Gotham Season 3 Premiere – The Mad City is Upon Us, and It’s Damn Good

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Gotham Season 3 Premiere Plot Summary:

Six months have passed since Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and the mad inmates escaped Indian Hill.  The GCPD have no control.  The only people who seem to be getting results are bounty hunters, including one Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie).  An infuriated Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) puts a bounty on Fish, who’s new powers begin to weaken.  Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is determined to end the corruption at Wayne Enterprises.

Robin Lord Taylor as The Penguin
Photo Credit: FOX

If there’s one aspect I can emphasis after Gotham’s four-month hiatus, it’s this: Killer Croc is better here than he was in Suicide Squad. To be fair, we’re not even sure that was Killer Croc in the bizarre, but cool opening sequence to Gotham’s third season. I’m just happy to have Gotham back in my life.  It’s a great way to wash that broccoli tasting Suicide Squad garbage out of your mouth. While this wasn’t a flawless episode, it was the perfect way to set up the season.  The pacing was great. Lean. Efficient. Most of all, I love where everyone is at the beginning. Fish is powerful, but having issues. Bruce is ready to kick down the doors of his company. Oswald is out for blood. Bullock (Donal Logue) is annoyed as hell. Barbara (Erin Richards) is crazy as ever. There’s plenty to get to, but we’ll start with the driving force of Gotham, as he always is, James Gordon.

When season two ended, Gordon stormed out of Gotham with a purpose. He was ready to leave it all behind and settle down with Lee (Morena Baccarin). That was quickly wiped away. Gordon’s in a bad state, but still useful to Gotham in his own way, despite being an internal disaster. Bullock is definitely concerned. Speaking of Bullock, one of my big complaints from last season was the underutilization of Bullock. They quickly remedy that. He’s as funny as ever, but also serves as Gordon’s most reliable support system. That relationship hasn’t missed a beat.

Even though Gordon is in shambles, he’s at least entertaining. We get a lot of good dry wit from McKenzie.  While he and Bullock were obviously a highlight, so was his chemistry with reporter Valerie Vale, played by Jamie Chung. She’s poised to be a solid addition to the Gotham family. There’s no doubt we’ll be seeing plenty of Gordon/Vale scenes.

While the Gordon/Bullock bromance is always a pleasure, it was topped in what was the best scene of the episode.  We only get Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) for one scene, but he definitely leaves his mark. Him and Oswald are a great pairing, but it’s not just a cheap gimmick. Their friendship actually makes sense – both are fed up with morons. Oswald in particular has to baby sit unstable “children” in Butch (Drew Powell), Barbara and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas).  You can tell his visits with Edward mean something.  He’s finally chatting with an equal. And poor, Nygma. He looks sad and defeated. He’s like an injured QB who desperately wants back in the game. This will make his inevitable escape that much sweeter.

Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon
Photo Credit: FOX

Speaking of the “children,” they were highly entertaining.  Butch is the Charlie Brown of this show.  His girlfriend dumps him. He’s got no hand. He’s back to being a lackey. Drew Powell sells this sorry sack of a guy really well. I’m hoping for big storylines for Butch this season. Barbara pops up, and is just a complete lunatic. I have nothing else to say.  It’s also great to see Fish back in full swing.  Her being leader of all these freaks is perfect, which leads to my biggest gripe of the episode.

I don’t have a problem with the supernatural elements taking center stage. Last season prepared us for this. It does feel a bit scattered though. On a whim, we’ll have a character super speeding, or jumping around all over the place. It’s a bit sloppy. The idea there are random super powered beings standing behind Fish not doing anything is irksome. It’s like on Lost when you have all the survivors nobody cared about just walking around in the background. They locked in on a couple, but I want to see more consistency.

Gotham hasn’t missed a beat. I’m immediately intrigued with all the storylines, including the Court of Owls, which I wasn’t initially crazy about. There’s nothing else left to say, except to listen to Alfred and have some damn manners.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Great)

Gotham Season 3 Premiere Cast Shot
GOTHAM Season 3 Premiere Cast (Left-Right): Jessica Lucas as Tabitha Galavan, James Frain as Theo Galavan, Camren Bicondova as Selina, Drew Powell as Butch Gilzean, Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin, Cory Michael Smith as Nygma, Benjamin McKenzie as Bullock, David Mazouz as Bruce, Sean Pertwee as Alfred, Chris Chalk as Lucius, Morena Baccarin as Dr. Thomkins, Benjamin Mckenzie as Gordon, Nicholas D’Agosto as Harvey Dent, Michael Chiklis as Captain Barnes and Erin Richards as Barbara. Photo Credit: Mark Seliger/FOX
Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.