Gotham Season 4 New York Comic Con Panel foreshadows an uncertain future for Bruce Wayne and a villain-infested city

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Oct 8, 2017, 9:21 PM EDT

The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. The darker side of that is that sometimes the devil you know can expose horrors you never expected.

That beast of evil will show its fangs further into Season 4 of Gotham, as the cast revealed to eager fans at the NYCC panel that delved into the DC legends’ origin stories even further. Many will twist into even darker turns. The city, still recovering from the Tetch virus, hasn’t quite crawled out from the aftermath of last season and is already being assaulted by a new breed of evil—and there is no Batman to swoop in. Yet.

Gotham is all about creating a city filled with so much danger and potential only Batman can save it,” said executive producer Danny Cannon. Except right now the boy who will become Batman is an angsty teen otherwise known as the Billionaire Brat.

Governing the Caped Crusader-less city is political insanity, and its name is Oswald Cobblepot. Robin Lord Taylor plays this creep to such sociopathic perfection that you just want to put him in handcuffs yourself. Penguin’s latest endeavor under his ironically named “Pax Penguina” is to license heavy-duty firearms for villains so they can blow everything up and send the city spiraling into even more chaos. Will he succeed? Taylor can’t exactly say that without being fired (understandable), but it probably depends on whether someone can put the Penguin on ice before Gotham blows up in flames.

It’s not like the villains infesting the city need the nefarious Cobblepot to legitimize them. Even without the Court of Owls, they all seem deranged enough to take down every last skyscraper on their own. Ra’s al Ghul will soon be unleashing his appropriately named human dog Anubis, whose teeth are also appropriately sharpened, on Bruce. Ivy is entwined in something that will bring on a dark change in her. When Alfred’s murky past comes back to haunt him, what he is capable of will start to unravel—and Sean Pertwee admitted it won’t be pretty.

Solomon Grundy will also be creeping in this week. Meaning, Gordon and the rest of the GCPD are going to be up to their eyeballs in villains.

Not to say Bruce is acting like the chosen one right now. He’s just a “jerk teenager” to Penguin, as Taylor remarked, though aggravating the Penguin may or may not end up having some sort of accidental positive side effects. The young Mr. Wayne may even start to mature. David Mazouz teased that this season is focused on control, and Bruce will eventually seize some of that control and finally start #adulting.

Morena Baccarin said Lee will reappear, though you will be seeing a very different iteration of her post-virus. She won’t be crawling back to the GCPD. What she will return to is The Narrows, an underground society of people who she will struggle to lift from their suffering when she has so much to overcome herself. Speaking of transformations, the Lazarus pit changes people. At least it changes Barbara into “more of a businesswoman,” as Erin Richards described the renewed version of her character. Not that she’s totally renewed, because Selina Kyle will finally get to deck her this season. Selina is obviously more interested in revenge (and herself) than Batman at the moment. Carmen Bicondova said there may be a Bat-Cat connection … just not yet.

By the way, you know the upcoming episode of Gotham, The Demon Said? Ben McKenzie wrote it. So you just have to see it at 8:00 this Thursday on Fox.