The first half of Gotham season 2 was known as “Rise of the Villains,” and it showcased the ways in which the criminal element in Gotham City had begun to escalate. Thing had gotten so bad, in fact, that the mid-season finale demonstrated the changes in detective James Gordon, as he found himself partnering with unlikely allies and eventually crossing lines he had refused to cross in season 1.
The second half of season 2 begins on Monday, February 29, and with it begins a new storyline. “Wrath of the Villains” will show just how much the bad guys in Gotham are changing, and a new promo gives us a taste of how sinister those bad guys may be.
Focusing largely on the arrival of Mr. Freeze, the promo features Gordon’s voiceover explaining that “The bad guys in this town are changing. I don’t know how bad it’s going to get.” There is also a brief glimpse of Oswald Cobblepot in prison stripes and chains, Bruce Wayne training on a punching bag (presumably with Alfred), and B.D. Wong in action as Hugo Strange. Additionally, the promo hints that Edward Nygma’s transition to the Riddler is advancing even further, and that he’s becoming even more fixated on Gordon. The brief trailer ends with scenes of Professor Strange and Gordon, overcut by a voiceover of Strange referring to “troubled times” before fading to a frozen “Wrath of the Villains” image of Gotham.
The promo largely builds on what has already been revealed, and hints that two of the biggest influences in the latter half of the season will be Freeze and Hugo Strange. Mr. Freeze is front and center throughout most of the promo, though we don’t get a good look at the costume that’s been revealed in some pictures. There are also some fairly strong visual hints to let fans know that Freeze’s character will be based at least somewhat on the classic ‘Heart of Ice’ origin story from Batman: The Animated Series. It doesn’t look like the character will share that version’s icy demeanor, however.
It will be interesting to see where things go with Strange, since there wasn’t much in the promo to suggest what role he’s playing in the “Wrath of the Villains” that’s coming to Gotham. We know from the midseason finale he’s experimenting on bodies of criminals like Theo Galavan, and anyone familiar with the character (from either the comics or Arkham games) will know he’s likely involved in much more than that. It’s possible Strange is involved with Freeze and his research/abilities, and it’s already been revealed he’s going to have an encounter with Cobblepot that changes the latter’s life forever. With any luck, the new character won’t be as prominent a villain as some of the other bad guys featured this season, since Strange works best when he’s manipulating everything from the shadows.
Some fans may take issue with how Freeze appears in the promo (and how the “freezing” effect looks in the first scene), though it’s certainly not the first time that Gotham has taken familiar characters in a different direction. Only time will tell how well the new characters play out on screen, but fortunately there isn’t long to wait.
Gotham returns on Monday, February 29 on FOX.