|“||Him fixing me is just the beginning. I want an army! I want an army like me! And he is going to give it to me. Oh, he will! Or he will die!||„|
|~ Fish Money to Peabody.|
|“||Listen to me! Make this city yours, or you burn it to the ground!||„|
|~ Fish's dying words to Penguin.|
Maria Mercedes "Fish" Mooney is a gang boss and a major antagonist in the TV series Gotham, serving as the secondary antagonist of the show's first season and a major antagonist in the Wrath of the Villains arc of the second season and during the overall third season.
She is an underling of Carmine Falcone, who plans to try and usurp the aging crime lord's position. She is also the former employer of Oswald Cobblepot, the overall main antagonist of the series. After being killed by Cobblepot in the war for Gotham, Fish is eventually resurrected by Hugo Strange and has gained the ability to mind control people per touch.
She was portrayed by Jada Pinkett Smith.
While investigating Thomas and Martha Wayne's murder, GCPD detectives Harvey Bullock and his new partner, James Gordon, come to her nightclub to ask if she had heard anything as the crime had happened in her area. When they arrive, Mooney is in the middle of beating a man who had been stealing from her. Upon meeting, she warmly greets Harvey, they being good friends.
After initially denying any knowledge on the identity of the Waynes' murderer, she promises to help in any way she can, while showing a cold interest in Gordon due to his straightforwardness and interest in the case.
Later, she calls Bullock to tell him one of her men had received a pearl necklace, whose description matched to the one Martha Wayne had stolen from her, from a career criminal named Mario Pepper. Bullock and Gordon visit Pepper at his home, who denies any involvement in the Waynes' case. After Pepper is shot to death by Bullock while saving Gordon when the former flees, the pearl necklace is indeed found in his apartment, seemingly proving Pepper's guilt.
However, Mooney is soon visited by Gordon alone, who alleges her of framing Pepper by planting a replica of Martha Wayne's necklace on him. He also questions Bullock's involvement in this frame-up with Mooney. As Gordon is about to leave after trading words, Mooney has her men attack him, and then she herself strikes the telling blow from behind, knocking him unconscious.
Mooney is then seen watching an auditioning comedian for her club, finding him very amusing for his dark humor. She receives a call from her right-hand man, Gilzean, informing her of Bullock coming to save Gordon at her isolated plant. Bullock attempts to persuade Mooney to let Gordon go, going so far as to threaten to "go after her" if she kills his partner. Seeing this as disrespect and insult to her, she orders Gilzean on phone to hang and kill Bullock along with Gordon too. But the two detectives are saved by Mooney's superior, Carmine Falcone and his men's timely intervention.
Keeping Bullock's words in mind of how "somebody talked" from her gang to the GCPD Major Crimes Unit leading to Gordon blaming her, Mooney asks her lackey, Oswald Cobblepot, to massage her foot as she voices her ambitions to take over Gotham from Falcone, whom she now considers has gotten "old and soft". After verbally comforting Cobblepot, she confidently blames him for tipping off the Major Crimes Unit, as only he had seen with the fake pearl necklace. When he protests, stating that he would "open a vein" for her as a show of loyalty, she immediately suggests he do so while handing him a knife. When Cobblepot tries to back out, she turns her back, while mockingly calling him "[my] little penguin". Despised by this name-calling and seeing this as his chance, Cobblepot tries to attack Mooney with the knife, only to be brutally beaten by her with a chair, whilst breaking his leg, and giving him his distinctive limp. Later, Falcone orders Bullock to have Gordon kill Cobblepot for snitching against Mooney, but Gordon fakes his death by letting him swim away, telling Cobblepot never to return to Gotham City.
Despite Penguin's "death", he left trouble for Mooney. The next day, Falcone visits Mooney at her nightclub for a chat, and tells her that Cobblepot had revealed to him of her plans to take him out soon. After Mooney squarely denies it, Falcone gives the impression of believing her, and starts asking about her lover. When Mooney denies having one, only a "boy [she keeps] around for exercise" named Lazlo, Falcone implacably has the latter beaten by his men as a show of Mooney's place in his mob, much to her emotional distraught.
He kisses Fish's hand and thanks her being honest. She aggressively orders everyone to leave her club soon after Falcone exits. Later, Fish's head thug Butch is telling her it was too early now to make a move on Falcone. She knows and voices her desire to amass more money and men to Gilzean, so that one day, she can personally kill Falcone with her "bare hands and [her] teeth". Butch offers to hold her shoes. She also sadistically wishes for Cobblepot to still have been alive, so that she could have made him suffer more for talking to Falcone about her plans against him.
