Ben McKenzie Details Gordon's Dark Path For Gotham Season Two

If it's at all possible, life in Gotham City is about to get much grimmer for Jim Gordon.
After the tumultuous events Gotham’s season finale, the future police commissioner finds himself in dire straights. Demoted to a street cop and forced to watch his bitter rival, Oswald Cobblepot, peak as Gotham’s crime boss, Gordon will find himself behaving in some uncharacteristic behavior to reclaim his old life.

While Gordon’s next moves will certainly be morally ambiguous, they won’t be easy. But to help Jim navigate through Gotham’s gray waters is actor Ben McKenzie, who brings the iconic Batman character to life in Gotham. During San Diego Comic Con International, McKenzie told reporters how Gotham will tempt Jim to embrace the darkness, where Jim will find allies to endure Gotham’s temptations, and when viewers can expect Jim’s status quo to change. But first, about that mustache.

So will we get the mustache in season two?

No! [laughs] The mustache has to be earned. Maybe we’ll see it in season six, seven, or eight. Maybe season 10, if we’re lucky. But other changes are afoot for Jim Gordon.

What type of changes?
We pick up season two with a reversal of fortune. Oswald Cobblepot is the new king of Gotham, and Jim Gordon is at the lowest he’s ever been. He’s been punished by Comissioner Loeb for saving Falcone’s life and foiling Loeb’s plan. So he’s just a traffic cop now. He’s pretty bitter about it. But, as always in Gotham, things will change quickly and the rules will reverse.

Does Cobblepot see Jim Gordon as a friend?
I think in his own demented way, Oswald thinks Gordon is a friend. They’re both aware of the nature of their friendship. It’s friendship born out of being able to favors for each other. That’s the way Gotham works. They’re friends, but when you give you’re friend a hug, just make sure they don’t put a knife in your back.

Will Jim gain more allies in his fight against corruption?
Yes. In some senses, if season one was the origins of Gotham as a city ruled by crime families, then season two starts to explore the rise of the villains. And this villains are much more malicious than the crime families. The crime families actually wanted law and order, because that lead to money. But with these new guys, the wheels fall off and it’s anarchy. To combat that, there has to be an arms race. The good guys have to arm up.

There’s always been a fine line between good and evil in Gotham. How will those lines become even more blurred for Jim Gordon heading into season two?
In the first episode back, you’ll see a deal with Oswald that has extremely negative consequences. Jim has learned that he has to do what he has to do to get things done. It’s a real change for him to throw morality to the side. He’s still serving the greater good in his mind, but he’s doing whatever he has to do. It’s a little sad, actually, to watch that all of away, but it’s part of the road we’re on. The lesson Jim is learning, is “How do you attain power in Gotham, and how do you hold onto it?” And you can only do that by playing pretty rough.

So is Jim finally seeing what Harvey alluded to back in season one?
Yeah, even Harvey starts to feel surprised by Jim’s actions. He’s going, “Woah, I didn’t mean go that deep. Come back to the light.”

So is finding the right balance between darkness and light Jim’s thematic journey through season two?
For both Jim and the entire show, one of the big themes will be power. How do you gain it? How do you keep it? How do you dispense it? It is a machieavellain world where morality plays a very small role.

How will Bruce and Gordon’s relationship develop into season two? Will we start to see hints of the classic Gordon/Batman dynamic at all?

Yeah, they were on the outs in the middle to end of season one, because Bruce felt betrayed by Jim for not solving his parents’ murder. And they’re slowly picking up the pieces. But at the same time, Bruce is not being completely honest with Jim, because he discover his father’s cave, he embarks on his own journey. So more secrets start to build up. They know what they’re up against in terms of the bad guys, so they’re on the same team, but Bruce isn’t being completely honest with Jim.

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What romantic developments are in store for Jim?
Obviously, Barabara has gone from loving partner to psychotice ex-girlfriend. And she only gets crazier in season two. That puts a strain on Jim’s relationship with Lesie Thompkins, and Leslie is one of the few people Jim has to confide in. But as she watches Jim turn darker, she starts to question her own belief in the man. Her own love for him—can it withstand the turn he’s making? And can Jim turn back before it’s too late? It’s a nice noir, mature relationship, with two people struggling to survive while being good to themselves.

Gotham's second season premieres September 21 at 8:00 p.m. on FOX