20 “Under the Knife” (Gotham season 1) [SPOILERS]


I seem to have gotten behind on my reviewing. I blame the election.

Yes, this is indeed last week’s Gotham review, so if you’re hoping for my usual navel-gazing lead-in, then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed (Nobody is going to be disappionted at that, trust me -Ed).

I’m just going to jump straight in.

Jim and Harvey continue investigating the Ogre case, with the added threat of Jim’s loved ones being at risk — just not the loved one he thinks. Meanwhile Bruce and Cat continue prying into Wayne Enterprises, whilst the fate of Reggie sits uneasily with Bruce. And Penguin moves the pieces into place for his grand plan.

Okay, so the Ogre serial killer feels like it was dropped into the story from a great height, and anyone who read my review of the last episode knows that I don’t think they handled the introduction terribly well. Here, though, they play it better with actual significance and increased stakes of the villain, rather than just being a study of a slightly murdery weirdo.

Jim is naturally worried for Lee, who is fine, but she encourages him to proceed with the investigation regardless. The reason, though, that she’s safe is that it isn’t her that the Ogre is after. It’s Barbara, who is taking her moping to a whole new, serial killer attracting level. When the Ogre picks her up at a bar, she is morosely self-destructive, which catches his interest. Instead of killing her, he decides to pursue her as his next woman. Which is sweet, in a way.

After finding out that the Ogre was a cosmetic surgery patient, born with a hideously deformed face. The Ogre’s father covered up his first kill, and still views his hideously damaged son as simply misunderstood, twisted by a deranged woman who made him think that he’s her son. Who he ended up killing. Jim decides to use Lee in a desperate gambit to draw out the serial killer, announcing his existence to the press. Only when the killer doesn’t show does Jim remember Barbara…

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne’s investigation into the criminal elements of the family company ploughs on. He’s not dealing too well with Selina killing Reggie, despite his transformation into pantomime villain having made it necessary. But he still has an epic-level crush on Cat, so invites her along to the Wayne Enterprises charity ball so that she can pick the pockets of “Banderslaw”.

Penguin continues to put the pieces together in his plan to take out Maroni, hiring some killers to off the mob boss at the bar he invested in last episode. Maroni puts a little unintentional hitch in the plan when he turns up at the club and lets slip to Mrs Cobblepot that her son is a psychopath. Which he lies away, and she belives him.

The other plotline is Edward Nygma. With Miss Kringle having shacked up with another muscle head, Ed notices bruises on her arms. Brushed off by her, he confronts the cop, who gives a chauvanist pig response. At the second confrontation, he starts to beat the stuffing out of poor Ed, when Ed plunges a knife into his stomach. Again and again and again. Enter the Ridler.

This, as an episode, was better than the last. It dropped the stupid flashbacks, stepped up the action and the stakes a little bit. It’s not at peak-Gotham, but it’s getting back to where it should be. Good job, too, with only a couple of episodes left. I maintain, though, that this whole series has been far too bloody long.

Closing thoughts:

  • Bruce and Cat having a very loud discussion about killing someone, at the crowded Wayne Enterprises charity ball.
  • And Cat’s punk-princess dress. I’m not convinced…
  • I wonder; is the Ogre intended as a model for Bruce to follow? His suave gentleman routine seems very Bruce Wayne, international playboy. Just a thought.
  • For once, Jim Gordon’s absurdly bad cop-ing is actually part of the story.
  • I hope this isn’t the beginning of the end of Nygma. He’s genuinely one of my favourite parts of the show.
  • That sketch of the Ogre looks even less useful than most suspect sketches. That could be just about anyone.


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