It’s rare to be able to say whenever a show that has been as rocky as Gotham suddenly starts to get better one episode after another, but that’s exactly what’s happening right now as the Batman prequel drama is continuing to become a much more enjoyable show.
Because there were several aspects that made this episode so strong, I will start right off the bat (no pun intended) with the one thing that just didn’t work for me. As Gordon pays Bruce a visit to talk to him regarding the investigation about the murder of his parents after Gordon got a visit from Selina who told him that she had lied this whole time, the weirdest thing on the show happened. For some reason, Bruce tells Jim that he “releases him of his promise” and that he will do the investigation on his own and basically makes it sound like he is telling Gordon that he is no longer on the case. If that was really him saying that he was off the case, then someone needs to give that kid a reality check because last I checked, a 12-year old doesn’t have a say in a police investigation. I just didn’t like Bruce in this episode and how he put so much blame on Gordon when it was Selina’s fault to begin with. That was my one nitpick with the whole episode so let’s move on to the good stuff!
Wherever you go at this point, you are probably hearing how awesome Penguin is and that’s because it’s a fact. This week he shined a bit more as Maroni finally confronted him after learning from Fish that Penguin had been working for Falcone this whole time, and it brought out some of the best elements of this show. The scene when they are playing the “secrets” game was intense in that way that you just want to see it keep going without any stops. It will be fascinating to see how Penguin will work his way through Gotham City now that he has not one, but two big people in the criminal world looking for him. Also to all you Batman fans out there: you can now officially say that you have seen Penguin be saved by a big ladies church choir and sitting in a bus with them singing through the roof.
This episode introduced a very famous element from the Batman mythos and that was the concept of Scarecrow, which is getting a little bit of a modification in the show. Here we meet Jonathan Crane as a teenager as his father Gerald (played by the talented Julian Sands) is conducting fear experiments on people with phobias and goes beyond that to make it even creepier. While this is a bit of a change from the canon, I’m 100% OK with this, especially as they now have Jonathan close to Bruce’s age, which means their interactions (if there are any) can make sense. It was good that Gerald wasn’t caught or killed off as I want to see Sands sticking around as a recurring villain for a while. It also gave us a lot of Bullock (which you can never go wrong with), especially when he was sitting in on that meeting for people with phobias and talking about his own problems, unless he was faking it just to blend in, but I doubt it.
It’s inevitable that Edward Nygma will snap really bad at the end of this season as he keeps getting it tougher and tougher from everyone every week. However, it was a blast seeing him get that medical examiner fired so that he could get reinstated after getting suspended. He has so far been one of the characters that I have wanted to see more of and hopefully these next couple of episodes will give us that. Overall, this was one of the more entertaining episodes of the show, as they are now slowly moving away from the procedural aspect and more into something serialized.
Gotham airs on Monday nights, 8/7c on FOX.
[Photo via FOX]