Last week’s midseason premiere of Gotham was arguably the show on its best foot. The Penguin is in Arkham, Gordon is back on the force despite misgivings of his superiors, and really the only problem is that Victor Fries is running around with a cold gun, right? Oh, wait, that’s a pretty big problem.
The take on Mr. Freeze in particular is a showcase of what Gotham does best. Mr. Freeze has always done better on TV than in comics or, comic gods help us, in movies, and by making Fries’ wife Nora a character and not just an unattainable idea Freeze holds in his mind, it gives the show an extra edge. When Nora stumbles over Freeze’s lab and realizes he’s been outright murdering people in order to try and save her life, it was a surprisingly effective moment. Another nice touch is that Victor, thinking he’s failed, goes to turn himself in before learning that his cryogenic preservatives do, in fact, work.
In other words, it’s a tragedy, in the Greek mode. Gotham is oddly enamored of stories like this; last season, Peter Scolari’s corrupt commissioner turned out to have been carrying with him an agonizing burden he covered up as much to protect what was left of his family as he did to guard his career. We’ll be curious to see how it pays off, and we’ll find out tonight at 8pm EST on Fox. Join us, won’t you?