Gotham used to be the most frustrating show on my weekly slate. It was wildly inconsistent from week to week. Seemingly every good to great episode was followed up with a stinker. This week offered another encouraging sign that Gotham’s streaky run is behind it and the show is really on a thrilling roll right now.
The Fall of Jim Gordon and The Rise of The Riddler was the main focus this week. Riddler’s had a slow burn from shy eccentric medical examiner to hardcore murderer and this week marked the culmination of those many weeks building up to his criminal incarnation.
With his paranoia increasingly deluding him into thinking Gordon was getting closer to learning he killed Kristen, Nygma began setting up an intricate scheme to set Gordon up. Nygma’s plan was pretty ingenious as he maneuvered Gordon perfectly into providing all the evidence he needed to frame him for the murder of a fellow officer. To keep Gordon off edge, Nygma anonymously tipped Capt. Barnes about Gordon’s involvement with the murder of Theo Galavan prompting Internal Affairs to reopen the case.
And in the confusion, Barnes finds Gordon over the dead officer’s body and the murder weapon is riddled with his fingerprints. Proving justice moves swiftly in Gotham, Gordon gets a speedy trial and 40-year sentence. Fearing his situation is hopeless, Gordon tells Lee to leave Gotham and get a fresh start for her and the baby.
This marked the first time in the series where something really felt like a job for Batman. That clearing Gordon’s name was going to require more than Bullock’s bull in a China shop tactics and Gordon doesn’t have any other allies if you don’t include Alfred, Bruce and Selina. I’m not sure how this will get resolved, but things definitely don’t look good for Gordon.
Penguin’s subplot continues to be challenging to invest in. He sought to make amends with Butch (and Tabitha), who took pity on his broken former boss/puppet master and just allowed Tabitha to tar and feather him as punishment. From there, Penguin coincidentally happened to stumble onto his long-presumed father Elijah Van Dahl (Paul Reubens in a new take on his Batman Returns role as Penguin’s father).
Elijah was more than happy to welcome Penguin into the family, but from the looks of his stepmom (Melinda Clarke) and his step siblings, I keep waiting for Penguin to snap and return to his more unpredictable, entertaining self. Neutered Penguin just isn’t all that exciting.
Bruce began his street lessons courtesy of Professor Selina. After hanging with Ivy (Clare Foley), the duo attempt to rob a gang of crooks led by Butch’s nephew. Small world. Bruce takes a beating, but remembers Alfred’s teachings and gets enough of an upper hand so they can escape.
The most interesting development though was Barbara awakening from her coma just as Gordon is getting transferred to Blackgate. The nurse is all set to send Barbara off to Hugo Strange, which definitely has a lot of potential. We’ll see how it plays out, but once again Gotham left me eagerly anticipating next week’s show. Let’s hope this momentum continues.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/FOX