Gotham Episode #201: "Damned if You Do..."

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Posted by inferiorego (25734 posts) - - Show Bio

In the season premiere of Gotham, Gordon is fired from the GCPD from Commissioner Loeb, and tries to get help from Penguin in order to get back on the force. Ultimately, Gordon does his dirty work and it all works out for him. Barbara adjusts to like in Arkham Asylum and makes some new friends, but they aren't allowed to get too comfy in their surroundings. Alfred and Bruce blow up the door to Thomas Wayne's secret underground lair. Penguin takes control of Gotham's criminal underground and rules with an iron fist... or with Mr Zsasz's gun.

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Even a few minutes into the new season, the show feels more focused and less chaotic. There are still numerous stories going on from Bruce and Alfred discovering a secret lair in the Wayne Mansion to Edward Nygma losing his mind. Each of these stories hold their own. There doesn't seem to be any of these sub-plots that feels extremely weak. Some may get more airtime than others, but that's fine and it suits the episode.

One thing has changed a bit in this season. It's a bit more cartoony at places, and strangely enough, it really works. The stories inside Arkham Asylum almost feel like it's ripped from the 90s animated Batman series. It fits that location though and when you have a character like Jerome inside, who is just all smiles and insanity, it somehow makes it all work. Even the moment where Gordon is running from henchmen, up until the moment where he kills a man is cartoonish, but it works set among the darker undertones of the show, like people's heads being cut off.

That brings us to Barbara, who was one of the worst written characters of the first season. In the opener of this second season, she actually has a personality, motive, and she was probably the most interesting story in this first episode. Finally, someone gave the character something to do that doesn't feel forced. Yes, none of what happens here fits in the continuity of the comic books, but that doesn't matter since almost nothing in this show does. She has her own community of insane peers now to keep her company and she's the perfect fit. Sure, her character is nothing like it was in the first season, but ultimately, that's a good thing.

One of her new peers is Jerome, the character many believe, including the showrunner of Gotham, will become Joker. Jerome is pretty awesome. Everyone around him is incredibly over-dramatic and speaks in monologues, while Jerome steals the scene with being charming and creepy.

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It's a little weird that the voice of reason for Gordon is Bruce Wayne. Bruce's dialogue throughout this scene is way too adult for the character. It still sounds like Bruce, but 15 years older.

Penguin has Zsasz as one of his henchmen, and I'm sure there's tons of other loyal folks as well, so why does he need someone like Gordon to go in and get the money that's owed to him. It really felt like a forced piece of plot in order to get things moving and create yet another connection between Gordon and Penguin.

The ending to this episode is ridiculous. Thomas writes Bruce a letter from beyond the grave, in his secret cave. The letter says "if you're reading this, I'm already dead." It's is the most asinine thing that has happened on this show yet. He built a secret lair for his son to find, after he died because he knew he was going to die. Insane.

The season opener of Gotham is a live-action cartoon, and quite possibly, it's the best episode of this show in a long time. If this is going to be the tone of the series for the rest of season, then I am 100% all in. If the show wants to pull more stunts like the last 5 minutes of this episode, then I'm all for it. Gotham seems to found its footing and its voice and it strangely works exceptionally well.

Questions for the Week:

Why didn't Penguin send one of his other henchmen to collect the money?

Is Zaardon the greatest villain Gordon has ever faced?

When's the right time to build my secret death lair for my son?

Staff
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#1 Edited by KritikalMassX (1510 posts) - - Show Bio

Here's another question of the week:

"Why is this still on the air?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

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#2 Posted by inferiorego (25734 posts) - - Show Bio

Here's another question of the week:

"Why is this still on the air?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

Didn't it average 10 million viewers per episode last season?

Also, watch the episode. It's insane and cartoony and so weird.

Staff
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#3 Posted by dcfox (189 posts) - - Show Bio

How dare you evoke Batman The Animated Series in your review of stupid Gotham!

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#4 Posted by Mark_Stephen (2616 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm guessing that Penguin wants Gordon to be for him what Harvey was to Fish.

The rest I'm not sure of. We don't see much of that lair under the manor, but from the looks of the dust and the cobwebs it's been there a lot longer than since the Wayne's died. I'd be interested to see what is on the computer. We are seeing a more mature Bruce, this kid is no longer a child.

Still the episode didn't really impress me. It wasn't bad but it wasn't great either.

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#5 Posted by redmanta (605 posts) - - Show Bio

i love gotham good review man

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#6 Posted by obsidian_raindrop1 (490 posts) - - Show Bio

Why didn't Penguin send one of his other henchmen to collect the money?

Because 1 favor turns in to another and another until Jim is just as dirty as the other cops.