When Gordon and Bullock return to her nightclub to ask her of the disappearance of street children from around her locality, Mooney shows little interest in the case, only revealing that there's an unknown "international buyer" who has able and healthy children kidnapped from Gotham's streets and shipped to him.
Escaping the Dollmaker
When departing Gotham, the boat Fish Mooney is on is attacked. She is kidnapped and awakens in an underground prison. She begins her takeover and demands her abductors that she meets the man in charge. Fish is brought to the associate of the man in charge, who reveals the man behind it is Dr. Francis Dulmacher. Fish is given the option of having her eyes removed or death. As a third option, she takes a spoon and gouges out one of her eyes and crushes it, and later collapses.
Fish later awakens to find herself being examined by Dollmaker, who has replaced her eye with a new one (although it is blue and not matching). Fish cuts him a deal to become his new assistant, in exchange for supplies to be sent to the basement, which Dollmaker complies. However she still plans to escape the prison and scouts out a way to escape.
Fish plans to fly a helicopter out of Gotham. After using some prisoners as bait by sending them to the boat, she escapes with other ones by helicopter.
Return to Gotham
Returning to Gotham, she forms a gang of the survivors from Dulmacher's Island and street kids (including Selina Kyle). After making a deal with Maroni she is able to catch Falconi and Penguin.
After Penguin, Falcone, Gordon and Bullock have been caught, Penguin addresses Fish. He tells her that he knows that his life is forfeit but she should keep Falcone alive because after Falcone's death, Maroni would have no use for her anymore. Maroni dements that, telling Penguin that Fish is no threat to her because she is no boss but an underboss. Fish replies that a underboss takes orders and that she does not take orders. Maroni tells her to calm down and calls her "Babes".
She shivers and tells him not to call her that. Maroni tells her that it is a term of endearment but accepts that he misspoke and that she is neither underboss nor babe. Fish tells him that they are partners. to which he replies that he is Partner 1 and she is Partner 2. Fish seemingly agrees. When Maroni calls her "Babes" again, he apologizes, swearing that this was the last time. He then addresses his men, telling them that with Falcone's death he will rule Gotham and establish a dynasty. When asking Fish if she agrees, he calls her "Babes" once again. He then laughs, telling Fish that he is joking with her. When he turns to his laughing men, telling them to not call her "Babes" Fish shoots him in the head.
Stand-off with Penguin and First Death
In the erupting chaos, Penguin is able to get a gun and shoots Fish's remaining men although Fish is able to run to cover. Penguin follows her, chasing her to the rooftop of the warehouse. On the roof Fish attacks Penguin with a pipe, prompting him to drop his gun. Their fight brings them to the corner of the roof, where they are disturbed when Butch appears with Penguin's gun.
Both order him to kill the other. between his loyalty to Fish and his brainwashing by Zsasz, Butch resolves his inner conflict by shooting both of them in the stomach, killing none of them. He then realizes what he has done and heads to Fish, apologizing.
Fish tells him that it is not his fault and that they messed with his mind. She tells Butch that she is going to be okay. At that moment Cobblepot knocks out Butch and attacks Fish, driving her to the rooftop corner and ramming her off the roof. Butch is only able to watch as Fish screamingly falls into the sea below.
Fish's body was recovered and sent to the Indian Hill facility run by Hugo Strange and kept suspended in a tank like a lot of other bodies around her.
A lot of Gothamites were divided over the fate of Fish, due to the fact no body of her's was recovered. Cobblepot was convinced he had killed her and declared himself the "King of Gotham" and became the ruler of the criminal underworld. Harvey Bullock believes Fish is dead and tells Penguin that he owes him for what he did to her. Butch was also convinced by her death as he "saw" it happen.
A group of arsonists named the Pike brothers were convinced Fish was still alive and blamed Butch for shooting her.
Revival and Escape
Fish is the eighth subject Strange revives in Indian Hill but with her, Strange drastically turns up the power used to bring her back. This causes Fish to return with all her memories intact, a breakthrough in Strange's experiments. Additionally, Strange has spliced her DNA with cuttlefish DNA which enhanced her body, allowing her to force her will onto people by touching them. After realizing this when a Indian Hills guard brings her her lunch, Fish looks at her hands in awe.
