6:00pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Gotham' Star Breaks Down Butch's Big Finale Moment
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the freshman season finale of Fox's Gotham.]
The future of Gotham's criminal empire was decided by the one man that no one expected. Following a season in which Butch (Drew Powell) served as the muscle for Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and, after she's exiled from the city, Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), the fight between his former bosses ended up coming down to Butch, and his inability to choose between masters — something that ultimately results in the apparent death of Fish.
"I've been so excited for this to finally show up," Powell tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I've read bits and pieces that people have been saying on Twitter and places, and most people, I think rightly, thought that Butch was just a big dumb goon [and] was around and did some dirty work, but as [showrunner Bruno Heller] told me early on, the thing about Butch is [that] you underestimate him until it's too late."
That warning, however, didn't mean that Powell knew exactly what his character would do in the finale. "I didn't know what was going to happen," he says. "I was very impatient to see. They release outlines a few weeks before an episode, so that department heads can prepare, and I can remember sneaking peeks to see if I could find out. I was chomping at the bit."
As much as he enjoyed getting to finally stand up for himself — with, admittedly, unfortunate results for Fish — the highlight of shooting the finale was the chance to work alongside Pinkett Smith again, he said.
"Jada and I had this great chemistry," he explains. "I hadn't seen Jada in months [before we shot the finale]. We spent every day together on set for months, and then there was all the stuff for her on the island and I was with [Oswald]. We finally reunited on that episode, and one of the first things we shot was the rooftop scene, which was pretty emotional. It was really great to see her again."
Well, see her again and then accidentally help with her seeming demise. By not obeying either of his two bosses, but shooting both in a state of panic, Butch broke the stalemate between Fish and Oswald. Worse still, when Fish comforted the distraught Butch afterwards, it distracted her long enough to give Oswald the chance to finish her off. So how does Powell feel about being instrumental in the death of his friend?
"I think it's going to be one of those things where people are going to be like, 'Wait, Butch did what?' " he laughs. "It's been fun to play."
With the character having essentially betrayed his two bosses and then lost the one person in the entire city who wanted to protect him, where does Butch go in Gotham's second season?
"I was really hoping you would tell me. I'm dying to find out," Powell says with a laugh. "I think it's going to be interesting to see where the writers take not just my storyline, but the whole thing. There was a moment where we were shooting the rooftop scene, and I was thinking, 'Here comes chapter two.' … But what that is, I have no idea." (Fox declined to confirm whether Powell would become a series regular for the show's second season.)
Were you surprised by Butch's actions? Share your season-two theories in the comments below. Gotham has already been renewed and returns next season. Click here to read our interview with Pinkett Smith and here for our postmortem with showrunner Heller.