When Gotham returns later this year for Season 2, James Gordon and Harvey Bullock are going to have their hands full and then some, as Gotham City will be up to its skyscraper roofs with dangerous villains. Luckily, there is a new long (musclebound) arm of the law in town, and he’ll be played by action drama vet Michael Chiklis. If his first appearance is anything like his first few scenes in The Shield, Gotham is going to be amazing this year.

As the newest series regular, Chiklis will play Captain Nathaniel Barnes, according to TV Line, which means he’ll be the guy that the GCPD has to both look up to and deal with when things go wrong. I’m not quite sure what this means for the fate of Captain Sarah Essen, but it should be intriguing however it turns out. Here’s a solid description of Barnes’ approach to the job, as given by Gotham producers.
[Barnes] lands on the GCPD like a tornado, ripping out the dead wood of Gotham’s police force. He is a law and order zealot; unafraid of making enemies – on either side of the law…Captain Barnes proves himself to be a strong ally to Gordon, but one day he will make an equally powerful enemy.

I love how in a show like Gotham, doing illicit things as a cop doesn’t just make someone a “bad cop,” but an “enemy.” Them’s the stakes. Gordon apparently looks at Barnes as a hero and mentor, which almost necessarily means that he’ll get his hopes and dreams dashed by the man at some point. Still, it’ll be nice to see Barnes light a fire underneath the rest of the GCPD, since most of them are background scenery. Step it up, Allen and Montoya.

Gotham is adding a slew of other characters to Season 2 as well, many of whom will be on the opposite side of the law. We’ve got Mr. Freeze coming, along with Mad Hatter, Clayface, billionaire industrialist Theo Galavan and his sister Tabitha, better known as Tigress. The show will also further develop the characters of the Joker and the Riddler, and we’ll be seeing more of Harvey Dent as well. Plus, young Bruce begins to head down the dark path to dark knighthood.

This is Chiklis’ latest gig in a stream of TV projects. He followed The Shield with the superhero family dramedy No Ordinary Family, the crime drama Vegas, and the bonkers spookfest American Horror Story: Freak Show. He also popped up for an important cameo during the last season of Sons of Anarchy, and is currently filming Steven Shainberg’s sci-fi thriller Rupture with Noomi Rapace.

Gotham will premiere this fall starting on Monday, September 21, where it will later run up against Supergirl for an overly heroic start to the TV week.

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