Probably the weakest entry of the season, Strike Force isn’t a very thrilling or interesting hour but still a necessary one.
The addition of Captain Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis) took me by surprise because this show never seems like that it’s grounded in reality, not even in the good episodes it delivered this season so far. So to add a character that is as real and normal as Barnes is quite an unusual one, but definitely a wise choice. It finally gives the audience a reason to trust this show a little more as Barnes immediately voiced all of our concerns about the kind of corruption Gotham has gotten into lately. And the idea of forming a task force with Gordon, a character who is a cry far from innocent and normal, is a very exciting one.
The Penguin and Theo Galavan butting heads also worked—for a while. Their interactions, and Oswald’s fears in particular, were fun and entertaining. But the biggest surprise here is Barbara. I can’t believe that less than a year ago I was dissing this character and praying she would die a horrible death, only to be rooting for her now and easily considering her one of the most interesting characters on this show. The way she keeps messing with everyone, making out with Theo one minute and Tabitha the other, is so twisty and amazing. Please don’t ever be boring again, Babs.
What doesn’t work here, sadly, is Selina. This character has gone through turmoil in the writing department. No one seems to know what to do with her so they throw her into random scenes and subplots only to make her even less likable with every passing episode. I don’t see the point in bringing the whole Reggie storyline back into the show as it’s literally been over a year since it happened, so it was both confusing and creepy to see Alfred slap Selina in the face and follow his weird actions with the phrase “that’s for Reggie”. It’s all pretty awful and cringeworthy, but it really saddens me to see what they’re doing with this iconic character as Selina is supposed to become the future Catwoman. I can’t see how they’re going to redeem this one, but one thing is certain: this show still hasn’t fixed its writing problems.
Much like Arrow this season, I love that running for mayor is the storyline driving the narrative momentum forward this year and I can’t wait to see how Galavan plans on ruling (err, destroying) the city. And while I’m loving Nygma’s slow transformation into the Riddler, I sort of want him to interact with Galavan and Penguin already just to see what he’s truly capable of. Don’t disappoint me, show.
– I barely mentioned Nygma, but it’s interesting to note that he had quite an amusing storyline with Kristen Kringle this week. Everything about that dinner scene was both engrossing and creepy, which pretty much describes those two weirdos. I’ve never seen Hannibal the TV show, but somehow I got a huge Hannibal Lector vibe out of that scene.
– The biggest problem with this episode is the huge clunk of exposition-heavy dialogue, mostly in every scene Penguin or Jim were in. Once again I beg of this show to find better writers.
– Bruce meets Silver in this episode (thanks, Galavan). It was mildly intriguing, but it’s funny how fast Bruce went from whining about Selina to thinking “Selina who?”.
– I like the new faces from the Strike Force. I hope they actually have personalities in upcoming episodes.
– How long before the new Captain finds out that Jim killed a man over a debt to Penguin?
– When Galavan announces that he’s running for mayor, a car passes by with an armed shooter unloading a few shots on him and the reporters. What’s funny is that it literally took them all two seconds to get back up and continue listening to the speech. Cool city.
– Loved Galavan and Bruce’s lunch scene. Very chilling.
– In other news, Victor Zsasz made an appearance. A very short and kind of forgettable one.
Cracks From Gotham
Jim: Strike Force?
Nathaniel: It’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
Nygma: Our interactions are always the highlight of my day.
Nygma: I talk to myself. It’s crazy, I know. I have this voice inside my head that’s sort of a stronger version of me that keeps this me in line because I’m such a klutz.
The first misstep of the season, but surprisingly still entertaining enough to keep me hopeful about this show’s future.