[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Gotham season 2 ahead.]
Say what you will about Gotham, but the TV show has so far remained true to its “Rise of the Villains” tagline for season 2. Most recently, Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) took another big step forward on his journey to becoming Riddler; there were hints that a seemingly deceased Bridgit Pike (Michelle Veintimilla) will be back one day as super-villain Firefly; and the revelation that Theo (James Frain) and Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas) have ties to the Order of St. Dumas means that eventually baddies like Azrael will make their way to Gotham City in the future, too.
Victor Fries a.k.a. Mr. Freeze is another Batman super-villain who has for some time been confirmed to appear on Gotham down the line. However, we now know who will portray the character on the DC TV series – and have some official information about the show’s take on the DC Comics character, as well as when he will be popping up during season 2.
TVLine is reporting that Nathan Darrow, perhaps best known for playing Frank Underwood’s bodyguard Edward Meechum on House of Cards, will portray Victor Fries on Gotham. Furthermore, it turns out the character will be joining the Gotham season 2 ensemble sooner than some may have expected, as the TV show’s executive producer John Stephens (who has also written multiple episodes of the series) has informed TVLine that “The first time we see Freeze is in December, and then we’re going to be telling a heavy Freeze story in Episodes 12 and 13.”
Here is the official description for Darrow’s version of Mr. Fries/Freeze on Gotham:
Though ferociously smart and eminently capable in his work as one of Gotham’s preeminent cryogenics engineers, Victor struggles to make meaningful connections with others. The one exception is his wife, Nora (casting TBA), who has tragically fallen ill with a terminal disease. Victor’s love for Nora knows no bounds, so as her condition worsens, he goes to extreme measures to figure out a way to freeze her before she dies. This harrowing journey leads to his transformation into the legendary DC villain, Mr. Freeze.
It was previously speculated that Gotham‘s version of Mr. Freeze might takes some cues from the New 52 comics, where Victor isn’t married to Nora – and becomes Mr. Freeze after spilling cryonic chemicals on himself during a fight with Bruce Wayne. However, the character description implies that the show’s version of Fries/Freeze will be in line with pre-52 takes on the super-villain. Darrow should do fine work in the role, so the real question is whether Gotham‘s Mr. Freeze be better written than (to bring up the elephant in the room) Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infamously campy portrayal of the character in Batman & Robin.
The Mr. Freeze character has arguably been handled well outside the comic book medium before (see his portrayal on shows like Batman: The Animated Series), but the world of Gotham – a TV show that blends gruesome violence, melodrama, and quirky dark humor in often erratic ways – isn’t necessarily a place where you should expect to see an emotionally-grounded version of Victor Fries put onscreen. Whatever you feelings are on how Gotham has re-imagined the Batman mythology, odds are that the series will portray Fries/Freeze as yet another overly-colorful baddie with a tragic backstory – though, hopefully one who’s less fond of making ice puns.
… Oh, who are we kidding, everyone loves Schwarzenegger’s ice puns, right? Moving on…
Gotham season 2 continues with “Mommy’s Little Monster” next Monday at 8 p.m. on FOX.