Gotham went further down the rabbit hole during its second season, arguably to the benefit of FOX’s darkly off-beat TV reimagining of the pre-Batman Gotham City. Season 2 culminated with even more super-villains being set loose on the streets that Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) call home; old enemies such as the resurrected Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and an even-more dangerous Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) among them. Gotham City will also become the home for other DC super-villains who have yet to appear on the TV show in season 3 – The Mad Hatter among them.
For those unfamiliar, Jervis Tetch a.k.a. The Mad Hatter has been part of the Batman comic book mythology since 1948 and is a villain whose appearance is very similar to that of the Mad Hatter character from Alice in Wonderland. Tetch is typically a scientist who keeps the mind-controlling devices that he uses against his victims in his enormous top hat; though, Gotham‘s iteration of the character is officially described as being “a talented hypnotist teetering on the edge of madness.” We now have our first look at the villain ahead of his appearance in Gotham season 3, episode 3: “Look Into My Eyes”.
In Gotham, Mr. Tetch finds his way to Gotham City while on a quest to find out what happened to his sister Alice, a young woman “who went missing in the city years ago.” As to what really happened to Alice: just about anything is fair game, in the strange world of Gotham.
If this show’s track record is anything to go by, it is arguably just as plausible that Alice will serve purely as a plot device (and be someone whom viewers never meet) as it is that she will be a character viewers have not met before – or maybe someone they have, such as Barbara Kean (Erin Richards). Alice might even be the “proto-version” of Harley Quinn that Gotham‘s producers have now confirmed that they plan to introduce down the line. That’s assuming that Barbara isn’t secretly Gotham‘s version of Harley; she had more than a few Harley Quinn-esque moments on Gotham season 2, after all.
Gotham‘s willingness to throw wild curveballs that catch its comic book-savvy audience off-guard is certainly one of the TV series’ defining traits – and also a reason why the DC Comics adaptation is something of a divisive one. Some developments announced for season 3 have already rubbed people the wrong way, for related reasons (see: Poison Ivy being changed from an oddball kid to a grown-up femme fatale). However Gotham season 3 ultimately goes over remains to be seen; but now that the city is being flooded by even more super-villains than ever before, it’s as good a time as any for Samuel’s Mad Hatter to make his debut too.
Gotham season 3 premieres September 19th, 2016 on FOX.