Martin Carr reviews the eighth episode of Gotham season 3…
Mind games, psychosis and mental imbalance are in order on Gotham this week, giving rise to the concise and punchy tag line which is ‘Blood Rush’. As Nathaniel Barnes, Edward Nygma and James Gordon amongst others suffer in one way or another from emotional flux, both self-induced and otherwise.
In truth the back and forth of emotions with regards to relationships plays only a small part in proceedings as Barnes takes up a majority of the episode. Battling as he does with the blood poisoning gifted him by Alice Tetch, this week the interest lays primarily with his symptoms and attempts to suppress those baser instincts. Chiklis who has had little to do aside from looking moody with a cane of late does well expressing the inner turmoil. Demonstrating a temper perpetually kept in check through years of conditioning and professional expectation, at last let loose and unbridled by conformity. His infection then brings forth those impulses which many keep in check for fear of judgement, consequence or common sense.
Elsewhere Nygma is tested by his delusional alter-ego and Smith gets the chance to play things a little crazy, while his new woman shows her commitment to testing those boundaries with some success. Gordon, Bullock, Mario Falcone and his father all play an essential part in bringing the episode together, confronting each other and then agreeing to disagree over all things Thompkins related. McKenzie and company play it straight throughout while our villain comes across all American Psycho, Patrick Bateman and Christian Balesque.
Played with oily charm by William Abadie he is the facial fixer to Gotham high society selling his skills at an exorbitant price, whilst brandishing the demeanour of a dodgy uncle. That his retribution comes thick and fast and with such finality remains one of the pleasures on offer from ‘Blood Rush’. In Symons they have given us a taste of an underbelly which we all knew to be seedy, but were perhaps unwilling to acknowledge in a city populated by a teenage Bruce Wayne.
What has been gratefully received is the return of John Doman as Carmine Falcone from season one. Lending a quiet yet threatening gravitas to proceedings, his presence as figurehead was felt throughout the party scenes which occurred this week. Giving the series a sense of history that helped support the more outlandish elements ever present in a programme of this nature. A theory given more credence by the reappearance of Chelsea Spack’s incarnation of Isabella who is proving more than a match for Lord Taylor’s Penguin.
Emotional entanglements, drug induced hallucinations and last minute revelations are the bread and butter Gotham thrives on and ‘Blood Rush’ remains no exception. Dramatically engaging, character driven and consistently entertaining, Gotham continues delivering week on week in season which can only get stronger.