“Gotham” fans have wondered for months whether there are costumed high jinks in the cards for Erin Richard’s character, Barbara Kean.
Although she debuted on Fox’s Batman prequel as the fiancée of Detective Jim Gordon,”Gotham” quickly sent Barbara down her own twisted path. Following a stay in Arkham Asylum, Barbara returned with a vengeance in Season Three, becoming one of Gotham City’s premier villains as co-leader of a crime syndicate. She’s also become increasingly unhinged since the pilot episode, leading many fans to wonder whether there’s a red-and-black color scheme in her future.
It’s long been known that “Gotham” has plans to introduce Harley Quinn, be it at the end of this season or the start of Season Four, but the producers have remained relatively silent on whether the popular DC Comics antihero/villain will be played by a new actor, or if the identity will be taken up by an existing character. Again, fans’ fingers tend to point toward Barbara Kean as the most likely cast member to assume that mantle. Now there’s another potential piece to the puzzle suggesting that may well be what happens.
A recent photo, released to promote the upcoming episode titled “Heroes Rise: The Primal Riddle,” features Barbara, clad in a fur coat and dress. While that description may not sound very Harley Quinn-esque, the color choices and lighting give the otherwise-unexciting image some potential subtext.
In the photo, the light casts across Barbara’s face, turning it a pale blueish-white hue not dissimilar to Harleen Quinzel’s own skin tone. The same lighting gives Barbara’s fur coat a number of bluish-white highlights. The resulting effect plays with the red and black of Barbara’s dress and coat in such a way it creates an image that calls out to Harley Quinn’s iconic color choice. The patchwork aspect of the coat further plays into the imagery, bringing to mind the mirrored patterns typically worn by the iconic DC villain-turned-hero.
Of course, there may well be nothing to this. However, the work put into lighting a television show is done with deliberate intent, and the decision about which photos to release to the public also tends to be made with specific goals in mind. Even if this does end up being a red herring, its likely Fox’s “Gotham” public relations team at least wants us to continue to look down the road towards Barbara’s potential future as Harley in our minds.
Starring Ben McKenzie as Detective Jim Gordon, “Gotham” airs Mondays at 8 pm ET/PT on Fox. The series also stars David Mazouz as young Bruce Wayne, Camren Bicondova as young Selina Kyle, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot, Morena Baccarin as Leslie Thompkins and Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney.