Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and the Gotham City Police Department will have to step up its crime-fighting abilities to deal with the beefed-up bad guys that are being spat back out on the street from Arkham. It'll be no picnic for the villains either. Strange's form of therapy comes at a price for everyone.
Wong talked to TVGuide.com about what Hugo is trying to achieve in Batman's hometown and what everyone should fear in the second half of the season.
Would you classify Hugo as a sociopath or does he really think that he's helping people?
BD Wong: The line is very blurry. He really believes in the human brain. He is fascinated, obsessed and very driven to master and understand and be able to control the human brain. His efforts in rehabilitating someone aren't really altruistic. They are more experimental. He's not doing it for the greater good of humanity necessarily. He's doing it to see if he can. He's doing it for a lot of reasons that might be good to people from the outside.
Does he have aspirations of being the king of Gotham or does he have different motives?
Wong: Unlike some of the other villains on the show, he's not necessarily looking to be the king of Gotham. Having said that, some of the things he wants for himself are in keeping with the idea that he could become king of Gotham. What he cares about most is a similar thing to what the other villains care about — which is control. He's really into control and controlling people and outcomes.
You get the sense that he's collecting these manic personalities of Gotham. Does he want certain people or will he experiment on anyone he can get?
Wong: One of the reasons why he's in the position that he's in, which is that he runs the Arkham Asylum, is that he's particularly enamored with the criminally insane person. He's there in this crazy building and he's there because he has a great fascination for the criminally insane. That means that any number of Gotham's villains might pass through his doors at any time. He's just like, "Look, I'm interested in what makes these people tick and whether or not I can control them or change them, rehabilitate them, transform them and how I can do that."
This other thing, which is how the villains are affected by the presence of Arkham Asylum and what Hugo Strange is doing there, is kind of a game changer in many ways...Arkham Asylum is like a [Hot Wheels] super charger. The villains come in already terrible and they come out even more terrible or terrible in a completely different way.
What is his interest in Penguin in particular, and what does he want to achieve?
Wong: [Penguin] is a fine specimen of a criminally insane person. This is probably the best specimen you could ever get. [Hugo] is so fascinated by this. How can [he] change him? Can [he] take this crazy-ass person and rehabilitate them? Can [he] make this person a nice person? He's so adept at all of these things that have to deal with the human brain. He's challenging himself in a way to see if he can do that. He's really entertained by the process of doing that and seeing the fruits of his labor. Then he does take even more delight in more of a social experiment in seeing what happens when Penguin goes back out into Gotham City and reencounters all the people he's made enemies with in the past.
Gotham returns Feb. 29 at 8/7c on FOX.