We’re two episodes in the final season of Gotham, but I’m convinced that making No Man’s Land the focus of a season was a brilliant move. A broken, war-torn Gotham is exactly the kind of backdrop that would make sense for the debut of Batman. And with so few citizens remaining, there’s less folks suspicious of a teenage billionaire suddenly becoming a vigilante in training. Trespassers was another fun episode that showed Gotham’s willingness to fully embrace the NML concept with no restraints.
Will Thomas was the kid who managed to escape from The Soothsayers, the group that’s been using child labor. Predictably, Gordon wants to go in guns showing — guns blazing isn’t much of an option with ammo in short supply. But the officials on the mainland want him to stand down and keep the people already in the GCPD zone safe. They’re not coming in with any more relief helicopters. But that was more of a Bruce Wayne thing and not the government so this time I fully support Gordon’s maverick mentality.
I like that Lucius is in on the decision making process now, but I wish Harper wasn’t relegated to the background so much now. She was Gordon’s right hand while Bullock was drinking his pain away.
Gordon tries to appeal to Barbara for aid, namely some trucks to transport the Soothsayers’ child work force. She’s pissed because Gordon didn’t kill Penguin. It’s not like he didn’t know Barbara wants to kill him and he did cripple him.
Before the GCPD can get to the Soothsayers, they’re attacked by the Black Light Skeleton Crew. No Man’s Land is going to give the Gotham producers an opportunity to be real creative with random gangs and villains. Gordon and Bullock get left behind in the shootout with the Soothsayers, but they managed to keep three kids safe as they head into a seemingly innocent house.
But it’s haunted…by a creepy lady called Mother. With her furnace room adorned with teeth, Bullock wisely decides he wants no part of this place. I love that Bullock just ran away screaming after his initial confrontation with Mother. Gordon and Bullock eventually manage to escape somewhat unscathed, but the Soothsayers and BLSC are back for a rematch — until they get shot to pieces by Barbara in her military style truck. I kinda love Unhinged Barbara.
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Bruce, meanwhile, is trying to find the witch who can heal Selina. He stumbles into a graveyard and finds the witch is actually Poison Ivy. This explains why the park has been behaving oddly since NML started. A group of guys managed to lock her up in a tomb until Bruce convinces them to let her out. Ivy expresses her gratitude by killing her captives. I like that Gotham keeps some villains very consistently bad. And also that Ivy gets the Scarecrow treatment meaning her costume looks almost straight out of the comic. The early shots of the Bane outfit are not encouraging, but Gotham has nailed the costumed more often than not and this was another winner.
While Bruce has learned not to trust Ivy, he does convince her to help Selina. Initially Ivy wasn’t sold on helping her since Selina destroyed the last of the Lazarus water. Let’s hear it for writers who can remember character actions/motivations from season to season. I like that slightly antagonistic dynamic here and this is also settling in nicely with the comic as well. Ivy creates a concoction that she says will help Selina, but could also unlock her darkest impulses permanently. Hey, what’s the worst that could happen?
Case in point, Selina takes the cure and convulses for a moment before settling in. But her eyes have a pesky habit of shifting to a cat-like appearance. Hmm, I wonder…
Riddler’s subplot still feels like it’s going nowhere. This episode he chains himself to a bed to prevent Ed from regaining control. But someone is manipulating events to frame Penguin for stealing supplies. Maybe Ed is finding a way around Riddler’s preventive measures?
Trespassers was goofy Gotham fun. It didn’t advance much of the main plot, but further established the state of anarchy and how overmatched the GCPD truly is in this conflict. Who can help them if the government won’t?
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: Fox