For those who are still skeptical about Gotham, I think last night’s episode was the beautiful beginning of putting your woes to rest. The major point of discrepancy in everything I’ve read is that the Penguin has seemingly stolen the focus away from Jim Gordon. It can be argued that Oswald is featured in every episode, even in the most arbitrary of scenes just to feature him. That being said, yesterday proved that not only is he not the only major player in the plot, but he wasn’t even featured.
This episode was chilling. When we were promised the rise of the villains, I don’t think any of us thought of the bloodshed and massacre that would come by the hands of Gotham’s most sinister. Having the episode begin with Theo Galavan (James Frain) using scare tactics to torture the mayor, writers set the tone pretty heavy for the next forty-five minutes of terror. After some shipyard workers are tossed over the roof of the Gotham Gazette in order to make headlines, there is an installation of panic throughout the streets of the city. Gordon pays a visit to Harvey and begs him to come back to the police force, only to be thwarted by Harvey’s wife. The escaped Arkhamites including smiling Jerome Velaska (Cameron Monaghan) and his crew fight over the right to be leader of the squad (see what I did there?). The squad hatches a plan to barbeque a bus of cheerleaders, but fails, and one of their captured members receives a head shot by the hand of Tabitha Galavan before he can talk.
Back at Gotham PD, Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) places a call to Gordon from inside the police station in order to lure him away into the streets where he is promptly beaten senseless. All the while, the entire police station is shot up by the Arkham escapees and the Commissioner is murdered on camera by Jerome. After the massacre, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) seamlessly returns to the force with no questions asked. Meanwhile Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) destroys a computer found in an underground cave, young Bruce Wayne fires him, then rehires him so long as he can fix the computer. Alfred employs the help of Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) but not before threatening to string him up like a smoked fish if he betrays them. Phew. That was a lot. Seriously.
Okay, where to begin? I think it’s interesting that the villains are portraying pure evil with no intentions. Sure, the premise of the maniacal doings is to take over the world, but with no end goal in sight, the group is just wreaking havoc. There is nothing more descriptive of DC comic villains than pure evil. I feel in all comic lines produced by DC, that the heroes are all-powerful and the villains all-evil.
I think we’re all starting to buy in to the fact that Jerome is going to be the joker. The scene in which Gotham PD is massacred, he films the entire murder. Sound a little like what he did to Barbara Gordon in The Killing Joke? I thought so too. Now if only he would start donning a Hawaiian shirt and flat brim hat, I’d be sold. For every Joker there must be a Harley, and Barbara Kean is shaping up to be just that. With a sinister kiss to Gordon and a child-like fit when she’s not included in the barbeque festivities, it’s becoming clear that whether we like it or not these two are Gotham’s representation of these characters.
I’m starting to fall in love with Edward Nygma’s craziness. It’s very difficult for an actor to portray even one character let alone a character that is fighting with himself. Cory Michael Smith is doing an incredible job. You can see with each face of the soon to be Riddler that there is a mastery of understanding of this battle that we all know the ending to.
Can someone explain to me why the Alfred Pennyworth that we all know and love, who is a refined Englishman no less, is suddenly spitting cockney? I did really enjoy his approach of Lucius Fox at the bar. I though his candor and speech about how he deals with disloyal people was the definition of who Alfred is. Plus, a pre-bat gadget developing Fox is going to be an awesome character to watch.
Jim Gordon is still trying to be the voice of moral compass. When the force shows up to the gas-filled truck and school bus that’s about to be torched, the villains start shooting at the cops. With no hesitation Gordon screams “don’t shoot,” at his fellow police force. This is the Gordon we all know. Not afraid to bend the rules, but at the very end of the day, he’s the only one morally sound in Gotham.
The Huntress headshot that kills of one of the villains is proof that she is going to be developed into the absolute mercenary that she is. I literally could not be more excited about this. The scene this week when her and Barbara are having a twisted girl’s night in by torturing the mayor played tribute to both her and Barbara’s characters and how they mean business, but love to have villain style fun.
There are still a lot of characters to sift through, however, if this season keeps on track the way that it has been so far, a small feature of each story line each episode will ensure that the “convoluted” story lines will be straightened out, and furthermore, enjoyable to watch.