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Gotham‘s last episode before the midseason break didn’t quite have the impact you want to leave viewers with who are going to spend nearly 2 months waiting for the next installment.

Still, it had its moments, and did a decent job of setting up the next semester of the show’s freshman year. Problem was they “closed for the holidays” with a follow-up episode. “LoveCraft” is in every way the sequel to the events of “Harvey Dent”. When you’re closing shop for several weeks, it’s much better to leave the fans with something that stands on its own.

In any case, “LoveCraft” is principally concerned with the continuing story of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova). If you recall, last week the young cutpurse came to live at Wayne Manor at the behest of Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie): Selina is the only eyewitness to the Wayne murders, and Gordon knows that once that info gets out, Gotham is chock full of powerful individuals who are perfectly happy with the official explanation of who killed the Waynes–and aren’t above having a teenage girl rubbed out to maintain the status quo. Thus, he convinced Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Bruce to “Cat sit” until Miss Kyle has a chance to testify against the real killer.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a very interesting show if this plan actually worked, assassins show up at the manor–and Bruce and Selina flee as Alfred stays behind to kick ass.

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“LoveCraft” marks the return to Gotham of Ivy Pepper (Clare Foley)–daughter of the late, falsely accused Wayne murderer Mario Pepper. Ivy showed up in Gotham‘s pilot just long enough for everyone to look at her and go: “OHHHHHHH!”, and we haven’t seen her since.

This disturbed, plant-loving ginger orphan now lives amongst Gotham’s street kids, and seems pretty close to Selina–though even she finds Ivy unsettling.

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Meanwhile, Gordon, Bullock (Donal Logue)–who is less than thrilled when he learns about Jim’s plans–and Alfred head to Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett-Smith) to hopefully find where Bruce and Selina are hiding–they’re looking for the name of the fence Selina unloads her swag on, and Fish knows all the fences.

Speaking of Fish, after her successful destruction of Falcone’s (John Doman) secret coffers at the old armory, the Don has Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) brought to him–assuming Maroni pulled the job, and curious as to how his rival learned of his most private hiding place. Maroni, of course, didn’t do it–Oswald implicates Fish, but his past history with her makes Falcone question his motives.

Oswald suggests that Falcone has a mole in his organization–which leads to a half-second appearance of Liza (Mackenzie Leigh): Fish’s dull as dishwater spy/assassin/God knows what. Thankfully, that’s all we have to endure of her. Oswald doesn’t name Liza as Falcone’s mole–not yet anyway.

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Meanwhile, Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto) is still trying to tie the Wayne killings to corrupt tycoon Dick Lovecraft (Al Sapienza). He assumes that Lovecraft hired the assassins to go after Selina as a response to his accusations–which is exactly what he was counting on: Lovecraft has made his move, and if Gordon can get the assassins, they can testify to Lovecraft’s involvement.

Of course, it’s nowhere nearly that simple. Gordon catches up with Lovecraft, only to find that the same assassins who are after Selina and Bruce are after him.

Lovecraft makes some shadowy insinuations about powers beyond anything Gordon has faced so far that are behind everything: Something bigger and badder than Falcone, Maroni, the local Government, and the GCPD combined. Then the assassins knock out Gordon and shoot Lovecraft with the Detective’s own gun.

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Mayor Aubrey James (Richard Kind) tears Gordon a new asshole over this: He doesn’t believe that Gordon killed Lovecraft, but the circumstances make him decide to cover up the billionaire’s murder and call it a suicide.

Gordon (quite colorfully) tells His Honor what he thinks of this plan–and gets demoted to guard duty at Arkham Asylum for his trouble.

The idea was to give Gordon such a humiliating assignment that he’d quit–which shows how well they know Jim Gordon.

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In summary, “LoveCraft” was a passable episode that aired when an exceptional episode was called for.It’s not bad–I was just looking for something more to tide me over for the Gotham-less weeks to come.

There ARE plenty of good moments: Mazouz and Bicondova are fantastic together, The relationship between Bruce and Alfred assumed a new dimension when we witness the first time Alfred had to physically defend his charge’s life. Clare Foley’s Ivy is compelling–and I really hope she gets further development in the next half of the season. Watching Gordon tell off Mayor James was cathartic–and you have to be made of stone to not smile when Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) awkwardly and unexpectedly hugs the disgraced Detective goodbye.

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It’s one of those episodes with great performances and character development, but a weak story.

These are wonderful characters portrayed by talented actors–they deserve more interesting things to do.

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God willing, things will improve in the second half–with its deeper exploration of Arkham, and with Oswald accepting the mantle of The Penguin.

See you in January, folks–Happy Holidays!

 

 

Category: Comics, Featured, reviews

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