Gotham S02E11 “Worse Than A Crime” REVIEW

Gotham S02E11 “Worse Than A Crime” REVIEW

Team badass

stars 3.5

Airing in the UK on Channel 5, Mondays, 10pm
Writer: Bruno Heller
Director: Jeffrey Hunt

 

Essential Plot Points:

• Tabby

  • At the City Dump, an injured Alfred is running from Tabby and her goons. He hides in an old fridge and, across the world, people who use the fridge joke from Indy 4 stand ready. Stand down, really old joke enthusiasts, all that happens is Alfred hides and then gets garbage dumped on him. Which, in various forms, happens to the poor chap all episode.
  • MEANWHILE, AT STATELY WAYNE MANOR!

• Fox

  • Lucius emerges from the TeenCave to say he’s fixed the hard drive only to find no one there. Twist!\
  • MEANWHILE, AT EVIL TOWERS!

• Bruce

  • Galavan explains to Bruce that his family name is Dumas, what the Waynes did to him and how he’ll get revenge. Bruce is to be murdered at midnight. Until then, he gets to sit in a cell and think about what he’s done. Or rather what his family has done.
  • Tabby returns and admits she lost Alfred. Theo is not cool with this. He’s less cool with Silver trying to bunk off from the Death Party with a “cold”. He sets her a test: make Bruce fall in love with her again, kiss her and tell her he loves her before he dies.
  • Yes, this is immensely creepy.
  • She goes to see Bruce and finds he’s surprisingly chill about his imminent death. Slowly she gets him to talk and they bond a little. Silver engineers an escape and Bruce goes along with it, only to find Creepy Uncle Theo waiting.

• Silver

  • They’re re-imprisoned and Bruce admits he knows the whole thing is a ruse. For the first time, the pair talk with real honesty. Silver tells him about how awful her life with Theo is and Bruce admits he’s calm because he’ll see his parents again soon.
  • MEANWHILE, AT THE CITY DUMP!

• Cockney Ninja

  • ALFRED LIVES! And tries to steal a car. And gets tasered.
  • MEANWHILE, AT THE ED AND PENGUIN SHOW!
  • Jim hallucinates a butterfly coming from Barbara’s mouth and wakes up to find Ed and Penguin in the middle of Happy Music Fun Time. Penguin tells him a warrant has been issued for his arrest and argues that they need to work together. Jim gets that look he gets when he’s about to do something stupid. You know, the one he has quite a lot.
  • MEANWHILE, AT THE ONE PRECINCT GOTHAM HAS!

• Lee's EPIC scarf

  • Lee tries to convince Captain MachoFace that Jim isn’t a dangerous psychopath. This is very difficult and she doesn’t succeed. She does however have a GREAT scarf on this scene and gets to give Barnes some long overdue sass for being a pompous blowhard.

• Ed

  • Ed is lurking inconspicuously in the background in the most conspicuous way possible. The moment Barnes leaves, he gives Lee a clue to where Jim is.
  • MEANWHILE, AT THE RAPIDLY ACCELERATING COLLAPSE OF JIM GORDON’S ETHICAL EVENT HORIZON!

• At Home with Lee and Jim and Penguin

  • Lee goes straight from telling Barnes Jim would never work with the Penguin to find… Jim. Working with the Penguin.

