Prepare yourselves, Gotham fans: new year, new Ivy. “A Dark Knight: Pieces of a Broken Mirror” kicked off Season 4B with the return of our ever-changing, nature-loving seductress. True to Pamela’s/Ivy’s nature on Gotham, she’s got a new face (in the form of Frequency’s Peyton List) and attitude ready to bring on the villainy. (Yes, we’ve heard that before.) We’re on the third Poison Ivy right now, so this iteration of the character needs to be more like the persona we know and love from the comic books/cartoon/video games. Luckily, the premiere of the adult plant lover seemed to fit this mold.
Peyton List’s version of the nature villain was a breath of fresh air. Clare Foley and Maggie Geha did a good job with growing the character from forgotten child to emerging villain. However, seeing the adult version now in full airy fashion rang true to Poison Ivy’s form. She isn’t a scavenger child, she isn’t a bumbling lackey; Poison Ivy is a confident, empowering and seducing character who will crush anyone to save the life of a plant over a person. The woman who broke free from her cocoon finally emerged as Poison Ivy, and the way she infected the man with her venom was the perfect start to launch her third iteration.
Seeing Ivy utilize her skills right from the beginning brought her up to the same level as the other villains in Gotham City. The visual effects of her poisonous venom were well done; while it was cringe-worthy to see a body being cut open, the effect of the plants sprouting from his chest left a well-timed shock. Having Poison Ivy not simply poison her victims but grow plants inside them is an interesting spin on the character. She didn’t need a perfume to control people. She had the men eating out of the palm of her hands regardless.
How should we take Selena and Ivy’s reunion? On the one hand, these two characters have great chemistry together and they’re good friends. However, they’ve tried their on-and-off friendship a few times already to no success. Ivy has shown that she’s not the most dependable and she will ultimately save herself before helping Selena, so we could be retreading plot here. However, with a new Poison Ivy in the midst, the focus could shift to where it should be, with Ivy and Selena both strong and in charge. Let’s see how this storyline progresses.
Drunk Bruce is annoying. He had that smarmy, smug face that exuded rich entitlement and superiority over everyone at the Sirens’ Club. Selena not slapping him after he acted like a mess was the real miracle of the hour. David Mazouz did a great job portraying the party boy version of his billionaire character. Hopefully the gimmick doesn’t last for too long since it’s starting to feel a bit much at certain points, such as his reaction to the adult Ivy. Alfred needs to come back into the mix.
Speaking of Alfred, his inclusion in “A Dark Knight: Pieces of a Broken Mirror” was more of a way to get James and Harvey talking again than actual storyline. His involvement with being implicated in the murder of a waitress was the equivalent of filler time. There was no point to having him onscreen except to show what he was doing with his life after Bruce fired him, and we didn’t exactly need a lot of time to see it. His character needs to be reunited with Bruce, because his purpose right now falls a little flat.
The battle with The Toy Maker was a good one-off adventure to slowly bring Gotham back from the winter hiatus. The Toy Maker isn’t a prominent villain in the Batman universe. In fact, he’s a pretty minor one with minimal appearances. And the character seen this week was the father instead of the true villain. (In the animated series, The Batman, his son Cosmo Krank was The Toy Maker.) From the quick clips we did see of him before his death, he didn’t look to be the type of villain who would have prominence in Gotham City, like Professor Pyg or the Scarecrow. He served his purpose by bringing the action with toy weapons and he progressed the plot where it counted. One, he got James Gordon to see Lee in her new role, and two, The Riddler personality came back fully.
Can someone burn Barbara’s wig? That super short flapper-style wig looks fake and poorly dyed. On a costumed show like Gotham, believability is everything and this item is not. Barbara is a woman of style and power, and this wig detracts it all because it looks ridiculous.
Lee’s heart was in the right place by wanting to rebuild the Narrows. However, my predication is that it won’t come to be. Edward has his villainous personality back and if The Riddler wants her dead, there’s no doubt that others want the same thing too. “A Dark Knight: Pieces of a Broken Mirror” started the campaign for a better Gotham City, but whoever finishes the fight will be the one to dictate the future. And we still have a lot more villains hiding away in Arkham Ayslum who could change everything.