This Gotham review contains spoilers.
Gotham Season 3 Episode 4
“New Day Rising” brought a tragic conclusion to the current Mad Hatter/Alice arc, let us get to know Doppel-Bruce just a little bit more, and elected a new mayor of Gotham. Here’s everything that went down in tonight’s Gotham…
Meet the new mayor of Gotham city…
The Penguin Wins the Gotham Mayoral Election storyline was a little cheesy and simplistic, but relied on two winning elements to make it the most enjoyable storyline of the night: 1. Some not-so-subtle allusions to the real-life Trump campaign that it’s impossible not to think about, even when you’re watching Gotham. And 2. The dynamic between Ed and Oswald.
It makes a lot of sense that Ed would want Oswald to believe in himself. Ed’s first season story arc and eventualy season season evolution into The Riddler was so based in self-esteem. In many ways, his lack of confidence is what drove an alternate personality to rise up inside of him. Ed gives Oswald what he considers the greatest gift of all: a boost of self-confidence. And, despite everything that both of these maniacal killers have done, it’s incredibly sweet.
I can’t be the only viewer who found this storyline incredibly romantic, can I? If only we lived in a network TV world where Penguin and The Riddler could (dysfunctionally, obviously) fall in love. (Do we? Discuss in the comments.) These two have the more chemistry than anyone else on this show. (Sorrynotsorry, Jim and Lee.) But, however you view this relationship, it’s hard to argue that it’s not a winning one. Butch might disagree. (And who can blame the man? He had his hand chopped off for Oswald only to get thrown aside just for following orders.)
The Court of Owls gets their hands on Doppel-Bruce…
The Doppel-Bruce and Selina Go Out on a Date storyline was more fun than I expected it to be. Seeing someone who looks like Bruce Wayne beat up those goons who were about to break Selina’s sticky fingers gave me all of the proto-Batman feels. I just wish this storyline could have been Bruce’s. We’ve been waiting for more development on both the proto-Batman front and the Bruce/Selina front for a while now. To give both of those moments to Doppel-Bruce was a little frustrating.
Still, I am mildly intrigued to see what happens next with the mysterious Doppel-Bruce. More than anything, he wants a family and the Court of Owls might be ready to give him one — albeit with some sinister strings attached. Presumably, they want to replace Bruce with Doppel-Bruce in order to control Wayne Industries. But, at the moment, they basically do control Bruce and Wayne Industries, so this move doesn’t make as much sense as it could.
At this past weekend’s NYCC, David Mazouz teased that Doppel-Bruce is inspired by a comic book character we’ve seen before, so this will likely not be the last time we see Doppel-Bruce in action. Next time, though, his motives might be much more nefarious than spending the afternoon with Selina.
Gordon breaks the Mad Hatter’s spell…
For me, the least interesting plot of the night lay with Gordon and the GCPD — not an uncommon occurrence for this show. (If you’re going to have a police drama element on your show, you have to do it well because there are so many police drama shows on TV.) Did anyone really doubt that Jim would find a way to break the spell Jervis Tetch had cast upon him? No, so this storyline had minimal stakes.
I’m not sure why Alice had to die here. Sure, it means the threat of her blood is somewhat contained (Jervis still has those vials he extracted.) It means that Jervis will be even more unhinged (but he was already a full-on psychopathic killer). It doesn’t seem to serve a purpose other than dramatic effect. Like Doppel-Bruce or Jervis, Alice could have slipped off into the night, to return to the narrative at a later date. This show has a habit of killing off female guest star characters to motivate and/or change the male guest star characters, and I am not OK with it.
Barnes is infected by Alice’s blood…
Of course, Alice’s legacy will live on through Barnes, who has been infected by her blood. (Seriously, the GCPD is the most incompetent fictional police force in the history of TV. They knew Alice’s blood was toxic. You’d think they would have cleaned that up, or atleast not walked underneath it.) How will the blood affect Barnes? We’ll have to wait to find out. Jervis believes that it brings out someone’s “true nature,” but it seems to also bring out their darkest impulses.
What will that mean for Barnes, who is such a stickler for the rules? Will it bring Gordon back into the police force? I wish I cared more about these questions, but, as I said, this show’s police characters are far from its most interesting element.