Last night saw the return of Batman origins drama Gotham. This season has been titled Rise of The Villains, so no prizes for guessing what the central narrative will be. Just to quickly recap on what happened in the concluding parts of the first season:
- Bruce Wayne discovers a secret door, which his father had hidden from the family.
- Jim Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock were fighting the good fight, trying to clean up Gotham and expose crooked cops, including Commissioner Loeb.
- The Penguin managed to get rid of the unfortunately named Fish Mooney and all his rivals to become the self-proclaimed ‘King of Gotham.’
- Barbara Kean, Gordon’s ex-girlfriend, went bat shit crazy (excuse the pun) and sent to Arkham Asylum.
The episode starts with a little montage, accompanied by Lou Reed’s Perfect Day. The song’s depressing tone is well juxtaposed to its own title and the images on screen. We can see Gordon working as a traffic cop and Bullock working behind a bar. This shows that the time that has elapsed in-between the two seasons has not been kind to either of our brave former detectives. A slight incident whilst on duty causes Gordon to finally be sacked by Commissioner Loeb, who has been waiting for this moment far too long. Determined to get his badge back, Gordon pays a visit to Gotham’s new crime lord, The Penguin, and asks for assistance getting reinstated as a cop. A favour from The Penguin does not come without a high price, be it financially or morally. He requires Gordon to collect a debt for him, in order to establish trust between the two. The honourable Jim Gordon obviously turns down the offer initially, but after a conversation with Bruce Wayne, he reconsiders his options. Having a child tell you do grow a pair of balls will have that kind of effect.
Meanwhile in Arkham, Barbara seems to be getting a lot of attention from the male inmates, especially from Jerome Valeska (the young Joker). Barbara tells Jerome that she’s in need of a telephone (later revealed that she wants it to torment Gordon and his new love interest, Lee). Zaardon, a deranged obese criminal arrested by Gordon earlier, arrives in Arkham. Unknown to him, he’s had some sort of bomb planted in or on his person. It doesn’t take long for him to explode, allowing six inmates to escape the asylum. Theo Galavan is the man behind the explosion but the inmates didn’t escape, he captured them. Galavan offers the six inmates, including Barbara and Jerome, the chance to work together as a special team. Sounds a little bit like Suicide Squad to me, but we will have to wait and see.
Bruce and Alfred spend the whole episode attempting to enter this secret room. It’s locked by password, but the pair simply cannot guess what it would be. So they just create some explosives and blow the hell out of the door. The world’s greatest detective in the making…Anyway, on the other side of the door is a desk with some computers and a letter addressed to Bruce from his father. It’s very cryptic but in simple terms it said, if you can be happy, be happy. However, if you can be Batman, be Batman.
This episode opens a lot of doors and shows a lot of potential for the rest of the season. I hope we haven’t seen the last of Bullock though. One scene with him and Gordon in a bar just isn’t enough for me. I also don’t believe that he is happy now he quit being a cop. I am enjoying a younger Alfred but he is far too English. Unfortunately, unless it’s a British production, English characters just tend to be ‘oh bloody hell’ ‘bollocks’ and ‘cups of tea.’ Alfred is all too similar to this stereotype for my liking. I understand he’s a butler so he’s going to have to be quite well to do, but we’ve learned of his past exploits in the war and seen what he is capable of. It would just be nice if the English was toned down somewhat.
No doubt The Penguin will abuse his power and manipulate his ‘friendship’ with Jim Gordon to his personal gain. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Selina Kyle, who had teamed up with Fish Mooney, before her demise and now is seems solidified in Penguins crew. Overall, a very happy return for Gotham.
Dir: Danny Cannon
Scr: Bruno Heller
Starring: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Morena Baccarin, Zabryna Guevara, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor
Prd: Rebecca Perry Cutter, Scott White
DOP: Crescenzo G.P. Notarile
Music: David E. Russo
Run time: 45mins