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As Gotham heads into its third season, aptly dubbed “Heroes Will Fall,” there’s a new level of darkness that the show is headed into, as evidenced by the season premiere. That’s not to say that Gotham has ever been a particularly light show – obviously – but with that tagline it’s safe to say this isn’t going to be a good year for our heroes.
In the season 3 premiere, we pick up six months after the events of the season two finale with the Indian Hill disaster and the escape of Fish Mooney and the other experiments. Jim Gordon is struggling following his glimpse at ex-girlfriend Leslie Thompkins’ happiness and taken up a role as bounty hunter in Gotham; Bruce Wayne is returning to Gotham after six months away; and the evil is living it up.
The premiere served as the official introduction for the Court of Owls, which will be a focal point this season, as well as setup some other storylines for this season. With a theme of “heroes will fall,” Gotham’s third season is shaping up to be an intriguing one.
Here are our seven favorite things from Gotham’s third season premiere:
1. Valerie Vale Steals the Spotlight
One of Gotham’s newest additions this season comes with Gotham Gazette reporter Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung), who steals the spotlight in her debut. Valerie is a character that immediately leaps off the television screen from her assertive introduction to her inner need to unlock the truth of this story with Indian Hill. She has an intriguing rapport with Jim Gordon that doesn’t limit itself to one of romantic implications. But it’s obvious that they’re going there with Jim and Valerie.
But the difference is that Valerie is a character that doesn’t exist merely as a means to be a love interest. Already she has an intriguing arc and personality that can make her an impactful character for many episodes to come. Her charming personality mixed with that assertive determination to uncover the truth has established her as one of my new favorite characters on Gotham. I can’t wait to see where she goes next.
2. Bruce Wayne Tangles with the Court of Owls
The main focus of Gotham’s third season will center around the introduction of the Court of Owls, which is the organization responsible for Hugo Strange and Indian Hill. We got a glimpse of that organization, which has infiltrated the Board at Wayne Enterprises, and those creepy masks in the premiere. Despite the Court of Owls being introduced, there’s still so much mystery surrounding this group, which only adds to the thrill of it all.
In the final moments of the premiere, one of the members of this group infiltrated the Wayne Manor and tangled with Alfred before knocking him unconscious. When Bruce came to check on Alfred he was grabbed from behind and knocked unconscious. This Court of Owls member, who earlier was told to “take care of” the Bruce Wayne problem, then carries his unconscious body away leaving us wondering what the eff happens next – but also knowing that we needn’t worry about the future Batman.
3. Ivy Meets Her Fate
One of the more puzzling storylines that Gotham is poised to take on is the aging-up of Poison Ivy. No longer will she be a young preteen but a 19-year-old woman that has been reborn. And she’s set her sights on Bruce Wayne. But we haven’t exactly gotten that far yet.
In the season premiere, we saw Ivy meet that predetermined fate when she threatened to rat on Fish Mooney and her Indian Hill culprits. She came into contact with a man that was described as “a reverse Fountain of Youth,” which basically means that his touch ages you until you die. Well he got his hands on her for a brief moment before she tumbled down into a stream of water and disappeared. Clearly, this was the transformation that the show teased, but we’ve yet to see this new Poison Ivy. But no doubt that’ll happen as soon as the next episode.
4. Barbara and Tabitha Can Take Care of Themselves
There’s nothing better than female empowerment, and the dynamic duo of Barbara and Tabitha is a fantastic example of that on Gotham. The relationship between these two women is simply wonderful. They’re examples of powerful, albeit evil, women who have been products of their past. And it’s made them the stronger for it. They don’t need any protection, as they say in the season premiere. And they’re absolutely right.
There was a distinct moment in the season three premiere that played on this misconception that females are weak; that men overpower them. When Barbara is confronted with a group of men that say her club is trouncing on their stomping grounds, she plays the powerless woman begging for them to not hurt her. Then she bursts out into laughter as her partner Tabitha slashes a couple of their throats and Barbara takes down the leader. These women don’t need any help. They’ve got this. And damn it’s fantastic to see.
5. Jim Gordon, Bounty Hunter
There’s a stark contrast to the James Gordon we see in the opening moments of Gotham’s season 3 premiere and the Jim Gordon we meet six months later, and it’s something that will be a huge factor in his character’s arc this season. When James left Gotham to find Lee, he found her. But she was laughing and content with another man. That broke something in Jim as he then gave into the darkness and took on the role of bounty hunter in Gotham. It’s interesting to see this side of Jim with the snark and the no-shits-given attitude.
There’s a bounty on Fish Mooney’s head – one million dollars, to be exact, courtesy of Penguin – and that’s something that clearly is motivating Jim on more than one level. With Lee no longer the thing he’s living for, it’s clear that Jim needs to rediscover himself this season, including why he’s fighting.
6. Bruce and Selina Tug At Our Heartstrings
One of the delights of Gotham and exploring the backstory of these characters we know so well in comics and film is that we get to see these relationships develop from the beginning. The relationship between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle is one of those relationships in Gotham that has captured our hearts. The history between Bruce and Selina is complicated, to say the least, and we still don’t know what exactly the future holds for them. But it’s the honest relationship between Bruce and Selina that really adds a new layer to their characters.
In the season premiere, Bruce returns home to Gotham after six months away with Alfred researching this secret group that has infiltrated Wayne Enterprises and was behind Indian Hill. Bruce, who never said goodbye to Selina before he left, finds his friend and makes his return known. Selina is having none of it. She puts on a brave face, but it’s evident to us – and Bruce – that she’s hurt by Bruce leaving without saying goodbye. Bruce comes to Selina to tell her that they have to be careful because of this group – the Court of Owls – is coming after him, and he doesn’t want her to be in the crossfire. It’s evident how much these two care for one another, which makes it all the more heartbreaking. And it also makes us super excited to see where the relationship between these two goes next.
7. Bruce Confronts Wayne Enterprises Board
Bruce Wayne has come a long way in two seasons including his demeanor with the Wayne Enterprises Board. No longer does Bruce turn away from the truth because of fear, now he’s putting a target on himself as he does what needs to be done. Someone within the Wayne Enterprises Board is responsible for Indian Hill – and also a member of the Court of Owls. Bruce knows that a member of this group has infiltrated his company, and he’s going to expose them unless they come clean. When he does this, he’s putting a target on his back. And both he and Alfred know it.
This storyline with young Bruce Wayne and Wayne Enterprises is crucial in developing the man that will grow up to become Batman, as well as take on the responsibility of CEO of Wayne Enterprises. Little by little we’re seeing Bruce mature as a man as he understands the responsibility and the importance of keeping this company clean. No doubt it’s gotten him – and will continue to – get him into trouble with the many villains that roam Gotham. But this is Bruce Wayne being shaped by his experiences. We already know the endgame, but we’re getting a glimpse at the backstory.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX.