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REVIEW: Midseason finale of ‘Gotham’ offers new dimensions to Batman universe

At the beginning of the Fall 2014 television season, FOX’s “Gotham” premiered with a premise that seemed like beaten ground ― yet another Batman origin story? Did the public really need it to be told to them yet again, only this time in a live-action television series? But “Gotham,” surprisingly, became more than just another version of Bruce Wayne’s ascension into super-heroics (or descent into madness), and the mid-season finale “LoveCraft,” which aired Nov. 24, showcases this perfectly.

FOX's new show "Gotham," which had its mid-season finale Nov. 24, has focused on a new angle in the well known Batman franchise. PHOTO COURTESY OF FOXTV
FOX’s new show “Gotham,” which had its mid-season finale Nov. 24, has focused on a new angle in the well-known Batman franchise. PHOTO COURTESY OF FOXTV

As the series progressed, “Gotham” became at the same time less and more about Wayne himself. The chemistry between Wayne (David Mazouz) and his faithful butler and legal guardian Alfred (Sean Pertwee) ― while out of place in the first few episodes ― grew on the audience, especially with moments such as when Alfred teaches Wayne how to fight and, more importantly, how to fight back in episodes eight and nine.

Wayne’s life became less of a side plot and more relevant to the overall story itself, as Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) places Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), who was a witness to the Wayne parents’ murder, in the Wayne mansion. Episode nine and the mid-season finale served to show the growing relationship between Wayne and Kyle, which brings somewhat awkward implications for this version of Batman ― how will the fact that Batman and Catwoman lived together as children affect their relationship as on-and-off-again enemies in the future? But no matter; their adorable interactions in “LoveCraft” were enough to please fans to the point of not bringing it up.

“LoveCraft” also brings back another important plot arc: the rise of Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), or the Penguin. Despite all the buildup in episodes eight and nine, along with the reveal that Penguin was working for mob boss Don Carmine Falcone (John Doman), the Penguin appearance in this episode was short and disappointing, but nonetheless served its purpose. Penguin’s revenge plan of spreading doubt within the Falcone mafia empire is running at full steam, and it won’t take long for Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and her niche in Gotham’s underground crime world to fall.

Throughout the season, “Gotham” has continued to do a great job of bringing in just the right amount of classic Batman villains to keep longtime Bat-fans interested in the series, but choosing said villains from Batman’s B-list makes it so that there is still a sort of suspense as to how such-and-such villain will be introduced. Black Mask in episode eight, “The Mask,” or Victor Zsasz in episode seven, “Penguin’s Umbrella,” are prime examples of this: one-episode villains that don’t steal the limelight from the main characters in a sort of “villain of the week” fashion.

The overall progression of the main plot ― which, before anyone forgets, follows Gordon and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) in their quest to uncover the real mastermind behind the murder of Wayne’s influential parents ― has moved along at a decent pace. Some episodes deviate from the main investigation, yet there are still connections here and there to show that Gordon hasn’t quit his mission.

Ultimately, “Gotham” has kept its promise of de-centering its story away from Bruce Wayne/Batman and focusing on the progression ― or rather, the decay ― of Gotham City from a somewhat respectable city controlled by regular thugs and mobsters to a playground for all sorts of caped crusaders and assorted costumed creeps, keeping the elements that make Batman and Gotham City what they are to fans while putting in just enough differences from the original canon to show that this isn’t the Batman Universe everyone is used to. Here’s hoping FOX’s Bat stays flying for its upcoming season.

One Comment

  1. I read the whole story about this.
    But for what I’m concern is barbara
    having relationship with montaya again.
    Will Gordan ever found out about this?