Whilst the DC Comics Extended Universe continues to ride high at the box off it’s TV arm is gearing up for the new season. With ‘Supergirl’ moving to The CW that leaves ‘Gotham’ as one of the companies only remaining outliers over on Fox.
‘Gotham’ season 2 introduced several high profile Batman villains to the franchise and season 3 looks to be no different. News broke several weeks ago that Maggie Geha will be taking over the role of Pamela Isley as the character is reintroduced. The first teaser poster (left) confirmed what fans were expecting that the Court of Owls will be a major villain when the show returns.
Fox has now released a gallery of character portraits for the upcoming season including our first look at the new Ivy. Check out the shots in the gallery below!
Season 3 of ‘Gotham’ premieres Monday, Sept. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Hot on the heels of first episode ‘Rise of the Villains: Damned If You Do…’ the Fox Network in the US has released a red band trailer for the remaining two episodes in the three-part saga which serves as the opening gambit of the second season of ‘Gotham’.
The two and a half minute trailer features footage from ‘Damned…’ plus the upcoming second episode ‘Rise of the Villains: Knock Knock’ and the third and final part ‘Rise of the Villains: The Last Laugh’. The trio of episodes focus on a group of villains including Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) and the soon-to-be-Joker, Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) who are busted out of Arkham and set loose on the Gotham populous.
It looks as though James Gordon and the GCPD are in for a world of trouble both at home and on the streets and if rumours are to be believe could we be about to see the famed Court of Owls make an appearance on the show.
Checkout the trailer below and sound off in the comments with your thoughts!
‘Gotham’ actress Jada Pinkett Smith has been doing rounds of press recently to promote the show. On Friday she appeared on the ‘Live! With Kelly and Michael’ show and dropped a bombshell when asked about her return as Fish Mooney for the already announced second season of the hit Fox show.
In response to the question Jada replied:
‘I signed for a year and the year’s up,’
Fans of the show know that Mooney has been sidelined in recent episodes after falling out of favour with mob boss Carmine Falcone. Fleeing the city in fear of her own life in the wake of Penguin’s betrayal and capture of her beloved club Fish found herself held captive in a basement full of unwilling organ donors. Most recent episode ‘Everybody Has a Cobblepot’ rereleased the hospital is being run by Dr Dulmacher, known as The Dollmaker to the rest of us and previously unseen despite looming large over early episode ‘Selina Kyle’ (reviewed here).
The character has divided fans and critics alike over the past 18 episodes. Early reviews of the show sighted her as a brilliant creation for the franchise but fans failed to warm to her campy portrayal of the villain. We here at the GYCO offices find her portrayal very reminiscent of Eartha Kitt in the 60s ‘Batman’ series and we’re fine with that.
Jada was also quoted as saying there’s big things coming up in the final stretch of episodes for ‘Gotham’ this season. Check out her full interview in the player below:
Will you be sad to see Fish leave the show? Sound off in the comments below!
‘The Blind Fortune Teller’ continues a run of incredibly strong episodes with another huge DC Comics connection and a brilliant case of the week which may (or most likely not) give us our first experience of Gotham’s very own Joker.
Fans have been aware for some time that this episode would feature a guest appearance by the future Grayson family prior to the birth of their son Richard ‘Dick’ (Robin, Nightwing etc…) Grayson. What we weren’t aware of was another character who might be waiting in the wings at Haly’s Circus.
Let’s start out with the setting : Haly’s Circus is in no way shoehorned in to this episode to allow John and Mary to appear. Gordon takes Lee on a date and that date happens to be at the circus currently visiting Gotham which happens to be Haly’s Circus and happens to feature a trapeze act called The Flying Graysons. Thankfully for Jim this date goes a little better than that time Bruce Wayne took Chase Meridian to the circus in ‘Batman Forever’.
The setting is very organic and the episode itself is written by show runner Bruno Heller so the setting around the circus tent is full of characters who make this easily the most colourful episode of ‘Gotham’ so far. Naturally there’s a murder under the big top which leaves a child of the circus orphaned and Gordon’s date suddenly transformed in to an investigation.
