Spoilers for Gotham Season 2 Episode 5: Scarification Ahead!
Tonight's episode of Gotham, "Scarification," was full of deep Batman and Gotham City mythology, literally flashing back two-hundred years to show us some of Gotham's founding fathers and mothers.
In a tale weaved by Edwige about an antique knife that Penguin had stolen for Theo Galavan, she also gave us our first concrete link to the Court of Owls. Showrunner Bruno Heller told us that the Court of Owls was coming to Gotham at some point, but until now it's all been nothing but light speculation.
Tonight, we heard about the five families of Gotham (you can get details on all five here), but one in particular was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it mention that also has a direct link to the Court of Owls in the comics. The Crowne family is not a well-known name. It's not a name that you can look at and instantly say "Oh yeah, this hero or that villain's name is Crowne!" But if you mention the fact that from the Crowne family came the Graysons, suddenly that changes for most fans, even casual ones.
Dick Grayson's origin has always included his history with the Flying Graysons, his family of acrobats who traveled in Haly's Circus. When his parents died, he was made the ward of Bruce Wayne, and trained as his first Robin. Eventually, he became his own hero as Nightwing, has filled in for Bruce as Batman, and currently operates as a secret agent while staying relatively off-the-grid.
But in recent years, with the introduction of the Court of Owls, a mysterious hidden organization that has guided Gotham City's path through manipulation, assassination, and obfuscation, we found out more about Dick's family history. And it all leads back to the Crownes.
Amelia Crowne was in love with a man named William Cobb. He was the proverbial "wrong side of the tracks" fellow, though, and her family wouldn't have him joining their well-to-do clan. "It's a matter of black and white," Amelia's father told William. He left for her sake, knowing that she was pregnant. When he left, he was recruited by the Court of Owls to be one of their early Talons, the ultimate assassins for the group.
When Amelia had her son, William Cobb took him, giving him to the Court. Haly's Circus was revealed to be a training ground for athletes who would become future Talons, and this child was placed with Haly's. As he was a product of the black and the white of Gotham coming together, he was called "Grayson" - an embodiment of that gray that comes from merging the two. He, in turn, was the direct ancestor (meaning Crowne and Cobb were, too) of Dick Grayson.
So, the least-known name out of those five families of Gotham may be the most important to the future of the show, and is the most direct reference to anyone in or directly connected to the Court of Owls so far. Of course, right now the good folks (and the bad folks, for that matter) of Gotham have to deal with the Order of St. Dumas, represented there by Theo Galavan. If the Order gets out of control though, we may have our entry point for the Court of Owls right under our noses. After all, we've already seen Haly's circus and met Dick's parents. There may be a Talon traveling with them right this minute.