The second season of Fox’s Batman series Gotham has been billing itself as “The Rise Of The Villains,” despite the fact that the show’s prequel premise cuts it off—with a few exceptions—from the Caped Crusader’s colorful coterie of costumed criminals. The show has been making due in the meantime with minor characters and homebrewed bad guys, to greater and lesser degrees of success. Meanwhile, the casting notices for the upcoming season have been full of names like “Tigress,” the kind of character that sends die-hard comic book fans to their longboxes for research, and everyone else to CBS to see if Supergirl is going to be any good.
But that hasn’t stopped the show’s producers from continuing to announce the ferocious new rogues gallery that James Gordon and his cohorts will face off against in the coming year. The latest future-culprit: Leo Fitzpatrick, who played heroin addict and Bubbles protege Johnny Weeks on The Wire, cast as the fearsome “Joe Pike,” leader of the arson-minded Pike Brothers. Given that the Batman universe already has an arson-themed villain—Firebug—who wouldn’t be missed if he was scooped back in time to menace the city during its Baby Batman era, it’s a little odd that the show would go with an unrelated gang of pyromaniacs. But then, trying to guess the intentions of the minds behind Gotham is the sort of exercise in futility that could drive a speculator to madness—possibly transforming them into a new villain, the perfidious Guess-O, who would also inevitably get cast in Gotham’s second season.