“A brand new day”
Last week’s ‘Gotham’ left us with the average cliffhanger of mafia warfare starting in Gotham between Maroni and Falcone. Regardless of comic books fans knowing who would win, there was still little suspense about the outcome. Who cares who wins? Both characters are as unappealing (not in a “good” sense!) as each other. But we don’t see any of the mafia warfare. We fast forward to Falcone being on the receiving end of a grenade launcher and being imprisoned in a hospital room. Of course, the writers felt the need to include almost every character in the finale, so what we get is a bunch of scenes that serve only to show us characters. Fish Mooney reappears and Selina Kyle teams up with her. Barbara goes for psychotherapy with Leigh. Kris Kringle and The Riddler share a scene together. As usual, it all adds up to an episode full of empty plots and even emptier characters…
Maybe if the writers hadn’t wasted so much time on The Ogre’s useless story line (three episodes!), they could have cranked up the intensity between Falcone and Maroni. However, they have barely been involved in the last five or six episodes. The penultimate episode could have shown us the mafia war and depicted how it affected the daily goings on of Gotham. Instead, we skip two weeks to see Falcone in a hospital room, waiting to be executed. Conveniently, Oswald shows up and admits he started the mob war. He says he wants to be ‘king of Gotham,’ but surely Maroni has to die as well for Oswald to become the king of the mafia? Anyway, Gordon shows up (even more conveniently!) before Oswald takes a scalpel to Falcone.
Gordon believes that Falcone is the least worst option. Without him, Gotham will fall apart. Okay…that’s believable! I thought Gordon wanted to bring the crimelords down? To further the convenience, Maroni’s men are on their way to kill Falcone (it raises the question: why not have him killed straight away?) Loeb is leading them, apparently. He disappears after this scene, never to be seen or heard of again…After a reasonable shootout, Harvey Bullock saves the day…
“Cat got your tongue?”
I wished it had by this point! My patience had worn thin during these first ten or fifteen minutes of ‘Gotham.’ It was ground into dust when Fish and Selina Kyle found Gordon, Bullock, Falcone, Oswald and Butch. She rang Maroni, he turned up, Maroni wound Fish up, she shot him, Gordon, Bullock and Falcone escaped, only to hide in a storage container to be found by Selina and be caught again…I felt like screaming! Escaping only to be caught again means that the writers are frantically wasting time to fill out the script. Oswald showed up, determined to kill Fish, forgetting that Falcone needed to die for him to be King of Gotham….Arrrgghhhhhh!!!!
The characters were as clueless as I was about what was going on. Falcone suddenly decided mid-way through the episode that he didn’t want to be a crime lord anymore, thus rendering Gordon’s actions useless. Bullock was there merely to show his face, like Loeb and Butch. Selina joined with Fish because…err…because…Fish looked like she had auditioned for ‘The Warriors’ remake? Gordon allowed Leigh to give Barbara some psychotherapy. It was a clunky slowdown to the “action” of the mafia story that reduced interest in the episode even more. What have they done to the character of Barbara? She reveals to Leigh that she, not The Ogre, murdered her parents! Maybe it was a lie, but straight after that she attempts to kill Leigh. Conveniently (that word again!) Gordon shows up after saving Gotham (in a manner of speaking) to save Leigh. Barbara’s character was assassinated in this episode.
“Grinding away at my soul”
Barbara uses this phrase to describe how her mum and dad brought her up, but it also describes how I felt about this episode, and pretty much all of ‘Gotham: Season 1.’ Yes, I could have stopped watching at any time, but I had faith. There were a few decent episodes here and there, but even they were plagued by the problems of ‘Gotham’: Inconsequential characters and scenes, too many stories crammed into one episode, stilted dialogue, plots relying on convenience…The finale had all of the problems in abundance and in an evolved form. And as for the cliffhanger leaving us salivating for Season 2…Bruce finding a cave? A batcave? Season 2 will have to do a lot of work to dig themselves out of the hole they dug in Season 1…
VERDICT: 3/10. Terrible. Just terrible. But a fitting finale to the shambles that has been Gotham: Season 1. Here’s to Season 2…not!
(Click here for my review of Gotham, Season 1, Episode 21: The Anvil or The Hammer)