‘Gotham’ S2 E1 Review: ‘Damned If You Do…’

by Alec Ward
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Season one of Gotham was, well, it was a real shot-in-the-dark. No one really knew if the ‘Bat-quel’ show would be any good or if it would even make it to a full season despite it just riding on the coattails of the immense popularity that has been gaining for The Dark Knight ever since the Nolan-verse. To say that it accomplished those is a loaded answer. Was it good? Sure. There were some episodes that were great. Was it a masterpiece? Absolutely not. The first season of the show was plagued with more problems than the fictitious city it’s named after. What with the character of Barbara Gordon being a normal person, to a lesbian, to a psycho-parent-murdering killer, all within one season of the show, and various other canyon-sized plot holes. Despite all of that, and believe me, it’s hard to look past it, I enjoyed the first season of Gotham. I felt it definitely belonged in a spot for some sort of the Bat-lore. Will the second season learn from its first season’s mistakes, or will it continue to muddle the lines of its character’s true origins and throw away 75 years of history? Spoilers: No and yes.

The first episode of the second season opens with a Gotham much like we saw in the first episode of the first season. It seems that times are even darker for Jim Gordon and company as this season is said to be the ‘rise of the villains.’ Either way, Gordon has been reduced to a beat cop, Bullock is now a bartender for some reason, Penguin is the king of Gotham (not literally), and Commissioner Loeb is still as corrupt as ever. On the bright side, Gordon is dating Dr. Leslie Thompkins, and we all know that is a positive. Barbara and all of the baddies from season 1 are locked away in Arkham, seemingly together, and the GCPD is just carrying on its terrible little ways without notice. We are introduced to a new ‘big-bad’ to the show. A new character named Theo Galavan (James Frain) who possesses mystical powers or some such nonsense as it is not fully explained in the first episode, but I digress. What is Gordon to do when he is removed fully from the GCPD and he has no one to turn to? Well, it turns out, he becomes a mafia hit man….I’m not kidding.

This episode just really put a bad taste in my mouth. I could bore you for hours on what I’m not liking about this show currently and what I am liking, but I’ll just break it down a little. My biggest gripe? That we are led to believe that Thomas Wayne, somehow, knew that one day ol’ Bruce would find a way down into his secret lair (not Batcave, mind you) where he would then have written a letter to his future son, chronicling everything that Bruce should do henceforth? Ok, fine. Then I must, also, be led to believe that Jim Gordon would go against everything in his being just to get hired back on to a crooked police force? It’s just… I feel like the writers of Gotham are trying to appeal to fans that are not true fans of Batman. Oh, well. I’ll watch the show next week, and the week after, and the week after, because what else am I going to do? I will say that if this show doesn’t take a turn for the better, watching the show of my most favorite fictional city will start to become less like fun and more like work.



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