This Gotham review contains spoilers.
Gotham: Season 2, Episode 10
While last week felt like a placeholder episode that asked many of the same questions (and gave many of the same answers) Gotham has been asking from the beginning, tonight’s “The Son of Gotham” advanced its larger Galavan-ized plot in some compelling ways. Perhaps even more importantly, it gave us the most Batman-like Bruce Wayne we’ve seen yet on this show. Here’s everything that went down…
“It’s good that you’re changing. Just don’t change too much.”
Good advice from our girl Selina Kyle to Bruce Wayne. Tonight, we saw a Bruce Wayne willing to go further than ever before to solve the mystery of his parents’ murders and the corruption at the heart of Wayne Enterprises. He and Selina worked together to trick Silver St. Cloud into revealing the name of Bruce’s parents’ killers.
We don’t know if its the right name. But we know that Bruce was capable of getting Silver to admit something (along with her true nature). He was capable of whispering into her ear that he cared about her and that he trusted her. He was capable of making her believe his lies. He was also capable of hiring The Knife, played wonderfully here by Tommy Flanagan, to make Silver believe that they had both been kidnapped. To make her believe that both Bruce and Silver’s lives were in danger.
It was all a ruse, of course. One designed and executed by both Bruce and Selina together. They work well as a team. Selina supports Bruce like Alfred does, but, unlike Alfred, she doesn’t have the same qualms about Bruce’s age. In Gotham, you have to grow up quickly. Selina knows that better than anyone. Or perhaps just as well as Bruce.
An advancement in Bruce’s skill, strategy, and capacity to deceive has been a long time coming, but — unlike the Jim Gordon plot path, which just keeps circling around back on itself — the character development for Bruce Wayne feels better earned and that much more novel for it. On a show that is really starting to have a problem with repetition, the Bruce Wayne is somehow one of the most refreshing elements of this show. Ironic, given that we (in theory) know exactly where Bruce’s storyline is going.
Bruce’s new attitude in this episode wasn’t just a step towards Batman; it was a step towards Selina, who he had previously shut out in favor of Silver. I kind of felt like Bruce at least owed Selina an apology for the way that he treated her, but I suppose his confession of burgeoning love was a fine substitute.
Jim continues to carry Gotham on his shoulders.
Guys, I’m not sure how many more conversations between Jim and Lee re: Jim’s morality in his policeman-ing I can take. I feel like we’re in that kitchen every week. Jim is disgruntled, angry with himself for having stayed his hand against a criminal when that criminal then went onto do terrible things. Lee says the same blandly, comforting, yet kind of critical things back. Yes, if Jim had killed Flamingo last week, Parks might still be alive. But that doesn’t mean Parks’ death is his fault. A not-casual structure Gordon still has immense trouble grasping.
Maybe it’s because there are so many pop culture examples of martyr-like heroes who take on the responsibility of every evil deed that is done, but Jim’s behavior is starting to really grate on me. Forever assuming responsibility for every bad thing that happens in Gotham may be an inescapable character trait for Jim Gordon, but it is also a boring one — not to mention a characteristic that presumes a level of control, power, and influence that one man just cannot have.
That being sad, I still felt bad for Jim in Galavan’s trial and, later, as nameless thugs (and then Penguin) pound on his face. I just wish Gotham would get a little more nuanced and a little less heavy-handed with the ways in which it makes us feel for Jim’s character. Get creative, show.
Side note: those shots of Jim and Bullock walking through the sewer were beautiful. Also, the on-pointedness of Bullock’s one-liners may be the most consistent thing about Gotham.
True Life: My Roommate is a Serial Killer.
The gift that is Ed and Penguin as roomies continues! (Let’s hope Penguin’s storm on Galavan’s compound at the end of the episode doesn’t mean he’s moved out.) This was a small element of tonight’s episode, but a fun one. As Ed continues to keep the balls in the air regarding questions about Ms. Kringle’s disappearance — he tells Lee that she ran off with her abusive boyfriend, Doherty — Penguin looks for the spicy mustard. Please let this storyline continue, Gotham.
The monks have the son of Gotham.
Can we make that into a t-shirt or something a la “The angels have the phone box”? Thanks in advance! I’m not super worried about Bruce, though I am intrigued by Galavan’s straight-up declaration that he is going to kill Bruce. Like, right now? In the Wayne Manor library? …Is Selina still hiding in the curtains? Let’s hope so.
Though we haven’t learned anything new about Galavan’s larger motivation — to atone for the way his family was run out of town a bagillion years ago (boring) — we do find out that the monks currently crawling through Gotham’s sewer system are basically the Dumas family’s besties. Not sure why. Not sure if I care. I do care, however, that this show continues to underutilize Arvin Sloane.
I also care that Alfred did not look good last time we saw him. Whilst out looking for Master Bruce, he ran into Tabitha Galavan, who promptly proceeded to try to kill him. She did a pretty good job (though Alfred held his own), slicing into his side with a knife and throwing a knife into his back as he made his grand escape via trash truck. Alfred can’t die, right?!