Who Is Hugo Strange On 'Gotham'? The Mad Scientist Hasn't Found A Line He Won't Cross
See that signal in the night sky? It means that Gotham Season 2 returns from its winter hiatus on Monday, and is re-loading with some fresh villains. Among the new blood is Dr. Hugo Strange, played by B.D. Wong of Jurassic World and Law & Order: SVU. Audiences got a glimpse of the good doctor's facilities in the first half of the season, but the time has come to meet the man himself. Warning: if you have a fear of hospitals or needles, these upcoming episodes are about to make it so, so much worse. Who is Hugo Strange and what's his game on Gotham? Here's what I know so far.
Like many of the bad guys who fill out this Batman prequel, Hugo Strange is a character cherry-picked from DC Comics. Strange has been around since 1940, using his scientific knowledge and obsession with playing god to alter and engineer humans in terrifying ways. He's also pretty taken with the Caped Crusader and has even been known to dress up like his hero/nemesis for his own personal pleasure. The brainy psychiatrist has committed all manner of crimes against nature, including building his own army of mutants called the "Monster Men," fraternizing with other baddies, and even attempting to usurp Batman's place. Hugo Strange can pride himself on a long and monstrous history in the comics, but Gotham will have to focus on its own interpretation of the character.
Wong told Entertainment Weekly that, while audiences won't trust his embodiment of Hugo Strange, they might not mind spending time with him. The actor said, "My version of him is that he’s got a really wicked sense of humor," and that's encouraging, because Gotham could always use an injection of dark comedy. "He’s a super intellect," Wong continued. "Hugo’s drive is his obsession with the human mind — understanding it, manipulating it, improving it, changing it."
If that's not sinister enough for you, Strange is the man in charge over at Arkham Asylum, the infamously corrupt and horrific Gotham mental facility. The doctor seems to have an interest in rehabilitating the city's fallen criminals for some unknown purpose. Firefly was last seen burned beyond recognition and being wheeled into Indian Hill, a secretive ward on Arkham's grounds. This promo for Gotham's new episodes shows that Oswald Cobblepot will also find himself in Strange's care, whether the Penguin wants to be or not. (I'm guessing not.)
Short though it is, there's a lot to be gleaned from this clip. First of all, Strange cuts a dapper and imposing figure in a plaid suit with actual rose-colored glasses. Fittingly comic book. And could the woman suspended in liquid around the 10-second mark be Fish Mooney, back from one watery grave and into another? (TVLine reported Jada Pinkett Smith's Season 2 return in January.)
The most key piece of this preview is how much fun Strange seems to be having using humans as lab rats. Executive Producer Bruno Heller told TV Guide that Strange's satisfaction comes from his own perceived righteousness. "He is a man filled with the joys of science," Heller said. "He doesn't think of himself in any way as a bad person."
Image: Jessica Miglio/ FOX