Has Gotham decided what kind of show it is going to be yet? The answer is no. It continues to waffle between a gritty/realistic cop procedural and an over-the-top/comical origin story. I really think it needs to decide, or at least blend the two elements better. With the absence of Fish Mooney and all the key mob players this week, it takes a step towards the gritty side. But, then again, the plot this week is almost a bit comical. too (hypnotism). Most importantly of all, we need more character development! I find myself not caring about a lot of the characters because they are one dimensional and bland.
This week a creepy serial killer from Harvey’s past returns to wreak havoc on Gotham’s elite children again. For the first time in Gotham, we get a flashback detailing a young-er Harvey and his then partner, Detective Dix (Dan Hedaya), hot on the trail of a lunatic serial killer called “Spirit of the Goat.” Dix wants to wait for backup, saying there are no heroes in Gotham, but hot-headed Harvey charges right in. They find a dead girl tied-up before getting into a fight with the “Goat.” Dix falls through the floor and Harvey shoots the “Goat” dead, but not before the “Goat” promises to return. Oooh.
Cut to: present day, a dead girl is tied-up in the same manner as the girl ten years ago. Harvey already knows. Edward Ngyma is telling riddles, of course. He is growing on me, but it might be just because the Riddler was always my favorite “Batman” villain for some reason. Harvey is not happy about this “copycat” murder.
Meanwhile, over in Snoozeville, I mean, Barbara and Jim’s apartment, the same old conversation is happening again. They fight about her past secrets, the city needing saving, and Barbara wanting to help carry his burdens. Blah. They have no chemistry, which leads to me not care about them. Something just isn’t clicking between them. And I feel like I can see them acting. Gordon agrees to tell everything, though I don’t know why because I see no indication of him loving or caring about her. I wish we could just send Barbara off somewhere for a few episodes (or the season!). So, we will see where that goes.
My least favorite characters, the stupid and inept MCU detectives Montoya and Allen, are still trying to pin Oswald’s “murder” on Jim. WOW, they need to focus on getting actual criminals. How dumb can you be as a detective? And why are they so obsessed with Gordon? They interview a witness, who apparently saw Gordon murder Oswald. So, now they are convinced. SO DUMB.
Back on the main case, Harvey explains to Gordon what happened in the past. They then interview the current dead girl’s family. Her father, Mr. Hastings (Brian O’Neill) has a weird hand clenching twitch while the family’s therapist, Dr. Marks (Susan Misner) seems a bit too cool and collected. Hmm.
At the station, Ngyma visits the record annex to find a connection. He flirts with the attendant, whose name is Kristen Kringle (Chelsea Spack). It’s kinda cute, but she is not into it. He later redoes her whole system, which pisses her off. Ngyma just wants to be loved and appreciated. Don’t we all want that? Glad to see more of him in a fun, character-enlightening way.
Harvey and Jim make many connections between the old “Goat” Milke and the new copycat. Firstly, it most likely is a janitor with access to the buildings. After the autopsy, Harvey is convinced the killer is the same “Goat” because no one knew that the original “Goat” would put a penny in the back of his victim’s skulls. But how can that be? Harvey relays the info to the Captain, who tells him to interview his old partner, Dix. We find out Dix was paralized from the waist down after that fall 10 years ago. Dix tells Harvey it’s not a copycat, but that Milke wasn’t working alone. It’s a conspiracy. Hmmm.
We then get to see the current “Goat” in action as he asphyxiates a maid and then kidnaps a really dumb, rich girl. Harvey and Gordon are immediately on the case, looking for a connection between the two victims. With Nygyma’s help, they discover the only person it could be is a maintenance worker named Raymond Earle, who suspiciously is squatting in the same place Harvey caught the first “Goat.” DEJA VU. They get there in time to save the girl and a fight ensues, as it does, and then capture the new “Goat.” These two always have perfect timing. It really is incredible how they always save the day within seconds of disaster. That is called sarcasm, everybody.
Questions: Why is this happening again and how did he know Milke’s tricks? Harvey is wondering too. As Harvey watches Raymond in captivity, he notices a familiar tick (fist-clenching) that he saw in Mr. Hastings. He rushes back over to the Hastings manor and starts chatting with Dr. Marks about her practices, including hypnotherapy. He spells it all out and she remains cool and collected, before revealing that she did do it. As an act of therapy for Gotham. Oh, groan. She said the rich/elite ruined Gotham and they deserve it. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Another villain who is trying to ruin the rich and elite of Gotham? C’mon with some new storylines and villain motivations, please! Really now. She says some hypnotising special words and Mr. Hastings jumps to attack, letting Dr. Marks get away. But Harvey manages to get them both! Yay, Harvey, but groan again to this terrible villain motivation. We get it, Gotham.
Meanwhile, Barbara had paid a visit to her ex-lover, Montoya. Does anyone else not believe they had a relationship? Once again, no chemistry. It just feels clunky. Stupid Montoya tells Barbara that they are gonna arrest Gordon and she better leave Gotham now. Barbara tries to reason with her and says she will tell her everything but Montoya doesn’t listen. They both are the worst.
Back at the apartment, Barbara is packing up and Gordon arrives. She begs him to come with her, but he says he can’t. A knock on the door means his arrest by Montoya and Allen for Oswald’s murder. Le sigh.
As for our beloved Penguin, Oswald Cobblepot, he pays his mother (Carol Kane) a visit. She is mad at him for being gone so long, thinking a woman ensnared him. She could not be more crazy and wrong. He promises her he is going to be “someone” in this city. Later, Penguin is given a bath by his mother and it is just icky. He tells her he trusts a cop (Gordon), but I can’t really pay attention because this scene makes me shiver in disgust. Penguin also continues to be the most captivating thing about the show. It’s called actual character development. Thank you.
Oh, and over at Wayne Manor, where young Bruce and Alfred never leave, they hear a report about the “Goat” killings. Alfred wants to leave town, but Bruce isn’t going anywhere. Later, Catwoman sneaks in and steals something, looking lovingly at a sleeping Bruce. S’ok, random.
Back at the station, Harvey explains to the Captain everything that happened with Dr. Marks and Mr. Hastings, but they are interrupted when Montoya and Allen bring in a handcuffed Jim. The Captain is pissed. They also arrest Harvey for being in collusion with Gordon. Gordon is shouting he didn’t “KILL” Oswald, while Harvey is saying, wink, wink, he didn’t kill Oswald. Everyone is SHOUTING. All are SHOUTING. And all are interrupted by the arrival of the Penguin himself, Mr. Oswald Cobblepot — the man of the hour! Harvey is super pissed. He jumps at Gordon like an angry mountain goat!
And there we have it! This episode was a bit darker. I appreciated not having the mob or Fish involved, as I couldn’t care less about their storylines. This episode lacked a bit of life and seemed to just be repeating the same cycles over and over again. A new show shouldn’t already feel repetitive after just six episodes! Three villains in a row who all have the same murderous intention: “The rich must pay!” The same ol’ crap with Montoya/Allen obsessing over non-guilty Gordon. Barbara doing the same thing over and over and I don’t even know what she is doing. The best bits of the show are about character development. My suggestion? Stop adding new characters and focus on the ones we know and make us care about them more. Does that mean eliminating some of the lesser characters, too? I don’t know.
I just know something needs to change or Gotham will quickly drop off of people’s radars soon. It is such a great premise, so please make us care. Give us new and inventive storylines. Do something different. Really dig deep into a character. Make it fun! I believe it is still possible. Let me know in the comments below what you think about Gotham. See you next week!
Gotham airs on FOX, Mondays at 8/9c. Watch full episodes on FOX.com.