The Ultimate 'Gotham' Character Guide, So You Don't Forget Who's A Hero & Who's A Villain Before The Finale
I know with so much good TV, shows have to compete for limited airtime, but the long break Fox took in the middle of Gotham Season 1 was enough to take all the momentum out of the season. And now that the final few episodes are back, it might be hard to remember who's who with so many good and bad guys. So I've put together a Gotham Season 1 character guide to make sure you are absolutely prepared for the show's final stretch, because it picked up right where the last episode left off, with a few cliffhangers in place that might have you saying "huh?" if you forgot the difference between Alfred and Maroni (and if you did that, than you need this guide desperately — read on!).
The plots are episodic, and tend to focus on Jim Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock as they find a neophyte Batman baddie, and take them down within 44 minutes. There's usually time for a subplot too, either with the ongoing struggle of the two mobster families vying for control, or with the young Bruce Wayne as he takes appropriately-sized baby steps towards becoming the masked hero who will save the city from the destruction that's on its way.
But most of this show lives and dies by the characters. If you can remember that Ed Nygma is pining for Kristen Kringle or that Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock are becoming good friends and partners, that should help you get through the last few episodes and enjoy the remaining episodes of Gotham. Oh, and one character you won't find here? Joker. Yeah, all that "Jerome" business did not impress me.
This is our tiny hero. The future Batman. You may remember that his parents were murdered in the opening scene of the show, setting off the entire conspiracy tying into the mob, the crazier bad guys, and his journey to become Batman.
Detective James Gordon
As the protagonist, it's Jim's investigations into eccentric criminals around the city that lead the whole story. Right now, he's finding that his personal relationships — like with his new girlfriend, Leslie — are impacting his ability to go after criminals freely.
Captain Sarah Essen
Essen is the exasperated boss who's always chiding Jim for going to such great lengths to catch Gotham City's array of bad guys.
Alfred is a former military man who's recently revealed that he's more than a butler. And even though he was just stabbed by a duplicitous old friend, he's prepared to do anything necessary to protect young Master Bruce.
Jim's new GF and GCPD's new medical examiner has a love for the strange cases — she did once work at Arkham Asylum, after all — but her boyfriend's obsessive pursuit of criminals may put her in serious danger.
She has struggled with substance abuse in the past, but seems to be doing much better now, especially since she took in young Catwoman and Poison Ivy. She'll eventually marry Jim Gordon (if Gotham follows DC Comics), but for now, she's in the sights of Jason Lennon (we'll get to him).
We haven't heard from Renee since she was dumping Barbara, but supposedly she was the resident stick in the mud of the GCPD before Jim arrived in the pilot.
Over the course of the season, we've seen the Penguin, or Oswald Cobblepot, go from a conflicted young assistant to potential kingpin. He's the ultimate slow-play prequel villain.
Fish's former henchman, who's been brainwashed into working for Penguin.
A Roster Of Constantly Rotating Comics Villains
They keep adding people like teenaged Jonathan Crane, Victor Zsasz, and the Electrocutioner. These are Easter eggs for fans.
A Bunch Of Original, Goofy Bad Guys
The Goat, the Balloonman, and the rest of the show's antagonists are all original, and add to the campy vibe Gotham has sometimes.
Alfred's old pal Reggie appeared to give Bruce some helpful hints about fighting, but then backstabbed his old friend, working with Wayne Enterprises against its heir apparent. And he just met his end (courtesy of Selina Kyle), when it was revealed that he chose his boss, Bunderslaw, over his old friend.
Loeb is the corrupt-est of the corrupt cops that plague the GCPD. He's determined to stop Jim Gordon from taking his job. Of course, Batman fans know that he'll fail.
Maroni made the mistake of trusting the Penguin earlier in the season, only to eventually be betrayed by Oswald and lose all of his secrets. His revenge has been in the work for weeks now.
Falcone is not just the most well-known mobster from the Batman comics, he's also been in Chris Nolan's Batman Begins. On Gotham, he's the godfather of the city. The mentor of both Fish Mooney and the young Penguin, this guy cannot be fooled. Even though multiple acolytes have attempted to assassinate him, his holdings are stronger than ever going into the final few episodes.
Jason Lennon/The Ogre
Played by forever babe Milo Ventimiglia, Lennon is going to be the next bad guy going up against Jim and Harvey. He's a serial killer who exclusively preys on women, and Gotham must have held him to the end of the season for a good reason.
We've seen that the Dollmaker has been kidnapping people and stealing their organs, but other than money, we have no idea why. Let's hope this becomes clear in the next few episodes.
Even though he's a very recent addition, Bunderslaw might wind up being behind some mysteries that have been around since the beginning, like who killed Bruce Wayne's parents. He's a business type at Wayne Enterprises, adding some corporate intrigue.
Harvey is Jim's reformed partner, and while he seems totally good right now, there's no guarantee he won't have a late in the season heel turn and wind up as a bad guy. Would he regret it? Of course, but giving up being a corrupt cop right off the bat isn't so easy.
Ed is an eccentric medical examiner/forensics expert, and there's something just a little bit off about the guy. Oh, and then there's the whole future Riddler thing. While he has enthusiasm for helping Jim solve cases, Ed is also creepily attached to Kristen Kringle, a coworker.
She's the object of Nygma's affections, and she's a little odd herself. On the surface, Kristen has firmly told Nygma that she's not interested. But in the few private moments we've seen, she does seem drawn to him, and the actors have great chemistry.
Where did this lawyer, who will eventually become Two-Face, go? Who knows, but last time he appeared, he was already on his way to becoming corrupt.
She's currently a street-living orphan, but she'll eventually become a plant-loving terror, poison Ivy. She was living with Barbara Gordon, after breaking in with...
Young Catwoman is two parts street urchin, one part that super cool punk girl who went to your high school. I know she has to become a villain, but right now it's way more fun to 'ship her and Bruce, so I'm hoping Gotham continues to develop their sweet relationship.
She's the big question mark as the season winds towards an end. Was she behind the murder of the Waynes? If so, why? And since we already know that Jada Pinkett Smith won't be back for Season 2, let's hope she gets a fitting sendoff.
Images: Jessica Miglio/FOX (24); FOX