Gotham Episode #122: "All Happy Families Are Alike"

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Posted by inferiorego (25733 posts) - - Show Bio
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Note: There will be spoilers for the episode in this recap and review.

Recap

On this week's episode of Gotham, Fish Mooney returns to Gotham and Selina is the first to see her. Two weeks passes since then. Bruce smashes a picture to look for secrets around Wayne manor. Alfred talks to him about father. Bruce thinks there's some sort of secret within his father's office.

Falcone finds a chicken he likes. Someone pulls up on a motorcycle and tries to blow him up, it hits his car. GCPD is getting crowded with criminals. Barbara is in Leslie's office getting some sort of help.Leslie says Barbara needs trauma counseling, but Barbara says she's fine. Barbara wants Leslie to be her counselor. Leslie gives in.

Falcone wakes up in the hospital, strapped to a bed. Penguin and Butch pay him a visit. Butch has an automatic rifle. Penguin tells Falcone that he started the war. Penguin says he's going to be the king of Gotham. Falcone says Penguin will burn in hell. Gordon rushes in and tells everyone to freeze and arrests them both for attempted murder. Falcone is freed and says he can take control of Gotham again but he needs a couple days. Gordon calls Bullock and asks for help. One of Maroni's men comes in and asks what he's doing there, then walks off. Penguin begs for Gordon's help and says that Gordon owes him a Penguin. Commissioner Loeb walks in and tells Gordon to leave. Loeb walks off and Maroni's men and Gordon get into a shootout, where once again, everyone misses each other. Eventually, Gordon shoots two of the men chasing him and Bullock comes in.

Maroni and his men show up, but it's too late. Gordon, Bullock, Falcone, Penguin, and Butch have escaped.The ambulance they escaped in heads to a warehouse. Selina walks in with a new haircut and giant rifle. Behind her is Fish, also with a new haircut. Fish talks to Maroni on the phone. Falcone says he has a knife in his sock. Gordon questions why Selina is there, but she's sassier than ever.

Barbara and Leslie continue their counseling and Barbara seems to have a bit of the Stockholm Syndrome. Barbara is asking if Jim ever hits Leslie. Barbara is clearly unbalanced.

Maroni arrives at the warehouse and greets Fish. Penguin begs to save Falcone's life. There's some tension between Maroni and Fish. He talks down to her over and over and Fish looks pissed. He does it over and over again and Fish shoots Maroni in the head...wait... what? Hold on a second... What?

Barbara and Leslie talk over tea and cake. Barbara wants to know more about the relationship between Leslie and Jim.

Gordon, Bullock, and Falcone are hiding out and Selina finds them. Falcone tells Fish he's out and Fish can have Gotham. Penguin comes in with a gigantic machine gun. Penguin grabs a pistol and shoots a guys. He's looking for Fish. Gordon and Bullock get in a car an leave.

Barbara finishes up telling her story about the Ogre and killing Barbara's parents. Barbara confesses she slit her parents' throats. Leslie freaks out and stands up and Barbara pulls a knife. Leslie runs to the bathroom and tries to make a call. Barbara smashes a panel out of the door, much like The Shining. Leslie breaks the mirror and grabs a piece. The two start fighting after Barbara breaks the door. Leslie knocks her out and Gordon, Bullock, and Falcone enter the apartment.

Penguin is walking around with a gun, looking for Fish. Fish blindsides him and they start fighting. Butch has a gun on them. Both Fish and Penguin are asking Butch to shoot the other one. Butch shoots them both in the torso. Penguin hits Butch with something and Penguin tosses Fish off the rooftop and into the bay.

Nygma is hanging out and Ms Kringle tells him in the break-up note she got, the first letter of every line is a letter in Nygma's name. Kringle suspects something, as she should since Nygma got all stabby and killed the man. Kringle leaves and Nygma is mad with himself because he left a clue. He's having a breakdown of sorts.

Gordon and Falcone chat. Falcone says Gotham needs a lawman to take care of the city.

Alfred wants Bruce to stop searching around his father's office for something secret. Bruce finds a remote in an old book. Alfred says not to press it. Bruce presses it and the music for the office plays and the fireplace begins moving. There's a staircase.... The end.

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Thoughts

The first season is over and the final episode really didn't pull any punches, did it? Seriously, there was some craziness going on here and let's just get right to the biggest part of the episode... Sal Maroni.

As you may be able to tell from the recap part of this piece, not only was I surprised, but my jaw was on the floor. Sal Maroni is dead... and I'm completely fine with it. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Maroni and the actor that played him, David Zayas, and yes, Maroni doesn't die when Bruce is a kid, but we're in whole different universe right now, and killing off Maroni showed the audience that no one is safe. Yes, these are all based on characters we know and love, but that doesn't mean showrunners are going to play in the exact same sandbox with the exact same toys as the comic book does. Strangely enough, I actually applaud this move.

