Gotham weirdness aside, it feels like Season 3 straddles a line with the decision to age proto-Poison Ivy character Ivy Pepper from 14 year-old actor Clare Foley into 28 year-old Maggie Geha. Early promotional shots haven’t done the spin any favors, but producers and cast argue that Gotham Season 3 won’t utilize the Batman character’s inherent sexuality, or even her plant-related abilities.

You’re warned of minor spoilers for Gotham Season 3 from here on out, but where recent synopses have made clear that an encounter with one of the Indian Hill escapees would facilitate Ivy’s transition from Foley to Geha, IGN had a chance to speak to executive producer John Stephens, as well stars David Mazouz (Bruce Wayne) and Geha herself of the change. Stephens concentrated on the escapee who robs victims of years from their life (vehemently denying they’d consider the same for Bruce), while Geha herself asserted that the comic Poison Ivy’s seductive characterization wouldn’t be applied to a mentally adolescent character:

I think it’s going to be more about discovering how other people perceive her and what means. A lot of people are focused on her sexuality. I think Ivy, in my opinion, doesn’t really feel sexual about anybody. I think if she notices this person is attracted to me, finds me appealing in a sexual way, I’m going to use that to my benefit. It’s more of a manipulative thing than anything.

That’d be all very well and good, save for initial casting descriptions of the character as “a young villainess who uses her sexuality to entrap men,” perhaps. For his part, Mazouz corroborated the sentiment with an emphasis on Bruce and Ivy’s new relationship resembling siblings moreso than anything else:

They’re definitely going to have a relationship with each other. It’s not going to be a romantic one, necessarily. It’s going to be more of a sister figure to him. They’ll be very involved with each other. And they will have major influences in each others lives. She will be a major part of his life, especially towards the middle of this season.

That too, might be easier to buy, without the obvious juxtaposition of a 16 year-old Bruce (so mentioned in the interview above) with the only footage of Geha to date examining her physical changes in a mirror (not to mention the first photo).

Gotham Season 3 Poison Ivy Sexuality Powers

Worth noting, there’s a questionable and telling exchange from Season 1 that saw Erin Richards’ Barbara Kean imparting to Selina Kyle her platitudes on appearance (while Foley’s Ivy admired herself in Kean’s clothing, out of earshot):

Barbara: You’re a true beauty … something you can use to your advantage. Your appearance can be a weapon, as powerful as any knife or gun.

Selina: Yeah? What good’s it done you?

Mind you, this is the same Barbara who episodes earlier mistook Foley’s deepened voice for that of an older woman staying with Jim. Maybe they’ve been setting this up all along!

Geha also acknowledged that Ivy’s transformation wouldn’t necessarily correlate to the comic character’s influence over plants just yet, but does any explanation serve such a notably-icky transition? Will a physically grown-up Poison Ivy serve Gotham Season 3 better than descriptions would suggest?

Watch the first trailers below.

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