Is Zaardon the greatest villain Gordon has ever faced?

Lets hope so, loved that guy.

When's the right time to build my secret death lair for my son?

Do you even have a son?

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#7 Edited by the_stegman (40232 posts) - - Show Bio

Can't believe I'm saying this...but this was a very enjoyable episode. However, like AOS, I feel like this show's bad start will leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth, they'll hate it regardless.

Moderator
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#8 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (12493 posts) - - Show Bio

@kritikalmassx said:

Here's another question of the week:

"Why is this still on the air?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

Didn't it average 10 million viewers per episode last season?

Also, watch the episode. It's insane and cartoony and so weird.

~MiB

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#9 Posted by Lone_Wolf_and_Cub (9086 posts) - - Show Bio

This show is still horrible.

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#10 Posted by skyroid (2646 posts) - - Show Bio

Can I join in all this hate even though I haven't actually watched any of these comic TV shows aside from AoS season 1? I would like to join in on the hate.

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#11 Posted by shroudofsorrow (6001 posts) - - Show Bio

@inferiorego said:

@kritikalmassx said:

Here's another question of the week:

"Why is this still on the air?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

Didn't it average 10 million viewers per episode last season?

Also, watch the episode. It's insane and cartoony and so weird.

Maybe it's just because I don't always notice sarcasm, but based on that above quote I really can't tell if you're serious about your liking this episode or not.

And of course, I missed it. I forgot this was the one DC show that was actually resuming in September. Oops.

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#12 Posted by NightFang3 (12363 posts) - - Show Bio

I had to miss the show because of work, so i'll catch it online.

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#13 Posted by Catty_Spider1 (224 posts) - - Show Bio

You didn't mention Selina, what's happened to her. Is she still sporting the hair cut of death that quite literally turned her into a Pyscho killer in the s1 finale.

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#14 Posted by SuperiorFabi (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't understand the hate against this show. I love it for what it is!

The first season was definitely better than the last season arrow

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#15 Posted by doombot890 (322 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't like Gotham but tune in every now again when a villain pops up. I still don't like gotham but this episode was balls to the wall weird...which is a good thing. I agree the part with Thomas wayne writing letters from beyond is shit further devaluing Bruce's journey....but I guess it's the only thing they could do as they really fucked up by having Bruce still be a kid from the get go. I didn't have high hopes for the second season but now they are at average levels...I'm intrigued again. I hope for less Bruce and more weird!

Long live Schumacher's Gotham!

This episode leaked online a week ago too.

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#16 Posted by ohrenclez (99 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't totally agree with mat that the show seems to have found its footing, but I think they are at least a step closer to getting there. The tone of a hopeless situation for gotham altogether with the penguin running gotham, harvey bartending and seemingly broken and Jim doing traffic duty was a good way to show how things have turned out in between the seasons.

Also: How amazing was "Just a Perfect Day" at the beginning of the episode. Kind of like in this week's Fear TWD episode it immediately put me in the right mood for the episode!

This episode seemed like a good way to kick off this season and steer the show in the right direction. Keep it up this way and I will learn to like Gotham again.

Also: I was really surprised about this kind of anticlimactic way to kill off Sionis beeing that I think he would have made a good fit to the show's iteration of the Gotham underground scene But I like that they seem to start going away from the model of just playing it safe by reusing old Batman villains and aren't afraid to off some well known characters if it helps the story

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#17 Posted by Dernman (26042 posts) - - Show Bio

That kid makes a good pre Joker though I don't like people knowing Joker's identity.

I'm digging batshit crazy Barbara.

It was much too soon for Penguin to become the boss.

What a terrible way to kill off Sionis but then again is he dead?

Gordon going dirty. Seems hypercritical and he should know better. That little speech Bruce gave being the thing that pushed him over was bad. I also thought that was OOC for the future Batman though hes a kid so it's forgivable.

I know they need to find a reason to keep Selena around but I have concerns of how they're doing it.

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#18 Posted by Dernman (26042 posts) - - Show Bio

Also: I was really surprised about this kind of anticlimactic way to kill off Sionis beeing that I think he would have made a good fit to the show's iteration of the Gotham underground scene

He might not be dead. He might just come out disfigured and the reason why he wears the mask.

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#20 Posted by Brione (116 posts) - - Show Bio

@dernman: and @ohrenclez:

The Scionis on this show isn't Black Mask, it's his father. So it really doesn't matter if he dies.

