Gotham has been a show that has become well known for its off kilter colorful villains and it’s unique flair to balance a tone of grim horror and gritty dark humor, and “Transference” not only makes a case for how truly interesting the heroes on the show are but also presents the perfect balance of all the tones the show is capable of. It has horror, humor, action, rich characters, and a developing mystery that promises to make the next season a truly exciting experience.
In the Pilot episode the Penguin warns Gordon that there will be a war coming to Gotham City, a war that would possibly result in a change of power amongst the crime bosses. As it turns out Penguin was not merely playing Cassandra predicting doom for Gotham but planned for the war to happen all along. Ever since the Wayne Murders the Falcone crime empire began crumbling due to having lost one of its pillars leaving Falcone weak in his reign which prompted all of the crime underbosses to sniff around and try to tear him down. Although the Wayne Murderer remains a mystery the finale resolves Falcone time in power, relinquishing him to possibly make way for the dawn of a new class of villain to overtake Gotham, one that will be full of colorfully criminal characters and Machiavellian madmen (and madwomen); the Gotham City by which the comic book mythos are based. Now that Falcone has fallen, is the new Gotham City finally rising?
The season returns in stride with this week’s episode that is full of Batman mythology nods with fun character moments that build momentum to the season’s subplots that are showing lots of promise and development. At the center of the episode is the relationship of Gordon and Leslie which is budding in interesting ways and is well integrated with the case of the week. The case of the week addresses two iconic Batman characters in one fell swoop, a bold attempt for the series that could’ve easily been a misstep, but it is done efficiently enough that it will hold interest in the long run, as there are more stories that they could mine with the character introduced here.
This debut season of Gotham has had its ups and downs as the series struggled to find the right balance between theatrical performances and gritty realism, the best stability having been struck in episode six, “The Spirit of the Goat,” a character centric episode. The series finds that balance again with this week’s episode, “Penguin’s Umbrella,” a central serialized episode that brings all of the underlying built up tensions of the past few episodes to the surface. The storm of change has started brewing in Gotham City; causing significant destruction all around with only those who have found themselves under the protection of the Penguin’s umbrella able to survive it.