DC's Batman prequel series, Gotham, returns to our screens next month for Season 2 - and if lives up to the promises in this new teaser trailer, it's going to be incredible!
Spoiler Alert: This article discusses the events of Gotham Season 1 in some detail - if you are not up to date on the show, you may want to back away slowly...
Titled 'Villains Rising,' this teaser treats us to all kinds of exciting footage, and it seems that we are going to see a whole new criminal focus this season.
Penguin Mentoring Catwoman
Oswald Cobblepot, a major player in the first season, finally succeeded in his aim to rise to the top of the criminal elite. Having taken care of his enemy mobsters and dramatically dealt with arch-nemesis Fish Mooney (or has he...?) he's ready to take his place on the throne of the underworld... and it looks like he has his first protege in the form of Selina Kyle.
At the end of Season 1, we saw that Selina had lost faith in the powers that be, and actively decided to side with the criminals of Gotham. She joined Fish Mooney in her short-lived return to the city, but now that Mooney is gone, it seems that Selina is turning to Penguin for direction. In the trailer, we see Selina perched next to Oswald as he sits on his "throne," dispensing his special sort of twisted wisdom.
We know that Oswald is incredibly devious, so what is his end game here? Is he honestly taking the streetwise Kyle under his wing, or is this part of a plan to get closer to Wayne, win over other enemies, or even a play aimed at frenemy Jim Gordon?
Riddler Loses His Mind
One of my favorite parts of the Season 1 finale was seeing Ed Nygma start his descent into true madness after murdering macho police officer Tom Dougherty. The finale showed him struggling to cope with what he did, switching frantically between the mild-mannered Ed and the out-of-control Riddler, if only for a few seconds.
Now we see that poor Ed is definitely having more and more trouble keeping his temper, as the trailer shows him snapping and punching a locker for some reason. Before this, however, we see him looking calm and smiling as he delivers the telling line "everyone is gonna think you're going nuts." Is he talking to himself here? It's possible, but I think that would actually be a little too obvious for the show. Instead, I'm guessing that someone (Jim Gordon, perhaps?) has guessed his dirty secret, and Ed is trying to convince them that no one would believe him to be a killer.
The Girls Gang Up
Another particularly creepy, yet incredible, story from the first season of Gotham was Barbara Kean. Struggling with substance abuse, and finally being seduced by a psychotic serial killer who convinces her to murder her own parents, Barbara is developing further and further from the loving partner to Jim that we all know from the comics.
Now, it seems that she is teaming up with Tabitha Galavan/Tigress, a new character for the second season who is a clear villain in black leather, with a bullwhip and a seriously big gun. The trailer shows the two women looking very pleased with themselves, and very close; given that we know Barbara has had relationships with both men and women, could this be a new love interest for her? I would be very happy to see her falling in love with another villain, who will lead her further down this dark path.
It also looks like the trailer reveals how the two meet - as Tabitha is shown in front of a line up of Arkham's inmates (presumably breaking them out), and it looks like Barbara may be visible in the background. Looks like Ms Kean may fall in love with her rescuer!
A New Criminal Cabal
Tabitha's brother, Theo, is a major part of this new trailer, and it seems that he is the head of a band of villains. He opens with the particularly ominous line "Gotham will tremble" before being shown standing over a table of new faces and talking to (presumably) our future Joker. From the looks of scenes with Tabitha, it seems that the bother/sister duo decide to plunder the occupants of Arkham, taking the most murderous to work for them. (Where else would we see criminals wearing those black and white stripes?)
Also around his table (and thus presumably part of the new gang of bad guys) are two ex-Arkham residents. We also catch a glimpse of Dustin Ybarra as Cannibal Killer in the teaser. Clearly, Theo has a plan for these maniacs, but what is his endgame?
Finally, we come to the biggest part of the teaser - Jerome Valeska, presumed by many to be the Joker. We met Jerome back in 'The Blind Fortune Teller,' when it was revealed that this manipulative young man from the circus was actually a vicious killer who murdered his own mother. Carted off to Arkham post-confession, it looks like he's one of those freed by the Galavans, and he is already causing havoc.
He's doing some shooting in front of a schoolbus (part of the Arkham escape, perhaps? They are wearing the appropriate clothing, and the bus could well be used for inmate transport.), before changing into a police uniform and being shot at from within the precinct. (Something that leaves him looking more thrilled than scared.) Finally, we get a look at him on a camera feed, splashed with blood and taunting the viewer that they "ain't seen nothin' yet." Seems that Jerome is going to do some real damage to the police force...
We also get treated to that incredible laugh at the start of the trailer, and it wraps up with Theo telling Jerome that "the laugh is fabulous, use that." As well as being the perfect way to wrap up the thirty-second promo, this reveals that not only is Jerome acting under the orders of Theo, but that Theo may be instrumental in molding him into the Joker.
The Villains Are Definitely Rising
Gotham has always been a show about the villains, and I'm thrilled to see all these new lowlifes stepping into the spotlight. While some fans aren't happy with how far the show deviates from the source material, I think it works wonderfully - especially with Barbara and Nygma. It may be a little strange to see the Joker coming into play so heavily while Bruce is still so young, I am excited to see the show shift away from the gangsters that dominated the first season.
Of course, all this still has to balance with Bruce; his relationship with Jim and Selina, and his search for his parent's killer - including our first glimpse at the "Batcave" (a.k.a. his father's secret room). It's a lot to pack in, but they did such an incredible job with the first season that I have complete faith that the show will just keep improving with the second.
Gotham Season 2 begins September 21st.