Villains Rise in this Gotham (2X01) (Review)
Starring Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue, season 1 of Gotham split opinions amongst the masses. Some people complained that the acting was poor, others stating that they didn’t like the way it was scripted, but to many it was the fact that the series dropped certain characters so early into the storyline, such Ivy Pepper (Poison Ivy) or Selina Kyle (Catwoman, or in this case Catgirl), the die hard DC people spoke of the fact they would never meet James Gordon or Bruce Wayne at this young age. But for me, this made it just that little more enjoyable, making you wonder how they would develop these characters, sometimes not everything has to be what all expect.
Spoiler warning from here people…
Now Season 2 returns, and with it a new title, Gotham – Rise of the Villains. So it stands a good chance that we may be focusing on the bad guys this series, what do you think? Everything has changed from season 1, Jim Gordon is working as a traffic cop, Harvey Bullock works behind a bar and hasn’t touched a drink for 32 days (impressive for him), and Penguin is currently sitting on the Throne as King of Gotham. Now i’m not going to give you every detail of the episode, just some opinions on what I’ve seen and maybe how I think the story and characters will develop from here.
From the start we see normally moral driven Gordon not only wrestle with his inner demons, but give into them. After getting fired from the GCPD, he makes a deal with his ‘good friend’ Oswald to get himself back in as a detective. He must collect a debt and kill a guy when he’s just a civilian (tut tut), showing some pretty useful moves in the process. Although it seemed he would give up at one point, that he wouldn’t be willing to turn to the dark side (so to speak). That was until visiting young Bruce Wayne who told him ‘sometimes the right way is the ugly way’. Wow, from the mouths of the youth!
Master Wayne meanwhile, with the help of the ever helpful and straight to the point Alfred, spent the episode attempting to uncover the mystery of a secret door found behind the fire, even using a fertilizer bomb to open it! He found a letter from his Father, in which he told him you can’t have happiness & the truth. I think we can guess which way Bruce is going to go. Surely nobody can doubt THAT!
Now the villains
My favorite casting of the series has to be Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin, as soon as he appeared on screen in season 1 it was an instant hit, for me anyway.
Penguin already continues to be one of my favorite characters in Gotham, slowly showing his more twisted nature while still maintaining that he’s a good person at heart. A great scene happens in this episode with Victor Zsasz, when visiting Commissioner Loeb, during which Zsasz uses a severed head as a dummy, making it talk by moving its lips, its a twisted but funny scene. Penguin has also taken Selina under his wing (pun intended) and even makes a reference to having her there is like having a cat around the house, a lovely play on words.
We also get to see the inside of Arkham, and among the mentally disturbed we get our first look at a very twisted Barbara Kean, who make no mistake means business, and it seems her first job is to get back into Jim Gordon’s life, by removing his current flame Dr Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) from the equation. We also meet our new bad guy for season 2, and he comes in the form of Theo Galavan, played by James Frain, who in my opinion always plays an excellent bad guy. I look forward to seeing where they’re taking his character, which certainly seems to be as the head of these villains and he certainly starts out in a no nonsense manner, plus they definitely seem to be hinting at something between Barbara and himself.
But I’ll admit, out of all the possible directions this season could lead, I’m really looking forward to seeing how Bruno Heller and co are going to develop Edward Nigma who is played to perfection by Cory Michael Smith. Last series we slowly saw him change from an awkward yet genius forensic scientist who wouldn’t harm a fly, to someone who would murder for love and being into forensics, he can cover his tracks pretty damn well. It’s obvious he’s a step closer to full blown Riddler when we see him having a conversation with his reflection, and it surely only a matter of time before we see the green suit. Oh yes please!
Now while many have given up on Gotham midway through season 1, you can look forward to this season 2 more than the last. The foundations have already been laid with regards to the cast and backstory, so the slow pace that lost people before will hopefully be a thing of the past. With Gordon back on the force, the city under the new management of Oswald ‘Penguin’ Cobblepot, and a new man in the form of Galavan pushing for power with his band of unique villains, Gotham could be the place to be in 2016.