Gotham, Jada Pinkett Smith

Jessica Miglio/FOX

 The fish is back in the water a little early.

Though Jada Pinkett Smith was expected to return to Fox's Gotham later in the second season, her character Fish Mooney actually made a blink-and-you'll-miss-her appearance in tonight's midseason premiere—in a very surprising way.

When we chatted with Robin Lord Taylor about Jada Pinkett Smith's return, he pointed out the moment, which happens when new baddie Hugo Strange (B.D. Wong) is in his secret experiment lab in Arkham Asylum. 

"There was one shot in Indian Hill, where they are doing all the medical experiments, but in the background, there's a wide shot and you see a tank where you see a body is suspended and it's Fish's hair," he revealed to E! News at the Savannah College of Art and Design's aTVfest television festival in Atlanta earlier this month. "It's from the back and you don't see her face, but it's very clearly Fish, and it was written that way in the script."

Gotham, Mr. Freeze


And that moment lead him to suspect that Pinkett Smith would be coming back to the show, telling us, "When I saw that, I was like, ‘Is she? Could she? Would she?' Those three questions."

As an actor, Lord Taylor was excited to learn Pinkett Smith would in fact be returning. But he admitted he was a little worried for Penguin, who wasn't exactly on great terms with Fish at the end of season one. "I was like, "Yes!" when she was, and then I was like, ‘Oh, god! What does this mean?!'" he said. "I mean whatever, to be able to work with Jada is just amazing, one that I was totally surprised that she was coming back and I am just so thrilled because her storyline ended so somewhat abruptly and just to keep her in the family. I think her character has so much potential to become a canon villain in Batman, so I'm just so happy she's coming back. I think it's incredibly portrayed and an incredibly drawn character."

Gotham, Mr. Freeze


Stuck in Hugo Strange's care and the return of a former nemesis on the horizon, it sounds like Penguin could use a friend...and he almost had one in Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) before he was locked away.

"Arkham gets in the way of their relationship and Oswald is very much affected by his treatment there," Cory Michael Smith told us ."So as Ed is blossoming, Oswald is retreating, so it's this sad disappointing turn of events. They have to confront that eventually, so there's so much adoration there." 

But they aren't the only two baddies becoming fast friends (or maybe frenemies); while Nathan Darrow wouldn't say much about what's ahead for Mr. Freeze and Hugo Strange, he did tease, "They're on a sort of collision course of sorts, and their relationship is mutually opportunistic."

Villains unite!

Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox. 

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