Martin Carr reviews the nineteenth episode of Gotham season 2…
Gotham is turning into a spider web. Multiple plotlines, character threads and so many balls in the air, it makes every episode an interesting proposition. With the emergence of a brainwashed ex-Mayor of Gotham running rampant in forged steel armour, James Frain finally gets to let loose.
Many have made a point of expanding on the idea that ‘Azrael’ gives Bruce his first glimpse of an unstoppable vigilante. A notion which we all know will eventually spawn Batman. But what Gotham does is make that merely one of many outcomes and possible potentialities. For the most part it extols character over action set pieces, focusing on aftermath rather than build up.
Remember for example Lord Taylor’s moments in the family mansion, where his step mother remains face down in her roast dinner. Or Nygma manipulating Strange by demonstrating his ability to influence those around him. Even Gordon inside Arkham who has all but gone rogue questioning our favourite master puppeteer. Here is where Gotham gains its strength and continues to build a following.
As for the other surprises which ‘Azrael’ springs I would hate to be a spoil sport. Suffice to say as things go on events turn darker than most prime time shows allow. Now there is nothing upsetting per se, but whatever is hiding behind those doors in the final moments definitely crosses some lines. To say that Gotham is being reduced to a gaggling mass of bedlam is an understatement. There seems little point in the GCPD anymore, especially without someone in authority steering the ship.
Donal Logue and Ben McKenzie clearly relish the opportunity which this level of anti-hero behaviour gives them. While BD Wong and James Frain get the chance to go full on sinister and mad as a bag of frogs in equal measure. What I felt however come the credits was a sense of things going by too fast. There had been confrontations, a curve ball or two and more story than could be comfortably contained here.
With the death and rebirth of Galavan Mark II who is all tortured soul, misguided science experiment and rampaging Christian crusader. We get yet another formidable foe amongst a rogue’s gallery of potentials which are looking to tear Gotham apart. For the purists who thought Gotham was going to limp away somewhere quiet to die after season one, this here is a declaration of intent.
In a strong season which has far from finished with its audience there is still hell coming over that hill. Questions remain as too have far they can push things before something breaks, but at this rate season two is set to go out with one thermonuclear, seismically levelling final punch liable to haymaker the hell out of an unsuspecting populace.