REVIEW – Gotham Season 5 Episode 4 – “Ruin”

(WARNING!  SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SEASON 5 OF GOTHAM!)

Wow...that was a lot to process!  After seeing Haven explode during last week's episode, you know that "Ruin" would be centered around who was responsible for that.  It was, but it was also full of some big moments for fans of the show.

One thing that we knew would immediately be too good to be true is that everyone seemed to want to help Jim Gordon in the aftermath of the explosion.  Barbara offers to look in to who may be responsible, Penguin brings guns, even Ed Nygma crawls out of his hiding place to assist.  It should be not surprise that Penguin was the first to turn.  When the GCPD and Penguin's posse are tracking down a suspect, it leads them to a very much alive Victor Zsasz.  I just want to take a second to say, Zsasz has been one of my favorite supporting characters from the beginning and I was so glad to see him again.  Penguin still has a grudge against Zsasz dating back to last season, so he is ready to have him pay whether he is guilty or not.  In the process, Penguin got to add self appointed judge to his resume, so he has that going for him.  So Gordon and Bullock save Zsasz from a guillotine, possibly the only weapon we haven't seen to date on Gotham, and get him out of there.  In the process, Gordon seems to have lost the support of the people that believed he could keep them safe.  This was really classic Penguin, always playing the long game to eventually get what he wants.  Of course there's a chance it won't last, but it's worth pointing out that this is a huge blow to Gordon's fragile grip on his city and his sanity.  This also lead to one of my favorite lines I have ever heard on Gotham, and it came from Victor Zsasz:  "This city is never going to be what you want it to be, Jim.  It belongs to the bad guys, like me."  Amazing!

One of the side stories going on during this investigation was Ed's continuing quest to find out what is going on during his blackouts.  As he tries to track down something that he wrote on his hand, he gets caught by Lucius Fox, who offers to help if Ed will help with the Haven bombing.  Little did Ed know that he would not only be able to help, but find out who did it in a very short time.  He tracks down a woman across the street who saw the person who fired the RPG in to the heating old of Haven: it was Ed Nygma himself!  I need to learn at this point to just leave my jaw on the floor when I watch Gotham, that way it will just stop dropping all of the time.  While it's not a huge shocker that Ed/The Riddler could pull this off, it is a bit unexpected and certainly a nod to the Zero Year storyline told by Scott Snyder in the pages of Batman comics.  This is yet another example of Gotham taking a story from the comics and making it their own.  I know some people will never love it, but I do and appreciate how they execute it.  Question is, will The Riddler rise to power or is this simply a continued ploy to plunge Gotham into a gang war and chaos?

The other big moment that needed to be followed up on is Selina's quest to kill Jeremiah.  Luck for Bruce, he was able to activate a tracker and get Alfred to save the day while he was handcuffed inside Jeremiah's "church."  We do finally get conformation that Jeremiah himself is inside, and has he followers digging a very large tunnel through some very thick concrete.  We get out first glimpse of him with Harley as well, which I think they executed very well.  Just when you think we're about to get set up for more Joker, he gets a knife to the chest.  Selina finds him and abruptly takes him down disguised as one of his followers.  It was certainly a bit of a shock, but a bit of a disappointment as well (in the moment anyway.)  It was very abrupt, and almost too easy for Selina to get to him.  I have to believe that there was a reason for this, or that there is something more at play here.  So while I was disappointed at the time, I'm still keeping the faith that this is a setup for something bigger.  So, what happens now that Selina feels like she has finished the job?

This has certainly been a no holds barred final season of Gotham, especially in the last two episodes.  While there have been a lot of familiar faces returning, I don't feel like there has been a whole lot of "fan service."  These appearances make sense, and completely tie in to the existing storyline.  Even when it is just a single episode appearance, it doesn't feel forced.  What other familiar faces could we see?  Is The Joker about to have another evolution?  What about that kiss between Jim and Barbara at the end of this episode?  Next week is sure to be another must see for Gotham fans!

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