Review: Gotham – Season 2, Episode 17 “Into the Woods”

Apologies for the tardiness of this review. I was out of town for the week and didn’t get a chance to do any reviewing. I fell asleep watching Forensic Files at least three times, though. Those were some fun dreams.

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I love Forensic Files. No matter when the crime took place, even if it was last year, everyone looks like they just stepped out of a low budget movie shot in 1982. And all the cops have mustaches. One day I’m going to start a Mustaches of Forensic Files tumblr and it’ll be filled with screen shots of glorious ‘staches. (As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am a screen cap artist.)

We begin this episode with Bruce & Selina doing parkour across some rooftops because they stole money from Random Bad Guy. Once they’re safe, Bruce is all “WHAT IS THIS RANDOM GREEN SHIT IN THIS BAG? CASH? ONLY THE POOR USE CASH AND I KNOW THAT BECAUSE I OFFERED TO GIVE A BUNCH OF CRIMINALS A CHECK A FEW EPISODES AGO!” and he dumps the money off the roof. Selina is all, “Yeah, eating is so overrated” and then she drops dead from starvation.

Back at the precinct, Ben Grimm is blabbing about the people of Gotham and protecting and serving and…zzzZZZZzzzz.

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No one cares nor believes that any of the crooked motherfuckers on this police force gives two shits about the people of Gotham. And the people of Gotham really don’t care about whatever the hell Jim Gordon is doing at the moment because they’re just trying to not get killed.

Jim Gordon is at Harvey’s apartment just like all of us knew he’d be. (Too bad Commissioner Ben Grimm can’t figure that out.) They’re trying to solve the case of who framed Jim for this murder, not the actual murder he committed. That’s what’s frustrating about this whole plot line – Jim’s been framed and he’s gotta clear his name. If he does that he’ll be reinstated on the force, but he still has Galavan’s murder hanging over his head. When that shoe drops (and it should if the writers don’t decide to ignore it/explain it away with a clone) we’re right back where we were a few episodes ago: Jim Gordon, accused murderer. It’s the mobius strip of plot lines.

Jim and Harvey deduce that there was a phone call to IA about the murder that was probably recorded. That’s when Harvey Bullock, the One True Hero of the show, springs into action. I know we throw the word “hero” around a lot these days, but Harvey Bullock is a man who truly deserves the title. He fucks the IA lady so Jim can break into her office and steal the tape. That is a True Friend. That is a man who can Get Shit Done. That is a Hero.

 

God bless you, Harvey Bullock. You are the one bright spot in an otherwise dark universe.

Jim finds a tape that is garbled, so he takes it to his buddy Nygma for help. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you Jim Gordon, the Worst Detective. Once Jim puts everything together it’s too late. Nygma shocks him in the taint and he collapses. Later, there is shooting and running and escaping, and it’s all very expected. Not the taint shock, that was unexpected and hilarious.

Somehow Jim makes it to Bruce & Selina’s little chaste love nest where Bruce mends clothing and makes dinner. Where he learned to do any of these things…(he says Alfred made him learn but…when? Why?)

They take Gordon to Wayne Room where suddenly Alfred is a dick to Jim because that’s what Alfred is on this show and if he’s not being openly hostile to someone he shouldn’t be on screen. They devise a scheme that causes Ngyma to lead them to Tinsel’s body. (Side note – great performance  here from the guy who plays Ngyma.) He does, Jim is cleared of all charges but he refuses to go back to the force because he has to solve the Wayne Murders. Booo.

Now that Gordon is back on the case, Bruce has no reason to go back to the streets with Selina. Alfred is all “Bruce, you can’t put Selina in danger! She cares for you! She’s a good kid!” and Bruce is all “…didn’t you slap her because she killed the guy you wanted to kill?” and Alfred is all, “Come into the Downton Abby kitchen and shove various foods into your face, savvy?”

Bruce and Selina fight, Selina leaves, and we’re back with Bruce in Wayne Room trying to solve his parents’ murders. This is a bad story choice. I love the character of Bruce in most Batman media. But his character drags this show down because they keep bouncing back to him to play the “he’s gonna be Batman, guys!” game. I liked him out on the streets with Selina because it gave the show a reason to ignore him for awhile. Now he’s back and we’re back in Wayne Room uncovering an pointless mystery. Personally, I’ve always liked the idea that the Waynes were killed in a random act of violence over the idea that they’re victims of a hit/conspiracy. If the Waynes are killed randomly it gives more weight to the why of Batman – he’s out there protecting the citizens of Gotham because the city is so bad that literally anyone can be a target. It shows how useless the cops are in Gotham, and it illustrates why Gotham needs a Batman. A conspiracy removes some of the universal threat to all Gotham’s citizens and focuses the problems on high-level corruption and shady dealings with corporations and politicians. Not to say that the latter isn’t also interesting or a good story. I just personally prefer the more universal City Is Fucked On All Levels story of the former.

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Penguin is a servant for his dead father’s terrible family. When he finds the poison (who doesn’t keep evidence just lying around?) he kills a dog then his “siblings.” He feeds them to his Evil Step Mother and then stabs her in the face. Setting aside the fact that comic book Penguin would never do something as low class as feed a woman her children (kill them, yes. Cook them? How gauche), I’m just glad this plot is finally over.

Oh, and Barbara is out of Arkham. I’m sure her future plot lines will revolve around how much she loves Jim and how “crazy” she is.

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