Martin Carr reviews the seventh episode of Gotham season 2…
Minutes in and Penguin cradles his dead mother as she takes her final breathe. Double crossed and lead into a steel sprung trap, Lord Taylor does a Daredevil and plunges through plate glass. So it is that episode seven of Gotham throws down a gauntlet to all comers. Between the not so subtle manipulation of teenage Wayne, to an off kilter Nygma almost stealing the show. We find ourselves watching a series which is scorching the competition, playing fast and loose with network rule books and grabbing ratings doing it.
With Gordon finally seeing through the charade which is Theo Galavan, while Butch strikes out on his own, Gotham continues to up the ante. With Victor Zsasz armed to the teeth and missing only a throbbing vein in his forehead.
Elsewhere Cory Michael Smith is given the opportunity to grandstand as split personality Nygma. Clearly having the time of his life playing deviant yet playful. Two sides of a man being torn asunder. This disintegration plays like a throwback to Gollum’s conversation in The Two Towers, Smith clearly relishing a psyche unravelling. Performed for laughs that sit uneasily within the remaining episode. This unhinged treasure hunt for body parts offers up a defining moment for Nygma, which culminates in personal reconciliation. Everything else becomes background noise in an episode which Smith totally owns.
Meanwhile the Bruce Wayne and Selena slash Silver love triangle has proved to be only slightly engaging, as the outcome is painfully transparent. Here is my prediction for the record. Bruce will be saved from the clutches of Galavan meaning Silver will also be uncovered. Not to mention that Selena will then be back in favour, while Alfred hands Galavan his coat with a fist attached. Tabitha and Barbara will be consigned to Arkham. Penguin will prevail but in a prelude to Season Three sort of way.
Things could of course take a different turn. Nygma may join forces with the birdman, Barnes may get reassigned or promoted leaving the way clear for Gordon. My feeling is that whatever plays out, there needs to be more slow motion shots of Gordon and Bullock with heavy artillery. From a purely ‘geek’ sense of the word, there is much to be said for semi static machine gun shells bouncing on hard wood floors. And if there is an opportunity for more multiple Penguins then that would be a plus.
However the final episodes of Gotham unfold one thing is obvious. It has finally earned that second season tagline ‘Rise of the Villains’. Whether front and centre or offering up subtle background static, Nygma, Theo. Tabitha and Galavan are gearing up for a show stopper.