As Promised, Gotham Finally Debuts Its Harley Quinn


WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the latest episode of Gotham, "Penguin, Our Hero," which aired Thursday on Fox.

Almost as soon as Gotham kicked off its possible Joker origin story with the introduction of Jerome Valeska, fans have been wondering whether Harley Quinn would follow. For years, the Batman origin series' producers have teased the arrival of the fan-favorite villain, only to pull their hand back with a wink and a smile again and again.

First, they had us believing that Barbara Kean would be the series' proto-version of Harley Quinn, before quickly laying that theory to rest. The final episodes of Season 4 introduced Echo, Jeremiah Valeska's right hand woman and personal bodyguard. Echo not only acted as a partner to Valeska's maniacal killer, she wore a court-jester inspired costume crafted iconic red and black color scheme of Harley Quinn. But, alas, she was quickly dismissed as another red herring.

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But, as Gotham fans know by now, one should never say never. In the latest episode, Selina Kyle seeks out help from the new Joker at his hideout. However, upon her arrival the young Catwoman is greeted not by Jeremiah, but by Echo. Initially wearing wearing a mask and striped and checkered red and black cloak, Echo soon reveals a costume that appears to be a tattered version of Harley's classic costume, albeit without the signature headwear.

Gotham - Harley & Selina

Of course, Gotham has fooled audiences before, but as soon as Echo begins to speak, it becomes obvious that if she's not intended to be Gotham's Harley Quinn, then she's doing a pretty great impersonation. She's completely mad, filled with a blind devotion to Jeremiah. And as those who saw her premiere last season, not only is she willing to take a bullet in the head for him -- she already has.

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She has the costume, she has the personality, and she has the single-minded to her partner in crime, but it's her use of a single word that cements the deal. In her confrontation with Selina Kyle, she calls the young Catwoman "puddin'," in the process all but 100% confirming that while she may not be Harleen Quinzel, Gotham's Joker finally has his Harley Quinn.

Airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox, Gotham stars Ben McKenzie as James Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean and Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth. The fifth and final season premiered on Jan. 3, and will run for 12 episodes.

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