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Gotham kicked-off its second season this week, and our Leonard Marciano is here to break down everything that happened in episode one – “Damned If You Do”.
Season two of Gotham premiered this week and it started off with a bang!
The show started off a few months after the events of the finale. We learned that all of our characters are in different places. Some of the changes were expected while others came out of left-field.
We open with Alfred and Bruce trying to open Thomas Wayne’s secret man-cave. After the unsuccessful attempt, we cut over to a montage showing where every one of the main characters is one month later.
Gordon, we learn, is now working the beat as a traffic cop while Bullock is working at a bar. We then see Gotham’s underworld paying their respects to Gotham’s new Crime Lord – The Penguin. Finally. we see Barbara walk into prison like it’s a resort spa, with Jerome and Roman Sionis looking on.
We cut over to Edward Nygma continuing his psychotic breakdown and starting to talk to himself. The scene does a great job in showing his compulsion taking over, and reminding us that every character doesn’t start off as a villain. In Eddie’s case the path to hell is paved with good intentions as he was merely trying to protect Miss Kringle from her abusive relationship last season.
Back in Arkham we see Barbara and Jerome discussing how to make friends. This scene is great all around as it reminds us all of our first day in school just in a creepy psychotic way. After much back and forth Barbara agrees to be Sionis’ friend in exchange for a telephone; which she will use to call Gordon and leave Leslie a psychotic homicidal message.
We see later on in the episode that Gordon will go to Penguin for a favour concerning how to reclaim his job, after getting fired by Commissioner Loeb. As we saw last season, anytime Gordon and Penguin interact they steal the show. Penguin eagerly agrees to help James get his job back and handle Loeb, but he needs a favor as well.
Gordon’s encounter ends badly as he is able to recover the money Penguin asked him to collect, but not without killing a man, after he is chased out of the night club. Once again the scene was very reminiscent of season one’s encounter with Mario Peppers, but this time Gordon is doing something wrong and he knows it.
The remainder of the episode shows Gordon having second thoughts about what happened while Penguin forces Loeb into an early retirement. The writers did a great job here of reinforcing Penguins gift of seeing the landscape and how to change out the pieces on the board like a game of Chess. Penguin has removed Commissioner Loeb from play while having Gordon in his pocket as well; effectively killing two birds with one stone!
We see Bruce and Alfred manage to enter Thomas Wayne’s man cave by blowing the doors with explosives after Bruce gave up on guessing the combination to the door. The contents of Thomas’ man cave was a letter to Bruce asking him to choose Happiness or Truth. This scene was great since we will probably not get to see the iconic moment when Bruce tells his father that he will be a Bat since the show might not go that far into Batman’s Year One!
The show does a good job throughout this episode of showing us how things are escalating in Gotham from when we first met our characters.
Overall I give the episode an 5 stars as it does a good job in moving the overall story forward while serving as a good jumping point for any new watchers.
Leonard Marciano is a Contributor to ComiConverse: Follow him on Twitter: @LeonardTLM
Great job in moving the overall story forward!