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clayface gordon

Last week on Gotham, things were coming to a head. Bruce and Lucius had been kidnapped by Hugo Strange and left at the mercy of Edward Nygma. Selina was setting herself up as Firefly’s sidekick. Fish Mooney was brought back from the dead and filled with the power to make people obey her. And Hugo Strange was evacuating his experiments and getting ready to blow Arkham Asylum sky-high. This week is the season finale, so the writers have to wrap all that up in a nice, neat package. But did ‘Transference’ deliver? Not as well as it could have, that’s for sure. Read on for more.

We begin were we left off, with Bruce and Lucius at the mercy of the Riddler-to-be and Gordon at the mercy of Hugo Strange. Plus, the Gordon-double is sent out to sidetrack the GCPD and get them the hell away before they can screw Strange’s plan up. Clayface-Gordon does his job well enough and Bullock pulls out. Strange gives the real Gordon a dose of truth serum and interrogates him. And Nygma quizzes his captives on the same information, helping Strange cover all his bases.

When team evil has all they need, the captives are left in a room to perish in the impending explosion. Bad deal, of course, but it is the way super villains like to handle things. Why kill your enemy when you can let them die later on in a predetermined yet escapable way?

mooney escapes

Unfortunately for Strange, there are a few wild cards in the mix. First, Fish Mooney throws a wrench in the works when she takes over the mind of Miss Peabody. Then Selina screws things up when she manipulates her pal Firefly to fight Mr. Freeze when Strange orders him to kill the little Catwoman-to-be. And, even more surprises, Barbara fouls up the Jim Gordon impersonator when she sees right through his crappy impression.

In the end, Strange gets KOed and captured. And Bruce, Lucius and Gordon escape after disarming the bomb. Nygma doesn’t quite escape, too bad for him. But most of Strange’s experiments also escape when Fish steals a bus and makes a run for it. And so ends the final chapter of season 2 of Gotham.

the bomb

That may be oversimplifying the episode, but there really wasn’t much to it. I was worried that the writers had thrown too many rabid badgers into this sack and I was correct in my assumption. While a lot is going on during the season finale, there isn’t much truly happening. The biggest developments were the end of the Hugo Strange story arc along with the escape of Fish Mooney. Also, the discovery of the presence of a secret council that runs Wayne Enterprises, but that’s a story for the next season. As is the mystery of what will happen to The Penguin now that Mooney is back and has some crazy-ass powers.

There were also several fundamental flaws in the story-telling. Why on Earth would both Bullock and Alfred assume that the person they were talking to (after Clayface takes over) was Jim Gordon? Sure, they aren’t quite at the point where they believe that people can steal other people’s faces, but at the very least they should have suspected that maybe Strange brainwashed him. He was acting so incredibly out of character that bewilderment should not have been the primary reaction. It seems as if their ignorance was more an excuse to bring Barbara into the story.

everyone escapes

Also, why would Fish Mooney, knowing she has crazy-ass mind-control powers, run off without grabbing up some of those delicious, super-powered villains from the asylum bus? She has to be smart enough to know that a couple of extra-special lunatics will make her life much easier in the long run. Or maybe she could have brainwashed them all to go cause havoc everywhere in Gotham while she made her escape. It seemed incredibly out of character for someone who was once used to leading an entire faction and making plans that stretched long into the future.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy this episode, but there were installments of Gotham throughout this season that I enjoyed far more. The finale should not be on par with the season’s typically mediocre filler episodes – it should excel and be one of the best productions in the series. With so much to look after, however, the writers had almost no chance of pulling this one off. It was unfortunate, though I still retain hope that season 3 will make improvements on the show, just as season 2 improved markedly over the first season.

Guess we’ll all have to wait another 8 months or so to find out.

Category: reviews, TV

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