Is The CW's "Arrow" about to cross over with FOX's "Gotham?" It seems unlikely, given the different networks and all... But a major plotline on tonight's (September 29) episode of "Gotham" may suggest that the two shows are more linked than we first imagined.
Before we get into serious spoiler territory, a little bit of background. Though DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. are the companies behind most, if not all of the multitude of DC Comics-based TV shows and movies about to hit your eyeballs over the next few years, they've been very clear that the properties won't cross over.
During the Television Critics Association press tour for "Arrow" and "The Flash" - two shows that do exist in the same, shared universe - DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns explicitly stated that the duo of series wouldn't meet up with Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck in "Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice."
"It's a separate universe than film so that the filmmakers can tell the story that's best for film," Johns told the press. "While we explore something different in a different corner of the DC universe. We will not be integrating the film and television universes."
Which is well and good, but what about "Gotham," not to mention NBC's "Constantine," TNT's prospective "Titans," FOX's "Lucifer," or CBS' "Supergirl?" It's not unheard of for networks to cross two shows over, but given the multitude of contracts involved, it certainly seems unlikely.
Except on "Gotham" we get the first hint of a Crisis On Infinite Networks.
Mild spoilers for "Gotham" past this point.
On the second episode of the season, the two main villains are revealed to be working for someone named The Dollmaker. In DC Comics' history, there have been three characters named Dollmaker - the last of which debuted in a recent issue of "Detective Comics."
The reason that's vitally important, for those not steeped in comics lore, is that "Detective Comics" is one of the titles Batman appears in... And "Gotham" is a series about the origins of Batman, and his cast of Gotham City heroes and villains.
Regardless of which Dollmaker this is, particularly as he (or she) doesn't appear onscreen during the hour, this is the first time in recent history that the same DC Comics character has appeared (or is mentioned) on two shows simultaneously.
Over on "Arrow," the Dollmaker appeared on a second season episode, played by Michael Eklund. The serial killer, who filled young girls with a form of rubber in order to turn them into "dolls" had been thrown in jail six years earlier by regular cast-member Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne).
It's that last bit that makes the connection the most feasible, or at least interesting to consider. "Gotham" takes place ostensibly in the "past," before Bruce Wayne became Batman, and the Dollmaker's first reign of terror on "Arrow" took place before the show even started.
So could these two Dollmakers actually be one and the same? We're not even suggesting that they both be played by Eklund, but what if the Dollmaker hit up Gotham City before being beaten by future Commissioner Gordon (Ben McKenzie) - and then moved over to Starling City in time to be imprisoned by Detective Lance?
What makes it possible is that DC owns all of the characters, meaning that even if the two shows aren't technically connected, or even share actors, people like Geoff Johns - whose job is to make sure the TV shows and movies are consistent with the DC brand - might be making sure a sort of rough continuity still exists; or at least, you don't have two contradictory continuities. So you wouldn't have Dollmaker die at the end of "Gotham" season one, then show up on "Arrow."
Working against this theory? There's no good reason to do this, other than to give fans who watch both shows the giddy knowledge that there's a connection. "Gotham" and "Arrow," other than the DC/Warner Bros. connection, have different staffs, different creative directions and tones... And as mentioned, different networks, who may not want to advertise that there are other shows you could be watching.
But as a fan? We hope it's true.
What do you think, could DC's various shows be headed for a crossover?