Gotham Season 3: Episodes 1-3 First Reaction

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:::Some Gotham Spoilers Contained Within Post:::

Gotham has been a bit of a mixed bag ever since its initial debut episode. You get flashes of something that, on its face,  is very interesting and appealing, however, it ultimately leads you down a road that doesn’t feel as satisfying as it should. There are a few dark payoffs here and there, which is what keeps me watching, but really it’s hard to know exactly what the show is trying to do.

So far season three seems to be following suit. Some of the shows characters deliver constantly entertaining and interesting stories while others leave you feeling a little lackluster and just generally underwhelmed. This is true of both the shows heroes and villains to the point where sometimes you’re not exactly sure who you’re routing for.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A good villain is one that you can empathize with. Someone who’s cause might initially appear just, by their means run to the dark side. This makes them riveting and it’s what keeps us hanging in through some of the shows more downbeat moments.

Take the Penguin for instance. He’s easily become one of the shows more interesting and motivated characters. During season two we saw Penguin reach a whole new level of dark, but in order to get there we had to sit through some extremely tedious scenes where his character was systematically tortured at the hands of Hugo Strange. We also had to endure a subdued version of the character during his post-Arkham release, but as long and drawn out as that got, we at least got a fairly substantial payoff when Penguin took revenge on his new step-mother by feeding her her own children. Very dark. Well played show.

This season picks up with the Penguin post familycide. While currently hellbent on tracking down his former boss/abuser, Fish Mooney, his motivations switch as he sets his sites to seeking political office. While the Fish plot wore itself thin fairly quickly, it also ended fairly quickly giving way to the political story-line which pays homage to the some of the Penguins historical roots while setting up an air of intrigue surrounding Gotham’s inner-workings.

Speaking of Fish Mooney…

This is a character that should probably just get shelved. She was one of the weaker points of season one, outside of the fact that she’s the one responsible for putting Penguin on his path, she served littler purpose beyond being a week-to-week filler. When they initially killed her in season one, we all thought it was over, until she was revived only to be tortured during a subplot involving the shows version of the Doll Maker, that went absolutely nowhere. Further more, in a plotline that had almost nothing to do with the Doll Maker, she was moved over to Arkham and put under the care of Hugo Strange who eventually gave her powers. Season three picks up with the idea that the treatment she went through to get her powers is actually slowly killing her so she’s seeking out Hugo Strange to help devise a cure. There’s nothing immediately thrilling or exciting about her, just as it’s gone for the past few seasons, so it’s of no real surprise here. Again, a character that could potentially have more to do is reduced down to weekly filler.

The kids of Gotham have always been a source of interest. Between Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle, and Ivy Pepper there’s always some crazy hijinxs going down and this season keeps it going. The end of last season introduced the idea of a Bruce Wayne clone, which in my opinion, is the absolute worst. It seems like when writers have nothing else better to come up with (which is severely hard to imagine with a show like Gotham), they opt to throw in a clone. This will likely resort to very little, other than to maybe strain the Bruce/Selina relationship, but beyond that it seems like the kind of device that’ll be done away with midseason.

Ivy on the other hand has gone through an extremely questionable transformation which has seen her age by at least ten years. I’m actually working on an article devoted directly to this idea, so I would go too far into it now, other than the fact that the writers are on record saying that they aged her in order to bring her sexuality into the equation. Gross, but it’s been done and we’ve yet to see exactly why they felt that was necessary.

The rest of Gotham is Gotham as usual. Jim Gordon, no fired from the GCPD (probably with good reason), keeps meddling with police affairs in his new role as Gotham’s finest bounty hunter. Yeah, Jim Gordon is officially a vigilant in the Gotham universe. As he works to round up Hugo Strange’s Indian Hills escapees, he constantly finds himself at odds with the police. He actually helps to botch a police attempt to capture Fish Mooney which might have been successful had he not deemed it necessary to help her escape in order to save the life of Harvey Bullock, who Fish Mooney had likely had no real intention of killing anyway. Gordon’s former love interest, Lee Thompkins, has now returned to Gotham with her new fiance (even though she’s been split with Jim for less than a year), who just so happens to be the son of former Gotham mob leader, Carmine Falcone. Talk about kicking in drama for dramas sake.

Anyway, so far this third season of Gotham is playing out a little odd, but it does have some glimmers of interesting just as the previous seasons had. I’ve got some thoughts and predictions for how it’ll all turn out, but I’ll leave those for another time. It’s a show that has a lot of appeal, it would just be nice if it could hone in some of it’s story lines and deliver something a little more well rounded. Time will tell how it’ll all come together and in the end, maybe it’ll work, but then again, maybe it won’t?

So, are you still watching Gotham? If so, what keeps you hanging on? Do you love or hate? Could you take it or leave it? As always, give me your thoughts in the comments section below.

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