Martin Carr reviews Gotham’s winter finale ‘Worse Than a Crime’…
This winter finale feels like an excuse to down tools, man up and lay some smack down. And yes that there was a wrestling reference, from someone who grew up watching Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy. Sure there are shifty looking sacrificial monks, ancient hunting knives and David Mazouz rocking a bed sheet. But that stuff is window dressing for the ‘man’ show which is McKenzie, Pertwee, Lord Taylor, Smith and Logue brandishing some heavy duty artillery.
You see episode eleven puts on a show of considering storyline. Pulling all those elements together a tad conveniently. While we wait for that moment when our ‘big bad’ gets handed his coat, or in this case baseball to various body parts. Let’s be honest Galavan had this coming a while back. Whether he’s left hanging by Tabitha or dispatched by Penguin, this cheque is well past its post date. However beyond some example of true villainy what season two has provided is sex appeal.
Between Barbara, Tabitha and Lee Thompkins Gotham has definitely found some mojo. Whether by design or coincidence these three ladies offer the good, the bad and the plain nasty which had been lacking. With one deceased, another base jumping and our final femme fatale driving out of town, things are set up nicely for a pitch black third season. Something which will be made infinitely more interesting by David Mazouz’s Bruce Wayne. An actor who has added more layers in two episodes than his entire first season could muster.
Mazouz’s handling of those scenes with Silver, both this week and last prove there is more to him than meets the eye. A cunning and guile are being hinted at beneath the pubescent exterior, which makes Wayne more three dimensional. While Pertwee rocks a fat one as the hard bar steward, all courteous manners and special ops resilience. Which fits in well alongside mad dog Gordon, who occupies a moral vacuum for most of this week. Barely able to contain his pit bull mentality and pent up rage, McKenzie hints at a psychosis in flux beneath the badge. Only Lucius Fox and Barnes get over looked, in a finale both brazenly gratuitous and darkly gothic.
Beyond that Gotham season two remains a triumph of character confidence and cast comfort. After an initial run which some had rightly termed as slow and ponderous, it is good to see things shaping up. With the less than subtle inclusion of human experimentation within Wayne Industries, season three should be a barnstormer. With the delusional tag team of Nygma and Penguin, alongside Bullock, Barnes and Gordon. This comic book hybrid could be another reason to celebrate 2016.