criminal underworld who was around before Bruce's adulthood and the rise of his familiar rogue's gallery.
  • Character Tic: Her "Tsk tsk", complete with finger wagging motion.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Subverted. Fish is initially loyal to one person: herself. Everyone else is expendable or to be used until they become so. Then she gets exiled to the Dollmaker's island, and actually starts caring about the abductees marooned there, taking them with her when she escapes. On her resurrection, she admits she's proud of Oswald evolving from her umbrella boy to the Penguin, and at season's end appears to be absolutely sincere about her and Oswald ruling the city together.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Uses whatever she has on hand as a weapon, uses her boys as a distraction while completely subverting Mook Chivalry and knocking out Gordon with a lamp.
  • Compelling Voice: After being brought Back from the Dead by Hugo Strange. She first needs to physically touch her target, though.
  • Consummate Liar: She bluffs the Dollmaker to his face and gets away with it.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Subverted: She spends season 1 gunning for Oswald, and eventually gets killed by him, but when she comes back from the dead she spares Penguin's life instead of killing him, leaving him gunning for her for months. She later admits she couldn't kill something she had a hand in creating, as she's genuinely proud of all he's accomplished in her absence. This is enough for Penguin to spare her in turn.
  • Dark Action Girl: In the latter half of season 1, where she's a lot more willing to deal with things herself instead of relying on her underlings.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's extremely sarcastic.

    Butch: Hiya, Fish. How you been?

    Fish: Well, let's see: I was alive, then I was dead, then I was alive again. Things are looking up.

  • Determinator: Nothing will stop her when it comes to her goals. She gets cast out of Gotham and stuck in a body-harvesting nightmare where she's nothing more than a slave, and escapes with an army of new followers through sheer iron will, including gouging out her own eye at one point. Even death doesn't keep her down. Interestingly, it's a trait she shares most obviously with Penguin.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Her plan to takeover from Falcone doesn't account for the fact that there are other mobsters who have more seniority than her and a better claim to be in charge of the family after Falcone's gone, and that they are willing to fight her on that point.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Is killed by a Tetch virus-maddened Jim (for good this time) and dies in a heartbroken Penguin's arms as she tells him to make Gotham his or burn it to the ground.
  • Disney Villain Death: When Penguin pushes her into the water from a great height.
  • The Dreaded: She's the only person Penguin is legitimately afraid of. At the start of season 3 he orders a $1,000,000 bounty on her! Even outside of her feud with Penguin, most characters on the show talk about and react to her with a kind of frightened awe, even after her death - Gordon even puts her in the same class as Jerome Valeska and Penguin when dismissing Pyg as a second-class psycho compared to them.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: She thinks that she is going to be the one controlling all of the mob in Gotham, that Cobblepot is just a nobody and Falcone has no idea what she is up to. With the Foregone Conclusion that Oswald will still be about battling Batman as the Penguin years later, the fans are essentially just watching her setting herself up for failure.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: In "The Mask", she explains to Liza that when she was a girl, her mother was a prostitute, and one night one of Falcone's men killed her while Fish was hiding under a blanket only feet away, so she swore to work her way up over the years into a position to take revenge against Falcone. Then when Liza leaves, it turns out that the old jazz singer in the club is actually Fish's mother, and she does seem to care about her. She wasn't entirely lying, because when her mother asks, she said that she was embellishing what really happened.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She's shown that she has great affection for Butch, Harvey and (weirdly) Penguin. Part of the reason she seems to have taken his betrayal so hard is she regarded him like a son to her.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: She's completely gobsmacked by the revelation that Gordon backed out of killing Cobblepot. Keep in mind that Cobblepot knew Gordon was a decent man and wouldn't kill him, and that this is why he asked Falcone to give Gordon the job.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Fish, a ruthless and sadistic crime boss who kills with little to no provocation is truly disturbed by Dr. Dulmacher's little experiments.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: She laughs her head off at a horrific joke about a plane crash.
  • Evil Is Petty:
  • Eye Scream: In a moment worthy of Xiahou Dun, when she's threatened with giving up her eyes to save her allies, she instead stabs one out herself and destroys it.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Typifies this. She'll beat you senseless with a bat with a gentle smile on her face and crooning about how she cares about you. Or, in Cobblepot's case, she'll call you the son she never had and break your legs in half.
  • Femme Fatale: Isn't afraid to use her looks to get things done. Mace learned this the hard way, and suffered a knife in the throat for his troubles.
  • Femme Fatalons: Fish has long curved nails, all ornately painted in gold and black. Until she ends up with the Dollmacher, at which point she changes them to bright white to match her uniform.
  • From Bad to Worse: She went from losing her men and nightclub to Falcone and Cobblepot due to her own incompetence, and when she flees Gotham, her boat is hijacked by pirates. She eventually killed their leader and claimed authority, but then appeared to have second thoughts when she realized she was dealing with human traffickers after one of the captives came back with no eyes.
  • Genre Blind: Even after seeing all Cobblepot has accomplished in a very short amount of time, she still thinks he is no threat and orders her men to ignore him. This comes back to bite her, and eventually leads to her death at his hands.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to make her angry.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: She brought Cobblepot into the Family and then after she does nothing but treat him like crap he betrays her, gets her kicked out of the Family, and makes her the number one target on Falcone's hit list.
  • Hypocrite:
    • In the pilot, she denounces Cobblepot's scheming by claiming she viewed him as a son, despite having her own ambitions to replace the Falcone family. The irony gets as thick as possible in the second episode, where Falcone comes by to cow her into submission while Fish begs and claims to regard him as a father figure.
    • Though very much subverted in the organ donor prison. After convincing the other prisoners to be willing to be beaten to death to deny a viable body for their captors once their name is called, Fish herself is willing to stab her own eye out for the same reason.
  • I Lied: Practically her anthem in "Beasts of Prey" - she's caught snooping in the Dollmaker's office and is threatened to be shot dead by him, and is only forgiven because she pled for mercy while expressing her fear of becoming what happened to the Dollmaker's lieutenant after he failed to retrieve Fish's eyes. Of course it turned out to be a lie as Fish makes another attempt to escape, though successfully this time, but the Dollmaker corners her before he's beaten up by the prisoners who Fish broke out. Much earlier, she arranges a few prisoners to head for the boat during the escape, but they realize they were nothing more than decoys to allow her to escape just before they're gunned down by the guards. She even says it word for word.
  • It's Personal: Played with. According to her, the major reason she wants to usurp Falcone is one of his men killed her mother when she was a child, and she listened to it happen from her hiding place, making a case of Revenge by Proxy. Her mother is still alive (implied to be the singer singing at the time she told the story), but Fish claims there is some truth in the story.
  • Killed Off for Real: A Tetch virus-afflicted Gordon accidentally kills her late in season 3.
  • Large Ham: She's got a very deliberate way of speaking and has a huge presence, even when she's not shouting, so she'll be the center of attention in most scenes she's in. Smith has said the performance is largely modeled on Eartha Kitt's Catwoman.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Strung up in the same meat locker where she had earlier had Gordon and Bullock held after Falcone rumbles her thanks to a tip from the Penguin, who she had earlier beaten up for snitching on her role in Pepper's framing for the Wayne murders.
    • Happens to her again in "Beasts of Prey": she had a few prisoners play as decoys while she and the remaining prisoners escape, but right after the decoys are gunned down, she ends up shot in the stomach while taking flight in the helicopter.
  • The Leader: As of Episode 15, she takes charge of the prisoners and guides them to salvation after killing their former leader.
  • Like a Son to Me: She apparently regarded Penguin as this prior to his betrayal, explaining why her hatred of him is so bitterly personal in season 1.
  • Made of Iron: The woman can sustain a lot of damage - from being able to stand for a few seconds with a victorious smile after scooping out her own eye to being shot in the stomach mid-taking off in a chopper and still being able to operate it. In the finale, she's shot by Butch and still manages to stand her ground before being pushed off the building by Cobblepot.
  • Mama Bear: She tried to rush to Liza being strangled by Falcone, but was stopped by Butch.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Though she is capable of getting her hands dirty, this is truly her greatest ability. Fish is at her best when manipulating others and formulating schemes to achieves her goals. Though her antics may not have worked on Falcone, it definitely saved her rear upon escaping the Dollmaker's island basically through lying, becoming his assistant, and sacrificing prisoners before they become subjects to organ harvesting, thus provoking the Dollmaker to somewhat agree on Fish's terms. Also to her credit, during her time trying to usurp Falcone, had not been for Cobblepot's intervention, her plan would've succeeded.
  • Meaningful Name: To tie into Cobblepot / The Penguin; just as a penguin eats fish, Cobblepot is trying to usurp her power. She's eventually rumbled thanks to him, and when they fight during the climax of "All Happy Families Are Alike", guess who wins and who's dead? Ed spells it out for Oswald in Arkham after her resurrection, inspiring the chain of events that ends with her fleeing Gotham and him as mayor.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Has one brown eye and one blue eye after stabbing out one of her own eyes. Originally they were both brown.
  • A Mother To Her Men: She surprisingly becomes one in the organ donor prison, being completely upfront with the other prisoners that not all of them will survive her escape plan, and getting them loyal enough to lay down their lives if need be. And in case you thought it was just for show, she proceeds to rip out one of her own eyes to keep them from being killed.
  • Multicolored Hair: Has red highlights in her hair.
  • Not So Stoic: She usually keeps her cool, but as known, it's very easy to fire her up. On a serious note, once Fish was rumbled and has lost Liza and her resources, she's outright frantic and begging Falcone to forgive her.
  • Odd Friendship: With Harvey Bullock, as she's had him nearly killed twice in the pilot and the finale, though the second time it's implied she was going to let him live, yet Harvey's helped her flee Gotham between the two incidents. She also became quite chummy with Selina Kyle in the finale after the cat thief joins her, to the extent Selina has rejoined her gang by the season 3 finale.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: After headshotting Maroni, her soldiers quarrel with Maroni's men. We don't see the entirety of the fight, but after Selina brings back Gordon, Bullock, and Falcone, we see that Maroni's men are dead or incapacitated. Until Cobblepot shows up to gun down her team after Falcone stated his retirement to Fish, she basically achieved her goal of becoming Queen of Gotham before being chased out of the room.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: She is mostly known as "Fish." Her real first name is almost never used.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • In "Lovecraft", Alfred is able to charm her into helping them find Bruce and Selina after she initially refuses. All the more notable as her plot arc doesn't usually impact Bruce's.
    • She appears near the end of Season 3 to save Penguin from Riddler and Barbara - all the more notable as she had nothing to gain from it, but did it anyway out of fondness for her former lackey.
  • Predecessor Villain: She plays a very similar role to what Penguin ends up becoming - being a mob boss who is allowed to thrive in exchange for information and cooperation with the police.
  • Provoke Me Taunt: In Episode 15 when she cooly gives a warning to two men willing to fight for the new women - it actually sends them off scared.
  • Put on a Bus: Disappears for most of season 3 after Penguin spares her life, only returning to save Oswald from Riddler at season's end.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to a grovelling Cobblepot in "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon'. And he immediately responds in kind, much to her fury.
  • Refuge in Audacity: When Gordon asks about the screaming in the back alley, Fish at first says her boys are watching a scary movie, but then relents and says to his face that they're beating a thief that stole from her.
  • Revenge Before Reason: After being ousted from the Family and stripped of her resources, her only goal is to kill Cobblepot despite the risk she runs of ever returning to Gotham. Her first attempt involves calling Maroni to tell him Cobblepot may not be so loyal.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Considering her sarcastic nature.
  • Scary Black Woman: Her sadistic tendencies make her outright terrifying at times.
  • So Proud of You: A villainous variant: when Penguin holds her at gunpoint and demands to know why she didn't kill him on being resurrected, she admits she's actually proud of the way he's gone from Oswald Cobblepot, her umbrella boy, to the Penguin, terror of Gotham, and regards his transformation as her greatest achievement. He actually spares her life in return upon hearing it.
  • Shes Just Hiding: In-Universe, Selina and the Pike Brothers believe there's a possibility she survived being shoved off the top of Falcone's safe house into the ocean the Season 1 Finale, since her body was never recovered. Butch doesn't believe it. He turns out to be right, as she really did perish in her fight with Penguin, but she's later brought back to life by Hugo Strange's experiments.
  • Smug Snake: Fish may be a fearsome, intelligent and ruthless crime boss, but truthfully she's not as smart as she thinks she is. Her reaction to being rumbled by Falcone seals it. She also never seems to quite grasp how dangerous Cobblepot really is, even though he played her like a chump.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Ironically, she is this to Penguin in the first season finale, just as Penguin was to her earlier. He's successfully manipulated Falcone and Maroni into going to war, and stands ready to take over - then Fish returns with her new gang and all bets are off.
    • Near the end of season 3 she ruins Riddler and Barbara's attempt to kill Penguin, as nobody (not even Penguin) could have forseen she'd show up to save him.
  • Super Villain Origin: An incredible, possibly unprecedented, five-fold instance of how one gains a superpower. She fell to her death into a heavily polluted river, then was genetically modified with cuttlefish DNA, injected with a resurrection serum, and shocked with an amount of electricity compared to a bolt of lighting, while in the presence of machines that give off a characteristic form of radiation. In this kind of setting, how could she possibly have come out of it without superpowers?
  • Taking a Third Option: Almost word-for-word. In Episode 17, Fish was given two options: to either be killed alongside the other prisoners, or give up her eyes to protect them. Instead, she grabs a spoon, taking out her own eye and destroying it. She even uses the trope name near word-for-word.

    Fish: You forgot option three.

  • The Starscream: To her boss, Carmine Falcone. However, Falcone is well aware of this.
  • This Cannot Be!: Her reaction to learning that the Penguin's still alive.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: How she announces her identity to Hugo Strange upon being brought back from the dead with her memories intact.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Her effort to overthrow Falcone ends in disaster, but for the rest of season 1 she does this hugely, breaking out of the Dollmaker's prison through cunning and sheer force of will, then returning to Gotham significantly more dangerous than before.
    • And then in season 2, she gains superpowers. Fitting with her Manipulative Bitch nature, they give her the ability to command anyone she physically touches.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After coming Back from the Dead, she treats Oswald with much more respect than she ever did previously.
  • Torture Is Ineffective: She's got enough will-power to resist being tortured by Falcone's goons and even snark at her torturer, at least long enough for Butch to come rescue her.
  • Twofer Token Minority: As a bisexual black woman, she rather stands out in the traditionally all-white, all-male, highly heteronormative mob.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Had a fling/alliance with Nikolai to move against Falcone.
  • The Unsmile: A victorious, yet broken one after she scooped out her eye as a form of flipping the bird to the Dollmaker's assistant.
  • Villain Cred: Penguin admits to the brainwashed Butch he actually misses her in spite of all she did to him. Season 3 shows this goes both ways after she comes Back from the Dead, with her genuinely admiring how Penguin has become the terror of Gotham in her absence.
  • Villainous Rescue: Returns just in the nick of time to save Penguin from being killed by Riddler. Even he's perplexed by it.
  • We Can Rule Together: Proposes this with Oswald once they recover the Tetch virus and its cure. She actually seems to be sincere about it too.
  • Weapon of Choice: An aluminum bat.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: In "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon" - she could've easily beaten the crap out of Cobblepot before Zsasz and his gang showed up, but instead relished in him licking her feet and verbally breaking him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Coldly dispatches Cobblepot after she learned that he was the one who snitched on her without even a token chance at earning her trust back. Later, when her "boy toy" is roughed to teach her a lesson, he gets worried about her safety. She laughs it off and tells him to go rest up. Then she has one of her men to hurt a woman as payback and go ahead and "take care" of her former lover, since he's not strong enough to handle the stress of being involved with a mob boss. In "Penguin's Umbrella", Cobblepot claims she's grooming Nikolai to usurp Falcone, but only so she can then usurp Nikolai.

    Butch Gilzean 

    Nikolai "The Russian" 

Nikolai

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nikolai_4.png

Played By: Jeremy Davidson

The head of the Russian mob in Gotham, operating within Falcone's organization


    Liza 

Liza

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/liza_1_1_2972.png

Played By: Makenzie Leigh

An ambitious and aspiring singer taken by Fish under her wing.


