Gotham ended its first season tonight in the UK and the show has already been confirmed to be returning for a second season later in the year.
If you haven’t seen the season one finale of Gotham and want to avoid spoilers we suggest you stop reading now. If you have seen it and want to relive the action then keep reading.
Hopes were high when Gotham was first announced and initial buzz for the show was positive. It debuted to plenty of acclaim but over the course of its first season it struggled in the ratings and suffered from being a little bit all over the place in terms of storylines.
In the 22 episodes of the show so far, Gotham has introduced a wealth of characters from the comic books including Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), Joker (Cameron Monaghan), Poison Ivy (Clare Foley), Scarecrow (Charlie Tahan), Two-Face (Nick D’Agosto), Don Carmine Falcone (John Doman) and Don Salvatore Maroni (David Zayas), which has been both a gift to fans and also part of the show’s overall problem. There was also original villain Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) but it has been confirmed that she won’t be back in season 2.
In the first season finale the mob war seemingly came to an end with Fish killing Maroni, and Cobblepot throwing an injured Fish from the top of a building. Elsewhere Bruce (David Mazouz) and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) found a secret staircase hidden behind a fireplace that hinted at Bruce’s Batman destiny, Leslie (Morena Baccarin) had an intense fight with a crazed Barbara (Erin Richards), and Nygma realised he had accidentally left a clue for Krissy (Chelsea Spack) following the murder of her boyfriend.
We’ve put together our thoughts on what we want from the show’s upcoming second season.
1. Fewer characters. The first season has introduced so many characters that the majority of them have had barely any screen time or real progression. It would have been much better to have introduced a handful of characters in the first season and saved some characters for later seasons. The show felt a bit schizophrenic at times as it tried to cater to its very large cast of characters and it was pretty confusing for viewers.
2. A stronger story arc for season 2. This comment will likely be divisive but there was far too much time spent on the mob wars. We’re sure we’re not the only ones who didn’t really care about Fish Mooney, Maroni and Falcone. We tuned in to Gotham to see the backstories for the characters we actually cared about like Selina Kyle, Bruce Wayne etc.
3. A tighter policy on introducing new characters. We know that Hugo Strange and Dr. Freeze are both on the cards for season 2. We hope that there aren’t that many other characters on the horizon. We’d rather spend more time with the dozens of characters on the show than get even more than we get to know very little about.
4. Bruce moving closer to his Batman destiny. This is a difficult one as the show isn’t able to portray Bruce as Batman but the season 1 finale dropped heavy hints at Bruce’s progression as bats flew around on the secret staircase he discovered. He’s too young to be fighting crime at the moment but he’s not too young to really learn how to protect himself and work on his strength.
5. Nygma to become The Riddler. The final scene of Nygma in season one showed that he was descending into madness and we hope that in season two he breaks away from being comic relief for the show and becomes a real formidable villain. He’s definitely on the right path, we just hope the show follows through and does it justice.
6. Barbara to leave (or at least become recurring). She’s clearly got issues to deal with in the aftermath of her ordeal with The Ogre (Milo Ventimiglia) but we can’t help feeling the writers are struggling with the character. Since she split up with Jim (Ben McKenzie) she’s been at a loose end. We’d rather she only appeared when she had a purpose rather than staying in the show for the sake of it.
7. Jim to become a stronger character. He’s supposed to be the show’s main character but he’s not really made an impact on us. We know that the character is limited as Jim eventually works with Batman to keep Gotham safe, but he’s yet to do much of anything that makes him worthy for us to root for. At the moment we’re more interested in Cobblepot, Selina and Bruce.
8. The show to decide what it really is. Is Gotham a procedural? Is it a cartoony comic book show? Is it a harder-hitting comic book series along the lines of Arrow? Honestly after a full season we’ve no idea as it’s been all three of those things. The consistency and the tone of the show needs work. We accept that the first seasons of shows are tough but you only need to look at The Flash to see a show that knew what it wanted to be and ran with it.
9. The show to forge its own path. One of the problems Gotham faces is that it is very limited with some of the characters it has. Due to a variety of reasons the show can’t develop certain characters in the way that you would expect. With that in mind why don’t they do something different and off-the-wall? If it’s done well fans will accept changes to characters they know and love, and accept the show as a reimaging of the familiar world.
10. Bigger story arcs that involve multiple characters. The first season had lots going on but most of it was character specific leaving little to no crossover. With the exception of the messy and tedious mob wars, most of the plots were developed in isolation making the show feel disconnected and a bit messy.
Gotham will return in the autumn for a second season on FOX in the US and Channel 5 in the UK.