“A Legion of Horribles” gives more than enough attention to Bruce’s development while also giving the return of Fish Mooney the appropriate fanfare that will continue this series going as it goes into its possibly explosive season finale and well into its next season.
Cory Michael Smith
Gotham really heats up this week as Azrael is unleashed onto the City causing everyone within his purview to scramble to try to avoid or try to end his rampage. There is Professor Strange covering his tracks, Tabitha planning her departure, and Gordon trying to take down Azrael before he can do any more harm. It’s a race to beat the clock in this week’s action packed hour.
“Mommy’s Little Monster” turns up the heat on the season which is although not revealing more about Galavan’s plan, yet instead is putting the pieces into play for characters to finally take action against him. Soon enough we’ll discover more about Galavan’s evil secret sect and the wicked plans they have for Bruce.
It begins and ends with a look. In that look is hesitance, longing, desire, confusion, confidence, conviction, hope. Even love. On NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, writer and critic Glenn Weldon described real chemistry between actors living in the look, elaborating on the attraction manifesting in the movement of the eyes.
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.
The search for the serial killer known as The Ogre continues with Gordon on edge, convinced that his loved one, Dr. Leslie Thompkins, may be in imminent danger. This turns out to be a very clever misdirect that brings Barbara back into the main story. The episode’s most interesting development comes when The Ogre realizes the truth and is left to consider whether or not he should kill her. At this point Barbara is so deep in her self loathing that The Ogre actually begins to see her as a romantic candidate instead of a simple victim, which makes this possibly the strangest meet-cute on television.
In this week’s Gotham, Gordon returns to the Gotham City Police Department to regain his Detective rank but in order to do that he has to prove himself to Commission Loeb by bringing in the Arkham Asylum inmate that escaped in “Rogues’ Gallery” under his watch. This episode shows Gordon revitalized and more focused with the understanding that he needs to be at the GCPD and nowhere else; it’s where he wants to be and where he can do the most good. We have seen Gordon be all gun ho before as in “Penguins Umbrella” but this time he’s taking charge and asserting himself, where before he was acting reckless with unrealistic goals.
Unlike last week’s “Viper”, this week’s Gotham turns in a case of the week that truly amps up the creep factor without going too far outside of the gritty reality that the show has set up. “Spirit of the Goat” presents an antagonist that not only fits well tonally with the series, but is entertaining, with a somewhat supernatural mystery whose answer falls in line with the noir style. One of the episode’s most pleasant surprises is that it places Harvey Bullock in the lead, allowing him some much needed character depth, as well as highlighting his skills as a great detective in his own right. This episode also provides a significant development in the ongoing Major Crimes Unit investigation of Jim Gordon and his part in the murder of Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, a plot that hasn’t progressed much since “Selina Kyle.”