  • Becoming the Mask: Downplayed, she doesn't fall in love with Falcone, but she does grow fond of him, down to the fact he acts like a perfect gentleman towards her, when she was expecting him just to take advantage of her. So much so, she's actually okay with the idea of going off with him as with Fish's plan.
  • Character Death: Strangled by the Roman himself when Fish gets rumbled.
  • Dark Action Girl: When asked by Fish to fight another girl for a job, she beats her opponent to a pulp in very short order.
  • Dye Hard: In-universe. Liza is introduced with raven black hair, but she turns it blonde to look more like Falcone's mother in order to catch his attention. There's no way of telling which one was her natural hair color.
  • Faux Action Girl: She never uses the skills that got her hired again, not even when Falcone is throttling her to death. Justified, as she was never actually a trained fighter, just a tougher and more ruthless one than her opponent (another young woman, of very similar build and height) and is no match for a significantly larger and stronger man like Falcone.
    • Plus Victor Zsasz and his henchwomen were in control of the situation so she didn't have much choice in the matter when the enraged Falcone strangled her to death.
  • Honey Trap: And Falcone fell for it. Until, that is, Cobblepot snitches on her employer in "What the Little Bird Told Him".
  • The Mistress: On her way to become Falcone's.
  • The Mole: Within Falcone's own house.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Liza's wardrobe tend to show off Leigh's legs.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Fish sets her to become Falcone's new mistress after Fish had the previous one suffer an "accident". However, the way her relationship with Falcone progressed, he seemed to see her as one for his mother. With good reason. The flashback at the beginning of 1.12 shows that Liza is the spitting image of Falcone's mother when he was a child.
  • This Cannot Be!: Her reaction to Fish being rumbled.
  • The Vamp: What Fish trains her to become. Ends up subverted though, as she actually does grow fond of her target, and they don't actually sleep together.

    The Pike Brothers 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/joe_pike.png

Joe

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cale_pike.png

Cale

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/evan_pike.png

Evan

Played By: Leo Fitzpatrick (Joe), Ari McKay Wilford (Cale), Noah Robbins (Evan)

Bridgit Pike's abusive stepbrothers, a group of arsonists loyal to Fish Mooney.


  • Asshole Victim: They were all pyromaniacs who ended up killed by their own foolishness.
  • Big Brother Bully: They relentlessly abuse Bridgit.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Taunting Bridget while she was equipped with a flamethrower and pointing said flamethrower in their direction was their last mistake.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Force Bridgit to join them after Evan dies, threatening to expel her otherwise
  • Jerkass: Their treatment of Bridgit firmly cements them as this. Even in his dying moment, Joe calls Bridgit a "bitch" despite her not being in the room.
    • Joe just scoffed at Selina when she gives him a Death Glare for the way he treated Bridgit in front of her.
  • Karmic Death: Evan gets blown up when he gets in a firefight with Barnes and Gordon while carrying C4 stuffed down the front of his pants. Joe and Cale get barbecued by Bridgit when she stops tolerating their abuse.
  • Mythology Gag: These boys are sometimes collectively referred to as "firebugs" by Harvey Bullock. Firebug is the name of another Batman arsonist.
  • Never My Fault: At no point do Joe or Cale ever acknowledge their horrific treatment of Bridgit, but they later claim themselves the victims and Bridgit the villain because she tried to escape from them.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Engaging two trained cops with guns while carrying explosives in his pants was not one of Evan's brighter ideas.
    • Joe and Cale see a deranged Bridget coming at them with her full arsenal of pyrotechnics, and they...mock her. Unsurprisingly, she kills them both.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Joe is an Ax-Crazy arsonist-for-hire who abuses and enslaves his much-younger stepsister Bridgit, but he considers himself a "decent guy" because he allows the orphaned Bridgit to live in his apartment and doesn't force her into prostitution (which he threatens to do to her if she disobeys him.) When he catches her trying to escape, he berates her for being "ungrateful" even as he has her chained to a radiator while threatening to blow her up.

    Salvatore Maroni 

Don Salvatore "Sal" Maroni

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maroni_salvatore_5805.jpg

Played By:David Zayas

A mob boss and rival to the Falcone family.


  • Asshole Victim: Shot in the head by Fish after treating her like crap. Nobody feels sorry for him.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Is seen personally leading his men to attack Falcone after the gang war starts.
  • Benevolent Boss: To an extent; he's considerably more paternal to Oswald than Fish ever was, even encouraging him to claim the Penguin name as his own, but as seen when he finds out Oswald raised taxes on fishermen (and he even expresses appreciation and a measure of admiration for the fishermen) without his approval, he'll still punish any underling that goes against him harshly.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Spends season 1 determined to usurp Falcone and become the true Don of Gotham, but he's never intelligent enough to realise the extent to which Oswald and Falcone are manipulating him until Fish spells it out for him.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Semi-averted. When he has the Penguin in a car crusher, he stays around to watch. Too bad his victim managed to panic one of his underlings and Maroni chased after him...
  • Boom, Headshot!: Should've stopped taunting Fish and calling her babes, Maroni.
  • Brains and Brawn: Big, bulky Maroni doesn't shy away from getting physical, but he's hardly a slouch in the intellectual department either.
  • Death by Adaptation: Shot in the head by Fish long before Bruce Wayne ever becomes the Batman.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: He speaks with a slight rhoticism.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Becomes friendly towards Cobblepot when the latter says he "claims" his Italian heritage from his mother.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Very specifically notes his 20-year plus friendship with Frankie Carbone (who Penguin secretly killed) as one of the reasons he's making Oswald's death by car crusher such a painful one.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • He's legit pissed at Penguin for raising fishermen's taxes without his approval, noting furiously to Oswald that they go out and risk their lives on the ocean daily, and as such pay enough already.
    • He also doesn't like traitors, or people who Ain't Too Proud to Beg for their life.
    • When the Electrocutioner (who Maroni sold out) goes on the rampage, Maroni denies any knowledge of him to Gordon. But when Gordon mentions women and children might get killed, he tacitly agrees to act as bait within the GCPD HQ (while still claiming not to know anything),
    • Amusingly subverted in "The Balloonman":

      Maroni: [watching footage of a bishop being killed on TV] See this? This is not good. [makes the sign of the cross] You can't go around killing priests. At least not in public.

  • Evil Mentor: He sees a lot of his younger self in Cobblepot and encourages him in ways Mooney never did: Mooney used the nickname "Penguin" to mock Cobblepot, Maroni tells him to embrace it.
  • Faux Affably Evil: If you stay on his good side, he'll play nice and friendly - but he drops it the moment you look like a threat or he thinks he's got the upper hand. Best seen when Oswald reveals his true identity as Fish' former underling; Maroni's laughing and listening one moment, slamming Oswald's head into the table the next.
  • Friendly Enemy: With Falcone. Maroni even says to him that if Falcone wants to go for a walk or have lunch to talk "business" with him, that's perfectly acceptable. Drops this in the first season finale when he thinks he's got the upper hand on his rival though.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Told Cobblepot he used to be nobody before rising to become a prominent mobster.
  • Genre Blind: He seems to think he's the ambitious and ruthless new Don in town that will eventually depose the more old-fashioned Falcone, and is blind to the manipulations of both Falcone and Cobblepot throughout the season.
  • Lightning Bruiser: By his own description, he's pretty quick for a big guy.
  • Mixed Metaphor: "A bird in the hand is nine-tenths of the law."
  • Not His Sled: As with Falcone, he continued his activities around the time Bruce first became Batman in the comics and is the one who caused Harvey Dent's transformation into Two-Face, being killed by Falcone's son, Alberto, not long afterward. Here, he's killed not long after the Waynes died, meaning that much like Batman: The Animated Series and The Dark Knight his role in Dent's transformation into Two-Face never comes to pass - the two never actually meet onscreen.
  • The Peter Principle: The prospect of him replacing Falcone as head of Gotham crime is not relished by anyone due to his temper and comparative lack of intelligence. In the finale, Gordon, Falcone and Penguin all spell out that Maroni in charge means anarchy in the city.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He eventually makes peace with his chief rival Falcone, as war is ultimately unprofitable for both of them. He also drops his vendetta against Oswald at Falcone's request....simply because Falcone is old and will eventually die, after which Maroni can kill Oswald without any fuss.
  • Race Lift/Fake Nationality: Puerto Rican actor David Zayas plays Salvatore Maroni who is white in the comics, but his character is still supposed to be Italian.
  • Saved by Canon: Pointedly averted in one of the show's first signs it wouldn't be bound by the comics' canon. He dies before throwing acid in Harvey Dent's face, the deed he is most famous for in the comics.
  • Self-Made Man: Claims to have begun with nothing, but through hard work, determination, and knowing when to keep his head down, he became a powerful force in Gotham's crime syndicates.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In the finale, he repeatedly talks down to Fish, insults her standing in the mob by insisting she will be beneath him in the hierarchy when he gives her back her position, and calls her sexist nicknames after she tells him not to. Because Maroni just won't shut up and leave her alone, he gets a bullet in the head.

    Frankie Carbone 

Frankie Carbone

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/frankie_carbone.png

Played By: Danny Mastrogiorgio

Maroni's right hand man.


  • Beard of Evil: Short-cropped variety.
  • Death by Adaptation: Cobblepot kills him in "Penguin's Umbrella", while the comic Frankie Carbone died during the events of The Long Halloween.
  • The Dragon: To Maroni.
  • Genre Blind: Though he's on to Penguin for manipulating Maroni, he doesn't realize that Penguin has also bought his own henchmen, which ultimately leads to his demise in "Penguin's Umbrella".
  • Greed: Penguin spots this as being his key flaw, making his subordinates quite open to an offer of a higher pay grade.
  • Guttural Growler: Has a low key, raspy voice.
  • Meaningful Name: Is named after a character in Goodfellas, who is also a short-sighted gangster killed by a low-level mob boss to further their own goals.
Sours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/GothamGothamMob
My First Five Gotham Complaints

Characters / Gotham - GCPD

    open/close all folders 

    James Gordon 

The future Commissioner Gordon, here a rookie detective struggling to make sense of Gotham's corruption but trying to be a good man regardless. For tropes regarding him, see his character page.

    Harvey Bullock 

Det. Harvey Bullock

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/harvey_bullock.png

"This is not a city or a job for nice guys."

Played By:Donal Logue

"You tell yourself, "I'll just do this one bad thing. All the good things I'll do later will make up for it." But they don't."

Gordon's partner, a corrupt and brutish detective, secretly allied with Carmine Falcone.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In most appearances, Bullock is an overweight slob in disheveled and often dirty clothing. Here he's played by Donal Logue, so he looks a bit sharper than his comics counterpart straightaway, with his shabbiness present but considerably downplayed.
  • Adaptational Job Change: Prior to getting fired by Michael Akins in the fallout of "Officer Down" in the comics, the highest Bullock ever got in the GCPD totem pole was Lieutenant.note There were also The Nail, where he replaced Gordon as Commissioner, and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, where he's a Composite Character with Chief O'Hara from Batman (1966) as Gordon's Irish-accented second-in-command, but both of those are Elseworlds Season 4 sees him briefly as a Captain.
  • Age Lift: He's about 10 years older than Gordon (unsurprising given Logue is 13 years older than Ben McKenzie), which puts him in the ballpark of his comics counterpart - who reports to an older Commissioner Gordon.
  • The Alcoholic:
    • He's constantly drinking in season 1. After spending a night drinking, Bullock jokes to Gordon that it would take him a couple more drinks for him to sober up. Even his decision to aid Gordon in bringing down Falcone is helped by a ton of alcohol.
    • Played very seriously in season 4, where Professor Pyg tricks him into shooting a fellow officer. The guilt from this is so great he starts drinking on duty, something he didn't do even at his worst in season 1.
  • Anti-Hero: He's nominally on the side of angels, but is willing to take more extreme measures like beating confessions out of suspects at the start of the series, in stark contrast to Gordon. He grows out of it in later seasons thanks to Gordon's influence.
  • Badass Beard: Has a nice collection of hair on his chin, and the competence as a police officer to match.
  • Berserk Button: He may be a corrupt cop, but don't imply he's a bad cop.

    Montoya: Do the right thing for once.
    Bullock: For once? Where the hell do you get the nerve to say that to me!?

