Gotham: Why last night's unexpected death was necessary

Sep 29, 2015 at 12:56 p.m. ET
Image: Fox

Well, the second season of Gotham is sure starting off with a bang. During Monday night's episode, some fans were thrown for a loop when a particular character was killed. As for other viewers, the death was somewhat expected, but that doesn't mean they're happy about it.

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Commissioner Sarah Essen (played by Zabryna Guevara) was killed at the hands of the Maniax and Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) during Season 2's second episode. Basically, no one should ever accept the position of commissioner because only bad things happen. As good as things seemed, especially with Jim Gordon being reinstated back to detective, the show is proving anything can and will happen this season. Plus, no one is safe.

Despite all of the emotions, especially anger, being expressed by major Gotham fans across Twitter, Essen's death was necessary to not only push the story forward, but it also opens the door for other characters to enter and for Jim (Ben McKenzie) to become Commissioner Gordon.

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While chatting with The Hollywood Reporter, Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller commented on Essen's death and said Guevara's sad departure proves only more drama is ahead. "It really lets everyone know that however hard Gotham has been hit in the past, the Maniax are taking things up a notch — and that the show is taking things up a notch," he said.

In addition, now that Essen is dead, this is the perfect opening for series regular Michael Chiklis' Capt. Barnes. As TVLine reported in July, Barnes "lands on the GCPD like a tornado, ripping out the dead wood of Gotham’s police force. He is a law and order zealot; unafraid of making enemies — on either side of the law. For Gordon, Barnes is a hero and a mentor, someone with whom he can share the burden of heroism. Captain Barnes proves himself to be a strong ally to Gordon… but one day he will make an equally powerful enemy."

Furthermore, as most fans of Batman know, Jim doesn't always remain a detective and eventually becomes Commissioner Gordon, so with Essen's death comes the opportunity for Jim to become promoted. Whether that might be during Season 2 or further in the future remains unknown.

With that said, those explanations and reasonings might not be enough to convince fans that killing off Essen was necessary or a good idea, as proven with these tweets.


Gotham airs on Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.

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