Gotham Fails to Redeem Itself In Season 2 Episode 2

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 - 7:55PM
DC Comics
Gotham
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 - 7:55PM
Gotham Fails to Redeem Itself In Season 2 Episode 2
The first episode of Gotham season 2 premiered last week, and sadly it left much to be desired. While many fans were hoping that the first episode of the new season wouldn't set the precedent for the rest of this year's show, this week's episode, entitled "Rise of the Villains: Knock, Knock" may have them worried that it indeed has. Episode 2 failed once again to live up to the show's potential and relied too much on crowd pleasing scenes filled with a young Joker. Likewise, the show continues to experience issues with pacing and tone that have come to really be a detriment to what could be a great show. Here's the specifics of what exactly went wrong this week:

Jerome



It's no secret that the Joker is the most popular comic book villain ever, and since Heath Ledger's performance in the Dark Knight, it seems like everyone is dying to see more of him. Gotham capitalizes on this, but in doing so, makes the Joker a less compelling character. One of the things that is so intriguing about the Joker is his lack of an origin - nobody knows exactly where he came from and why he is like he is. Gotham ignores all that simply so they can have a fan favorite character play a central role in the show. Now clearly this isn't DC's Earth Prime, and this version of the Batman story has it's own twists and turns. It can still work if they shake up the Joker's origins in the show (after all, they did it with Batman 89), though it may make the character less interesting in some aspects. If that's what they're going to do, however, they at least need to make their version of their character something really special.

While Cameron Monaghan is a generally talented actor, his Joker seems to be composed of very well done imitations of Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, and voice actor Mark Hamill. And though the imitations are well done, they're still imitations! There's very little that's original about Monaghan's Joker. Now many of the scenes that Jerome appeared in this week were actually very fun to watch, but one couldn't help but be reminded of what iteration of the Joker was being mimicked in almost every one.  Overall, this week's show seemed to place too much emphasis on Jerome in attempts to please the crowd.

Cheesiness



Last week, the show seemed a tad less realistic than it did in the previous season. This week was even worse. Some of the dialogue was just plain cringeworthy, and the suspenseful music that played when there was no suspense was almost comical. Likewise, the hug that took place between Gordon and Bruce at the end of the show was almost a heartwarming moment between two people who will later come to work side by side in cleaning up the city, but it just ended up coming off as something extremely cheesy. Some amount of cheesiness can end up working in most shows, but it definitely doesn't seem to be doing much for Gotham.

The Pacing

 

Last week, all suspense was killed before it could start when Barbara escaped Arkham right from the start and when Jim got fired in what felt like ten minutes before he was rehired. This week, it seemed as though the show would be able to ground fans into an interesting story by watching what it was going to take to get Harvey Bullock back on the force. The beginning of the episode even alluded that this could end up being part of the storyline, but alas, before the end of the episode Harvey was already back, leaving you barely any time to care that he was gone. The choice of pacing with some of the things going on in the show seems to be very off. While a show can hurt itself by drawing some things out for longer than they need to be, Gotham barely lets most of these events occur before they're resolved.

In conclusion, Gotham really does have the potential to be a great show - it just never seems to live up to it. This week's episode certainly wasn't an exception as it placed more emphasis on the theatrics of a crowd pleasing character than it did with crafting a gripping storyline. It was a bit too cheesy for a show of its kind, and there continues to be constant problems with the pacing.
Overall, both episode 1 and episode 2 of this season have earned themselves a firm 5.2 out of 10.

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