  • Book Dumb: He's a very effective detective when the situation calls for it, and he's incredibly savvy and connected as to the ways of the Gotham underworld - but he displays a limited vocabulary on occasion (not knowing the meaning of altruism early on) and needs Lucius to lead him by the nose through the mysteries of the Riddler's initial killing spree.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He's actually a pretty good detective when he wants to be, but he's usually just too cynical to give a damn about anything.
  • The Captain: Bullock ends up taking over as the acting captain for the GCPD after Barnes goes insane thanks to the Alice Tetch Virus. This lasts until "Stop Hitting Yourself", when Gordon, at Sofia Falcone's behest, takes over.
  • The Chains of Commanding: He's promoted to acting captain twice - when Barnes is injured by Azrael and again when he goes nuts from the Tetch virus - and quickly discovers that he can't indulge in Jim's Cowboy Cop antics now he has the eyes of the city on him.
  • Character Development: He starts out as corrupt and ineffective, but being Gordon's partner gradually revives his old sense of heroism and morals. He's still a firm Anti-Hero and is more pragmatic and dirty than Gordon, but he's become a reliable ally against the crooked cops he used to be just like.
  • Chubby Chaser: In "Penguin's Umbrella", he shows up at Barbara's place when Jim's sent her away, BBW of the evening dangling off his arm. Short version is that he's on board with Gordon's crusade now (because "I'm dead anyway"), but he and this larger lady are having sex in Barbara's bed. In a later episode, Gordon is able to tell that Bullock frequents a particular brothel because the man fitting his description hires the two largest girls in the place.
  • Composite Character: Bullock in this adaptation mixes elements of the Bullock from the comics (scruffy looking and highly cynical but basically decent) with the Year One character Arnold Flass (Gordon's corrupt first partner) - though the original version of Bullock was corrupt before turning over a new leaf. Interestingly, the actual Arnold Flass does later appear, and even makes season 1 Harvey look like a supercop by comparison.
  • Corrupt Cop: A (semi-)heroic example. He is at least smart enough to know to work around Gotham's gangs and to take whatever success he can get, rather than to try and blatantly take them on. He often goes to Fish Mooney for information in season 1, which she's happy to give him if he looks the other way from her crimes.
  • Cowboy Cop: Even in later seasons, Bullock tends to punch crime away.
  • The Cynic: Bullock has been on the police force a long time, and knows what Gotham is like, leading him to adopt a Cowboy Cop approach to his police work. Gordon explicitly calls him out on this though, and he's gotten better by season 3.
    • He really doesn't like being the one having to solve the Wayne Murder because not only is finding the killer going to be nigh impossible, the pressure of having to solve such a high profile case is not something he really wants. The only reason he doesn't pass on the case is because he loathes letting Major Crimes get it.
    • More so when he accidentally shot a cop because Pyg dressed her as him, and ignored Gordon's warning of a trap. It really led Bullock into a serious case of Heroic BSoD.
  • Demoted to Extra: While he was very important in season 1, the decision to cast him as Gordon's willing ally instead of the Foil he had been led to less Character Development as Lee Thompkins, Ed Nygma and Barbara Kean all gained more screentime. He's still by no means an extra, but it's rare by season 5 to have full episode subplots devoted to Bullock.
  • Deuteragonist: As Gordon's partner he's this in Season 1, but in Season 2 he has to compete for screen time with Leslie Thompkins as the tritagonist. The Penguin is the Villain Deuteragonist of Rise of the Villains.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Two in succession in the pilot: telling off Gordon for defusing a hostage situation instead of just shooting the perp (his almost bored reaction to one of his colleagues with a gun to her head is something to see), and his outraged reaction to Montoya and Allen implying he's a shitty cop.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • He couldn't care less about the corruption going on in Gotham, but even he regards the Balloonman killing a businessman who defrauded many of Gotham's poorer citizens via a Ponzi scheme as doing Gotham a favour. Likewise, he despises lawyers and calls them scum.
    • The normally apathetic Bullock is appalled by the killings of the Goat serial killer.
    • When the opportunity arises to go undercover at a high class fetish club, he is initially quite excited. However, once he sees just whatthey're doing, he becomes disgusted. He finally puts a stop to it after seeing the start of an act involving a whip, a chainsaw, possibly a man in a wheeled cage, and apig.
    • Makes clear in season 2 that robbing the grave of Tabitha's grandfather is a bit much, even for him.
    • When Gordon, rapidly approaching his Despair Event Horizon in season 5, nearly provokes a fatal shoot-out with Zsasz by giving him Bullock's gun, a shocked Bullock afterwards tells him never to ask him to do anything like that again.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: He doesn't like having a rookie like Gordon be his partner, but by the end of the pilot, they've become friends. Before the first season is out, Bullock is Jim's staunchest ally.
  • Flanderisation: Bullock's role in the plot is initially to play the ultra-cynical and morally ambiguous foil to Jim's more straightforward Knight in Shining Armor, and much of the drama in the initial episodes comes from their contrasting viewpoints. But after he becomes Jim's ally mid season 1, this largely falls by the wayside and Bullock's role is usually either Jim's loyal sidekick or comic relief, though it does surface again after Bullock makes captain in season 4.
  • Good Is Not Nice: In earlier seasons was quite happy to beat confessions out of suspects.
  • Hardboiled Detective: Tough, cynical and distinctly old-school in playing outside the rules but with a heart underneath - he's a classic example.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He stands by Jim out of partnership rather than any genuine liking in the early part of season 1, but still goes along with the department's corruption. Then he goes along with Gordon's scheme to arrest Falcone because he reckons he's a dead man anyway (having failed his directive to get Gordon to kill Cobblepot). It fails, but from this point on he starts shaping up into the still rough-edged but loyal and effective detective he is in the comics, and becomes a staunch ally to Gordon.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Over the course of the series Bullock and Gordon become very close friends with one another. By the end of season 3 Bullock even admits that Gordon is the best friend he's ever had.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Spends a lot of time in the first few seasons saving Jim from messes his Honor Before Reason approach leads him into, as well as using his underworld contacts and knowledge of the department to gain leads the straight-laced Jim couldn't.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: His reasoning for being corrupt is that trying to go against the mobs will just get him and people he cares about killed.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Even on his good days, he's prone to stress drinking. When he's captain in season 4 it's revealed he has whisky bottles hidden in various spots throughout his office.
  • I Warned You: A darkly humorous example. He knew Barbara was nuts to begin with, and had informed Jim of his concerns.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: He uses a "hands on" interrogation technique involving physical bodily harm in much of season 1.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • He establishes to Jim pretty early on that Gotham has its own set of rules and however much he tries to change things it'll grind him down just like him. Given the catalog of rotten things that happen to Gordon by the start of season 5, and how jaded and cynical he frequently is as a result, it's tough to say he wasn't right.
    • Despite the two being at loggerheads by mid-season 4, he correctly warns Jim that Sofia Falcone is just using him to get rid of Penguin.
  • Jerkass Realization: While Jim's hands are far from clean by the time he takes the captaincy, Harvey comes to realise his blaming Jim was ignoring his own mistakes in the role; consequently, the two reunite to take down Sofia.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's corrupt, but he does look out for his partner and has his own moral code. Hell, he even pays for his old partner's retirement home monthly.
  • Jumped at the Call: Played with. At first Bullock is reluctant to return to GCPD because he's starting a new life with his fiancé. However, when Essen and multiple cops are killed in a surprise attack, he immediately returns by Gordon's side to take action.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: He used to be a morally upstanding officer but after the Goat murders, he became jaded.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: In "The Spirit of the Goat", we see Bullock take a case seriously for the first time, and his old partner Dix refers to him as a white knight (visibly stunning Gordon). However, after Dix ended up in a wheelchair after one case, as well as the mounting crime and corruption, it took its toll on Bullock's heroic resolve.
  • Lack of Empathy: He's not completely heartless, but his lack of caring is a sign of how he's been on the force way too long. Again, this fades away by season 3.
    • When he comes across a robbed convenience store, he tells the owner to call 911 since he's a homicide detective and nobody got killed. Also because he's on his lunch break.
    • His solution to the Viper crisis is to just let the bums and junkies fight themselves to death, and keep everyone else off the streets.
  • The Lancer: To Gordon after he decides to support Gordon wholeheartedly, due to their contrasting attitudes and approaches to the job.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Bullock swiftly becomes very competent in "The Spirit of the Goat."
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Bullock may be cynical and corrupt, but Gordon quickly finds out there are dirty cops like Cranston and Flass who make Harvey look like policeman of the month by comparison.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Discussed in "Everyone Has a Cobblepot". Bullock reveals that he once had to kill or be killed, literally, and he and Gordon weren't the only ones given this Sadistic Choice either. Whoever chose to kill became another cog in the GCPD's corruption, and Bullock failed his test.invoked
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Was tricked into shooting and crippling a fellow officer by Professor Pyg in season 4. He takes it very hard, and falls into a deep alcoholic depression. He finally redeems himself in the eyes of his colleagues by risking his life to defuse Jeremiah Valeska's bomb.
    • In season 5 we find out a young Bullock, egged on by Dix, coerced a statement from the future Jane Doe about her mother killing her father - leading to the mother being locked away and Jane being put in Arkham. After Jane takes revenge on Dix and the other cops involved, it's clear Bullock regards the whole thing this way.
  • Never My Fault: He's livid at Gordon taking his captaincy in season 4, which ignores Harvey's own unfitness for the job.
  • Nice Hat: Bullock is always wearing a nifty fedora that completes his '50s hard-boiled look.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It's far from the only reason Ed eventually snapped, but Bullock's continually being an ass to him in season 1 really didn't help.
  • Odd Friendship: Bullock gets along well with the crime boss Fish Mooney. He often goes to her for information in season 1, and unlike most people she deals with, she genuinely seems to like him (though that doesn't stop her trying to have him killed in the Pilot). He even helps her flee Gotham after she escapes from Zsasz.
  • Officer O'Hara: A modernised version of the Irish American cop without the accent, being presumably several generations American. He calls himself a "pasty Irish guy" in "Beasts of Prey" and in "The Fearsome Dr. Crane" hopefully asks an attractive woman he's flirting with if she's Irish.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • The usually lazy and cynical Bullock disappears in "The Spirit of the Goat", and is replaced by a surprisingly clever and determined sleuth. The reason? The killer in that episode is a copycat of one he caught a decade ago. During that case, his old partner, Dix, ended up in a wheelchair.
    • In season 5 he admits to Bruce that when things get bad he goes to work on old case files - while he always hated paperwork, doing good things, even if no-one else can see them, matters.
  • The Peter Principle: Makes captain in late season 3 due to Barnes going insane due to the Tetch virus and Jim being infected with it as well. It becomes apparent in season 4 the task is beyond his capabilities.
  • Police Brutality: Is all too ready to beat the hell out of suspects to get confessions early in the series, much to Gordon's horror.
  • The Rival: Harvey has a tense rivalry with Montoya and Allen from MCU, along with Gordon.
  • Shadow Archetype: He was once just like Gordon: a young, idealistic, upstanding police officer looking to clean up the city. Many years learning how Gotham really works, and what a cop has to do to survive, whittled down his spirit to the man he is now.
  • Spanner in the Works: Manages to successfully work out one of Nygma's riddles when he turns up threatening both the GCPD and Eduardo's men, giving the deactivation code to Riddler's bomb - except said bomb was a distraction to allow Bruce to sneak in and find their transmitter, nearly getting them all killed as a result.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: He leaves the force to open a bar and settle down with a woman he met on a case, but comes back to avenge Essen when Jerome kills her. He leaves again after Jim displaces him from the captaincy a few seasons later, but returns to help him take down Sofia after realizing how much of his situation was his own fault.
  • That One Case: The Goat murders. When he realizes that the killer has resurfaced, he suddenly morphs from a lazy, cynical Corrupt Cop into a competent investigator determined to chase the Goat Killer to the ends of the earth if he has to.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Bullock grows into a much kinder police officer due to Gordon's influence, and while he's still got a lot of rough edges, he becomes one of Gordon's staunchest allies.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He's ticked off at Gordon when he finds out that he didn't kill Cobblepot, enough to actually go at him, even though it got them both off on a murder charge. Justified because he thinks Fish and Falcone's retribution for failing to kill Cobblepot is going to be ugly, not knowing Falcone is Cobblepot's secret benefactor.

    Harvey: Son of a bitch...
    Gordon: Harvey...
    Harvey: You son of a bitch!

  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Or a sweet rookie. But the city beat that out of him a while back. Now he's the bitter, corrupt son of a bitch you see today.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • In "Penguin's Umbrella", he chews out Gordon and almost kills him for not killing Cobblepot (though they do make up in time to try to arrest the Mayor and Falcone), and in "The Mask", he makes no attempt to hide that he's ashamed of most of the GCPD for not backing Gordon.
    • Blasts Gordon in "Ruin" for almost provoking a shootout with Zsasz, and using his gun to do it.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He decks a woman after she tries to cover her boyfriend's escape by beating the crap out of him. She spent the previous twenty seconds throwing him around like a doll, so she wasn't a delicate flower.
  • You Are in Command Now: He's acting captain of the GCPD following Captain Barnes's Tetch-virus-fueled departure midway through Season 3. He had already filled the role once before, when Barnes was in critical condition after being stabbed by Galavan.

     Lucius Fox 

Lucius Fox

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lucius_fox_gotham_0001jpg.jpg

Played By:Chris Chalk

A junior executive at Wayne Enterprises before quitting and becoming an employee of the Gotham City Police Department, as a forensics scientist.


  • Being Watched: He warns Bruce that they are being watched every second they are inside the Wayne Enterprises building. He knows because he installed the cameras.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Calmly tells Ed in season 3 if he was going to kill him he'd lace one of the forensic aids lying around the lab with a lethal toxin, knowing he'd use them - then invites Ed to look at their latest evidence. Even the future Riddler is impressed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has a remarkably dry delivery.

    Ed: Mr. Fox! Just the person I've been wanting to see.

    Lucius:Oh, joy.

  • Gadgeteer Genius: Recruited by Alfred because they need his help fixing Thomas Wayne's computer.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Apparently one of the few at Wayne Enterprises.
  • Jumped at the Call: When Alfred requests his help in Bruce's secret investigation, Fox immediately joins them to do all he can.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: He becomes the GCPD's forensic expert after quitting his Wayne Enterprises job, largely to keep him in the orbit of Gordon and the other GCPD characters.
  • Only Sane Man: As the series progresses, it really starts to look like Lucius is the only person in the entire city who isn't touched in the head. Seen most notably when he declines to join Gordon, Harvey, Alfred and Penguin in storming Galavan's building, rightly pointing out he has no experience with weapons and as a happy amateur will likely only do more harm than good.
  • Secret Keeper: Recruited by Alfred to join Bruce's work in the second season. The finale, set over a decade later, makes clear he knows Bruce has become Batman.
  • The Smart Guy: One of the smartest characters in the show, with an exceptional aptitude for the technical side of things. He's also smart enough to step into Nygma's old role as GCPD forensic scientist, proves able to puzzle out several of his riddles, by season 4 has become chief medical examiner as well and in season 5 is in charge of purifying Gotham's water supply after Jeremiah poisons it. In season 5 Riddler even refers to him as second-smartest man in Gotham (after himself).
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He's stuck working with Ed in season 3 on the Red Hood case, something he clearly loathes given Ed almost gassed him and Bruce the prior season. They team up again in season 5, albeit more willingly this time.
  • Threat Backfire: His threat to Ed in season 3 only ends up impressing the future Riddler.

    Lucius: To be fair, if you ever threaten my life or the life of Bruce Wayne again, I will find a way to end you.

    Ed: Mr. Fox, we both know you're not a man of violence.

    Lucius: No, I'm not. If I was, I would have laced some piece of lab equipment - one which you were sure to touch - with a toxin. Ricin, maybe?

    Ed: I'd use saxitoxin. Harder to trace. But I like your style!

  • Token Good Teammate: Lucius Fox is the first executive we see at Wayne Enterprises who isn't corrupt. He also tells Bruce that Thomas was a true "stoic" and not really corrupt as Bunderslaw thought he was.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • To Thomas Wayne, doing all he can to restore Bruce's perception of Thomas after Bunderslaw's insinuations. He later tells Bruce how much he regrets not having been able to tell Thomas Wayne how much he respected him.
    • Later on develops this with his colleagues in the GCPD. In the season 4 finale, Lucius is one of the few GCPD members who remains in the ruined city to maintain order after the rest evacuate.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Not doom, exactly, but in season 1 he reassures Bruce that his father was a true stoic who rarely let anyone see his true self. This convinces Bruce to keep digging regarding his father's secret life and eventually leads him to first Thomas' secret room under Wayne Manor and later to Arkham and Hugo Strange.
  • Worthy Opponent: Ed briefly fixates on him as such in season 3 prior to becoming the Riddler, and even after this maintains a healthy respect for "Foxy".

    Carlos Alvarez 

Detective Carlos Alvarez

Played By:JW Cortes

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alvarez.png

A detective in the GCPD.


  • Ascended Extra: While not as important as the main characters, he becomes the only GCPD detective outside of Gordon and Bullock to appear in all five seasons, and graduates from Corrupt Cop to ally of Gordon in that time.
  • Ax-Crazy: Briefly, when he gets infected by the Tetch virus and goes on the rampage in season 3.
  • Bit Character: Usually shown taking minor roles in GCPD centered episodes.
  • Character Development: He's corrupt at first, but during the season shows signs that he has some standards when he's one of the first officers to back Gordon against Flass. By Season 2, Alvarez has apparently become an ally to Gordon, shown helping him investigate cases when Harvey's otherwise occupied, while in season 5 he's shown to have stayed on to help during the No Man's Land crisis.
  • Dirty Cop: Like most in the GCPD. He does improve later on, going so far as to be the one who slaps the cuffs on Flass when it becomes apparent how extensive his crimes are, and by season 2 he's on friendlier terms with Gordon.
  • Dirty Coward: During Victor Zsasz's strike against Gordon in "Penguin's Umbrella". Subverted later on, most notably in "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon".
  • Easily Forgiven: He kills another officer via Neck Snap and shoots at least one other while Ax-Crazy from the Tetch virus - but there's never any fallout from this mentioned.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Although he and Gordon were initially at odds with one another in Season 1, by Season 2 it becomes apparent that Alvarez and Gordon have developed a respect for each other, as Gordon was shown working with Alvarez while searching for the Arkham Asylum escapees.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Gets angry with Gordon arresting a back alley doctor, as he's a very useful informant and Gordon is only arresting him out of spite towards his colleagues after they abandoned him to Zsasz.
  • Mauve Shirt: Considering cops in Gotham are a Red Shirt Army, it’s pretty impressive Alvarez survived the entire show.
  • Running Gag: Don’t want to do a case? Let Alvarez do it.

    Vanessa Harper 

Played By:Kelcy Griffin

A detective In the GCPD's Homicide Unit.


https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/officerharperfilm.jpg
  • Badass in Distress: When kidnapped by the Pyg, she's got the presence of mind to hide a knife on her, allowing Gordon to use it to escape.
  • Canon Foreigner: Was created especially for the show.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: In season 4 she's generally the one who keeps Captain Bullock focused when Gordon's not around, and is later the one who convinces the rest of the GCPD to obey his orders after they remind him how he previously got numerous cops killed by Professor Pyg.
  • Number Two: Whenever Gordon or Bullock aren't around, Harper often takes over as the sidekick to the one that is.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Comes across as a replacement for Renee Montoya (see below) after the show's unpopular treatment of her in the first season.

    Renee Montoya 

Renee Montoya

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/renee_montoya.png

Played By:Victoria Cartagena

A detective in the Major Crimes Unit of the Gotham City Police Department.


