Gotham has spent three seasons playing fast and loose with the origin stories of some of the most iconic characters of DC Comics lore, and few Batman characters are really off the table at this point. The introduction of Jerome as the proto-Joker naturally led to the question of when Harley Quinn will ever appear. As it turns out, the Joker’s villainous gal pal will probably make her Gotham debut in the not-too-distant future. Gotham executive producer John Stephens said this about when Harley might turn up:
We might see [her] in Episode 22.
While John Stephen’s statement that we “might” see her doesn’t exactly give much away about what we can expect from a Gotham version of Harley Quinn in the Season 3 finale, we can glean some information. For one thing, his tease of a Harley Quinn in Episode 22 follows on his hint last summer that a forerunner to Harley was in the works for some point in the series’ future. For another thing, Jerome’s impending return to the land of the living means that the time is right for Gotham to kick off the origin story of Harley Quinn.
One popular theory about the identity of the future Harley Quinn was that none other than Barbara Kean was destined to become the Joker’s accomplice. Sure, Babs would be a big departure from the usual Harley Quinn backstory, but her growing madness combined with her temporary partnership with Jerome back in Season 2 meant that she was a prime candidate. Actress Erin Richards put that theory to rest in an interview with CinemaBlend in 2016, so it’s a safe bet that we haven’t actually seen the woman who will become Harley Quinn just yet.
The upcoming return of Jerome combined with the dismissal of the theory that Barbara will become Harley may indicate that we’re in for a somewhat more traditional origin story for the popular character. Most versions of Harley – whether from Batman: The Animated Series, DC Comics, or the Suicide Squad film – introduce her as a psychiatrist who is turned into a villainous accomplice after she listens to and falls for the Joker. Gotham could introduce a brand new incarnation of the good doctor corrupted by a very bad man, even if it isn’t a clown prince of crime.
John Stephens also mentioned in his chat with TV Guide that the Gotham version of Harley will be a “launching point” for a lot of the action in Season 4, so we can probably bet that she’ll get quite an entrance in the Season 3 finale. Of course, Gotham has not yet been renewed for a Season 4, so we can only cross our fingers and hope that Fox will order another season and give fans the chance to see Gotham‘s twist on Harley Quinn. Ratings haven’t been great, but they also haven’t been terrible. It should be interesting to see if the upcoming interactions between the Joker and the future Dark Knight will attract more people to tune in for the second half of Season 3.
You can catch new episodes of Gotham on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Check out our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what else you can watch in the coming weeks.