After plenty of build-up, the third season of Gotham kicked off last week with 'Better To Reign In Hell...' and there were plenty of new plot threads thrust into the mix. Fish Mooney has positioned herself as the leader of the Indian Hill patients, Penguin and Nygma are stoking the fires of a criminal bromance and Jim Gordon has turned from model cop to bar-dwelling bounty hunter. There's also the continuing story of Bruce and Alfred investigating the inner workings of Wayne Enterprises, and Valerie Vale made her debut as the stereotypical comic book 'enthusiastic reporter' figure.
With so much going on in one episode, it's not surprising that reactions to the premiere were mixed, with many viewers finding that the numerous plot strands made for a cluttered forty minutes of television. And if the previews for the next two episodes are anything to go by, there's plenty more in store yet, with an older Poison Ivy and new villain Mad Hatter both set to feature shortly.
Fox have now released both a title and synopsis for this season's fourth outing. The episode, entitled 'New Day Rising', will seemingly be a Penguin-heavy offering and will thrust the mobster into the Gotham limelight. The synopsis reads:
"Penguin gains power as he narrows in on the nomination for Mayor of Gotham. Meanwhile, Gordon turns Alice (guest star Naian Gonzalez Norvind) into the GCPD for the bounty. Also, Bruce and Alfred race to find Bruce’s doppelganger after learning he’s assumed Bruce’s identity."
Penguin's pursuit of political power somewhat mirrors Tim Burton's Batman Returns, which sees the character run for Mayor of Gotham in an attempt to drown the city's first born infants, but also is reminiscent of the show's previous season - in which another villain, Theo Galavan, successfully ran for Mayor. Gordon's capture of Alice, the Mad Hatter's sister, is likely to be the episode's biggest draw, however, since the doppelganger/mistaken identity story was used towards the end of last season, albeit with Jim Gordon instead of Bruce.
Although season 3's premiere was certainly cluttered and unfocused at times, there were still plenty of solid ideas on display; Penguin and The Riddler continue to make a compelling double act and the show's increased super-power presence makes for an increasingly unpredictable and exciting ride. The Mad Hatter will surely provide the season with a strong primary antagonist and the promise of more material concerning The Joker still looms ahead also.
It is somewhat concerning, however, that the show appears to be recycling its own story-lines from season 2. With both the doppelganger and Mayoral election tropes being key elements of episodes past, both plots will need to be executed very differently for Gotham to avoid accusations of running out of new ideas. Hopefully as the season progresses, some of the show's weaker elements can be brought to a conclusion in order to prevent the remaining episodes feeling as scattershot as the first.
Gotham continues tonight (September 26th) on Fox
Source: Fox via ComicBook