[This article contains potential SPOILERS for Gotham season 1]
The power dynamics of Gotham City were turned upside down when season 1 of FOX’s Gotham came to a close. In the underworld, Penguin’s season-long plan to pit rival mob bosses Carmine Falcone and Salvatore Maroni against each other came to a head, with Falcone stepping away from his powerful crime syndicate, while Maroni and Fish Mooney were killed for their efforts. Now, Penguin’s grip on Gotham City’s crime has been solidified with no one standing in his way.
Starring Ben McKenzie as Detective James Gordon, Donal Logue as Detective Harvey Bullock, David Mazouz (Sanitarium) as Bruce Wayne, and Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin, Gotham is set to return on Monday nights this fall on FOX. Added to the cast this season are Michael Chiklis as Captain Nathaniel Barnes, James Frain and Jessica Lucas as Theo and Tabitha Galavan, respectively. This season, subtitled “Rise of the Villains,” promises to further explore the origins of Gotham City’s corruption prior to the existence of Batman.
The conclusion of season 1 also found things at the GCPD shaken up, with Detective Gordon hot on the trail of Commissioner Loeb’s (Peter Scolari) endless corruption. It was a season jam packed with narrative, and it certainly set up quite a bit for the show to play around with as it moves forward. Now, as a way to refresh your memory, FOX has released a recap of Gotham’s first season, which you can see above.
What we know of season 2 is that Penguin forges ahead as the new king of Gotham City’s underbelly, while Gordon continues his war on crime and corruption. In an official synopsis for the season 2 premiere, Gordon is said to make an alliance with Penguin, presumably in an effort to bring down Commissioner Loeb. This, of course, isn’t too far off from where the two were last season, as Penguin owes his life - and new success - largely to Gordon’s efforts. The premiere also introduces the Galavans, who will be making alliances with the dangerous criminals currently locked away in Arkham Asylum.
From the sound of it, things are still more or less status quo as season 2 opens. Gotham City is still corrupt, the bad guys are still the de facto rulers, and no one much cares if anything changes for the better. Gotham relied heavily on Gordon’s moral crusading throughout its first season, and early reports indicate he’ll have a new ally in the form of Captain Barnes. Of course, Barnes’ techniques soon turn the two against each other in what will probably become a large part of this season’s arc. Also of note, Tabitha Galavan is said to eventually become DC villain Tigress, which adds further intrigue to the “Rise of the Villains” angle this season is taking.
Still, many Bat-fans were left with a sour taste in their mouth after the meandering plotlines of season 1, leaving many wondering if Gotham was even worth continuing. Gotham will have to work extra hard to win back the diehards, and while everything is sounding right so far, skepticism is running rampant. After all, lofty promises were made prior to last season as well, so the show needs to produce if they want to change the tide.
That being said, Gotham certainly appears to be learning from its missteps last year. The show was hampered by the unnecessary shoehorning of nearly every character comics fans have adored for decades. Winks and nods at fans are all well and good, but eventually the show needs to start delivering the goods. After all, what point is there to introducing a character - Poison Ivy, for instance - when there’s literally nothing for them to do? From the look of things, Gotham seems set to start making good on its promises to become the Batman show we both need and deserve right now.
Gotham season 2 premieres Monday, September 21 at 8/7 central on FOX.