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Thursday, September 21, 2017

TNH Roundtables: Full Season Review - Gotham

As we do with other comic book shows, The Nerd Hub sits down to discuss our thoughts on this latest season of Gotham. What did they do right and what did they do wrong? Where have they been, and where could they be going? So, take a gander, and until we sit back down for our upcoming Full Season Review of Lucifer, take to the comments section below and let us know what you thought about this series.

*Please note that the release date for this Roundtable was set before the fourth season's premiere date was moved up. This article will end up published less than a day before this new premiere date.*

Gotham


           Gotham is the show that nobody asked for, but everyone secretly wanted to see. The problem is they didn't want to see a prequel and they didn't want an adaptation as loose as this.  However, the feel of Gotham is still there and if you think of it as an "Elseworlds" and just enjoy it for what it is, the show turns out to be a fan favorite for a lot of viewers.  The first two seasons came off with mixed bag reviews, but the question is if the latest season was different and is this season coming up something to look forward to? We've seen villains rise and villains fall, but what we got to see this seasons was heroes rise and heroes fall. Did it do justice? I guess we shall find out. Usually, at this point, we would warn to jump to our conclusion for a simple recommendation if you were looking to avoid spoilers; but being that the new season now airs tomorrow, I doubt anyone reading this is worried about spoilers and is just here for the discussion. So without further due, let's jump right into it.

Thoughts on the Mad Hatter and his overall arc?  Did you like what they did with him and his sister?  What about his acts against Jim Gordon?

Jack - The Mad Hatter was an incredible addition, I loved everything from start to finish including the virus. I loved that he was a psychopath that could murder at the bat of an eye, I loved his games with Gordon and their narratives throughout. I loved that his arc stretched further than his active presence. I loved the Hypnosis and I loved his zany and unstable mind. Next, I would like to see a Professor Pyg storyline and perhaps a revisit to the Dollmaker with writing like that. I would really like to see a comic book accurate Zsasz even though I do enjoy their version of Victor, but I will settle for Professor Pyg which I recently found out will actually be happening.

Tony -
 The Mad Hatter was delightfully nutty. They never go right out and say that he molested his sister, but that made him more creepy than his going into people's homes and robbing them blind after he hypnotized them. His rage against Gordon made sense, as he feels that Jim killed the woman he loved. But I think Lee went too far not seeing that Jim was trying to protect her from the virus.

Marlon - The Mad Hatter was a good addition to the villains' roster. Really nailed his level of psycho, but the whole virus thin was a little whack in my book. Was not feeling that part of it at all, but I like everything else like the hypnosis and murdering and his games. I really liked how they tried to break Jim down by attacking him on a very personal level.

What did you think about what they did with Captain Barnes?

Jack - I really like Barnes' new chapter as a villain, but I'm not really feeling the latest getup.  I would have much rathered him stay in a suit accented with his bald egg head and burly towering body, all while serving "justice" with his super strength and a double barrel pump action. He felt like a cool golden age villain. He reminded me of Hammerhead or Kingpin but with a nice dose of Gotham City psycho. 

Tony - Interesting twist.  But why call him the Executioner??? Barnes with his leather suit and ax hand was really more the Reaper from the comics. Though maybe the plan is to have him come back as the Reaper in order to fool fans from figuring out who the 'new' villain is? Put that down. Sept 18, 2017; I am calling it- The Executioner will return under the name of the Reaper!

Marlon - I thought it was a good move to make all law and gung-ho; it really makes sense that he would become an executioner as he's always been extremely passionate and serious about his views versus the scum of Gotham City.

Poison Ivy got a jump start this season.  Do you approve of the move and what do you think about where they have taken the character so far?  What would you like to see done with the character next season?

Jack - I don't think the aging was all that necessary being that the accident could have been used to give her the power to control plants and not just have great herbology skill with them, but perhaps that's what evolution will take place for the character in the upcoming season. I liked her as she was and would have like to see her grow more with her skills before the transformation, but I will take it as it was nice to see her not know jack shit about the world and just what her previous personality meant to a more grown version stuck out there to fend for herself. I liked that she still only cares about Selina and plants, and her friendship with Penguin is a genius pairing that will allow for her to get treated like shit and learn the ropes of Gotham before evolving into the Poison Ivy that will choose plants over humanity. This age boost also bridges the age gap between her and Barbara allowing for a 'Sirens' plot.

Tony - Her innocence since she's a 10 year old in a 30-year-old's body was fun. But she's got to mature sometime. Plus, I hope that while they will evolve her role, they better not make her fall in love with Penguin. Then instead of being the fierce independent Poison Ivy, she;s going to become a Harley Quinn archetype.

Marlon - I hate the character and I hate the fact that she is an adult now. There is not really much more to say on her from me other than that. I do think that the plant pheromones and stuff are pretty cool so she is still Ivy, but I think they could have started her plant skills without making her an adult. She was a nice awkward loner who just didn't give a damn about anything but her plants.

The Riddler was probably the most evolved character this season.  What are your rights and wrongs with that character this season and where would you like to see the character taken next season?

Jack - I think they Riddler stole the show last season really showcasing his methodical mind, as well as, reiterating that he is too smart for his own good and actually not as smart as he thinks he is. How no matter what he does he pushes it to the point that someone must find out his plans because he's tired of being on another level, but when someone does beat him he is shocked as he thinks because he is so smart that its because everyone else is dumb. I really enjoyed his torture and murder games being an element as that is pretty much what embodies the Riddler. Great character that needs to continue to take center stage.

