Mad City is an appropriate theme for Gotham’s third season as our story jumps ahead six months following last season’s game changing finale. It’s not just Dr. Strange’s Indian Hill experiments that are mad, but even our heroes are contending with a new status quo. Jim Gordon’s white knight has already been tarnished because of his actions last season and now after dealing with continued heartbreak, he’s traded in his position with the GCPD for ‘the life of a bounty hunter’, bringing in the Indian Hill escapees who’re now being organized by a powered up and desperate Fish Mooney. He may still be fighting the good fight but Ben McKenzie’s Gordon is starting to show what being a hero in Gotham City can do to a person.
Continuing their own fight, Bruce Wayne and trusty caretaker Alfred Pennyworth return to Gotham after a lengthy absence to confront what is likely to be the big bad of the season, the mysterious cabal who seem to not only be running Wayne Enterprises but potentially all of Gotham. When used correctly, scenes between David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee are highlights of almost any episode and this pairing are going to have their hands full this season. Fans will know that this secret group the young detective is on the trail of is actually the Court of Owls, an organization that in the comics have been secretly controlling Gotham City for hundreds of years.
Another duo who are full of possibilities this year are Cory Michael Smith’s Edward Nygma and Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin. One short scene and their chemistry is already extremely enticing and after two seasons of teasing it feels like this demented bromance is finally going to get some traction as the king of Gotham is looking for a confidant in the incarcerated puzzler.
As usual with a show with such a big cast, Gotham’s subplots are always somewhat hit and miss. Some are showing slightly more promise, like Bruce’s stoic doppleganger desperately trying to learn as much as he can about his mirror image, while others are operating on more of a slow burn with Selina Kyle and Ivy finally realizing that they are getting in over their heads. Camren Bicondova has always brought an immature maturity to her Selina, and seeing how the young girl handles her and Ivy’s predicament will be a new and fun challenge.
It’s worth noting that Gotham is clearly going full tilt with it’s acceptance of the superhero genre. With that movement starting last season, it certainly feels like Mad City is going to push the story and cast into further bizarre territory. Proto-Killer Croc and Man-Bat are two of the first new “monsters” that are going to one day be a never ending nightmare for Gotham City, and the fact that Gotham is continuing to push forward in such a new way is going to help pave the way for a caped crusader to finally take matters into his own hands when the time comes.