If Gotham’s first season was a successful, but uneven foray into the dark world of the city that would give birth to the Dark Knight, Season Two is a darker and more confident outing that puts the emphasis squarely on the rise of DC’s imagined “metropolis”, if you will, and it delves even further into Detective Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie) moral ambiguity as he and his partner Det. Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) try to battle the increasing wave of crime and instability brought on by the rise of what will be the unstable, immoral, and violent super villains.
With new police Captain Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis) in charge and Penguin (Robin Taylor) now on top of Gotham City’s crime world, Gordon finds it difficult to stick to his principles in his quest to fulfill the promise he made to young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), who is now headed firmly down the path to becoming the Dark Knight. Meanwhile, villains like Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) and Joker (Cameron Monaghan, Shameless) begin to assert themselves. James Gordon also has to deal with his psychopathic ex-girlfriend Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) who has escaped from Arkham Asylum and set her sights on his current girlfriend, Doctor Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin).
The series is a rich world of villains, violence, and darkness, all set in a neo-noir world that, like all comics, exists in its own universe where past and future are not concepts. Modern items exist alongside WWII era costumes and automobiles. Each episode is a journey into a chiaroscuro fantasy of the insane, and it’s one worth taking.
Gotham is shot in HD on the Arri Alexa and arrives on Blu-ray in a fantastic AVC 1080p encodement from Warner Bros. The series’ chiaroscuro visual palette looks exemplary, and is nicely nuanced without extended shadow detail and excellent contrasts. Inside Wayne Manor, we get to see some rich midtones, while overall the palette of greys, blacks, and army greens, and blues is presented with minimal noise apart from the thinnest amount of artistic “grain”.
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surrounds the listener in ambience, provides full and clear dialogue, and a weighty low-end. Explosions ring out convincingly throughout the soundstage.
Warner includes an excellent slate of HD on-disc featurettes that delve into the characters, plots, and production of Gotham’s second season.
- Digital HD UltraViolet & iTunes Digital HD Digital Copy
- Father’s Office – Bruce and Alfred discover the door behind the fireplace
- A Look Back
- Maniax Jerome – Think you know the Joker? Watch this preview to learn more
- Strike Force – There’s been a vacuum of power in the Gotham PD, but here comes Captain Barnes to clean house and he’s bringing a “Strike Force” of powerful cops with him. Looks like this new group is prepared with a lot of artillery.
- He Who Laughs Last – Now the plot thickens! Is there more chaos and anarchy to come as a virus is unleashed in Gotham?
- New Day, Dark Nights – As Gotham becomes overrun with criminals, will Det. James Gordon, who has lost his power, unleash his dark side and ask an old friend for a favor that he may regret forever?
- A Look Ahead
- The King – Is the Penguin the new King of Gotham, or just a little umbrella boy who will finally be taken down?
- Gotham: 2015 Comic-Con Panel
- Gotham by Noor Light – Gotham is deeply cast into the film noir technique and edgy attitude. The camera’s lens is able to pickup on the subtlety for the fans to enjoy a modern update to an age-old tradition, of how to paint with shadow and light.
- Alfred: Batman’s Greatest Ally – This story is about Gotham’s take on the father/son bond between Bruce Wayne and his butler, Alfred. The poignant and powerful mythology from the comic books comes to life in the series.
- Cold-Hearted, the Tale of Victor Fries – The mix of cold blood and a warm heart. This examines the humanistic meltdown of Victor Fries in pursuit of a cure for his love, Nora.
The Final Assessment
By going even darker and taking Det. Gordon into even more morally grey areas Gotham finds its footing in the second season. This neo-noir crime drama is a delicious dive into the underbelly of the city that would give birth to the Dark Knight and his foes.
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