Despite how many felt about Gotham‘s premiere season, I actually enjoyed it immensely. Can Season 2 hold up to scrutiny? So far, that’s unclear.
No, I’m not the biggest comic nerd in the world, but I know enough to spot when they’re taking artistic liberties and when they’re sticking to canon. Neither instance bothers me. If Thor can be recreated as a woman, why can’t showrunners play around with Batman? Despite how many feel, the Dark Knight really isn’t any more precious than any other superhero. Fans (and Gotham‘s crew are certainly that) should be allowed to have fun. Moreover, if they want to casually pull out all of Batman’s biggest foes to string us along, I’ll allow it. I, for one, freaking love the Penguin and the Joker. I don’t care who knows it and I don’t care what that says about me.
Still. Even as a giddy, forgiving fangirl, there were a few moments in Gotham‘s Season 2 premiere that had me furrowing my brows. Some things, dear friends, just didn’t hold up.
1. Barbara is still a weak character
Babs could be so awesome. She is awesome in Batcanon. But in Gotham, her character falls short. Last season, they fell into all sorts of lame LGBTQ character tropes with her when they had Babs not only be bisexual, but also the unfaithful one in the marriage. “What’s that? You’re bisexual? Oh, you must be confused about what you want!” It was a pretty big dig to the community, and something fans were quick to point out in their reasons for being disappointed. The premiere doesn’t bode better circumstances for Barbara. The only time we see her is in a striped skirt at Arkham Asylum, using her looks (among other things) to get what she wants. Way to build a powerful female character, guys.
2. Bruce is mature… too mature
In one pivotal moment in the premiere, Detective Gordon loses all hope in the Gotham PD and is fired. He shows up at Wayne Manor to tell Master Bruce that he’ll no longer be able to keep his promise to find the Wayne parents’ killer. Bruce almost lets him get away with it, but quickly turns things around. How? With quite possibly the most eloquent speech ever — and not just on TV, and not just for a teen. It’s that good. And totally unbelievable. Sure, Bruce has long been known as more mature than most kids his age. That’s what happens when you’re raised by an old guy. “You were going to fight for justice. You were going to clean up the GCPD, change Gotham,” Bruce begins. “If you remained at the GCPD, you might still be able to do those good things. But first you must do something ugly and your personal honor forbids that. Are you not sacrificing the greater good for the sake of your dignity and self-esteem? For vanity?” Um. What? We get that Bruce is special in numerous ways. This speech still needed to be dialed back a bit, though.
3. Bruce and Pennyworth play with explosives
Nope. I understand that Pennyworth is a retired intelligence officer. I’m certain he knows a thing or two about blowing shit up. I don’t, however, actually believe the comic book version would ever let a young Master Bruce ‘splode things. And without protective ear coverings? It was too much to handle, much less believe or take seriously. I also question the science behind blowing off a massive security door in a basement and not seeing significant damage to the walls on the first floor. But, whatever. Artistic license and all that, I know.
Despite a few hard-to-swallow moments, was the Gotham Season 2 premiere all that bad? Not at all. Actually, I have hope (having seen the second episode as well) that things will get better for Babs and that Jerome/the Joker will come into his own. Bruce will always be unbelievably mature, so maybe I should just get used to it.