• Penguin

  • They talk, and Jim tells her his big plan is to attack Galavan and arrest him. Again. Lee suggests he leave town with her. She drops the news she’s pregnant. Jim does not react well. Or pretty much at all. Penguin is annoyed at all this Normal People nonsense getting in the way of Operation Crazed Vengeance: Once More, With Feeling.
  • MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE GCPD!
  • Lucius Fox calls in the missing persons report. Barnes is reluctant to do anything but finally puts a request in and finds Alfred, his wounds untreated, is apparently being held in the police station they’re all standing in.
  • The fact Lucius doesn’t sue the GCPD into the future where Bruce is a rodent obsessed vigilante shows just how classy he is.
  • Alfred is released with no charge and immediately tools up, asking up Harvey for a car and a pair of guns. He doesn’t say “shooters” and we die a little inside. They discuss needing Jim for this and Ed, still lurking, sniggers.
  • Alfred, magnificently, yells, “Start speaking, Windows!” at Ed. He responds with a riddle that Lucius instantly solves.
  • Ed freaks the Hell out. Seriously you can almost see the Blue Screen of Death his mind is running.
  • MEANWHILE, BACK AT WHAT MAY BE THE SEASON FINALE OF AT HOME WITH LEE AND JIM

• Jim and Lee leavew

  • Gotham’s power couple are preparing to leave town in a magnificent car. Fox, Harv and Alfred arrive. Jim walks over to talk to them. Lee sighs and gets into the driving seat. Jim is, of course, staying, leaving his pregnant girlfriend alone.
  • Jim and the others tool up and Fox, because he’s new here, asks what the plan is. There isn’t one, of course, until Selina appears and tells them she knows a secret way in. Off Team Badass go.

• BatKid

  • It’s time, and Bruce is taken away to be killed. Despite them both knowing he doesn’t mean it, he kisses Silver and tells her he loves her. His last act is to help save her life. Good job, BatKid. There’s hope for you yet.
  • Selina’s big secret entrance is… well… we’ll talk about that later. Team Badass arrive! And bravely take the stairs, leaving an out-of-shape Harv behind to catch up.
  • In the Death Party, Bruce is about to be killed when Silver protests. Theo is disappointed, but Silver’s protest buys the time Team Badass need to arrive. Which she couldn’t possibly know but let’s just roll with it.

• FACEOFF

  • The two sides line up, guns are drawn, things kick off and…
  • We cut away!
  • Admittedly we cut to Fox being very clever and getting Barnes to actually DO something but still, come on guys!
  • When we cut back there’s a bit of a fight and some really bad wire work. Bruce is saved!

• basejumping

  • Theo, Tabby and Silver leg it. Theo has escape parachutes, just two, and vows to leave Silver behind. Tabby’s finally had enough of this nonsense and knocks her brother out. She and Silver base jump out of the building and leave him behind.

• whoops where's my prisoner 1

  • Jim arrives, arrests Galavan and is immediately goaded into trying to kill him. Barnes arrives and talks him down. Penguin arrives and knocks Barnes out. He points out that there’s no promise of justice for Galavan. Jim gets that look…

• whoops where's my prisoner 2

  • MEANWHILE, IN A VERY, VERY DARK PLACE

• Penguin beats Galavan

  • Jim and Penguin take Galavan out of the back of a car on a spit of land near the river. Penguin beats Galavan almost to death with a baseball bat. Galavan begs Jim to kill him.

• jim kills him

  • He does.
  • The following day he meets Lee and tells her it’s safe. He asks her to marry him. We don’t see the answer.
  • We do see Galavan’s body being taken to Indian Hill though…
  • MEANWHILE, AT THE TRAILER FOR NEXT HALF SEASON WHICH BEGINS NEXT WEEK!
  • A man is pursued down an alleyway and frozen to death. Next week’s forecast: A FREEZE IS COMING

• Mr Freeze

  • But no more Batman and Robin jokes we swear.

 

Review:

The ending of this episode is the most interesting thing the show has done so far this season. It’s also something that goes a long way towards redeeming some of the goofy, and flat-out stupid, stuff in previous episodes.

Jim’s killed a man. In cold blood. That’s not going to go away even though anyone with a perfunctory knowledge of spoilers for the next half season will have a pretty good idea how this gets resolved. Gotham’s Finest, a man who came into the city intent on changing it for the better has executed an unarmed, horribly injured man and then walked away as a wanted criminal mutilated the corpse.

How do you come back from that?

You don’t.

This is the defining moment in Jim Gordon’s career, and, weird as it sounds, it’s the first thing this season that’s shown the slightest hint of him being the man who will one day run the GCPD. This is an awful, inexcusable thing he’s done and even though we know it’ll ultimately pan out, he’ll always have the memory of pulling the trigger.

That’s why it makes perfect sense to have this in his past; because Jim knows from here on out he’ll never be an absolute moral authority. He is, to borrow and modify the line, becoming the police officer Gotham deserves. And that isn’t enough. But other officers like him, and Batman, together? That’ll be enough. And that’s exactly the road this compromised, broken version of Jim Gordon is heading down.

The episode delivers elsewhere too. We get another nice Bruce and Silver moment, some excellent Alfred and the long overdue return of Lucius Fox. But it’s this moment that does, and should, stay with you. Jim’s through the looking glass and now the series is free to go to some very interesting, very dark places.

And hopefully have some more comedy Alfred moments too.

 

The Good:

  • “Jim is like a son to me.”
    “A father would have shown more faith.” OH! Point to the Doc!
  • “You keep trying to kill yourself. Have I got you all wrong? Are you just crazy?”
    ‘Of course not.”
    “You’re on the run from the LAW. You want to attack the mayor with the help of a depraved sociopath and that’s not crazy?”
    “I CAN HEAR YOU.”
    “Sssh don’t speak.” Penguin would make a fine frequent guest star on At Home With Lee & Jim. Like Gunther from Friends with just a touch more murdering.
  • Alfred’s very bad day is adorable.
  • At first glance, Captain MachoFace is really annoying this week. He puts a warrant out for Jim’s arrest, demands proof that Galavan is actually evil and basically gets in the way a lot. At first glance that looks like fairly standard Gotham narrative roadblocking but it’s actually a good thing. Barnes is terrified of screwing up, again, and is going slowly as a result. He’s learned something. STOP THE PRESS! A CHARACTER ON GOTHAM HAS LEARNED SOMETHING!
  • The moment when Lee sees Jim talking to the Bro Squad and quietly slides over to the driver’s seat is perfect. You’re too good for these people, Doctor Thompkins. You and Foggy and Karen from Daredevil should hang out and complain about your awful failures of partners.
  • Yay Tabitha finally being sick of her Christopher Walken-sounding psycho brother’s nonsense!
  • Lucius Fox. Very clearly the only sane man left in Gotham. And he knows it. You poor, poor man.

 

The Bad:

  • Alfred Pennyworth is the most famous and – odds are – only butler in the city. He’s been around the police a fair bit, so presumably he’s had his face in briefing documentation and so on. So why, in the BLUE HELL does it take Captain MachoFace calling someone to realise that Alfred is being held ON SITE? And apparently not received any medical attention for the serious-looking freaking STAB WOUND IN HIS SHOULDER?!

• worst secret entrance ever

  • Selina knows a secret way in to Evil Towers. One that involves them doing the badass slow motion walk, guns out, down at least a mile of sidewalk. And boils down to “You boys wait RIGHT outside while I sneak into the garage and open it from the inside.” And no one says anything? At all? SERIOUSLY?
  • The big fight at the end… isn’t. We see everyone line up, we see the Monks rush the Jim Patrol and cut away to a scene that could have been at any other point in this sequence. When we come back the fight is mostly over aside from a bit of perfunctory kung fu and some frankly embarrassing wire work. Had we not suffered through the Zsaz v Building v Jim and Harv v Building v Zsaz nonsense earlier in the season this would have been the worst “fight” so far.

 

And The Random:

• shot of the week

  • Shot Of The Week is this. Penguin clearly had some anger to work out.
  • Silver asks Bruce what his favourite animal is and he doesn’t say “bat”. Instead he says “owl”. Could that be a little in-joke referring to the Court Of Owls, an organisation in the comics which has secretly been running Gotham for decades and which is expected to appear in the show at some point?

Review by Alasdair Stuart


 

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