Review: Gotham – Season 1, Episode 22 “All Happy Families Are Alike”

It’s over. After weeks and weeks and weeks of nonsensical plot lines and characters doing shit for literally no reason, the first season of Gotham has come to an end.

Not that this episode lacked nonsensical moments or characters acting like lost SIMS – oh no, let’s not get crazy here. All that crap STILL HAPPENS. But those things happen while the show is being wildly entertaining.

Shit is going DOWN in Gotham. Jimmy (aka DONUT) is convinced that he’ll be fired once Maroni’s gang war is over. Where he gets this idea is unknown – because he yelled at the commissioner a few episodes ago? Like, that’s kind of all he does? Like, literally, Jim’s entire character arc over the course of this season has been HE ANGERFIGHTS AUTHORITY and TAKES DOWN THE MAN and TRYS TO CLEAN UP THE CITY.  

Falcone is picking out a new chicken, which I think is just some writer’s send up to Tony Soprano’s ducks in the back yard OR Falcone is just really committed to fresh food and locally sourced ingredients. Some of Maroni’s people jump off a motorcycle and take their sweet time setting up the anti-chicken rocket launcher. Like, Falcone could have strolled away at a leisurely pace carrying all the chicken cages like suitcases and been completely out of firing distance well before they pulled the trigger. But because this is Gotham, he just stands there and is MISSED by the slow rocket people.  He’s just thrown back by the explosion.

When Falcone comes to, he’s tied down to a stretcher in Arkham (? a gross hospital?). Upon hearing this, Penguin abandons his great plan from last episode and decides that he just HAS to let Falcone know that it was him who set the whole gang war thing up. This speaks to the Penguin’s narcissim but it also makes him dumb. He could have gotten away with it and never come into harm’s way but almost getting killed is obviously the better option.

Just as Penguin is about to stab Falcone in the face with a scalpel, Jimmy G walks into the scene. He’s very blustery and his cheeks are shaky and his face is intense and…do you think he looks like that because he misses California?

He “arrests” Penguin but it doesn’t stick because he owes him a favor. I realize Jim is supposed to be the one honest man in Gotham but he didn’t actually have to honor that favor. That would have been more interesting than ANGRY MAN MAKES DECISION YOU WOULD EXPECT – FILM AT 11.

See, Jim has to save Falcone because Falcone, the “least worst option” will “save the city.” Query – Hasn’t Falcone run the city for several years if not several decades? It’s a corrupt out-of-control shithole. His leadership has lead to this gang war. Is this one of those things like Iraq, where Sadaam was a terrible awful dictator but he was keeping crazier groups at bay? 

Maroni and his men show up. Maroni has, somehow, drafted the commissioner. This is storytelling 101 – if you make your hero an ally to the “bad guys,” they need to be fighting against the even worse “bad guy.” In Gotham, the real bad guy is THE MAN, symbolized by Commissioner Loeb. However, in this show we’re not really given a reason why we’re supposed to feel Loeb is a bigger threat to Gotham than this gang war. He represents authority and that’s enough.   

There is a lot of shooting and running and Gordon even fucking double-fists some guns in slow-mo so we make sure we understand that this man is a capital B Badass. Harvey, aka DANISH, helps Jim and they team up to save Falcone.

The idea to go to one of Falcone’s safe houses is smart…until Falcone decides to use the warehouse where he met all of his work associates several episodes ago. THEY WILL NEVER FIND YOU THERE, CARMINE!!

They do. Specifically, Fish finds them. Where has Fish been? How did she survive the shot to the gut while escaping from the Dollmaker? What was the point of that whole Dollmaker segue (beside to remind me about that shitty Ann Nocenti run?) None of that matters because Fish is serving Mad Max realness with an on point outfit and a Mohawk so divine that I can feel myself coveting it so hard I have cramps in my toes. She looks amazing and I better see someone cosplaying this soon. 

I assume this is why Selina hooks up with her – having a sweet Mohawk is essential to the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs chart.

