Who Is "The Goat" on 'Gotham'? Raymond Earl May Be Familiar To Fans & Harvey Bullock Alike

Gotham has been improving week after week as the show struggles to balance its different tones, but it's still in something of a procedural rut. During every episode a mysterious stranger starts killing innocent — or not so innocent — Gothamites, until Bullock and Gordon can track them down, and according to the synopsis of Gotham episode "Spirit of the Goat," there will be another killer terrorizing the streets. Since "The Goat" (also known as Raymond Earl) is being teased as the week's new character, it's to be expected that he will turn out to be the killer of the week, this time one who is targeting the firstborn sons of wealthy Gotham families.

Supposedly, The Goat will remind Harvey Bullock of a similar killer he encountered in the past. However not much has been written into Batman history, from comics to films, about Gotham City and its inhabitants before the life of Bruce Wayne. It's alluded to, of course, but the hint that Batman's rogues gallery predates even Gordon's arrival in Gotham City? Rarely been done.

Gotham has been clear about setting up the pieces that will lead to Gotham City becoming the hotbed of criminal activity that Batman eventually arrives to provoke/defeat. It's also been clear that in this version of the Batman mythos, rampant corruption has been plaguing Gotham City for years, and the deaths of the Waynes was a spark, illuminating the growing influence of the feuding crime families like the Falcones and Maronis. In fact, there's not a single purely "good" adult character on this show. Even Gordon helped stage Penguin's killing.

The Goat's plan, to kill wealthy sons to send a message to their corrupt families, could be influenced by several things. Perhaps he's from a not so wealthy family, and sees the city's class discrimination — it's doubtful those street kids targeted in the first few episodes were from wealthy families — as a cause worth killing for. Or, he could be a grieving father who's lost his own son. He could be inspired by "Goatboy," a comics villain and successful assassin who hunts down and shoots the fifth Robin the Boy Wonder, Damian Wayne (Bruce's son with Talia al Ghul). The two share a name and a penchant for killing influential sons, but Goatboy is, obviously, placed much further down on the Batman timeline — in The New 52, the latest ongoing DC series, which also happens to take place at least 30 years after Gotham does.

But with both The Goat and Goatboy's obsession with lineage, maybe the Gotham writers see their Goat as the father of the comics' Goat. It would certainly be thematically appropriate.

Images: Jessica Miglio/FOX (2); Gotham Gifs/Tumblr