GOTHAM [Season 2 Premiere]: BLAM!ed if You Do…
The Gotham gang is back, and a lot has changed since we left everyone last spring. In case you forgot, when we last left the City of Villains, Maria Mercedes “Fish” Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) had taken a dive off a building with a little help from Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor); Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) had discovered a secret entrance to… to be continued …in his ancestral home; Poor Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) was crazy enough to be placed in Arkham Asylum; and Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) replaced her with another, less homicidally-inclined woman (Dr. Leslie Thompkins’ Morena Baccarin)…
As we find them now, times have moved our players into different directions. The dashing Gordon, former homicide detective, has been busted down to lowly traffic cop. Oh-so-crooked cop Harvey Bullock (Vikings‘ Donal Logue) is less crooked, way more sober, and out of the cop business altogether, having traded in his badge for a bartending gig. And Cobblepot, now firmly Penguin, has ascended the throne to become the new big bad in town. Bruce is still figuring out whether or not to go down into the creepy hidden basement, Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) is just a little crazier, and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicandova) is, as usual, slinking around practicing to become the best cat burglar she can be.
McKenzie has promised that this season of Gotham will focus more on the characters themselves and their development–and less on the villain of the week. Since Commissioner Gordon has always been my favorite character within the Bat-verse — aside from the nutcase that is Harley Quinn, of course! — I would be much more interested in his progression as the early Dark Knight before the real Dark Knight appears in the scene (not to be confused with the fact that Gordon IS Batman in the comics now…). Frankly, we all know how the Batman story goes. Give us more Gordon! The season premiere makes Jim Gordon dig deeper into himself and decide what he really thinks is important– and forces him to decide what kind of man he is.
Whether or not he can live with that man remains to be seen.
The problem is that even if Heller & Co ditch the “crime of the week” format, there are just too many characters to keep track of, with more coming every day, to have confidence that any of them are going to get the true development they need.
So far, Gotham has introduced Wayne, Nygma (Riddler), Kyle (Catwoman), (Poison) Ivy, the Scarecrow, Penguin, Lucius Fox, and a (highly) possible Joker. Now we have Harvey Dent added in as a Season 2 reg, along with the addition of new baddies Theo Galvan and his sister Jessica – and a confirmation from Bruno Heller that the Court of Owls is coming to Gotham. So many characters, so few minutes in a episode. Arkham is overflowing, but whether or not that will be good for the show remains to be seen.
With new characters introduced and our stalwart Gordon forced to make a deal with the devil, Gotham 2.0 is a more dangerous place to be then ever before. The premiere set up a new order in town, and how it all shakes out is worth going along for the ride.
Gotham airs every Monday at 8/7c on FOX.