Gotham – Season 3 Overall Review

Gotham S3

Sadly due to my unexpected heavy workload I didn’t get to continue with this season’s breakdown of episodes, so I’ll leave the first part up HERE, but I’ll just post this overall season review up instead. A fun season it was too, with Edward Nygma’s transformation into The Riddler and his relationship with Penguin being the highlight. Don’t get me wrong, the season wasn’t without flaws, and it may be that this season looks good because I binge watched it over a week or so rather than one episode week, but overall it was definitely a fun watch. Let’s take a closer look to see why!

Synopsis:

After seeing that Lee has been moving on with another man, Gordon leaves her. 6 months later, he has been working as a bounty hunter dedicated to catch Indian Hills’ monsters. After an offer of a million dollars from Cobblepot for Fish Mooney, Gordon sets out to find her. Meanwhile, Bruce and Alfred return after laying low and prepare to confront Wayne Enterprises about their role in Indian Hills…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

Gotham S3 3

It’s the official cast photo for the season! Hooray! Must make a habit out of this, it’s handy.

James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) – After a harrowing experience six months ago, then losing his love Lee (lovely?) Gordon has slipped into a stereo-typical white vest wearing, scotch-in-his-morning-coffee “bounty hunter”. Still hasn’t made him all that interesting…

Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) – Bruce has spend six months weighing his options and trying to gain evidence of the shadowy cabal that has its hands in Wayne Enterprises, and he thinks he finally has a plan…

Oswald Cobblepot / Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) – Penguin is still freaked out about his showdown with Fish Mooney, whom he had killed a year or so earlier, and is getting more and more frustrated with the police’s lack of tracking her down…

Lee Tompkins (Morena Baccarin) – Lee has moved on with her life, settling down with a handsome doctor… who happens to be the son of a famous mob boss. What could possibly go wrong?!

Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) – Selina has fallen in with Fish Mooney and her freakshow, although she doesn’t really have any loyalty to them. She’s doing her best to keep her friend Ivy from them, thinking she is the one thing left she can protect…

Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) – Edward still finds himself in Arkham Asylum, surrounded by the insane criminal inmates and uncaring doctors. The only small ray of hope is the frequent visits from Oswald Cobblepot…

Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) – Jerome was an lunatic that incited a cult of similar “Jokers” (IF you know what I mean!) but was killed last season… so why is he listed here? Well…..

Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel) – Locally famous hypnotist who is searching for his sister Alice…

Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) – Captain of the GCPD, Barnes has amazingly not been killed yet, despite what has happened to the other people in his position. He’s hard-nosed but good somewhere inside…

Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) – An often drunk or lazy Detective in the GCPD. His friendship with Gordon is starting to gain the wrong sort of attention from the higher ups…

Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) – Bruce’s butler, and sole carer. He just wants Bruce to be happy, but is willing to go along with a plan that could clear the now deceased elder Waynes dark history…

and many more!

The Good:

Gotham S3 2

The highlight of the season, for me anyway, was the rise of the Riddler.

Although plenty went on, the main focus of a lot of a season was on Edward Nygma and his relationship with Penguin, leading to the eventual rise of his Riddler persona. It was great, with Cobblepot falling in love with him, killing Ed’s new love, seemingly getting killed by Ed, and then Penguin slowly getting revenge on the Riddler. It was an odd Greek tragedy, but it worked so well spread out across the season. Top marks for both.

The new additions to the rouges gallery were good as well, with Gotham’s version of the Mad Hatter and his sister’s poison blood being central to the plot of the whole season, as it turned out. Tetch was perfectly played, and even had his trademark goons with him! Then we get to Captain Barnes, who thanks to Tetch’s sister’s blood, becomes the crazy Executioner, who tries to be judge, jury and … well, yeah. Barnes was a good Captain, but rather dull, so it was good to see him play a fun baddie.

The few episodes at the end of the first “half” of the Season involving Jerome, future Joker (probably… possibly) coming back to life and leading to a proper Batman style showdown at an old fun fair with Bruce Wayne was great stuff. Bruce learning not to kill while battling him in a house of mirrors was a cliché, but a fun one in the middle of a series that often breaks and plays with the Batman lore. David Mazouz’s Bruce is once again a highlight of the series, despite his foes being rather dull this time, Jerome not included… In fact the last scene of the season involved Bruce stopping a mugging while wearing a black balaclava and then doing a very Batman-y pose on a nearby rooftop was very interesting. The show started off as a cop show with a young Jim Gordon, but it is slowly turning into a very long origin story for Batman.

Throughout the season I have to mention that Camren Bicondova, Donal Logue and Sean Pertwee do great jobs as Selina Kyle, Harvey Bullock and Alfred Pennyworth, respectively. As side characters for most of the season, they still play their roles brilliantly. Likewise Lucius Fox, and the trio of mobsters of Babara Keen, Tabitha Galavan and Butch all round out a great cast, with Butch apparently being revealed as the future Solomon Grundy, which is a fun nod.

The Bad:

Gotham S3 1

It’s the Joker and Batman…. well, sort of.

Although it had a few good moments, I found the drama with Gordon and his on-again, off-again relationship with Lee a bit dull. Gordon did the whole bounty hunter thing and then became regular Jim Gordon, all the while Lee’s life went tits up and she went insane… then they both went insane at the very end before Gordon pulled it back and saved them both, then she leaves again, putting us back into the same situation as the start of the season. I guess I just don’t care enough about either character, especially when the rest of the cast is so great!

Although I love Bruce and Alfred in Gotham, this season did no favours by putting them up against the Court of Owls, who just sit in a posh house and scheme from afar. Then for the last few episodes they set up Bruce as on the radar and temporarily under the influence of Ra’s al Ghul, which might be interesting, but often the League of Assassins can be quite dull (and frankly I feel have been done to death thanks to the Arrow-verse shows…)

There was also a clone Bruce storyline that just seemed… I don’t know, odd and tacked on. Never really got into it.

I have to say there are a few repeated scenes that they really need to stop doing. The GCPD station being assaulted for one, and Alfred being K.O’d in his own living room another. I’d love to know the count of how many times these scenes have happened across the three seasons, or even just this one!

Overall Thoughts:

Gotham S3 4

Oh yeah, Mr. Freeze, Firefly and Hugo Strange all appeared during the series as well!

As per usual in Gotham, the villains and their odd personalities and general evolving backstories are the true highlight of the series, and this season the relationship and war between Riddler and Penguin was great viewing. There were some other highlights, and a fair few dull bits, so overall I’m not going to score it a 5, that’s for sure, but overall I enjoyed it enough to give it a 4. I do wonder if Channel 5 had aired this over 22 weeks whether my opinion would be the same or not… I guess we’ll never know now!

4 Star Watch

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