Since this is the final season of Gotham on Fox, we are going to try to talk about as many episodes as we possibly can. Now that you have had plenty of time to watch Episode 2, I thought I would jump in and give you my thoughts. I won't go through every aspect of the episode, but I will talk about a few key things that I liked and a couple of concerns that I have.
(WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 2 OF GOTHAM SEASON 5.)
One thing that I have really enjoyed in the beginning of this season is Bruce's quest to do whatever it takes to get Selina back on her feet. In this episode we get to see him take that a step further, by venturing out to find "The Witch" who he is told may be able to save Selina. What he ends up finding are a group, that could almost be described as angry villagers, who have trapped this "witch" in a room. It was quickly obvious to any Gotham fan who this witch was, but Bruce seemed pretty surprised to find out that it was Ivy Pepper. It was great to have Peyton List back on the show, and even more to see that she has pretty much completed her transition in to Poison Ivy. Long story short, she agrees to help Bruce and gives him this creepy seed that she claims will help Selina. When Bruce returns, there is some debate as to whether or not to give the seed to Selina, but she quickly makes the decision on her own. Camren Bicondova is definitely the star of the season so far, giving a dark but incredible performance in an extremely difficult time for Selina. I was always a fan of her portrayal, but she really showed a side of this character that I don't believe we have ever seen on screen. To be able to see Selina at her lowest point, and then make what appears to be her initial transformation in to Catwoman, is truly a marquee moment for the show.
Another thing that I have enjoyed is Cory Michael Smith's weekly cat and mouse game between The Riddler and Ed. We don't get to see much of Ed, but he has been torturing Riddler during blackouts and it has been quite hilarious. After waking up in dumpsters, and various other places with no memory, we eventually find out that Ed appears to be trying to start some sort of gang war. We have seen the struggle for control before between Riddler and Ed, but the stakes definitely seem higher this time. It also doesn't make it obvious who will win out. You may think that it would be obvious, but Gotham has never apologized before for not strictly following comic book canon, so why start now? Again...that's one of the things that I love about the show.
As much as I am enjoying this season so far, there was one thing that derailed my interest a bit. While I appreciate that Jim Gordon is trying to maintain control of his piece of Gotham and help as many citizens as he can, I'm not sure this week's mission will benefit the larger story. I'm not saying he made the wrong decision to help these kids and free those citizens from their captors, because that was the right call. What I mean is, there are precious few episodes here, and without this detour do we really gain or lose anything? We get introduced to a couple of different factions/gangs, we see Gordon have to reach out to Barbara for help, but it seems like time that could have been better spent elsewhere. We already know that Jim is a warrior, we already knew that Barbara would help him and there wasn't much of a payoff in what we saw lurking in what seemed to be the darkest corners of Gotham. Servicing the potential gang war, or even the attempt to get outside help, seems like may have been a better choice here.
After what was a solid premiere episode for Season 5, this episode was a slight step backwards. I still have plenty of confidence that Gotham will get back to the bigger picture and get back to that forward momentum that they built. Who knows, there may be something that we gain from this episode that we are not yet aware of. Maybe the body count leads to a larger problem that would have otherwise been dormant? Will an alliance between Barbara and Jim become more permanent? I think there are more important questions yet to be answered, but I'm not willing to toss this episode to the side just yet. If nothing else, the potential Catwoman reveal makes it all worth it. I can't wait to see what else is in store for the rest of the season.
What did you think of this episode?