TV Review: Gotham S3E16 Heroes Rise: These Delicate and Dark Obsessions

season_3_posterThe Court of Owls devises a new plan regarding the future of Gotham, as Gordon uncovers information about his father and uncle’s past, connecting him back to the organization. Meanwhile, Bruce wakes up in the temple and learns of the Shaman’s wish for him.

Gotham delivers what might be the strongest episode of the season as Ben McKenzie steps behind the camera to direct his first episode of Gotham. The episode is broken down into three parts, Penguin plotting his revenge with Ivy, Bruce being trapped, and Gordon dealing with his Uncle and the Court of Owls.

There’s some oddness to the episode, but that’s mostly due to the writing as the bad guy gives us the viewer an idea of their plan, which in the big picture of things is rather silly in how it’s played out. That’d be the Court of Owls announcing they’re going to purge Gotham. We get a sense of why and we’ve seen this before since it’s the plot of Batman Begins. That’s all just ok as Gordon’s uncle tries to help Gordon stop it all and we finally learn who really killed Gordon’s parents. It all plays out rather neatly, but in moving the plot along, it’s solid.

But, the concept of purging Gotham isn’t the only thing taken from Batman Begins. Bruce is captured and at some temple where he’s forced to deal with the Shaman. We’re not explained a hell of a lot here, but the whole setup is Batman Begins meets Doctor Strange complete with trippy scenes and imagery. The sequences are good, but it doesn’t make sense to send Bruce some place where he’ll be trained. Why not just kill him if you’re going to replace him? It is utterly idiotic and the biggest plot hole of the season. The scenes are decent and we get some movement in Bruce becoming Batman, which feels like it’s been accelerated as a plot point this season.

The highlight though is Penguin and Ivy. Penguin wants his revenge and Ivy is sort of helping him. While the aging and sexing up Ivy’s character has been beyond creepy, Maggie Geha steps up here and puts her spin on the character. She stands out from the crowd which is impressive considering Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin has been the most solid character the entire season. Her vamping it up and at the same time acting somewhat childish work perfectly for this version of the character and makes me wish we just got a Batman show and Geha had been a start from the beginning. She hasn’t gotten much screen time and this episode shows she’s been underused.

The episode is a solid one properly balancing all of the plot points and while things feel too convenient at times. The one think that needs to be fixed is McKenzie’s Gordon who growls through clenched teeth like he’s trying to be Bale’s Batman. He’s a bit too serious at times and this episode that doesn’t work well really hurting some scenes.

It’s take a long time, but it feels like this is the episode that might get the series on track this season. If nothing else it’s a highlight for what’s been a very bumpy ride.

Overall Rating: 7.95