[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Gotham season 2 ahead.]
The first half of Gotham season 2 focused on the threat posed to the eponymous city by Theo Galavan (James Frain) and the Order of St. Dumas. At the same time, the series planted the seeds for season 2’s “Rise of the Villains” theme to continue when the show returns in 2016 – specifically, by setting the stage for the introduction of Professor Hugo Strange (BD Wong) and the various super-villains that it appears he’s been secretly making at the Indian Hill facility, while Jim Gordan (Ben McKenzie) and his allies were preoccupied with battling the Galavans.
Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze (Nathan Darrow) will also play a role in the over-arching narrative of Gotham season 2, and even made a brief appearance at the end of the Fall Finale, “Worse Than a Crime”. FOX has now released yet another promo teasing the arrival of the chilly Batman supervillain on the series. Give it a look, above.
Gotham, at this point, has become (in)famous for re-imagining the backstories of Batman comic book villains in unexpected ways (see its approach to The Joker and his legacy), but it sounds as though the show’s version of Mr. Freeze could be relatively faithful to the best-known iteration of the character – the more sympathetic and multi-faceted version, who debuted on Batman: The Animated Series back in the early 1990s, that is. Gotham creator and show-runner Bruno Heller indicated as much, when asked by TVLine if Victor Fries has a specific agenda on the series:
He absolutely has an agenda. We’re telling the Freeze story in classic style, from its origins. What you saw [in the Gotham S2 Fall Finale] is the “beta test.” It’s very early on in the story of Mr. Freeze.
Kristen Hager (Being Human) is playing Victor Fries’ terminally-ill wife, Nora Fries, on Gotham, and the show will examine the former’s “agenda” over the course of a two-episode arc, when Gotham resumes airing in 2016. Whether or not the character will be featured in any significant capacity on the TV series thereafter, though, remains a secret for the time being, but it seems fair to assume that Professor Strange (not Mr. Freeze) is going to be the “big bad” – or one of them anyway – in the second half of Gotham season 2 (taking the spot left open by Theo Galavan).
Speaking of Mr. Galavan – Theo’s corpse was shown being taken to Indian Hill facility at the end of the Gotham Fall Finale, and it was heavily implied that we may yet see the character again (albeit, in a scientifically-altered form). Heller naturally mum on the subject during his talk with TVLine, but offered his assurances that Strange’s misdeeds will become the show’s focus in the near future:
[That’ll happen] very soon after we come back. And I don’t want to say more than that.
Arguably, Gotham is at its best when embracing its own inherent (for lack of a better description) “comic book-ness” rather than attempting to be a moody crime drama, and that has increasingly been the case throughout season 2 thus far. It doesn’t look like the show is going to change course either (thankfully), with the promise of more super-villains like Mr. Freeze – as well as the potential return of “enhanced” baddies like Theo Galavan and Bridgit Pike/Firefly (Michelle Veintimilla) – joining the party in 2016. Not to mention, there should be more shared screen time for the dynamic duo that is Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), too.
Gotham season 2 resumes on FOX in February 2016.