Tag Archives: Television

TV Review: Gotham S2E22 Transference

Gotham Season 2

While Gordon, Bruce and Lucius remain at Indian Hill, the city of Gotham will be met with a new threat as Hugo Strange’s inmates devise a plan to escape and start their new lives in Gotham.

Gotham wraps up its second season… sort of. The second season ends in an interesting way, and one that feels very much like a comic book.

While some things are taken care of so much is left open for the third season. It really feels like the ending of a comic book story arc where there’s more to go. No happy little bow on this story.

What’s impressive is that the episode manages to go through so much in so little time. There’s Strange, ClayGordon, Penguin, Fox and Bruce, Riddler, and Fish Mooney. Everything gets its moment and given ample enough time to go through their arc.

There’s definitely bad. Strange’s finale is a bit of a let down with something (No SPOILERS here!) happening that feels like he should be more hurt or even killed. And the follow up to that is… odd.

There’s a great comedic moment involving Gordon and Fox that will have you laughing and rolling your eyes at the same time.

The season wraps up in one way, but also takes us into the third for what looks to be an interesting further evolution of the show. There’s definitely a better vision for the show, and a consistent style now that feels like a blend of a lot of what’s come before with Batman.

We have some time to wait until the third season, but there’s a lot to look forward to as the show builds its own version of the Batman mythos.

Overall Rating: 7.65

TV Review: Gotham S2E21 A Legion of Horribles

Gotham Season 2

Hugo Strange welcomes a familiar face to Gotham after he resurrects Fish Mooney in Indian Hill. Later, Bruce discovers a friend is in danger and teams up with Gordon, Alfred and Lucius, while uncovering more of Strange’s experiments.

Gotham has just one more episode to go after this one and boy does it set up a hell of a lot. While I might not have totally agreed with the direction and pacing of the season, I will say it has given us a fairly logical point for the creation of a lot of Batman’s rogue gallery (though Batman himself is about 10 years too young).

Tonight, we get yet another classic villain introduced, but also the return of one from the first season. Like so many comic characters, the dead don’t stay dead and we get the return of Fish Mooney. But Mooney to me isn’t the best introduction. In a previous episode we saw a character who is likely Killer Croc, and this episode we get someone named Basil who is an actor. For those who know Batman comics, this is Basil Karlo, aka Clayface a rather interesting and cool villain. We see his abilities on full display in a way that saves a bit on special fx. While I’d love to see Clayface in his full classic look, what they’re doing so far is a bit more grounded and interesting in ways.

But, what I think is the most intriguing thing is the introduction of the Court of Owls in the episode. Though the title isn’t used we learn Strange answers to a higher power. For those who have read Scott Snyder’s recent run on Batman, or those who have read interviews with the producers of the show, it shouldn’t be a surprise as to the introduction of this group and nemesis of Batman. The season has been hinting at it with its focus on cryogenics and we finally get their first on screen moments. I’m sure we’ll see more of them in season three.

And with all of that, we also get a Gotham Police Department completely caught off guard by the explosion of crazy and not sure how they should be dealing with it all. It’s probably one of the most realistic things about the season. They wouldn’t have a clue what’s going on and be a bit lost.

There’s a lot to go through and wrap up before the season ends, and I’d imagine we’ll see a lot of this bleed over into a third season. Who will get out and be the villains for then should be interesting.

Overall Rating: 7.65

TV Review: Gotham S2E20 Unleashed

Gotham Season 2

Azrael is on the loose in Gotham City, which sparks Penguin’s need for revenge. Bruce enlists the help of Selina Kyle, who is reunited with Firefly/Bridgit, in an attempt to help track down Professor Strange.

Gotham has just a few episode left and while the last couple of episodes have shown a lot of improvement from a rather ho-hum season, this episode takes steps back while also taking steps forward in some way.

There’s a lot I like including Bullock and Gordon’s friendship and Bullock stepping up to lead the Gotham Police Department. There’s also some solid moments for Alfred who on this shown has stepped up as much more than just a butler or a mechanic. He is a protector who has seen some action.

