Just as not all heroes wear capes, not all villains lurk in the shadows. On the streets, at your workplace, or in your barkada, low-key villains can be anywhere and in plain sight.
Here’s how you can spot these dastardly individuals.
- The Big Ego
They think they are better than you – and remind you at every opportunity. Perhaps she won’t stop patting herself on the back after that presentation your team made earlier? Maybe he dances around the court after every point during your after-work basketball games? However they flaunt themselves, they feed off your attention – whether it’s spite or begrudging admiration.
Gotham’s Ed Nygma (played by Cory Michael Smith), a genius forensic scientist, has come to accept crime as a means of expressing his brilliance. His compulsion to show off his vast intellect drives him to leave cryptic clues of his wrongdoings, taunting and baffling the police at the same time. How better to revel in his superiority than by orchestrating cases his former coworkers can’t solve?
“Ed is entering a new era and it reflects the fact that he’s a bit of a showman. He wants people to see him,” Smith says of his character.
- The False Friend
This person is out to get you – you just don’t know when. They know all the lunchtime gossip – who did what, with whom, and why. They’ve got dirt on everyone, but that might be because they dug it up themselves. Perhaps their wall of dirt is to better protect them from their own weaknesses?
Oswald Cobblepot, one of Gotham’s psychopathic gangsters, has betrayed practically everyone he’s encountered in his bid to take over Gotham City. Allies and rivals alike served him as mere stepping stones to the throne of Gotham’s underworld. But when his closest partner rewards him as a traitor deserves – with a double-cross of his own – how could he possibly recover?
- The User
It’s in their interest to see you succeed, but not for your own sake. They’re with you for your Friday night party, but not when it’s time to pay the tab. They’re with you for the high times, but not for the low. They’re not actively plotting your downfall – they just don’t want to be around for it.
Gotham’s Butch Gilzean and Tabitha Galavan – a mafia underboss and a bodyguard/enforcer, respectively – formed an odd alliance mutually based on this dynamic.
Drew Powell, who plays Butch Gilzean, slyly says: “Butch is a character that people are going to underestimate until it’s too late. He’s a survivor. He knows that if you’re on top there’s a much greater chance that you’re going to get knocked down. Whoever he’s with is probably going to win.”
Jessica Lucas, who plays Tabitha Galavan, elaborates: “I don’t think she has as much desire for power as a lot of the other villains do, which is interesting because most of them are vying for the throne. She really doesn’t care about that. She’s smart enough to know that alliances are important, and you don’t want to annoy the wrong people. She’s more of a snake in the grass.”
- The Former Flame
You used to be inseparable, and maybe at some point you thought they were the one – but somewhere along the line, the passion fizzled out. Neither of you have been the same since.
In Gotham, Selina Kyle (Catwoman in the making?) has had a falling out with Bruce Wayne (the future caped crusader). Both children were left orphans at a young age. Both have resorted to cunning, deception, and means beyond law in order to overcome the dangers surrounding them. Yet, despite their similarities, they cannot see eye to eye – Bruce comes to appreciate justice above all, while Selina prioritizes survival.
By contrast, Barbara Kean presents a much more stark conflict – she has ambitions to rule Gotham’s dark underbelly, but her ex-fiancée Jim Gordon is a policeman bent on stamping out crime. He’s made it clear that he’s done with her. She hasn’t given up on claiming the city or her ex. Conquering Gotham’s criminal networks comes first for Barbara, but Jim is almost certainly her next prize. Whether Barbara is driven by love or revenge, Jim can expect a long, wild ride.
- The Devil in Plain Sight
These villains need no secret lair – their refuge is in their audacity. Others merely strut around like they own the city – these fiends probably sold it to them. They act like they’re above the law – but that might be because they’re enforcing it, or worse, making it.
Gotham shows us villainy of truly ostentatious fashion – crimes committed in broad daylight, corrupt policemen barely maintaining a masquerade of justice, schemers and murderers openly taking office as elected officials on more than one occasion.
Executive producer Danny Cannon tells us of every Gotham villain’s motivations: “Every villain in the DC camp doesn’t want to be ignored. They won’t beforgotten. They won’t be left in the shadows anymore. They find a way to Gotham’s attention. They find a way!”
“The end of the season is going to be a lot of fun. It’s about what happens when you think you’ve found the bottom of the rabbit hole. Just when you know what’s in the shadows come the guys who actually live in the shadows.”
Stay vigilant and watch for more villainy on Warner TV’s Gotham. The season finale is this Tuesday (June 6) at 9pm.