Eagle Eye

Michael Chiklis, no stranger to roles as police officers and super-powered individuals, may have finally found a job that combines those skills into a single, slightly incoherent whole. Chiklis has signed on as a regular on Gotham, Fox’s baby-Batman prequel, which continues to promise audiences that it’ll one day work out whether it’s a cop show, or a superhero show, or possibly even a Batman show, although the latter outcome seems very unlikely at present.

Chiklis will play police captain Nathaniel Barnes, an original character to the show, who “lands on the Gotham City Police Department like a tornado, ripping out the dead wood of the city’s police force.” Besides all that metaphorical lumber-savaging, the “law-and-order zealot” Barnes becomes an ally and mentor to Ben McKenzie’s Jim Gordon, while also earning himself some sort of powerful enemy. (FEMA, maybe, looking to clear up the debris.)

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With his mixture of benevolent goals and harsh-sounding methods, it’s difficult to work out where Captain Barnes falls on the “Vic Mackey-Commish” axis that governs all TV cops’ souls, and the addition of the show’s latent superhero DNA doesn’t help. Still, it’s not like being torn between two competing, often completely contradictory impulses won’t set Barnes right at home once he debuts during Gotham’s second season, which premieres on Sept. 25.