The irregular TV schedule of GOTHAM: MAD CITY left viewers scratching their heads about the show’s schedule. Unlike the previous seasons of GOTHAM, the first half of the show premiered in September and took a break until February. This season went on break twice, once for the fall finale and again after three episodes in the winter finale. It’s confusing, right? Well, we’re here to keep you in the loop with a refresher on the new season, GOTHAM: HEROES RISE. Warning, there are SPOILERS ahead!

CLICK: Curious about the cinematic future of Batman? Check out our speculation here!

The Death of One Villain (Not)

The way the winter finale ended, it certainly felt like a cliffhanger for the fate of The Penguin. Nygma shoots and watches The Penguin sink into the bottom of Gotham’s harbor, and his fate is ambiguous. However, since every major character that dies comes back to life, the Penguin’s return comes as no surprise to anyone. GOTHAM generally finds a plot device to bring their favorite characters back from the dead: this usually happens through the use of dark scientific experiments. For example, GOTHAM revived Jerome by shocking him back to life, and they resurrected Fish Mooney in Hugo Strange’s experiments.

The Penguin being shot by Nygma
The Penguin, shot by Nygma

What we need to look out for is who else will help the Penguin, Poison Ivy aside. Gabe and the rest of the Penguin’s old gang were disinclined to support him. There are two other potential allies: the Penguin previously saves Fish Mooney and Hugo Strange from an angry mob. In fact, Fish and The Penguin had a touching moment where she told him why she let him live before. The Penguin’s alliance with Fish is based on mutual respect and an understanding of one another. At their lowest moment, the two may join as a united front with the help of Hugo Strange.

The Rise of The Riddler in GOTHAM: HEROES RISE

One conclusion that we can draw from MAD CITY is that Nygma and The Penguin will inevitably clash. The disintegrating relationship between Penguin and Nygma was a theme in MAD CITY. Their relationship took a sour turn when Penguin’s jealousy for Nygma’s girlfriend, Isabella, caused him to cut the gas line of her car causing her to have a fatal accident. In doing this Penguin unwittingly created his enemy and set the man he loved down a darker path.

Nygma as The Riddler in GOTHAM HEROES RISE
Nygma as The Riddler in GOTHAM: HEROES RISE

If The Penguin killing Isabella wasn’t enough, it was his final words that pushed Nygma to become The Riddler. Penguin’s last words were individually impactful because he told Nygma that he is nothing without him. This conversation affects Nygma and exacerbates his ongoing identity crisis that has been a profound subplot in his character arc since the start of the series. Penguin’s choice of words challenged Nygma to answer the question of “Who am I?” Furthermore, Nygma is trying to prove he doesn’t need the Penguin’s help ruling Gotham by hunting for another intellectual equal. Unfortunately, his hallucinations of the Penguin indicate that he’s not quite over that relationship. We don’t know if the Penguin and Nygma will come face to face at the end of the season. However, you can bet that their feud is far from over.

Bruce, The Court of Owls, and His Doppelgänger

Bruce Wayne has a lot going on this season, from discovering his doppelgänger, to finding out The Court of Owls controls Gotham. Bruce’s adversaries in his arc are The Court of Owls who are involved in the death of his parents and the control of his company. What makes this storyline more important is his doppelgänger’s sudden involvement with The Court. At the beginning of the season, Bruce discovers his doppelgänger and learns he has some invincible superpowers. Furthermore, when Bruce confronts him about taking his identity, his doppelgänger agrees to leave. Only in the winter finale, we discover that Bruce’s doppelgänger is kidnapped and brainwashed into working for The Court.

Gotham: Heroes Rise
Bruce in “The Transformation Begins” trailer

What appears to be a plan by The Court of Owls to replace Bruce with his doppelgänger comes to a head when he is attacked and abducted. Furthermore, Bruce is already attracting the attention of the city’s most dangerous villains like Jerome. Bruce’s return will certainly not be a peaceful one. On the bright side, Bruce is slowly becoming the Dark Knight and learning some lessons along the way. An example of this is the ‘no killing’ rule he learns while brutally beating Jerome in an episode modeled after THE KILLING JOKE. Furthermore, Bruce might be receiving some training in GOTHAM: HEROES RISE with the apparent introduction of Ra’s al Ghul.

