While it lacked some of the intensity of other episodes this season, Time Bomb was another solidly entertaining installment of Gotham’s Mad City arc.
Time Bomb was a weird episode as the good parts were pretty great, but the bad parts dragged it down.
Decidedly on the positive front was the return of John Doman. He always classes the show up and gives it the additional Godfather style vibe the show needs from its mob boss Carmine Falcone. In a nice nod to The Godfather, Falcone narrowly got his own Apollonia moment when a restaurant valet triggered the car bomb. And in a more recent crime empire homage, Gordon had to rescue Mario from a pair of assassins riding on a motorcycle a la New Jack City.
I dug the tension with Gordon and Mario here as both were right to be suspicious. To Gordon, Mario seemed to have something to hide and Mario couldn’t exactly trust Gordon not to smear his name/delay his wedding to Lee for even the slightest issue.
Carmine’s gangster move of snatching a tooth from one of the assassins was hardcore. And it was even more intriguing when that led to a confrontation with Kathyrn over a potential Falcone/Court of Owls war. With so many parties coming against the Court, I’m curious how prepared they are for an attack from all sides.
The subplot took a bit of a hit with Lee stopping by to visit Gordon and to give him a farewell kiss. And coincidentally, Mario was staking out Gordon’s place on his rehearsal dinner night hoping to catch Lee leaving. Mario didn’t have time to confront her there as two would-be robbers learned Mario has a dark side — and crazier blood running through his veins.
On one hand, I like that Alice’s infected rage blood is still a problem. But it’s kind of a cop out for Gordon’s romantic rival for Lee’s heart to be the latest infected victim. That’s just winning by forfeit. Gordon and Lee’s will they?/won’t they? dynamic is close to becoming really stale at this point.
While the Gordon/Mario subplot might have stumbled at the end, the Nygma storyline was amazing. Ed was convinced Butch had Isabella killed and now was looking for some payback. Barbara, meanwhile, was tearing through Gotham looking for Tabitha and Butch. Her scene at the S&M shop was a little hokey, but Erin Richards can salvage some of these more questionable scenarios and did so again here. More importantly, during her investigation, Barbara learned Penguin’s is crushing on Nygma.
I’m not sure if any character on Gotham has improved more than Nygma. Barbara is probably a very close second. He started off as a nuisance and now he’s Riddler in all aspects besides the green question-mark covered suits. Nygma’s Saw-like decision for Tabitha was crazy. Lose the hand or trigger an electrical charge that would kill Butch.
Gotham writers haven’t been afraid to go for a maiming to advance the story, but even with its track record, Tabitha losing her hand was a shocker. Butch’s Hail Mary ‘confession’ only proved to confirm his innocence. And with Barbara connecting the dots, the Butch/Barbara/Tabitha trio is on the verge of becoming major power players if they can spark a Nygma/Penguin war.
The Bruce/Selina subplot was inconsistent this week largely due to Ivy. While she got the hottie makeover, she’s just as worthless and annoying as she was when she was a child. Ivy did get a nice comic book shout out in mixing herbs in the Wayne Greenhouse, which she used to temporarily make Alfred obey her commands.
Ivy is being used more as the conduit to get Bruce and Selina into various predicaments. Putting Bruce back on a collision course with the Owls was actually worth the Ivy setup though. Too bad Bruce’s new allies and Owl enemies, The Whisper Gang, proved so worthless against the Talon. I’m wondering if Gotham is going to need those Alice infected folks in order to fight back against the Court and their Talons.
Going back to the Lee/Gordon well seems like a misstep, but the further developments of Nygma and Barbara’s crew definitely made Time Bomb the next step of what’s been a great Riddler arc.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: FOX