For the first time in the three premieres Gotham has had, the story was moved forward more than it was stalling for setup.
Let’s start with the good news.
I got what I needed from Penguin—asserting his authoritative voice and realizing he’s on top, and no longer letting people push him around. He was magnificent in the opener.
Barbara Kean, ever the crazy lady, now runs a club with Theo Galavan’s sister (who happens to be one of those “dead” characters that the writers weren’t ACTUALLY willing to kill off—Theo ran her through with a sword last season and she’s living to tell the tale) and just let me tell you—Barbara is one sexy murderer.
Jim Gordon, after discovering that Lee has moved on to another man, has spent the last 6 months brooding in the Batcave and catching villains. Har har, but they still haven’t dialed up and answer for this major character problem they’ve let unravel. He’s doing Batman’s job and it doesn’t bother him one bit. It bothers me, though. Gordon was supposed to work his way up as a cop, through and through, not ascend the ranks in as little as a single season and get bored with the job after realizing he had all his goals. Now he’s a bounty hunter catching the escaped Arkham inmates from last season for the right price. Harvey Bullock is the only good detective left in Gotham. (Who would’ve thought that this “lackadaisical” man from the very first episode of the show would turn out the better detective and better man than Gordon in a mere 2 seasons? Jim is far too quick to judge character.)
Ms. Peabody is clearly Court of Owls.
Turns out Vicki Vale’s mother got an intro this episode, and look for her to be a major factor in this Season 3. Sadly the idea that Vicki got it all from her mom makes her less of a strong individual character, but thinking about the future doesn’t rob Vale Sr. of the present, which was quite strong indeed. Despite realizing later on that Fish Mooney was using her, Vale proved to be the mirror of the unease felt among Gotham’s citizens after the events of last season.
Selina is getting even better with age. Really growing up. She works with Fish Mooney (again) but mostly for the pay. After witnessing the would-be death of Ivy (here comes Sexy Ivy!!!) expect her to retaliate against Fish in her sneaky little ways.
Inevitably it is time for the bad news.
I guess I had it coming—I watched zero trailers or clips for Season 3, so I was holding out hope, probably foolishly, that they wouldn’t be so prevalent. Sadly, the Court of Owls is not only out in the open, but Bruce knows more than he should. Last time he played tough billionaire kid, he was nearly sacrificed. Now he’s playing tough billionaire kid again, and Alfred got another concussion and he’s been kidnapped. Yay.
I’m not too hot on the conflict It all centered on Fish Mooney. Sure, the monsters are a threat, but she’s being treated like this is the Falcone era. She should stay dead! Just because Pinkett-Smith can’t make a good movie or even just act well, it doesn’t mean that has to affect us by making us suffer through more of this character (and the “performance” behind it).
And David Mazouz, after watching Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, has still learned nothing. He’s bringing zero maturation to the role of Bruce. He’s a little more calm and quiet, but still…just a whiny little whippersnapper.
All in all, it was a good start coupled with inevitable hiccups.
With this whole Court of Owls thing, I invite you to friendly debates @_DCWorldBatman2 but I don’t convince easily. DC Comics has unlimited, majestic potential that shouldn’t be squandered for dumbed down adaptations. The Court was supposed to be a secret organization that never revealed itself to anyone but its victims just before they killed them. Bruce was supposed to realize they didn’t exist, and instead they’re inviting him into their house. *facepalm* Come on! There’s no way a little extra effort in the writing department can’t do the Court better by their source material, which is something that would make Gotham infinitely better if it ever used any.
Newbies, I encourage you to binge Gotham if you haven’t already and watch Season 3. It’s still the most creative and cool show on TV. A great departure from the generic crime/comedy crap that plagues our screens today, even if I have some complaints about what it’s doing to source material (ignoring it) it’s still the best show on TV by far.