Speaking of death and whatnot. What's up with Fish? Is she dead or alive? Although many folks don't like her, I'm hoping for alive, for a few reasons. While Penguin may try to take the role of King of Gotham, he needs someone to butt heads with. Sure, it'll happen with Gordon, but he needs someone in the criminal element. In addition, Selina working for Fish was a great move, and it will help that character grow a lot from some random street rat, to someone rising in the criminal element of Gotham. I'm also very pro-haircuts for Fish and Selina.

What made the overall episode really work was the fact the "coming war for Gotham" had been building up since the start of the show. It doesn't pay off as huge as other episodic television shows, but they do a good job with what they got.

The ending was great/insanely frustrating. I'm talking about the Bruce Wayne finding his father's secret hideout. It's great to know Thomas Wayne had secrets of his own, but it's such a tease and it sucks that we have to wait to find out more. I was really hoping for like maybe an owl sculpture somewhere... Yes, I am really hoping Thomas Wayne was involved with the Court of Owls somehow. Anyway, the ending we were presented does really make me want to keep watching the show.

One of the strangest things here was just the pacing of the show and how scenes were stacked on top of each other. The Barbara/Leslie scenes were almost set up as these "set-up/punchline" moments where each character would get a line of dialogue, and then it would move back to Gordon and company. The resolution of Barbara's story should be pretty important, since it deals with a three-episode plot, but they kept it in these bite-sized morsels and it becomes this forgettable part of the episode.

The other big problem with the the pacing and how everything was put together is how they put the Fish/Penguin fight scene right after the Leslie/Barbara fight scene. The audience doesn't even have time to digest anything before they're thrusted right into a secondary plot fight scene.

Overall, this was a very solid season finale to a season that was easily one long roller coaster ride. Everything gets a nice conclusion to it and characters are adapting to some new roles. I'm very curious to see what the second season is going to bring now.

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#1 Edited by NightFang3 (12362 posts) - - Show Bio

Well that was crazy a finale!

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#2 Posted by storm-is-life (854 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked it

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#3 Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

Season 2 better have Gordon in a mech suit.

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#4 Posted by akbogert (3323 posts) - - Show Bio

Nygma remains my favorite thing about this show.

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#5 Edited by SightlessReality (4979 posts) - - Show Bio

The Nygma breakdown scene was the best part in my opinion.

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#6 Posted by godzilla44 (7361 posts) - - Show Bio

How can you not talk about Nygma he was amazing at the end.

Also great finale this was downhill but really picked up towards the end :)

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#7 Posted by judasnixon (12663 posts) - - Show Bio
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#8 Posted by ComicsrulebutDBZdoes2 (7566 posts) - - Show Bio

Barbara and seline change character more times than the big show

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#9 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (12493 posts) - - Show Bio
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#10 Posted by BigHeadGaming (24 posts) - - Show Bio

This show makes Jim Gordan so awesome. I love the choices for the actors on the show. Riddler is crazy.

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#12 Posted by BigHeadGaming (24 posts) - - Show Bio

Sorry.

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#13 Posted by Ducey13 (396 posts) - - Show Bio

This episode was so frankin stupid I wanted to fall off the ledge with Fish myself. No explanation for Fish surviving the gunshot wound while escaping Doll Maker's island and suddenly getting a new haircut and wardrobe. Selina joining for no damn reason whatsoever. After Maroni's death, Gordon, Bullock, and Falcone escaping for 5 minutes only to talk loudly in an echoing dock container and being captured again, yet no one could find Penguin who apparently never left after the shootout. Penguin channeling his inner Titanic while screaming "i'm King of the World/Gotham". Suddenly Falcone cant wait to retire after swearing to crush his enemies and rededicating himself in the mid-season finale. BTW, whatever happened to Montoya and Allen? I didn't mind Gordon and Falcone having a bonding moment after the melee since it parallels their talk from the first episode. HOWEVER, you'd think Gordon would ask Falcone who killed the Waynes and why before he takes off for his private island. Even if Falcone had said "I don't know, it wasn't me" that would have been acceptable because it would have kept the mystery going to next season and possibly pointed the finger in the direct of the Board of Directors. I did like that Mrs. Kringle caught Nygma's clue (it was incredibly easy), but I was hoping for more from them tonight. Also, the stuff with Barbara was really good too, but maybe they should have put that on ice till next season because while it was good it disrupted from everything else that was going on. Barbara was such a horrible terrible character all season, I started to wonder if all the crap she's been through this year, culminated with her abduction by the Orge is what led to her going cuckoo. That this was the plan all along. But that be giving Gotham too much credit. While I loved David Zayas, killing Maroni showed that this show isn't going to be a slave to the comics. Anything can happen. Which I'm fine with so long as they don't completely go off the reservation.

