Actually, just what will Gotham do?
I fell behind on Gotham review quite a while back and do need to go back and at least do season reviews for the show. I do want to take time to ruminate on where the series has gone. I was onboard for the show with the first season.
Many were uninterested, or choose to take a very conservative view of comic and Batman lore (You can portray character one way, the history can unfold only one way. The "one" way is "my" way.). But the show has played with conventions and origins, creating their own take.
The first season did have it's issues, characters misused or out of place, etc. But by the end of the season the world was gelling quite well. The weird and freaky underbelly of Gotham City was emerging. The second and third season built from there, getting weirder and freakier.
And this has been great. Some shows struggle to a stop over 3 or 4 seasons, needing to go suddenly weird and wild to stay alive. Gotham, by it's nature, only gets weirder and crazier. Cults. Secret Societies. Resurrected Madmen. Flamboyant Foes. Ridiculous Capers.
The show, since it's start has become more and more a comic book world. It's the point even dead characters return gets a shrug. And to me that is all to the shows advantage.
So let's recap a little just where the show was last year, and where we head this season.
Season 3 as not kind to Gotham City.
Viral outbreaks. Terror and destruction by gas. Cult attacks. Cobblepot as mayor.
But at least it seems Bruce Wayne may finally have an idea of what he needs to do next.
And it is interesting to see that he's learned the reasons behind his parents deaths and the plotters. And he's seen the group cut down and destroyed. So now he's been left with a sense to protect others from their fate, and a need to be their for Gotham at it's dark time.
And who's popped up?
Jervis Tetch has come to town. Mad as a...you know. He screws with people's heads, and is obsessed with his dear sister Alice. With her demise he's still obsessed with her blood, a toxic brew that brings out a person's darkest aspects and madness. Tetch tries to spread it, and play his rhyming games.
Once noble Captain Barnes. The tetch virus corrupted him. He's know super strong and hard to kill and driven by his twisted sense of justice. He is Gotham's reckoning (in his own mind), he is the Executioner.
Victor Fries was obsessed with saving his dying wife. But he crossed the line into murderous experimentation to try and succeed. In the end his actions led his wife to choose death. Distraught he tried to take his own life, but instead just changed his biology to one that craved extreme cold. For a time he was a held by Hugo Strange and made to continue his research. Later he was driven from the city, only to return when coaxed by Penguin with a place he would be accepted.
Bridgit Pike was a put upon young girl, kept by an abusive family, before being forced to enter in on their crimes. Driven by disgust at abusive controlling people she killed her "family" and struck out, but ended up dying fighting the GCPD. Then Strange got his hands on her and resurrected her. It took awhile, but she broke Strange's programming to at least come part way back to who she once was. But she is the Firefly now.
Ivy Pepper has been on an odd ride. Attacked by someone who ages you by touch, she barely survived, and was aged into her early 20's. Since then she's been acclamating, and using her developing knowledge of plant life to find ways to get ahead, including a bit of mind control. At heart she seems to be the off kilter teen who is trying to understand the world around her. But she is learning the ropes fast.
Barbara Kean and Tabitha have enjoyed maneuvering to the top of the Gotham City crime families. Barbara is madder than ever, and the distance between her and Tabtha grows. She's focused on her own rise, more than their rise. But Tabitha wants to stay loyal and hope Barbara will come back to her senses.
Clayface has also been popping up, getting more and more skilled at applying his powers to those willing to pay.
And then we have Jerome "Not Joker, Maybe" Valeska. The mad man was stabbed to death. But he got frozen and carted away for Hugo Strange. His resurrection came later than others, and without his face, but when he was back he wanted to make a big bang, and kill Bruce Wayne (In Gotham, get in line.).
Hugo Strange. Mad scientist. Perennial prisoner. Being passed from the custody of cults, police, powered villains, etc. But as long as he can survive and practice his twisted science, he doesn't care.
And the Court of Owls. Rulers of Gotham. Ancient secret society. Deciders of life and death. But they served another,
Oh yes, and Nygma finally embraced the name Riddler. And Cobblepot found it ridiculous, while everyone he worked with was pissed at his need to do everything the hard way, just so he could show off.
How did Nygma get there? Well it was going so well. He got out of Arkham, and was trying to stay stable, while helping Cobblepot run for mayor. And he helped his get a legit win.
Then he met a woman who looked like the woman he loved and killed. And she lifed him, and was okay with who he was and had been.
So it all should have been good. Cobblepot had all the power and public adoration he ever dreamed of finding, and Nygma had a true friend and love.
But Cobblepot couldn't handle Nygma having someone else, as he was in love with Nygma, and so he removed the competition. And that didn't end well.
|"Really! At the docks? Again?"|
Nygma destroyed Cobblepot's public image and turned the crime world against him. Then he killed him
But Ivy saved her Pengie buddy.
And after a lot of madness in town, Riddler tried one more time to redo his big moment.
|"Sigh. Yeah, I know."|
|"I don't love you."|
Tab fights her off and electrocutes Barbara. But when has that held someone back?
And with Bruce Wayne, after getting brainwashed, he gets to meet the Demon's Head. And he has big plans for Bruce Wayne.
Bruce will be his Knight in the Dark, his heir.
No matter what Bruce thinks.
But he does leave him for now, and let's him use the Pit to save Alfred.
And it goes all Last Crusade on that wound.
|"Finally proof that the Lazarus Pit is 70% hydrogen peroxide."|
It rounds out a season that started with Bruce and Selina off on wild japes against the Court...
with Bruce getting kidnapped and all culted up...
and Selina going on a short trip.
But we know Bruce snapped out of it in the end, and Ivy was there for Selina.
Oh, and Jim and Lee had a weird year that ended with them learning how toxic their relationship could be.
So what is coming this season?
The Scarecrow is coming to town, which means Jonathan Crane has finally awaken from his continuous nightmare state.
Ivy will probably be undergoing additional changes. (I am found of a more classic take of Poison Ivy where she plays with plants and isn't one. But I am always open to let creative people try out ideas,)
Penguin has secured his power base. Man he has gained and lost power so many times, and then retaken it, I am surprised Penguin isn't getting board with the whole business.
Speaking of which, Penguin is finally opening up the Iceberg Lounge, with his own personal Star Wars reference.
Bruce and Selina are also figuring out their lives still, and how they fit into the other's plans.
And that is trickier than ever to work out as this is a year for masks in Gotham City. Scarecrow.
And Lucius is stepping in to give Bruce a tech edge in his latest venture.
While Alfred gets to drop commentary in Bruce's ear.
|"Hey Alfred. It's completely not obvious what you two are doing."|
It is nice to see Lucius moving back into the Wayne circles again.
And with October just about here, Scarecrow will make a great threat to watch for the next several weeks. So Halloween appropriate.
I am looking foward to a new season of Gotham. Maybe this season I can even do commentary on the show while it's actually new.