This episode was very well designed. From the opening scene when Fish Mooney comes back to Gotham like an avenging Queen to the hopeless war Jim’s waging against the evil of Gotham to the inexplicable “let me play counselor to you after your tragedy in my own personal apartment” scenes between Barbara and Leslie: every shot is beautiful even if the story doesn’t necessarily make sense.
The strongest part of the episode was the gangland storyline. Falcone gets set-up with the help of Loeb. Jim decides it's his role to try and frustrate Loeb, Marconi and the goals of the Penguin all in one go. When Jim manages to go berserker and kill an entire group of gangsters sent to do away with Falcone, and Bullock shows up, it’s a great moment. Jim’s a true Wild-West gunslinger (and that’s a nod to Stephen King, too, I shouldn’t wonder) and when he’s in killer mode, he needs help to come down. Falcone ultimately decides to leave the city and recognizes the city needs Jim now; it feels a little as if Jim is Falcone’s true heir.
The same gangland storyline gives us a little depth and perspective on both Fish and Penguin and does a nice job giving us some payoff for the confusion of the last few episodes. Fish is done taking cow-poo from entitled, patronizing males (Babes! Toots! Really?), but her storyline, while building her character, has been seemingly totally adrift from what’s been happening in Gotham. Penguin is turning into the weaselly mastermind we know and love, but we’ve only seen occasional examples of his viciousness. When he manipulates Fish and Maroni against each other so successfully that Fish shoots Maroni through the head, even Penguin seems shocked by his own success (although sometimes I wonder if the character isn’t having some sort of internal orgasm from the violence. He’s that creepy.) The entire sequence seems natural, especially after what Fish has experienced with Dollmaker. I'll be very sad to see Jada Pinkett leave this show.
|Fish Mooney, rocking the hair.|
|Gotta hand it to her - when she was trapped, she made a weapon.|
|So, which of them do you think is going to clean this? Right, the butler.|
Bits and Pieces
Fish Mooney's arrival in Gotham by boat. How did she heal from being shot?
Part of the tragedy about Barbara is I don't think Jim ever loved her. Even in this episode he seems to trust Leslie Tompkins far more than Barbara Keane. I wonder if he sensed her tendency to kill way back when.
The idea that Selina would be mentored by Fish Mooney was a cool one. I don't like how her character is developing here necessarily. I always thought of Catwoman as being amoral but incredibly ethical. The legal thing wasn't important to her: the right thing, however... in this episode she's shown as bloodthirsty, though.
Maroni was supposed to be big in Batman-time. Now he's dead. Will another Maroni rise in Gotham?
The Butch brainwashing bit. I'm glad they included this plotline.
This was a solid end to a hit-or-miss first season; I think the show does better when it takes all its many threads and tries to bring them into play with each other. A huge step up in performance from Ben McKenzie. I'm staying with this for a second season, but worried who can possibly bring in the energy of Fish Mooney and whether the show will allow the plot to fall to pieces again. 3.5 out of 4 secret remote-control fireplaces.