As September 21 rapidly approaches and the season two premiere of Gotham waits to air, it seemed prudent to revisit the back end of season one. Prepping, if you will, for the start of the second installment of “Rise of the Villains.” Rather interestingly, it seems that the removal of Falcone as the King of Gotham, leaving Penguin to stand on the edge of the pier loudly shouting that “I am the King of Gotham” while surrounded by a thunderstorm, has indeed left the city wide open for this season two of the “big bad” rise.
Looking back at the final few episodes of season one, it is amazing just how much was crammed into the last few episodes. One serial killer called The Ogre, played with stunning menace and disturbing charm by Milo Ventimiglia, The Dollmaker aka, Dr. Dulmacher, Barbara Kean turning into a homicidal maniac, the return of Fish Mooney, Nygma’s move toward becoming the Riddler and Loeb’s little secret. Of course the big power play for the crown of Gotham underworld ruler changes heads as well.
Crime runs so rampant in the first season of Gotham that even the big guy overseeing all the action in the town, Falcone, tires of the day-to-day struggle and decides to step down. The return of Jim Gordon, back from his security detail at the Arkham Asylum, saw many things escalate and most of these came to a head in the last five episodes of the season.
Guest stars included Ventimiglia and Jeffrey Combs (who played Dr. Dulmacher’s office manager) and Dash Mihok (who as Detective Arnold Flass gets his comeuppance) but sadly did not have any Diz and the Fam tracks to drop for the show’s soundtrack. The appearance of horror genre favorite Combs was just brilliant.
At one point, the girl/woman Selina Kyle (played by Camren Bicondova) got to “grow up” twice. (Three times if one counts her decision to kill Reggie by pushing Alfred’s old Army chum and attacker out of the shooting gallery window for Bruce.) Once at the Wayne Charity Ball and again after Fish Mooney got hold of her. The latter was quite shocking as suddenly this little vixen was really grown up and carrying a shotgun.
Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) is driven over the edge after the woman he adores is mistreated by her new beau. The future Riddler takes things into his own hands and disposes of her brutal new boyfriend and as she begins to piece things together Nygma loses his cool.
On top of the side stories; The Ogre, Ed Nygma’s move toward becoming the Riddler and the death of Reggie, as well as Fish Mooney’s escape back to Gotham, there was Bruce Wayne caring for Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and trying to get the goods on Sid Bunderslaw. When young Wayne is caught in Sid’s office, with the empty safe, Bunderslaw has a chat with Bruce and offers him a cookie.
Another Wayne employee, Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) comes to escort Bruce back to his tour guide and Fox drops a hint to the young man about his late father, Lucius calls Wayne Sr. a stoic. This prompts Bruce to search his father’s office at Wayne Manor where he finds, at the very last of the final episode, the entrance to the “bat cave.”
The biggest moment in season one was the final struggle for control of Gotham’s underworld. A triumphant Fish Mooney springs a trap on Falcone and as she keeps Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock, Oswald Cobblepot and Falcone captive, Don Marconi comes in to talk sh*t and claim the crown.
Just before Marconi comes in, Fish tells each of her prisoners what their fate will be. Amusingly, Bullock is given a pass. Gordon tries to talk the “new” and grownup Selina into helping them. When Marconi arrives and starts trying to put Mooney into her “rightful” place, it does not take long for her to respond in a very final way.
Once Mooney puts a shot into Marconi’s forehead, things heat up and apparently Selena passed that knife of Falcone’s on to Bullock. He helps everyone get loose and as the two factions, Fish’s troops and Marconi’s, brace each other, Oswald makes his move.
As the first season ends, Penguin roars his triumph (while sending Fish Mooney to an apparent watery grave) and Bruce finds his destiny. Things are now ready for act two of Gotham. The second season airs Monday, September 21. Fans who want to catch up, or prepare for the next offering from FOX should head over to Hulu now before the last five episodes go away.