As Gotham winds through its final season it had promised a plethora of different Villains who would make an appearance during its curtain call. Gotham’s “Rogues Gallery” if you will. So far they have not disappointed as we have seen the usual suspects of Penguin, Riddler, Scarecrow, Catwoman, Hugo Strange and Poison Ivy. We have also witnessed the start of Bane, Ecco/Harley Quinn, Magpie, The Madhatter, Jok…I mean Jeremiah, and with the latest episode, Nothing’s Shocking, they added The Ventriloquist and Jane Doe.
As is Gotham’s MO, they have made some changes with the characters while still maintaining their essential essence and appearance. This was done with great effect in their version of the Ventriloquist. In the comic book version, The Ventriloquist mantle was assumed by multiple characters with the first being Arnold Wesker. Wesker was a meek, mild mannered man who was a member of a powerful mafia family. He suffered from dissociative identity disorder after seeing his mother assassinated by thugs from a rival family. As he grew, his only outlet is ventriloquism. His alter-ego was a gangster looking dummy named Scarface who directs Wesker in his crime sprees.
In Gotham, it is the return of once thought dead, Mr. Penn (Andrew Mellon). Another milquetoast of a man who worked for Oswald as his book keeper. His return from the dead should not come as a surprise. Almost no one who has ever been killed in the comic book world stays dead. Even in a recent Incredible Hulk Story they dismembered the man and he “pulled himself together” so to speak. So the return of Penn should not shock anyone. This use of him as The Ventriloquist is brilliant as his personality is perfectly Wesker like.
The resemblance between the comic book version and Gotham’s rendition is pretty spot on, especially where Scarface is concerned. Scarface/Penn’s motive? Punish Penguin by taking all of his stashed valuables and taking over his territory. Edward who has been working with Penguin on their Submarine escape plan, suggests that Scarface/Penn goes with them when they leave. He does this to buy some time for them to think and because he is miffed at Oswald as he believes that HE has been doing all the work on their escape project. Scarface/Penn agrees to Nygma’s offer but doesn’t see the need to keep Penguin as it is Edward who is the smart one and doing all the work. Scarface tells Penn to eliminate Oswald.
Unfortunately, like Magpie before him, The Ventriloquist meets with an all too quick end when Oswald wrestles the gun away from Penn and shoots Scarface in the head. Penn, who thanks Cobblepot for freeing him, gets a bullet in the head from Edward. Oswald at first questions why that was necessary but Edward tells him that they didn’t need someone crazy like that with them. Once again reassuring themselves how much alike they are.
The other villain introduced in this episode is Jane Doe. Jane Doe first appeared within the pages of Arkham Asylum: Living Hell. She is an inmate at the famous Gotham mental institution and a notable serial killer. In the comic book, she studied her victims, killed them and used their skin to resemble them. She would then assume their identities to live their lives that she wanted. Gotham, as is their style, went another path.
This new character (Sarah Pigeon) entered the Gotham fold as a suspect in a list of murders. This included the death of two former members of the GCPD who appeared to be murdered by Harvey’s old partner Dix while at Sirens. This was made implausible by the fact that he is paralyzed. Upon arriving at Dix’s place, Jim and Harvey found he was indeed still paralyzed and it got even weirder when another Dix appeared at the door and whose face came off in a confrontation with Harvey.
It was revealed very quickly who the perpetrator was and that she wasn’t your typical killer. She had the ability to shapeshift into anyone she chose after simply touching their skin. When she wasn’t someone else, she wore a mask. This is a major power upgrade from the original character. It turns out, she got this ability from Hugo Strange (the real agent of Chaos in Gotham) while at Arkham. She ended up in Arkham because of Harvey, his old partner Dix and a couple of other dirty (now dead) cops during the early days in his career. They had coerced her to testify against her mother in the death of her father. Unable to cope with the guilt, she ended up in Arkham and under the watchful care of Hugo Strange. With plenty of time to stew over the situation, she was out to kill those who deserved punishment for what was done to her, and using this ability was the quickest way to do it.
She used her chameleon like talents to eliminate two of those responsible (the former cops) in the Sirens club but was caught by Jim and Harvey at her house. While Jim interrogates her, she reveals some of her past and why she went after her first two victims. When Jim leaves her to ask Harvey about what she has told him, she is able to escape her cuffs and and sneak away. She then assumes the identity of Harvey, taking his old partner Dix (who was at the GCPD for his own protection…go figure) into a locker room and strangles him with a tie. She then makes another switch, looking like Barbara who was there to give Jim some information and to get assurance from him he won’t have her arrested and take their child from her when and if reunification happens. When the pseudo Barbara comes out claiming to have been attacked, the real Barbara appears. Jim asks them where he and Barbara first met. This causes Jane Doe to panic and grab the real one to try to use her to allow for her escape. Never the wallflower, Barbara elbowed Jane to break free but she escaped in the turmoil.
Just like The Ventriloquist, Jane Doe meets her end when Harvey tracks her back to her place. He apologizes for what happened to her and tells her he should have protected her. He asks her to remove her mask. She does and we find there is nothing wrong with her face. She has been convinced over the years that she is ugly, which is why she wears the mask. Harvey tries to get her to put the gun down but she tells Harvey their confrontation will end only one way. Either she will die or he will. She then pulls her gun and makes Harvey shoot her, ending Jane Does story.
This proves one thing. Gotham said they were going to have a large number of villains in this season’s Gotham. What they didn’t promise is they would be there long. Who will be next up on the Rogues Gallery? We already know Bane is here, and there’s still a supposedly brain dead Jeremiah waiting to clown around. So many villains, so little time left. Share your thoughts so far on GVNation.
I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 15 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.