As I start typing this review, I’m wondering which kind of music would be best to get me in a Gotham mood.
Definitely something dark, twisted and wrong, with subtle fun touches here and there. Maybe something like “Sweet Dreams”, from the Eurythmics?
Yes, this feels more like Gotham already… so let’s get to it, shall we?
What’s good about this episode is mostly everything that has to do with the much-appreciated focus on young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and the particular reality that surrounds him.
At last we spend almost half the episode with Bruce and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) — who was once again the character from the comics; a perfect mix of worried tutor, adult friend that cracks jokes the way only British people can, and that role in-between where he does things only Alfred could, like teaching young Bruce how to fight.
Following closely on the events of last episode — with only a gap of a few hours, as has been the norm on Gotham lately — we see how Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) almost doesn’t have time to face or understand that Barbara (Erin Richards) seems to have temporarily left him out of fear of Falcone (John Doman) and the dangerous world that surrounds him, before he has to deal with another pressing issue named Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova).
In a fresh move towards advancing Bruce Wayne’s character while also readdressing the issue of Selina — a smart kid from the streets who so far has been the lousiest murder witness ever (the most Gordon has gotten out of her is a random sketch that matches none of the show’s big guns) — Gordon comes out with what proves to be a bright idea: having Selina stay at Wane Manor (first time it was officially called that, or is it just me?), a place where no one will go looking for her, and where she’ll be safe until the Wayne’s murder case goes to trial.
And it is fresh because not only does it change the dynamics of the show, keeping it moving in different paths, but also manages to plant the seeds of the Bruce-Selina relationship, while also giving the character of Bruce much-needed relief. For the first time, we saw two kids playing and discovering life. And hey, it was also a nice move there having Selina teach Bruce that Gotham is all about getting your hands dirty; that clean fighting will gain him nothing.
The other big highlight of the episode is, of course, a spot-on introduction of ADA Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto), who is portrayed as Gordon’s equivalent in the judiciary system, wanting to work with him and Detectives Allen (Andrew Stewart-Jones) and Montoya (Victoria Cartagena) to shake things up and, with any luck, have the Waynes’ killer come out of the shadows and be convicted. Sounds like a good plan, though after having seen the dark and twisted side of Dent come out in a scary sudden violent outburst, I’m afraid it won’t come to fruition.
On the other side of the coin (pun intended) Two-Face can’t come soon enough, and the hints at the villain’s dual identity were very subtly placed, with careful shadows over the left side of Dent’s face. Well done, Bruno.
And though in many reviews I haven’t mentioned his lines or brief appearances, this time Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) was genuinely funny, and key to solving the case, while at the same time creeping out both Gordon and Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue); who apart from giving some women advice and clearly feeling left out of Gordon’s moves — with Selina, Bruce and Dent — wasn’t a big part of the episode.
Also, our dose of Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) was key, as he’s not only gotten proof that Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) has a mole inside Falcone’s troops, but has threatened her to continue doing as ordered or… he will do what Penguin does best.
But perhaps the most unexpected moves came with the final scenes, as we saw Arkham Asylum reopening its gates to welcome the mentally ill, leaving Blackgate for sound-minded criminals; and also how Barbara has been spending her time in Montoya’s more than warm embrace.
Overall, another very solid episode that has me re-thinking my Monday mental state… this isn’t the worst day of the week, but the best!