Exclusive: Gotham producer breaks down Poison Ivy changes, more transformations coming

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Lucas Siegel
Sep 29, 2017

SPOILERS ahead for Sept. 28 episode of Gotham, S4E2 "The Fear Reaper"

On last night's episode of Gotham, many characters went through significant changes, from Bruce's new lightweight armor and a mask that's so close to being a cowl, to the dramatic turn of Barbara and more. But none was so significant a change as the one teased for Ivy.

She may be the most transformed character already, as a runin with a character who had the ability to artificially age anyone he touched made her go from around 15 years old to her early-mid-20s in a single moment. Ivy, now played by Maggie Geha, quickly found her new looks to be advantageous in controlling men, and experiments with pheromones increased that control. But Ivy was frustrated, and still not getting the respect she thought she deserved from Penguin, the other women in the Gotham world, or just about anyone. That led her to drinking experimental toxins and potions from a forgotten time that would "affect her down to her DNA."

Yes, Gotham co-EP Bryan Wynbrandt confirms exclusively to SYFY WIRE, that means she's going to get much closer to the plant-controlling, pheromone and poison-oozing Ivy from the pages of DC Comics.

"This is indeed going to be a major shift in Ivy's character. She's at a crossroads, fed up with Penguin, alienated by the Sirens. So it felt like the perfect time to push the character in a new direction," Wynbrandt tells us.

The only downside to this for Poison Ivy fans is that we won't see the payoff immediately, as "she's going to go away for a little while." But Wynbrandt promises her transformation is worth the wait.

"When she comes back later in the season we will see her transformed or 'becoming' more of the Ivy we know from the comics. Dangerous. A live wire of crazy energy," he says.

 

That theme of "becoming" or "transformation" will hold for the entire fourth season of Gotham. While previous seasons had drastic shifts in tone, direction, and theme from one half of the season to the next, this year will be unified by seeing characters begin to reach their full potential, and that means a renewed focus on the two main characters who have been "becoming" their comic book selves in leaps and bounds already this year.

"'Becoming' or 'transformation' is a core thematic element running through the entire season. One of the things we love about our show and our great cast is that we can constantly evolve their characters in interesting and dynamic ways," Wynbrandt says. That's been seen already with major changes to characters like Fish (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) over the years, or more subtle, cerebral changes to characters like Barbara (Erin Richards), who continues to unlock darker, more cunning aspects of her personality, and Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), who is still learning what it will take to rule Gotham City the way he wants to.

"The two [transformations] that are most central [to Season 4] are Gordon's rise within the GCPD and Bruce's evolution into the young vigilante," Wynbrandt says of Ben McKenzie and David Mazouz's characters. But don't worry, the rest won't be left behind. "As our audience will see, all of our core characters will evolve in really exciting ways this season."

With the next episode featuring the return of Ra's al Ghul and a surprising new team-up, it looks like that promise will be fulfilled immediately this year.

Gotham airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.