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Gothams Spring Premiere Reacquaints Us with the Seasons Stories

first_imgStay on target NYCC 18: The Cast of Gotham On Bane, Batman and Saying GoodbyeDC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC News Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img It’s been a long time since we last visited the pre-Batman Gotham City, but the show does a decent enough job reminding us of the current state of things. Jim Gordon is captain of the GCPD, Bruce fired Alfred, Lee is ruling the Narrows and Sofia Falcone is building an empire. When we get into the episode proper, we’re introduced to the new Poison Ivy. This is the third actor to play the supervillain so far, and already the show is taking a much less comedic route. The way she emerges from her plant cocoon and stares at the criminals who broke into her apartment sure is unsettling. Oh, and she can poison dudes just by touching them now. More than that, we learn later that her victims have actual poison ivy growing in their dead bodies. There’s a wonderfully disturbing scene where the forensic pathologist cuts open Ivy’s victim and vines start growing out of the hole. That’s the gross-out violence I come to Gotham for.For her part, Ivy still needs to figure out what to do. With a new actor in the role, the show needs to find a way to reintegrate her into the story, and yeah, it’s a little clumsy. Ivy sees a TV commercial for Barbara’s club and decides to go mess with them. It’s not the strongest motivation, but it gets her back into things. She causes some trouble at the club and gets kicked out. But not before Selina figures out who she is… thanks to a mean comment from obnoxious bad boy tryhard Bruce Wayne. At least it ends in an exciting way. Selina breaks into the apartment Ivy’s staying in, and Ivy attacks her. For a second it really looks like the Poison Ivy infection is going to kill Selina, but Ivy pulls out an antidote just in time. Then she makes an offer. The Sirens are already splintering. Now, Selina will join Ivy to take over Gotham. That’ll be fun to watch.Erin Richards, Jessica Lucas and Camren Bicondova (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)For the most part, things aren’t going great in Gotham. Gordon is looking for Bullock, who clearly doesn’t want to be found. Lee is trying to inspire the citizens of the Narrows to better themselves and their neighborhood when someone sends a small airplane with a bomb at her. Fortunately, Grundy is there to knock it away. And Alfred is down on his luck, moving from flat to flat in the Narrows when Gordon randomly runs into him fending off a mugger. It’s far from the worst state Gotham City has been in, but on an individual character level, it really feels like ‘everyone saves Ivy’ has hit bottom.Gordon and Alfred see the explosion rush over to help. Gordon tries to interview a couple of witnesses, but nobody in The Narrows is all that keen on talking to a cop. It’s a good thing Lucius Fox is there to analyze what’s left of the bomb. Given the level of detail and the size of the explosive, they conclude it was an assassination attempt. They trace the airplane to a toy shop that has supervillain lair written all over it. A very nervous shop worker says he’ll go get his father, and then one of the creepier toy soldiers turns into an automated turret. Yes, this is very clearly the source of the assassin’s bomb. It would seem the nervous worker’s father is the culprit. Gordon and Lucius avoid being shot and blown up and give chase, but the killer gets away. The son is still here, though.Ben McKenzie and Erin Richards (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)He gives them some useful information. He seems like he really had no idea his father was building weapons. He also remembers hearing his father talking to a strange man. They mentioned something about “the Doc.” Hey, we knew it was only a matter of time before the show got Lee and Gordon back in a room together. Gordon finds out where to look for the Doc from Barbara, because this show can’t resist putting Jim Gordon in awkward rooms with his exes. As strange as flirtations from Barbara are, things get even weirder for Jim when he finds out exactly who The Doc is. He’s shocked to find her all gothed out, giving a rousing speech about the power of a united Narrows. I also love his interaction with Nygma. Gordon mentions that the assassin is also a toy builder, and Nygma says “That’s so Gotham.” This show knows exactly what it is. It’s honestly its best quality.Gordon leaves to take a look around, and Gordon catches a glimpse of the terrorist toymaker. He chases him into an alley only to find the toymaker waiting for him. Nygma’s personality is splitting again. It turns out he hired the toymaker to kill the Doc… as The Riddler. The Riddler thinks Lee is holding Nygma back. Before anything more can happen though, Gordon finds the two and shoots the Toymaker. Nygma makes up a story to cover up what really happened because that’s obviously the healthy thing to do. We all know Nygma is going to snap and The Riddler will return. The season has set itself a nice ticking time bomb, and it’ll be fun to watch it blow.Cory Michael Smith and Morena Baccarin (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)For its first episode back from a long hiatus, this week’s edition of Gotham is a little light on the action. It’s setting everything up for the rest of the season. The stories all felt very light and low-stakes. The villain wasn’t all that compelling and we only got one Bruce Wayne scene that told us nothing new. Despite that, it still made for a fun return. Like I said, this show knows exactly what it is. What it lacked in action or a real villain, it made up for in big character moments. Gotham is the superhero TV equivalent of pro wrestling. Even when it’s lacking in action, you keep coming back for the entrances, promo speeches and heel turns. This episode was entirely composed of set-up, but it was very good set-up.Alfred had the most complete, satisfying story of the night. After befriending a waitress at is a local diner, he starts to notice signs of abuse. While walking her home, he meets her boyfriend and puts two and two together. Alfred loses his temper and starts beating up the guy, but his new friend calls him off. She can handle him, she says. The next time we see her, she’s been beaten to death. And the boyfriend stole Alfred’s ring to make it look like he did it. Gordon believes Alfred’s story, but it’s going to take more than that to get Alfred off the hook.David Mazouz (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)With so much going on in this episode, this story didn’t quite get the attention it deserved. Alfred’s framing was solved as soon as it was established. I was left wishing the show had forced us to worry about Alfred more. In the end, it did have a satisfying conclusion. Alfred tracks the boyfriend to a bar, and is just about to be stabbed, but it turns out the bartender is Harvey Bullock. After beating Alfred’s attackers with a bat, he makes sure the record is set straight. He also has the best entrance line of the night. “Sorry I’m late, I was in the john.” This show knows exactly what it’s doing. Bullock’s return puts a huge smile on my face. It was the best moment of an episode made entirely of strong moments. Sadly, Bullock isn’t interested in joining the GCPD again. He knows Gordon is compromised, and he is not interested in being the one to absolve him again.Gotham’s return may not have had the best story we’ve ever seen from this show. It may not have had those scary villain moments the promos had promised. It’s a little disappointing, but I don’t mind all that much. It needed to get us back into the world of Gotham City after a long break, and it did its job very well. It built hype for the rest of the season, and I can’t wait to see some of these storylines pay off later down the road. And hey, it looks like we’ll get those moments next week with the long-awaited return of Jerome. And now there will be far less set-up to distract from that.last_img read more