Gotham fans are in for a treat (and then a stressful rest of the winter) on Monday night when the winter finale airs. This three-episode spurt has brought chaos, drama, death, destruction, and huge changes to the landscape of Gotham City, the relationships on the show, and set things up for a final eight episodes, starting airing April 24, 2017, that can be nothing less than a breakneck pace, if only to find a way to wrap all these storylines.
The series has been doing well for FOX and for WBTV; it's the most consistently rated DC Comics superhero series on TV - it doesn't have the fluctuations up and down that the CW shows do, showing off its incredibly loyal and invested audience. While it hasn't received an official season four order yet, looking at the industry, fans should feel pretty good about its chances.
But any show can always use new viewers. Some of the hesitation fans have shown, whether it was the uneven first season, the drastically different take on the origins of Batman and his foes, or something else entirely, can be easily assuaged with five, simple, spoiler-free reasons you need to be watching Gotham. One bonus one: the winter finale is the best episode of the series yet - but that's all we can say until it airs.
It's DC Elseworlds brought to life
Let's get this out of the way early: Yes, in Gotham many of Batman's villains are much older than Bruce Wayne, and are being realized before he has even thought about putting on a bat costume and terrorizing them. No, this doesn't matter at all.
Repeat that, read it out loud, learn to love the sentence: IT DOESN'T MATTER.
There's a lost art to the world of comics where fans used to love exploring alternate realities. DC used to have a whole set of branding for this: Elseworlds. That's where you could tell stories where Kal-el was brought up in Gotham City by the Waynes, or Batman became a Green Lantern, or any number of other "imaginary stories."
The same fans that love Injustice, a world where Superman goes insane and takes over, can't seem to accept a Gotham City where the villains are born of the city itself instead of because of Batman. It's always been about Gotham City, and arguably Batman's story has always been about Gotham City. Once you accept that, everything else can be so much more appreciated.prevnext
The Action is Awesome...
It's tough having a superhero series without a proper superhero, naturally - but this show does not want for action. While that's not the primary goal of the show by any means, when they get into it, it delivers. Whether it's young David Mazouz slowly but surely learning to kick bad guy butt, Sean Pertwee's Alfred throwing down, Jessica Lucas bringing the "fatal" to "femme fatale" on a regular basis, or those sweet, amazing moments we get Zsasz into the mix and Gordon unleashes his rage... Yeah, there's plenty of action to enjoy, and this season especially has had some of the most well-choreographed fights this side of Arrow and Daredevil.prevnext
...but the Drama is Even Better
As awesome as those action-packed moments are, the drama of the show is where it really hits its sweet spot. There are so many interpersonal relationships being juggled and so many amazing characters, it is easy to see how that might be intimidating at first. But the way those relationships link together, the way everything plays off each other, and the way that Gotham City is truly the focal point of it all plays to its strengths. If you start watching, you'll soon be so deep into the ever-shifting landscape, you'll be thinking about their relationships as much as your own.prevnext
It's a master class in acting
Gotham, admittedly, took awhile to find itself. Even the EPs like Bruno Heller and John Stephens will readily tell you that the first season had problems; too much episodic television, not enough serialization and playing to the strengths of the cast hampered it at first. Not so anymore (or really since around the last four episodes of season one), and now these actors are shining bright.
Robin Lord Taylor, playing the Penguin, has ranged from utter psychopath to child-like innocence. Cory Michael Smith's Ed "The Riddler" Nygma wants so desperately to love and be loved, but his journey of self-discovery has mostly been about discovering how much he enjoys murder. Erin Richards has completely reinvented Barbara Kean, giving us a character you cannot find in the comics. David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova, both cast as unproven children, have grown up in front of our eyes and express such nuance and passion that you'd expect from adults with decades of experience. Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock are a one-two punch from Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue that somehow bring both hope and cynicism, both light and darkness, in everything they encounter. Drew Powell, Sean Pertwee, Jessica Lucas, Chris Chalk, all the recurring and guest actors, Cameron freaking Monaghan... the list doesn't end because they're putting forward a master class at every turn.prevnext
You'll Understand Batman Better
So, you're a fan of Batman, but you're not watching Gotham, maybe because of that first reason earlier. Well, you're missing out on the chance to understand the character of Batman in a new light by skipping out on this show.0comments
Everyone knows the basic motivations and journey Bruce Wayne goes on to become Batman, but this is the first time we've gotten to truly see that journey. By exploring what Gotham City itself, as a character, goes through at the same time as Bruce begins to find his next step, we're able to explore him from every single angle. Why does someone truly feel their only course of action is to dress in a ridiculous costume and beat up criminals? Well, as you see Gotham's pulse being slowed repeatedly by these villains, as you see how the GCPD has struggled to emerge from years of corruption, as you see how individuals have been able to rise up and make a difference, you get to see why Batman would even become an option for Bruce Wayne.
You also get to see how Gotham City can represent the worst of the real world; through sometimes cartoonish archetypes mixed with oft-surprising nuance, it's able to reflect the world around us and show how a light can shine through. There's a moment in the winter finale coming up Monday that can inspire just about anyone, and shows us how Bruce Wayne, the Batman, is as timeless an example of humanity's capabilities as ever.prev