Since Gotham is on break until Feb, weekly recaps are done for now. I thought it would be fun to do a quick recap over the season so far and see where things stand. This post will cover episode 1 through episode 5.
Episode 1:“Damned If You Do...”
We kick off the new season with Gordon involved in a power play with Commisioner Loeb to get his detective position back. Loeb fired Gordon and refuses to reinstate him because of his involvement with Carmine Falcone’s disappearance at the end of last season. Cobblepoot has become the new king of crime in Gotham, having inherited Falcone’s empire when he left town. Gordon makes a deal with Cobblepot to get his job back in exchange for trying to recover a debt from a strip club owner that was owed to Carmine Falcone. The guy refuses to pay and Gordon kills him so Cobblepot will hold his end of the deal. Leob reinstates Gordon and resigns, making Captain Essen GPCD Commisioner. Akrham detainees Barbara Kean, Aaron Helzinger, Jerome Valeska, Arnold Dobkins, Richard Sionis and Robert Greenwood escape with the help of Theo and Tabitha Galavan. He tells them he wants to form a team to cause havok in Gotham and kill Sionis when he refuses to help. Bruce and Alfred goes down the hidden staircase discovered at the end of last season and find Thomas Wayne’s secret study with a letter written to Bruce. Thomas tells Bruce to choose happiness over truth unless he feels he has a true calling, as the secrets hidden within are worth killing for. Jim tries to get Bullock, who left GCPD, to return, but he declines.
Right off the bat we see Gordon making deals with the devil. This will be an continuing theme throughout the first half of the season. Theo forms the group that will become the Maniax, and we see the rise of Jerome aka Proto-Joker. Loeb is taken down and replaced with Essen who i’m sure with have a long and fruitful career as GCPD Commish. The Bruce story is the weakest as it is merely setting up a thread that will hopefully yield fruit later this season.
Episode 2:“Knock, Knock”
Bruce tries to boot his dad’s really really old computer that is in the hidden space but Alfred smashes before he can, claiming it to be for Bruce’s safety. Bruce fires Alfred in a fit of rage over losing the one chance he had to learn the truth about why his parents were killed. He does eventually relent and take Alfred back after he agrees to train him in combat. Alfred also enlists Lucius Fox to fix the computer. Meanwhile, Theo kidnaps Mayor James and holds him captive. The group of escaped Arkham inmates form the Maniax, committing a murder spree across the city that culminates in a massacre at Gotham PD HQ. A lot of officers are killed, including Commissioner Essen. Bullock, who had left the GCPD and resisted Jim’s request to return, finally does against his fiance’s wishes.
This was a pretty intense episode. We get a major blow to the GCPD, with the loss of a lot of cops and the Commissioner. I was really annoyed they killed off Essen so quick. She did good work in the first season, with not a lot to work with, but made every scene she was in count. But hey, at least she gets replaced by another white guy! *sigh*. We also get Lucius Fox appearing in the Gotham canon. Chris Faulk does a good job with the role, doing his own thing and not trying to necessarily be a young Morgan Freeman. It’s a shame we don’t see him again until episode 11. It was good to see Bullock back. I didn’t think he would be gone for to long and the show isn’t the same without Donal Louge.
Episode 3: “The Last Laugh”
With the GCPD recovering from the attack, Gordon and Bullock search for Jerome. They check out the home of his father, Paul Cicero, but arrive just after Jerome has killed him but Jerome manages to escape. Theo talks about how his family vuilt Gotham but were denied their due, meanwhile Barbara and Tabitha start to get friendly. Bruce and Alfred attend a charity ball that Bruce and Dr. Lee Thompkins are attending as well. Alfred tries to hit on Lee, not realizing she was she Jim. Selina is there, doing some old fashioned burglary. Barbara and Jerome arrive as the magician scheduled to preform and his assistant, Jerome having killed the real magician. They take the guests hostage and Jerome kills the Deputy Mayor who is also attending. Theo plays the role of the angry citizen, standing up to the criminals who are trying to destroy the fair city. He gets knocked out. Jerome calls Gordan and starts making demands for the release of the hostages. Selina gets Bruce out but he refuses to leave without Alfred. In the end, Theo regains consciousnesses, does the heroic citizen bit again but ends up stabbing Jerome in the neck, to his shock. This did not seem to be part of teh plan that Jerome was told about. In the end the GCPD take down the lackeys who were also there and everyone is thanking Theo for his heroics. Then episode ends with Gothamites laughing histrionically, very similar to the way Jerome did. We also see Jerome’s body at the morgue, with a very Joker like grin.
