This week’s Gotham is a step up from “Harvey Dent” and brings a nice sense of closure to the first half of the season. “LoveCraft” is the fall finale for the series and while it is not without some issues, we get some nice resolve to the antics of Jim Gordon, some payoff for Lil’ Bruce’s storyline for the time being, and boiling mob tensions that continue to set up whatever war the Penguin has been anticipating from the start. For a show that is far from perfect, but certainly watchable, I was quite pleased to see the series end on a high note, given the months in between now and the second half of the season.
“LoveCraft” gets off to a good start, as we eschew a random victim getting slain by a new criminal of the week and keep things central to our main characters. Okay, to be fair, before the hit squad arrives at Wayne Manor, they do manage to kill a random gardener, but bear with me, as the rest of this opening is focused on Alfred defending the manor, while Bruce and Cat run away. It is exciting stuff, with Alfred doing some proper ass kicking and getting winged in the arm in the process.
Moving on, seeing another episode that has such a large focus on the kids on this show could have worked against the series, but given how strong David Mazouz has been as Lil’ Bruce and how much I have grown to enjoy Camren Bicondova’s work as Cat, it is actually a strong portion of the episode. We watch the two explore parts of Gotham that Bruce is unfamiliar with and even if the young lad speaks in a bit too much of a polished manner (intentional, but still…), I was happy to see where this all ended up, given that Cat was the one being hunted. Having a fitting cat & mouse chase take place, with some fun action beats that bring all the characters worked well enough for me and even managed to further strengthen the Cat character.
Given Jim’s work with Harvey Dent, we actually got to see Alfred & The Bulls this week, as Harvey teamed up with the butler to find the boy. Not quite the epic team-up that may have been imagined by some, but it led to some good fun, given how the two have completely different approaches. Take the scene featuring Alfred at Fish Mooney’s place; this is perhaps the best scene in the episode, as it allows Alfred to be exactly who he is, which involves both force and his sense of understanding others. Given how the portrayal of Alfred has been met with mixed reception from various watchers of this show, I feel I should be pointing out how much I have enjoyed Sean Pertwee’s performance. He has been tasked with playing a man who has been forced to become a father, despite having a background in other areas. It is a neat approach, which plays well upon arriving at the finale of this episode and seeing the boy and his guardian reunite.
The mob plot was a bit of a mixed bag this week, as it did not really go anywhere. Falcone is upset (to put it mildly) that a lot of money was lost and he is not quite sure who to blame. He has an intimidating dinner that involves a man with a bullet in his head, face down in some spaghetti, as he addresses the other mobsters under his reign, but no real payoff beyond that opening visual. There is also Penguin keeping secrets close, as he continues to do what he sees in his best interest. Given how packed this episode was, I guess I can see why there was not much else to dig into, but at the same time, a stronger resolve to this week’s mob plot, aside from a 25% tariff raise may have helped.
Getting to the lead character, Jim Gordon really only had so much to do as far as this mid-season finale was concerned. He chased down a lead, who ended up getting killed, helped out in the shootout to save Cat and Bruce, was grilled by the Mayor, only to be used as a scapegoat, and then ended up being fired. In the grand scheme of things, this is a big change for the series, though Gordon will of course end up back at the GCPD in some capacity. With that said, it was a little strange to see Gordon running around the outside of the central story involving Bruce for the sake of the Wayne murder plot, which led to no new revelations.
It has been a rocky start for Gotham, but it has pulled off a solid fall finale, despite some minor misgivings. The series has various issues, some of which rear their ugly head in “LoveCraft,” but for the most part, I have been enjoying this series on a weekly basis. In order to keep things interesting, I understand why this episode went about going certain routes. This is why I look forward to the series’ return next year, as watching Gordon be forced into a position at Arkham was a fun twist that I did not see coming and could lead to some nice changes in the typical episode structure for this series. For now though, I will just sit and wait, in hopes that the series figures out how to best fix some of the issues that keep this city from shining bright.
From Det. Jim Gordon’s Police Files:
- Victor Zsasz would have gotten the job done. Just sayin’.
- Plank & Putz: Nicknames for Gordan from Freddy & The Bulls
- From my notes: Ivy be trippin’
- “Streets Talk” – On the other side of the Alfred/Club scene was Jada Pinkett Smith doing a fine job responding and reacting as a character with actual depth. Nicely done.
- Edward will miss Jim, so hold out hope for his petitions to get Jim back on the force.
- I’m hoping we see some neat changes, when the show returns, but for now, thanks for reading.
- This week’s Classic Gordon Clip