I’m a little late to Gotham this week. I could claim that I’m still trying to come to terms with the big scoop of crazy the last episode served up…
…but honestly it’s just life getting in the way.
By my count, there are only four more episodes to go before season one finishes. Gotham has already been renewed for a second season, so the only tension is what will happen with the series climax.
Honestly, I think this series has been too long. The 22 episodes have given it bloat-space, where 13 or so would have kept it leaner. I think this is why the pace ebbs and flows, why it has good and bad episodes.
The creators won’t shorten the seasons; there’s too much money in it. But from a critical point of view, it would be a more sensible approach.
But hey, I’m just a bod with a blog, watching a TV show. What do I know?
Gotham feels, at this stage, more like an epic than a TV series.
It’s hard, as I’ve said before, to remember that this is only the first season. It has already succeeded so much in creating a world which lives and breathes. Gotham feels like a real city, and its citizens feel like real people.
There’s a larger story at work, not just the development of Gordon and Wayne, but the whole Batman world in embryonic form. Already we’ve had major milestones, and big moments.
And we’re still a few episodes away from the big finale.
If you’re interpreting them, then you can either get it right or wrong. You can either make a good job of it or you can cock it up.
When you’re inventing an origin story, though, you’re risking something else. If you make a bad job of it, you’ll either lower your version of the character you’re originating, or you cheapen the character itself.
The reason I raise this is the claim that Gotham will give us a Joker origin story. Possibly in this very episode. Now, I’ve never yet met an origin story for Mr J that I actually liked, and part of the fun of the character is that he’s an enigma, a whirlwind of chaos without a past.
I’ve enjoyed Gotham a lot, but this…this might be a step too far…
So far Gotham‘s record for introducing Batman villains hasn’t been flawless. The Penguin, as a story arc project, is coming along nicely, and Edward Nygma is humming away nicely in the background. But the rest have largely been one-shot, single episode features.
I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that an episode titled “The Scarecrow” is going to feature, well, Scarecrow. We got the preview yesterday, in what seems to be becoming a new feature for the show: the two-episode villain introduction.
Admittedly, the last time was with the Electrocutioner, which isn’t exactly an A-list Batman villain.
But Gotham has won the room to experiment, in a way that few of the new series I’ve been regularly reviewing has. It’s already won its second season, and though it does hit bum notes from time to time, it’s more or less found its rhythm.
So with Gotham‘s return — to being a good show, not its disappointing post-Christmas return to broadcast — and the ending of American Horror Story: Freak Show, Gotham is probably my favoruite TV series of the moment. It’s a close thing though — the field is very strong, and Gotham has shown a remarkable tendency for troughs as well as peaks.
But we’re being positive. Gotham has already been renewed for a second season, which is more than Constantine can say, so it’s clearly doing something right.
The last episode ended in a classic Gotham cliffhanger, so let’s see what it’s got for us next.
One surprise from Gotham in the first four episodes, has been the number of appearances from Bruce Wayne. The young actor playing the role is good, don’t get me wrong, but I hadn’t been anticipating such a focus on someone who is some ten to twenty years from being Batman. So nobody — surely — can be expecting an appearance by the Caped Crusader.
Unless they go down the flash-forward route… (As in the opposite of flashbacks, not the Robert J Sawyer novel. And let us hope they do not take the former option -Ed).
The point is that, if they have made such an effort to keep referring back to the boy that we certainly haven’t forgotten about, then something is looming which is going to involve him doing more than moping.