Gotham recap Ep. 22 – All Happy Families Are Alike

Gotham All Happy Families Are Alike - Gordon, Falcone and BullockI’m not even sure where to begin with this season finale of ‘Gotham.’ Tonight’s season finale was so bat..stuff crazy that it seemed far too often that the writers just gave up and decided to double up on the absurd. Logic be damned.

Perhaps the thinking was if they went heavy on the action, including having Gordon acting like he’s in a John Woo movie, it’d be enough to distract from one of the season’s dumbest episodes. Mission incomplete thanks to some ridiculously out of character decisions that ruined a season’s worth of build-up.

As Falcone and Maroni continue their gang war, Fish Mooney returns in Gotham complete with a new haircut and studs along her partially shaved head. It’s a far more Gotham underboss look than her previous style and I wish she’d rocked this makeover look sooner. Along her stroll back into town, she finds a new ‘weapon’ in Selina, who isn’t doing much of anything and apparently can’t get back into Barbara’s place and joins up.

In a scene reminiscent of ‘New Jack City,’ Falcone is sizing up chickens for his next meal when two of Maroni’s men pull up in the distance on a motorcycle.

Gotham All Happy Families Are Alike - Fish MooneyWhile the seemingly obvious move here is a motorcycle drive-by, Maroni’s men opt for a bazooka strike, but aim for Falcone’s car instead of where Falcone was actually standing. Yeah, I get Falcone getting struck by a bazooka shell would be pretty graphic — even for ‘Gotham,’ but this was the most convoluted way to avoid killing Falcone. At the very least you’d figure Maroni’s men would actually walk over and finish the job, but no as that would require someone on this show to display an iota of competence.

Gordon has a brief respite from the gang wars as he’s checking in on Barbara who’s being examined by Lee. Yep, this isn’t awkward. Barbara is in need of therapy — no surprise to anyone who’s watched more than two episodes — and she decides the only therapist she’ll agree to do the counseling with is the perfectly unqualified Lee. Barb likes her (in a Montoya way or just you seem like a decent person kind of way?) and Lee ignores the conflict of interest since she’s the only doctor/therapist in all of Gotham and it wouldn’t be convenient for the episode for her to use common sense.

Bullock informs Gordon that Falcone’s in hospital recovering from his injuries and Maroni’s men are en route to finish what they started (like they could have done earlier…?). The Penguin (with Bruno) arrive at Falcone’s room and Penguin can’t resist gloating that he started the mob war and he’s just killing Falcone now for business.

Gotham All Happy Families Are Alike - Falcone and PenguinI get the whole evil villain has to reveal his sinister plan before doing anything, but really? Bruno proves to be the least effective bodyguard ever by letting Gordon come right up on them and handcuff them in order to save Falcone. Gordon’s logic is Falcone is the best bad man we’ve got. Again the writers are so frustrating with Gordon’s constantly changing morals. Instead of arresting Falcone for his role in the mob war, like he would have done just three episodes ago, Gordon suddenly finds value in Falcone’s criminal activity?

As Penguin reminds Gordon he owes him a favor (several actually, but who’s counting?), Commissioner Loeb arrives in the hospital with Maroni’s main hitman Tommy Guns. Loeb wants Gordon to clear out and it’s amazing that Gordon never has a recording device on him since he’s around so many corrupt people who have no problem freely admitting their involvement. Gordon goes John Woo on Maroni’s men and Bullock arrives for the last minute save.

They travel to Falcone’s remaining secret hideout, but are greeted by a shotgun-toting Selina and Fish’s crew. Selina has been portrayed as wildly inconsistent as Gordon. This episode she’s a fully hardened criminal with no interest in helping Gordon out even as Fish explains she’ll be killing everyone but Bullock. Why Selina is perfectly fine letting the one guy who has looked out for her all season get killed effectively makes her an awful terrible person, not the cute spunky street urchin the writers have been trying to portray her as all year.

Gotham All Happy Families Are Alike - SelinaMost of the season had been about Fish taking Falcone’s spot so it was more than a bit ridiculous that Fish was now willing to partner up with Maroni and let him kill of his enemies and being his underboss. In another in a series of questionable character actions this episode, Maroni starts gloating and demeaning Fish. Maroni was acting so stupid in this moment it made perfect sense then for Fish to put a bullet in his head and start a shootout with Maroni’s men.

In the chaos, Bullock, Gordon and Falcone hide in a storage bin and Falcone says he’s ready to get out of the business. He apologizes to Gordon for letting him down as this episode goes further and further off the rails. Selina finds them and brings them back to Fish, but before Falcone can explain his retirement plan, Penguin comes back with a machine gun and shoots up the place. Selina escapes and the cops and the ex don leave out as well as Penguin goes after Fish. They fight and Butch struggles to decide whose side he’s on so he shoots both (in the leg? side?). Penguin charges and knocks Fish into the river several feet below in a cop-out ending for future Fish appearances since there’s little chance she didn’t survive. Penguin stands on the ledge declaring himself to be king of Gotham and I’m all set for Butch to push him off too.

Gotham All Happy Families Are Alike - LeighMeanwhile at the weirdest therapy session ever, Barb is deflecting Lee’s questions and wants to have some girl talk like if Jim ever hit her. Lee finally gets Barbara to talk about her encounter with The Ogre and Barbara begins explaining the trip to her parents and absently mentions she killed her parents. And next on her list is Lee as she flashes a big knife and goes all campy horror movie villain as Lee locks herself in the bathroom.

Barbara has been the show’s greatest failure. She started off as nothing more than Gordon’s directionless girlfriend wanting to get let in to his life before getting dragged in by Falcone and realizing it was too much. From there, she became Montoya’s hookup partner before getting dumped and spiraling further as Selina’s frequently drunk mentor. Then she was The Ogre’s latest bondage victim and in her final act she’s now a homicidal lunatic. It felt like the writers throwing their hands up at ever making her redeemable.  Lee fights back and bashes Barbara’s head until she’s knocked out…or dead as it’s a bit vague.

Gotham All Happy Families Are Alike -Kringle and NygmaAnd in case you were worried we wouldn’t get to our favorite star-crossed lovers, Kringle visits Nygma with Officer Daughtery’s letter noticing each sentence spells out his last name. He not so convincingly denies any knowledge, but after she walks off, he starts flipping out that she cracked his code suggesting there may be another victim on The Riddler’s body count very soon.

Gordon meets up with Falcone, who says Gotham needs a strong lawman not a criminal like me. Uhhhh yeah. Falcone gives Gordon his father’s knife saying Poppa Gordon was the most honest cop he’s known. This would be a more meaningful moment had Gordon and Falcone interacted at all in the second half of the season.

All episode, Bruce had been ransacking his father’s study desperately searching for his secret. Just as he’s about to give up, he remembers Gotham All Happy Families Are Alike - Bruce Waynea saying of his father’s and finds a remote … that leads to a cave full of bats. Because he’s Batman you see? Kinda wishing the big final moment of the season hadn’t gotten spoiled in last week’s teaser.

The show had been so up and down and this finale was so bad I wish this was a series finale instead. There may truly not be any saving Gotham at this rate save a fast forward to a post-Batman version of DC’s most famous city.