‘Gotham’ Weekly Review: The Price of Idealism

By April 15, 2015

After a long stretch on hiatus, “Gotham” has returned to push out its final episodes of the debut season, starting with this one: “Beasts of Prey.” This week, we’re introduced to a brand new serial killer (played by “Heroes'” Milo Ventimiglia), deceptively dashing and so dangerous that even the GCPD won’t touch him.

It’s that last part that becomes a sticking point for Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock, who’ve been asked to take up a cold murder case by an officer who appears to simply want a place in Gordon’s new, cleaner police department since being elected president of the policemen’s union. When the case turns out to be more than meets the eye, though, and Gordon is filled in on some of the finer — and messier — details of the main suspect’s profile, he starts to learn that his trust and idealism may have a cost. That cost could be the lives of innocent people, so Gordon is forced to both learn a hard lesson about in whom he places his trust, but is also just as resolved and determined not to be a victim himself of some very powerful people.

Could Penguin somehow sense that he walked by a child who will grow up to beat the living hell out of him on a regular basis? Art from Detective Comics (vol. 2) #18 by Jason Fabok.

Could Penguin somehow sense that he walked by a child who will grow up to beat the living hell out of him on a regular basis? Art from Detective Comics (vol. 2) #18 by Jason Fabok.

We’re also still feeling the fallout this week from the attack that Alfred endured at the hands of his “friend,” who stabbed him and left him for dead inside Wayne Manor after we learned that he was sent there by the Wayne Enterprises board to look in on Bruce’s investigation into their corrupt activities. With Alfred still convalescing — or rather, being forced to by Bruce — he takes it upon himself to find the man responsible for the attack, which leads him to ask Selina Kyle for help. This added a very interesting new dynamic and lesson for Bruce as well, and we get to see perhaps the first moment that the future Batman is capable of, and contemplating, an act of murder.

While the way that Bruce is portrayed in this show has bothered some viewers who think the show’s creators are unnecessarily — or implausibly — aging him, this moment in particular seemed to be tempered by a brand of idealism found in youth, before it quickly clashes with someone who’s a lot more decisive and a lot less concerned with the outcome of that act of murder.

There was also a fun little moment that couldn’t have lasted more than a second, as Oswald Cobblepot walks by Bruce. They don’t make eye contact, but Oswald seems unsettled for just the slightest second before continuing on his way.

This week, though, Penguin didn’t really have a lot to do. His subplot is still building given his new place and Carmine Falcone’s organization, and he makes it very clear that he still harbors a lot of resentment toward Sal Maroni, and plans to do something about it soon. Most of the show’s devoted time to Gotham’s underworld belonged to Fish Mooney, still being held captive by the Dollmaker. Fish, ever the clever one, seems to show signs early on that she may be overstepping her bounds in an attempt to find a way off of the doctor’s island. Instead, we get a new sense of her cunning that she exposes, oddly enough, through a display of vulnerability. Something uncommon from her, to be sure, but that certainly made it more convincing.

In the end, it looks like things are about to get a lot more interesting for a lot more people as we head into the season’s final three episodes. The show seems to have been on a steady track of relatively regular quality, and thankfully some of the more self-indulgent aspects of the writing were pretty minimal this time around. Thankfully, the show is building up a nice level of anticipation as we wait to see how the end of the season will shake out.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.