Gotham – Season 2 Premiere – Review

I’m going to break away from my normal gig of RAW Retro Rewind Reviews and review something a little more current: “Gotham” on Fox.

Despite a first season that was marred by a lot of controversy, and some very god awful episodes, I stuck through it. I defended this show to anyone that would listen. Then I heard it got picked up for more episodes, past season 1; cool! Maybe with some more time, Bruno Heller and company could bat-clean up here.


But still…I stayed true to my love of Batman and wanted to support this show. Being a fan of it made me feel like being a supporter of Donald Trump: I’d defend it and then it’d go and do something even more stupid than before.

I read all the articles that had Heller saying season 2 would correct the issues everyone had with season 1. He was definitely misquoted. Season 2 feels like more of the same shit that everyone hated.

The premiere opens with Barbara Kean getting locked up in Arkham, Gordon working as a traffic cop, and Bullock tending bar. So, you know – completely different from the comics.

Bruce is still trying to crack the code-locked door behind the move-away fireplace. Selena Kyle is now running with Penguin, who has taken over control of all the mob related activity in Gotham. While on traffic detail, Gordon witnesses some fat slob (who drank a mysterious blue liquid, given to him by a man that was out of focus) proclaim himself Zaardan and take a woman hostage.

Without much fight, Gordon is able to arrest the would-be Gotham baddie. An equally fat slob traffic cop comes up eating a sandwich, reporting late for replacing Gordon. The former detective shoves the second traffic cop, who doesn’t miss a chew.

Back at the precinct, Nygma goes crazy when he catches his reflection in the mirror. I’m HYPED AF that The Riddler will be nearing 50 by the time Bruce Wayne dons the cape and cowl. Commissioner Loeb comes down heavy on Gordon for putting his hands on a fellow officer of the law, firing him on the spot. Captain Essen tries to fight for the righteous cop, but it’s to no avail.

Gordon being Gordon, he can’t let this injustice rest and wants to do something about it. Realizing he has no legal recourse to take, he seeks out assistance from the new mob king: The Penguin.

Robin Lord Taylor at The Penguin © 2015 Fox Television Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Robin Lord Taylor at The Penguin © 2015 Fox Television Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved

James believes that Cobblepot owes him a favor, since Gordon saved his life. Oswald remembers it differently, naturally, and says that he’ll help Gordon, if Gordon will help him out with a person who doesn’t want to pay up on his debts.

James walks out, taking the moral high ground.

No longer Lieutenant Gordon goes and visits his former partner, Harvey Bullock, at the bar he tends. Abusing their friendship, he chugs down three double shots of some whiskey that looks pretty pricey, before walking all the way to Wayne Manor. In the study of Master Bruce, Jim explains that he has been fired and can’t honor his promise of finding the killer of Bruce’s parents. It’s at this point, where a child of probably 13, puts a former police officer in his place. Bruce verbally owns Gordon for sacrificing the greater good, so that he can try and save face.

Of course, James doesn’t take this kind of shit talk lightly, and instead of back handing the still to come Batman, he goes to work for the Penguin. Gordon goes to collect the debt owed, and of course it goes awry. Gordon is forced to kill the non-payer. Honoring his word, Penguin and Victor Zsasz pay Commissioner Loeb a visit in his home.

After threatening his life, and proving that his guard has been violently murdered, Loeb is forced to step down from his position. Captain Essen is promoted to the new commissioner and James Gordon gets his job back. Now while all this is going on, Barbara Kean is making friends with some ginger nut job who I can only assume will become the Joker.

Meet Ginger Joker (Photo by: Fox)
Meet Ginger Joker (Photo by: Fox)

Joker notes to Ms. Kean that his friend, Richard Sionis a.k.a. the Black Mask, has taking a fancy to her. At first, Barbara is unreceptive to the idea, and proves she doesn’t need help from anyone by charming some nameless big lug. Ginger Joker informs her that Sionis can get her anything she wants. Kean is later seen having every male eating out of the palm of her hand.

She plays ball with Sionis to get a phone to call to the outside world. From Arkham, she calls Jim on his cellphone, and tries to tug on his heart strings. Too bad she doesn’t realize that now that Gordon worked for the mob, he doesn’t have time for that shit. Her next call is to Dr. Leslie Thompkins, Gordon’s new girl. As the phone rings, Gordon urges her not to pick up, saying he knows it’s Barbara. The I’m-pretty-sure-she’s-going-to-be-Harley Quinn Ms. Kean leaves a threatening message on the machine, saying she hopes Thompkins dies screaming.

Back at Arkham, Zaardon has been added to the mix. He hops on the table, demanding everyone listen to him, and then he keels over and a strange blue smoke pours out of his mouth.

A few seconds later and there’s a huge explosion. Somebody is breaking the looneys out of Arkham! And its a woman! The six or seven escapees are lined up in a fancy office tied to standing gurneys. Theo Galavan, the out of focus man from before, comes out to address the escapees. This looks to me like he and “Gotham,” are trying to create their own Suicide Squad. Sionis wants no part of it and asks to leave.

As he tries to leave, he says he’s taking Barbara with him. For his efforts, he gets murdered by the same woman who broke them out, Tabitha…and she happens to be Theo’s sister. The show ends with now Commissioner Essen informing Gordon that there’s been a break at Arkham and Barbara is one of the patients missing.

I can’t tell you how much I fucking hate this show. Never mind the fact that the mythos of Batman has been severely altered – this is just a shitty story.

All of Batman’s villains will be much older than the crime fighting vigilante, according to this show’s timeline. From what I saw in this season premiere, Heller and Co. did not fix any of the issues with last season. In fact, they did the opposite. I feel like now they club you over the head with them. I’m so upset that THIS is what they choose to open the season with. It’s more than safe to say that I will not be tuning into this show, ever again. DC needs to get their heads out of their asses and take more care of their properties.

Overall, I give this show a 1/10, or 1/2 a pile of HOT GARBAGE, as I cancel it from my DVR.

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon in “Gotham. © 2015 Fox Television Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jerry Mascolo