This was where things started to get real. We were all convinced that Jerome would be the Joker but then he got taken out by Theo, making Theo the hero of the moment. That will change soon, trust me. Jerome’s influence seems to not have ended since we have all the laughing citizens at the end. I hope the writers didn’t forget about that. It was nice to see Selina again and not involved with Bruce’s story, just there trying to steal from the rich as is her thing. I thought Barbara putting Lee on the spining wheel and chewing sceneary about how she and Jim were meant to be together and she was in the way was blah blah blah, such eye rolling.
Here is a preview of the Maniax from before the season began which built them up a lot more than what the payout gave us.
Episode 4: “Strike Force”
We see the arrival of Capt. Nathaniel Barnes, played by Michael Chiklis. He comes ready to kick ass and taken names, with the goal of cleaning up the department and ending the corruption. He makes Jim his number one and they begin recruiting like minded cops fresh out of training to make up a “Strike Force”, a team answerable to them alone who can be counted on to stay true to the GCPD. Mayor James is still missing so Teamster boss Randall Hobbs and Councillor Janice Caufield are gong to run for mayor. Theo kidnaps Gertrude Cobblepot to blackmail Penguin into killing the other candidates. He takes out Janice but Hobbs escapes Victor Zsasz with the help of the Strike Force. Meanwhile Bruce and Theo have been spending time together, since Bruce was grateful for his actions at the ball. Theo introduces his niece, Silver St. Cloud to Bruce and lets him know she will be attending his school. Earlier Selina tried to to find Bruce at his prep school but was told by Alfred to stay away, and that he knows about her killing Reggie. We also have Edward Nygma and Kristen Kringle going on a date. Barnes announces that the Strke Force’s next target will be Penguin, as Penguin orders Dutch to look for his mother.
Thus begins Alfred’s children hitting streak. I did like Michael Chiklis playing the straight laced cop, complete opposite of the role that launched his career, Vic Mackey on The Shield. If we had to lose Essen at least he does a good job with the role. It’s funny, later on when we see Jim take darker turns it’s almost as if he is the Jim Gordan we were thinking we would be getting. Robin Lord Taylor as another great episode, he just takes the crazy the writers give him and does great things with it. The Ed/Kringle stuff is blah but it gets better later.
Episode 5: “Scarification”
Penguin and Butch kidnap Sid Blundersaw for Theo. He kills him and removes an eye for later use. Butch is sent to hire a group of arsonists called the Pike brothers for Theo. They are supposed to be the best arsonist in the city but are nasty to their kid sister Bridgit. The brothers go to an underground arms store called “The Merc” which is literally a Sams Club for weapons and other nasty things, complete with sales being announced over a speaker. Gordon and the Strike Force raid the place and in the chaos kill the younger brother, who is smaller and was the one who would go into buildings to rob them before they were burned. With his death Bridgit has to be the inside man, despite her fear of fire. The first job goes relatively well; she manages to steal an old knife from a safe, using Sid’s eye to get past the biometrics but is burned trying to escape. But the boys have zero fucks to give since there are four more jobs to do that night. Since Penguin was the one who hired the guys for Theo, he gets the knife delivered to him and delves into it’s history, to find why Theo wants it so bad in the hopes of finding a weakness he can exploit. The knife was a Wayne family heirloom from when five noble families held great power in Gotham, two being the Waynes and the Duma. A Duma heir was caught in an embrace with a Wayne woman who was promised to another and she claimed it was assult. As punishment his hand was chopped off with that dagger and the Duma were stripped of their power and property and exiled from Gotham. Time passed and they changed the name of the family to Galavan and now Theo Galavan is in town to enact their plan for vengeance. While Penguin gets all that, Jim is connecting the dots and determines all the fires are in Wayne Enterprise buildings. Jim and Harvey stake out a building they think is the next target when Bridgit shows up. They fight and she sets one of the Strike Force members on fire which kills him. Now a cop killer, she is on the run with Barnes set on finding her. Earlier Theo asked Gordon for his endorsement for Mayor which he declined but after the Stirke Force member is killed decides to give his endorsement.
We see another DC Comic character in this episode, Firefly. I like Bridget and hated how they ended her story but I doubt we’ve seen the last of her. We’ll discuss her fate next week when we look at episode 6. Otherwise a solid episode. I still don’t know any of these Strike Force members and that dosen’t get better later on so don’t worry if none of these guys seem to be standing out at all. Throughout the episode we see Selina interacting with Bridget and it was nice to see her have a life outside of Jim and Bruce and she seemed to like Bridget and wanted her to get away from her abusive brothers. The Merc was something straight out of Batman 66. Oh and Lee/Jim have a double date with Kringle/Nygma which is nice. Not really much else to say there.
Next week we’ll look at episode 6-11. Same BatTime, same Bat Channel!