This review contains spoilers.
2.10 The Son Of Gotham
Holy spicy mustard, Batman! If you’re ever in a heated pub discussion with someone who thinks Gotham is more of a police procedural than a Batman prequel, this is the episode to mention when you’re ready to unpick their argument.
Indeed, The Son Of Gotham had heaps of references to DC history. This stellar episode really embraced the visual and storytelling lore of the comics, taking familiar motifs and using them in in some engaging ways.
The Order Of Saint Dumas (TOoSD) arrived with a bang this week, making an immediate impression in that short pre-title-card mugging scene. And here was us thinking that it’d be years before Gotham showed us a darkly dressed figure apprehending a street criminal and disappearing from sight. Of course, this wasn’t the Dark Knight we know and love, but it was a nice tip-of-the-cap and an attention-grabbing way to open the episode.
This wasn’t the only scene that gave us a tantalising glimpse of things to come, either. We also saw Master Bruce’s first foray into incredibly immoral investigatory techniques. Bruce embracing the darker route to the truth at this early stage in his crime-fighting career came as a surprise, but young Mr Mazouz handled the transition into murkier material very well indeed.
Arguably, this is the meatiest moment of morality that Mazouz has been given in Gotham so far. It was a ballsy move for Bruce to team up with Selina to scare Silver St. Cloud witless, and only time will tell whether this actually worked.
Will Mr M Malone – the name given by Silver – end up being the Wayne killer, or is that just a red herring? Matches Malone is a B-list villain in the comics, who traditionally has no link to the Wayne murders… That’s the closest link we can find, and it certainly doesn’t give us much to go on. Would the powers-that-be really write Joe Chill out of the story altogether? Only time will tell. After all Bruce’s investigation, it’d be an interesting twist if the killer was actually just a random street thug, wouldn’t it?
Anyway, to get back to the point… this was a very watchable episode. It flew by before I could even think about getting distracted. There was a Harvey Dent courtroom scene, there were monks in a massage parlour, sacrifices in the sewers and a whole host of memorable confrontations.
Notably, the episode ended with Galavan threatening to kill Bruce. But before that, we’d already seen two impressive face-offs – Alfred fighting Tabitha, and Jim getting his arse handed to him by Galavan. Both these fights were pacey, brutal, and packed a few surprises. Clearly, Alfred and Galavan both have some fairly advanced combat skills, and fared better than you’d expect in their bouts against more physically renowned characters. (In all fairness, though, Alfred did end up in a garbage truck.)
In all this excitement, we got a few nice little character moments, too – Selina softening up a bit, Nygma attempting a hasty cover-up, Jim losing it when Galavan was freed, and Oswald returning to action in a big way. Sometimes, Gotham’s side strands let it down, but this week every arc had something interesting going for it.
And we’ve ended on one hell of a cliff-hanger, haven’t we? Obviously, someone will arrive in the knick of time to save Bruce, but it’ll be interesting to see how Galavan can weasel his way out of this one…
Read Rob’s review of the previous episode, A Bitter Pill To Swallow, here.