Gotham‘s early previews and clips for the show’s third season, subtitled “Mad City,” emphasize madness as a general theme. Gotham City is about to change for the worse, as it will be practically overrun by escaped patients from the Indian Hill experimental facility. Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) apparently won’t have it any easier to start the season, as he appears to suffer through disappointment in his relationship with Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) not long after leaving the GCPD and going on his own.
“Mad City” promises no shortage of villains and supervillains and a city continually descending into its own wide-ranging madness. Soon after premiering several brief clips introducing the story arcs of the show’s principal characters – and some new ones – a new, longer preview goes deeper into the premise of the season and how all of the heroes and villains are expected to intertwine.
The above Gotham video offers a “First Look” at the season to come and the many new stories and characters set to emerge in season 3, featuring commentary by several of the show’s stars. Ben McKenzie speaks about the “low point in his life” at the start of the season for Gordon, who returns to Gotham as a “hardened bounty hunter” when the city is “in a state of anarchy.” He becomes a vigilante battling back against “the monsters who have invaded the city of Gotham,” the results of horrific experiments from Dr. Hugo Strange (B.D. Wong) at Indian Hill.
The “First Look” also reveals more about the storyline of reporter Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung), a new character who begins season three investigating the escape of all the monsters, determined to “uncover the sinister soul of Gotham.” Vale appears to play a significant role as a complex character throughout all of the developments in “Mad City,” as McKenzie subtly hints that she’s “somewhat interested in nobler things.” The preview, however, reveals little to nothing new about the development of the young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and his relationship with Gordon.
The preview also shows flashes of several of the new villains and monsters set to make their debuts in “Mad City”: the Mad Hatter, Court of Owls, and Talon, a set of characters who McKenzie says allowed the show to “explore the psychological villainy of characters like the Joker, but in a new, dynamic way.” Season 3 also features a significant storyline developing between Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) and the resurrected Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett-Smith), who appears primed to turn the escaped monsters into an “army” – as Cobblepot plans to turn Gotham against her.
The plethora of new characters added to Gotham for “Mad City” certainly carry plenty of potential to be intriguing in and of themselves and create fresh, exciting new twists in the Gotham timeline. However, there’s always the possibility that the show ends up with too many new characters and gets bogged down in the process. Sometimes, fewer characters can leave room for better storylines, but fresh blood can also reinvigorate a show if executed well. It remains to be seen how well all of Gotham’s emerging new stories and characters fit together.
Gotham season 3 premieres September 19th on FOX.