Martin Carr reviews the seventh episode of Gotham season 3…
And so the Lewis Carroll references continue into another week on Gotham which is getting more and more psychedelic, considerably less Dark Knight and noticeably more Clockwork Orange. With the final elements of Tetch’s storyline drawing to a close Gotham as a whole feels ever so slightly disjointed. Certain threads are lacking which means interest is waning overall, however this is not to say that nothing interesting happens.
Nygma and his love for a Cringle clone are at once creepy yet endearing, while Penguin’s attempts to undermine Ed’s happiness reveal his darker nature to good effect. Barnes and Bullock both lock horns with an obstinate Gordon while McKenzie takes the character on another substance induced trip round the block. Bruce, Alfred and Selena are mere footnotes while the focal point is balanced neatly between an intentional hijacking of high society and the aforementioned psychotropic head spinner.
Romantic entanglements are also given a wider berth beyond the Nygma love tryst as Vale, Lee and Gordon all face off against one another and get nothing resolved. While what galvanises Gotham slightly is that aforementioned journey into Gordon’s psyche, where we are treated to the elevator imagery of our favourite GCPD policeman. Playing like a combination of a disinterested Steve Buscemi from Four Rooms and lift attendant to an Inception type jaunt down memory lane, Erin Richards continues having fun throughout and making it worth admission.
As a means of illustrating the tattered state of Gordon’s mind it works well but the pay-off is short lived and feels too neat. Bearing in mind the disembodied advice he receives you would imagine more probing on his part but things are just tied off. As for the use of symbolism through pearls, trench warfare and masks we are left none the wiser for their inclusion. And the sequence itself also felt like it existed purely to provide that final plot point rather than anything deeper.
Much of this could also be applied to the hijacking of a public event, where high society gathered in order to celebrate the founding of Gotham. With everyone of note in attendance the way it played out was predictable and formulaic. Poisoning patrons and holding the ruling classes to random was neither left field nor lacking in a selection of ‘told you so’ moments. Barnes and his disorder are now rapidly becoming part of the furniture. While Chiklis does the best he can even if that is only gripping chairs, slipping in some contacts and getting angry.
As I said at the beginning this is very Alice In Wonderland which is good if the balance is right. Unfortunately what we have here remains disjointed with flashes of cool seeping between the cracks. With certain stories winding down it will be a relief when Gotham decides what it wants and also how that is achieved.