Martin Carr reviews the second episode of Gotham season 3…
Dare I say that Gotham is getting exciting? Proper plotlines, dynamic characters and a warped reality which seems to work perfectly. An off the reservation beatnik cop with a drinking problem, lunatics running the nightly entertainment and crime bosses dictating to an enthralled media. I have said this before but Gotham is getting down and dirty in all those ways you would rather not watch.
Bruce Wayne has grown a pair which might well require a wheelbarrow at some point, while Mooney’s extended crime fraternity make her the head of a seriously twisted army of miscreants. Elsewhere an encounter with the ‘organisation’ behind all those double dealings finally rears its not so ugly head and lays all its cards on the table. Suddenly Strange, Mooney, Penguin and everyone else seem like small potatoes in comparison to this shady puppet master.
In moments of levity Valerie Vale and Gordon play off each other whilst drawing ever closer to the inevitable attraction overload. As for the other events which pepper ‘Burn the Witch’ highlights include the rebirth of Poison Ivy, Strange doing a Hannibal Lecter and a late arrival at Wayne manor which leave more questions left to answer. Aside from that Mooney and Bullock get more time on the playing field, Barnes gets out from behind his desk and Gordon delivers his bounty hunter act to the hilt.
Gotham then is ticking all the boxes, bringing in enough new stuff to engage whilst keeping their existing audience on tinder hooks. Cannon and company have balanced it well and found a combination of differing elements which make up that elusive yet cohesive whole. McKenzie is playing Gordon like a second hand fiddle, Pinkett Smith seems to be having more fun than last time while Pertwee, Mazouz and Richards are comfortable enough to have fun with their roles.
What we need now is a solid villain to come front and centre in order to galvanise these individual elements. This ‘organisation’ is currently too vague, too vaudeville and more importantly too cloak and dagger. That quibble aside, season three brings plenty to the party and promises more once Bruce gets over his sudden attack of conscience and those questions surrounding that new arrival. Following on from The Strain getting greenlit for another season after episode five, it seems a foregone conclusion Gotham will go the same way. Both had poorly received first seasons but have gone on to improve and prosper as a result. Judging by these early episodes a second nod for season four can’t be far away.