Did a bunch of people get fired and Gotham suddenly got interesting? Not only interesting but infinitely better? These are the thoughts running through my mind during the middle of the first episode of the second season of Fox’s hit show Gotham. Bruno Heller’s show was a roller coaster in its first season starting strong, and then falling to odd low’s with weather balloon killer’s and the horrid over acting of Jada Pinkett Smith’s character, but now it seems it was all a setup and the real beauty of this show is starting to shine through.
Episode 1 immediately feels different, the world is darker, Penguin feels powerful and threatening, The Riddler feels delirious, The Joker is starting to become a little loopy and we have the setup of the TV version of The Suicide Squad. Only they are not the Squad just yet, but the Maniaxx, led by Jerome played by the perfect Cameron Monaghan, plays off Barbara Keen who is also not Harley Quinn, but definitely Quinn-ish. The two have an odd chemistry as our not favourite villains and manage to turn the psychotic murdering mayhem to maximum on this 8pm timeslot show (imagine if it was on later, or on cable!)
But what about Bruce and Alfred? At the end of last season we were left with the cliffhanger of the fireplace unveiling and a set of stone stairs descending into not the bat cave. Well this time we finally get to see the locked door with the impossible security code that Bruce just can’t get right (it was his birthday! Seriously he couldn’t even figure that out! Batman he is NOT!) After a montage of failed attempts, Alfred sets some explosives and they blow the door wide open after a few minutes. I feel this was wasted, we could have had maybe half a season or a whole one of mysteries behind the door, but this feels a little rushed, when all it did was reveal that Bruce’s father had secrets and was on the verge of a big discovery. Wasted? Yes. yes. YES!
Meanwhile Gordon has been reinstated as police chief after some questionable actions and decisions that highlight his strong moral compass and struggle with his love and dedication for the city of Gotham. Watching this play out and his character evolve is one of the highlights of the show. Through all the comic-y silliness and Batman easter egg hunting, Gordon (played by Benjamin MacKenzie) has been the show’s solid shoulders to tie everything together and remind us why we love this character and what his journey is.
I don’t want to spoil too much as we are only 2 episodes into the season, but if you struggled with Gotham last season (lord knows I did!) you will be surprised and impressed at how ramped up it is this season. It feels like they have moved and matured into a different level and now this show is starting to solidify its place as a DC Comics television show worthy of its counterparts Arrow & The Flash. This is a bold statements, but if the rest of the season is like these first 2 episodes, we are in for one hell of a ride!