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Gotham: A Beautiful Darkness

Eddie visits Ozzie and Bruce is having an acid trip courtesy of the worst character on Gotham.

It is telling that even as Gotham delivers what is a considerably stronger installment than the last one, the ghosts of past mistakes are still around to haunt it.

This episode divides its screentime between Jim, Selina, Bruce, Lucius and Ivy on the outside, and Ozzie, Jerome and Ed on the inside... as in inside the asylum, as in where Ivy's most likely headed in the near future.

Yeah, as if there was any doubt after last week, Ivy has gone clinically insane. The problem is, Peyton List is simply horrible in the role. I've seen some people lauding her performance as "menacing", but I just can't see it. I haven't watched her in anything else but from what I hear she's supposed to be a good actress, but on Gotham, she might be the only character more wooden than Jim Gordon.

And the most horrible thing of all is that Ivy's entire script could be played by Clare Foley - and it would be a tremendous improvement. Ivy would be far more threatening, hell, interesting, if she'd really gone off the deep end - a murderess, a psychopath, an "eco-terrorist"; if she'd "changed a lot", which is just Selina trying to sell the new actress' super-villainy; and she still looked the same tiny little girl.

If we choose to overlook this fact, this is actually a pretty fine episode of Gotham. It revives the Jim and Selina duo going after Ivy, and Jim's character always feels more lifelike paired with the young cast. We get Bruce "meeting Batman" in his poison-induced vision of the future, which is... well, serviceable. Many fans are raving about those scenes - Jim in a mustache! Jim and Barbara! Penguin with the top hat! Bruce as the mask of Batman! Bats!!! - but they really are pretty predictable exposition. Still, I mean, Gotham has to do it. Plus Bruce telling Jim about the mustache was comedy gold.

Moving on to the most "anticipated" development, we have Ozzie versus Jerome, and it is splendidly acted even if not much actually happens. Jerome's crazy, Ozzie out-crazies Jerome, Jerome with his usual threats against humanity. Jerome doesn't really stand out too much in this episode, but that's to be expected. Cameron is a solid performer, but he isn't really superior to Robin, Cory, David or even Erin Richards. It's the perfect casting and the scripts that have made him a standout, and this script is pretty average for him.

The best part of this episode, by a mile, is Eddie visiting Ozzie in prison. That scene makes me realize that there's at least one change to the Riddler's performance after being defrosted, in a storyline which otherwise seems fraught with repetition. It's this ironic, deliberate childishness that is in some ways reminiscent of the old, season one Edward - the difference being, it comes from a place of self-awareness and confidence, not cluelessness. It's a great acting choice, and it seems like something the actor has introduced by himself rather than just the scripts talking.

Speaking of performances, boy, did Robin ever run away with the romantic angle on that note from Eddie? "You're still in there." Wow. All he has to act against is a tiny piece of paper and you just see him absolutely overcome with emotion. There's a reason that "ship" is so beloved and it's scenes like that - I must've watched it at least ten times.

And in summary, any episode with a scene I'll watch ten times is a good one, at some level, and since I'm really tired of bashing my favorite show, I'll call this one a win.

Next week... Well, I guess, more Nygmobblepot? Seems we have to wait for episode 15 for Baby Batcat, and that's because we can't have too many nice things.

P.S. I littered the review with tumblr gifs because I'm feeling a bit juvenile today and I wanted to cheat to make the review look longer. Credit goes to robinllordtaylor, jeromewalds and kendrasaunders. D.S.


  1. Maybe Peyton List longs for the days she was on Mad Men and is just phoning it in. ;) To be honest though I think I'm longingly looking towards the end of Gotham. Will it be this season or will they push for 100 episodes?

    1. My guess is they'll push for at least 100 episodes- an 100th episode that closes with Bruce donning the Batsuit will be too much to pass up.


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