Warning: There's some spoilers for the episode in this review
It's the mid-season finale and a group of contract killers are after Selina at the Wayne estate. Selina and Bruce make their escape though. The two go on a tour of the underground world of Gotham. Bruce meets a young Poison Ivy who is incredibly creepy. Bruce and Selina find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place while a local fence holds the prisoner for the assassins.
Meanwhile, Gordon talks to Harvey Dent about who knows that Selina was staying at the Wayne manor and finds this whole event is a bit deeper than it seems. Alfred shows his love for Bruce by going head-first into battle to save him, and Gordon finds that the Mayor is a huge jerk.
Coming out of last week's lackluster episode, "Lovecraft" continues on building up and strengthening the relationship between Bruce and Selina and surprisingly, it actually works well on the small screen. They're kids and both a bit awkward, but Selina comes off as a mentor here as she shows Bruce what it is like to live on the streets and that in the end, you have no one to trust but yourself. The episode builds upon what will eventually become the incredibly unhealthy relationship between Batman and Catwoman and we see inklings of the future during the scenes with these characters.
We got to see a completely new side of Alfred in this episode. In past episodes, he's been a father figure to Bruce but never shown the side we got to see here: the bad ass side. During numerous moments of this episode, Alfred really opens up and beats down the bad guys in order to keep Bruce, and Selina, safe. Alfred really grows here more than any other time during this season, while, at the end of the episode, he rushes into battle. It's a great moment for this character, and it was a ton of fun to watch him win a few fights.
Award for most disturbing way to open up an episode goes to "Lovecraft." The main assassin, who is never named, chokes out a Wayne Manor gardener and then has another assassin cut the now dead man open so she can wipe blood across her forehead for a ruse. Well, that really set a bizarre tone for the episode but it was an attention-getting experience that hooks the viewer in.
The dialogue with Selina was mountains better than it was in previous episodes, but there were a few times where Bruce came off as robotic and fro another world. Understandably, Bruce is from the world of the rich and powerful and Selina is from the poverty-stricken streets, but early on, Bruce's lines just didn't fit and came off clunky. Whether that was the writing or just the way David Mazouz read it is unknown, but the early lines of dialogue in the episode were rough.
The main woman assassin is terrible in her fight scenes. She really only has one moment where she shows off her moves, when Gordon and she are fighting in Lovecraft's apartment, but in said scene, her moves are clunky and have no power to them. She's not believable when throwing a punch. So many scenes with her doing "cool" things seem to take place right before she does them, then the camera cuts away, or she jumps up to something, while a character watches her do it, then the camera cuts to her landing. Obviously, not all actors and actresses are limber fighters, but it became obvious that cuts were made because she couldn't handle the moves.
This episode really shined at the end as Gordon and the Mayor butt heads, with Dent in the room. That is a great scene and it shows that while Gordon can make a change on a smaller scale, he's still going to come up against adversity, seeing that the Mayor likes things the way they are and does something that's going to make for some interesting future episodes: he sends Gordon to work at Arkham Asylum. Who's pumped for Gotham to return from the break? Everyone should be. This is a great way to go out, if only the rest of the episode could have been this engaging.
"Lovecraft" is better than last week's episode, but it's just ok. Sure, the Selina and Bruce adventures were fun, but Gotham isn't really a fun show and devoting a whole episode to them running around while Alfred and Bullock try to find them felt contradictory in tone. It seemed like the show sacrificed expanding on a lot of other stories to tell this one, so that's really where a lot more disappointment comes from. However, the moments that shined were some of the most memorable of the season, like Alfred running into battle to save the kids, Gordon getting shipped off to Arkham, and Edward Nygma giving Gordon the most awkward hug while Gordon was packing up. The overall season has been a complete blast and the series is great, but this episode was down the middle of the road.