Gotham Season 1: Episode 16 Review by Chris
SPOLERS FOLLOW BELOW! Please don't read until you've watched the episode if you care about plot spoilers.

I don't know where to start, but I'll try.

First a little backstory. I hoped Gotham would be good - I really, earnestly and truly hoped it would be good. I should have realized that the kind of gritty show Gotham needed to be would never work on a major network. This should have been a cable show, plain and simple - AMC or FX. But, *sigh*, it's not and so we have to deal with it. I watched the first 4 episodes and immediately wrote this show off. Just like CW's Arrow or Flash, I got a sense that this wasn't for me. Bland, angsty, eom-punk "wah-wah" just wasn't doing it for me. Well, about 8 episodes later my friends kept talking about it and how I should get back into it so I decided to catch up. Now, I'm current as of last night when I finally got around to finishing Monday's episode.

This episode missed every opportunity to be better.

I won't even get into any real part of the murder at hand or Jim's scenes in this episode. Pretty boring.

First, the biggest crime of the episode was such a simple thing. Jim and Dr. Tompkins are faced with a riddle at some point during the show. Instead of taking it to the quirkiest, smartest guy in the whole department that they both have as a mutual acquaintance who - SUPRISE - loves to tell riddles, they act like it's unsolvable. No, don't ask Edward Nigma. No, don't let a shred of backstory or foreshadowing pay off here. Instead, they discern the riddle on accident while eating dinner. What a whiff.

Second, we have my absolute favorite villain of all time and Batman's most significant nemesis (not even a question) making an appearance - the Joker. Or supposedly him. Or someone a lot like him. And he kills his Mom because she's a drunk and told him to do the dishes while she was "banging some clown" in the next room. And his Dad's a blind psychic.


Now, that could be misdirection, sure - the character's name is Jerome and though he has red hair and laughs like a lunatic there's no overstated condition that he's the Joker. Except that he's a few years older than Bruce Wayne is currently. So, timeline - check. He's in the circus and so involved in showbiz. Check. And he has the grin and the laugh. Check. Again, they could just be throwing out a red herring, and I can respect that. But don't play with my Joker. Don't do it.

Third, Fish Mooney's current detention aboard the USS Organ Harvester could be more interesting. I like that they're writing her as super cunning and a criminal mastermind. I don't like the fact that it's so rushed and bland.

What were the Pros? For me, seeing Bruce start to grill the Wayne Enterprises board about their shady investment choices is awesome. I've actually found a lot of satisfaction in watching young Bruce. I don't remember the exact quote, but there was an exchange in that meeting that I loved. Here's my best attempt at paraphrasing:

Wayne Enterprises Executive Board Member: Bruce, aren't you wading into deep waters for a young man you're age?
Bruce: My age is irrelevant. If I were a man, I would be chairing this board legally.
I love that Bruce is facing criticism for growing up too fast and attacking things too logically and ruthlessly. The guy becomes Batman - THE BAT. MAN. I think it's fair to say that his childhood probably reflected that pretty well.

Also, The Penguin and The Riddler met face to face and foreshadowed so much. I had a fanboy moment there. Loved it. The Grayson's are depicted as well and Robin is foreshadowed, which was fun.

2.5/5 Stars if only for Bruce and The Penguin/Riddler angle.