Gotham City has fallen to regulated chaos. After the events of the season three finale, it’s surprising to see how quickly the villains have amassed approved control since then. Everything is structured, filed and agreed upon by the leader – crime isn’t maniacal, it’s bureaucratic. Penguin’s form of control is more public and seems to be working, for the most part. I wonder how long this will last. If the past has shown anything, it’s that the spark can lead to something so much more.
Oswald is definitely being smarter this time around in the power position. He’s been overthrown a few times before, but now he’s gotten sign-off by those equally in power in Gotham City. He can do whatever he wants under the guise of his popular reputation – psychotic crime lord Penguin might be my favorite version of his in Gotham. Though, I’m still on the fence about the effectiveness of this plan and how believable it is.
Gotham City was in chaos during season three and now most criminals are willingly under the control of crime licenses? Furthermore, there are so many questions associated with this. Are these licenses one-time only or can they be used forever? Are there requirements to get certain types of crimes? Is there a fee? Sure, I’m getting into the nitty gritty here that might never be revealed, however, with police officers having to check these licenses, I hope we get a bit more backstory into this new villainy structure.
Poor James Gordon! I feel bad for the future Commissioner because he always has to be the moral compass of the Gotham City Police Department most of the time. The police and Harvey are forced under Penguin’s thumb with this new license deal; James can only do so much. I’m not saying James Gordon is completely clean – we’ve definitely see him toe the line and do a lot of illegal things. However, seeing him be the leading charge for providing real justice to Gotham City was nice to witness, and a great reminder of Gotham season one.
Bruce is settling into his Dark Knight training pretty well. His fighting has improved, his instincts are picking up and his muffled, raspy vigilante voice is starting off at a good place. It’s not exactly Christian Bale-level raspy, but it’s a start. I liked when Bruce stood up to Penguin about not murdering the criminals in the lounge. He’s setting the standard for legal justice instead of taking matters into his own hands. And I think it grew Penguin’s respect of Bruce. Even though they’ll be bigger enemies in the future as Batman vs. Penguin, these early moments show they need to balance each other for a healthy Gotham City.
Speaking of training, Selina may have the most believable transformation out of all the characters during the season four premiere. She started from a good spot already before her training with Tabitha, but now her fighting style and cat-like reflexes are visibly improved. The fight scene of her in the alley with the thugs was excellent fight choreography! The Gotham camera crew and editors did a great job keeping the shot consistent to not break up her seamless fighting style. With more training from Tabitha like this, I can’t wait until Selina takes on the title of Catwoman.
Selina and Tabitha’s mentorship relationship is one I hope is explored more. They have great chemistry together and Selina is learning a lot about fighting. I don’t think this is similar to Tabitha and Silver back in season two, which was more about family and protecting her niece. This is more about mentor and mentee. We saw some early signs of conflicting views before Tabitha joined Selina at the lounge, but this theme seems like it could pop up again the future.
Why can’t Bruce and Selina just make it work? Through every comic book, cartoon, video game and movie I’ve seen, I always root for Batman and Catwoman to get together. Their coupling is one of my longest ships. After the terrible words Bruce said last season, it’s good to see him apologize and ask for forgiveness. Selina seems like she forgave Bruce a long time ago; she only wanted to toy with him. When he jumped on the ledge to apologize, it definitely helped to reaffirm their fractured friendship/relationship. I’m crossing my fingers the season four premiere is just the start for this to be fixed.
Jonathan Crane – the Scarecrow – has returned to Gotham City and he’s officially assumed his title. I expected this transformation to stretch maybe one or two more episodes before he donned the costume, but being trapped in a closet with his fear must’ve conquered itself. It’s great to see Gotham’s pace has picked up. I’ve missed the Scarecrow after all this time. His nerve gas causes a lot of trouble and the scene in the Gotham City bank, as well as the lounge with Penguin, shows how damaging it can be. (Side-note: the special effects of the nerve toxin looked pretty good and visually comical, like in a comic book.)
Any guesses for how long Riddler will be trapped in the ice block? I give it two more episodes. Once Poison Ivy betrayed Penguin by turning off the light in the club, I have the strangest feeling that she’ll be one of the reasons Edward is freed from his prison. She’s being treated like a lackey and minor criminal by Penguin and Tabitha. Poison Ivy won’t stand for that too long.
“A Dark Knight: Pax Penguina” was a good start for the new Gotham season. The characters are moving quickly toward their future personas and taking a stand in Gotham City. Penguin’s crime license law is a plot that I’m still on the fence about, but his ascent to power and group of villainous allies, like Poison Ivy and Victor Zsasz, are interesting to watch. Pair that with Bruce’s and Selina’s training and you have a fun season premiere.