It’s time for our weekly review of Gotham, but with our nerdy little twist (All episodes here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Us Nerds on Earth writers will often banter back and forth via email, giving our first thoughts about the latest comic TV show we’re watching. It’s our hope that amidst our back-and-forth exchange that you end up getting a good review of the episode, even if the style is a little quirkier than what you’ll find from a traditional review.
The Spirit of the Goat episode of Gotham wasn’t quite a Halloween episode but it did do some interesting things in the story this week.
I loved the back story from Harvey. We see that while he maybe wasn’t completely Jim Gordon ten years ago, there was a time when he was trying to be a cop for all the right reasons. It sets up what I have thought along, the redemption of Harvey as Jim pulls him back to the goodness that he has seemingly left.
The Spirit of the Goat story I thought was somewhat inspired and sets up some interesting things down the road. One of the things that I think they are doing well right now is making Gotham itself a character. And up until a recent Scott Snyder run in the comics, the long running history of Gotham has been untouched. By delving into its mythos, you get a sense that Batman was created in no small part by the place he is from. I like that a good bit.
And the Penguin. The stuff with him and his mom is a little too Norman Bates in Psycho for me. I think the actress who is portraying his mother is awesome at the creepy, but also think that character is not long for this world. If I am gangster and I want to strike back at him, that is who I take out. And based on the preview for next week, Cobblepot showing up in the police precinct at the end of the episode isn’t going to go unnoticed.
What did you like?
I liked pretty much everything about this episode. I’m right with you beat for beat: the Harvey backstory was fantastic, the Spirit of the Goat was just the right weird and creepy, and the Penguin popping into the precinct was great.
On top of that, I really liked that the Riddler got some screen time this week. I’m looking forward to more from him.
But my favorite thing I liked about this episode was what we didn’t see: There wasn’t anything from the gang war and I didn’t miss it a bit. In fact, I liked the focused story on Harvey, Jim, and their sleuthing out the villain.
Riddle me this: There are so many characters and story lines in this show it they are having to wedge story moments in just to get them all on screen. Is there a master plan for this season or are they playing up who and what is working. I gotta say, I can’t tell.
I definitely liked the rise of the Riddler stuff happening. It is giving some insight into who he is and what he is like. I worry for Kristen Kringle though. She could be a gang war victim that flips the switch in him.
And they are definitely having to wedge stuff together. Case in point: the random Selina Kyle spot this week.. I hope that they are feeling more at ease and don’t feel like they have to cram the whole Batman canon into one 22 episode season. Sometimes what the best storytelling needs isn’t volume but rather editing. They need to get better at editing and at letting some things play out slowly over time. (And I for vote vote no Joker for seasons and seasons. His arrival needs to be epic.)
And it makes sense from a production front, they are figuring out who and what works. I don’t know if they knew what a screen presence they had when they cast the Penguin, but they certainly do now and I are using it to their advantage. In the first year of a show, that has to happen a fair amount I bet.
So the hypnotherapist? Is she going to be the Gotham version of Harley Quinn, you think?
Again, a great episode of Gotham this week. I think it’s appropriate to close by quoting you:
“Sometimes what the best storytelling needs isn’t volume but rather editing.”
Until next week!