Gotham is on a roll lately.
MAKE GOTHAM SAFE AGAIN
Despite facing what I considered to be mounting odds against it, Gotham has reached a new level of quality unseen in previous seasons. The name of the game is a consistent, focused narrative. It also helps that we have the most interesting new villain since Jerome.
Penguin is at it again, this time with old friend Ed Nygma. Penguin’s campaign for Mayor of Gotham is a clear stab at Donald Trump’s real life run for America’s Presidency and no matter how you feel regarding Trump and his campaign, the parallels are quite funny. One thing I failed to mention in last week’s review was my fondness of Butch’s one liner in which he mentions his fear of politicians. That certainly carries over into this week’s episode. Penguin & Nygma’s relationship was one of my favorite parts of last season, so I am happy to see that “flame” reignited. Nygma’s insistence on running a clean campaign with Penguin is admirable and touching, as he tries to prove to Oswald that the people truly want him in office. This reoccurring theme was pleasant.
Jervis Tetch aka “The Mad Hatter” is again the centerpiece of the story arch in terms of villains. I’ll reiterate: Benedict Samuel is a fantastic Mad Hatter. Naian Gonzalez Norvind is an adorable Alice, blending mediocrity, vulnerability, and a quiet confidence in a way that is appealing. There has never been a better cast Alice. Her screen time is increased two-fold this week and it makes the show that much better. I am going to miss her – until she somehow makes that nefarious return at some point in Gotham’s messed up existence. Jervis is downright creepy, as Samuel perfectly portrays the off-balance, psychotic brother of Alice.
Jim Gordon’s story feels deeper every week, which is a complete 180 from the season’s inaugural episode. His story line is one bent on finding himself and a life of meaning, despite all of the tragedy he has seen. Gotham will do that to a person. His arch this season has made Lee and Barbara each relevant in their own right again too. I have been a big fan of Harvey Bullock since the show began and I was incredibly moved to hear his declaration of loyalty to Jim, no matter what the cost might be.
Bruce’s story line is the weakest of the episode by far. Sure, his clone is gone. For now. At least as far as Bruce and Alfred believe. Come on Gotham, don’t be that obvious. It throws a wrench into his relationship with Selena Kyle, and obviously that romance is going to bloom soon. I very much enjoy the dynamic between (real) Bruce and Selena, so I look forward to that in next week’s episode.
Lastly, the startling revelation about clone Bruce and his parents is quite interesting. Will the Court of Owls be able to destroy the Wayne family name? They are sure as hell going to try.
Just about every mini story line that makes up the overall arch is firing on all cylinders right now. If you are new to Gotham, go binge it on Netflix and catch up now – there’s no better time to jump in.
+ Penguin & Nygma dynamic.
+ Jervis & Alice Tetch continue to deliver great performances and contributions to the Gotham lore.
+ Jim & Lee.
– Clone Bruce is completely hit or miss, despite a big reveal.
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Photo from comicbook.com