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GOTHAM’s Sirens Are Shaping Up to Be Season 4’s Secret Weapon

There are a number of stories unfolding in the third season of Gotham, be it Penguin’s (Robin Lord Taylor) crime-licensing operation, the rise of the Scarecrow (Charlie Tahan), or Bruce (David Mazouz) rapidly evolving into Batman. And yet, as with previous seasons of the FOX series about Gotham City before the Bat, it’s the ladies that you should be paying attention to. With the latest developments in episode two of the fourth season — “The Fear Reaper” — Gotham seems to be building its own version of Gotham City Sirens, the DC comic book series that focuses on the baddest women in the Batman universe, which is also being adapted into a film.

Ever since rebooting Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) halfway through the first season, from inoffensive girlfriend of Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) to joyfully psychotic murderer, Gotham’s girl power has the strongest part of the series. Whether it was Barbara wreaking havoc on her former lover, Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas), tearing up the town with her partner-in-crime Babs or Selina Kyle’s (Camren Bicondova) slow evolution to Catwoman and the relationship she forged with Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), the women of Gotham are a force with which to be reckoned.

That’s not to say there haven’t been missteps along the way—the biggest of which was the way the series handled the season three aging up of Ivy Pepper from troubled teen (Claire Foley) to 20-something sexual manipulator (Maggie Geha) in the span of an episode. Overall though, Gotham has done right by its women in a refreshing way, and their newest story arc, which feels very similar to what’s happening elsewhere in the DC universe, is proof of that.

With Penguin legitimizing crime in Gotham, Barbara, Selina, and Tabitha are joining forces to arm those partaking in the kingpin’s new endeavor. “Like it or not, every criminal in this city is going to go to him for a license to mug, steal, or blow stuff up,” Barbara tells her new business partners. “Those criminals are going to need supplies and that is where we come in.”

With the arming of Gotham City’s newly-minted criminals will come information regarding their planned deeds. Given how valuable information is as currency in this city, should their plan work out, this trio is going to be a true force to be reckoned with. Granted, there’s still some tension within the group to work out. That shouldn’t be too difficult once the money and intel starts rolling in, though.

It’s hard not to get Gotham City Sirens vibes from this team up, even if the roster is quite a bit different.

While the comic (and, presumably, the film) follows on Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy as they unleash their brands of mischief in Gotham City, a young and more impressionable Selina is working with two adult villains on Gotham, while Ivy is currently off finding herself. At the heart of it though, both are stories about these villainous women not just surviving, but thriving, in a flat-out crazy world, like the one Gotham exists in.

Putting its own spin on the comic book is perfectly in line with what the series has done since it first premiered. Gotham created its own canon and has made no bones about it. While it honors many different versions of the Batman universe—and often feels like it’s set somewhere in the version of Batman introduced by Tim Burton in 1989—what makes this show such a joy to watch is that it constantly carves its own path. This is a show that reimagined the Joker as a former circus performer named Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) and is turning Penguin’s one-time enforcer Butch (Drew Powell) into Solomon Grundy.

Still, there’s room for Gotham to veer closer to the comics as the season goes on. After all, Ivy exists in this universe and she wants so badly to be included with this crew of powerful females. And by the end of the episode, she’s finally finding a purpose that doesn’t involve tagging along with Selina or being ordered around by Penguin.

After being reintroduced as an adult in season three, Ivy was typically shown as a young woman who didn’t really understand the world, but would use perfumes to control the men around her. It’s not quite the inspiring story you’d hope for after magically taking her from young teen to adult. Now though, she’s ingested multiple potions and is hopefully well on her way to becoming the Poison Ivy fans love—the one that’s a formidable villain who can control plant life.

In finding inner-strength and new powers, Ivy will not only become a better character but could be a much more valuable asset to Selina, Tabitha, and Barbara. Little Ivy Pepper, the immature best friend of Selina and cast-off of Penguin, doesn’t bring much to the table. Poison Ivy, though? That’s an entirely different story, and entirely different stories are what Gotham does best. Thankfully, the show also continues to recognize which pieces of the universe it is building work best. In this case, it’s the might of the female villains who have become something you just don’t want to look away from. Hopefully, that continues for as long as Gotham is around.

Are you game for Gotham’s take on the Sirens? Does this new turn for Ivy make up for how she was mishandled in season 3? Sound off in the comments below and tweet me all of your Gotham thoughts at @ChrisHayner.

Images: FOX

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