Ghosts kicked off the downfall of Penguin’s empire and the potential return of Gotham’s Joker stand-in. That’s a promising way to launch the second half of the season, but getting there was rougher than usual.
Penguin has been a hard character to feel any sympathy for lately. Sure, his parents’ deaths were tragic, but he’s lacked the kind of sniveling sense of aspiration he had back in season 1. It almost feels like the writers don’t know what to do with him and have to repeat this roller coaster of Penguin in power, loses it, rinse and repeat.
If nothing else, Penguin seeing ghosts of his father (Paul Reubens) should have more impact. But because Penguin is frequently portrayed as an emotional wreck with both mommy and daddy issues, his reaction wasn’t shocking.
While Penguin has stumbled, Nygma has firmly established himself as Gotham’s most interesting character. It’s almost unfair how easily he manipulated Penguin, but watching Nygma break him down so coldly and emotionless makes for a nice contrast.
Where Penguin is all impulse, Nygma coolly takes his time in breaking down those who wrong him. This was a cool way to work Gotham’s version of Clayface back into the mix playing Penguin’s pappy. I’m very interested in seeing where this storyline will head.
Gotham has been pretty good about not going the obvious route with storylines so hopefully that’s the case with Selina’s mom (Ivana Milicevic). It seems a little too obvious that she’s only returned to take advantage of Selina’s friendship with Bruce to get some of that Wayne cash. Or maybe she’s after whatever’s hiding in that crystal owl?
Gordon had some dues to pay after killing Mario Falcone. It made tons of sense for Carmine Falcone to want revenge, but it was hard to see Lee’s perspective. Did she really think Gordon had some non-lethal option of stopping Mario from killing her? Despite her misguided anger, the grieving widow role made for a nice personality shift for Lee … for as long as it lasted.
It was too bad the writers rushed her angry grieving process to understand Gordon’s side before the end of the episode. While it was great to see crazy Barnes, having Lee recognize there is no cure for the Tetch rage virus so quickly made her anger seem irrelevant.
On the plus side it did allow for the return of Zsasz as he was dispatched to gun down Gordon. Zsasz has a cool, unstoppable hitman vibe and I would have been fine with a few more episodes of Gordon narrowly avoiding his assassination attempts.
It’s just as well that the Gordon/Falcone beef wrapped up since he and Bullock look to have a bigger problem ahead. Their investigation into a mysteriously resurrected girl leads them to Dwight (David Dastmalchian, who ironically played Jervis Tetch in The Dark Knight) and a cult of Jerome disciples.
Harvey had the line of the night questioning if anyone stays dead in this town, which easily would have applied to the series. Jerome certainly piqued viewers’ interest so bringing him back might not be the worst idea.
The thought of Jerome menacing Gotham does sound like a lot of fun so we’ll see how Gotham plans on delivering on this one.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: FOX