Also solid is Penguin taking a stand against Azrael and showing his disdain for theatrics. Moments with the Riddler are humorous too.

Gordon really steps up taking control of things in many ways and doing what he knows is right, even if he isn’t a police officer anymore.

All of this is good. The flow of the episode. The look of everything. There’s some great building up to the last 15 minutes of the episode and then that ending happens…. and it’s so over the top, it feels laughable. Not even entertaining, just eye rolling laughable.

Add in the stupidity that is Bruce Wayne. Here he does his best damsel in distress impersonation with moves that we’ve seen in horror films a million times over and viewers scream when seeing. You stopped the car!? Really!?

And I think that’s my issue with the season.

There’s lots of great moments in the season. You can see where things can go so right or they do indeed go so right. And then something like the end of this episode happens. These moments are the Schumacher moments of the show where the camp is mixed with the dark and it just does not work. You wonder what the writer’s room was like when some of these ideas were thrown out there.

With just a few episodes left, we still have the eventual showdown with Strange coming. We were also promised the Court of Owls. All of these things I can do without. I just want a consistently watchable show, because this episode was just painful at times.

Overall Rating: 7.05

TV Review: Gotham S2E19 Azrael

Gotham Season 2

Gordon and Bruce question Professor Strange about Project Chimera, which leads Strange to send the newly resurrected Galavan to confront Gordon. Meanwhile, Nygma investigates who Professor Strange is.

Gotham amps of the action as the series barrels towards its second season finale. The last episode ended with Galavan returned from the dead screaming out the term “Azrael.” For fans of the Batman comic series the use of that word is exciting considering its history.

The episode has Strange figuring out how to bring together Galavan’s fractured mind as Gordon continues his investigation. Strange figures out his plan and thus Azrael is born.

The episode is solid in many ways, but primarily it shows off how Batman could work, and work really well on television. In fact Azrael’s appearance has me wanting to see Batman eventually become a regular on the show (and if we have to skip a few years as far as that goes, I’m good). You can see the proto-Batman in many ways and there’s one pivotal scene where Bruce sees Azrael and the show does a solid job of showing the ideas running through his head.

And that’s what this episode really feels like to me, an evil Batman running around Gotham killing people and trying to exact revenge. It’s decent use of the source material and brings together a lot of Batman’s mythos in new and interesting ways. Blending Strange, Dumas, Azrael, and even how it’s tying in Nygma to some extent is solid work.

This episode feels like night and day compared to earlier in the season where the episodes seem to not be sure what they want to be. Instead we have a solid voice, a solid look, what’s clearly a solid vision. It’s the latter season that’s paying off for the earlier’s faults.

I found myself getting to the end of the episode excited to see what happens next. That’s something I haven’t felt for pretty much the rest of the season. And I’m hoping the series sticks the landing after seeing this, because it’s finally coming together and doing so quite well.

Overall Rating: 7.85

TV Review: Gotham S2E18 Pinewood

Gotham Season 2

After leaving Arkham Asylum, Barbara attempts to make amends with Gordon. Then, Bruce and Alfred track down one of Thomas Wayne’s former friends from Project Chimera, but Hugo Strange disrupts their plans.

Gotham is finally starting to bring the various plot threads from this season together as it heads towards the finale of its second season. The episode has Gordon attempting to keep his promise to figure out who was behind the murder of Bruce’s parents and that has him doing some connect the dots that at times feels like just moving from situation to situation.

To get to the first step, Gordon must get some help from Barbara who’s “reformed” now after spending time at Arkham Asylum. While I’ve hated the direction they’ve gone with Barbara on the series, I will say this is the first time I’ve enjoyed actress Erin Richards’ portrayal of the role. She does crazy really well and with a few twists and turns her performance is enjoyable even though the story itself is lacking in some ways.

Alfred and Bruce on the other hand are doing their own sleuthing and come across a place called Pinewood and Project Chimera. Things are a bit strange here and the plotline feels very “comic book” like. It might not make a whole lot of sense overall, there’s something fun about the direction, in a turn your brain off sort of way.