Fish has everyone tied up and Maroni shows up to be a sexist dick at the worst possible time to be a sexist dick. He’s never shown these tendencies before, but, sure. It also makes no sense whatsoever for Maroni to piss Fish off at this point but, again, sure. Fish, who is a fucking badass motherfucker, shoots him in the head. All hell breaks loose and everyone runs/shoots/screams. Selina runs off and that’s the last we see of her. (COME BACK, SELINA! YOU NEED TO HANG OUT WITH BRUCE!!! HE NEEDS YOUR LOVE!)

Penguin and Fish fight on a rooftop and Penguin throws Fish to her death. He thinks this means he’s the king of Gotham or something but I doubt it’s going to be that easy. RIP, Fishy. You looked fierce as fuck in your final moments.

Jim, Falcone, and Bullock go to Barbara’s place because Jim needs to walk in on a lady fight (more about that later!) Falcone and Jim have a heart to heart – Falcone is retiring (BULL FUCKING SHIT. HAVEN’T YOU EVER SEEN A MAFIA MOVIE?? THESE GUYS DON’T RETIRE! It’s like the Supreme Court – this is a lifetime appointment.) He tells Jim that he was friends with his father and Jim can save the city.

Ok. So, I watch a lot of these comic book/superhero shows and movies. There are two extremely egregious “sins” that I am so fucking over. They are:

  1. Masked guys talking about saving their city
  2. Main characters with dead fathers hearing all about how heroic/awesome amazing their fathers are and how they have to live up to their fathers’ legacy. Can’t any of these dudes have dads that are insurance salesmen who kept their noses clean and didn’t get involved in the dark criminal underworld of a fucked up city? Or, here’s a crazy idea, how about these characters find out how great/amazing/kick ass/honorable/honest their mothers were?

Jim is reset and repositioned to save Gotham in season 2 (but he’ll probably just angrily glare at everyone.)

Barbara/Leslie
You know how I said Gotham continues to do nonsensical shit? This storyline is exactly that! First, Barbara, physically unmarked after having her throat cut less than two weeks ago, is getting a medical checkup from the medical examiner. Not her doctor, the medical examiner. Then Barbara decides that she needs to rope Leslie into being her trauma counselor for the evening, which Leslie agrees to for some reason? And then she goes over to Barbara’s apartment instead of talking to her in an office. After a little talk about Broody/Jess from Gilmore Girls/The Ogre, Barbara admits to killing her parents. Then Barbara turns into a dog and tries to kill Leslie. Leslie slams her head against the floor and Barbara dies? Or not? It’s unclear. I really hope she’s dead.

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Ngyma
The object of Nygma’s affections discovered his name written in the note he left her last episode. He denies it, she walks away, and then he has this weird breakdown where he talks to himself while the camera does horror movie shit. I felt like this was more something that should have happened to Two-Face (the talking to himself like he’s two different people, etc.)

Bruce
I’ve begun to think that the character of Bruce Wayne was either plotted out before the beginning of the season or all of his parts are written by the same person. Why? Because he’s the only character who has acted consistantly since the beginning. Every step he’s taken has lead him to his next step. He’s the only one who hasn’t suffered from the YOLO syndrome that seems to affect all the other characters.

Bruce has decided that Lucious’s “stoic” comment meant that Bruce’s father had a secret he kept hidden in Wayne Room. He rips everything apart and, surprise surprise, he finds a remote that opens the fireplace. (They picked great music for this moment, btw.)

Last review I wrote:

This episode didn’t do much for Bruce except make sure he was in the right place to be the focus of the cliffhanger at the end of next week’s show. We didn’t get the opening fireplace in this episode (even though it was teased in the preview from last episode), and as soon as the show was over I turned to my husband and told him that would be the last shot we’ll get as we fade to black at the end of the next episode.

Can’t wait to see Thomas Wayne’s batsuit displayed behind glass in the season premiere.

September can’t come soon enough!

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