The time is upon us, Gotham fans! It is the final episode of the season, the final reckoning of whether the show will leave people with a desire for more. Last week things started to heat up, with The Penguin starting an all-out gang war, Nygma getting a bit more Riddler-y and little Bruce Wayne on his way to discovering some secrets about his father. We know Fish is coming back this episode to play out whatever part the writers have given her, but how will it all end up? Will we be looking forward to a season 2? Read on to find out what this Bastard thinks.
We begin with the long-awaited (and long-lamented) return of Fish Mooney. She’s back in town and looking to get some of that power back. All we get is a brief intro, however, and then the show takes us two weeks into the future. The gangs are going ape-shit on each other and the GCPD is caught in the middle. Their cells are rapidly filling up with thugs from both sides of the war and, when Falcone almost gets killed and ends up in the hospital, the politicians decide to shift their support to Maroni. This doesn’t sit too well with Gordon, as he sees Maroni as a mad dog and much prefers the calm ways of doing business that Falcone uses.
The Penguin, despite his intense hatred of Maroni, goes to pay Falcone a visit – a lethal visit. But Gordon has the same idea and ends up foiling a very long-winded assassination attempt. That’s when Maroni’s guys show up and try to finish the job. One shoot-out later and Gordon, Bullock and their trio of bad guy companions are fleeing for their lives. They think they have a safe place to hide out, but it turns out that Fish knows all about Falcone’s secret spot.
So now Fish is back and she’s making a power play. The idea is to sell Falcone to Maroni and get her old territory back. Maroni, however, has a certain idea about the way the new balance of power will be set up. Fish doesn’t like this, so she puts a bullet in his head. Another shoot-out ensues and this one allows the captives to flee. Gordon, Falcone and Bullock are rounded up in short order, but The Penguin manages to get away. At least until he comes back with a large machine gun and an urge to murder absolutely everyone.
It all comes down to a final battle between Fish and The Penguin. When those two don’t seem able to finish each other off, Butch shows up. His loyalty for Fish clashes with his brainwashing to be Penguin’s boy and he just decides that shooting both of them in the leg is the best idea. The Penguin recovers his wits first and, after bashing Butch over the head, he tosses old Fish into the river where she perishes in the typical might-be-back-later sort of way that is common to villains in the comic book realm.
Meanwhile, we have Barbara recovering from her ordeal with The Ogre. Despite the obvious mental trauma, she refuses to get any sort of psychological help unless the person helping happens to be Dr. Thompkins. So it’s the new girlfriend versus the old one as they sit to have a chat. After getting increasingly personal, Barbara finally lets loose with the fact that she, not The Ogre, was the one who killed her parents. And then she tries to murder Thompkins! Luckily for Gordon’s state-of-mind, crazy Barbara is unsuccessful.
And finally, Bruce spends his portion of this episode trying to figure out his dad’s secret. After tearing the study apart, he finds what he’s looking for hidden away in a book. It’s a remote that opens a secret fireplace door. And behind that – a stairway leading down into the darkness.
Oh, and there’s a small bit with Nygma. When Miss Kringle figures out the riddle he left in the fake note from her former (and now dead) boyfriend, she calls him out on it. He denies it, of course, but he’s getting crazier and crazier every day, so it looks like season 2 might be his time.
As far as an episode of Gotham goes, this one wasn’t so bad. As far as a season closer, it really wasn’t the best. It wrapped things up nicely while setting up for a potential second season, but there really weren’t any outstanding climaxes. Fish putting a bullet in Maroni’s head was pretty awesome, as was The Penguin wielding a machine gun and looking like a lunatic. But other than a few key moments, it was like most other episodes of Gotham – good, but not great.
There were a few bad things that really stuck out. Little Selina joining up with Fish and running around with a gun seemed way out-of-place. I know she murdered a guy a few episodes back, but why the sudden turn to super-badness? This seemed like more of a character development moment and something that should have been in the middle of a season and resolved by the end of it. The way it was presented here, Selina’s change felt almost random.
Other than that, we had the typical action sequence flaws in abundance. Cars took tons of bullets without immediately breaking down, everyone shot their weapons with the accuracy of drunk stormtroopers, etc. As much as it pains me to say it, watching Daredevil has raised the bar on action so much for me that I find myself disappointed in the way Gotham conducts its business. Maybe they’ll learn something and raise their own bar next time around?
So far, season 2 has been confirmed, although no definite release date is set. We also know that The Joker’s development will play a major role in the next season and that a couple other familiar faces – Clayface and The Mad Hatter – will be showing up. Being as how I’ve been equally impressed and disappointed with the show so far, I can only hope that Gotham does what Arrow did with its season 2 and markedly improves every aspect. After all, if Arrow could turn from the mess it was into the awesome that it is now, can’t Gotham do the same?