“Mad Grey Dawn” makes Nygma a formidable opponent using a bit of a campy setup, a bit of gritty plotting, but most of all the facts of Gordon’s own crossing the line creating an entertaining hour that solidifies his downfall.
There might not be another show that is more fitting to commemorate Mother’s Day with than this series, which happens to be all about mothers and what they are willing to do to protect their children or in this case, an entire race. The themes of motherhood are built into the genetics of this series, particularly with Anna’s stronghold and issues with both her daughter and her own mother. Another reason to feature this series is because it is not often remembered well, perhaps because it does not live up to the original series, as most would’ve thought it should. There are probably plenty of reasons as to why this series is not favorably considered by critics—perhaps it’s too soapy or too cookie cutter to be a true revival of the ideas and themes of the original series—but if one disassociates this show from the original series, there is a good chance that audiences will find that there is something here that is worth revisiting.
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.
Following the winding down of “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon”, the season continues with an episode that stabilizes the narrative with a case of the week hinting at the iconic Batman villain, The Scarecrow. Unfortunately his characterization is undermined with a poorly-executed exposition dump that feels unearned and unclear; the episode is much more concerned with reinforcing the shifted dynamics that were established in the previous episode. It’s not uncommon for a series to spin its wheels at times during a 22 episode season, but what is disappointing is that it does so here without giving a worthwhile character his due.
Gotham returns from its break with a solid episode that continues the shifting status quo, with many darker turns and just a few flashes of hope. “Rogues’ Gallery” gives us our first real look into how Arkham Asylum is run and it’s just as criminally understaffed and underdeveloped as one would imagine. Gordon gets no sympathy from his managing director Gerry Lang, as he is constantly berated by Lang for having inmates break into fights under his watch. The only promising turn of events during Gordon’s time at Arkham Asylum is his alliance with Dr. Leslie Thompkins. She is a beacon of hope that will be an essential asset in Gordon’s war against the corruption of Gotham City.