Fish would later try to get any Indian Hill employee to touch her. Even try to get Ms. Peabody upset. All initial attempts failed until The Court of Owls gave Hugo the order to destroy Indian Hill and to move the patients quietly, however this gave Fish an opportune moment to put Ms. Peabody and a few others at Indian Hill under her thrall. They would try to capture Hugo for he is in her way of freedom.
Fish would in the middle of the chaos escape Indian Hill with all of the other people that Hugo experimented on in an armored bus. After a chase through Gotham, Penguin and Butch opened fire on the bus, causing it to crash, thinking it's Hugo who was driving it. Instead Fish surprised them. Both Penguin and Butch looked horrified at Fish's presence a year after they killed her. After Fish touched Penguin on the face, putting him under her thrall shortly before he fainted, she turned to Butch, prompting him and their thugs to run away. Fish would leave Penguin on the ground and walked the streets of Gotham, looking to regain the empire she lost.
Searching a Cure
6 months later, Fish is still at large and also coordinating and leading the experiments in Gotham City. Penguin is one of her hardest opponents, rousing people against her at every opportunity and even offering one million dollars for her, dead or alive. Despite her escape into Gotham, Fish has not been seen for the last six months.
Together with two of her new henchmen and Selina Kyle, Fish breaks into a research facility. She and Selina are stopped by a security guard but when he tries to handcuff her she touches him, orders him to drop his gun and to knock himself out. However, after the man has done so, Fish falls to the ground, apparently weakened from the use of her power. Only Selina sees this and Fish orders her to lock the door. Seconds later, Gordon, who has been alerted by the police, storms into the room and aims his gun at Fish. Fish is surprised to see him and asks him whether he has come for the bounty. She tries to use the same trick she used on the security guard but Gordon tells her to cuff herself. He then demands to know how many people Fish has with her and Fish reveals that all of Strange's experiments are with her. Gordon is then attacked by one of said experiments, which buys Fish time to escape.
As she is suffering from some kind of weakness due to her transformation, which she realizes will end in her death should it go untreated, Mooney has some of her henchmen break into pharmacies. As the medicine does not seem to help, Fish sends Selina Kyle to give reporter Valerie Vale information on Miss Peabody. As Fish expected, Vale teams up with Gordon, who find out where Peabody is hiding. Mooney has Gordon followed by three of her henchmen. Although one is captured, two others escape with Peabody.
Peabody is brought before Fish in an abandoned warehouse, they are surrounded by some of Fish's henchmen. Peabody reveals that she knows why Fish brought her, her body is beginning to reject the changes the people at Indian Hill made in her DNA. Fish wants to know how to fix it and Peabody tells her that she merely has to stop using her new powers. Fish however wants to keep her powers and Peabody tells her that she cannot reorder her DNA. Fish then grabs Peabody's arm, uses her powers and tells her to find a way. Under Fish's influence, Peabody tells Fish that Strange is the only one who can fix her. Fish claims that Strange will fix her and that he also will provide her with an army of people with abilities just like hers. Fish then introduces Peabody to Marv, one of the experiments in Indian Hill. Marv was created by Peabody herself. On Fish's orders Marv then uses his powers on Peabody and ages her to death. Moments later, one of Fish's henchmen brings a spy, Selina's friend Ivy. Although Selina pleads Fish to spare Ivy, Fish states that she doesn't like spies. When Ivy, panicked by the monsters around her, tells them to leave her alone or she will tell everyone, Fish tells Marv to deal with Ivy. Ivy runs off into the basement of the warehouse and, to escape Marv, throws herself into a broken pipe and into a water current leading in to the city's sewers.
The GCPD is later called to Fish's location in an old bank, where they confront Fish and her group of monsters. The monster immediately attack the officers while Fish escapes through a backdoor. After the battle, two of Fish's monsters kidnap Bullock and bring him to Fish's van. By kissing him, Fish uses her powers on Bullock and forces him to help her find Strange.
Bullock brings the van to the mansion where Strange is held and Fish forces him to distract the government agents guarding the entrance. One of Fish's monsters, a speedster called Sid, then takes out the men. The group enters the facility and Sid kills every guard inside. Fish then finds Strange, held in a glass cell where he is allowed to continue his experiments. Strange is surprised to see her, but immediately regains his confidence. He tells Fish that she is his greatest creation but Fish reveals that she is dying. Strange claims that he cannot fix her. When Fish is alerted to police sirens outside, she tells Strange that he can rethink his answer while the monsters and her are dealing with the cops and strongly advises Strange to do exactly that. She and her monsters then leave the room to await the arrival of the police, leaving a frightened Strange behind.
