‘UNDER THE KNIFE’
‘THE ANVIL OR THE HAMMER’
‘ALL HAPPY FAMILIES ARE ALIKE’
After some time on holiday, I returned to the final three episodes of Gotham and I was interested in seeing how the series, which had improved a lot since its start without ever becoming great, would end. Pretty much as you’d expect, with little in the way of major surprises, but still, it was mostly fun.
‘Under the Knife’ and ‘The Anvil or The Hammer’ advance various sub-plots, but the main drive of the episodes is the Ogre storyline that began in the last episode. The Ogre goes after Gordon’s loved ones when he refuses to call off his hunt for the killer, but the Ogre is a little behind the times and targets Gordon’s ex, Barbara, a character nobody cares about… Gordon and Bullock get their man in the end, largely through super police work ( i.e. massive leaps in logic and following huge hunches. Oh and making deals with criminals and breaking a few laws. Go Gordon!)
Meanwhile, in sub-plot land, Bruce investigates the evil Wayne Enterprise’s board and the Penguin’s plans for city-wide domination start to come together, but not before Maroni outs him as a psycho to his mother.
Finally, Ms. Kringle’s talent for horrible boyfriends pushes Nygma over the edge. Murder. Madness. Blackly comic body-disposal (and some riddles) are amongst the highlights of these episodes.
These episodes bring us to the season finale, which while enjoyable, isn’t as good as it should be. There’s a lot of running around, for starters. A lot of silly running around. Penguin’s scheming has resulted in a gang war in which Maroni has the upper-hand.
Gordon decides that he is happier with the devil he knows and makes the decision to save crime boss, Falcone, rescuing him moments before the Penguin murders him.
Then the silly running starts.
While deciding to protect Falcone, Penguin, and henchman Butch, Gordon runs away, leaving them unprotected, so he can have a slow-mo gun fight. Luckily no one takes advantage…
Escaping to a rather unsafe safe house (which is also technically more of a safe abandoned warehouse) Gordon, Bullock, Falcone, Penguin, and Butch are captured by Fish, who has returned to the city (also Selina has now joined her gang apparently for no other reason than to give her something to do this episode).
Here we get one of the biggest surprises of the episode – Fish’s scenes are actually enjoyable! Jada Pinkett Smith’s acting has been toned down to an acceptable level and, as a result, her scene with Maroni is amongst the episode’s best.
Then the silly running starts again.
In one of those scenes that only happens in TV, a gunfight between two armed gangs, only a few feet apart begins, and although pretty much the entire primary cast is present, they all escape unharmed by ducking their heads and shimmying away. No such luck for the selection of red shirts present though.
So Gordon, Bullock, and Falcone run away. Only to be captured again a moment later and led back to the warehouse, where another gunfight breaks out. So they run away. Again. Lots more extras bite the dust.
This leads us to one of the episode’s highlights. Barbara finally has something interesting to do. It seems her experiences with the Ogre in the previous episodes have left her a little unhinged, something that is clear to everyone apart from Leslie, who is almost on the receiving end of a crazy person stabbing. Gordon and Co. arrive just in time to witness what is hopefully the end of Barbara.
Meanwhile, Penguin and Fish have their final climatic battle which ends in victory for the Penguin, although I could practically hear Fish shouting ‘I’ll be back’ as she fell to her apparent doom. Pinkett Smith may have said she won’t be back next season, but if that was truly the case, this surely would have been a little less open-ended. She’s had worse.
And then Bruce and Alfred (remember past episodes where Alfred actually had something to do?) find the once and future batcave in a scene that reminded me of another popular television show…