'Gotham' Season 5 May Finally Reveal Harley Quinn

by Rebecca Patton

It's almost time to return to Bruce Wayne's hometown for the fifth and final round. Gotham Season 5 premieres Thursday, Jan. 3, on Fox. And although it continues to follow young Master Bruce (David Mazouz) and the various villains that terrorize his beloved city, it's unclear whether Harley Quinn will be in Gotham Season 5 — at least in the way fans might be expecting.

As a quick refresher, Season 4 saw Joker-esque villain Jeremiah Valeska step into the shoes of his late twin brother Jerome as Bruce's rival. Not only did he successfully blow up the Gotham bridges with Ra's al Ghul, but Barbara Kean killed Ra's, Lee Thompkins and Ed Nygma stabbed each other, and Selina was paralyzed after Jeremiah shot her. Season 4 also revealed a Harley Quinn-esque character named Ecco (aka Mummer), although this version is much more muted and monochromatic than the Suicide Squad Harley Quinn that viewers are likely familiar with.

According to Den of Geek, Gotham showrunner John Stephens announced at Gotham's New York Comic-Con panel in October that Jeremiah would be paired with a "somewhat deranged girlfriend who dresses in a multicolored fashion." What's more, she likes roller skates. So whether or not this is meant to be Harley Quinn, it certainly sounds like her.

What's likely the case is that Ecco can't be called Harley Quinn for legal reasons, much like how Jeremiah and his deceased twin brother, Jerome, both have Joker-like attributes (wink wink) but the show clearly can't call them that. "Pure green [hair] was off-limits to us (as well as the name 'Joker'), a decision from high-up as they wanted to reserve these for films," Gotham actor Cameron Monaghan said on Twitter back in May 2018. "A decision which ultimately I respect. They did not want to dilute the very lucrative brand. It allowed for creativity on our end." So perhaps Ecco is a similar case of Harley-Quinn-but-not.

Legalities aside, fans catch a glimpse of Ecco's preferred footwear in the Season 5 trailer. She looks much more deranged than the relatively tame Mummer we saw last season, so time will tell what happened to make her so...whimsical. Ecco's also depicted — albeit briefly — in the below teaser. She's shown taking off her terrifying, kabuki-like mask and running into Jeremiah's arms, clad in a black and white striped ensemble.

The clip also reveals Scarecrow wreaking havoc in Gotham, similar to the plot of Batman Begins. And now that all entrances and exits to the city have been cut off, it will be interesting to see how its citizens cope. "The great idea at the center of Season 5 is that Gotham itself is isolated from the outside world," Ben McKenzie, who plays Gordon, says in the teaser. He also mentions that Season 5 picks up 87 days after Season 4 left off, so not much time has passed since that explosive finale.

However, there are going to be some time jumps. "We pick up at the top of Season 5 at the conclusion of No Man's Land, Day 365," Stephens told Den of Geek in the aforementioned article. "Then, we cycle backwards to day 87, three months into No Man's Land where Jim has created his green zone and wants his reunification. We're catching up, and for the first nine episodes, we're always catching up to that first scene we see." It's a unique, non-chronological way to start off Season 5, so hopefully we'l get a bit more background on Ecco during these flash-forwards and flashbacks.

And since Season 5 is the last chapter of Gotham, it's now or never for Harley Quinn. So whether or not she'll ever receive that name, it's bound to be a wild ride for Ecco and co. After all, there are several villains running around Gotham City — people who just want to watch the world burn.