Gotham’s freshman season comes to a close in the only way it could – a meandering, mess of an episode that felt like it was all over the place. The show runners have no idea what they want Gotham to be. Is it a crime procedural that just happens to be set in pre-Batman Gotham? Is it truly a prequel to Batman? Is it really about all of Batman’s Villains? Is it trying to be The Sopranos? It suffered from trying to do too many things at once and being good at nothing.
At the beginning of the season I was mixed about this show, but the pieces were there to truly become something special, but as I watched my hope slowly faded. It went from being a show where every other episode lived up to it’s potential to an episode here and there to pretty much every episode being an utter waste of time.
The casting was mostly spot on and what kept me coming back every week despite some truly horrendous writing. This show made stars out of Robin Lord Taylor who played the Penguin perfectly as a cold calculating murderer, David Mazouz did a nice job as young Bruce Wayne – too bad he spent most of the season in his living room (more on this later) and Camren Bicondova was great as Kat. She literally didn’t speak for the first 3 or 4 episodes but she managed to grab my attention.
Ben McKenzie, will always be Kid Chino to me, was surprisingly great as a young incorruptible Jim Gordon and Donal Logue was hard to take as Gordon’s cynical partner Harvey Bullock, eventually his character evened out. As the season went on he became a nice lighthearted balance to Gordon’s seriousness.
Unfortunately Fox’s decision to add additional episodes to Gotham’s original 18-episode order served no one. The producers admitted that they weren’t prepared and didn’t have a plan to extend the season and it showed.
The season went full on crazy and somehow still managed to be boring because nothing in the last 4 episodes made a lick of sense. I won’t even get into the ridiculous 50 Shades of Gotham trilogy that led into this awful mess of a finale. Character motivations completely changed to fit the story and rendered the first 18 episodes weirdly pointless.
Falcone has a complete change of heart and decides he wants out? Barbara goes full on cray and admits to killing her parents – even though the show NEVER once established what her issues with her parents were, Kat betraying Gordon, and Bruce somehow making a giant leap that his father had a giant secret so he spends the entire episode in the library – AGAIN!
Gordon goes completely against character and decides to help Falcone retake control of Gotham’s gang. Yes it was the smart play and what was ultimately good for Gotham. But Gordon repeatedly showed he was different and that he wasn’t going to compromise. If anything Gordon should have arrested everyone in the building, he basically pulls a Bullock move.
The last few episodes destroyed Selina’s character. The writers turned her too dark, too quick and there’s nowhere for her character arc to go next season. Smallville spent years building Lex Luthor into a really complex character that we wanted to root for and hoped that he’d pull himself out of his dark journey. Selina should have gone down a similar path, instead she needlessly kills a guy and betrays Gordon.
I really wanted to see her spend next season at least attempting to form a bond with Barbara and Gordon while furthering her relationship with Bruce. Let’s watch her struggle with the darkness inside of her. Instead they just turned her into an amoral psychopath.
This whole season was disjointed and schizophrenic, but the season finale was pretty consistent in it’s overall wretchedness. I honestly have no clue where this show can go in season two. The saving grace is, every lose end was tied up and there’s zero reason to tune in again next season.
Season Finale Grade D-
Season One Overall Grade – C