As always with ‘Gotham’ not everything is as it seems and the episode takes on a comic (in every sense of the word) spin as the investigation involves the titular blind fortune teller from the circus and Lee finds herself intrigued by thrill of detecting.
In many ways ‘The Blind Fortune Teller’ feels like a completely different show to the opening episodes of the season. Tonally the show has really found solid ground in the quirkier side of its personality, episodes which are played straight often find themselves meandering from start to finish where episodes which take us in to the unusual are much more intriguing to watch.
The Grayson’s themselves make up only a small part of the world of Haly’s Circus, it’s almost coincidental to all the other events of the episode that they are present which only adds to the authenticity of their appearance. Throughout they remain secondary characters who aid the story in reaching its eventual conclusion but in thanking Gordon for bringing them together Heller just can’t resist a little nod to their future offspring.
I can’t discuss ‘The Blind Fortune Teller’ without discussing The Joker. Without spoiling the character who may (or most likely not) be The Joker I can tell you the appearance is a surprise and quite a twist. In the space of one scene the character turns from innocent to… well… twisted. It evokes more Ledger than Nicholson but still it’s unmistakably The Joker even if just for a moment.
Heller has always send that The Joker is more end-game for ‘Gotham’ but that we would meet him or his inspirations early on. Whatever indication ‘The Blind Fortune Teller’ is for future appearances of The Joker it’s a perfect start and a brilliantly chilling take on the character or some form of him.
As I said at the start of this review: another incredibly strong episode in a strong run of episodes for ‘Gotham’.
Last weeks opening gambit in the Scarecrow saga ‘The Fearsome Dr. Crane’ (reviewed here) paved the way for one of the more creepy and twisted episodes of ‘Gotham’.
It’s like a mini-serialised story within a show which is predominantly all serialised stories.
Gerald Crane continues to conduct experiments on victims from his support group whilst Bullock and Gordon investigate his background. Discovering he lost his wife in a fire years ago they deduce that his own fear is what caused him to be unable to save his wife. Believing he can ultimately abolish fear Crane is experimenting on adrenal glands to create a serum to remove fear by making victims confront their biggest fear.
Sadly Gerald ultimately wants to remove the fear from him and his son Jonathan and when Gordon tracks him down he overdoses his son causing, as most comic fans can guess, irreparable damage. In a nice nod to his future identity it turns out that Jonathan’s biggest fear is now scarecrows… it’s not going to end well.
It’s quite a tragic story, the loss of his wife clearly weighing heavy on his conscience didn’t drive Gerald to become a criminal. It only drove him to want to better the human race but unfortunately the consequences of his actions led him to the climactic scene with Gordon and Jonathan which ultimately ended his life.
The change to the Scarecrow origin works well and showed the writers can handle even the more a-list characters in their own ‘Gotham’ way.
Frustratingly the Fish Mooney storyline fails to pick up with what happens after she charges at the assailant charging back at her in her cabin on the ship. Instead she wakes up in a dank basement and quickly sets about learning her new surroundings. Of all the crazy endings it seems she’s in a pit of unwilling organ donors if the girl who appears with no eyes is to be believed.
The Fish story is really going to crazy lengths but I can’t help but wonder if this ties in to where the season is heading for its climax. If you recall episode two ‘Selina Kyle’ (reviewed here) the street kids of Gotham were being ferried up stream to become organ donors for The Dollmaker. Perhaps he has returned.
Penguin is struggling with running the club, exited for his opening when a visit from old pal Maroni throws things in to disarray. Maroni has a message for Penguin, when Falconi passes he won’t hesitate to off Penguin for his betrayal. It remains one step forward and two steps backwards for Penguin who seems to be making waves but still under the watchful eye of his current and former bosses. At some point he’s going to try and legitimately strike out on his own but right now he doesn’t have enough power to stand alone.
Bruce is going through a new experience this week when he strikes out on his own in to the woods surrounding Wayne manor on a trip he used to take with his father. He falls foul of the usual giant log followed by falling down a bank and injuring his ankle trick proving that he’s not as untouchable as he believes and it’s of course up to Alfred to save the day.
