Gotham Review – Under the Knife
Well, first off: wow. Gotham seems to have really stepped up its game this week. First the return of Barbara Kean, who hasn’t been seen in a while and landing herself squarely in the crosshairs of the Ogre. Which, if we’re all honest, I think was fairly obvious from the get go. Not enough people knew about Leslie for her to be a target whereas Barbara and Gordon are old news and literally a matter of public record, as Gordon finally realises down the track. Still, I did like that Barbara seemed to surprise and put the Ogre slightly off his game once or twice there. It does make it slightly more interesting even if it means sliding towards Fifty Shades of Gotham a bit. He even takes a risk in opening up and showing her his killing room at the end, though it’s entirely possible that she won’t peg it as exactly that yet. It’s creepy, but doesn’t specifically scream serial killer on the first impression. But Barbara seemed intrigued more than frightened upon being introduced to it, leaving me to think she does just see it as a weapons collection vault more than anything else.
Then there’s Bruce’s continued investigation into Wayne Enterprises, kicked off by Bruce confronting Selina about her killing of Reggie, Selina seeming to be completely unabashed by the whole thing, even suggesting that she’d do it again if she had to. Bruce’s ‘thou shalt not kill’ is firmly entrenched as well, Gotham establishing that the eventual Dark Knight’s hands will always be bloodless right from the start. Whether this discord will drive the kids apart or not remains to be seen, though Bruce seems willing to keep their partnership going for the sake of the investigation in the meantime. So they attend the Wayne Enterprises charity ball intending to steal the keys to the safe of a suspect of theirs, Bruce looking very sharp in his mini-tux and Selina looking . . . well she looked nice I suppose, it was a nice dress and everything, but I feel like something should have been done with her hair more. She still kinda looked like a street kid to me despite the fancy getup.
The dance between the two however was a fantastic homage to the memorable scene in Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman Returns, where that Bruce and Selina dance together at a charity ball. Love it, just love it. The only thing missing was the “mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it” speech. Back on the police side of things, Gordon decides to go hard after the Ogre despite it seeming to put Leslie in the line of fire. Speaking of which, I understand that Gotham is mired in corruption and that the police are supposed to be borderline useless, but it’s starting to approach levels of disbelief that are difficult to suspend anymore. Does witness protection simply not exist in that city? Or, on the flipside of the coin, if the police are in the pockets of so many immensely powerful criminals, then surely that would afford them some protection, as I imagine the likes of Don Falcone and Maroni wouldn’t take kindly to the cops on their payroll being targeted by the likes of a lone serial killer.
Regardless, Gordon’s obviously not going to take such threats lying down, but after a couple of jump scares with Leslie, seems to come up with some sort of plan that involves her heading off somewhere in a matching blue duffel coat and deerstalker. Interested to see what that entails. On the Penguin front, we had Gertrude’s confrontation with the reality of her son thanks to a ploy of Maroni’s, the mob boss deciding to use Oswald’s mother as a weapon in their escalating rivalry. Although it leaves them shaken up, Oswald appears to derail the effect Maroni was hoping for, though I imagine it is all leading toward a huge final revelation where Gertrude finally sees her son for what he is, which I am looking forward to. And last but certainly not least, Edward Nygma, and his long awaited descent into darkness. True, the fact that the cop that Miss Kringle’s dating turns out to be abusive does feel kinda hackneyed and forced, I mean the woman must have zero taste in men if she’s gone straight from Flass to this guy, but still, I’m glad we got to see Edward go bad finally.
And not just bad, but crazy. Repeatedly stabbing Tom in a frenzied rage is definitely showing the repressed dark side of our dear awkward Eddie, showing the violent hatred he has for all those who can and do overpower him under normal circumstances when his intellect cannot help him. So, without question, definitely a wham episode, with Gotham seeming to be racing for the finishing line now. Good stuff.
Review by Josh Jennings