With Harvey's cellphone, Fish calls Commissioner Barnes, threatening to kill Harvey should even one policeman come near the mansion. Barnes tries to negotiate with her, but Fish hangs up. To prevent her from escaping, Barnes has the building surrounded by the police but indeed calls his men off from storming the building. Moments later, the media arrives and covers the hostage drama.
Meanwhile, Strange attempts to convince Fish that he cannot fix her, that he would if he could. Strange however tells her that she is the first of a new generation and should be proud. Fish however recalls a situation from when she ran her nightclub and people tried to convince her that they did not have her money. She claims that under pain, they always 'found' that they happened to have it. Fix, close to tears, once more tells Strange that he will fix her and that she would make him pray for death should he provide unable to do so. Fish is then alerted by one of her monsters, Nancy, that something is happening outside of the mansion. This is revealed to be Penguin, who has arrived at the scene with a horde of citizens rallied up against Fish.
Sid and Nancy later catch Gordon sneaking in the mansion. He is brought before Fish who wants to know whether the police sent him. Gordon states he only came for Harvey but Fish states that with Gordon, she now has two hostages instead of one. Gordon however tells her that he will get her out of the mansion if in turn, she grants him Bullock. Fish demands Strange, which Gordon accepts. Fish then gives Gordon two minutes to make good on his word. Gordon leaves the room and calls Cobblepot, offering him Fish if Cobblepot provides a distraction by sending his mob against the police. Cobblepot does so. Inside the mansion, Fish is alerted by Marv who tells her, that the mob has broken through the police lines. Marv advises Fish to retreat through the back, as they could reach the woods from there. Fish and her gang indeed flee through the backdoor, leaving Sid and Nancy to cover their backs.
Outside the mansion, Fish, Strange and Marv are confronted by Cobblepot, who was told by Gordon that Fish would be coming that way. Oswald allows Marv to leave, leaving only Fish and Strange. Fish asks whether this is the thanks for her sparing his life under the bridge, shooting her in the woods like an animal.
Oswald admits that this is pretty much the case but also admits that the night Fish resurfaced left an impression on him. He asks Fish why she spared his life when she had the opportunity to kill him. Fish tells him that she did not want to kill him because he belongs to her. She also tells him that she was the one who made him, that Oswald started as her umbrella boy and made his way up to the top of Gotham.
Fish reveals that she considers the finest thing she ever did turning Oswald Cobblepot into the Penguin, and that she could not destroy that. Penguin is visibly touched and, with tears in his eyes, lets Fish escape, telling her not to come back.
When, weeks later, Strange is in custody of the Court of Owls again, he reveals to their leader Kathryn Monroe that he managed to fix Fish's condition.
Eventually, a rivalry between Edward Nygma and Penguin comes to a close when Nygma and his allies Barbara Kean, Butch, and Tabitha Galavan storm Oswald's last hideout and take him captive. Before they can kill him, however, they suddenly hear noises from outside and to everyone's surprise, Fish enters the room accompanied by two heavily armed guards. Fish sarcastically states that things seem to be looking up. She also mentions the looks she is getting from everyone, calling it a sign of respect. Ignoring Nygma and his group, Fish takes Penguin with him, thus saving him from his execution. As she, Oswald and her men turn to leave, Fish sarcastically tells Nygma and his crew to carry on with whatever they were doing.
After taking Oswald, Fish and two of her goons head to a train station in Gotham where they snatch Hugo Strange, who is planning to leave the city. Fish reveals that she knows that Strange has more of the Tetch virus hidden away and she claims that Strange will hand it over to her, so that she can finally raise the army of monsters Strange promised her.
While they are leaving, the group is ambushed by Bullock and Gordon who demand Strange from him. Fish realizes that Strange must have an antidote to the virus and that he is the only one who knows it. She states that she now can no longer give Strange to them. Gordon, who is secretly infected by the Tetch virus as well, aims his gun at Fish to kill her but before he can shoot, a freeze ray from the side blasts his gun out of his hand.
