Don't Look for Rachel Dawes on 'Gotham'

by Keertana Sastry

Aside from actually watching Gotham (which is quickly becoming one of the most entertaining shows on television), the best part about Fox's new hit show is speculating to see which DC Comics characters will appear in their younger form in upcoming episodes. Well, that and seeing Ben McKenzie back on television. We've already seen people like Poison Ivy, the Riddler, the Penguin, and soon Harvey Dent will appear on Gotham, and will be portrayed by Masters of Sex actor Nicholas D'Agosto, which is my dream come true. But what about fans of those characters that appeared in Batman movies, but not the comic books? Let me just say what we're all thinking: Will we ever see The Dark Knight trilogy's Rachel Dawes on Gotham ?

For those who may not remember, Rachel Dawes was played by Katie Holmes in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Dark Knight. Rachel's mother worked for Bruce's parents and the two children became great friends. Rachel was the person who showed Bruce the true corruption of Gotham, thanks to people like Carmine Falcone and Salvatore Maroni. Eventually she became an assistant district attorney to fight that very corruption while Bruce left the country and learned to become Batman. Bruce and Rachel also fell in love. When Rachel discovered his secret identity, she realized that they could never be together as long as Gotham needed Batman. But later she falls in love with Harvey Dent and decides to choose him over Bruce, just before she is killed by the Joker.

So is it possible to see Rachel on Gotham? Well for one, the series seems to be trying to stick to mostly just DC comic book characters at the moment. It's likely that the writers may not have time to bring in characters from the films thanks to the enormous supply of characters already at their disposal. Think about it, when we don't even have much information about characters like Catwoman, Alfred, the Riddler and so many more, not to mention whoever Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney is supposed to be, why bring in another character who isn't even in the comics, just to add a potential love interest for Bruce? I'd rather see the promo for Monday night's episode "The Mask" (below) promises us: More scenes with Alfred where everyone's favorite butler (and mentor/father figure) teaches Bruce how to defend himself and become a good man.

In the Christopher Nolan films, Bruce vows revenge over The Joker thanks to Rachel's death. That tragedy is also one of the major reasons Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face in The Dark Knight. Since we are getting our Harvey Dent introduction very soon and he is older than Bruce on the show, it could be possible that Gotham brings in Rachel Dawes eventually, when Bruce is older and she's aged somewhere between him and Harvey to create a love triangle. Or it could age her up a bit and just have her be a fellow law student like Harvey and forgo the love triangle.

However, I just don't think this would be the reason for introducing us to Rachel, as in the films, she had more of an impact on Bruce throughout his life than just being the cause of turning his ally into his enemy. Plus, since Rachel isn't in the comics, there are other events that lead to Harvey Dent's disfigurement and evil transformation that Gotham could use. It would be much more interesting to eventually see Gordon and Dent (and later Bruce) all working together to make Gotham a better city, only to have it squandered by one of Falcone or Maroni's thugs pushing Dent over the edge to villain status.

While I don't think Rachel will make an appearance on Gotham anytime soon, if ever, I am genuinely excited for Harvey Dent's arrival and for the continued exploration into Selina Kyle's identity and future. Those are two characters from both DC Comics and Batman films that everyone can recognize and enjoy. They are also two people that really shape Bruce's identity as himself and Batman. As long as those two characters are well-developed, we might not need Rachel Dawes.

Images: Warner Bros. Pictures; paulthomasquells, jamesfactscalvin/Tumblr