What Does Blackgate Penitentiary Mean for 'Gotham'? We Might Find Many More Villains There

In the latest episode of Gotham , we heard the name Blackgate Penitentiary mentioned quite a few times. The close-watching Gotham fan then might wonder — could Blackgate be an important clue for upcoming episodes? Blackgate is one of the three correctional facilities heavily featured in the Batman mythos. It's a maximum security prison that nonetheless seems really easy to break in and out of, so even when a bad guy gets a life sentence of confinement at Blackgate, you'll probably be seeing them out on the street just a few issues, or in this case, episodes, later.

Blackgate might actually end up being more important to Gotham the TV show than Arkham Asylum will be. While Arkham is the place where the deranged super villains like the Joker are frequently incarcerated in the comics, the bad guys without mental illnesses, like the mobsters we've grown to love on the series, are frequently sent to Blackgate, a prison that nonetheless is wrapped up in Gotham City's criminal underworld. It's where key characters like Harvey Dent's attacker or Penguin will serve out their sentences if caught. Half of the general prison population is usually associated with either the Maroni or the Falcone name.

The vast majority of the Gotham cast would be sent to Blackgate if caught for their wrongdoing — Catwoman has been sent there in the comics, even Bruce Wayne has done a little time at Blackgate when framed. As we saw in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises , which took its inspiration from some comic storylines, Bane blew up Blackgate for the oppression it represented to the desperate underclass of Gotham City. That film did not take "Bane the revolutionary" to a totally satisfying conclusion, but the show is picking up on some of the same themes, from the abundance of street kids with nowhere to go, to the ineffectual mayor who passes off all difficult groups to prison. Since the show has so much longer to build successful themes, hopefully it's planning to explore these things with more depth.

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And we saw anther reason why Blackgate could be important. It was being used as a place to house the criminally insane population. Now, they've all been moved to Arkham Asylum, where evil doctors like Crane or misguided psychologists like Harleen Quinzell will eventually get enough power that they end up as villains themselves, Scarecrow and Harley Quinn. So it might end up becoming the place where we meet some new villains in Gotham Season 2.

Images: Jessica Miglio/FOX (2)