  • Adaptational Jerkass: She may not be as corrupt as most of the rest of the GCPD, but she's a Jerkass who thinks she's got Gordon's number for imagined crimes and refuses to lay off simply because he's romantically involved with her old flame. Granted, when these imagined crimes are conclusively proven to be untrue, she apologizes to Gordon for it, but that doesn't stop her from still pursuing Barbara and sleeping with her behind Gordon's back. Her relationship with Gordon in any DC universe has never been any more hostile than this, and it shows.
  • Age Lift: Apparently around Gordon's age, but in the comics, she turns twenty-ninenote Detective Comics #747 when Gordon is in his fifties and has been the commissioner for about ten years.
  • The Atoner: Seems to drive her saving Gordon from Zsasz and his minions.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saving Gordon from Zsasz.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After the first half of season one she basically disappears from the narrative along with Allen.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Was into drugs.
  • Demoted to Extra: After she saves Gordon from Zsasz, her screen time is reduced to a couple short scenes with Barb. After they break up, she's practically disappeared from the show.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • She outright assumed from Cobblepot's tip that Gordon and Bullock cooked up the scapegoating plan with Mooney.
    • She seems to fully believe that Gordon is a high level corrupt officer and is trying to find any evidence to prove this. Though how much of this is solely for wanting to break up Gordon and Barbara, or if she actually thinks he is corrupt, is unclear.
  • Everyone Has Standards: She's a Jerkass and a Green-Eyed Monster who may be pursuing Gordon out of jealousy that her former flame is with him now, but she's also genuinely disgusted by the corruption in the Gotham City Police Department and is clearly not on board with the idea that Mario Pepper should have been killed for a crime he didn't commit, even if he deserved it (he ran away from the cops and assaulted Gordon with a knife, prompting Bullock to shoot him to defend his partner).
  • Green-Eyed Monster: No doubt part of her rationalization to convince herself and others that Gordon whacked Cobblepot on behalf of Falcone.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In "Penguin's Umbrella", she and Allen decide to listen to Gordon's side of the Wayne murder case and agree to take up the case should he not make it. Additionally, she sincerely apologizes to Gordon for letting her feelings for Barbara dictate her opinion of Gordon. Not that this stops her from sleeping with Barbara after the latter leaves Gordon at the end of "Harvey Dent."
  • Heel Realization: After saving Jim from Zsasz, seems to realize she was letting her personal feelings get in the way before, and sincerely apologizes to Gordon.
  • Hypocrite: She breaks into Barbara's home and tries to force her to listen to her about her beliefs of Gordon's corruption. Barbara comes to her in a public street with her information that she is wrong and Montoya tells her "you shouldn't be here" and refuses to listen to her.
  • Inspector Javert: Prior to "Penguin's Umbrella", Montoya fills this role, pursuing Gordon for her mistaken belief that he framed Mario Pepper, which Gordon is himself investigating. Further complicated by the fact that Gordon is engaged to Renee's ex, and she seems to have a not small amount of residual feelings for her. It soon gets to the point where Allen calls her out on it, saying she takes things way too personally.
  • It's Personal: Her desire to arrest Gordon is motivated less by sense of justice and more because he's with Barbara. She eventually admits this in "Penguin's Umbrella."
  • Jerkass: She's not very affable and has a condescending attitude towards everyone she meets. Bullock describes her and Allen as a pair of "self-righteous do-gooding skell huggers. Acting like they're such freakin' angels. Please". She even manages to piss off her old flame Barbara by breaking into her apartment. It's almost as though she'd be the villain of this series if Gordon didn't have the Mob and the corruption in the GCPD to worry about.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: In line with the comics. Additionally, she has a history with Barbara Kean.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Apparently she and Allan are the only cops, besides Gordon, who are not on the take.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: She pretty much knows that there are plenty of other cops that are dirty to downright corrupt, and many so far seem to be confident enough in this status to openly admit it. But she focuses her entire attention on Gordon because of very flimsy testimony from people that wouldn't hesitate to lie to her.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: She seems to be ever so eager to find any flimsy information to break up Gordon and Barbara and makes it quite clear she still has feelings for Barbara. She even breaks into Barbara's home, which freaks Barbara out.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: She and her partner Allen look down on Gordon and Bullock, perceiving them both as another pair of Gotham Police Department's corrupt cops. They assume Gordon and Bullock were in on the frame up of Mario Pepper. They weren't. They really had no idea until Montoya went to Barbara.
  • The Rival: Along with Allen, to Bullock and especially Gordon. Crosses over into love rival with Gordon over both's feelings for Barbara.
  • Smug Snake: After constructing Gordon's corruption essentially whole cloth in her head (she based it on a few scraps of information from Cobblepot and Fish about a tangentially related case), her attempt to arrest him for Cobblepot's murder is completely derailed by Cobblepot showing up at the police station.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Borders on it with Barbara. She's clearly not over it and breaks into Barbara's apartment in one episode using the key Barbara gave her. Barbara is not impressed and promptly takes it back.
  • Team Rocket Wins: In "Spirit of the Goat", she finally nails Gordon for murder... at least, until the victim shows up and introduces himself.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her inability to both let go of her feelings for Barbara and stop regarding Gordon with suspicion lead to Fish rumbling Cobblepot and Jim "executing" him in the pilot, and later Cobblepot returning from the "dead" to exonerate Jim of his murder - letting everyone know he was still alive and starting the chain of events that lead to Falcone and Maroni going to war and Penguin taking power.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Her absence in later seasons - where Gordon is actively trying to clean up the GCPD and her former lover Barbara becomes an Ax-Crazy crime boss - is notable.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gets one from Sarah Essen for trying to arrest Gordon and Bullock.

    Crispus Allen 

Det. Crispus Allen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crispus_allen.png

Played By:Andrew Stewart Jones

A detective in the Major Crimes Unit of the Gotham City Police Department.


  • Abled in the Adaptation: Much like Gordon, in the comics, Allen is depicted wearing glasses.
  • Age Lift: Apparently around Gordon's age, while in the comics he is closer to Batman's age.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saving Gordon from Zsasz.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Has this expression a lot, especially talking to anyone who isn't Montoya.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After the first half of season one he basically disappears from the narrative along with Montoya.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In "Penguin's Umbrella", he starts caring more about justice after hearing Gordon's side of the Wayne murder case following his Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Jerkass: Allen doesn't care about justice, he just wants the Wayne murders for the "press action." His friendly attitude comes off as fake and insincere.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: He and Montoya are the only cops, besides Gordon, who aren't on the take.
  • Out of Focus: Disappears after he and Montoya stop their prosecution of Gordon.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: He and his partner Montoya look down on Gordon and Bullock, perceiving them both as another pair of Gotham Police Department's corrupt cops. They assume Gordon and Bullock were in on the frame up of Mario Pepper. They weren't. They really had no idea until Montoya went to Barbara.
  • Token Good Teammate: He seems to be one of the few honest cops in Gotham, even more than his partner, who's at least partly emotionally invested in bringing down Gordon.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: As far as he's concerned (at least at first), Gordon is on the mob's payroll, and he's going after a hitman.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Like Montoya, disappears from the story midway through season 1.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gets one from Sarah Essen for trying to arrest Gordon and Bullock.

    Mayor Aubrey James 

Mayor Aubrey James

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aubrey_james_1.png

"We will not let these killers and these robbers and these rapists and these thugs win. Not on my watch."

Played By:Richard Kind

The On-Again-Off-Again Mayor of Gotham City.


  • Ancient Conspiracy: Is revealed to be a puppet for the Court of Owls in season 3.
  • Break the Haughty: The Galavans abduct him as part of a scheme to make Theo the new mayor, while Tabitha and Barbara torture him for fun with a box on his head. Has this happen again in season 3 when Penguin not only outwits him at every turn during their mayoral race, but wins 100% fairly too.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Galavan keeps him alive after replacing him as mayor, just in case. Galavan's sister still tortured him, though.
  • Corrupt Politician: He's not quite as bad as some - he's never seen taking bribes, at least - but he's still beholden to Carmine Falcone and, we discover later, the Court of Owls. As such, he's instrumental in keeping Gotham's endemic corruption going.
  • Dirty Coward: When Falcone says he may kill Gordon, James gets away as soon as possible.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • As noted below, he exploits attacks on street kids to send a bunch of them upstate, NDAA 2012-style. However, it's soon clear that he had to do something to keep them safe, even if he didn't care enough about them to bother finding proper homes for all of them (he does have an image to maintain, after all, and keeping those kids out of trouble helps to keep him from looking bad), and when he's told that a couple of the Dollmaker's minions hijacked a bus headed upstate, he's genuinely upset. He's cynical about it, but what was the alternative? Leave those kids on the streets to get preyed on by drug dealers and worse?
    • He also seems shocked when Gordon says that not even the police precinct is a safe place for him, the mayor of a large city, and laments what the city has come to.
    • He insists to Gordon that if there was a mob conspiracy to assassinate the Waynes, he wasn't part of it. Given that he's later shown to have ties to the Court of Owls, it's unclear whether this is the truth or not.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Seems personable and approachable— but as Gordon discovers early, challenge him and he drops this quick.
  • Karma Houdini: Has become mayor once more by the Distant Finale.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Kidnapped in the second season by Theo Galavan, the businessman running the Maniax!, and subjected to a string of abuses and humiliations by his sister Tabitha. Happens again in "Heroes Rise: The Primal Riddle" when he's targeted yet again by Nygma in order to gain information about the Court of Owls— and again in the final episode where Nygma aims to blow him up to prove a point.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: He has a strong resemblance to Richard Nixon.
  • Oh, Crap!: In "Penguin's Umbrella", upon realizing that Gordon and Bullock have him sussed and weren't kidding about arresting him.
  • Puppet King: James was formerly under the control of Carmine Falcone in the past, but season 3 makes clear they both ultimately answer to the Court of Owls.
  • Skewed Priorities: Even when he knows a hitman is coming to kill him, he would rather waste precious time stuffing his bag with money rather than leave when Gordon asked him to.
  • Sleazy Politician: Our first good look at him involves exploiting attacks on street kids to ship them all to jail, except for a few kids photogenic enough to be publicly put in foster homes.
  • Two First Names: Per the DC Comics norm.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Gordon saves his life several times in the early part of season 1. That doesn't stop James from scapegoating him for Lovecraft's suicide and reassigning him to Arkham.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Ousted by Penguin in season 3, and again by the equally corrupt Burke in season 4, but each time he finds a way to come back and get re-elected. In the latter case, with Burke blown up by Ra's al Ghul, there may not have been any other viable candidates.

    ADA Harvey Dent 

Harvey Dent

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2014_11_17_at_104345_pm_e1416283402497_672x372.png

Played By:Nicholas D'Agosto

The assistant of the District Attorney and an ally of Montoya and Allen who agrees to help Gordon covertly solve the Wayne murders.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The youngest and most handsome incarnation to date, certainly helped by his face happily remaining away from acid.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Never becomes Two-Face in the show and remains a staunch ally to Gordon in all his appearances.
  • Advertised Extra: Billed as a major character for season 2, you'd be forgiven to think Dent plays a major role in the series. Dent has a total of SIX episodes in seasons 1 and 2 where he appears and has an active role. While he does still appear on Gotham, it is mostly off screen. His presence on the show itself is an Aborted Arc.
  • Age Lift: He is around Bruce's age in the comics. Here he is approximately Gordon's age.
  • Anti-Hero: He's an upstanding and moral man, but only as far as your usual Gotham official goes. He's willing to use half-truths and media manipulation to smoke out the Waynes' killer, knowing he has no actual evidence (yet) to go on if he finds them. Also, sort of like Bullock, he realizes he can't get blood from a stone so he'll try to push for what near-term goals he can, because taking on the entire system and corrupt mayor like Gordon wants to will probably be fruitless.
  • Batman Gambit: Has juvenile defenders call a coin flip to see if he'll put them away or give them another chance, knowing that statistically teenagers will usually pick heads. And when his two-headed coin comes up heads, he tells them that The Powers That Be must favor them, so they better put their second chance to good use.
  • Continuity Nod: Several of the modern versions of Harvey Dent/Two-Face state or imply that Dent had some form of split personality before his scarring. This is hinted at by the scene of him talking normally, then suddenly sounding and looking Axe-Crazy, then calmly carrying on as if nothing had happened.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: See the following entry.
  • Foreshadowing: During all the scenes in his office, the lighting is always cast in a way that shadows the left side of his face.
  • Never My Fault: He lets Gordon take the fall for Lovecraft's "suicide" even though it was he and not Gordon who had the vendetta against Lovecraft. Although it was mainly because the Mayor pressured him to that.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He promised Gordon he wouldn't leak out Selina's name, so he leaked out Gordon's name instead. It was enough that they were able to trace Selina as the witness. Gordon is furious with him when he finds out.
  • One Steve Limit: Shares a first name with Bullock.
  • Put on a Bus: A long one to be exact. The writers have forgotten about Harvey to the point where the scene from The Dark Knight where the Joker is questioning where Harvey Dent is has become meme worthy in regards to where Dent is on the show. Even his Split Personality arc was given to Edward Nygma of all people. Despite his prominence in the comics, he never comes back either.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Implied by the religious intonations he invokes with juvenile perps.
  • Split Personality: Given who he becomes, "Lovecraft" shows that the Split Personality is hinted or at least alluded towards with Harvey being nice and friendly one moment, before transforming into a "Big Bad" Harv personality.
  • Tranquil Fury: Well, yes and no. Already suffering from some kind of bipolar disorder or repressed rage, in "Lovecraft", it becomes clear that Dent doesn't just switch back and forth between angry and polite like a light switch: it's bubbling beneath the surface, and at times he is visibly struggling to suppress outbursts of rage. People think he can be a bit obsequious, but this is because he is overcompensating, self-consciously trying to will himself to remain calm. As Gordon yells at him for leaking a paper trail, Dent's voice gets increasingly soft and his words exactingly polite and apologetic...while his eyes are locked in a death glare, which he is struggling to suppress. Intellectually, he can understand that the situation is entirely his fault and that Gordon is right to yell at him, so he tries as hard as he can not to react angrily.
  • Two-Headed Coin: Of course he owns one.

    Nathaniel Barnes 

Captain Nathaniel Barnes

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gothamtv_s2gllry_13.jpg
Click here to see him as the Executioner. 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_executioner_gotham_promotional.png

Played By:Michael Chiklis

A "law and order zealot" who takes command of the GCPD following the massacre.


  • Ascended Extra: Nathaniel Barnes, himself, is a Canon Foreigner but the name he takes to judge Gotham is that of the Executioner, who is a one-shot Batman villain from 1953.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The comic version of the Executioner was named Willy Hooker.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Jim blows his hand off with a shotgun in his final appearance.
  • Ax-Crazy: After being infected by Alice Tetch's blood he swiftly devolves into a murderous vigilante obsessed with dispensing fatal justice to the guilty.
  • Badass Decay: In-Universe, as Gotham descends more and more into supernatural madness and his by the book policing is unable to stop it. By Season 3, he's powerless to stop Penguin openly challenging his authority. However, he comes back blazing once he forms his super sinister Knight Templar side.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Always wears a rather dapper suit while out on the field.
  • Bald of Awesome: He is played by Michael Chiklis after all.
  • Band of Brothers: Fully believes in the brotherhood of the badge, which why he is has No Sympathy towards Bridget Pike and was quite willingly to use Nora Fries as bait, since her husband had killed two cops.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Goes from a by-the-book cop to a deranged vigilante due to Alice's blood.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Mouth off to him? He'll put you in a holding cell.
    • Following his infection, any crime becomes enough to drive him into a murderous rage, even if it's as minor as trying to stop him from going vigilante. Even hearing Gordon's name sets him off.
  • Big Good: He's the unambiguously honest, zealous and law-abiding leader GCPD can rally behind. Remains in this position for all of season 2 after Essen's death and the first half of season 3.
  • Black-and-White Morality: He refuses to accept any gray in a city like Gotham, much to Gordon and Bullock's chagrin. Which means he shows no sympathy to troubled criminals like Bridget Pike, and won't stand for his officers roughing up criminals for revenge or to get information out of them.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: His Executioner costume features one of these in a an axe-shaped gauntlet.
  • But Thou Must!: Considering there's a contract out on Gordon and a dangerous costumed madman is out to carry it out, Barnes bringing him in on suspicion of involvement in the breakout of Karen Jennings, which stands out as shoddier police work than Barnes is known for, comes across as this in his effort to protect him from said madman.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Makes it quite clear in his Establishing Character Moment that he will not tolerate any violations of the law, even by cops. Which makes his Face–Heel Turn as a Killer Cop all the more harsher.
  • Composite Character: After becoming corrupted by Alice's poisonous blood, he shows super strength similar to Bane, but acts more like an expy of Quincy Sharp with his Knight Templar approach to crime. Though his symptoms of seeing Gotham citizens as zombies who need to be killed is a characteristic usually given to Zsasz. He also uses the codename of The Executioner, the name of a Batman villain from The Golden Age of Comic Books, but displays a personality similar to The Judge.
  • The Corruptible: After Alice's blood taints him, he grows into the exact opposite of who he really is; a criminal.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Perps who mouth off to him get to see his sarcastic side, if they're lucky.

    Barnes: This is my "amused" look.

