On April 24th, FOX brings back its hit show Gotham, and once more lures us in with stories of the Batman-yet-to-come and his Rogues Gallery. The show is hated by some but loved by so many more, and it keeps bringing back audiences new and old. With the upcoming mid-season premiere, they’ve released a trailer full of images that entice and intrigue us…yet also disappoint. So, let’s cover the high, the low, and the curiously ambivalent.
More Fish Mooney! One of the few original characters on the show, at least that isn’t based on someone from the comics, Jada Pinkett Smith’s “gangster-turned-monster” has been a fan favorite. Now it looks like she’s returned to Gotham, alongside her grotesque henchmen. Has she returned because of the power vacuum left by Cobblepot? Or does she have something more sinister in store?
More Hugo Strange! As he was last a prisoner of Fish, looking for help with her condition, it makes sense he would return with her. B.D. Wong’s take on the character has been praised, so knowing we’ll get more of the “mad psychiatrist” will have us watching. The real question is if he’s broken free from the grasp of both Fish and the Court of Owls.
More homage to Michelle Pfeiffer! We all noticed how much Camren Bicondova looks like Ms. Pfeiffer’s version of Catwoman from the very beginning. Now it seems like the references will continue, as they show a scene eerily reminiscent of 1992’s Batman Returns. Laying there from a fall, surrounded by cats, is this the impetus that turns “Cat” into her namesake.
Sergeant Barnes becomes Bane? We don’t know if this is what they’re doing with his character precisely, but the scenes with the mask and super-strength seem all too familiar. If they do go this route, hopefully, this will only set things up for the real Bane down the road, like how they handled Jonathan Crane. Otherwise, they’ve not only done the character no justice but also fallen victim to whitewashing in a show that has usually done well with diversity.
More Court of Owls. I don’t think I’m the only one who wasn’t happy they’d use such relatively recent comic villains in a prelude series. For a “secret society so secret even Gotham’s Dark Knight didn’t know about them,” they sure are blatant. This move seems like flagrant fan service to modern Batman readers, no different than when they threw Ferengi and Borg into Star Trek: Enterprise.
The Curiously Ambivalent
Bruce as Batboy? A lot of scenes and lines suggest the training of young Bruce into Batman, although I think some viewers forget another character. Hugo Strange’s clone of Bruce Wayne, Subject 514A, was last seen with the Court of Owls, where he was given a mysterious mission to “save Gotham.” All the Batman-esque training may simply be the Court turning him into a weapon; this could prove to be the inspiration that sends the real Bruce in his doppelganger’s footsteps in the future.
Whatever Gotham has in stall for us, we can hope it keeps up with the previous half of the season. Although some have complained of its camp, I like to think that the show has kept the essence of the 80’s comics and Burton movies: gritty, Gothic, and theatrical. This trailer suggests no change from that winning formula, and we can’t wait.
Well, except to see how Penguin survives. We want more Robin Lord Taylor!