Gotham : Rise of the Villains : Damned if you Do….

I can not tell you how impressed I was with the first season of Gotham. The second season looks to be even better. I’ve been waiting for it to premier but where do we go from here?

It is safe to say we are going to start with everything changed.

I felt like I missed a few episodes between the finale and this one with Jim directing traffic, Harvey working in a bar and Penguin completely in charge but at the same time some people seem to have been in a time bubble.

There was a lot going on in the episode setting up where each individual or group is going. The main thrust of the next few episodes looks likely to be the “Rise of the Villains” plot with some more colorful characters being broken out of Arkham, including Barbara and all her new friends and Jerome. The episode wrapped up the “what next” for Jim as Loeb is forced to step down and Essen takes his place, reinstating Jim and giving him some kind of back up. We see just how comfortable the self proclaimed King of Gotham is whilst setting the foundations of Bruce’s transformation into Batman.

A lot of elements were played with and I think it worked more or less. It wasn’t as attention grabbing as some of the episodes from the first season and was a little heavy for a season opener but like that style if I’m honest. It just went out there and told us exactly what it plans on doing, it didn’t bother to give us something flashy it just went out and laid its cards on the table.

The actors just feel like they live and breath their characters now. Jim and Harvey were at their best, even if Harvey was only on for a few seconds, Essen had the confused look of someone that has to understand Jim and how he does things constantly (I would like to say that it is the perfect expression for someone working in Gotham, Zabryna Guevara is a wonderful actress.) Jerome was just as crazy as ever and I like that Barbara is matching him for the crazy. She’s starting to remind me a little of some of the 90s bad guys like Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman. I think this is a much better way for her character then just having her as a normal upperclass snob like they did in season one, she’s revealing in being the bad guy and good on her. Erin Richards can turn do both really well, you honestly feel a little sorry for her even knowing she’s lying when she phones Jim and seconds later you kind of are cheering her on as she leaves a snarky bitch answer machine message for poor Lee. Any relationship she has with Jerome is going to be magic.

Then there is poor Ed who is very obviously gone from hapless guy in love to complete psychopath. His transformation is complete with all included reflection that talks back. I’m not sure I really like the split personality road with Ed but I’m willing to see where it goes and its actually nice to see two different portrayals shining from Cory Michael Smith. Personally though I think we can do without the split personality and should just head towards him playing mind games with people.

The only character that I’m iffy about in the return is Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin. Not that I don’t like him because Taylor is the perfect Penguin. I just think him being the boss now kind of takes some of what made him so fun to watch in the first season away. I know they wanted to get the whole boss fight out of the way in the first season and I’m pretty happy about that because it did drag at times but I can’t see watching Penguin run his business being that interesting for the character so I wonder what they’ll do with him as well as that.

It was a great start to the season but it made you wish there was just more. It felt like there was nothing really there to get into and you want to hurry up to the second episode and some real action. None of this story really felt like it was connected but I’m sure that is going to slowly come together in the weeks to follow. Right now though as much as I like the opener I also found it didn’t quench my thirst for more Gotham.

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