Gotham Guest Review

Gotham 2×09 – A Bitter Pill to Swallow

“My mother always said a party’s not a party without entertainment.”

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Gotham’s first season was so atrocious and terrible, it’s an embarrassment to the television industry. Its sophomore season has been inconsistent, to say the least, but it’s officially in the “so bad, it’s good” category.

It’s baffling when a show like this manages to craft a suspenseful hour of television even when the stakes aren’t nearly as high as it wants, but Jim and Barnes locked in that apartment building with the assassins surrounding them in all corners was scarily good. It had all the elements of a thrilling action scene: ruthless villains, gory visuals, chilling music and a heartening exchange between our heroes.

Jim Gordon has been so weakly developed, it’s been extremely difficult to root for him. The show never took us on the frantic journey of what it’s like to become a shady cop who’s killed bad guys in order to protect this city, which really makes us detached from our main character. Surprisingly, this episode manages to finally add the emotional aspect this season has been missing with its Jim/Barnes conversation while being locked up. The scene is so brutal and unexpected, Gotham-style, while still being dark enough to make us care about these one-dimensional characters.

Somehow, there were also a few impressive visuals this week, most notably during Jim’s fight in the elevator. We’ve never really seen Detective Gordon in action before and this show has often relied on quick cuts and its lame musical score during action sequences, but the elevator fight struck me as outstanding and unusual, with Jim’s several backflips and an exciting climax. It’s all a little too late of course, but I beg of this show to rely more on thrilling action set pieces like that. Anything that adds more entertainment to this dying show is welcome.

Nygma and Penguin’s new dynamic is also quite exciting, and I appreciate that it took its time to develop this pairing. Sure, I still find Penguin’s attachment to his dead mother more creepy than heart-warming, but it will be interesting to see what these two will be up to next and who they’ll be going after.

Finally, I was glad to see Alfred outsmart Bruce and tell him that he’s just not strong and deceiving enough to carry on this mission on his own. I’ve been reluctant on the path this season has taken Bruce on, especially with the cringe-inducing Selina/Bruce/Silver triangle happening, but this episode course-corrected most of that by finally revealing to Bruce that Silver is “bad news”. I still don’t care for Selina so much, but I’m hoping that her exchange with Bruce in the end will entice some intriguing new dynamics for these two.

Bat Bits

– Tabitha getting help from those assassins (and some lady) to kill Jim is a bit contrived, no? She’s more than capable of whipping his ass to death on her own.

– Eduardo Flamingo was the villain this week, and he’s a face-eating DC villain that appears to have come out straight out of the comics. I wasn’t too frightened by his presence, of course up until his violent attack on officer Parks in the end.

– It awfully seems like Jim and Leslie are growing apart. I’m scared the show decides to kill her off.

– This show is terribly unquotable, it appears.

– The army of men attacking the security guard at the docks and making their way into the city was kind of horrible. I have zero patience for this storyline already.

Cracks From Gotham

Barnes: There is no line. There’s just the law.

Conclusion
A satisfying and surprisingly entertaining hour of Gotham.

Chris Rating
B

4 comments

  1. Yeah I haven't seen this yet, but your review makes it sound exciting .It's just so hard to get pumped with so many shows on the air and this being so terribly “unquotable” hahaha (so true)!. But the action sounds good! Promise I'll report back when I watch it!

  2. Yes there's an elevator scene that's pretty impressive but nowhere NEAR the brilliance of Arrow's elevator scene last week. I'd wait until you forgot about how awesome Jessica Jones is before watching this super lame episode!

    Yes it was entertaining and all, but Gotham needs to die already!!! Just give Bruce his damn cape and call it the end.

  3. They better not kill off Leslie. She's one of the show's few good characters who are more than one-dimensional. Babarbara on the other hand should have been offed by now.

  4. Morena Baccarin is the best thing that's happened to this show, but this season has underutilized her character SO much. I'm annoyed that all she's been doing lately is just tell Gordon not to “fall into the darkness” when she can do so much more, when given the right material. So on one hand, I want them to kill her off so she can do better things elsewhere!!

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