Tony - I thought that having Riddler and Penguin turn against each other was the right way to go. Having Penguin think he was in love with Ed was fine because the writers didn't fall to social media pressure and have them become lovers. That would've gone too far. Penguin is this tragic figure, int hat nobody really loves or likes him. Instead, the writers made them rivals and enemies that had to work together against the Court. In fact, I don't think Penguin is gay as much as he's desperate for affection and he mistook Ed's loyalty and friendship for something more. The biggest thing I wanna see out of Riddler is to have his core body temperature get back to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Marlon - The Riddler is probably my favorite villain of all time and in my opinion, they got his character spot on. Next season I'd like the Riddle to prevail in the end like Penguin did this season. Other than giving him is push the writers have been doing everything right and I'm excited to see what they do next with him.


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Barbara Keen is working her way up the underworld.  What did you think about where they took her this season and where would you like to see her character taken next season?

Tony - Well, I'm not expecting much out of Barbara as she's dead. I really hope this is the end of her as I really wasn't a fan of her. Kinda glad she's gone.

Jack - Well, I liked her. I always liked her. I've enjoyed seeing her evolve from a normal woman to a disturbed individual, to an obsessed psycho, and onto an underworld player. I was rooting for her to take the throne from The Penguin, but I'm glad she didn't because two things come to it. First is the Iceberg Lounge. Secondly, we get their version of Harley Quinn. Tony made a prediction and I've got my own. Now, this has grown into more than a hunch as during panels they said that we've already met Harley Quinn and that Harley Quinn would appear in the finale. Did you see Harley? Me neither. What we did see was Barbara and Jerome meshing crazies earlier on though. This is also the show where nobody is truly dead. We didn't even see if she for sure dead or not. Nothing flips that crazy scale to a ten like an electroshock to scramble the brain. The Joker in this show has his own origin specifically for this show, leaving Harley to have her own as well. Mark my words. I called Azrael and I called the Court and I have a pretty stellar track record for this sort of thing so far. Harley fucking Quinn.

Marlon - They really need to just make her their version of Harley Quinn already. We all know it's coming, she's perfect for it. There just can't really be another Queen Pin' like Fish Mooney. Not for some time anyway, so make the transition already. I would like her much more as she is pretty much there already and I can't see her as anything else. Between this, Bruce and Ivy, I can't help but question their choices on the progression of characters sometimes.

What are your overall impressions with the Court of Owls?

Jack - I liked the idea of the Court and I really liked that they are basically insinuating that they are working on the clones so I would like to see them return again in a smaller but more amped fashion a few seasons down the road if for anything to make up for their overall performance this season.; I felt very disappointed with them. Their execution in the writing was very lackluster and the only highlight was when heads rolled and we could finally move on from it all.

Tony - I liked having a modern element incorporated into the mythos. But, they need to stay in the shadows now. We've had 3 seasons of criminal rising from the ashes constantly. Especially Penguin and Fish Mooney. It's going to get boring if the Court follows the same route. Let them stay dead!

Marlon - I felt the opposite of Jack; I felt that they livened up the boring parts and I'd like to see some more of them in the future.

Bruce and Selina have been growing closer; is this a good move or not?

Jack - I'm a big fan of their chemistry. I enjoy watching the slow progression. This is signature Selina and Bruce. They are both innocent, yet too struck with pride, and they are cut from different clothes, but born with the same heart and drive.

Tony - This seems logical. It's going to be will they/won't they as it is in the comics. They'll end up together eventually. But it needs to remain complicated for a very long time.

Marlon - They have this love/hate relationship that is great and needs to keep going as it is. I think this is one aspect of the show that pretty much everyone that's ever watched the show can agree is heading in the right direction and has been executed well. Pacing is often an issue in this show, but this has been perfectly paced so far.

Bruce looks to be evolving into a junior vigilante this upcoming season.  What are your thoughts on that?  How would you go about bringing that into the mix here?
Jack - The only way this would work is if he gets his ass handed to him and almost dies, leaving him looking to further his training.  Perhaps he can look to implement tactics and pick up techniques in the field, but this path worries me. 

Tony - I still think he's a bit too young and too inexperienced. I think if they have him start and fail and then leave Gotham with Alfred to learn more techniques for most of season four, then that would be a logical progression. It makes sense to have Batman coming as all of these villains are coming to the scene. But David Mazouz is just too young to really be Batman right now. Maybe the fifth or sixth season?

Marlon - I'm not really a fan of him becoming a kid Batman. He really needs a lot more training in all sorts of areas before that could happen. The leap isn't even something anyone in their right mind can get behind. I would, however, like to see a masked vigilante mentor who will help him figure out what he wants.

In Conclusion, Gotham continues its pattern of mixed bag reviews but does so in epic fashion by implementing creativity with high risk. It is a show worth a watch if you like crime or Batman if at the very least to enjoy the concepts. Most aspects work, but some things just don't sit right. All in all, we do recommend the viewing but we do not put it as a 'Must Watch'.



Stay Tuned for our next Roundtable Review where we will give our thoughts on another Fox/DC property in Lucifer.

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Written and Edited by, Jack Flowers. Contributions from Marlon Ortega and Tony Dillard from Outright Geekery.

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