Gotham is an interesting concept that doesn't necessarily lend itself to long-form entertainment. The idea of investigating the youth of Bruce Wayne, Detective Gordon and Gotham City's other major players is great, but the show runs the very real risk of playing its hand too early. There are only so many characters one can introduce before the well runs dry, and for that to happen in the first season could spell major trouble.
That isn't slowing Fox down, however: in a bid to expand the show's viewer base, Gotham is introducing Batman's greatest arch-nemesis a bit earlier than expected. That's right, the Joker is now set to debut before Gotham's first season comes to a close.
Executive Producer Bruno Heller, speaking with TV Guide, detailed how and why Joker will be making his entrance a bit earlier than expected:
"We've said you're going to be waiting a bit longer for it, but this is America -- nobody wants to wait."
While the logic is certainly there, perhaps it would be better for the show in the long run to hold off on the Joker. The story between all of the different villains (and the show's few heroes) is already convoluted, especially considering the Scarecrow just made his debut. Will adding yet another villain to the mix - not to mention a villain as chaotic as the Joker - really help the show?
That being said, Heller also stated that, while the Joker will make his debut, it wont' be much more than a tease:
"So, we will scratch the surface of that story, yes. But just scratch it -- a little tap on the door."
For the most part, the rest of the season will focus on Edward Nygma, who will eventually become the Riddler. Where Oswald Cobblepot (a.k.a. the Penguin) was always somewhat unhinged, Heller said that "Nygma is someone who becomes the villain, and we see that journey begin in the second half of the season."
Is Gotham showing its hand too early? There's already a lot of plot going on in the show, adding three more major villains in the span of a few episodes could be a big mistake. The show's not exactly suffering, but it's not in a bulletproof spot, either - let's just hope that all these villains boost the show up instead of dragging it down.
Gotham airs Monday at 8pm on Fox.