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Gotham Brings an Underwhelming Story to a Messy Pause

first_img NYCC 18: The Cast of Gotham On Bane, Batman and Saying GoodbyeDC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC News The  Sofia Falcone story has easily been this season’s least interesting. When you start the season with legal crime, the Scarecrow, Professor Pyg and a dumb Riddler, another mob story isn’t going to be as exciting. Sofia was a more interesting character when she was manipulating Jim in a fight for power. When she got it, she became just another gangster bad guy. And with last night’s episode, it would appear the show thought so as well. Its entire purpose was to put a bullet, literally, in her storyline. How? By throwing nearly every character on the show at her.You would expect a story like that to lead to some great moments of Gotham insanity. And a couple of times, it delivers. For the most part though, it’s juggling so many motivations, the scenes become disjointed. One second, we’re with Bullock and Gordon trying to arrest her. Then the next, we’re with Penguin and Riddler trying to kill her. Oh, and Lee as well. She didn’t take too kindly to Sofia breaking her hand open with a hammer. She wants to take back the narrows and end Sofia’s reign over Gotham. Those competing stories could have made for a cool episode: a criminals vs. cops race to either arrest or kill a mutual enemy. It could have gone that way if not for everything else this episode felt it had to get done.Ben McKenzie (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)Penguin and The Riddler are back together again, and their partnership is easily the episode’s best element. It’s been so long since we saw these two villains team up, we almost forgot how good they are together. Watching Riddler come up with a ridiculously convoluted plan, and Penguin scream that it’s the worst idea he’s ever heard makes for some great moments of comedy. I didn’t realize I missed this dynamic from this show so much. They team up with Lee, but it takes some convincing. With her no longer in control of The Narrows, and down a hand, Riddler is less confident in her ability to help. Until she makes it clear that she wants to kill Sofia herself for what happened. She then suggests Riddler go seek out Solomon Grundy for some muscle.That’s where the episode starts trying to do too many things at once. Remember, Grundy knows remembers who he is now. Meaning he remembers that The Riddler isn’t his friend, that Edward Nygma tortured and nearly killed him and the woman he loves. So this meeting doesn’t go well. The disappointing thing is though; it ends with Nygma in Sofia’s hands anyway. We didn’t even really get any forward movement on the Butch/Grundy-Tabitha story for it. Butch drops Nygma off at Sirens, The Sirens deliver him to Sofia… There had to have been a more efficient way to do this. This segment is also evidence that the show never figured out what to do with Grundy. It made a big deal of his introduction early this season, then forgot about him after the midseason finale. Now, he’s back and he’s basically Butch again, but with grey skin. The show can’t figure out a good place for him in the story, so it’s just nonsensical and disappointing when he’s shoved into an episode like this.Donal Logue and Ben McKenzie (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)Bullock and Gordon’s story has one good moment before it loses track of itself. The two cops are working together again, and its’ great. I missed Detective Bullock, even if he’s not as jokey as he used to be. We get a nice little scene where he proves he’s determined to be a good cop this time. At least, a better one than Gordon. When Penguin gets tired of waiting for Nygma (who’s been captured by Butch), he leaves to figure out a new plan, and runs right into the arms of Bullock and Gordon. When everyone realizes they’re after the same person, Gordon makes a deal with the Penguin. Information on Falcone’s bookkeeper, Mr. Penn in exchange for the cops letting Penguin walk away. Bullock is done making deals with criminals, and arrests Penguin anyway. This could have lead to a great conflict or relationship building moment between the two, but the Mr. Zsasz shows up. He starts shooting, the cops start shooting… it’s not even that great of a shootout. It just feels pointless, as the only thing gained is that now Zsasz knows to search for Mr. Penn too. You know it’s a bad episode when Zsasz can’t even manage some dark-funny quip.The episode devolves into every character chasing one person for a while, then swapping gears so every other character is chasing a different person. After a while, you kind of just want them to get to the point. But hey, at least there are still some minor details and odd quirks that make Gotham fun, even when it isn’t particularly good. Like the Scandinavian Skinner turning out to be on old woman who runs a candy shop. That was fun. So was Mr. Penn being at a resort for older adults who like to pretend they’re babies. The setting at least added some life and colorful weirdness to the ensuing shootout once Zsasz and Sofia showed up.Crystal Reed (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)Proving they’re the only good thing about this whole story, The Riddler and Penguin do not make an appearance at the resort. Penguin, at Lee’s recommendation, follows Riddler’s original idea to get close to Sofia Falcone. He has Mr. Freeze freeze him in a block of ice to sell to Sofia. (It was nice to see him again at least, if only for two brief scenes.) Inside the ice, Penguin has a timed heating device that will let him break out soon after the sale. He breaks out just too late. Riddler’s been tortured, but has refused to give Penguin up. For that, he’s been taken to Gotham’s favorite murder pier. Hearing of Riddler’s loyalty, Penguin ditches his plan to kill Sofia and save his friend instead. It’s the lone truly great moment in a messy, middling episode. They share a mutual desire to never see that pier again, and walk away together. It makes me so happy.The whole point of this was to deal with Sofia Falcone so it can get to the Jerome story it really wants to tell next week. That would be fine, and I’d be happy to see the show drive so quickly to end its least interesting plot. But it doesn’t really end it. Sofia chases Gordon through the kitchens of the resort, shooting him multiple times. Just when it looks like she’s about to kill him, we hear another gunshot. Lee has shot Sofia in the back, and as she turns around, Lee shoots her in the head. So that’s the end of Sofia Falcone’s story, right? A bullet to the head means she’s done, doesn’t it? Well, as we learn once Jim wakes up in the hospital, not really. She’s in a coma. Lame. Look, if you’re going to show a character taking a bullet to the forehead, commit to it. Don’t keep her around in the background to be brought back later whenever you feel like it. Especially when she’s a boring villain in a show full of great ones.Camren Bicondova and David Mazouz (Cr: David Giesbrecht/FOX)Either way, at least this storyline is out of the way for now. And this episode gave us some things to look forward to in the coming weeks. In addition to the Jerome arc, which we knew was coming, Bruce and Selina are starting to team up a bit. Yes, the best storyline this week was the one given the least amount of time. Selina shows up at Bruce’s house, looking for help in buying back the jewelry she stole from the family of the Wayne Biotech scientist ivy killed. Bruce agrees to help her, the pawn shop fence is a jerk about it, and it’s time for the two kids to kick some ass. It’s easily the best fight scene of the entire episode. The way Bruce and Selina work together is so well-choreographed. It’s cool seeing their future Batman-Catwoman chemistry take shape. Bruce even does his deep raspy voice thing before he knocks the pawn shop dude out. Then he throws money at the guy to prove he’s not a thief. Awesome. I just hope we get more of that next week. Oh, and Barbara is having visions of Ra’s Al Ghul, which could lead somewhere cool, I guess. It’ll probably be a few episodes before we get a sense of where that’s going though. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more