  • Detective Mole: Becomes a high-ranking version once he starts killing criminals, rousing Gordon's suspicions.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Briefly joins forces with the Court of Owls to hunt down Jim Gordon, but kills Kathryn Monroe once she oversteps her bounds in trying to control him.
  • Driven to Villainy: Becomes an Ax-CrazyKiller Cop from being corrupted by Alice's blood, which brings out the worst character aspects of those infected - in this case driving Barnes' desire for justice to murderous extremes.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: After becoming corrupted by Alice's poisonous blood, he becomes obsessed with growing into a Knight Templar trying to force his way of combating evil onto others.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: An ex-Marine, he was already a formidable combatant - then the Tetch virus upped his strength and speed considerably.
  • Establishing Character Moment: He smashes a chair on the ground to get the attention of the station to introduce himself and ream them for their past problems. He calls out the names of several cops and when they step forward, he fires them all on the spot for bribery, extortion and other crimes. When one protests, Barnes shoves him onto a desk and arrests him. He then tells the officers he will take no shortcuts or mercy on the criminal before ordering them to get to work.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He intends to do whatever it takes to restore law and order to Gotham, but beating up a suspect in broad daylight is a bit too much for him - something he makes very clear to Jim.
  • Expy: He shares some striking similarities to QuincySharp. Albeit, as a police commissioner instead of a politician. Taken Up to Eleven when he grows into an Ax-CrazyKnight Templar in his Split Personality who exacts cruel punishment upon all criminals in Gotham to vent out his frustration in the broken law system exactly like how Warden Sharp did under his "Spirit of Arkham" persona.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Mostly due to his corruption from Alice's blood, Barnes begins to suffer a severe Sanity Slippage that has caused him to become a Killer Cop.
  • Fallen Hero: He was once a noble police officer who protected the city of Gotham, but now he's become another psychopath wandering the streets killing whoever gets in his path.
  • A Father to His Men: He really does care about the men under his command, even if they often frustrate him. Even with Jim Gordon off the force, he puts him in a holding cell for his own protection while Azrael is on the loose looking for him, even if he has to use the breakout of Karen Jennings as a pretext to do so.
  • Foil: He's got a lot in common with season 1 Jim - a military background, an idealistic core and an unbending view of the world as black and white. By the point he's introduced, however, Gordon has come to appreciate the shades of gray in Gotham; consequently, the two clash frequently throughout seasons 2 and 3.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The GCPD's boss and overall Big Good of seasons 2 and the first half of season 3 - but he's still a hard man who has no problems overriding and ignoring his subordinates when he feels like it.
  • Handicapped Badass: Spends much of early season 3 with a cane after getting stabbed in the gut by Azrael.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: After becoming corrupted by evil, he's grown into everything he hated about Gotham; an Ax-Crazy criminal who goes around doing whatever he wants.
  • Hero Antagonist: His black-and-white outlook clashes with Jim's ability to acknowledge the gray in Gotham.
  • Honor Before Reason: He refuses to recognize how corrupt Gotham really is and insists on doing everything by the book which causes friction with Bullock and Gordon, who recognize that being morally grey is basically a requirement for a Gotham police officer to get his job done.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Inverted in "Into the Woods" when Jim tells him that in arresting him, he merely did his duty.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: He has almost nerve-wracking blue eyes that enhance his Death Glare. Later transitions to Creepy Blue Eyes after he becomes an Ax-CrazyKiller Cop.
  • Inter Service Rivalry: Calls Jim a "sad-sack Army hump" because he's a jarhead according to Jim.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pre-turn to villainy. He's harsh, but he's looking out for the people of Gotham and genuinely cares for the officers under his command.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Virtually everything he berates Jim and Bullock about - not beating up suspects, the need for evidence before they act, the stupidity of believing anything Barbara has to say - is absolutely true and in any other police show would make him The Hero. In Gotham, however, it just makes him the Only Sane Man.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: He realises what he's becoming, and at least tries to keep it under control - but when it becomes clear Jim is onto him, he gives him the chance to join him, then tries to murder him when he refuses.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Using Nora as bait to catch Mr. Freeze - because he holds her responsible for her husband's killing of officers.
    • He sends Karen to Blackgate without a trial in "Pinewood". Even considering his usual excuse that he's a white knight for the law, that was pretty low, especially considering that Gordon, having done a stint in Blackgate for a crime he didn't commit, knows exactly what her chances of survival are.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: After becoming corrupted by Alice's blood, he coldly murders both a criminal disposing of bodies in acid and an Ax-Crazy back alley doctor who tried to escape justice through his connections.
  • Killer Cop: Thanks to his Sanity Slippage, he becomes a psychopath killing criminals while maintaining his guise as a cop.
  • Lawful Good: He does sometimes show that he really wishes he could put the good before the law, but still usually comes down on the side of law before good, much to Gordon and Bullock's frustration.
  • Like a Son to Me: Claims Jim is like this to him - while putting out a warrant for his arrest. A pissed-off Lee points out a father would have had more faith.
  • Knight Templar: Begins a one-man crusade against the criminals of Gotham after accepting his insanity.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: After suffering his Sanity Slippage, he now sees murdering all of Gotham's worst criminals as the best solution to stop crime for good in the city.
  • My Greatest Failure: He tells Gordon that he once accidentally murdered a Child Soldier in a blind rage after cracking under the pressures of war. This was how he accepted his Black-and-White Morality - to him, there is no line in the sand to cross, there's only the law.
  • Only Sane Man: Inverted: he thinks he's this given his high morals insistence on doing things by the book, but Jim, Harvey and the audience are already aware that such attitudes are more of a hindrance than a help in Gotham.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In "Azrael", he commits an act of Hollywood Law by bringing Gordon in on suspicion of breaking Karen Jennings out of GCPD custody en route to Blackgate without any real evidence. Indeed, he has no intention of charging him, as he doesn't have any evidence, as mentioned earlier. He just wants to protect Gordon from Azrael, even if he has to do it by force.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Seeing the Smug Snake doctor he'd apprehended for cutting faces from unwilling victims walk into Carmine Falcone's party scot-free finally causes him to snap and throw the bastard through a wall to his death.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite his By-the-Book Cop tendencies he definitely is this, and usually accepts the instincts of his subordinates in who's responsible for the crimes they investigate. The trouble often is that he correctly calls for evidence to put criminals way, something that often doesn't exist in a city where criminals are great at covering their tracks.
  • Sanity Slippage: In the third season, he is exposed to Alice Tetch's blood and becomes increasingly unhinged over the next several episodes.
  • Semper Fi: Noted by Jim when he calls Jim a "sad-sack Army hump."
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Downplayed. He reveals that the pressure of war did affect him while on duty - to the point where he murdered an enemy in cold blood because he couldn't control his rage. In the present he admits the incident still haunts him, but is also what gave him his unshakable faith in the law.
  • Shout-Out:

    Barnes:I am the LAW!

  • Sociopathic Hero: After becoming corrupted by Alice's blood, he grows into a cold Killer Cop punishing criminals in Gotham in order to cleanse it of evil. After he aligns with the Court of Owls, the hero part is very much gone.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Gordon after he leaves the force and becomes a bounty hunter. Gordon even acknowledges that Barnes would be glad to see him dead during a hostage situation with Fish.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: After giving into his inner darkness, all he sees now in Gotham are zombie-like monsters who must be killed off as punishment for their sins.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: His ultimate dilemma in the show, and he'll choose lawful every time.
  • Tranquil Fury: Often displays this as he chooses to uphold the letter of the law and is forced to watch criminals escape justice due to technicalities or lack of evidence.
  • Tragic Villain: Barnes was once a good man who wanted to protect the innocent people of Gotham by rebuilding the police force from the ground up, but it seems that his dreams have been shattered once he grows into a Fallen Hero casually killing criminals for the sake of justice.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He openly disdains Gordon after he leaves the force, despite him still being a useful ally because Gordon is working outside the law now. To be fair, Gordon has a way of showing up uninvited in the first half of season 3 to make his job harder.
  • We Have Reserves: When one of his "Alpha Strike Team" officers dies he brushes it off on the grounds that you can't have a war without casualties.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After his final defeat, Barnes manages to escape custody once again whilst en route to Arkham and goes into hiding, much to Bullock's dismay. His current location is unknown. Ultimately, the series ends before ever saying where he went.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: With Cowboy Cop subordinates like Gordon and Bullock working directly under him, he gets to do this a lot.

    Barnes: I don't know which one of you I want to bash over the head with this cane more. [to Gordon] I get it. Life disappointed you. So what? Does that make you special? I'm done with you. You cross me again, I will have you skinned alive and your head put on a pike. [to Bullock] And you. When I came back, I saw the way you handled things while I was away. I swear I had this feeling right here. I thought I was having a heart attack. But it was pride, Bullock. In you. The next time I have that feeling, I'll know it was just gas.

  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Barnes used to be an honest cop who believed in the law system, but Alice's blood has made him insane and driven him to villainy.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In any normal gritty hyper-realistic Police Procedural, Barnes would be the hero or Big Good, with Jim as the Cowboy Cop sidekick who learns higher morals along the way - but not in this show. Granted, he's not too far off, but his underestimating the complexities of Gotham, as well as dealing with villains like Penguin, Theo Galavan and Jervis Tetch - not to mention Jim's refusal to shape up - lead to his catastrophic downfall in season 3.

    Kristen Kringle 

Kristen Kringle

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ce092046_a97c_4abe_ac4c_7502a3.png

Played By:Chelsea Spack

A secretary working in the archives at the GCPD. Nygma has an attraction to her, something she doesn't appreciate.


  • Accidental Murder: She ends up being accidentally strangled by Nygma while he's holding her by her neck in an attempt to speak to her.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She dated Flass. She outgrew the trope, however, and began dating Tom, another cop, who is far nicer. Only that Tom turns out to also be an Affably Evilabusive boyfriend. And then of course there's Ed. He is particularly noteworthy in that once his alter-ego began influencing him to act more like a "bad boy", Kristen seemed to become more interested in him.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Wistfully complains to Lee that the gentle Ed needs to have a little fire and danger too him. Oh, does she ever regret it.
  • Break the Cutie: In a depressingly subtle way, each of Kristen's relationships have done this to her. Each of the men she's dated have been abusive, and it puts her quiet, serious, withdrawn nature in a different light. The worst example is with Ed: her initial instincts told her for so long that he wasn't a safe choice, but she ultimately ignored her instincts and eventually started dating him. In the last few moments of her life, she realized she'd been right about him from the beginning. Unfortunately, in Real Life, this is a common occurrence: an abuse survivor might have trouble trusting their instincts, in no small part due to their abuser messing with their sense of reality.
  • Broken Bird: Kristen comes across as a very serious, studious young lady so the audience is as shocked as Ed is to learn that Tom Doherty is abusing her. It winds up putting her withdrawn demeanor in a totally different light.
  • Character Death: She ends up being accidentally killed by Nygma in a fit of panic in order to push his transition to the Riddler.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She initially wants nothing to do with Nygma, but seems to be warming up to him. After learning Nygma killed Tom, she realized she was right about Nygma in the first place.
  • Destructive Romance: Kristen has dated three men during the show's run, and all three turned out to be abusive to her.
  • Dies Wide Open: The last thing she sees is Nygma's face before losing her oxygen.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: When it comes to romantic partners. To be fair, Tom Doherty seemed like a nice guy at first, and the audience is expected to sympathize with Edward Nygma before his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Hot Librarian: Miss Kringle ticks all the boxes: glasses, skirt, hair in a bun, shy, passion for order...
  • Meganekko: Cute, quiet, smart, and wears glasses.
  • Punny Name: It's a feminized form of "Kris Kringle." Which may explain Nygma's obsession with her.
  • You Monster!: Calls Nygma a psychopath when she learns the truth of her ex-boyfriend's death.

    Gillian B. Loeb 

Gillian B. Loeb

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cl.png

Played By:Peter Scolari

The commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department.


  • Adaptational Job Change: In both Batman Begins and the story arc, "Wrath Child", flashbacks to the night the Waynes died had Loeb as a captain at the time. Here, he's already commissioner.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When Penguin and Zsasz threaten to kill him if he doesn't quit his job, Loeb breaks down and pleads for a chance to live.
  • Arc Villain: For the second half of Season 1. He's behind all the corrupt cops and controls them on behalf of Falcone.
  • Bad Boss: He tells Gordon he has 24 hours to find Jack Gruber, or else he gets shipped back to Arkham with Bullock in tow.
  • Blackmail: How he stays in position, he has dirt on pretty much every other cop, multiple DA's and politicians including Bullock.
  • Break the Haughty: After a visit from Penguin and Zsasz, they threaten to kill him if he doesn't quit his job. Fearing for his life, Loeb gives in and is visibly distraught that he has to rehire Gordon back on the force.
  • By-the-Book Cop: It's all for show. He's the most crooked cop of them all.
  • Da Chief: Of all the GCPD.
  • Dirty Cop: Much like in otherincarnations, he's a self-serving bastard in league with gangsters like Falcone.
  • Dirty Coward: He collapses into a sniveling, pleading mess after Zsasz and Penguin threaten to kill him if he doesn't retire.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He has a daughter named Miriam who he truly cares about. Enough to cover up his wife's murder at the hands of his crazy as balls daughter. But not enough to endanger his own life.
  • Hate Sink: Corrupt to the core and cruel.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: When Maroni gains the upper hand in the mob war, Loeb drops his support of Falcone and switches his loyalty to Maroni.
  • It's Personal: Really has it in for Gordon in the aftermath of his successfully uncovering the truth about his daughter, having another officer put Gordon onto the Ogre case - knowing full well that the Ogre kills the loved ones of the police investigating him. Later attempts to have Gordon murdered in prison in retaliation for Gordon having Penguin force him to resign.
  • Karma Houdini: Faces no consequences after attempting to have Gordon killed at Blackgate.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He made another cop put Gordon on the Ogre case, knowing that the Ogre kills the family of any cop that investigates him.
  • Not His Sled: In the comics, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and Batman: Arkham Origins, he was commissioner by the time Bruce Wayne became Batman, being forced to resign by the end of Batman's first year in the former (then later killed by the Hangman shortly after Gordon became commissioner) and killed by the Joker in the latter two. Here, he's forced into retirement not long after the Waynes died.
  • Quickly Demoted Leader: At the beginning of Season 2, Loeb quits his job after being threatened by Penguin. Essen replaces him right after.
  • Reluctant Retiree: As of the Season 2 premier. After Gordon makes a deal with the Penguin, the latter along with Zsasz essentially forces Loeb into retirement.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Sets Gordon onto the Ogre, knowing full well the Ogre will target his loved ones in retaliation.
  • Smug Snake: To a T.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: He isn't killed after losing his job as commissioner, and disappears from the series thereafter.
  • Straight Edge Evil: As Penguin points out in his Breaking Speech, Loeb has no vices to exploit, and might as well be a monk for all he cares. This means that, unlike everyone else in Gotham, the only way to get him to do something is to threaten his daughter, or - far more effectively - his own life.

    Sarah Essen 

Capt. Sarah Essen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/essen_sarah_6895.jpg

Played By:Zabryna Guevara

The Captain of the Gotham City Police Department homicide squad and the boss of James Gordon and Harvey Bullock.


  • Adaptational Job Change: Outside of a subplot during the '90s where she briefly replaced Jim as Commissioner as part of the fallout of Knightfall, the Sarah of the comics never held a rank higher than Lieutenant. Here, she's a captain and Jim's boss.
  • Age Lift: Appears to be somewhat older than Gordon, while she was younger in the comics.
  • Big Good: In a way. She's still a Corrupt Cop, but only sticks with the program to keep her family safe. As one of the leaders of GCPD, she's the only one who genuinely cares for her officers and has aligned herself with Gordon and Bullock.
  • The Captain: She's the Captain of the GCPD Homicide squad and Gordon and Bullock's boss.
  • Corrupt Cop: She's "part of the program". She's well aware that Jim was supposed to kill Cobblepot. However we later find out it's because she wants to keep her family safe from the mob.
  • Da Chief: Promoted in the Season 2 premiere, thanks to Gordon and Cobblepot's deal.
  • Death by Adaptation: She's killed before Bruce ever becomes Batman, whereas her comic counterpart was killed during the tenth year of his career.
  • Decomposite Character: In a sense. While she retains many elements of her comic counterpart (a police officer from the GCPD and acquaintance of Gordon), many other traits (a young ally and lover of Gordon) are transferred to Dr. Leslie Thompkins.
  • Defiant to the End: She tells Jerome he'll never amount to anything, then spits in his face and breaks his nose with a headbutt before he kills her.
  • Dies Wide Open: The last thing she sees is Gordon's face when parting ways with him.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: She gets unceremoniously killed off by Jerome.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Now that she's the commissioner, she's all set to reform Gotham's poor police structure to make the city safe again. Too bad she's murdered by Jerome and the Maniax! before she gets to do much.
  • Heel Realization: After Zsasz's attack leaves Gordon sullen towards the rest of the GCPD, she realizes she should've stuck with Gordon no matter what.
  • Mama Bear: She may be corrupt, but she is very protective of the cops under her charge. As Montoya and Allen find out. Later, when Falcone sends a hitman to the precinct to capture Gordon, she's the only cop to stand by him.
  • Mythology Gag: This wouldn't be the first time the Sarah Essen character would be killed by a grinning maniac who treats life and death as a joke.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Inverted. In the comics, Essen began an affair with Gordon in the first storyarc she appeared in, and later became his wife. There is no hint of anything romantic between the television counterpart, to say nothing of the fact that she has a family, presumably including a husband, and is Gordon's superior, likely preventing any future romantic relationship.
  • Race Lift: Sarah Essen, a white woman in the comics, is played by Latina actress Zabryna Guevara.
  • Sacrificial Lion: She's killed off to establish the Maniax! as a serious threat.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Despite surviving all the horrors of Season 1, Essen is killed off in the second episode of Season 2.
  • Trapped in Villainy: As mentioned, her willingness to let the law slide, especially where Falcone is involved, is more a Necessary Evil for her position than it is because she's actually corrupt.

