The new season of Gotham was heralded by a refreshing shift from the ‘villain of the week’ structure that typified the first season, and, of course, the standard crime drama procedural that I know and love, and this pattern follows through into the second episode quite smoothly. Arguably, when the focus of the episode does not rest, solely, on the ‘whodunit’ aspect of the crime that’s been committed, then there’s less pressure to conform to the often-labyrinthine twists and turns typical to the modern crime drama, and more space to establish a unique identity beyond that.
Now, onto the particulars:
In episode 2, the Arkham escapees conduct their debut performance, led by Jerome – I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I saw that coming at least three miles away – and wreak merry havoc on the poor citizens, who seem to be, in the main, utterly unaware that they’re living in the kind of city likely to be extremely bad for their health – and that’s on a good day. Leading the opposition is, Jim Gordon – naturally – but without his usual partner in crime prevention, as Bullock is giving life as a civilian and bartender a go.
This episode was, as I’ve already rambled on about, absent of the usual crime of the week, and that allowed for a much freer, looser structure centered more or less entirely around the main plot point of the Arkham escapees, with the occasional side trip to the Wayne manor. As an episode, it felt far more cohesive than some of those in the first season, and thus much easier to follow, too.
(Which, as a more or less dedicated fan of multiple shows, all of which have returned at roughly the same time, I appreciated)
Although they were, relatively speaking (I like to speak relatively), sparse, I found the scenes involving Jim and Harvey to be the most enjoyable. They were well crafted, alluded nicely to the strong friendship developed throughout the first season, and while not as humorous as the viewer has come to expect from the duo, were far from dull. Additionally, while it was somewhat predictable for Harvey to return to the force, and at such a critical time, too, it was nice to see their partnership restored.
Yes, I’m a sap.
Other than that, I enjoyed Jerome’s scenes – great acting, wonderful dialogue, etc., etc., – but I had hoped for more of Barbara. Now that she has a part beyond that of Jim’s girlfriend, she’s become an asset to the show and an interesting development to follow, and I’m very interested in watching her character arc pan out.
To conclude with Bruce and Alfred, I think the show has established a wonderfully realistic spin on the origins story, and with each episode bringing another hint of what is to come, and another shift made by Bruce into the kind of person that he’s going to grow up to be, it’s cleverly done and great to watch.
As for Alfred…well. I think we all deserve someone like Alfred in our lives.