Fans of Gotham, the breakout Fox series, know that the streets of Bruce Wayne's hometown have never been sunny and that its citizens have never been saints (at least, not all of them), but it looks like Season 2 will bring even more darkness to the already gritty city.
Gotham's sophomore run is getting underway and producers have spent most of the summer preparing fans for more of the doom and gloom which the series mastered during its freshman run. While many shows have stumbled after strong beginnings, it looks like Gotham is taking steps to avoid that same fate. Here’s a look at the 10 Things We Want To See In Season 2 to help ensure a Season 3.
10 The Rise Of The Villains
From promo posters to early clips, one thing any fan of Gotham knows is that Season 2 is going to put a spotlight on the nefarious villains of Gotham City. While it was mostly a mob war that drove the narrative in the first season, the mobsters are going to seem easy to compares to what lies ahead.
From Clayface to the Mad Hatter to a rumored appearance from Mr. Freeze, some of Batman’s most iconic future foes are set to arrive in Gotham and stir up trouble for detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and friends. With this much evil-doing going on, we're curious just how high the stakes will be, especially since it’s been reported that the show's will make some shocking cuts to its cast sometime during the first few episodes.
9 A New Big Bad (Or Two)
Now, in order to ensure that the entire season isn’t just a bunch of random villains running around, the writers have brought in one character to unite them. Meet Theo Galavan (True Blood’s James Frain), a billionaire running for Mayor and trying to save the city from itself. But that doesn’t mean he believes everyone should be saved.
Galvin looks to be the mastermind of the series, uniting these dangerous villains behind a common cause; we are very interested to see how his grand plan comes together. All we know for now is that it will involve Jessica Lucas’ character Tabitha, Theo’s sister; although fans know her by another name… Tigress.
In addition, we’ll also meet Silver St. Cloud (Natalie Alyn Lind), Theo’s niece, who will befriend Bruce. Given that she also lost her parents at an early age, this relationship will definitely be something of note. It will be interested to see what Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) thinks about Bruce’s new “ally.”
8 Jerome’s Return
Last season’s “The Blind Fortune Teller” introduced audiences to Jerome, an emotionally unstable and physically violent young man who resembles, and will perhaps become, Batman’s deadliest foe, The Joker.
Played by Shameless star Cameron Monaghan, Jerome is coming back in a big way in Season 2, as audiences could be witnessing Gotham's version of the character’s origin story. Dangerous in every way, even if Jerome doesn't turn out to be the Joker, this nasty little sociopath is still going to cause havoc.
Eventually, we're going to get to see The Joker in all his face-painted, purple-suit glory, but for now, this is a killer introduction and Monaghan brings an especially creepy vibe to the role.
7 More Serialized Stories
In season 1, producers relied too strongly on a monster-of-the-week (MOTW for short) format. It was very formulaic and meant that many of the villains had no lasting relevance to the story.
The show made an exceptions for some bad guys, including Milo Ventimiglia’s “The Ogre,” which allowed the show to progress. That’s the road we want to see Gotham go down in season 2 and beyond.
Granted, Gotham is not alone in this, as it also impacts shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which shined while all the episodes were tied in with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but was bogged down when that inter-connectivity wasn't there. Meanwhile, Arrow does away with that procedural element all together by having a new antagonist every season.
In Season 2, Gotham looks to be heading somewhere in between those two examples, which should help it in a big way.
6 Michael Chiklis Joining The Cast
Vic Mackey is coming to Gotham!
Okay, it’s really his on-screen portrayer Michael Chiklis, but admit it: that would have been very cool. Either way, the Emmy winner knows a thing or two about playing cops, which is why it made fans so excited to hear he was joining the cast.
Fresh off his turn as a villainous strongman in American Horror Story: Freak Show, Chiklis will join Gotham as Captain Nathanial Barnes, who, according to Fox “lands on the GCPD like a tornado, ripping out the dead wood of Gotham’s police force.”
