Villain Career Day: Gotham Season 2 Premiere Review
Gotham season 2 premiere gives a new meaning to "I'm tied up with job interviews."
That's Gotham's new villains' human resources strategy. Employee benefits include unlimited weaponry, psychopath boss, and colleagues who take you seriously when you say "I'd kill for your job."
It's a hot job market in Gotham these days.
So while Barbara rocks 1970s Jackie O glasses and goes all 50 Shades of Creepy Phone Calls on Jim Gordon and his lovely lady Leslie, she and her Arkham pedicurists are kidnapped by Theo Galavan to staff his new Gotham startup.
Ask anyone in Silicon Valley: better to have the lunatics working for you than for the competition.
Theo's "whips first, talks later" sister Tabitha will make sure you sign that job offer letter. Sign, or die. You might die anyway, but we'll address that later at your new employee orientation.
Meanwhile, Penguin is right where he said he'd be by the season 2 premiere: at the top of the food chain. He's the only guy on the show besides Jim Gordon who keeps his promises, even though they're mostly to himself.
Selina Kyle and Bruce Gilzean are former Fish Mooney employees that Penguin inherited in his hostile takeover. Bruce is now heading up the accounting department. Selina Kyle is the executive cat-sistent.
(Selina has an angle. Neither Jim Gordon nor I can figure it out right now. Maybe her inside track with Penguin will help to protect Bruce, as he delves further into Wayne Industries' dark secrets.)
Look at how Gotham's cast list has exploded for season 2. So many new candidates competing for our horror and disdain, including Zardaan the Soul-Reaper, who looks like Groucho Marx in a purple cape and talks like somebody from Harry Potter's potions class.
Only on Gotham would we see The Joker and say - oh, he killed only ONE of his parents. Villain Rating = Average.
Gotham is devolving from dictatorship to anarchy, at which point you start thinking maybe you liked dictatorship better. The chaos created by this instant crush of bad guys is probably going to detract from whatever the primary threat turns out to be.
Speaking of. I can't let go of this thought.
Fans of Fish Mooney, myself included, keep looking over our shoulders for her.
I hope that after Penguin pitched her into the water in the season 1 finale, she was rescued by Gotham movie stars, out on their yacht for a midnight tryst. To Penguin's horror, she shows up on entertainment TV news when she's a guest at their televised film premiere.
Seriously, Gotham should hire me as a screenwriter.
So, it's the worst timing ever for Gotham City Police Department to downsize. Jim Gordon has been demoted from detective to traffic cop, complete with white gloves. His former partner Harvey "all my drinking was work-related" Bullock is a sober bartender.
Hard to decide which is the more thankless job.
The corrupt police commissioner who wouldn't be happy until Jim Gordon was gone for good didn't count on him being willing to play "let's make a deal" with "fruitcake leprechaun" Penguin.
Note: calling a captain of industry a name like that, especially if you owe him money, is a career-limiting move.
At least a dozen people want Penguin's job, want him dead, or both. He likes the attention. Threats make him feel important. I have a feeling that Penguin will start feeling really important, really soon.
Everybody throws everybody else under the bus on this show. It's kind of a Gotham initiation.
Meanwhile, Bruce is taking a hammer to the keypad of the secret cave. (Turned out to be the most logical password of all: 27823. BRUCE.)
Bruce is not going to give this up, Alfred. Might as well give him your best bomb-making recipe.
The letter Mr. Wayne's left for his son to find contains the theme of this origin story: "You can't have both happiness and the truth. You have to choose. Son, please choose happiness, unless you feel a calling. A true calling."
His advice from the grave, to all the true sons of Gotham.