Gotham S:01 E:06

Episode: Spirit of the Goat
Original Airdate: 10-27-14

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but Gotham is very uneven from episode to episode. Some episodes have a lot of over the top acting, are more on the campy side of things. And somehow the show manages to skirt the edge of gritty and campy which is a hard thing to do. At first, I thought that it was the mob politics that I liked seeing and wanted to see more, but when I got it in spades during last week’s episode, it was a big mess. What I realized with this episode is that what I like about this show is when they allow Gordon and Bullock to do actual detective work. When this show actually becomes more like one of those more typical police procedurals, only with hints of Batman in the background. And I feel like this episode hit that tone better than any before it. It also helped that it had the same visual feel of Arkham during several moments including a great shot of Penguin in the bathtub. I think what really helped win this episode over for me was the fact that it was written by Ben Edlund whose work I’ve enjoyed from his time on the Tick up through Angel and Supernatural. There was the right amount of humor that wasn’t too campy, even if there was a callback to the ’66 Batman when Bullock exclaims “Holy Ghost on a bicycle!” It was also a great subtle touch to have The Goat’s mask have a bit of the Batman ears to it. This is the kind of subtlety that I liked seeing. There were still some weak points in the episode, I wasn’t fond of Nygma’s scenes, nor the odd throwaway scene of Catwoman stealing something that I’m sure will be important a few episodes down the line from little Bruce. But aside from those moments, this was another strong episode. Unfortunately, based on the track record, I’m fully expecting next week to be another poor episode. Time will tell.

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