Gotham Ruin review S5 E4

Ruin featured a trio of big surprises and the return of one of my favorite Batman rogues. So far Gotham hasn’t missed yet in its final season.

Things start in the aftermath of the Haven explosion. Barbara has Penguin in her sights, but the screams and devastation manage to subdue even Barbara’s need for payback in this setting. It’s just as well since Penguin was equally emotional and distraught since some of his people were still at Haven. To really sell the significance of this attack, Bullock hands Gordon the badge he’d given to young Will. He was among the 311 dead at the Haven bombing and everyone wants answers. I’d like to get a question resolved too, namely how is Gordon keeping his suits so neat and clean? The Haven bombing also proved costly with resources as drinking water reserves had to be used to put out the blaze.

Gordon is desperate for answers and goes to Barbara to ensure she wasn’t behind it. Ouch Jim. As much as I’ve loved Psycho Barbara, it was weird actually feeling sorry for her. Penguin arrives at GCPD proposing a no-strings attached partnership to take down the Haven bomber complete with weapons. That’s too good a deal for Gordon to pass up and their various leads take them to a warehouse with a lone sniper taking aim at them. It’s Zsasz. Comic book Zsasz absolutely would revel in causing that much death, but Gotham version is far smoother.gotham - ruin review -penguin

Penguin goes along with Gordon’s ridiculous plan to blow two minutes worth of ammo to keep Zsasz pinned down long enough for him to stop him. Even with evidence proving Zsasz wasn’t the killer, Penguin sparks a near riot as the people want justice. Gordon delivers a great, moving speech — one of his best actually — but it does nothing. Finally, he does what he does best and just grabs Zsasz to prevent the execution. Zsasz talks big after Gordon and Bullock ride off and Gordon decides he’s had enough crap from people who don’t really care about Gotham. Time for a shootout. Zsasz talks tough, but actually being a cop killer is a bad look for a guy who tends to do his dirt in the dark. He backs down and lets Gordon feel good about himself for a while. Bullock rightfully calls Gordon out for this fresh brand of foolishness, but did it sink it?

I really love how this feels more like something that would happen in a future Batman storyline. Gordon is busy being the face for this tragedy and trying to maintain order while Bruce/Batman is dealing with another menace.

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In Ruin, that’s the Church of Jeremiah as some of his masked goons try to take him down while he’s still handcuffed following his falling out with Selina. Bruce didn’t come unprepared though as Alfred makes the save when one goon comes up with a gun. Alfred understands the Bruce/Selina dynamic and knows Bruce will never be able to save Selina from herself. But since neither of them will get it, Alfred has to watch out for them like a good chaperone.

Selina infiltrates Jeremiah’s work force and watches a delightfully bizarre exchange between Ecco and Jeremiah. I’m kind of upset that Gotham is doing these great interpretations of Batman’s Rogues just as the series is about to end. Selina gets in close enough to stab Jeremiah seemingly enough times to kill him, but you never know with those Valeska boys. Bruce and Alfred arrive before Jeremiah’s goons can catch her and it looks like a big win for the good guys.

Riddler wakes to a note with a message that an inmate knows. His efforts to casually break in to the GCPD files and grab the info fail and he’s forced to work with Lucius in discovering a lead on the Haven bomber. I like how Gotham has established Lucius as Riddler’s intellectual rival/equal. Riddler is just as crushed at the Haven devastation as Barbara and Penguin and is motivated to finding the assassin beyond selfish reasons. Their investigation leads them to a rooftop with the RPG case left behind. There’s a connection with the RPG that shot down the relief copter Bruce called in. While Lucius follows-up on that lead, Riddler notices an old woman in a nearby building that could have seen the Haven culprit.

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He’s surprised when she’s terrified to see him and it’s not until she tries to ‘fight back’ by clubbing his head that it all comes together. It was Ed who launched the RPG. The Riddler is the Haven killer. Not gonna lie, I didn’t see that coming as I just knew that was Bane. That fit in with his Knightfall antics from the comics so I never bothered considering Ed a suspect. As thanks for helping to restore his memory, Riddler uses the woman’s wheelchair to launch her out the window. Kinda makes clubbing him seem like a really bad idea in hindsight, huh?

And in the other big shock, Barbara visits Gordon at GCPD. With Tabitha dead and Selina crazy, her list of close allies is real slim these days. She comes close enough to Gordon to suggest she’s down for rekindling their old flame, but pulls away. Then Gordon grabs her and they make out.

This is going to sound so hypocritical after loudly hating every second of the season 1 romance, but I am oddly really down for a Gordon/Barbara romance now. Would making me care about these two crazy kids getting together in the end be Gotham’s greatest accomplishment?

Ruin had a killer payoff with the Haven bomber reveal, Selina’s payback on Jeremiah and more of Gotham plunging to a dark time. I’m not sure if Gotham has gotten even better this season because the writers have no restraints or just the natural evolution of the series? Either way, I’m really loving it right now.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Photo Credit: FOX

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