Gotham: Five Things to Look Out For in the Second Half of the Season
The first half of the premiere season of Gotham was undeniably disappointing, but we'd like to think it still has potential. It's entertaining, it's beautifully shot, and the cast is top-notch, particularly standout performer Robin Lord Taylor. Gotham has been finding its footing, and we're hopeful that it'll find it in the latter half of the season, especially since there are several new plotlines we're excited about:
1) Arkham Asylum
Arkham Asylum is finally reopened, and early buzz indicates that Gotham's version of the corrupt asylum will be as terrifying as it needs to be to do the comics justice. This will not only bring in characters and plotlines we've all been waiting for (Scarecrow, Leslie Thompkins, continuation of Victor Zsasz), but the disturbing subject matter could also help Gotham achieve the dark tone for which it's been striving and only intermittently achieving.
[Credit: DC Comics]
EP Danny Cannon recently confirmed that Gotham fans will see the infamous villain Scarecrow, last popularized by Cillian Murphy in the Dark Knight series. The actual Scarecrow is in Batman's cohort, so he will be a child when we see him, but not only will we get to see the beginnings of his origin story, but we'll encounter the first Scarecrow, his father, who will undoubtedly be a significant villain within the Arkham arc.
3) Morena Baccarin!
Firefly and Homeland's Morena Baccarin joins the cast as Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who is a character from the comics but whose arc will depart from the source material. In the comics, she's primarily connected to the Wayne family, but in Gotham, she will serve as an ally to Gordon. Baccarin described her character as "somebody who's very no-bullshit, speaks her mind. She's not pulled in by the craziness, corruption of Gotham. She'd rather live in a better world [but] she's also very unfazed by the craziness of Gotham and Arkham."
This is exciting for many reasons; first, Baccarin is an extremely talented actress, earning cult acclaim for her role in Firefly and an Emmy nomination for her role in Homeland. Second, her character sounds cool and compelling enough to begin to solve Gotham's deeply rooted problem with female characters. Many are also hoping she'll serve as a new love interest, as she certainly sounds more interesting and less annoying than Barbara, but it will be enough of an accomplishment for this show to just introduce a competent and complex female character.
4) Penguin's ascent to power
The tensions between the two main crime families- Maroni and Falcone- continues to build, as Fish Mooney plots to bring Falcone from the inside. But the entire season has really been about Penguin: the calculating, ambitious, deceptively pathetic underling who will shift his loyalties at a moment's notice to get ahead. He's fairly downtrodden in the above clip, but by now we all know that that's his tried-and-true method for getting his enemies' guard down. His ascent to power in Gotham's underworld could go one of several ways (I'd guess that Fish Mooney won't make it out of this season), and we're excited to see how it plays out.
5) Cat and Ivy team up
I had hoped that little Ivy Pepper would come into play more than she has so far, as creepy children are the best kind of villain. It looks like I might get my wish in the next few episodes, as Fox has teased that Selina Kyle will be taking Ivy Pepper under her wing. Ominously, Ivy seems to be sick for some reason, which may indicate that Gotham is moving up her poisoning origin story a few years and giving her superpowers as a child. This would be awesome by itself, and would also signal a new direction for the show, as it has stopped just shy of giving any of its characters superpowers up to this point.
Dishonorable Mention: Barbara and Montoya
Last time we saw Barbara, she had left Jim and returned to her ex-lover, Montoya. That sounds like it's filled with intrigue, but it's not. No one cares about Barbara. I hope she won't go back to Jim so we don't have to deal with her anymore, but I have a feeling we'd be getting off way too easy.