Episode: 1 “Damned If You Do”.
Running time: 44 min.
The first episode of the second season is mainly about placing the various characters from the previous season, and a few new ones, onto the platforms by which their new arcs will begin.
This episode started off with a quick pace, Gordon (Ben McKenzie) getting fired then making a deal with Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) that ultimately saw him compromise his own moral vanity outright for the first time on the show, and the results from that, whether he compromises himself further or not is a question situated for the later episodes in his and the viewers minds, so the start of the main protagonist’s arc was well established.
Bruce (David Mazouz) starting where we left off with him in the last episode of the previous season with the mysterious passage and room behind the fire place and resolution with it was good to see, his progression as a character is showing some promise as we see him developing further into the type of man his future self is destined to be, though the big reveal so far of the hidden room (or possible future bat cave) was a bit anti-climactic so far, even if it did contain a rather interesting last minute advice from his father. It was fun seeing him processing into blowing it up though.
Penguin is consolidating his power base now that he is in change, it will be interesting to see in where he goes trying to keep it, and along with his deepening partnership/friendship with Gordon, and we hope to see more of his delightful mother this season hopefully, and how his relationship with her will fall out.
Sylina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) being one of Penguin’s lackey’s meanwhile was a bit of a surprise, particularly given her independent nature, even if she did join Fish’s crew in the end of the last season, there had been this element of a being of sucked in by Fish’s charisma that likely lead her to joining, here, there is nothing significant so far that is expressed in motivating her to staying, it felt a little weird for her character, but it could lead to some things later so no early judgments yet.
Finding Detective Bullock as a barman and no longer a detective was also a surprise as well, and one can hope that they haven’t benched the character for the season, and as Gordon’s partner and friend, has one of the better character dynamics on the show.
Barbra Kean (Erin Richards) is perhaps the most interesting development outside of the addition of both new and old antagonists. She was one of the weaker characters of the first season (though to give Richards credit, she did the best she could with what she had), with the only note of interest being when she goes insane in the tail end of season one, but otherwise not much of a character all around without the development as the other characters, pretty much a victim character all around with a brief moment as a love interest (which she was even worse as), a Mary-Jane coo-coo for coco puffs style of character. Her addition into the second season is a surprise because she was such a weak character, hopefully her character will get a boost development wise if she is going to be recurring steadily throughout the show or become one of the mains.
The story of the episode over all is a standard setting your ducks in order set-up, though it has done decently well in hooking the viewers in for the season, but is perhaps not as strong as episodes from the first season, but still a promising start for the new season.