Bruce has been feeling strong in his recent scenes, almost vaguely Batman-esque so considering his young age he needed a reminder that he isn’t the fully trained vigilante he perhaps sees himself as in his head. His separation from Gordon and the city has returned to its status quo of before the mid-season finale which is a small step backwards for ‘Gotham’. If his inclusion in the show is paramount to its continuing success he needs to be firmly planted in the heart of the city and not resigned to its outskirts where he has little impact on the world around him.
There’s time for a little Gordon-Thompkins action as she takes up her post within the GCPD. Again ‘Gotham’ and it’s creative team continue to treat this relationship with more care and affection than that of Gordon and his end-game wife Barbara who is again MIA.
‘The Scarecrow’ continues the run of strong episodes that are making up the second half of the first season of’Gotham’. Long may it continue.
Romance is in the air in ‘Gotham’ with the first of a two-part episode exploring the backstory to the famous Batman villain The Scarecrow.
‘The Fearsome Dr. Crane’ is a wonderfully misleading title as all of us were kept guessing about just how the show would introduce Jonathan Crane aka the Scarecrow. I didn’t see the twist coming that he would be nothing but a teenager.
Instead the episode focusses on his father Gerald Crane (Julian Sands) who poses as a victim attending a support group to identify the subjects for his fear experiments. The introduction of a pre-Scarecrow history and family connection is a little derivative for this type of show but as ‘Gotham’ doesn’t rely on this angle regularly it works.
Elsewhere in the episode the burgeoning relationship between Gordon and Dr Thompkins takes on a new twist when an opportunity comes up to shift her focus for Arkham to the GCPD. The writers have quick manipulated her story to allow more screen time for her clearly seeing the same magic between Ben McKenzie and Morena Baccarin that we can all see.
Edward Nygma gets to take more of a centre stage when he frames the medical examiner for stealing body parts, it’s a creepy yet comical side story that allows Dr Thompkins to move in to the GCPD but is also a great introductory tale to the creepier side of his character. As the season has developed so has his personality, in the pilot he was an awkward addition to the cast but now his scenes are a real draw to the show and it’s hard not to eagerly await the moment he finally snaps.
I’m a little concerned that the object of his affections, Chelsea Spack’s Kristine Kringle, is going to end up a twisted Riddler equivalent to Harley Quinn. Her character is a little random to say the least and considering all her quirks it’s amazing that she doesn’t share Edward’s affections for her.
Penguin is having another tough week this week after Fish returns the favour and dishes to Maroni that his new lieutenant has been working for Don Falconi all along. Maroni sidelines Penguin in a secluded cabin to kill him but the pair soon end up back in Gotham. As I’ve said before Penguin can’t find a balance between anxiety and exuberance but right now he’s firmly planted on the side of anxious.
The development of the Penguin story has slowed down a little to focus on the fall of Fish Mooney which is now heading in strange and dramatic new territory. After grassing up Penguin to Maroni, Fish makes it out of Gotham on a ship which finds itself attacked at the episodes close with the final shot being Fish and a marauder charging at each other with full force. It’s quite a strong image to end on but one which has bemused a lot of fans who have found it to be entirely laughable. I felt the image was very comic book in tone and the cinematography of the final shot of the episode feels straight from a comic book panel so absolutely no complaints from me.
The serialised story has gone a little off the boil in that the characters have all fractured and gone their own separate ways at the moment but it’s always good to take a breather when the action can be so heavy. The separate elements of the show all still remain strong and a change in focus, no matter how brief, has not hurt ‘Gotham’ in any way.
It’s the return of Bruce and Alfred this week in ‘Welcome Back, Jim Gordon’ an episode that seeks to bring about a change in power in ‘Gotham’.
Another heavily serialised episode of the freshman show which picks up very quickly after the events of previous episode ‘What the Little Bird Told Him’ (check out our thoughts on that episode here) with Fish Mooney being held captive by Don Falcone and Penguin riding high on his most recent successes.
