Gotham: The Anvil and the Hammer

The serial killer called the Ogre terrorizes Gotham while James Gordon hunts him down against the backdrop of a World Gone Mad in this heart-jumping thriller of an episode which provides great scenes with ultimately very little meat.

This is truly an end-of-season adrenaline rush as we watch Gotham pull together several storylines into one. I'm enjoying the Ogre story quite a bit - it fits better with the theme of crime and corruption in the city than I thought it might. The Ogre is truly terrifying, and seeing Barbara trussed up waiting to be cut truly freaked me out. I bet I'm not the only one who was at the edge of my seat. Barbara herself: I was a little skeptical when she fainted, but now I wonder if she was drugged, or simply in a near-catatonic shock. Despite the terror, there's some inconsistencies here. He won't kill her, but he keeps threatening to kill her?

It was a surprise when Barbara marked her parents for death - I thought for certain she'd name Selina, for some reason. In a way, I was disappointed. I wanted Barbara to turn out to be more interesting; given the nature of Selina, I wondered if she might not embrace the evil, but the show went the Damsel in Distress route. I thought for sure her throat had been cut by the end - glad it was shallow. We have to wonder: will this break Barbara? The whole thing draws a very clear line between Barbara and Leslie, and emphasizes Gordon's overwhelming, almost narcissistic sense of personal responsibility. (Something he shares with Bruce.)

Speaking of which, the Bruce storyline is also impressive. He's been playing with morality for this and the last episode or two, hasn't he? Alfred's friend, Selina's willingness to kill, his own identification of his own moral line. His confession today seems to bring him and Alfred much closer; I kind of think Alfred knew Bruce was involved with the death of his army buddy. Bruce's confrontation with corporate evil was also well done.

Meanwhile, the creepy Edward Nygma is disposing of his first kill. What Gotham is doing best, now at the end of the first season, is fleshing out these characters. Nygma is nearing a loss of sanity, and we're seeing some of how these characters were made who they were. What do they say - it's always the quiet ones? His murder of the girlfriend-abusing rival left me unsure whether to root for him or against him. I didn't get his bringing the body parts to work in order to dissolve. I guess it makes sense to him, but it turned the whole thing into a goofy sequence which didn't really fit with the ep. Nygma's scenes seem to do that: they're either utterly awesome or utterly ridiculous. His note, with the little hidden name in it, was simultaneously creepy and cheesy.

No development on Fish Mooney in this episode; she was last seen holding in blood as it stained her pearly white Doctor's Assistant outfit. We spent most of our time focusing on the Penguin's gang war. I'm not warming up to the Penguin at all; he just doesn't seem scary. Oh, every once in a while the actor pulls it out and you see the insanity behind the face, but not often enough. His machinations with Falcone and Maroni are semi-clever, and show his ruthlessness. A hammer-and-anvil attack describes a battle where two equal forces are fighting; a third cavalry force, attacking from behind, supports one of the two equal forces, overwhelming them with greater numbers. In this case, we have an anvil and hammer attack - using a small force, attacking from behind, setting Falcone and Maroni against each other while Cobblepot waits for his opportunity. I'm looking forward to seeing the results... and what the Penguin might do with real power.

Bits and Pieces

The hunt for the Ogre leads to a sex club called Foxglove with a pig doing something that makes even Harvey Bullock break down.

This show really needs to pick a time. I can't decide if this is the 50's or the 80's or some mix of the two. In the 50's, maybe guys would just leave a job and leave a Dear John letter. In the 80's there's a lot more hassle and challenge to disappearing.

While the cops are unquestionably good guys sometimes I'm weirded out by their willingness to bend the rules, especially with the current political climate.

The Penguin's club is still weird. Who would go there?


Great action sequences and some tense moments don't make up for plot loopholes, but I enjoyed this episode. Two point five out of four mysterious pig activities.

1 comment:

Docnaz said...

Thanks for the review! I was so excited to see someone pick this up. I really enjoy most of the characters. I love Robin Lord Taylor's Penguin. The young Bruce Wayne is believable as are his relationships with Alfred and the future Catwoman. E, Nygma's persona interests me as well, creepy yet sympathetic. I don't like Barbara and prefer Dr. Thompkins, but I assume things won't end well for Leslie. I didn't see the murder of Barbara's parents coming, but in retrospect, I was not suprised. There is something more sinister about cold parents than evil villains. Please keep the reviews up if you can!