While Barnes starts out as a ally and mentor to Gordon, producers have warned us that Barnes’ “black or white” mentality on the law could one day make him an even greater enemy. But for now Gordon looks like he’ll need all the help he can get.
5 Stop The “Stop/Start”
When Gotham was ordered, it was picked up for 16 episodes (three more than the usual) and that’s how producers mapped out the plot. Yet when the show was successful it earned another six episodes, bringing its total to 21.
However the added episodes caused a problem for both writers and the network schedulers, and the show ended up running at inconsistent pace. It started out with ten new episodes in a row before the winter break, and then it returned with seven episodes (mostly) before taking another extended break in March. And then the show returned once more for a final four episodes.
That "start/stop" scheduling is not good for any show, and it didn’t help that the writers ran into trouble at the end of the season, trying to bridge the gaps and tie up loose ends. Likely, that was a one-time problem as the show was renewed for a full second season.
4 Penguin 2.0
It is fairly safe to say that Robin Lord Taylor was the breakout star of Season 1 as Oswald "The Penguin" Cobblepot. Taylor has been a career-long character actor and with Gotham he’s finally getting a chance to stand out.
The Penguin stood tall (as tall as he can stand, anyway) over Gotham following the carnage at the end of the first season, which saw Maroni (David Zayas) dead, Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett-Smith) presumed dead and Falcone (John Doman) in a self-imposed exile. Now that he's firmly in charge of the underworld, we can’t wait to see what Cobblepot does next. With all these new villains in Gotham, at least one of them has Cobblepot in their cross-hairs.
The other question is how Cobblepot’s relationship with Gordon be impacted. The two didn’t exactly end the first season on good terms.
3 The Debut of the Batcave
When we last left Gotham, young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and his loyal aid Alfred (Sean Pertwee) had stumbled upon a secret passageway in Wayne Manor. While it remains to be seen if that’s the path to the iconic Batcave (though that seems like a good bet), we know the second season will continue to show us Bruce’s path to the cowl.
The series did a good job of keeping Bruce and Alfred at the forefront of the action last year, even though the focus of the series is really Gordon. This year, Bruce will get another ally to help guide him in the form of Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk), who was first introduced in Season 1’s penultimate episode.
Chalk is now a series regular and, as a result, will likely be more prominent in the coming season. Fans should remember that in the comics Fox is very important to Bruce’s life and eventually becomes head of Wayne Enterprises.
2 Barbara Kean and Leslie Thompkins Playing More Of A Role
James Gordon’s love life usually ends up steeped in tragedy (remember the end of No Man’s Land?), so we aren’t very optimistic for his small-screen prospects with women.
For now, it looks like James and Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) are in a good place. It helps that Baccarin is now a series regular, but you get the feeling that, on Gotham, a series regular designation provides as much job security as it does on The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones.
On the other side of the coin, Gordon’s initial love, Barbara (Erin Richards), looks to finally be getting something to do other than pout. The increasingly unhinged Ms. Kean will start Season 2 in a new location… Arkham Asylum. It's there she’ll factor into the “Rise of the Villains” storyline.
1 Two-Face and The Riddler’s Evolution
While we’ve already met Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto) and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), they haven’t yet become the notorious villains Two-Face and The Riddler, and that road to the dark side is something we want to see.
Granted, Nygma’s sanity jumped the track in the show’s final episodes of season 1, so his evolution is already well in play. Dent's transition is a trickier one, but one we'll likely continue to see as D’Agosto has just been made a series regular.
Along with The Joker, you could argue that Two-Face and The Riddler are the most well-known bad guys in Batman’s rogue gallery, and it will be fascinating to see them all continue toward their ultimate destinies at the same time.
Gotham was designed for the long haul (as Bruce Wayne is still just a child), so it’s going to be a slow burn until Batman first appears and Gordon assumes the role of Commissioner, but it's the other stories, focusing on the supporting cast, that help make the series so enjoyable to watch every week.
What do you want to see in Gotham’s sophomore run? Do our hopes match up with yours? Hit the comments and let us know.