Happiest of the bunch his Jim Gordon who has made a triumphant return to the GCPD after helping capture Jack Buchinsky.
The most recent episodes of ‘Gotham’ have stuck to the interwoven stories revolving around Fish, Falcone and Maroni and the consequences of their fight for power of the city. That still exists here but it’s shifting towards the fall of Fish for it’s next arc whilst Bruce and Alfred return to the periphery of the story.
Returning from Switzerland Bruce is instantly eager to get back in with Selina, his motivation in this episode is purely to get a message to her but when the two meet it’s hardly a follow-up to the kiss which ended their last scene together.
There’s no smooth road for Bruce and Selina as a pairing and as fun as it was to see them together in ‘Harvey Dent’ almost enjoying the company of the other it was never to last and we’re already seeing them come undone.
David Mazouz has some big shoes to fill following Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, Christian Bale and unforgettably the voice of Kevin Conroy. Yes okay we left out Adam West but nobody can follow him. Oh yes we forgot Clooney too… the less said the better. His approach to the character is not one of all out anger or that of an emotionally stunted teen. He sits somewhere between the two and at times it can be a little confusing but for a fourteen year-old appearing against some much bigger names he’s carving a niche for himself in the world of ‘Gotham’.
There’s a big story this week involving the character of Arnold Flass, played by Dash Mihok, who fans might remember as having appeared in ‘Batman Begins’ and in many of the comics stories over the years. He had a larger role in the ‘Batman: Year One’ comic series in which his feelings for Gordon are made abundantly clear soon after his arrival in Gotham. This episode doesn’t quite go to those lengths but it’s clear that Gordon and Flass are not going to be the best of friends any time soon.
‘Gotham’ has touched upon corruption within the GCPD force before but it’s starting to come in to focus more as the season is progressing. We already know the mayor is in the pocket of the mob and much of the city is also under control but we’re beginning to learn just how deeply these problems go.
There’s key moments for Nygma, Ivy and other supporting characters just to remind us that they’re still out there in the wider ‘Gotham’ world.
The writers are clearly beginning to mix things up for poor Fish, she spends much of the episode held captive but her most interesting scene comes right at the end of episode where a kiss shared with another major character though not unpredictable still serves its purpose in softening her character a little. Are the writers really going to make us feel sorry for such a character? I think they are and I think its going to work.
This episode does a have a little more of the case-of-the-week feel despite the fact it’s still involved with the overarching story so for those late to the part this could be your entry way to the ‘Gotham’ mythos.
‘What the Little Bird Told Him’ continues a run of strong episodes for Fox’s ‘Gotham’ pushing the serialised elements of the show further to the forefront.
I remain a little baffled that ‘Gotham’ is allowed to proceed with such a heavily serialised storyline when ‘Sleepy Hollow’ is continually criticised by Fox execs and so publicly being pushed in the other direction.
Picking up where ‘Rogues’ Gallery’ (reviewed here) left off Jack Gruber and Aaron Danzing are rampaging through the city after escaping the confines of Arkham and with the help of Edward Nygma; Bullock and Gordon quickly work out that Don Maroni is their target.
After his short tenure of one episode at Arkham Gordon is given a 24hr reprieve and re-instated as Detective in order to find the escapees. It’s not necessarily a smart move on the part of the writers to manoeuvre Gordon back in to the GCPD so quickly but given the late order to extend the series to a full 22-episodes perhaps a change was required in order to lengthen the arc of the season.
In the absence of Barbara there’s a burgeoning relationship between Gordon and Dr Thompkins which makes an interesting change to the show. Both Ben McKenzie and Erin Richards haven’t been given a huge amount of screen time together in order to make their relationship believable and yet we’re to understand they have years of pre-series history. In stark contrast in the last two episodes we’ve seen every interaction between Gordon and Thompkins and there’s a much more tangible connection between them. Perhaps this is a case of Thompkins being the woman he needs and not the woman he deserves… quick TDK quote for you there.
