Gotham gives [Spoiler] a major supervillain upgrade

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Lucas Siegel
Sep 28, 2017

SPOILERS for tonight's episode of Gotham, "The Fear Reaper" ahead!

Gotham has started Season 4 strong, with a simple, one-word prevailing theme: "Becoming." We have Penguin becoming the true crime lord he always saw himself as. We have Gordon being slowly molded into the future commissioner: "Who's going to be Captain then, huh?" he was asked by Bullock. Of course, we have Bruce Wayne becoming Batman, with a new suit and mask at the end of tonight's episode. Even Jonathan Crane has become Scarecrow.

But the most surprising "becoming" came in the last five minutes of the episode, when Ivy (played by Maggie Geha) took her next major step toward transforming into Poison Ivy. She had been using some basic pheromones already to help her control men, sure, but when she got frustrated at not being taken seriously and went back to the supplier and drank multiple vials of "ancient serums," her entire cellular structure started to change, down to "her DNA," as he so bluntly put it.

This puts Ivy directly on the path to becoming the supervillain we know in the comics, who actually oozes said pheromones, and has the ability to control plant life. In the comics, that came from her being injected with poisons and toxins over time by Jason Woodrue (himself another plant-based villain called the Floronic Man, incidentally), but here she's doing it to herself willingly.

It's a heck of a moment for Gotham, bringing a character into what can be best described as "metahuman" powers. The closest we've seen to that so far has been Clayface, who was only a significant character for an episode or two, the youth-drainer that made Ivy into the adult version of herself, and Fish Mooney's touch. Every other villain thus far has had their powers based on technology, not internal DNA. Ivy becoming Poison Ivy marks a paradigm shift there, and sets us up for more metahuman characters. One more that should be on the way sooner than later is Butch's transformation into Solomon Grundy, hinted at in the Season 3 finale.

Are we going to start seeing crazy five-metahuman battles like on The Flash or Legends of Tomorrow on Gotham? Not likely. But as characters like Ivy continue becoming their comic book counterparts, DC Comics fans should be in for a treat.

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