As an episode that will lead into the mid-season finale, last night’s Gotham failed at properly presenting the larger picture. I couldn’t help but groan when Galavan’s master plan went full circle. I understand that this show is tied to comic lore but it felt like something out of the Adam West Batman. Luckily, there wasn’t a wasted moment during the episode. There was a lot of action and the smaller moments helped distract from the larger scheme. After an impressive run, this episode felt like watching a wheel spin-off of a locomotive.
With the arrival of the Sacred Order of Saint Dumas last episode, Galavan’s entire plan this season felt pointless. If they were going to show up anyway, was he just buying time by running for Mayor? I would have preferred just skipping this entire arc if he was going to destroy Gotham by force. Then again, Gordon took out several members of this “expert assassin” clan. I did like the fight scene between Galavan and Gordon because I wasn’t expecting Galavan to hold his own. Where he lost me was when he made the infamous cliché of leaving before making sure Gordon was executed.
Much of this episode was composed of fight scenes. Gotham has stepped up their game on the choreography during this season. The fight between Tabitha and Alfred this episode was a fun highlight and one that was completely unexpected. I feel a lot of sympathy for Alfred on this show. Not only does he constantly have to deal with Bruce’s adolescent nonsense, he has also been stabbed a few times. Even though I knew deep down he would survive, his fight with Tabitha was an engaging combat exercise.
Bruce’s revelation about his feelings for Selina was a little too on the nose for my taste. I understand that he is going through changes but couldn’t he have done it with someone he won’t be entangled with in the future? I was genuinely surprised that he was conning Silver throughout this season. It was the first time in a long time where I felt like Bruce demonstrated some actual intellect. Given the introduction of Tommy Flanagan as a scarred kidnapper, maybe his actions got the better of him. It was a nice touch and one that felt spontaneous. Bruce’s confrontation with Galavan on the other hand was not a surprise at all. We knew going in that Galavan’s endgame was to kill Bruce. This plays into my argument that Bruce should be absent from Gotham altogether.
This episode of Gotham returned to the hit and miss tone of season one. While most of it was dark and gritty, Penguin was utilized entirely for awful comedic effect. He’s lost his mother, his empire and is a broken man altogether. What does he do this episode? He clogs Nygma’s toilet. Not only was this completely out-of-place, it resorted to the cheapest method of comedic storytelling. I am not one to talk down on bathroom humor. My problem is how it is utilized. It was used for no other reason than filling up the runtime. Luckily, Penguin saving Gordon at the end of the episode helped redeem how the character was used.
“The Son of Gotham” was equal parts worthwhile and pointless. The smaller moments helped offset the general failure of presenting a larger picture. I am still anticipating how they choose to cap off the first half of season two next week. With that said, it could also stigmatize the entire first half of the season building up the Galavans.
Need to catch up on Gotham? Weekly episodic reviews of season 2 can be found on my page: