Gotham "Rise of the Villains: Damned if You Do..." (REVIEW)
written by Omar Castillon (omar_castillon)
New year and new look for Gotham this season. Gone are the awkward side characters, random villains and Fish Mooney! The opening scenes fast forward one month from the finale. Gordon is reduced to traffic duties, Bruce and Alfred still want to open the vault and Penguin is supreme leader of the criminal underworld. One of the strange inclusions in this season that will be a focus on is a set number of villains.
Before we get into the new inclusion, lets catch up with Gordon and Penguin. When Gordon stops one more random villain in the form of ZAARDON! Zaardon feels like he represents the random villains of the season before but before he is rampant in the streets, he is given some sort of chemical that will be used later. The mysterious supplier of this chemical is a man by the name of Theo Galavan which I will get into detail in a little bit. Gordon arrests Zaardon and is not even considered an accommodation. Instead our old “buddy” Commissioner Loeb wants to fire Gordon since Bullock had already been forced out to become a bartender after the events of last season. In a sudden turn Gordon does resign from the GCPD only to instigate Loeb and say that he’ll get back at him. Long story short, Gordon makes a deal with Penguin with surprisingly dark results and he feels less guilty of what he has done to get to where he wants to be.
You may be thinking, “why haven’t you talked about Barbara yet, she was in this episode too.” Well my friends, she is back and exactly where she belongs, the nut house. While there, we see our other crazy villain from last season Jerome or Joker/not Joker. The relationship that is formed between Jerome and Barbara is strangely close to Joker and Harley Quinn. But wait, isn’t Harley Quinn really named Harleen Quinzel? Why yes, yes it is. But after this parallelism that is blatantly Joker/Harley it is safe to say that Gotham is most definitely an alternate universe of Gotham City in the comics. This is really the best way to see things in the series. I’m not saying it’s great, more like this will ease the pain a bit from the origin stories of some of these characters. Anyways, remember Zaardon from earlier, he ends up being “detonated” at Arkham and Jerome, Barbara and a few other new characters are abducted to Theo Galavan’s place. Essentially, Galavan is going to be the main villain of the season from how things are set up with the characters.
Some minor parts to enjoy from the episode include the slightly comical interaction between Bruce and Alfred on blowing up the vault from the end of season 1. Zsasz and Penguin have also become a nice duo of villainy and even showing a severed head on network TV. Well played FOX, well played. One little thing to also consider is Nigma finally having a psychotic breakdown in the form of two different personalities. I for one am ok with Nigma losing it since he came off as just sad creepy last season to yeah he’s got problems creepy this season.
Overall, much better season premiere than last year. I have a feeling that the writers stopped thinking in a villain of the week formula. This will only help the series be more enjoyable. Just stick to the cards that are handed to you in the beginning of the season and see where it goes. I just hope balloonman never comes back. One more thing to keep an eye on is Bruce’s storyline. Rumor has it; the Court of Owls might be presented in the series if not this season maybe next season. This might explain why Alfred was so hesitant of Bruce learning about his father’s vault. I guess we have to wait and see if it ever happens.