Whether you love Gotham or hate it the one thing that can never be said about this show is that it’s boring. Unlike its contemporaries Gotham consistently, and with wild abandon, goes all in, all the time. This was exemplified in the second season finale as we watched all the major players converge on Arkham and insanity ensued, within and without.
With Clayface deployed as Jim to throw Harvey, Alfred and the GCPD off the scent, Hugo begins the task of finding out just what Bruce, Jim and Lucius know about who is really behind all the chaos that has erupted since the Waynes died and Falcone was deposed as the head of the mob in Gotham. The answer to that is zip as the boys all thought Hugo, and by default Indian Hill, was where the buck stopped. Surprisingly, after finding out this information, Hugo tries to deter the Court Of Owls from blowing Indian Hill sky high, but the Court prefers the nuclear option. No, seriously: there’s a self destruct bomb and enough radioactive material in Indian Hill to turn a good portion of Gotham into Chernobyl without a sweat.
After Ed’s done terrorizing Bruce and Lucius to get the above information, and Hugo finishes creeping on Jim, they leave the boys buried in the labs of IH together. This proves to be a mistake as, while they’re all worse for wear, they’re still them and (with an assist from Selina who has Firefly wrapped around her finger) bust out of there right quick. Thus begins one of the most delightful sequences of this show as Jim and Lucius, after sending Bruce and Selina out and talking down Firefly and Victor, go back into the bowels of Arkham to disarm the bomb. And Jim and Lucius? Have absolutely no idea what the hell they are doing. Ben McKenzie and Chris Chalk’s chemistry together is off the chain as their character’s hilariously mismatched skill sets are put into play. They disarm the bomb by sheer luck and the looks on their faces as they realize that are worth the price of admission. Next year the show needs to find more excuses to put these two together because they clearly had a damn good time playing off each other.
The biggest fallout from this episode is the one I called in my last recap: Fish Mooney being underestimated. Unbeknownst to everyone Fish uses her newly activated powers to take over the labs and soon has Peabody under her thrall. Armed with her own personal bodyguards in the form of the orderlies, and with full access to the facilities thanks to Peabody, Fish escapes. More importantly she escapes with an entire bus full of the metas created by Hugo. The only ones who are aware of this? Penguin and Butch who’ve come to take out Hugo for his part in screwing up their lives. Their reactions? A boatload of NOPE. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out going forward.
So, how did Gotham do its second year? It’s a mixed bag.
- The various players uniting to take on the Order of St. Dumas and rescue Bruce.
- The continuing growth of the characters, especially Jim, who peaced out at the end of the episode. It’s a huge step for him, even if we know he’ll be back, to prioritize Lee and his life above Gotham and more importantly, Bruce.
- The look and feel of the show. There’s such a distinct tone to it, you always know you’re watching Gotham. Few other shows, with the exception of Penny Dreadful, make themselves so unique.
- The actors, who all bring their a-game, week after week, no matter how out there the show asks them to be.
- Finally the straight up bananas, full embrace it gives to not only its comic book origins but of the Batman: The Animated Series canon which, at least to me, is the true predecessor of this show.
- There’s still too many hanging threads: wtf happened to Montoya and Allen? Where has Harvey Dent been this whole time? What is Falcone’s deal with Jim and more importantly Jim’s dad?
- Barbara, while way more fun and interesting as Jim’s bsc ex, still seems superfluous at best.
- Slow down on the villains guys, you need to leave some for grown up Bruce to fight.
- Martha Wayne may as well have not existed for all the show seems to care about her. She’s a non-entity and that’s a little absurd as there’s no way she didn’t know that Thomas was investigating what was really going on at WE.
Overall, I enjoyed this season as a whole and can’t wait to see what happens next year.