‘What the Little Bird Told Him’ has a huge amount of exposition for the mob storylines. We already know that Penguin is aware of Liza’s true allegiances but sadly Fish is unaware. She makes a move on Falcone by kidnapping Liza to safety and offering a ransom. Meanwhile the titular Little Bird steps in to inform Falcone of the betrayal and a coup takes place.
By the climax of the episode Liza is dead; Fish and Gilzean are held prisoner and Penguin finds himself in charge of the club and leading the remaining Mooney gang.
Testament to the strength of the writing and the characterisation in ‘Gotham’ is the fact that Jim Gordon can take a back seat and the show without the quality being affected. Each week since ‘Harvey Dent’ the show has been on the up consistently better itself in its complexity and its writing. In the beginning this felt like a show I SHOULD watch but wouldn’t rush to watch but now it’s cemented as a show I HAVE to watch at the earliest possible moment.
There’s no sign of the serialised nature of the showing coming to an end any time soon and I’m happy with that. I’ve said previously that I don’t know where this show is going in terms of a season ending arc and I’m still very comfortable with that. Where comic book properties can often come unravelled is in the adaptation of story arcs from the comics which means any familiar fans are already aware of all the major story beats and the eventual outcome.
With ‘Gotham’ the ultimate end-game is still clearly Batman but the journey to get him to is entirely unknown and that makes the show extremely exciting.
This week our new favourite show ‘Gotham’ returned to screens in the US with it’s first new episode since November ‘Rogues’ Gallery’.
When last we left our hero James Gordon he had been dismissed from the GCPD after the death of Dick Lovecraft – see our review of ‘Harvey Dent‘ & ‘Love Craft‘ for more – and shipped off to the newly opened Arkham Asylum to live out his days on guard duty.
Picking up after the break we find Gordon watching the inmates of Arkham putting on a show which unsurprisingly ends in attempted murder. During this sequence we get a quick nod to other characters in the franchise who are struggling with this new status quo:
Selina is back on the streets, left out in the rain
Bullock is alone and drinking
Barbara is still with Montoya and heavily medicated
These are not happy times in ‘Gotham’ but when are they? We meet Arkham warden Dr Lang – what no Quincy Sharp? – and are then quickly introduced to Dr Leslie (Lee) Thompkins who is working at the asylum in the capacity of a medical doctor. Thompkins and Gordon work together to solve the mystery of multiple assaults taking place within the asylum, along with a little help from Bullock.
Outside the asylum things are not working out for Barbara and Renee. It’s quite hard to tell where these two are geographically as Montoya seems separated from the action with the mob and Barbara is not around to interact with Jim but the two still pop up sporadically. Barbara has already seen her relationship with Jim crumble and now her relationship with Renee is ending too.
‘Gotham’ needs to explore more of the history between these two. We understand their background together was unstable and clearly included drug use and that almost relapse is what causes Renee to end things in this episode but it still feels like the writers have used this as a way to shoehorn in the sexuality of the Montoya character from the comics whilst also finding something for Barbara to do.
The character of Barbara has to exist because she’s the mother of Batgirl. She can’t just be written out of the franchise but comics fans will know she has never been a major character and really only enters and exists the comic storylines as required. That works fine in the medium of comics but for TV she needs a purpose and currently she is sadly lacking that.
After the excitement of the mid-season finale both Bruce and Alfred are missing in action for ‘Rogues’ Gallery’ but there’s still room for a little Selina Kyle along with her new partner in crime Ivy Pepper. The writers promised an injection of more Ivy for this second part of the season and with the two of them moving in to the vacant Gordon apartment this seems to be laying the ground work for the two to have more screen time in future episodes.
Of all the changes to characters from the comics I’m most concerned about Ivy. She’s just a little bit too weird, which in the context of ‘Gotham’ is a little scary. Nygma is weird. Oswald is pretty odd. Ivy is just too off the wall. She doesn’t portray herself as being able to become an accomplished botanist in her future but we’ll see how she develops over time.
Bullock is a little lost without Gordon which is a shame because his character has always been one of the strongest on the show. The writers do a good job of placing him in the action but clearly Gordon’s tenure at Arkham will not be long lasting. Bullock and Gordon will soon find themselves back together at the GCPD.
