Martin Carr reviews the eleventh episode of Gotham season 3…
There is singular stream of images which will stick with me from this exercise in the exorcism of jealousy. Which involve moments of cross cutting between an enraged Jim Gordon being beaten senseless in slow motion, whilst his true love is getting married mere metres away. That he triumphs amongst the flurry of fists should come as no surprise, but the inclusion of these scenes says more about Jarvis and Alice Tetch’s influence than anything else.
Whether that stretches as far as Mario Falcone, Jim Gordon, Oswald Cobblepot or the seriously switched on Edward Nygma, their talons have left a mark on many. With Nathaniel Barnes already incarcerated and another criminal family being torn apart from the inside, Benedict Samuel has been integral in making season three one spicy meatball.
Other storylines however well executed have fallen short in terms of what they can bring to the table. Brother and sister also breathed life into the love triangle between Gordon, Mario and Lee Thompkins which had already run its course and was becoming overly familiar. While the other love tryst being orchestrated by Penguin around Nygma feels increasingly forced, in spite of the actors trying to sell it to us. Greg Berlanti has done similar and better work in Arrow, The Flash and now Supergirl with both subtlety and relevance regarding character. For me this sudden infatuation with Nygma feels like Fox jumping on a topical bandwagon, rather than giving Penguin something DC cannon related and therefore more believable.
Elsewhere the severing of Tabitha’s hand is also something which feels mildly out of character. Throughout season two we saw her switch allegiances as well as romantic interests, whether that was from Barbara to Butch and back again. But the idea she would sacrifice a hand in the name of love seems one step too far. Again it feels like they are serving story rather than character inclinations. Plus the revelations supplied by Barbara feel too convenient rather than coming from a place of honesty. Whereas the sub plot involving Alfred, Bruce and Cat may be fleshed out but somehow lacks a sense of engagement.
I believe this has little to do with ‘The Whisper Gang’ and their eponymous opposite number known as ‘The Court of Owls’. Our issue is perhaps more obvious in that Cannon has simply spread plot threads too thinly. So many balls in the air and a finite running time means that some things have fallen by the way side. That being said these conflicts are guaranteed to set up some juicy elements come finale time. Making Gotham still head and shoulders above comparative competition.