    Tom Dougherty 

Officer Tom Dougherty

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tom_dougherty.png

Played By:Zachary Spicer

A GCPD officer and Kris Kringle's new boyfriend.


  • Asshole Victim: He was a domestic abuser which is why Nygma kills him.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: At first it seems he's an improvement when compared to Ms. Kringle's previous boyfriend: JerkassDirty Cop Flass, as he's actually nice to "Riddle Man" Nygma, even humoring his riddle-telling by offering some that he knows. It turns out he's not so nice after all.
  • Domestic Abuse: To Kristen. It's what gets him killed.
  • The Nicknamer: He never refers to Nygma as anything but "Riddle Man".

    Arnold Flass 

Detective Arnold Flass

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arnold_flass.jpg

Played By:Dash Mihok

A narc who runs a network of undercover detectives. The undercover part is actually a cover for their own drug dealing operations.


  • Decomposite Character: Bullock takes over his role as Gordon's partner.
  • Dirty Cop: Just like his comics counterpart.
  • Foreshadowing: Of the unintentional variety, but his telling Gordon to come preach to him in five years just before being arrested is remarkably prescient of the fact that by season 5 Jim has done a lot of shady stuff in his own right (though never anything as blatantly corrupt).
  • Large and in Charge: He's the most physically imposing of his crew.
  • Jerkass: Exemplified by his treatment of Nygma.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Double Subverted He considers himself untouchable because he's well connected. However, murdering an innocent witness within the GCPD is too much and he's arrested once Gordon obtains the murder weapon and a confession from one of his crew. Then Commissioner Loeb has him cleared and reinstated. It takes Gordon blackmailing Loeb to get him put away.

    Derek Delaware 

Detective Derek Delaware

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/derek_delaware.png

Played By:Niko Nicotera

A detective in Flass's crew.


    Bill Cranston 

Lieutenant Bill Cranston

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bill_cranston.png

Played By:James Colby

A corrupt lieutenant in the GCPD, targeted by the Balloonman.


  • Affably Evil: He is surprisingly friendly to Gordon, even when showing off O'Brien and its purpose as his chief interrogator.
  • Asshole Victim: By the time he's killed in the episode, it is clear he's a corrupt jerk.
  • Dirty Cop: He takes money from drug dealers to allow them to operate.
  • Police Brutality: He beats suspects with O'Brien, his award from the Chamber of Commerce. It's made of metal.
  • Shout-Out: His surname is a reference to The Shadow (Lamont Cranston), who was one of the inspirations for Batman.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He has a favourable reputation, if his award is anything to show.

    Dix 

Detective Dix

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dan_h_on_gotham_620x375.jpg

Played By:Dan Hedaya

Harvey Bullock's former partner, forcibly retired ten years before the series after a bad fall left him paralyzed.


  • Back for the Dead: Returns a full four seasons after his debut, only to be strangled by Jane Doe.
  • The Corrupter: A milder example than most, but his cynicism that there were "No heroes in Gotham," along with his willingness to cut corners on cases led to the once-idealistic Harvey Bullock becoming the tired, jaded cynic he is at the start of the series.
  • Dirty Cop: Among other things, forced a false confession out of a child in order to put her mother in jail.
  • Don't Be a Hero: Apparently his philosophy in life, "No heroes in Gotham". Something he tries teaching Bullock.
  • No Sympathy: He has no guilt over the Victoria Cartwright case. Especially when her daughter Jane Doe (shapeshift into Bullock) calls him out for turning her into a monster. He just scoffs at his/her berating, and then gets killed.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His rush job on the Victoria Cartwright case eventually led to her daughter being declared insane and experimented on by Hugo Strange, and the deaths of Dix and two of his friends at her hands years later.
Sours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/GothamGCPD

Tropes gotham tv

Recap / Gotham

Recaps of the pre-Batman days of James Gordon, GCPD.

    open/close all folders 

    Season 1 

    Season 2 (Rise of the Villains

    Season 3 (Mad City

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gothams3.png

All will be judged.

"I want an army. I want an army like me."

Fish Mooney

Six months later, Gordon has become a bounty hunter as he works to track down Indian Hill experiments that escaped six months earlier as well as a revived Fish Mooney who has recruited some of the Indian Hill experiments to form another version of her gang. While planning to get Leslie Thompkins back, he also encounters Carmine Falcone's son Mario Calvi. Gordon also has to tangle with hypnotist Jervis Tetch who arrives in Gotham City to look for his lost sister Alice Tetch. Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot runs against Aubrey James for Mayor of Gotham City after some elected Gotham City officials ran it following Theo Galavan's death and wins in a landslide.

While Jim rejoins the GCPD, the city plunges into a state of corruption: Alice Tetch's poisonous blood drives many crazy, including Captain Nathaniel Barnes and Mario Calvi. The deceased Jerome Valeska's followers led by Dwight Pollard revive him back to life and later attempts to continue his previous vendetta against the city and Bruce until he is defeated by Bruce and Gordon. Meanwhile, Edward Nygma, who slowly was on the path into becoming the Riddler, puts his plans into effect, setting his legacy into place, and Bruce Wayne continues his path into becoming the Batman when he starts to look into the Court of Owls, finding out that one of the Indian Hill experiments was a clone of his.


Mad City

  1. Better to Reign in Hell...
  2. Burn the Witch
  3. Look Into My Eyes
  4. New Day Rising
  5. Anything For You
  6. Follow the White Rabbit
  7. Red Queen
  8. Blood Rush
  9. The Executioner
  10. Time Bomb
  11. Beware the Green-Eyed Monster
  12. Ghosts
  13. Smile Like You Mean It
  14. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies

Heroes Rise

  1. How the Riddler Got His Name
  2. These Delicate and Dark Obsessions
  3. The Primal Riddle
  4. Light The Wick
  5. All Will Be Judged
  6. Pretty Hate Machine
  7. Destiny Calling
  8. Heavydirtysoul

    Season 4 (A Dark Knight

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gotham4.jpg

Gotham will know fear.

"You still don't understand Gotham. You want to be the hero. Gotham doesn't need heroes. It needs someone who will do whatever it takes."

Det. Harvey Bullock

Bruce Wayne is now a masked vigilante, patrolling Gotham's streets at night, wearing dark clothes and a hooded black balaclava. Cobblepot begins a campaign to dominate the city's underworld by profiting off licensed crime, Nygma finds his mental faculties diminished as a side-effect of having been flash-frozen, Jonathan Crane is seen embracing his role as the Scarecrow, the League of Shadows begin their next plot involving an ancient embalming knife, Ivy Pepper taking drugs from an apothecary which transform her again, and Butch Gilzean becomes Solomon Grundy after his comatose body was dumped into Slaughter Swamp.

A new criminal known as Professor Pyg shows up putting Gotham into chaos until it is revealed he has been working with Falcone’s daughter Sofia to take down Penguin which she succeeds in doing while having Penguin sent to Arkham where he meets Jerome Valeska. Eventually after Sofia is taken down by Gordon, Jerome Valeska, Jervis Tetch, and Jonathan Crane escape from Arkham along with others and team up with Victor Fries, Bridget Pike, Penguin, and Solomon Grundy to create a supervillain team known as the Legion of Horribles to bring madness and destruction to Gotham which leads to Jerome's brother Jeremiah undergoing a chemical transformation.

In addition, the energies that Ra's al Ghul placed in Barbara Kean called the rest of the League of Shadows to her as the female members pledge their loyalty to her. Eventually, Jeremiah Valeska and Ra's al Ghul's plans plunge Gotham City into a no man's land, causing it to be evacuated while the different villains start claiming their territory.


  1. Pax Penguina
  2. The Fear Reaper
  3. They Who Hide Behind Masks
  4. The Demon's Head
  5. The Blade's Path
  6. Hog Day Afternoon
  7. A Day in the Narrows
  8. Stop Hitting Yourself
  9. Let Them Eat Pie
  10. Things That Go Boom
  11. Queen Takes Knight
  12. Pieces of a Broken Mirror
  13. A Beautiful Darkness
  14. Reunion
  15. The Sinking Ship, the Grand Applause
  16. One of My Three Soups
  17. Mandatory Brunch Meeting
  18. That's Entertainment
  19. To Our Deaths and Beyond
  20. That Old Corpse
  21. One Bad Day
  22. No Man's Land

    Season 5 (Legend of the Dark Knight) 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gothamseason5.png

The Dark Knight is coming.

"Here he comes, Gotham! Your most hated son! Have at him! Rip him to shreds!"

Barbara Kean

Gotham has become a no man's land. Much of the electricity and clean water supply has been cut off and food is scarce. Crime lords such as Penguin and Barbara Kean have taken to running the city's largest zones virtually unchallenged while the remaining territories are being divided up between psychopaths such as the Scarecrow, Victor Zsasz, the mutants and Jeremiah Valeska.

Jim Gordon's GCPD remains the citizens' only beacon of hope as he keeps the searchlight on every night to remind them that there is still a chance that they will survive this ordeal.

Behind the scenes, Edward Nygma struggles with his split personality as he loses his grip on sanity as time goes on, ultimately discovering a truth more ugly than he could imagine.

Selina Kyle, still paralyzed and suicidal after Jeremiah's attack, finds an unlikely cure that will heal and empower her to exact her revenge.

And finally Bruce Wayne, Gotham's future dark knight, sets out on a journey that will change his destiny and the destiny of his beloved city forever.


  1. Year Zero
  2. Trespassers
  3. Penguin, Our Hero
  4. Ruin
  5. Pena Dura
  6. 13 Stitches
  7. Ace Chemicals
  8. Nothing's Shocking
  9. The Trial of James Gordon
  10. I Am Bane
  11. They Did What?
  12. The Beginning...
Sours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/Gotham
Gotham's Batman Problem - Video Essay

Characters / DCEU: Gotham City

Main Character Index


Gotham City is the sister city of Metropolis across the bay, and it is considered one of the most dangerous and criminally corrupt cities in the world. However, there are folks like the Wayne family, companies like Wayne Enterprises, the Gotham City Police Department, and other civilians that make Gotham City shine even through the darkest of nights.

    open/close all folders 

Wayne Household

    Bruce Wayne / Batman 

    Alfred Pennyworth 

Alfred Pennyworth

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dceualfred.jpg

"Even you've got too old to die young. Not for lack of trying."

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Wayne Enterprises

Played by:Jeremy Irons

Dubbed by: Germán Fabregat (Latin-American Spanish) | Tetsuo Kanao (Japanese) | Bernard Tiphaine (European French) | Jacques Lavallée (Canadian French)

Appearances:Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | Justice League | Zack Snyder's Justice League

"That's how it starts. The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men... cruel."

Bruce Wayne's loyal attendant.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The most slick looking middle-aged-to-elder live action version of the character (the Pennyworth Alfred is also good looking, albeit much younger). It helps that in many versions the character is balding while this one has good amount of hair on his head. With a tad more grooming he'd practically be a Silver Fox.
  • Adaptational Badass: This version of Alfred is much more hands-on than his predecessors, helping Bruce build, improve and repair his suits and a number of his gadgets, and operating the Batwing. In fact, this version takes after the version in Batman: Earth One in that he was originally a bodyguard for the Waynes, not their butler as in other versions.
  • Adaptational Job Change: As mentioned above, he goes the Earth One route of being a former bodyguard to the Waynes, not their butler.
  • Age Lift: Jeremy Irons is the right age to play Alfred when Bruce is starting his career as Batman, but in the context of the movie, he could almost pass for an older brother, which is supported by the flashback to Thomas and Martha's funeral depicting him in his mid 20s-early 30s while Bruce was 9.
  • Alternate Self: Has five: one on Earth-Prime, one on Earth-9, one on Earth-66, one on Earth-89 and one on Earth-203.
  • Badass Baritone: Thanks to Jeremy Irons' distinctive deep voice.
  • Cool Old Guy: In his later years but still highly intelligent and capable and a great source of friendship and guidance for Bruce and other heroes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Easily the snarkiest live-action Alfred to date. He is a gold mine of sarcasms, especially when he sees his master taking a very wrong path in life.
  • Double Take: Does one in Zack Snyder's Justice League when Bruce brings the rest of the league to the batcave.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: He and Bruce built the Batcave. He also helped Bruce conceive and build the vehicles, powered armor and gadgets and is shown maintaining/repairing them. In Zack Snyder's Justice League, he even manages to reverse-engineer Kryptonian tech to create energy-absorbing gauntlets for his master, which comes in handy against Parademon blaster fire and even Superman's Eye Beams.
  • Ignored Expert: He knows exactly how foolish, dangerous and self-destructive Bruce's mission against Clark is and tells him such but is ignored.
  • I Want Grandkids: Even if he isn't Batman's real father, as a Parental Substitute, he does want Batman to eventually retire, find love and keep the Wayne family going. He seems to have accepted that this will never happen.

    Alfred: Go upstairs and socialize. Some young lady from Metropolis will make you honest. Uh uh, In your dreams, Alfred..." (drinks)

  • The Jeeves: Has been described as Bruce Wayne's loyal butler, best friend, and mentor. Interestingly enough, his role is compared more to a bodyguard than a servant in order to keep in line with the Adaptational Badass treatment of the character.
  • Meaningful Name: He is a loyal servant to the Waynes for decades, so he's definitely worth whatever the sum of his salary is.
  • Mission Control: He helps control the Batwing which gives reconnaissance info, which he then feeds to Batman, and remote-controls it when Batman has to jump in the field.
  • Mr. Fixit: He maintains and repairs Bruce's equipment and vehicles.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Even though he disagrees with Batman, he is too loyal to walk away from him, and reluctantly helps him in his plan to kill Superman.
  • Old Retainer: He is in service of the Wayne family since at least the birth of Bruce.
  • Older and Wiser: He truly is a voice of reason to Bruce during the whole of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, especially when it comes to assessing if Superman is a real threat or not. But Bruce wants none of it and moves forward with his plan to kill the Man of Steel.
  • Only Sane Man: He regularly tries to keep Bruce from going off the deep end in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Unfortunately, his wise advice is ignored for most of the film.
  • Parental Substitute: He is one of sorts for Bruce since the death of his parents, what with I Want Grand Kids above.
  • Perma-Stubble: He's a bit more unkempt than previous portrayals, occasionally sporting a few days of stubble.
  • Retired Badass: Word of God says he's originally a SAS special forces soldier, then bodyguard for the Wayne family during his youth. In his elder years, he clearly now serves Bruce as a butler, Mission Control and Mr. Fixit.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Introduced to the DCEU in its second film entry.
  • Servile Snarker: As ever, he doesn't hesitate to speak his mind around Master Bruce.

    Alfred: Even you've grown too old to die young; though not for lack of trying.

  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Most versions of Alfred show him wearing traditional butler attire, but this version of Alfred's shown to have an eye for sophisticated suits and dress coats.
  • Shipper on Deck: By Justice League, he is a mild shipper of Bruce/Diana because she's the only woman that he regularly spends time with, and he thinks Bruce is interested in more than her "skill set".
  • A Spot Of Tea: As one would expect, he's quite fond of tea and even gives Diana pointers on how to prepare it.
  • Squee!: Alfred reacts with shock at the Flying Fox's arrival at Wayne Lake after his and Bruce's failures to get it operational. He did not until that point realize that Cyborg had revived it and flew it there until it arrived.

    Cyborg: It wanted to fly.

  • Stoic Spectacles: This version of Alfred sports eye wear.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Stands 6'2 and is one of the most well-knownServile Snarkers in media.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: By the time of Zack Snyder's Justice League, Alfred is visibly giddy every time the energy-dissipating gauntlets that he built for Batman work. Throughout the movie, he's in a much more chipper mood than he was in Batman v Superman, at one point happily humming to himself while he poured himself a glass of whiskey, and teaching Diana/Wonder Woman the proper way to make tea.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: He assists Batman at distance from the Batcave, giving him reconnaissance information and the like.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Instead of the usual butler garb, this iteration of Alfred is usually seen in a waistcoat.

    Robin 

    Thomas Wayne 

Thomas Wayne

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thomaswayne.jpg

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Wayne Enterprises

Played by:Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Dubbed by: Mauricio Pérez (Latin-American Spanish) | Haruo Yamagishi (Japanese) | Lionel Tua (European French)

Appearances:Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

"Martha..."

Bruce Wayne's father. He was murdered by Joe Chill in 1981 along with his wife Martha.


    Martha Wayne 

Martha Wayne (née Kane)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marthawayne_6.jpg

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Wayne Enterprises

Played by:Lauren Cohan

Appearances:Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Bruce Wayne's mother. She was murdered by Joe Chill in 1981 along with her husband Thomas.


