Sometimes Gotham annoys me with action montages that look like they were written by a can of Red Bull. But the mythology keeps me interested, especially with the revolving door of Batman heroes and rogues arriving on the scene each week. A new character joining Gotham is Dr. Leslie Thompkins, played by Mekia Cox. You may recognize Cox from Key and Peele, where she plays multiple roles, including Michelle Obama. She was also in 90210, Mob City, and one of my favorite "canceled too soon" series, NBC's Undercovers with Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Boris Kodjoe. So who is Leslie Thompkins? Batman fans will recognize the name, as she's a familiar face in DC comics. However, the role she's playing on Gotham could mean many things.
One interesting thing to note — Dr. Leslie Thompkins is also the role reportedly being played by Morena Baccarin. Surely they aren't recasting this role already, right? Is this a ruse, or a red herring, and Mekia Cox will really be playing Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, who later becomes the villainess Harley Quinn? That's just my wishful thinking, spurred on by Screenrant mentioning the possibility of Dr. Quinzel showing up this season. TV Guide has Cox listed as just "Dr. Leslie" — is it possible they are splitting up this iconic character into two roles? That may be wise. Dr. Thompkins has served many purposes over the years and the Gotham bosses have a rich variety to mix and match from.
In the comics, Dr. Leslie Thompkins is somewhat of a maternal figure for Bruce Wayne. She was a family friend. She helps him with his grief and, in the later years, disapproves of his vigilantism. Hopefully the show will expand on this, because I'm sick of having to fight people over women like Skyler White who get shoved into this "unsupportive mom/wife" trope by viewers. Gotham done a good job so far with multi-faceted female characters like Fish Mooney, as well as Barbara Kean and Renee Montoya. If Leslie Thompkins does take on this role at Wayne Manor, I have a hunch she'll do more than just tut.
I never thought I would type these words, but in some versions of the story, Leslie is a love interest for Alfred Pennyworth. Go Alfred! It must be stressful caring for the boy who will become Batman, I wouldn't mind seeing him in a happy, loving relationship.
In the DC comics universe, Dr. Thompkins runs a clinic for drug addicts and criminals. Considering the show's focus on the rise of Arkham Asylum, the two are either connected or will serve to counter-balance one another. What future villains will Dr. Thompkins interact with in her practice? She was known for having a "no violence" policy that most of Gotham's seediness, adhered to without fuss. In a show filled with corruption, it will be nice to see a character command respect without resorting to violence.
I spoke too soon. After neglecting to care for a patient in hopes of stopping "the Batman," Leslie fled the patient to resist arrest for the girl's death. According to Bruce Wayne, she was now just another murderer. Damn. We know this show is focusing more on Batman's villains, so it's safe to assume that Dr. Thompkins may have a role in this as well. Perhaps the show will completely throw out her more positive origins and instead have Cox's character involved in whatever conspiracy seemed to result in the Wayne murders.