The two plots come together and pit Alfred, Bruce, and Gordon against Strange’s ally Mr. Freeze, again keeping up a “comic book” feel to it all.

While the season has felt like a jumble of styles, stories, overall a bit messy, this episode begins to bring it all together. The performances are good and the story overall has a Schumacher feel to it all. It’s a better direction for the series. While I may not agree with the stories and feel it’s not very “Batman,” the series is doing its own thing and setting its own course and it comes together here.

For most of the season I’ve rather tuned out than tune in, but this episode gets me to change that tune. I want to see where it’s going now and what’s to come.

Overall Rating: 7.35

TV Review: Gotham S2E17 Into the Woods

Gotham Season 2

In an attempt to clear his name, Gordon steals his case file and approaches Nygma for help. Meanwhile, Penguin discovers his step-family’s role in his father’s death, and awakens from his conditioning.

Gotham‘s ends one plotline while beginning others. The majority of the episode focuses on Gordon’s escape and his search for who set him up.

While the episode itself plays out pretty well, everything happens WAY too quickly with the storyline resolved in the episode instead of playing out for at least another one or two. It’s weird to say it, but that particular story actually goes by too quickly, as much as I disliked it. The dislike for Nygma’s turn is a rant for another day.

The episode has a few other plot lines thrown out there. The Penguin and his new role/family is pretty center stage, and again, this feels like a plotline that goes by too quickly and the twist is twisted, but at the same time predictable in some ways. That plot feels like it’s goal is to get Penguin back on the bad side, and nothing more. The character was much better when that was the case, but still, this is a bit of an odd way to do it and a lot of questions are out there, like how he’ll inherit his father’s money.

Bruce’s story continues with Selena and while things were getting a bit better with both of these characters, it’s clear the series is trying to set up Bruce’s eventual turn into Batman, though it’s too young for him to do so. The series would need to jump quite a few years for that to make sense, but the basics are being laid out.

The episode is one to wrap up plot lines from earlier in the season as the series heads towards its season finale. The episode, and season as a whole is rather uneven, but it’s interesting to see where the series will go from here.

Overall Rating: 7.1

TV Review: Gotham S2E15 Mad Grey Dawn

Gotham Season 2

Gordon and Bullock investigate a trail of clues left in a museum robbery, which, unbeknownst to them, were placed by Nygma in a dangerous game.

Gotham‘s shifts its bad guy focus a bit shining a light on Nygma who now has it out for Gordon because he thinks Gordon is on his trail as far as Nygma killing a few folks. It takes us in some strange directions and by the end of the episode it all feels like a bad riff on some stories we’ve seen straight from Batman comics.

In other storylines, Penguin is now out and trying to get back into society. He interestingly meets his father played by a very familiar face and one who has been in the role before, a nice nod to what’s come before. This plot is the most interesting to me out of everything, as I want to see where it goes.

Finally, there’s Bruce. I feel like they’re speeding up his transformation into Batman as he’s now on the streets and learning from Selina and Ivy. It’s a different take on the character, and is better than I thought it’d be.

Once again the series feels like it’s shifting a bit in its direction reiterating my belief the series doesn’t know what it wants to be as it bounces between stories and tones. It feels like story arcs with different creative teams hopping on at different points.

The episode is better than the series has been, but still not were it should be in my opinion.

Overall Rating: 7.2

TV Review: Gotham S2E13 A Dead Man Feels No Cold

Gotham Season 2Gordon, Bullock and Barns turn to the wife of Victor Fries to help in finding him; Penguin meets Hugo Strange; and Alfred shares information with Bruce about his parents’ murderer.

Gotham‘s second episode back is an interesting one as it focuses on Fries and his mission to get his wife back. This leads to a plan to trap him that makes so little sense, and then an ending that also is just a bit ho-hum.