There’s a lot going on with the various mob factions and I love it. It’s reminiscent of stories from the comics like ‘Long Halloween’ where the so-called super villains mix in very well with the mob aspects of the show. Bruno Heller and his team have done a great job of bringing a realism to ‘Gotham’ whilst allowing the more fantastical elements to bubble away in the background.
Penguin lands himself in hot water this week when he’s arrested for trying to extort already extorted dock workers. It’s a life lesson at the hands of Maroni that is typical of this version of the character. There’s a cockiness to Penguin right now because he feels untouchable. His character yo-yos between exuberance and anxious and for the past few episodes with his star on the rise he needed to be brought back down to Earth and that happens here perfectly. Maroni does need to learn you shouldn’t annoy the Penguin however.
As expected the asylum setting allows for some great imagery. This episode features a brilliant prison break with crowds of crazies on the run. Its perfect comic book fare and I’d like to see more of it in the future.
‘Rogues’ Gallery’ is easily one of the best episodes of ‘Gotham’ so far.
This week ‘Gotham’ bows out with its mid-season finale ‘Lovecraft’ a direct follow-on from last weeks ‘Harvey Dent’ (reviewed here).
Where ‘Harvey Dent’ focussed on a little less of the action and more of the characters by manipulating them to where they need to be for this episode, ‘Lovecraft’ by comparison ramps up the action. Sadly it fails to leave us with an edge-of-your-seat cliffhanger but it does make some changes which will provide an interesting backdrop for the second half of the season.
The episode opens with an assault on Wayne manor lead by familiar character Copperhead – you may know her best from the game ‘Batman: Arkham Origins’ – and two other assassins. Their attempt to take the manor is thwarted by Alfred, allowing Bruce and Selina to escape.
Gordon’s time in this episode is split between the hunt for Dick Lovecraft, believed by Harvey Dent to have hired the assassins, and also the search for Bruce and Selina.
Penguin makes his next move by confessing to Falcone that there is a mole in his midst and that they’re working for Fish.
Bruce and Selina share their first kiss and she also introduces him to more of the darker side of the city via an underground mall where all of Gotham’s street kids – including the returning Ivy Pepper – hang out.
This is another richly layered episode of ‘Gotham’ which perfectly intermingles all of the different story elements. The assault of Wayne manor ties in to the investigation of Dick Lovecraft; the missing teens end up running in to Clyde (as associate of Ivy Pepper) is wants to hand them over to the assassins. The assassins are also the ones to murder Lovecraft and that murder is what brings about Gordon’s dismissal from the GCPD and his post-finale move to guard duty at Arkham Asylum.
I said in my review of ‘Harvey Dent’ that the show was succeeding at mixing its storylines together to create a really rich tapestry and this episode is another great example of that. All the characters have their own individual motivations and missions yet somehow they’re intrinsically tied together and all roads go back to Falcone, Maroni and the mob.
‘Lovecraft’ has a few good twists and turns, when the unconscious Gordon wakes to find Dick Lovecraft murdered by his own gun I feared we would be ending on a cliffhanger of his arrest for murder but thankfully ‘Gotham’ didn’t go down the predictable route and instead covered up the murder as a suicide and the twisted mayor used that to push Gordon away from the action and sideline him to a dead end job at Arkham.
Dependant on how long his tenure at Arkham lasts the shift in focus from the GCPD to Arkham could bring in more of a focus on the crazy criminal element in ‘Gotham’. We haven’t seen much of it in this first part of the season but at some point the violence in the city needs to escalate towards the point that causes Batman to emerge. Now Bruce is far too young to don the cowl at this stage and the escalation can’t happen overnight but ‘Gotham’ does need to begin bringing in glimpses of the level of chaos it will be drowning in several years from now.
‘Lovecraft’ is satisfying in that it ties up the storyline which begun in ‘Harvey Dent’ well and it spins the story in a new direction but it feels more like a slow season finale than a mid-season break.
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