Mad City: New Day Rising
Author’s Note: This episode deals with issues of mental, sexual and emotional abuse of a minor by a family member, I would strongly recommend viewer discretion.
Alice Tetch has had a hard life. Having lost her parents at a young age she’s left alone, with blood that can kill and a brother who crossed the line of familial love into creepy incest many, many years ago. Now held by the GCPD for a crime she accidentally committed, she desperately tries to warn them of the danger they’re all in. Unfortunately, only Jim – who’s had up close and personal time with Jervis Tetch – fully believes her.
This episode we get even more, increasingly disturbing, Jervis Tetch and his revolting obsession with his baby sister Alice who’s been running from him since childhood. Meanwhile, Ed and Oswald’s bromance continues to grow, mutate and take over Gotham as Ed becomes a member of Oswald’s campaign staff. Butch is utterly not feeling any of this, but this is the year of Butch losing his besties to crazies. Just as Barbara moved into the number one spot with Tabitha, Ed slips past all of Oswald’s defenses and into his wee, demonic heart.
Jim’s heart, on the other hand, is walling up with each person he fails to rescue, each moment of seeing Lee (who thinks he never came for her) happy with someone else, and each push from Barnes (who gets epicly called out on his bullshite by Harvey where Jim is concerned). Already a death seeker, Jim’s encounter with Jervis has placed him firmly into suicidal territory. How this gets resolved going forward, how Jim heals, regardless of how the situations with Lee or the GCPD go down, if he’s allowed to heal without interference, is the meat and potatoes of this season, and honestly the only story I truly care about. Ben McKenzie makes Jim Gordon the heart and soul of this show and grounds it and everything else is window dressing to his struggles.
- The Tetch siblings’ powers appear to be genetic: her blood brings out people’s true, base personalities and Jervis’ compelling voice their deepest desires/fears. It makes me wonder if their parents’ death was really an accident or if Jervis did something to them.
- The GCPD are effing idiots. No wonder Jim rolled the hell out, and also where are Montoya and Allen?
- There’s a lot of Alice’s blood floating around. That’s going to be a problem.
- Lee got engaged to her rebound guy. Yeah. That’s going to go well.
Overall this episode moved plot forward but spent more time with the characters than on plot. That, in my opinion, is for the best because Gotham is at its best when it’s character driven, not plot mandated.