Gotham returned for it’s third season last night, and I for one am loving the direction the show is going in. It’s come a long way from it’s beginnings a few years ago with it’s heavy handed references of things to come later in the story of Batman. They’ve really figured out how to do a Batman series without Batman essentially.
In this episode we pick up 6 months after the events of last season’s finale, wherein the resurrected with mind control powers Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and an assortment of unnamed freaks, criminals who were mutated into monsters or given superhuman abilities by Hugo Strange (B.D.Wong) escaped from Arkham Asylum and have been set loose upon Gotham City. Basically the setup to the Knightfall storyline without Batman of course.
Jim Gordon (Ben Mckenzie) still has yet to return to the police force that we know he will one day become Commissioner of, and now works as a bounty hunter, collecting the Arkham inmates in a deadly game of Pokemon Go. At the start of the episode we see his encounter with a not quite all the way mutated Killer Croc, which was a nice little easter egg.
Also introduced this episode is the new love interest for Jim Gordon, reporter Valerie Vale (I’m guessing Vicki’s aunt or cousin in this version of the story) played by Jamie Chung (Once Upon A Time), she’s on the trail of a hot story, and as will be the case for Gotham City from here on out, there’s no hotter story than the freaks the city has to offer. I really enjoyed the chemistry between her and Gordon, it works better than the chemistry the past season with Lee, who we see get written out of the show in the opening moments of the show.
We get more into the developing Court of Owls story that was started to be touched upon last year, it seems that these guys will be the big bads of the season, with Fish and Company offering as secondary villains, which is fine by me, I’ve been a huge fan of the Court of Owls since they were introduced a few years ago in the comics. For the uninitated, they are a cult who secretly has run Gotham City since the beginning.
I like where the show is going, it’s a definite twist on the Batman mythos, but a welcome one. Traditionally it’s always been assumed that it was Bruce Wayne’s eventual donning of the cape and cowl that led to the rise of the supervillains in Gotham City, but here it seems more likely that the freaks will be the ones to inspire Batman himself to put on the suit, which I hope we get to eventually if this show keeps running. There’s still plenty of monsters to catch and plenty of stories to tell in Gotham City, and I look forward to seeing where they go with this one.