Despite what I would call a rocky first season, hopeful fans are getting excited about season two of FOX’s Gotham – and so is everyone involved with the show. Not only did the Gotham panel at Comic Con tease everyone’s curiosity, but new and exciting details about casting and storylines continue to be released at every turn, gearing fans up for the September 21 premiere. While I may not have felt season one was the coup some thought it was, I was nevertheless intrigued by its possibilities and hopeful for improvement. I admit that I’ve been sucked in and am eagerly awaiting every plot point and twisting reveal. So here’s a primer on what we know already and what it might mean for season two.
Showrunner Bruno Heller promises that the Joker will play a much more prominent role in season two, although perhaps not a visible one. Ever the tease, Heller says that Cameron Monaghan’s Jerome – a young killer from season one presumed to be a young Joker – will feature in the first few episodes and that the Joker storyline will play out over the course of the season. Heller is clearly very pleased about this storyline, saying that fans of the Joker “are going to be very happy.” And who isn’t a fan of the Joker? While I love Jim Gordon, when it comes down to it I think we’re all still in it for the Bat and Joker. And whether or not Monaghan is actually even the Joker is still up for speculation. He probably is, but maybe he’s not? We’ll have to see where the season leads.
It was reported only yesterday that The Shield’s Michael Chiklis has been added to the cast as a tough as nails, no nonsense, play-it-by-the-book Captain Barnes who comes to work in Gotham with Jim Gordon. It seems at first that he is Gordon’s strongest ally in the fight against corruption – but as straight as Gordon is, we know that he can bend the rules sometimes to get the right result, if only slightly. It looks like Barnes is set to become one of Gordon’s strongest adversaries in the end, likely due to his over-zealous rule abiding against one of Gordon’s more creative investigative decisions. Considering season two has been unofficially dubbed “the rise of the villains”, Gordon could really use as much help as he can get.
My opinion is that season one was already overrun with villains and proto-villains and that was one of its major obstructions to developing a clean and compelling storyline. Season two promises even more villains, which to me doesn’t bode well for story dynamics. However, perhaps this just means that those proto-villains like Edward Nygma and Oswald Cobblepot that were set up in season one begin to come into their own as super criminals. If we could just focus on Riddler, Penguin, Joker, and Two-Face, that would be more than sufficient and would at least allow for cleaner screenwriting. However, in addition to potential villain Captain Barnes, season two will also introduce Tabitha and Theo Galavant as new characters, as well as Silver St. Cloud as a new love interest for Bruce Wayne.
New Series Regulars
In exciting news, Morena Baccarin’s Leslie Thompkins and Nicholas D’Agosto’s Harvey Dent have been elevated to series regulars. That means more romance for Jim Gordon and more crime and intrigue with Dent. As far as Dent is concerned, most of us know that he will eventually become the disfigured villain known as Two-Face, but his history as the idealistic, do-gooder lawyer is another matter. It will be interesting to see what Gotham has in mind for him this season and how they bring him closer to his fate. Thompkins, of course, is a much more interesting, intelligent, and strong love interest for Gordon than the empty-headed Barbara Kean. Rumor has it that we will see Barbara in season two, but in what capacity and if Heller has any plans to ultimately bring them together – especially considering they get married and have children in the comics – are questions that we’ll have to discover on our own.
More Bruce Wayne
It feels like Bruce has been a somewhat fleeting character on Gotham, which feels strange considering he’s the man who will grow up to be the Batman. Last season definitely got to see shades of the man he will become, a boy who is preternaturally intelligent, relentless, and desperately lonely. We saw him tirelessly investigate his parent’s murder and the corruption at Wayne Enterprises, and then even discover that his father had his own Batcave! It seems that the investigation will continue throughout season two, with Bruce making further connections and rooting out the bad apples at his own company. And if last season was sweetly awkward with Bruce and his friend/crush Selina, this season will introduce yet another future love interest in the form of Silver St. Cloud.
Seeing as how Oswald Cobblepot aka the Penguin is the new king of Gotham, we can obviously look forward to seeing a lot of him in season two. According to Heller, Cobblepot may be on top but his struggle for power is far from over. Now that the villains are rising up and becoming more powerful, Cobblepot has to work harder than ever to stay in control. And more Cobblepot is never a bad thing. What I think Gotham has done wonderfully is make the Penguin an interesting and integral character. I had always found the comic book character to be a little trying – definitely not my favorite Batman villain – and simultaneously under and over used. Gotham, with no little help from Robin Lord Taylor’s captivating performance as the Penguin, makes Cobblepot a must watch character and one of the best parts of season one. I never thought I’d say this, but more Penguin please.