While an older Batman is gearing up to battle Superman on the big screen later this year, TV’s Bruce Wayne is only just starting to understand the kind of mindset that he will need to one day become the Dark Knight. Thankfully, the young billionaire is getting another year to develop his vigilante skillset, as Fox just put in an official order for Season 3 of Gotham. Hope Jim Gordon wasn’t looking for an early retirement.
Even though Gotham’s ratings aren’t as big as they were in Season 1, it’s still not that big of a surprise that Fox decided to guarantee another grim and gritty season. After all, it’s based on one of the most important comic canons in existence, and has much stronger name recognition than some of the network’s other dramas and comedies. Plus, the lower ratings are balanced somewhat by the series’ strong DVR and delayed viewing numbers, and Fox says that Gotham is averaging 9 million viewers per episode across different platforms. At this point, it’s also a Top 10 performer this season in the key 18-49 male demographic, and that’s not a distinction anyone likely wants to lose soon.
From a quality perspective, this past year of Gotham has been a near-complete turnaround on Season 1, with almost everything coming across as more successful in the sophomore season. The villains are absolutely better, from Hugo Strange and Mr. Freeze to the multi-Joker approach, and it’s been fun watching The Riddler rise out of Ed Nygma’s psyche. I could always use more Bullock, but it’s also been interesting watching Gordon slowly morphing his moral code to match the efforts of Gotham City’s worst citizens, especially without Barbara around all the time.
Of course, another season of Gotham inevitably means another round of villain castings. Season 2 has had its share of one-and-done bad guys to compliment the bigger names, sometimes thankfully and other times regretfully. (I mean, who doesn’t want to see Tommy Flanagan’s The Knife on a weekly basis?) There are still quite a few comic book antagonists that still haven’t surfaced this season, such as Mad Hatter, so perhaps some may be held back for future episodes now that Season 3 has been confirmed. So long as they avoid the bozos, I’m okay with whatever showrunner Bruno Heller wants to do.
With Gotham successfully making it to a third year on a broadcast network, what does that mean for the future? There have been spinoff rumors floating, most recently for an Alfred-centered series, and it will soon be the only major superhero-ish comic book show that hasn’t crossed over with any other series. Could that change soon? Could we one day see Lucious Fox and Cisco Ramon making cool shit in a lab together, or do the tones clash too much?
In any case, Gotham airs Monday nights on Fox, and the next episode will feature Paul Reubens as the Penguin’s father, so that should be a hoot.