The mid-season finale closes off the Galavan arc with a bang and kicks the doors wide open for a second half that will take the rise of the villains to the next level.
On this week’s Gotham, the villains take the stage as they begin their reign of terror on the City. Continuing the “Rise of the villains” theme, this episode puts the spotlight on Jerome as the indisputable leader of the Arkham Asylum Escapees known as The Maniax!, as he stands to be, perhaps, the most terrifying villain that Gotham City has ever faced.
The penultimate episode of Gotham superbly closes the Ogre arc and sets the table for what appears to be an exciting grand season finale. The last couple of episodes have shown Gordon shaken and dead set on taking down the serial killer the Ogre, as he has threatened to victimize his loved one. The discovery that the loved one in question is his former fiancé only makes him more resolute on his undertaking. This episode does an excellent job at showing how determined he is and the wear it takes on him with Leslie and Bullock reminding him that he needs to take a break before he burns out, but Gordon doesn’t let up. Ben Mckenzie is in top form in this episode as he plays Gordon’s escalating fatigue subtly through his desperation, as he goes from violently interrogating a witness to aggressively asking a favor of the Penguin to when he faces the Ogre to gun him down.
One of the more intriguing aspects of The Newsroom’s second season premiere was the physical transformation of Maggie Jordan. The change, along with hints of a traumatic event, promised to pull the character out of the romantic triangle subplot she was mired in for most of the first season, and add some more dimensions in the process. This week’s episode dives into what led to the change, in a promising episode that also saw the team face their own inability to communicate well, correcting many of the downsides of last week’s episode.
The second season premiere of The Newsroom last week hinted at a major catastrophe that engulfs the station, but buried amidst the discussions of the events that led to lawyerly intervention was the question of why Will McAvoy and the news crew would take on such a volatile story in the first place. This week’s episode dives deeper into the psyche of the individuals who comprise the news team, and their emotional and psychological state leading up to the Genoa revelation, in an episode that unfortunately brings back large chunks of previously problematic storylines, but nonetheless gives a better idea of what makes certain characters tick.
With shows such as Sports Night and The West Wing under his belt, many people were excited to see Aaron Sorkin return to television, particularly after finding big screen success with The Social Network and Moneyball. Tackling journalism, Sorkin’s The Newsroom premiered in 2012 on HBO, with a cast that included Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Alison Pill, and Dev Patel, and ended up receiving uneven reviews throughout the season, with most of the audience qualms coming down on his portrayal of Mackenzie and Maggie, the two key female characters on the show, who often acted out of character when engaged in romantic entanglements, which dominated much of their storylines in the first ten episodes.