There’s some interesting things here, in that we get the GPCD dealing with cooky villains without the help of Batman, hearkening back to the excellent comic series Gotham Central (which I had hoped would be what this series was). But, the series seems to keep veering when it shouldn’t. Instead of getting a solid cop series with their taking on Batman’s rogues, we get a a series that’s a weird mix of Schumacher films and even a bit of a throwback to Batman ’66.

There was a good chance of really changing the tone and direction of the series with this plot, but in two episodes it’s somewhat wrapped up with potential lost. There’s obviously a bigger story here, but it’s all just very off. I could go off about using Fries’ wife as bait, but all logic is out the window with this series.

There’s Penguin’s story, which is currently the most interesting, but that’s mostly due to the acting of Robin Lord Taylor who is killing it in the role. BD Wong is also great as Hugo Strange with a strange creepiness about his character and performance. I actually look forward to seeing what he’s up to and with what he’s focused on, I think I know.

Then there’s Bruce and his search for his parent’s murder. The whole of the story feels beyond rushed and the writers seem to be speeding up his eventual turn into Batman. With the actor being so young, it’s all a bit silly.

The series continues to miss opportunities as it sputters along in its second season.

Overall Rating: 6.9

TV Review: Gotham S2E12 Mr. Freeze

Gotham Season 2Penguin gives Gordon a hard time; a skilled cryogenics engineer named Victor Fries is involved in a body-snatching spree.

Gotham‘s back for the second half of its second season, now with a subtitle of “Wrath of the Villains.” Last we saw the series, Gordon had shot Galavan and Mr. Freeze debuted.

This episode picks up from that with Gordon investigated and Fries/Freeze getting a backstory. This Fries is pretty similar to the classic character we’ve seen in the comics. His wife is suffering from a disease and he is attempting to crack cryogenics to freeze her and eventually bring her back when a cure exists. There’s small details changed, in this case Nora is alive, but the basics are there. Fries’ Mr. Freeze outfit also is a bit of a throwback at times reminding me of the Batman ’66 version of the character.

Penguin is also captured, being sent to Arkham where we meet another familiar face of the Batman comicverse Hugo Strange. And strange is right, because something is clearly up and a bigger plan is being done. What that is? We’ll find out.

With all the talk of cryogenics, one has to wonder if the Court of Owls and Talons will be far behind?

The episode is an improvement on the first half of the season, but now were in a weird mix of trying to be serious and campy at the same time. It’s a weird style and one I’m not quite sure I’m enjoying. Tone I think is what’s been the biggest issue of the series this season, and maybe we’ll see a tone more consistent as opposed to the first half of the season.

Not a bad return, there’s a lot to work with, but I remain a bit skeptical right now.

Overall Rating: 6.9

TV Review: Gotham S2E11 Worse Than a Crime

Gotham Season 2Detective Jim Gordon turns to unlikely allies for help when Bruce Wayne goes missing.

Gotham‘s final episode before its fall break had me scratching my head for quite a while. I really felt like something was skipped as Bruce is captured, Alfred is beat up. I actually had to go back and see if I watched the previous episode (the answer is yes).

The episode really focuses on Galavan and his religious nuts doing their ceremony to restore the Dumas family back to their rightful place in Gotham. What that means? Yeah, you got me.

Jim and Pengiun plot to take on Galavan eventually leading to an assault on the tower where he’s held up about to do some crazy ceremony. The assault is a bit silly, the ceremony is silly, so much about the episode is silly. I actually wish Bruce was sacrificed and it turn out that we’ve been watching the wrong kid the whole time.

I will say, visually the episode is one of the most solid of the season with the use of shadows, colors, it’s top notch.

Robin Lord Taylor‘s Penguin is the highlight as usual. His slow transformation into the villain we know is slow and brilliant in so many ways. He’s completely embraced the character and the rage he exudes, you can feel it off of the screen.

The episode does conclude the first half of the season nicely, wrapping up a lot of plots and giving us a decent break until the series returns. The season has been called “Rise of the Villains,” and the episode ends with a new one to keep track of.

Overall Rating: 7.1

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