Wayne Enterprises

    Wayne Enterprises 

Wayne Enterprises

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dceuwayne.jpg

A conglomerate founded by the Wayne family in the 1800s and headed by Bruce Wayne in present-day.


  • Early-Bird Cameo: A Wayne Enterprises logo can be seen in Man of Steel on the satellite that gets wrecked by Zod and Superman in space, although it should be noted it's the Wayne logo from The Dark Knight Trilogy. The company formally appeared in the DC Extended Universe in the next film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, with a new logo design.
  • Family Business: The company is owned by the Wayne family since its creation by hunters/pelts traders in the early 19th century.
  • Mega-Corp: The leading company in Gotham City and one of the biggest in the country, with such diversified activities as aerospace, technologies, chemicals, finances (with a branch in Metropolis most notably), food, shipping, steel and philanthropy. Not as huge and powerful as LexCorp, but still sizeable and, in the end, more ethical. Wayne Enterprises is also established worldwide in countries such as France, as shown in Wonder Woman when a Wayne-branded security truck delivers the original 1918 group photo to Diana Prince at the Louvre museum in Paris.

    Van Criss 

Dr. Van Criss

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vancriss.jpg

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Wayne Enterprises

Played by:Matt Baram

Dubbed by:

Appearances:Suicide Squad

A chief scientist working at Van Criss Laboratories, a scientific branch of Wayne Enterprises. He created the nano-bombs that Amanda Waller implanted into the necks of the Task Force X (Suicide Squad) members.


  • Explosive Leash: He is the inventor of the nano-bombs Amanda Waller orders to inject into the neck of the Suicide Squad criminals.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Joker injects Van Criss with the same type of nano-bomb created by the latter.
  • I Have Your Wife: The Joker threatens to kill his wife (who's held hostage) if he doesn't help freeing Harley Quinn. His wife ordered him to give up his own life for hers.
  • Kidnapped Scientist: Joker kidnaps him in order to deactivate the nano-bomb Harley has in her neck.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He doesn't get much characterization before his death in the crash of the Joker's helicopter. He doesn't talk much (if any) in the film.

Gotham City Police Department

    Commissioner Gordon 

Commissioner James "Jim" Gordon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jimgordondceu.jpg

"How many of you are there?"

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Gotham City Police Department

Played by:J. K. Simmons

Dubbed by: Humberto Solórzano (Latin-American Spanish) | Jean Barney (European French) | Pierre Chagnon (Canadian French)

Appearances:Justice League | Zack Snyder's Justice League

"It's good to see you playing well with others again."

The Police Commissioner of Gotham City.


  • Badass Mustache: Sports a thick mustache, just like his comic book counterpart.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: The character is the Trope Namer. He is Batman's chief ally at the GCPD.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's not afraid to snark at Batman, what with the "It's good to see you playing well with others again" remark.

    "You were right Ma - Police academy? What's wrong with dental school?"

  • Nice Hat: Wears a fedora when on the job.
  • Older and Wiser: He wisely points out to the younger Detective Crispus Allen that Batman has never kidnapped anyone in twenty years of crimefightingnote He was introduced in the first film having broken up a human trafficking ring that two cops witnessed when the former starts suspecting the bat vigilante since people who witnessed the kidnappings in Metropolis and Gotham city described the kidnappers as "vampires" and "giant bats" (those were Parademons actually).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The incorruptible police commissioner of Gotham City, and a trustworthy ally of the Justice League who doesn't believe for one second that Batman is behind the kidnappings.
  • Two First Names: Per a DC Comics habit. Gordon is commonly used as a male given name.
  • Unfazed Everyman: When he goes to the roof to meet Batman, he has no reaction when Batman shows up in the company of an amazon and a speedster. When Cyborg shows up, Barry is slightly freaked out, still no reaction from Gordon.

    Crispus Allen 

Detective Crispus Allen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crispusallen.jpg

"The world's gone crazy Jim. Maybe he did too."

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Gotham City Police Department

Played by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Dubbed by: Jean-Baptiste Anoumon (European French)

Appearances:Justice League | Zack Snyder's Justice League

"Eight kidnappings, six in Metropolis, two here. All the picks work for S.T.A.R. Labs."

Commissioner Gordon's aide, working on a case involving multiple kidnappings in Gotham City and Metropolis. It doesn't take long for Allen to suspect Batman given the way people describe the kidnappers as "giant bats" (Parademons, actually) but Gordon quickly and wisely dismisses this.


  • Abled in the Adaptation: The comics Allen is shown wearing glasses. Here, much like in Gotham, this Allen doesn't.
  • Adaptation Deviation: In regards to his hair. The comics version of Crispus Allen is bald with a goatee, whereas this one is the inverse, with a head full of hair and clean-shaven.
  • Mr. Exposition: Provides informations about several kidnappings in Metropolis and Gotham City to Jim Gordon, pointing out that all of the abducted people work for S.T.A.R. labs and were kidnapped by creatures witnesses described as "flying vampires" or "giant bats with huge fangs", and that a child who was too scared to talk drew one. Wonder Woman identifies them as Parademons when Gordon meets the Justice League.
  • Mythology Gag: Crispus Allen is a prominent character in the Gotham Central comics, in which he works for the Major Crimes Unit to solve kidnapping cases.
  • Number Two: The second highest-ranking officer at the GCPD.

    Renee Montoya 

    Captain Erickson 

Captain Patrick Erickson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/captain_patrick_erickson_in_birds_of_prey.jpg

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Gotham City Police Department

Played by:Steven Williams

Appearances:Birds of Prey

Renee Montoya's superior at the GCPD.


  • Da Chief: Montoya's superior. He gets tired of Montoya's seemingly fruitless investigations on Roman Sionis, and eventually has her turn in her badge only because of her Cowboy Cop antics led to the escape of a valuable witness and Harley Quinn.
  • Glory Hound: He stole Montoya's credit for a bust in the past, years old allowing him to rise to the rank of Captain. He continued to do so, after Sionis had been killed.
  • Police Are Useless: Montoya is the only one at the GCPD to figure out what's going on with Roman Sionis, and the only one to step in action against him, whereas her boss just dismisses her investigations.

    Ellen Yee 

Ellen Yee

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/t2l0by8rpfl51_8.png

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Gotham City Police Department

Played by:Ali Wong

Appearances:Birds of Prey

A district attorney and Renee Montoya's ex.


  • Age-Gap Romance: 37-year-old Ali Wong plays the ex-girlfriend of a character played by 55-year-old Rosie Perez.
  • Canon Foreigner: New to the story, as most of Renee's canon partners require too much exposition to fit neatly into the plot.
  • Casting Gag: Comedian Ali Wong is cast in a film where the lead character used to dress like a jester.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: More conventionally feminine in comparison to Renee.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Renee's red. It's implied Renee's hot-headed methods doomed their relationship.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: It's clear that neither Ellen nor Renee have completely put their history behind them, as they have a mild tiff after a meeting.

Heroes and Vigilantes

    Harley Quinn 

    Victor Stone / Cyborg 

    Helena Bertinelli / The Huntress 

    Black Canary I 

Black Canary I

Species: Metahuman

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Gotham City Police Department

Appearances:Birds of Prey (mentioned)

Dinah Lance's deceased mother and a vigilante that worked with the GCPD. For informaton on Dinah herself, see the Birds of Prey page.


  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Dinah inherited her Canary Cry from her mother.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: She worked on the side of law and order, but the Gotham police didn't protect her from getting killed. This causes Dinah to have a strong distrust of cops.
  • Posthumous Character: She's long dead by the present day.
  • Precursor Heroes: She was active years before the Justice League officially formed, possibly even before Bruce Wayne became Batman.
  • Token Super: A metahuman who operated in a city where the hero and villain populations are predominantly Badass Normal.

Other Gotham City residents

    Silas Stone 

    Kahina Ziri 

Kahina Ziri

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kahinaziri.jpg

"He answers to no one. Not even to God!"

Species: Human

Citizenship: Nairomian

Affiliation(s): LexCorp

Played by:Wunmi Mosaku

Dubbed by: Rosalba Sotelo (Latin-American Spanish) | Megumi Okada (Japanese)

Appearances:Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

A Nairomian woman who's interviewed by Senator June Finch as a witness of the massacre that happened in her native country at the beginning of Batman v Superman, and blames Superman for it at both the senate subcommittee and in the media. The Extended Cut reveals that she has settled in Gotham City and that she has been blackmailed by Lex Luthor into falsely testifying against Superman.


  • Blackmail: Lex Luthor blackmails her into falsely testifying against Superman for the massacre committed by Anatoli Knyazev and his Private Military Contractors, threatening to kill her parents.
  • Bulungi: She comes from the fictional African desert nation of Nairomi. The name is most likely inspired by Nairobi, the capital and largest city of Kenya.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Private Military Contractors led by Anatoli Knyazev kill all the men of her village (which was also warchief/terrorist Amajagh's base) and burn it down, including the corpses. Since Superman showed up on the site, she travels to the USA and accuses him publicly.
  • Must Make Amends: In the Ultimate Edition cut, she decides to tell the truth to Senator Finch. Which basically signs her death warrant.
  • She Knows Too Much: After Kahina reveals the truth to Senator Finch, Knyazev kills her by shoving her on the way of an incoming train in the subway, tying up one loose end for Luthor.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Luthor has her killed after she testified against Superman. Doubles as She Knows Too Much, as it also happens after she revealed the truth to Finch.

    Adriana Santos 

Adriana Santos

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/adrianasantos.jpg

"A man like that, words don't stop him. Know what stops him? A fist!"

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Played by: Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel

Dubbed by: Cathy Diraison (European French)

Appearances:Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition cut only)

"One man decides who lives. How is that justice?!"

The girlfriendnote Clark incorrectly calls her "Mrs. Santos" of criminal Cesar Santos. Clark wants to interview her as she leaves Gotham Central with her son after her boyfriend has been arrested following an encounter with Batman that left him branded with the Bat Sign.


  • Undying Loyalty: She's in a relationship with a human trafficker and had a son with him. She knows what he did but still cares about him.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: When Clark tries to interview her, she basically tells him violence is the only way to stop the Batman.

    Clark: Talk to me. I hope we'll change it...
    Adriana: With what? Your pen? A man like that, words don't stop him... Know what stops him? A fist!

    Zoe Lawton 

Zoe Lawton

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zoelawton_5.jpg

"Daddy, I know you do bad things. Don't worry, I still love you!"

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Played by: Shailyn Pierre-Dixon

Dubbed by: Rio Sasaki (Japanese) | Frédérique Ambroise-Laplante (Canadian French)

Appearances:Suicide Squad

The beloved 11 year old daughter of Floyd Lawton (a.k.a. Deadshot).


    Cassandra Cain 

    Sal 

"Sal"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sal_2.jpg

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Played by: Bruno Oliver

Appearances:Birds of Prey

A cornerstore chef who makes egg sandwiches which Harley Quinn loves to eat.


  • Because You Were Nice to Me: After spending the early part of the movie killing and maiming anyone in sight, Harley treats Sal with utmost courtesy purely because she loves his sandwiches.
  • Foil: To Doc, who also makes fast food that Harley eats. Sal does Western food, while Doc does Asian food. Sal's cooking is considered so good Harley has to remind him to go easy on the hot sauce, while Doc's requires extra chili because Harley can't stand his cooking. Sal doesn't mind when Harley is short a few cents, while Doc sold Harley out.
  • Greasy Spoon: Works for an establishment with this vibe, and the breakfast sandwiches he makes fit the kind of menu items found at these places.
  • Nice Guy: He gets on well with Harley and doesn't complain when she short-changes him.
  • Only Known By His Nickname: Harley doesn't bother mentioning his full name in her narration.
  • Supreme Chef: Harley sees him as one.
  • The Voiceless: Doesn't appear onscreen long enough to let out more than a cheerful tongue-click.

    Doc 

"Doc"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/doc_95.jpg

"Lotus-flower, you have to get upstairs before someone sees. Everyone's looking for you. And you!"

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Played by:Dana Lee

Appearances:Birds of Prey

"我認識所有人,除了你"(I know everyone, it seems, except you)

A street food restaurant owner Harley Quinn rents an apartment to.


  • Asian Store-Owner: Street food restaurant rather than "store". Fits the bill otherwise.
  • Broken Pedestal: Harley was genuinely friendly to him and thought she could trust him, but it turns out he ratted her out to Sionis' bounty hunters for money to open a new, more prestigious restaurant. She's quite broken by this.
  • Cranky Landlord: Surprisingly averted. He has no beef with Harley, but he still rats her out for money.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Harley thought she could trust him, but the prospect of opening a new restaurant far from the hellhole his current one is situated in was stronger and he ratted her out.
  • Karma Houdini: Sells out Harley to Sionis, and is unpunished for his actions.
  • Lethal Chef: Downplayed. According to Harley, his Mongolian beef dish tastes so bad that it needs extra-hot sauce to be a tolerable meal. It becomes a Brick Joke with Huntress, but we never find out from her or anyone else if it actually tastes that horrible. And this is Harley Quinn we're talking about; earlier on in the movie, it's established that her Trademark Favorite Food is an egg-and-cheese sandwich that often comes with expired cheese and the cook's strands of hair.
  • Nothing Personal: After he sells Harley out, he tells her that it was "just business" before leaving.
  • Only Known By His Nickname: Like with Sal, Harley doesn't bother mentioning his full name in her narration. It's even harder to guess his name, because at least "Sal" is usually the diminutive of "Salvatore", whereas "Doc" is not a diminutive.

    Linda Reed 

Linda J. Reed

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/01_059.jpg

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Played by: C. Amanda Maud

Appearances:Zack Snyder's Justice League

A single mother who works as a waitress and has great troubles to make ends meet. Victor Stone/Cyborg notices her when discovering his powers as he hacks into the Internet, surveillance cameras and her bank account, and decides to help her.


  • Dead End Job: She works as a waitress, and she doesn't earn enough to pay her rent and gets expelled as a result, finding out that her petty landlord has changed the locks to the apartment without warning her beforeheand.
  • Nice Girl: Victor sees how humble and a good parent she is when using his abilities to peep into surveillance cameras, and decides to help her without being seen.
  • Struggling Single Mother: She has two children, and struggles financially.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: When Cyborg notices Linda, and upon seeing her humbleness, kindness and suffering, he hacks into her bank account to drop $100,000 in it much to her surprise, making that sudden influx of money look like a contest prize.

Sours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/DCEUGothamCity

Now discussing:

Characters / Gotham - The Galavans’ Organization

    open/close all folders 

    Theo Galavan 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/theo_galavan.png
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/azrael_88.png

Played By: James Frain

A billionaire newly arrived at Gotham City. He has plans for the city that will cause the rise of several villains.


  • Adaptation Deviation: Turns out to be the Gotham version of Azrael, a major change from Jean-Paul Valley in the comics.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the comics Azrael was an Anti-Hero who tried to atone for his past with Batman. Here, he's a psychotic Serial Killer.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: He tries to Face Death with Dignity, but Oswald brutally beating him with a baseball bat ultimately reduces him to begging for a Mercy Kill.
  • Asshole Victim: Halfway through Season 2, Gordon and Penguin are fed up with his escapingjustice, and decide on a long and brutal Vigilante Execution — to the point where he's actually begging to die.
  • Back from the Dead: At the end of "Pinewood", thanks to Hugo Strange.
  • Big Bad: For the first half of Season 2.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: It's strongly implied that he and his sister Tabitha are lovers, with Tabitha referring to him as a "monster in the sack" in "The Last Laugh". There's no direct evidence of it, though; and it's possible that she was simply saying it for shock value.
  • Came Back Strong: His resurrection as Azrael makes him super-strong and super-fast, and can survive being repeatedly shot, getting hit by a car and falling from a roof.
  • Came Back Wrong: On the other hand, it does a number on his psyche, which latches onto the Order of St. Dumas' religious teachings rather than his actual identity. Strange uses this to manipulate Galavan into believing he is a 12th century knight.
  • Canon Character All Along: While he's still a completely new character made specifically for the show, he eventually becomes the show's version of Azrael in Wrath of the Villains.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: His first death. He is beaten by Penguin with a baseball bat that he begs for a Mercy Kill. Gordon kills him via shooting him in the chest, then Penguin desecrates his corpse by shoving an umbrella down his throat.
  • The Chessmaster: He organized the Arkham breakout, used Jerome and company to cause mass panic throughout the city, killed Jerome to make himself look like a hero so he could run for mayor, and blackmailed Cobblepot to murder his political rivals. He is even smart enough to have Cobblepot to pretend to try to kill him so he wouldn't be suspected of murdering them.
  • Composite Character: Galavan's family history has elements of Jean-Paul Valley (connection to the Order of St Dumas) and Zachary Gate from Gates of Gotham (vengeful descendant of a forgotten Gotham founding family). The costume he wore as Azrael resembles Phantasm, but without the gauntlet and smoke. His plan to use Penguin to secure a victory for Mayor, is reminiscent of Max Schreck - and just like Schreck, ends up backfiring horribly on him.
  • Cutting the Knot: After his tricky resurrection, he believes himself to be a 12th-century knight. To help him along, Hugo Strange tells him the hulking Aaron Helzinger is a demon, and the case Strange brought will give him everything he needs to destroy him i.e his weapons. Galavan instead uses the case to smash Helzinger's head in.