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#21 Posted by RavenVice01 (4438 posts) - - Show Bio

This show is "whatever" for me. I think a better approach to this would hav been Gordon and GCPD taking on different mob familes only and once in a while hav interactions with one if batman's rogues. Meanwhile, bruce is attending gotham university where he meets a majority of his soon to be allies and foes. Harvey dent studying law, Tommy elliot learning about medicine, pamela isley creating new strains of flora in botany with Alec holland. Stuff like that.

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

I hated season one so much by the end that I am actually not even going to watch at all anymore. I normally give a show a few episodes in the second season to win me back but just no with Gotham. I caught a scene while I was cancelling my DVR recording between Barbara, Jim, and Leslie. Who writes this dialogue? It's so awful. On top of that, the actress that plays Barbara is horrendous.

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#23 Posted by Manwhohaseverything (3818 posts) - - Show Bio

Questions for the Week:

Why didn't Penguin send one of his other henchmen to collect the money?

It was a Test. Oswald wanted to know if he could trust Jim in the future, which he figures will add an extra guy to his team in a way by earning him favors with the GCPD should they ever get the drop on him. He probably figures Gordon can do things for him that his henchmen cannot.

Is Zaardon the greatest villain Gordon has ever faced? No.

When's the right time to build my secret death lair for my son?

This could actually turn out to be great writing and plotting if handled correctly. Last season so many folks jumped the gun on many issues with this show. (How dare they give Joker a back story..turns out we don't know if they did.) And here we go again. Maybe Thomas DID know he was going to die. Maybe his assassination was no random accident, if Joe Chill didn't get him (Or whoever in this universe) he knew someone else would. Also appears he thought Bruce would be older before it happened. (Appears that way to me anyhow) Great opportunity to develop a nice sub-plot. If it's handled that way, it will be far from the "dumbest thing ever" on the show.

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#24 Posted by KnightofSteel (369 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm actually sorta sad the way this show has gone off the rails. Originally I was hoping for a Gotham Central kind of theme, with maybe small elements of foreshadowing the future Bat mythos. This would've worked better for TV. Instead we get a bloated and ridiculous show that doesn't really know what it wants to be.

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#25 Posted by rob1157 (206 posts) - - Show Bio

Ok Gotham you have my attention again, let's see you keep it.

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#26 Posted by sora_thekey (8812 posts) - - Show Bio

Are you seriously telling me this show got good?! (I stopped on like the 6th episode)

I know my taste and opinions differ from Matt, but right now I am doubting him...

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#27 Edited by QuinnoftheStoneAge (3663 posts) - - Show Bio

Great start to the new season

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#28 Posted by Jumdor (112 posts) - - Show Bio

@skyroid: The more the merrier buddy! I'm used to people hating what I like. =P

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#29 Posted by birdman400 (1558 posts) - - Show Bio

I still think the main reason people hate gotham is just because they assumed Batman was automatically going to be the main character , Real comic fan would easily dislike this show since it only explores what happen between Bruce's parents death, and maybe 5-7 years later , it explores Jim Gordon's ascension to commissioner and how bad Gotham really became in those years

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#30 Edited by ComicKing7 (155 posts) - - Show Bio

This is kinda off topic but do you plan on writing a review for Heroes Reborn

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#31 Posted by Lone_Wolf_and_Cub (9086 posts) - - Show Bio
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#32 Posted by SynCig (1105 posts) - - Show Bio

@birdman400: If anyone expected Batman to be the main character then they weren't paying attention. I hate this show because it was pitched as a Jim Gordon story and it isn't. Had they done a show that delved into Gordon fully and used the GCPD and very select elements of Batman's mythos to tell a compelling story then I would have been all over it. Instead we get a show that is obsessed with introducing as many villains as possible. On top of that there is the bad writing, bad acting from some of the actors, and strange cinematography decisions. It's okay if someone likes this show but to boil people's dislike of it down to "they thought Batman would be in it" is simply not correct.

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#34 Posted by GREGalicious (607 posts) - - Show Bio

This show is still questionable for me. My problem is that most of the storylines haven't been very interesting and it took FOREVER for a lot of the characters to get interesting.

I really do like psychotic Barbara but I still feel like they gave her an "out" with killing her parents. She was kidnapped, tortured, broken down and driven to madness. With help, maybe she could still turnout alright after all. Crazier things have happened in Gotham.

A part of me half thinks she'll merely turnout to be some other Barbara and not THE Barbara, despite her surname.

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#35 Posted by FearTheLiving (8837 posts) - - Show Bio

Thought I'd give the show another shot to win me over with this new season 20 minutes into it (That's me being extremely generous) I shut it off. This show is a steaming pile. Those of you who can bare it good luck to you.

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#36 Posted by mickeymayhew (426 posts) - - Show Bio

I love it - just can't get the hate

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