Warning: Spoilers ahead for Gotham season 3
Gotham season 3 is over, and it brought the show closer than ever before to an on-screen Batman. The two-part finale wrapped up a season that has been all about the villains of Gotham becoming who they are in the comics. The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) had the biggest transformation, donning his green suit and bowler hat and taunting the GCPD with clues to his crimes, but he wasn’t the only comic book villain to truly come to life this year.
R’as Al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) made his debut in the finale, in all his ninja-backed glory, and with a Lazarus Pit at the ready. Poison Ivy (Maggie Geha) grew up and started using her plant poisons, and Harley Quinn was supposed to show up as well, although no-one was named as the Clown Princess outright. Fans are still debating whether Barbara (Erin Richards) will be coming back to life to pick up that mantle, or it the moniker will belong to someone else in season 4. Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) donned a mask to stop some street-level crime, and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) cracked her whip for the very first time. On top of all these iconic characters, another familiar name has been hiding in plain sight all along: Solomon Grundy.
Solomon Grundy’s Comic Book History
In the comics, Solomon Grundy was originally a boy named Cyrus Gold, whose life was one of the many sad stories in Gotham. After the Gold family moved to Gotham to try and make their fortune, Mr Gold failed to prosper, and ended up working on the docks. Miserable, poor, and abused at work, the elder Gold drank and took out his anger on his family, beating his wife and torturing his son. After years of abuse, Mrs Gold left, abandoning her son with his abusive father. Soon after, Mr Gold was killed on the docks, leaving Cyrus entirely alone. The young Cyrus struggled to survive at first, but quickly rose to power as a mobster of sorts, living a violent life and killing a lot of people. Eventually, an angry mob chased him down for his murders, killing him and dumping his body in the same swamp that he used to dispose of his victims’ corpses.
After some time, however, the evil of the swamp itself seeped into the dead Cyrus Gold, and he rose from the dead as a super-strong, reanimated and near-mindless monster: Solomon Grundy. Since then, Grundy has tangled with many of the superheroes in the DC universe, but is incredibly difficult to take down thanks to his super strength and the near-invulnerability that comes from being a zombie. He is resurrected each time he dies, and is even able to re-form after being torn apart. Each time he is resurrected, it is with a different persona – some have been childlike and even helpful, and some have remembered Cyrus’s life, but most are rage-filled monsters with no idea of who they are.
Solomon Grundy Is Butch Gilzean
Gotham‘s Solomon Grundy was revealed in a single scene of the finale, and hasn’t been fully realized just yet. In the finale, Barbara shot Butch Gilzean (Drew Powell) in the head after learning that Butch was planning to kill her. Butch was presumed dead, given that he took a bullet directly to the brain, but he was later seen being wheeled into a hospital, alive but unconscious. There, the doctors talked about their patient, revealing that he must have changed his name to Butch Gilzean at some point, because his records show that his original name was Cyrus Gold.
From this, we can gather that the mobster who has served several bosses over the past three seasons is not done yet. It’s not clear how much of the comic history is going to be carried over into Gotham, but the Cyrus name, the rise to power through violence and by serving other violent people, and the inability to die all seem to be elements of his character on the show at this point. Presumably, the super-strength, rage, and constant resurrections will also be part of Solomon’s story in season 4, although nothing is confirmed as of yet.
Solomon’s Future In Gotham
This little reveal definitely marks Butch as Solomon, but it’s a reveal that raises a lot of questions. The original Solomon spent lots of time in the swamp before being resurrected, and then returned without his memory. This could mean that Butch spends a lot of season 4 comatose or otherwise out of the picture, and may also mean that he returns with no memory of who he is, or who killed him. Meanwhile, it’s not clear if Barbara herself will be returning, or if she is actually dead. Should she return as well, it will definitely create an interesting new dynamic for Barbara, Butch, and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas). Solomon Grundy would also be an interesting choice for a season 4 opponent for Bruce Wayne – as one of the strongest bad guys in Gotham, he would presumably be easily able to take out the young Batman-in-training, which may suggest that he’ll be put on ice for a little while at least.
Even if Solomon doesn’t come into his full power for a while longer, it’s fantastic to see even more well-known characters popping up in the show, and Gotham building toward the Batman series that fans deserve.