“No, no, no, that’s not possible”
Will Gotham be anything more than a mixed bag of a TV series? Seven episodes in to the second season, and the quality hits highs and lows every couple of minutes! The beginning to this episode was shocking and rather brutal, but the rather ridiculous Riddler sub-plot dragged the flow down soon afterwards. Galavan continues to be an intriguing ‘big bad,’ and most scenes involving him keep the show afloat. But what really happened, of substance, between the pre-credit teaser and the final shoot-out? And yes, we were subjected to yet another shoot-out that looked identical to all the other shoot-outs that we’ve seen thus far!
Last episode Nigma murdered Kris Kringle, and in the opening moments of this episode Cobblepot’s mom was murdered in particularly brutal fashion by Tabitha. The cowardly Cobblepot of old rose again, begging Galavan for his mother to be set free. I assumed that Galavan would let Cobblepot go and keep his mother as a captive, in order to keep Cobblepot on a tight leash. I didn’t predict that Tabitha would stab his mother to death! Both Kringle and Cobblepot’s mom were key background characters in the first season, and their deaths signify the beginning of The Penguin and The Riddler.
“We should be ready for anything”
However, whilst Cobblepot is central to the ongoing plot (as is his mother’s murder), it feels like Nigma’s side-story is being shoe-horned in to give us the origin of The Riddler. The Fight Club rip-off involving ‘bad Nigma’ teasing ‘good Nigma,’ whilst quite artistically shot, is far from convincing. In this episode, it reached the ludicrous extreme of ‘bad Nigma’ setting a riddle to find the body of Ms. Kringle for ‘good Nigma.’ So this is how he became The Riddler? Because his split personality set a riddle for him? The combination of the two personalities at the end of the episode presumably created ‘The Riddler,’ but isn’t it too early for him to appear? For the last time, ‘Gotham,’ you don’t need to show us the origin of every Batman villain! I presume also that The Riddler will become a big villain later on in Gotham, but for now it seemed like a pointless exercise in origin stories.
Another thing that baffled me was the Gotham mayoral election. Did Galavan win simply because all of his opposition died? Did any election take place? He just seemed to be announced Mayor before the climactic bloody shoot out! Not only that, but Captain Barnes accepted Galavan’s martial law orders before he was announced as Mayor. Galavan told him Cobblepot had tried to assassinate him (for the second time!) but provided no evidence. Barnes didn’t need any, and agreed with Galavan’s plans for a curfew and knocking on every door to find Cobblepot. Oh, okay then!
“I think I’ve heard enough speeches”
And it took Jim Gordon a few questions to realise that Galavan was up to no good. There was no subtlety in this plot line he just plucked a few inconsistencies out of the air and made up his mind. If he’d been suspicious of Galavan from the start, and actually did detective work to uncover Galavan’s plot, his realisation would have been realistic. However, a few more questions to Butch confirmed Gordon’s sudden suspicious about Galavan. But then Gordon failed to act of them! And, before I forget, we saw Gordon and Harvey shoot wildly through walls with massive machine guns because Victor Zsaz was outside with a few hoodlums. Were they not concerned with the possibility of innocent causalities? It was supposed to look cool, but looked idiotic.
Another supposedly cool scene was the shoot-out at the announcement of Galavan as Mayor. II suppose the shoot-out placed itself above all the others with the Cobblepot lookalikes involved, but Cobblepot was still among them, and thus subject to the possibility of death. Gordon had been notified of Cobblepot’s appearance, but wholly failed to act on it. As a scene, it was okay, but we’ve seen it to many times before, and apart from the Cobblepot clones, it was a case of bodies being hurled around and gun fire as usual. What irritated me especially was afterwards, Galavan had an open press conference with almost no security! Remember when he survived the first assassination attempt and then had an open press conference with no security? At least that one was a fake attempt, but why would he expose himself to danger the second time around?
However, as always, it’s all so ludicrous and ridiculous that’s it is hard not to enjoy it, in a way. Even the ‘good Nigma’/‘bad Nigma’ scenes were played with fairground music over them. I’ve spent this review berating ‘Mommy’s Little Monster,’ but I berate too much. I enjoyed it, in spite of myself, as I’ve enjoyed most of ‘Gotham’ Season 2. It passes the time adequately enough, and this episode was no different. There was much to ridicule and question, but just enough to make the duration worthwhile!
VERDICT: 5/10. Ridiculous, repetitive and grating, but ‘Mommy’s Little Monster’ left just enough enjoyment to ensure that boredom never set in!
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(Click here for my review of Gotham, Season 2, Episode 2: Knock Knock)
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