The much anticipated second season of the TV show revolving around Batman’s youth has finally made its way to our screens. Gotham has only been around one full season and made its debut last September by sucking us long-time fans of Batman deeper into the world. Despite the sometimes cheesy nature of the show–I’m talking about you, random camera angles–the overall feel of it was excitement for its return.
Now first, all we knew about season two was that it had a different name, which implied some changes to the story line. Instead of just “Gotham” the show is now called “Gotham: Rise of the Villains.” When I had first heard about the name update last summer, I was hoping it wasn’t going to become a major cheese-fest during amateur hour. Thankfully, the first episode was anything but.
Season two connects to one month after the last episode in season one ended. The story immediately begins by showing appearances of all of the main characters, who are still in the show from the first season–goodbye for now Jada Pinkett Smith–such as James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), Oswald Cobblepot, better known as Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Harvey Bullock (Daniel Logue), Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) and Barbara Kean (Erin Richards).
And not only that, but we get introduced quickly to the new characters who will play a major role in season two, like Theo Galavan (James Frain) who has been hinted by media that he will turn into a famous villain from the DC universe. Along with Galavan, Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) is introduced, who is quite clearly supposed to become The Joker as he hellishly chuckles at his fellow inmates at Arkham Asylum in his opening scene, while trying to befriend the newly serial killer, Barbara.
The title upgrade of the show to “Rise of the Villains” is a perfect compliment to the entire tone of the first episode, as you watch the characters start to evolve into “good” and “bad.”
Some of the favorites, like Penguin, you know are inherently bad, but are still trying to be good. Others, like Selina Kyle and Edward Nygma (a.k.a. The Riddler), you still hope to see stick with the good side and not become true villains. As the character who is so obviously The Joker, with his nightmarish laughs and creepy smiles, comes into play, you start to wonder who will join him.
From Jim Gordon having to make a difficult moral decision that will hopefully better his life and the lives of those who live in Gotham, to Bruce Wayne and Alfred discovering a secret from Bruce’s father that is far more unreal than they could have imagined, the first episode does a fantastic job of keeping the tone of the show, but in a much more eerie “Christopher Nolan” fashion than before. And the melodic tunes throughout, mixed with questions that swirl around of “which character will be what villain” are nothing short of haunting and fascinating, luring you in for more.