Last week was a rather mediocre episode of Gotham, mainly focusing on character development and doing it in a mostly unexciting way. We saw The Penguin and Nygma making friends and having revelations. We saw Jim Gordon struggling with his dark side and winning…er, losing… or perhaps just coming to no set resolution. We also saw Selina trying to save Bruce from the mechanizations of Galavan’s nasty little niece, Silver St. Cloud. And, of course, Galavan’s monks showed up in town, ready to start causing havoc and murdering boy billionaires. This week steers the story toward Bruce even as Gordon and Galavan face off in the prelude to the ultimate showdown. Scroll on for a recap of ‘The Son of Gotham’.
We begin with a lady begin mugged. Suddenly, her attacker is snatched away mysteriously. As it turns out, one of Galavan’s monks is the supposed hero. Though the kidnapped criminal comes to an untimely end as part of some crazy ritual sacrifice.
Meanwhile, Gordon is working double time to find more evidence on Galavan and ensure that the man stays behind bars for as long as possible. He has a hunch that the evil mayor is going to get out of prison one way or the other, so he wants to make sure to have a backup plan. When a lead offers up potential information on Galavan’s associations with The Order of St. Dumas, he and Harvey Bullock go hunting.
They track their clues to a massage parlor where one of the creepy monks tries to take Gordon out. They do their best to capture him, but a jump in front of a speeding truck kills that plan and leaves the pair of detectives looking for another lead. What they do discover is that there appears to be a string of murders and they all look tied to the monks’ need to kill nine people. They also figure out that the enemy is using the sewers to get around. So down they go.
Deep in the depths, Gordon and Bullock find one of the monks’ sacrificial victims. They also find another monk. A brief fight ensues, leaving the monk at their mercy. Since torture isn’t likely to work with these guys, Gordon instead uses a bit of subterfuge. He finds out that their final victim out of the nine is someone known as “the son of Gotham”.
At last, we finally get to the trial of Theo Galavan. The former mayor takes the stand and, contrary to everything he’s said before, testifies against Galavan. So it’s one-two-three and the bad guy walks free. What’s more, he has Gordon snatched away by a couple of his goons dressed up to look like cops. Unfortunately for Galavan, he commits the classic villain error of monologuing – thus giving Gordon some much-needed information – and then leaving his enemy to be taken care of by his lackeys. This gives The Penguin time to show up and save Gordon’s ass from an unpleasant fate.
Sure, things are twisting and turning with the main bad guy, but the best part of this episode is devoted to Bruce, Selina and Silver. Figuring out that Silver is completely full of shit, Bruce and Selina come up with a plan. He claims that he’ll provide Galavan with the best lawyers money can buy if Silver gets the name of his parents’ killer. But when they go to exchange information, Silver gets kidnapped by some thugs in a truck who then use her to snatch Bruce.
Some baddie with a Scottish accent lectures the pair of pre-teens and threatens them with torture if they don’t tell him everything he wants to know. One of those things just happens to be the name of the Wayne killer. After Bruce gets dragged off to be cut into pieces, Silver finally spits out as much as she knows. Of course, it all turns out to be a ruse. Once the information is had, Bruce and Selina step out from the shadows to let her know she’s been played.
In the meanwhile, we also have Alfred looking around for Bruce at Galavan’s apartment. Instead of Bruce, however, he finds Galavan’s sister. They fight and Alfred kicks ass, though in the end he gets cut up pretty bad and is forced to flee in the back of a garbage truck. For fans of Nygma, we get to see him back at work, though he’s not the same jovial guy he used to be. Nowadays, Edward is a cold, calculating manipulator. Also, his roommate, The Penguin, finds out that Galavan was set free and sets off in a rage to get some serious revenge.
And right before the curtain drops, Galavan arrives at Wayne Manor. With no Alfred present, there’s nobody there to stop him from grabbing the titular Son of Gotham and preparing for the final sacrifice.
As I already stated, the best thing about ‘Son of Gotham’ was the development of Bruce’s character and the little ploy he and Selina came up with in order to trick Silver. We are seeing Bruce’s mind getting sharper with subterfuge as well as watching his heart grow a little bit colder. He’s developing the skills necessary to become The Batman; not just the martial skills, but those that will strengthen his mind against all of the villains and challenges to come.
Better yet, Selina is right there with him, showing him new ways to think about things; ways to break the rules without compromising his morals. Bruce knows now that he can’t trust most people, even those who claim to be close to him. Though Selina is one person he can trust, despite their very different outlooks on the way the world works. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this type of development as the series progresses.
The rest of the show was solid, moving steadily along so that the writers can present their climax come next week’s mid-season finale. It’ll be The Penguin, side-by-side with Gordon, versus Galavan and his army of monks. Very little of the episode was wasted this week, which is good considering how much they need to get done in order to finish out the half-season. It wasn’t the best showing of the season, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.
The only real issue that I (still) have is that Galavan is and shall always be one of the most boring villains ever conceived. Hopefully the mid-season finale also happens to be his finale and we can move on to bigger and better things come Gotham’s return next year.
Next week, ‘Worse Than a Crime’ has Galavan and his army of creepy monks ready to sacrifice Bruce and take the city for their own. So it’s up to The Penguin and Gordon to join up and stop him before all hell breaks loose. Check out the trailer for that one below.