Being a huge fan of anything and everything Batman, I was one of the many who were left scratching their head by the end of the first season of Gotham. With such incredibly rich source material to draw from, not to mention iconic characters, Gotham’s first season was a mess dominated by a character that didn’t even appear in the comic books. The show suffered from having far too many characters and storylines, and dare I say it not the most charismatic of leads with Ben McKenzie as James Gordon.
After almost giving up on the show, I decided to reinvest for season 2 and I was glad I did. Gotham really found its feet and started to become the show I was hoping it would be when I first tuned in. McKenzie had settled more comfortably into the role of Gordon and the season was tweaked to make it a bit darker and more entertaining. With its third season, Gotham has delivered its strongest season yet and compared to the first season it’s like a completely different show, which in my opinion is a very good thing.
UK fans have waited over a year for the third season to arrive and it’s finally debut here on Blu-ray and DVD. The action picks up six months after the end of season two, which saw a group of fugitives, including a doppelganger of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), escape from Indian Hill led by Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). The first 14 episodes of the season are subtitled Mad City and the remaining 8 labelled Heroes Rise.
The first few episodes set up plenty of juicy storylines for the season. Firstly there’s the Indian Hill fugitives with Bruce’s doppelganger on the loose and posing as the young billionaire and there’s the Court of Owls who Bruce begins investigating but is soon made aware that his pursuit of answers would lead to an untimely end for him and his friends. Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) makes a bid to become Mayor of Gotham after publicly heckling the current one and enlists the help of Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) for his campaign. Gordon is now working as a bounty hunter, although still utilising the resources of the GCPD and his old partner Bullock (Donal Logue), and is surprised when Lee (Morena Baccarin) returns to Gotham engaged to a shady character.
Gotham still suffers from having too many characters (there are 15 main characters this season) but for the first time it does actually seem to service them well. One of the best things about the season is the relationship that grows between Cobblepot and Nygma. During season 2 they became friendly out of necessity but the characters grow closer this season and it’s actually pretty wonderful to watch play out on screen. There’s also plenty of real character development with Bruce as he becomes a young man, reveals his true feelings to Selina (Camren Bicondova) and tries to transition from child to man.
Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel) is introduced early in the season and he’s essentially the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. He enlists Gordon’s help to find his sister Alice (Naian Gonzalez Norvind), who has a virus in her blood that turns people into maniacs. Tetch is a regular throughout the season and his ability to hypnotise people is used for nefarious reasons.
Special features on the Blu-ray release include a couple of featurettes, including one on Ben McKenzie’s directorial debut, a Comic-Con Panel video and a selection of Deleted Scenes.
There are still areas where Gotham could be tightened up but for the most part The Complete Third Season is a stellar watch. The focus is placed on the most interesting characters and hell even Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) ends up being a hoot this season. The show is getting progressively darker and it’s leading to what should be an even stronger fourth season as we move closer to Bruce becoming Batman.
Cast: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Morena Baccarin, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Jessica Lucas, Michael Chiklis Certificate: 15 Duration: 968 mins Released By: Warner Bros Release Date: 28th August 2017