The heroes will rise in the final eight episodes of Gotham's third season, but the villains still have a lot of unfinished business to take care of before we see the good guys take charge.
Before Gotham took off for its winter hiatus, Bruce (David Mazouz) was given the foundational brick in his journey to becoming Batman after a near-death fight with Jerome (Cameron Monaghan). Meanwhile, the fight between Ed (Cory Michael Smith) and Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) for control over Gotham City (and their friendship) turned lethal when Ed discovered Oswald killed the love of his life. As payback, Ed put a bullet into the chest of his best friend and sent him to sleep with the fishes in the harbor.
The show returns Monday to see the Court of Owls begin the next step of its plan to seize control of the city, and it's got a Bruce doppleganger in the wings ready to help make it happen. TVGuide.com talked to Gotham executive producer John Stephens about what's to come in the back eight episodes.
How much will Ra's al Guhl play in the back half of the season and what will his relationship with Bruce be like?
John Stephens: He's going to be the answer to a question that we begin to pose fairly early on when we get back, when we start to see these forces at work in Gotham. We're posing this enigma of what is behind all these things. His reveal will be an answer and a further question once he comes on the scene because he's such an enormous character in the Batman canon. What are his plans for Gotham? What are his plans for Bruce and how is that actually going to change Bruce going forward, because Bruce's encounter with Ra's al Guhl is definitely going to change his and Alfred's relationship from this point forward.
How is Ra's al Guhl going to figure into Bruce's transformation into Batman?
Stephens: I think we all know about how Ra's al Guhl figures into the creation of the Batman mythology from our own knowledge of the canon and Christopher Nolan's movies. It's a little hard for me to talk about without totally letting the cat out of the bag.
Keeping on the Bruce train, he and Selina had their first major breakup this season. Are we going to see them reconcile in the second half or should we expect to see them apart for a bit longer?
Stephens: It is a teenage relationship. It is a tortured one. I think we'll see them both come together and get pushed apart again. The element of the Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle relationship that we as all fans know is that they are bound together and attracted to one another, but at their core they are also both mission-driven and loners. They push each other apart constantly. That dynamic we will watch again over the course of the season because they are drawn together, but they also can't be together.
Speaking of people that like to push and pull, Ed and Oswald. It feels like the gauntlet has been thrown down at this point. What can you tell us about what's next for them?
Stephens: We're going to see the resolution of that feud, or that relationship, by the end of the season. In terms of watching Penguin and how that comes about, if you're Nygma and you're going to set out to kill the Penguin, you probably better make sure he's dead.
Before Ed shot him, Oswald came to this really big conclusion that he is capable of loving someone, but then he gets shot. What is his mindset in that regard when he comes back?
Stephens: It's going to say, "They didn't work out," and it's going to turn him quite hard in the opposite direction. We really saw a softer side of Oswald through a lot of this year. The Oswald who rises again is going to be someone who is much darker and much more vicious. He's not letting anyone inside the way he did with Ed, in a way that he feels makes him weak.
Will we see Ed taking bigger steps towards becoming the Riddler at the end of the season?
Stephens: We're going for it. You're going to see it. Tune in. He's going to put on the hat.
How does Jim Gordon figure into all of this madness?
Stephens: He gets more and more deeply involved in the investigation of the Court of Owls storyline, a lot of which does involve the Falcone element. He has to negotiate his differences with Don Falcone in order to get deeper into the Court of Owls. He finds his own family connected and related to the Court of Owls. That's a real revelation to him. It's quite foundation shaking for Jim, that investigation. It turns out that he and Bruce — both of their storylines, which have not really been touching for a long time, start to come together in the latter part of this season where they both are in the Court of Owls story.
Is this investigation going to help improve his relationship with Lee?
Stephens: I would say that it is does not help to improve his relationship with Lee. There is a turn that comes later in the season where we do see a new stage of their relationship which I don't think anyone is going to be able to see coming in the moment. When it does happen, they actually do find themselves in a new, different place. We're almost going to see them come together and there's a possibility of them coming together by the end of the season. We have to wait and see if that's really going to happen or not.
Gotham returns Monday, Apr. 24 at 8/7c on Fox.