Drew Powell's Butch Gilzean returns as Solomon Grundy in next week's episode of Gotham. Butch was rendered comatose, thanks to a bullet from Barbara, at the end of Gotham season 3. Now, the trailer for Gotham season 4 episode 5 has offered a tantalizing glimpse of what Butch will look like upon his revival. Powell has described himself as “Giddy like a schoolgirl”, with regards to this new acting challenge.
In the Gotham season 3 finale, it was revealed that Butch’s original name was Cyrus Gold. This name was familiar to comic book fans, who know it as the pre-death name of the zombie-like villain Solomon Grundy. After debuting in the comics in 1944, Cyrus lived a horrible life before dying at the docks. He was left to rot in a swamp, but the evil in the water allowed him to come back as a super-strong reanimate. His brainpower was nullified, though, and his speech limited to mindless repetition of the ‘Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday’ rhyme.
This trailer ends with the briefest glimpse of Butch’s eyes opening, and an equally short shot of him walking again. To see more of Grundy, fans will have to wait until the episode - which has the title “The Blade’s Path” - reaches the air next week. With the trailer came a synopsis, which teases Butch’s first post-coma storyline:
“Nygma comes face-to-face with Butch Gilzean, but he is not who he used to be. In an attempt to regain power and identity, Nygma decides to put his former partner's skills to the test. Meanwhile, Sofia Falcone takes action to protect her own life by appealing to Penguin's vulnerable side. With the power of the dagger in his possession, Bruce surprises those around him with his bold actions.”
It’s interesting to hear that Cory Michael Smith’s Ed Nygma (aka the Riddler) will be the first major character to cross paths with Butch-as-Grundy. Both Ed and Butch failed to come out on top in season 3, but perhaps Ed can use Grundy’s brutish strength to help rebuild his criminal reputation.
However, it is somewhat frustrating that this trailer spends so much time on Bruce Wayne trying to kill Ra’s al Ghul, when the arrival of Grundy is so much more intriguing. Fans have seen Jim Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth trying to save Bruce manifold times, whereas Grundy’s debut is fresh and exciting news. Grundy has been described as “very much like a Frankenstein monster”, but fans will have to wait a little longer to properly see what’s in store for him.
Gotham season 4 continues with 'A Dark Knight: The Blade's Path' on Thursday, October 19.