In the episode “Tonight’s The Night,” Gotham fans witnessed what may have been the last of Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) after taking a horrific fall out of a church window after a scuffle with Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie). She only survives because she lands in a row of hedges and bushes but is in a coma. As this is Gotham, nothing is as it always seems to be. At Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in New Jersey, Erin Richards discussed the role and Barbara’s future.
“I’ve had a lovely time. I was just in bed for…well, I can’t say how many episodes. ” Barbara has gone the rough the most transformations of any character in the show. She started off as Det. Gordon’s caring fiance, leaves him to try and re-kindle a spark with Det. Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena), goes back to Jim only to be kidnapped by Jason “The Ogre” Lennon (Milo Ventimiglia). The aftermath of her experience with the Ogre triggers a psychotic break which lands her in Arkham Asylum where she meets Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) and is broken out by Theo Galavan (James Frain) with the help of his sister, Tabitha (Jessica Lucas). Richards continued by saying, “Yeah, she comes back totally different. And that will happen again. You know, you go into a coma, you’re going to come out a little different. It’s ambiguous as to whether she is actually changed or whether she’s not changed [and pretending].” When it comes to Barbara Kean, anything is possible, especially when it comes to her love for Gordon. “You’re going to see her come to terms a little bit with what’s happened and try to go deeper into the truth with Jim, their relationship, their past, and their future.”
So which Barbara Kean will we see the second half the season? Richards had this to say, “[The Villain life] is delicious. It’s spicy. The two iterations of her that I’ve had a chance to play, and this new version I get to mess around with again, of those, the villain version is the most fun. Because, as I’ve said, she’s free, and that freedom is fun to play with.” As we all know, Galavan is dead and Tabitha is in the wind but Barbara does not know this. “For her, it’s a little scary because she doesn’t have that bit of power she can feed off of. She doesn’t have that stability she can use,” Richards said. “But at the same time, she’s less constricted by somebody else’s vision for her.” When asked what plans Barbara has now that she’s on her own, Richards answered “I can’t give it away! She has things to do.”
Barbara Kean has become a fan favorite over time for her unpredictability. Erin Richards has become a fan favorite for being able to switch between a loving, caring woman to a woman who has gone over the edge of madness. The second half of Gotham is becoming something spectacular. We saw the villains rise, now we will see their wrath. I am excited to see where Barbara fits into the new villain landscape of Gotham.
Gotham returns Monday, February 29 at 8pm on Fox. Check your local listings.