Selina Becomes Catwoman

Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle went their separate ways at the end of the winter finale. Literally, as a “will they or won’t they” couple, and figuratively, in their character arcs on the show. In episode thirteen, their relationship takes a nose dive when Selina’s mother, Maria, and Cole Clemons con them for money. Bruce, not telling Selina when he caught on to Maria and Cole’s con, plays along while they complete the job. However, when Selina discovers Bruce didn’t tell her about Maria’s con, she feels more betrayed by Bruce than her mother.

Selina Kyle's Resurrection
Selina Kyle’s Resurrection

For Selina, Bruce’s reluctance to be honest with her exacerbates her trust issues and openness with people. After leaving Bruce, Selina takes a figurative turn back to her character arc before she started to look after Bruce. It’s clear from the trailer of the spring premiere that Selina becomes Catwoman by all definitions. In a literal sense, Selina appears to die and is resurrected by cats, a nod to Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, in the trailer. Also in a figurative sense, she reverts to her old ways before she met Bruce. Indeed, when he tries to seek her out, she leaves him to be beaten by street punks. GOTHAM: HEROES RISE is apparently taking Selina down a darker path once more, which is an exciting direction for her character.

Greater Plans for Jim Gordon

Jim Gordon’s arc is full of more ups and downs than any other character on the show this season. With the return of his ex-fiancé, Lee Thompkins, and her fiancé Mario Falcone, Jim’s feelings resurface. However, his love for Lee is quickly exploited by Jervis Tetch, Mad Hatter, throughout the entirety of MAD CITY. Tetch shoots Jim’s girlfriend, Valerie Vale because Tetch knew whoever Jim chose the opposite is the one he loves. He also sets up Jim to kill Mario Falcone when he puts Lee’s life in danger. Tetch injects Mario with his sister’s blood, which causes a person to go into a murderous rage. This forces Jim to make a decision between leaving Lee alone or intervening to save her from her newlywed. Jim chooses to save Lee by killing Mario, but by doing this he ends any romantic relationship he had left with Lee.

Gotham: Heroes Rise
Frank Gordon

Jervis Tetch proved to be a worthy adversary for Jim Gordon in MAD CITY. He got Jim to return to the GCPD, reveal his feelings for Lee, and unfortunately kill Mario Falcone. If anything, Jim’s feud with Tetch gave his character closure in his story arcs and allowed him to develop. This makes the scene with ‘Uncle Frank’ surprising since it reveals Jim’s unknowing connection with The Court. This relationship between Jim Gordon, his Uncle Frank, and his father will be a new arc for a character that had seemingly achieved full closure. Frank’s plan to destroy the Court of Owls hinges entirely on Jim and opens the door for a whole new plotline. Since Frank killed himself to set up Jim as a potential member of the Court, it looks like Jim’s story will, in fact, expand in GOTHAM: HEROES RISE.

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Gotham: Heroes Rise, and the Owls Take Flight

The Court of the Owls has been growing as a force during MAD CITY, and their motives aren’t clear. We know they control Wayne Enterprises and run Gotham from the shadows. The Court also could have stopped Gotham’s crime spree during the blackout, but did not act for unknown reasons. Frank Gordon, unknown as Jim’s uncle at the time, tells Kathryn to have faith in the GCPD. We now know that he was referring to Jim, but after that, we don’t know anything else about their plans. One thing is for sure, the plots of The Court are playing a small part in everyone’s story arc in GOTHAM: HEROES RISE. It’s clear that Bruce and Jim will play significant roles, but how the others figure into their plans is unknown for now. Fans will just have to watch and see which heroes (or villains) will rise…

and who will fall.

GOTHAM: HEROES RISE airs Mondays at 8 PM ET/7 PM CT.

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