Gotham Season 2 Roundtable


Did the second season of Gotham improve on the first? Our staff gives their opinions on the sophomore season of the hit show

Gotham’s second season is a wrap, and leaves a hell of a lot of good questions for season 3. But the biggest question is, did they improve from the fairly uneven first season? Gotham certainly went bigger and crazier with more grandiose plots and bigger villains, but did it work? What did the staff of this website, who have seen every episode and analyzed nearly every clip and interview think of the second season?

Next: :....Kit Anderson's Thoughts on Gotham Season 2

GOTHAM: L-R: Sean Pertwee and James Frain in the “Wrath of the Villains: Unleashed” episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, May 2 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX

Gotham’s second season had a tough act to follow. The first season of Gotham surprised and overachieved both in viewers and with critics. It was a new and fresh perspective on many characters that DC fans have grown to love. Following it up with a second season that had just as much originality was something that I did not think they would be able to accomplish.

From the start of this season they attempted not only to match it by adding layers to the characters we have grown attached to but also by introducing new favorites into the story. One of my personal favorites of this season was the addition of Mr. Fox . He is a key character years later within the Batman story so to see a much younger version of him was a great idea bringing in a familiar character with a fresh take. The main story with Bruce this season remained much the same as the season before it revolving around his search for justice for his parents. Jim’s story on the other hand took a much darker turn one that allowed his character to grow and explore new storylines.

Jim’s darkest point within the season is when he decides to cross the line when the system fails him by taking a life. Obviously we understand his reasoning within the story it is however also a line that should never be crossed and a problem that haunted him the remainder of the season. While at first I was not happy with this creative choice I think it created a great opportunity to bring Jim into the reality and darkness of Gotham and slowly they seem to be bringing him back from that. It made the season much more interesting as we watched Jim struggle through debating right from wrong and which lines are one that should and should not be crossed.

Another storyline of major note was Indian Hill and introducing a character in Dr. Strange that can literally bring back the dead. That in my opinion was the weakest part of this season. What has separated Gotham from the much lighter stories of Flash and Arrow is that it does have at least a bit of realism. What I mean by that is that we did not see people constantly cheating death as we have in Flash and Arrow. Introducing Dr. Strange into the story and his ability to resurrect characters is a creative choice that now will allow characters to be re-used and brought back as they please. The one good thing that came out of this story Fish Mooney is back.

Fish Mooney’s popularity demanded her character’s return and it is only fitting that she was brought back even more powerful than before. While I am unsure how many times exactly her character can be defeated and brought back it does accomplish one thing and that is support her character even more in the fact that she is a survivor. In other villain news Barbara and Cobblepot were both creepy as ever and both keep finding ways to continue to stay in this season’s story. While I really enjoyed this season overall I felt at times that the random scenes with Cobblepot were more to add to the darkness of the show and less doing anything for the plot itself.

As far as best moments of this season two stuck out in my mind. The first was when Azrael first shows up on the scene watching a young Bruce Wayne as he leaps around the building and escapes much like we see Batman do in the future was a cool moment and one that they added with obvious intent.  The second would have to be the ending of this season to sit and watch the amount of classic  villains being teased was exciting for a DC fan and left me impatiently waiting for season 3.

Next: ....Amanda Chrisman's Thoughts on Gotham Season 2

I would say over all Gotham season two was better than Gotham season one, for one thing I don’t think it had one entire episode that was totally bad like The Balloon Man from the begining of season one. Most of the character development in this season was quite enjoyable, I particularly like what the writers did with Edward Nygma throughout the season. We saw Nygma take his first real steps toward becoming the Riddler we all know and I found that this version of The Riddler’s origins the most compelling version of events I’ve seen.

I also really appreciate the developing relationships between Bruce and Selina as well as Bruce and Alfred. Probably my only real complaint about the show is Jim Gordon, I just don’t like him nearly as much as I like other characters. It’s a sorry state of affairs though when someone who champions this show to her fellow fans has a dislike for the protagonist of the show. I worry that it’s going to be very hard to believe that the man we are seeing now is going to become the shining example of the G.C.P.D., most honest cop in a corrupt town, that is Commissioner Gordon whose only flirtation with the wrong side of the law is his relationship with Batman and his refusal to arrest the Dark Knight. This version of Jim Gordon seems far too willing to bend and even break laws to accomplish his goals. So a good show, a better second season, but I really hope the creative team changes things up a bit with Gordon because for a show I like this much I should not dislike the main character!

Next: :....Eric Chrisman's Thoughts On Gotham Season 2

GOTHAM: Cory Michael Smith in the “Wrath of the Villains: Unleashed” episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, May 2 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX

I thought season one of Gotham was wildly uneven and finished with kind of a thud, with only a couple real standout episodes such as “Penguin’s Umbrella”, where Penguin reveals to everyone he wasn’t dead after all. But I thought the premise was solid and had hopes they would step it up in season two.

And for the most part I think they did. Gotham in season two really went nuts, and for the most part it paid off. Edward Nymga’s slow burn from kind of accidental murderer into The Riddler and pulling off his first “riddle-crime” led to my favorite episode of the season. I also like that they were able to take risks with killing off some of their more interesting or historic characters (Essen, Jerome, Barnes) and still keep the story interesting. The classic such as Freeze and especially Dr. Hugo Strange were introduced in extremely fun ways.

But I think key to me enjoying the second season of Gotham was a big turn for Bruce Wayne. In season one, he was very whiny and petulant and not showing many of the qualities of someone who would become Gotham’s greatest protector. In season two, Bruce Wayne had many what I’d like to call “Batman moments”. Deceiving Silver St. Cloud with a fantastic fake kidnapping was the highlight. But he also tracked down the man who killed his parents, and in a very Batman-moment, in fact did not kill Matches Malone, even though he had every right to. And there was of course also things like leaping across buildings and getting some actual training in. Gotham season two had a lot of growth fro Bruce Wayne and I hope we’ll see more of that in season 3.

But there were some missteps in Season 2 here and there. I honestly felt the angle with Theo Galavan lost steam at the mid-season finale. We knew Bruce Wayne wasn’t going to die. If you had put someone like Tabitha or Silver herself in danger, that might’ve added more tension, for example, But overall, I am extremely excited to see where season three goes, and just how dark Jim Gordon can get and how much further Gotham as a city can fall. After all, if the city wasn’t in utter chaos, it probably wouldn’t need a billionaire in a batsuit to save it!