What comes next for Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) on Gotham, is a question that many fans would like to know the answer to. Few characters on the show have undergone as drastic a change as Barbara; who began the series as the mild mannered fiancé of Jim Gordon. The current and third season has seen the character become one of its more interesting villains - and with such a major character progression for Barbara, some fans have wondered if she will in fact become Gotham’s version of the Harley Quinn character.
Richards herself says Harley Quinn conversations have taken place, but she’s also said that a major change in personality would have to occur for Barbara on Gotham for it to make any sense. Still, given that Gotham has a propensity for changing or outright ignoring Batman mythology, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine Barbara taking up the Harley Quinn mantle for the show. To perhaps add a little more fuel to this theory, an executive producer on the show has teased another big upcoming change for the Barbara character.
While speaking to CBR, Gotham executive producer and writer Danny Cannon refused to confirm or deny whether Barbara would eventually become Harley Quinn, but he did tease another “evolution” for the character before the third season wraps up. For Cannon’s full thoughts on Barbara and how she will change by season’s end, read below:
“I can’t. I can’t. All I can tell you is, the great thing, the joy of working with Erin is the range. The reason we changed her character, [is] because we knew what she could do. We’re like, ‘We can’t keep you in one place. You’ve got to keep evolving.’ So she’s going to evolve again. That’s all I can tell you.”
This seemingly creates more questions than it does answers, but given Richards' previous comments on her character needing a significant change in personality for a move to Harley Quinn to work, Cannon could very well be hinting at that exact change. Still, it would be just as easy for Gotham to defy expectations and go in a completely different direction with Barbara. Fans will just have to wait for the season three finale (which is when the Quinn character is rumored to debut on Gotham) for a definitive answer.
While Gotham seems to be continuing its defiance of traditional Batman comic book canon, making Barbara Harley Quinn could prove to be an unpopular move among fans of both the show and comics. Regardless, the series has never been shy about changing mythology in the past, and there’s no reason to believe that showrunner Bruno Heller and company won’t continue to do just that for the remainder of season three (and potentially beyond).
Gotham returns tonight at 8pm on FOX with ‘How the Riddler Got His Name’.