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#14 Posted by SynCig (1105 posts) - - Show Bio

This was a 2 star episode in my opinion. I hated the stuff with Barbara. If anyone watches Sleepy Hollow, it felt very similar to them turning Katrina "evil" in that show at the end of the season. Just like that, it didn't feel earned and ultimately, in my opinion at least, felt more like they gave up on making her an interesting character and decided to have her be a killer instead. It's lazy and poor writing. On top of that, there were so many plot threads that were just thrown together and various character choices and interactions, as is the norm on Gotham, were nonsensical. See Ducey13's comment above for further elaboration on that because that comment reflects many of my own thoughts as well. I think the only part of the episode that I liked was the Nygma breakdown. I'm neutral about Bruce finding the hidden entrance. It could be cool. As of now there isn't really any way to know.

So, and again I will re-iterate that this my OPINION, I felt like that 80% of Gotham this season was pretty bad. That 20% was why I kept tuning in but that likely won't be enough to get me back next season. If I hear positive word of mouth (like AoS, which has really done a 180 this season), then I may return but as of now, I have zero interest in more Gotham.

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#15 Posted by venomoushatred1001 (12469 posts) - - Show Bio
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#16 Edited by SynCig (1105 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh, and Fish's ambiguous end is because Jada was only signed for 1 season. Ending it that way allows for a potential return if they are able to sign her again but if not then she can just be dead. Personally, I hope she's dead. Her character was insufferable imo.

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#17 Posted by TrueMarvel (578 posts) - - Show Bio

no one mentions how selina had absolutely no motive to join fish? None. This episode could have done without her completely. No for real. watch it again

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#18 Edited by CatBoy (48 posts) - - Show Bio

And am I forgetting something (which is highly possible - because this season has been on for awhile) - but when was it alluded that Falcone knew Gordon's father?

I never remember them having that connection, and the whole knife scene at the end of the episode seemed super forced.

Speaking of connections, I really wish Selina was more connected with the Mafia as she is in the comics - I was hoping they would kind of go deeper in to her back story and it would be revealed she was Falcone's illegitimate child which would drive her to join Fish Mooney - not just that its a "cool gig."

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#19 Posted by Greendevil (2681 posts) - - Show Bio

This show is a waste of time. Im happy its over!

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#20 Posted by AwesomePerson (2767 posts) - - Show Bio

I am semi happy this season is over and hoping S2 is better...

Riddler was awesome!

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#21 Posted by TrueMarvel (578 posts) - - Show Bio

5(?) weeks since of Agents of Shield has had a review but we can review this garbage of a show consistently... If the guy in charge of the AOS reviews is busy, the LEAST you guys can do is make a discussion thread and allow us commenters to review and discuss it ourselves. Flash and AOS are the best comicbook TV shows on air currently. You are doing the show a disservice by acting like it doesn't exist

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#22 Posted by MrCobain215 (26 posts) - - Show Bio
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#23 Posted by Sachmoo (2500 posts) - - Show Bio

Show stumbled to the finish line but that's fine. I think they did a good job or setting up plot lines through out, just a poor job of executing them. That will change come season 2.

While i disliked Selina just joining up on a whim, it can lead to interesting stuff in season 2. She got a taste of the Mafia life, and she enjoyed it. Now with Fish likely gone, will she join up with another Boss? I assume she will still pal around with Bruce on chances, so it will be just like the Selina we know.

The Nygma part was my favorite. I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes the big bad of-sorts next season.

Im also interested to see how far removed nest season will start. Are we going to get a more High schoolish Bruce and Selina, or stick with pre-teens?

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#24 Posted by buttersdaman000 (22720 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a shame this show got renewed when series like Constantine are left on the fence or possibly cancelled :/

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#25 Edited by TheBlackHood (594 posts) - - Show Bio

@truemarvel said:

5(?) weeks since of Agents of Shield has had a review but we can review this garbage of a show consistently... If the guy in charge of the AOS reviews is busy, the LEAST you guys can do is make a discussion thread and allow us commenters to review and discuss it ourselves. Flash and AOS are the best comicbook TV shows on air currently. You are doing the show a disservice by acting like it doesn't exist

AoS is barely a comic book show. It is so completely watered down to a point where its nearly unwatchable unless you worship at the alter of Whedon. The show is boring.

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#26 Posted by devinwifi (1323 posts) - - Show Bio

This show is a waste of time. Im happy its over!