Mr. Freeze emerges from the shadows and Fish laughs and asks whether Jim really thought she would head into the city without backup. She orders Freeze to take down the two but Gordon rips open a water pipe. Instead of freezing Gordon and Bullock, Freeze's ray hits the water and creates a solid ice wall between the two parties. Looking through the ice, Fish states that the virus Jim Gordon is the "real" Jim Gordon and sarcastically states that it is nice to meet him at last. Fish then laughs and leaves with her men.
Fish leaves it to Oswald to interrogate Strange for the whereabouts of the cure. Once they have obtained it, Fish, Oswald and Fish's men accompany the Professor to one of his secret labs where he has stored the anti-dote. After Strange hands it to Fish, Fish turns to Oswald and states that the two of them will rule Gotham together. Oswald confirms that they will but adds that first, he needs to kill Ed Nygma. Fish tells him that everyone who stands in their way will die. As they turn to leave, Fish sees that the men she had posted outside the laboratory have been slain. The orders the unknown assailants to reveal themselves and a group of hooded ninjas drop from the ceiling, demanding the cure. Fish orders Freeze and Firefly to deal with the men and the two blast their weapons at the ninjas.
While Fish watches her men dealing with the ninjas, Gordon and Bullock suddenly turn up as well. Fueled by the hate the Tetch virus unleashes inside him, Gordon joins the fight and viciously attacks and kills many of the ninjas.
However, once the Ninjas are finished, Gordon does not stop and turns around to impale the next person. He rams the knife into the torso of Fish Mooney, who drops the antidote in pain. While Gordon slowly realizes what he has done, the shocked Fish calls him a damned fool and falls to the ground. Oswald rushes to her side and claims that he will get help but Fish tells him that she has died often enough to know when she is finished. With her dying breath, Fish urges Oswald to make the city his or burn it to the ground. Fish then dies in Oswald's arms, this time for good.
Fish Mooney, for the most part, is a calm woman with a level-headed attitude and nurturing, almost motherly aura which she treats with her loyal henchmen, such as Butch Gilzean and close friends, allowing them to call her by her first name. However, Fish has demonstrated a vicious and uncontrollable temper when provoked. In these instances she is even more violent and sadistic, like a mother whose children betrays her, Fish becomes deeply hurt to the point of screaming towards Cobblepot that "[he] broke [her] heart" after discovering of his deceit. Using her cunning, ruthlessness and feminine wiles, Fish is an ambitious climber who wants all power for herself, whether it be Falcone's position in the criminal or the leader of the Dollmaker's victims in captivity by killing her opponents, systematically and efficiently.
Although intelligent, Fish is highly impulsive which, combined with a volatile temper can also affect the headway of her plans or position. She could be spiteful to those in her disfavor, prone to holding grudges and was known to never let any insult or slight pass. Namely, Fish hated being belittled for being a woman crime lord, especially by a man due to her hatred of men in general as she reacted with even more fury when she was demeaned by the prisoner leader, Mace and Sal Maroni, killing both immediately when they referred to her in sexist and objectifying names. The incident with Dollmaker also demonstrates Fish as a determined and strong-willed woman, without her crime empire and men to help her, she began relying her wit and will to survive, eventually return to Gotham and rebuild her crime empire with Sal Maroni and defend what is hers to her final breath in a fight to the death with Penguin.
Fish is a short woman, with a spiky pixie cut black hair and hot pink-dyed tips at the front. She wears very high heels or boots that make her appear taller, along with dangling earrings and expensive clothing and glittery/shiny eyeshadow, usually golden in color, and has very long and thick eyelashes. After gouging out her left eyeball, it was replaced with a blue one by Francis Dulmacher, giving her two distinctive eye colors.
Powers and Abilities
- Mind control: After her resurrection, Fish developed the ability to order someone what to do against their will with a touch of her hand.
- Cellular Degeneration: Every time Mooney uses her power, her DNA deteriorates due to her body rejecting the new cells. However, the damage can be undone by not using her powers.
- Fish Mooney does not originate from the comics and was created specially for Gotham.
- Pinkett Smith drew inspiration for the character from Norma Desmond, a faded silent movie star from the 1950's film, Sunset Boulevard, played by Gloria Swanson, and Griselda Blanco, a real life drug lord of the Medellín Cartel.
- Unlike many other "monsters" of Strange like Theo Galavan, Fish Mooney had her memories completely unscathed after her resurrection, and therefore she is completely immune from Strange's manipulation, being one of the major reasons for his downfall. But this also makes her his most important subject, as his mysterious employers wanted someone brought back with memories intact.