SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for the latest episode of Gotham, “One of My Three Soups,” which as of publication has not yet aired on the west coast.
Tonight on Gotham the League of Assassins made way for a new Demon’s Head, as Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) realized the truth of her post-resurrection destiny.
This won’t be the first run-in with the League Barbara has had — she’s shared a close association with Ra’s al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) since he revived her following her Season 3 death. Since her return to the land of the living, however, things for Barbara have been less-than-normal, including a mysteriously glowing hand and a laundry list of repressed, painful memories.
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Fans were finally given answers during tonight’s episode, where it was revealed that during her resurrection, Ra’s al Ghul made Barbara the next Demon’s Head, the mystically empowered leader of the League of Shadows — a band of expert assassins who operate in secret on a global scale.
During a Q&A session attended by CBR this past Wednesday in Burbank, episode director and series star Ben McKenzie addressed Barbara’s latest villainous turns, especially with regard to this episode’s pointed look at the League’s views on gender dynamics:
You could argue it’s a female empowerment story because [Barbara] is a woman, but what Ra’s is doing is saying “Forget gender, it’s what’s in you — this animal in you is the Demon’s head. Your responsibility is to own that.” So there’s a female empowerment story in there but it’s sort of masked by this power struggle; an acknowledgement that Barbara is a sick, sick person. We shot the scene where she’s remembering what [Ra’s] whispered in her ear while he was bringing her back to life was really lovely — her performance was fantastic. You can see her in this utterly naked way, absorbing this new information almost like a child. She has a journey that she’s going to be on and she has a responsibility — and that responsibility is to kill a lot of people. She’s up for that.
And as for what Barbara’s new role as Demon’s Head will mean for her partnership with Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas)? Well, McKenzie says, things won’t go smoothly.
It’s absolutely going to cause tension. You need some push-pull there. Everyone is skeptical of this Ra’s Al Ghul guy, probably because he dresses really strangely and has really interesting hairstyles. [Laughs] But he just doesn’t seem that trustworthy and [Tabitha] might be on to something. Tabby is somewhat playing the role of the Bollock to [Barbara’s] Gordon. She’s asking, “Are you sure you want to do this?” There’s going to be more of that down the line.
Gotham Season 4 continues next week, with new episode “Mandatory Brunch Meeting” at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 5 on Fox.