5(?) weeks since of Agents of Shield has had a review but we can review this garbage of a show consistently... If the guy in charge of the AOS reviews is busy, the LEAST you guys can do is make a discussion thread and allow us commenters to review and discuss it ourselves. Flash and AOS are the best comicbook TV shows on air currently. You are doing the show a disservice by acting like it doesn't exist

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#27 Posted by TrueMarvel (578 posts) - - Show Bio

@truemarvel said:

5(?) weeks since of Agents of Shield has had a review but we can review this garbage of a show consistently... If the guy in charge of the AOS reviews is busy, the LEAST you guys can do is make a discussion thread and allow us commenters to review and discuss it ourselves. Flash and AOS are the best comicbook TV shows on air currently. You are doing the show a disservice by acting like it doesn't exist

AoS is barely a comic book show. It is so completely watered down to a point where its nearly unwatchable unless you worship at the alter of Whedon. The show is boring.

DO you even watch it? Or are you one of the haters who stopped 2 episodes into season 1 and act like you know everything about the show? Fact one: I had no idea who whedon was before Avengers. Never watched any of his previous shows.

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#28 Posted by Black_Arrow (10258 posts) - - Show Bio

This was crazy. All of the characters went nuts in this episode. I am wondering if Thomas secret was that he is Batman (would be strange but I could see it happening).

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#29 Posted by TheBlackHood (594 posts) - - Show Bio

@theblackhood said:
@truemarvel said:

5(?) weeks since of Agents of Shield has had a review but we can review this garbage of a show consistently... If the guy in charge of the AOS reviews is busy, the LEAST you guys can do is make a discussion thread and allow us commenters to review and discuss it ourselves. Flash and AOS are the best comicbook TV shows on air currently. You are doing the show a disservice by acting like it doesn't exist

AoS is barely a comic book show. It is so completely watered down to a point where its nearly unwatchable unless you worship at the alter of Whedon. The show is boring.

DO you even watch it? Or are you one of the haters who stopped 2 episodes into season 1 and act like you know everything about the show? Fact one: I had no idea who whedon was before Avengers. Never watched any of his previous shows.

I watched a season and a half of the show before giving up out of sheer boredom. It was a slow watered down mess that obviously had far too much interference from powers that be. The show is little more than a few witty Whedon-esque lines combined with his over-the-top need to make every female character a superhero and every male character inept or broken.

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#30 Posted by redleader1 (845 posts) - - Show Bio

All in all I did not love this finale. It was batshit crazy and I lived it for that but fish showed up of nowhere and I wish there was more if a reason as to why falcone is quitting now. However the penguin stuff rocked, I'm so glad that they made Barbara a psychopath, and that scene at the end was amazing.

All said and done i loved this show. A ton of people said it was nothing like batman but I feel that most people first that there's a difference between what is batman and their favorite version is. This show is quirky over the top batman madness. And I love it for that.

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#31 Posted by SupBatz (2186 posts) - - Show Bio

This is a bizarre show. Pacing and continuity seem to fly out the window more often than they are preserved. The majority of developments feel wholly bizarre and not built-up to enough in show (such as Barbara going crazy; it makes sense with what she went to, but we didn't see enough to make it believable on the screen).

The only exception is Nygma, who is consistently fantastic. I honestly feel like he's the only character they've properly set up and delivered on every step of the way. I look forward to seeing his continued descent into madness next season.

Also, this is more a critique of the show by premise than anything else, but a lot of accomplishments are being undermined by having them stem from past characters. I'm fine with this show being a different continuity that we're familiar with, and I actually applaud deviations it makes from the typical canon. But these constant decisions to have everything be inspired by the parents of characters really undermines what the future characters stand for. The example from this episode is Bruce finding that his father created the Bat-Cave rather than him creating it himself. We've seen some previous examples of this in past episodes (Red Hood gang, Scarecrow, Black Mask) and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Either screw continuity completely or stop dancing around it in such a weird way that takes away from accomplishments characters are supposed to have later.

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#32 Posted by HeraldofGanthet (4461 posts) - - Show Bio

I never miss an episode of this show, but I've got to say that I despise what the writers of this show have done with the Barbara Kean/Gordon character. First they turn her into a lesbian, then into a brainwashed/jealous sociopath? WTF?!?!? I mean, I know this whole Gotham show continuity is essentially an "Elseworlds" tale and thus has all kinds of leeway that can be accessed in terms of story telling, but I have no use for these aspects for this character who will give birth to one of my favorite heroines at some point in the future within the mainstream DC Universe.

Uggh. Hopefully they (the writers) will get their freaking acts together in time for Season 2. We'll see...

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#33 Posted by amazing_webhead (9814 posts) - - Show Bio

Riddle me this... riddle me that... what's purple and green... with a bowler hat?

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