After one long summer, autumn is here, and with it all our favorite series! And, though Gotham was only one year old, its world, ambiance and characters had already grown on me. So it’s because of that that I was a bit anxious, waiting to see how all the promised changes to the series status-quo would work. After all, last season’s finale seemed to say goodbye – at least for awhile – to the three mobsters that had been fighting over Gotham: Falcone, Sal Maroni and Fish Mooney; thus ending the Mob War storyline that had permeated the whole season. Showrunner Bruno Heller and the writing crew decide to delve knee deep into the current situation for the main cast – which seems to have grown quite a bit from the previous season – and, with the “one month later” jump, present us with how the players we knew are doing, while introducing many new faces, most of them crazy villains. And the series passes with note this first taste of what this second year in Gotham is going to be like: A great Joker (Cameron Monaghan) is probably the best addition to the cast, and though we had seen him briefly on the first season, here he is given room to shine, as one of the very talkative Arkham Asylum inmates. Yes, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) may be the current mastermind in Gotham, and still one of the creepiest characters in the whole series, but if the Joker’s character development continues at this pace, Cobblepot will soon have a close contender. However, one of the funniest and more likable characters to watch was, very surprisingly, that of Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), who not only has gone to the dark side with the rest of the lunatics and murderers, but is enjoying herself, really embracing this new side of her, making the rest of the inmates fools of themselves (being the only “lady” in a group of vicious men), while not forgetting about her former fiancée Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his current girlfriend, Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin), who at the end of the episode have reasons to be afraid of her. Another lovable Gotham lunatic whose mental breakdown has gotten even worse is Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), who, in a powerful scene devoted all to himself, presented us with the duality that is currently living inside him; his villainous side wanting to gain control – loved the scene, which reminded me of the Green Goblin/Harry Osborn dynamic in the Spidey comics. And there are more twists on the villain side of things, with the introduction of billionaire revered industrialist Theo Galavan (James Frain) (sounds familiar?) and his sister, Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas), who’s supposedly the villain Tigress. These two players have a big endgame in mind, and their intrusion will surely mean the development of all the crazy Gotham lunatics. I wasn’t a fan, though, of the way they disposed of Richard Sionis (Todd Stashwick) aka The Black Mask in the Batman comics, who only appeared before in a pretty nice episode from the first season. But what’s with the good guys? Well, Jim is dangerously leaning to the dark side, this time working for the Penguin and even killing a criminal who owed money to Cobblepot, while running an errand for him. As that character points out, he’s the Penguin’s bitch, or at least during a good portion of the episode. Jim’s story starts strong, as he is not afraid of jumping through those hoops that he so despised during the last year, in order to, as young Master Bruce (David Mazouz) points out, achieve that position where he’ll be able to help Gotham and turn it into a different city. The question is: Isn’t he condemning himself in the process? Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) makes a brief appearance, just to let us know that he remains out of the force and is now working as a bartender, and ironically has sobered up. And meanwhile, in a subplot that started with the finale’s cliffhanger and that runs through the whole episode, Bruce is desperately trying to get into his father’s secret lair, to finally know what he was working on when he wasn’t at Wayne Industries. With the help of a, once more, sublime Alfred (Sean Pertwee), the two finally get through the door into what’s supposed to be the location of the bat-cave, without showing the viewer much in the way of details. I expected something more spectacular, something bigger. But maybe we will get to that through the season. For now, we just are left with a message for Bruce from his deceased dad, recommending him to be happy…”Unless you have a calling.” Gotham 2.01 "Damned if You Do"Sam's Rating4.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related David Allen Powell Great article, Sam! Samuel Salama Cohén Thanks, David, really digging the series!