DC has another winner in Gotham and the first season has seriously proven that. With other enormous hits like Arrow and Flash, Gotham had to stand out from the rest by being different and it did just that. With Flash being a lighter hearted show with very little darkness, and Arrow having a little bit darker of an edge, Gotham came out swinging with the darkest DC show on television. As it has been since Arrow was released 3 seasons ago, DC has controlled the airwaves and Gotham has joined the scene and has kept the ratings high for Fox and DC ahead in the comic based television shows.
The acting of Ben Mckenzie as Detective Jim Gordon has been spot on and whatever show he is in turns out to be a hit. As a military man joining up with the Gotham City PD and being partnered with Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), Jim has been skirting around the corruption that has been part of the city for decades. Mckenzie and Logue have such an amazing on screen partnership that it really comes thru while watching the show. With Gordon being the straight arrow and wanting to clean up the city and Bullock being part of the corruption since joining the force, them together really pulls out all the stops of what could and will happen in this show. A different relationship to examine would be Gordon’s relationships with the two women in his life, Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) and Barbara Kean (Erin Richards). In the comics and every other interpretation of Gordon’s story he is married to Barbara which I always found weird that his wife and daughter have the same name, but that’s for another time.
Being about Gotham you immediately think that Batman and Bruce Wayne are what every episode is about, this is the opposite. This depiction of the origin story is really about Gordon and how he got started in the GCPD and where his career is going. The introduction of almost every big named Batman villain in episode one kind of put some people off, well the watchers that really don’t know that much about the comics themselves. We enjoyed seeing Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Penguin and The Riddler in the first season and how they have also started their turns to the darkside. As much as we enjoyed that part, it was kind of mind overload when all of that occurs in one episode and then some of them just sort of fizzle out later on in the season.
One of the big issues we have Gotham this season is exactly what year is it supposed to be? You would figure a young Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne as a child, okay that would be the 60’s, fine. Well If it’s the 60’s or 70’s then why does everyone carry a cellphone with them? It is very confusing to figure out the time period if it is all muddled between cell phone technology, the cameras look like they are straight out of the 50’s or 60’s and the cars are out of the 70’s and 80’s. In the season finale Bruce pulls out a remote for a wireless surround system that is linked to a secret passageway. Now this wouldn’t be that big of a deal, if it wasn’t as thin as an iPod Nano. That technology was developed in the 21st century, not mid 20th. So I am sure we are not the only ones that this irks, but that is one thing that Fox and DC need to decide is what actual decade and century they are actually living in.
Overall this season was a great change of pace in comic book television shows and it kept you guessing of what was going to happen week to week. The addition of Jada Pinkett Smith to play Fish Mooney, a new and unknown character as an underboss in the Falcone crime family was a nice change of pace to break up some of the redundancy of all of the other characters that we all know. Supposedly Smith will not be returning next season, but the way the season ended, it definitely leaves it somewhat open for her return.
The big surprise of the season was only having the possible joker in one episode. Now we don’t officially know if it was even the joker in the episode but it certainly seemed like it, and he definitely had the laugh of the joker and has about the right age range if put against Bruce Wayne. There was also a comedian which pointed towards the Joker as well, but we will see what it all leads to in future seasons.
The development of the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) and The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) in this first season were amazing. The way that they slowly came into their own and by the end of the season were really taking control of their own worlds really pulled everything together. Penguin goes from being an underling that gets stepped on by everyone above him to running his own crew and potentially taking over the city as a crime boss. That is quite the rise to some serious power. But I gotta say, the reason they call him Penguin was freakin’ genius, the right foot all out to the side making him walk like a penguin, just perfectly planned. Obviously it’s quite a bit different from the other origin stories where he had webbed fingers and toes that made him walk that walk and look that way, but I like this rendition better. Edward Nygma aka the Riddler works in the police department in the forensics and medical examiner ward. To become a crazy psychotic riddle master/murderer, why not work in the police department, right? In all seriousness Nygma was a great character and his progression to full blooded psycho by the end of the season was masterful and could not have been any better.
Looking towards season two, where the show is going has my thrown for a little bit of a loop. Now that Bruce has found a secret cave in his father’s study will it be a gradual time change just to a few months later, or will it jump 5 years into the future and show a drastic change in the surroundings? I am hoping we have a time jump where Penguin and Riddler have become more maniacal, the Joker starts to show up a little more and Bruce Wayne is off at boarding school or at least learning more about how to fight and be the world’s greatest detective. I am sure this will not occur in season two, here is to hoping that at least we see more maniacs come out of the woodwork. Who will Gordon choose, Leslie or Barbara? We are pulling for the Doctor but we shall see. A great first season for Gotham and many more to come I am certain.
*all images property of DC Comics and Fox Entertainment