    Hugo Strange: Not exactly what I had in mind, but good enough.

  • Darth Vader Clone: When he becomes Azrael, he wears heavy black leather, black armor, and speaks in a distorted voice while wielding a blade.
  • Demoted to Dragon: After being the Big Bad for the first half of season 2, he is manipulated into being an Elite Mook for Hugo Strange after being brought back in the second half as Azrael. Even when he goes off the rails later he's more of a Villain of the Week rather than a major Arc Villain.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Subverted. His whole evil plan is about avenging his family's honor but he has no personal love for his sister or niece, threatening to kill them both at various points, and very nearly actually doing so with Tabitha after she jogs a few of his memories.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: A very weak and downplayed case, but Theo was visibly (at least on an instinctive level) disgusted by Tabitha tearing Bunderslaw's eye out.
  • Evil Is Petty: The Waynes accused his ancestor of attempted rape 200 years ago and removed the family name from the city records, so the honor of a man his grandfather never met has to be avenged with a lot of murder.
  • Expy:
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • He tries to do this when Penguin is about to beat him to death with a baseball bat, taunting Gordon about how this will haunt his conscience and almost looking amused when Penguin says he's doing this for his mother. But the sheer brutality of the beating ends up breaking his composure and leads to the now broken and bloody Galavan begging Gordon to kill him quickly.
    • Played straighter with his 2nd death as Azrael, where he recognizes how doomed he is upon seeing Butch aim an RPG launcher at him. He just closes his eyes and quietly accepts his demise right before he's blown to pieces.
  • False Friend: He pretends to be a friend and mentor to Bruce, even offering him information on his parents' killers, but is planning to have him killed as revenge for a centuries-old slight the whole time.
  • Fatal Flaw: He consistently underestimates Gordon and Penguin, and his first death is caused by his inability to comprehend how far the two will go to bring him down. Likewise, his refusal to see his immediate family - Tabitha and Silver - as anything more than useful tools leads to Tabitha turning on him when he tries to kill Silver.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Always comes across as polite, friendly and charismatic - enough to defer Jim and Bruce's suspicions for most of his appearances. Yet underneath he's a pyschopathic maniac who cares little for even his real family.
  • Hate Sink: A slimy, heartless Smug Snake, no one shed a tear when Oswald beat the living tar out of him with a baseball bat. He loses this trait when he returns as Azrael, being much more badass and even mildly sympathetic.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Unlike the villains of the first season, who wore their motivations on their sleeves, the audience is completely in the dark about what he wants. It's revealed in "Scarification" that he is a member of the Dumas family, and is seeking revenge for a slight by the Wayne family.
  • Hidden Badass: While he usually leaves the fighting to his underlings or Tabitha, he is in fact more than capable in hand-to-hand combat (as Gordon learns the hard way in "The Son of Gotham"). This foreshadows his return as Azrael.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • He gets arrested because Barbara, the tool he wanted to use to kill Gordon, gives the police vital information against him.
    • His stabbing Tabitha ends up driving her lover Butch to ally with Penguin to take him out for good - which they do, in spectacular fashion.
  • Hypocrite: Wants to avenge his family against the Waynes, but has no qualms about ruining other families (such as when he abducts - and eventually kills - Penguin's mother) in the process.
  • Ironic Name: After his resurrection, he is dubbed Azrael, the Redeemed One.
  • Irony: According to Bullock, he's supposed to be a pile of ashes, not a supervillainous ninja who had just put Captain Barnes in critical condition. Later in "Unleashed", he actually does meet a fiery end—albeit not in an incinerator, but at the hands of an RPG-wielding mobster.
  • It's Personal: According to him, his family built Gotham including the very foundations upon which the city rests but they were cheated out of their credit. Now he's back wanting revenge.
  • Kick the Dog: In one of his cruellest moments, goes on TV after killing Penguin's mother, and passes Oswald (whose love for his mother is unquestionably one of his brightest points) off as a man "not even a mother could love".
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Betrays and murders Jerome, someone who murdered dozens of innocent people, including his own mother.
  • Killed Off for Real: Penguin and Butch blow him up with an RPG after the former threatens to shove his umbrella in a different part of him this time around. No resurrections this time.
  • Large Ham: Ironically, he's pretty calm and collected when he's dealing with Tabitha or Jerome, but plays it up dramatically when he's pretending to be good; he plays it for all it's worth in his speech to Jerome in "The Last Laugh", with even a full on Aside Glance directly to the recording TV cameras. Later, his pretence to Gordon that he's haunted by killing someone is so over the top it's a miracle Gordon didn't suspect him sooner.
    • Taken up to eleven as Azrael, who is prone to shouting dramatically and using the most over-the-top language possible.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Even as the nigh-invulnerable Azrael, he can still be blown to pieces by an RPG, and as Alfred notes in "Anything for You", the mess that ensues ends up being quite the cleanup job for the Wayne family's gardener.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Whatever he did to Zaardan in his first appearance either involved very precise chemistry and technology, or was outright magical. It's never clarified.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Nice job killing Penguin's mother to punish him for trying to take matters into his own hands — despite him only doing so because you refused the pragmatic alternative of simply releasing her and possibly keeping him as an (uneasy) ally! Now not only is he out for your blood, but he also ruins your Villain with Good Publicity act in front of Jim and Bullock!
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: Done subtly in "Mommy's Little Monster" when Penguin tells him he comes from "a long line of cowards", making him decide to kill Penguin himself - which naturally leads to Oswald escaping.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: He's got some seriously impressive combat skills, but usually leaves the torture/murder side of things to Tabitha and his other underlings.
  • Not Enough to Bury: The second time around he gets shot at point blank range with a bazooka and his body is completely disintegrated.
  • Obviously Evil: He's such a Smug Snake and his good reputation is built entirely on events that would be Contrived Coincidence even if we didn't already know he staged them.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • He has this reaction when Gordon reveals that he knows that he had Penguin's mother killed.
    • And again when Penguin shows up at Wayne Manor to save Bruce, Jim and Alfred. With Butch. And a rocket launcher.

    Galavan: Ooooh.

  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: A big deal is made of his dying twice, to the point where Jerome is visibly upset about being upstaged by Galavan after himself coming back to life.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Before his sister ices Sionis, after the latter had just asked Barbara to accompany him: "She doesn't want to go where you're going."
  • Revenge by Proxy: "Scarification" reveals that his family, formerly a ruling family in Gotham, was removed from the records by the Waynes after Caleb Dumas, his ancestor, was accused of raping Celestine Wayne. Centuries later, Theo orders a series of arson attacks on Wayne buildings, and seeks to kill Bruce, who most likely had never heard of the Dumas.
  • Revenge Myopia: The Waynes were the ones who destroyed his family two centuries ago, but he sees nothing wrong with unleashing untold suffering upon the people of Gotham who had absolutely nothing to do with the original feud.
  • Smug Snake: Even when Gordon has caught him red-handed about to sacrifice Bruce, he can't help bragging that he'll just escape justice again.
  • The Sociopath: He has no problem plotting the murder of a child and doesn't even care about his own immediate family, even threatening to kill Tabitha and Silver on different occasions.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: He ends up blown to pieces by Butch's RPG.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While he's already proven to be quite the badass when he takes down Gordon in a fight, he becomes an even bigger threat once he becomes Azrael in Season 2B.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: An interesting case in that while Theo's plan involving the Maniax did involve murder and chaos, no one could have had any idea that his getting Jerome to unleash his full potential would indirectly bring about the worst monster that Gotham would ever see.
  • Villain Ball: He can't seem to help making bad decisions where Gordon and Penguin are concerned.
    • When he decides to kill Penguin himself, instead of shooting him on the spot he decides to give him an Any Last Words? moment which allowed Penguin to slash his throat and then escape.
    • In the Season 2 Fall finale, after getting apprehended, Gallavan decides to taunt Gordon on the fact that he will most likely get out of jail again quickly. Gordon decides to kill him knowing this fact.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Even though he's only recently arrived to Gotham, he is already well regarded enough to stand in for the Mayor in public events. But nobody knows he is secretly a villain. He even stages himself to be a hero, by "saving" the city in killing Jerome to make him appear to be the hero.
  • Would Hurt a Child: His ultimate plan is to kill Bruce Wayne and he has absolutely no problem threatening the same to Silver.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once Sionis rejects his proposal Theo wastes no time ordering Tabitha to kill him in a most gruesome way. The same goes for Jerome, whom he killed to make himself look to be a hero.

    Tabitha Galavan 

Theo's sister and his main lieutenant - unlike him, she's perfectly prepared to get her hands dirty in their plans. She eventually turns on him after his Villainous Breakdown starts threatening Silver. For tropes regarding her, see her entry in Gotham - Criminal Groups.

    Barbara Kean 

The Ax-Crazy ex-fiance of Jim Gordon, Barbara is broken out of Arkham by the Galavans to use as a weapon and distraction against Jim, but doesn't always stick to their plan. For tropes regarding her, see her entry in Gotham - Criminal Groups.

    Jerome Valeska 

A young psychopath who previously killed his mother, Jerome is broken out of Arkham by the Galavans as part of the Maniax, part of their plan to make Theo mayor. Of course, it's when he starts laughing that things really take off. For tropes regarding him, see Gotham - Jerome Valeska.

    Aaron Helzinger 

Aaron Helzinger

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/20201016_221609.png

Played By: Stink Fisher

An Arkham patient and former member of the Maniax.


  • The Big Guy: He towers over the other members of the Maniax.
  • The Brute: He's the one who lifts the bodies of the shipyard workers over the ledge to throw them off the roof. He's also able to dish out a savage beating to Gordon without sustaining so much as a scratch.
  • Dumb Muscle: There's a trend with these tropes... Barbara chooses him to be her "friend" in Arkham because he's easily the biggest guy there and could protect her from harm. He also falls for her charms relatively easily.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: When he sees Oswald has ice cream and no one else does, he doesn't take it well.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Like Amygdala in the comics, he has the mind of a child. He also killed his whole family with his bare hands.
  • Sole Survivor: Aside from Barbara, he's the only one of the six inmates that Galavan broke out of Arkham who's not dead. Hugo Strange does has the resurrected Galavan (now calling himself Azrael) kill him as a test towards the end of the season but it unlikely he died by getting hit with a briefcase.

    Silver St. Cloud 

Silver St. Cloud

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/20201016_221756.jpg

Played By:Natalie Alyn Lind

Theo Galavan's niece and ward.


  • Adaptational Villainy: In the comics, she is a good person, but on the show she's a willing accomplice of the Galavans. She has a change of heart in the Winter Finale.
  • Arch-Enemy: She attempts to assert herself s a major enemy towards Selina, although Selina seems to disregard her as such after she and Bruce effortlessly outsmart her and expose her as the Smug Snake she truly is.
  • Becoming the Mask: Seeing Bruce willingly risk his own life to save hers in exchange even after her various emotional manipulations, Silver comes to care for him during the Season 2 winter finale, this time for real.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: She thinks that she's a chessmaster like her uncle, but Selina proves that she's not as capable at being a villain as she thinks she is.
  • Birds of a Feather: Invoked by Galavan. Silver is a socialite in the making who comes from a wealthy, high-class family like Bruce, and both have yet to acclimate to Anders Preps for similar reasons (he's been predominantly homeschooled, she was studying abroad in Geneva for two years). A good impression in their first few meetings and Bruce isinstantly hooked.

    Silver (on being the new kid at school): "Then we shall brave it together."

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Seems like a convincing Nice Girl around Bruce, but alone with her aunt and uncle or with Selina, she shows her true colors.
  • Bullying a Dragon: She taunts and threatens Selina, who among other things, is an experienced cat burglar and armed robber, has clawed out a grown man's eyes, and killed at least one person by this point in the series.
  • Break the Haughty: Selina hires a fake hitman to submit her to torture in order to get information out her that would help Bruce. After realizing she's been outsmarted by Bruce and Selina, they point out how pathetic of a villain she was. She breaks down crying out Bruce's name after he severs his ties with her for good.
  • Broken Pedestal: She becomes this to Bruce. He reveals that he truly did love her, but after listening to Selina, he learns of her dark side.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She was last seen escaping a building with Tabitha, then never again afterwards.
  • Dark Chick: A secondary one within Galavan's inner circle, she's nonetheless an instrumental tool in his plans to wrestle control of Wayne Enterprises away from Bruce and the current board members as part of his greater scheme to take over Gotham.
  • Didn't See That Coming: She never knew that Bruce and Selina were smart enough to trick her into giving them information and uncovering her villainy.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Selina. Both are young girls with an interest in Bruce Wayne; but while Selina is a Loveable Rogue who cares for Bruce, Silver is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who manipulates Bruce for her uncle's gain. Of course, given Silver's ultimate Heel–Face Turn and Selina's later development, they end up being similar.
  • False Friend: She's acting as a friendly girl with a crush on Bruce, but is really toying with his emotions.
  • Faux Affably Evil: As we see in her "girl talk" with Selina, she nonchalantly threatens to kill her if she interferes in her plans for Bruce.
  • Fille Fatale: She's sent by her uncle to seduce Bruce.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After trying to fake one doesn't get Bruce's trust, she simply tells him the truth, that her uncle will cut her off or kill her if she doesn't get a kiss from him. Bruce plays along when Theo shows up to save her, and Silver is so touched that she interrupts the ceremony to kill Bruce, buying a precious few seconds for the cavalry to show up.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Discounting her aunt, who turns on Theofor herown reasons, Silver is the only known member of the Order of St. Dumas to wash her hands clean of the cult and repent.
  • Honey Trap: Her role in her uncle's plan is to serve as a kid-friendly version for Bruce. She's quite proud of her success.

    Silver: "See this finger?" (raises her left little finger) "I have little Bruce wrapped tight around it."

  • Kick the Dog: As if threatening Selina's life wasn't bad enough, she coldly mocks her for the fact that she has no mother and says nobody will care about Selina at all if she were to die.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The dark to Selina's light, ironically, considering whose side she's on.
  • Light Is Not Good: Usually dresses in light colors when not in school uniform and is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Invoked in-universe, as she is introduced dancing barefoot on a restaurant’s fountain, and from them on is all quirky and beautiful and friendly towards Bruce, but it's later shown to all be an act.
  • Manipulative Bitch: She's toying with Bruce's feelings under her uncle's orders and clearly doesn't care the least about him (at least at first).
  • Related in the Adaptation: Her comic counterpart has no connections whatsoever to the Order of St. Dumas, much less being a relative of one of his descendants.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: She tries telling Bruce that he's not capable of enacting such heroics in Gotham, but he coldly tells her that she doesn't know him at all.
  • Smug Snake: She practically brags about how villainous she is, and then fails spectacularly at backing it up.
  • The Sociopath: At first glance she appears to be one, seeing Bruce as nothing but a target for her to trick and she doesn't care what her uncle has planned for the kid.
    • Subverted in "Worse Than a Crime" — she gradually grows remorseful and ultimately pulls a Heel–Face Turn, making her more of a pragmatist than this.
  • Teens Are Monsters: At the start, she's just as monstrous as her family. Subverted when she pulls a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Underestimating Badassery: It turns out that she shouldn't have viewed Bruce and Selina as weak because they kidnap her, submit her to fake torture, and dupe her into confessing information for them.
  • Villain Ball: When alone with Selina, she drops her phony nice girl act and reveals her true colors while nonchalantly threatening her. Because of this, Selina is now fully aware of her intentions for Bruce and is now working to stop her. Subverted when it's revealed that Selina never fell for her act in the first place and knew the type of person she is, so nothing she could have done would have prevented this outcome.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: She hasn't been seen since escaping a building with Tabitha. Since Tabitha resurfaces later, it can be presumed that she found Silver a better home and life somewhere far away from Gotham.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Following the above Villain Ball moment, Selina tries to out Silver, but between her lack of evidence and Silver's ability to cry at the drop of a dime, Bruce's trust in Selina is damaged, allowing Silver to better wedge herself between them.

    Father Creal 

Father Creal

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/creel.png

Played By: Ron Rifkin

Leader of the Order of St. Dumas and an associate of Theo Galavan.


Sours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/GothamTheGalavansOrganization


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