With all the holiday stuff going on, you kinda get caught up in all the things that go on so you hardly have time to yourself. When you do, you realize that we are in the midst of those mid-season finales of all those shows that came out of the gate with promise. Gotham was one of those shows that seemingly started without a bit of that promise but really came around as the season went on with an interesting set up for the coming episodes,
By the end of the first half of the season one of the biggest issues I had with the series seemed to work itself out which was the cluster of open and obvious easter eggs that were given so early. It wasn’t that they were given so early as much as they just tried to throw it in everyone faces that these characters were coming and this was the reason to stick around. No, not the plot or the interesting characters or even the development of Bruce Wayne, the anticipation of incoming side characters is the reason to watch. But anyway, they were more subtle and/or actually served to further the plot. Whether it was finally seeing Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) go to work (which was sweet) or hints of Black Mask (without really mentioning him) for the future and even those assassins (which could be early signs of the league of assassins), the usage of the easter eggs and familiar characters alike were utilized much better.
As I mentioned before, the characters are what make the show and the slow inclusion of more characters was a great way to keep the show interesting. It is not that the plot is not interesting because it is. However, the plot itself can be seen as a bit bland and tends to jump around (just a little though) and if it wasn’t for superior efforts put in by multiple actors the show would not be something worth watching. I loved watching The Penguin scheme his way back into Gotham just as much as I enjoy Selina (Camren Bicondova) and her interactions with Bruce. I enjoy the larger role that Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) has begun to have which is good because I hate him (in the best way possible). Without going into more, the characters are the real reason to watch and to be honest, that’s kinda the way it should be.
Verdict: I will say that I expected the series to pick up and it did so in proper fashion. I like the Gordon against the world premise because it makes whatever success Gordon will have that much more important. The drama was better and the pace of the show was quicker which bodes well for the second half of the season. Speaking of drama, one thing I don’t think I’m looking forward to is seeing how this love triangle with Barbara (Erin Richards), Montoya, and Gordon; the former two I have really soured on as they are both more harm than helpful to Gordon’s cause in their own individual ways. I also didn’t really like Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto) and thought he was slim as a dynamic character and too forward. In the end the show has done wonders with what it has because it lacks a sort of precedent that other comic book shows like The Flash and AOS have in a shared universe. They have predecessors (in CW’s Arrow and the MCU respectively) where Gotham is figuring things out as a unique standalone vision and the job to keep the show interesting (even with Batman’s name on it) is hard enough. And to those that say a Batman show without Batman isn’t interesting are missing the point of the show and need to be a bit more open-minded. The adversaries (or soon to be) of Batman were already severely broken in one way or another before the dark knight surfaced. To see the evolution of the characters and the city as a whole gives a new perspective on why Batman decided to do what he does and maybe if you see it as kind of a POV with yourself as Batman seeing the city work the way it does, then you’ll see why the show does as well.
+ More progression of characters and better Character interaction overall
+ More stable plot (although still a bit cluttered)
+ Better use of teasers and easter eggs
– Not a fan of love triangles (and no one should be)
– Harvey Dent didn’t really make an impression on me
Gotham returns January 5th at 8PM eastern/7PM central on Fox