[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Director: Eagle Egilsson
Writer: Danny Cannon
Stars: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue & David Mazouz
Carmine Falcone orders a hit on Gordon while Selina tries to reconnect with her mother and Penguin sees ghostly visions of his father.
The best part of the episode is the Penguin story. Robin Lord Taylor really gets to go over the top and crazy in a way that he has not been able to in a while. He’s a lot of fun to watch. I also enjoyed getting to see Paul Reubens back and he’s still fun. While it is obvious who is behind the apparent resurrection of Penguin’s father, the mechanics of this strategy completely took me by surprise. There’s a really cool ending for this story.
David Dastmalchian, who you might recognize from The Dark Knight, plays Dwight. I like casting easter eggs like this especially because I never saw anyone talk about it. It’s simply a cool reference for Batman movie fans. He plays a Dr. Frankenstein type who is attempting to resurrect Jerome, the potential Joker from last season. This is the most interesting part of the episode and it’s pretty much sidelined in favor of the three other main stories but it is fun. While Hugo Strange is not directly involved, the story has ties to Indian Hill which is a nice touch.
When Morena Baccarin joined Gotham, her character was one of the more enjoyable aspects of the show for me. It’s a shame that Lee has become one of my least favorite aspects of the show now. While Baccarin is still giving a good performance, the character is tedious and often made dumber than she should be. I understand it’s traumatic and confusing but Mario was coming at her with a knife. She had to have seen the knife. It even made a loud clank when it fell. If Lee wasn’t there, I would understand completely. But she was right there; Mario was going to fillet her. Thankfully, all it takes is one hilarious and creepy conversation with Barnes to convince her Gordon was right. I will give Danny Cannon credit for how short this story is. For a second, I was worried that Lee was going to become a villain which does not need to happen. Additionally, I am concerned about the bizarre conversation between Lee and Falcone about her still being in love with Gordon. I don’t really see any potential rekindling for these two; there’s too much baggage. Maybe I’m just a pessimist who doesn’t believe in love but I’m not interested in seeing Gordon and Lee being romantically involved again.
While potentially interesting, the story with Selina’s mom falls flat. It’s a story thread from early season one that they’re just now picking up on but it’s not interesting. Camren Bicondova is great in all of her scenes as usual but that’s about all that works. And the weird thing with Alfred having a crush on Selina’s mom is just weird. Why is it so creepy every time Alfred has a crush on a woman? His thing for Lee last season was also really awkward and hard to watch. Is it a joke that Alfred is bad with women? Maybe that’s what I’m supposed to take away from it but it’s not that funny of a joke.
Victor Zsasz is the assassin sent to kill Gordon but he gives him a courtesy visit first to warn him which I like a lot. However, Zsasz tells Gordon that Gordon will never see Zsasz coming. And then, later in the episode, Zsasz is as obvious as possible in his attempt to kill Gordon. He stands out in broad daylight with a dominatrix on each side flanking him. And of course Gordon sees them immediately. It was really silly.
This is a disappointing return. The show feels too cluttered again with not enough interesting things going on. The more engaging stories feel too short while the boring or nonsensical ones seem to drag on. There is solid stuff in the episode but there’s just as much if not more that is less than solid. The episode is certainly more effective than the previous one but it’s still not up to the standard of the current season.