Episode Title: Worse Than a Crime
Original Airdate: 11-30-15
We’ve come to the midseason finale and it’s been a doozy in more ways than one. It’s amazing to me that just over a month ago I was nearly ready to stop watching this show because I disliked everything about it aside from a couple characters. And in such a short time it has turned around into one of my favorite shows of the year. Every single character arc is hitting for me on every level and it’s a shame that the teaser for the return has a bit of an odd turn. Hopefully they can keep these characters going the way they have been because I’m all for it for now.
This is the culmination of Theo Galavan’s story arc and a strong turning point in the character of Jim Gordon. He’s not just the guy who’s out to do the right thing in a sea of dirty cops and casual criminals, he’s walking a very blurry grey line and it’s getting blurrier by the moment. It’s not a big surprise that he finally did the deed and killed a criminal in cold blood, by the Penguin’s side, no less. Not only that, but he indirectly caused the deaths of two cops who were working with Galavan and became a fugitive from the law along the way. It’s not entirely clear whether or not that little detail was cleared up by the time he proposed to Leslie Thompkins, my guess is that he will be arrested but will be let go on a technicality, or through the unseen help of Penguin and/or Nygma. This is another case where this doesn’t entirely feel like the Jim Gordon that I’ve come to know through various other media appearances. He’s always been the good cop surrounded by a sea of corruption, but this is becoming a look into a darker side from him. I fully expected this season to be about Gordon falling down a darker path and I’m curious how far down he will go before he sees the light.
It’s also helped quite a bit through the parallel journey of the Penguin and I’ve always appreciated this part of the show’s storytelling. During the first season, both Gordon and Penguin were on the rise in their respected career paths, with some bumps along the way. This season they have been knocked down to the very bottom, and through working together they end up realizing their similar goals, albeit on opposite ends of the spectrum. With Galavan out of the way, I expect Penguin to once again regain his hold on Gotham’s underworld in fairly short order even as we get more information on the mysterious Indian Hills, a Professor Strange, and a glimpse at our very own Captain Cold, er sorry Mr. Freeze.
One of the most surprising turns in these last couple episodes has been Bruce Wayne. He has long been fairly hit or miss with his fairly petulant and naive portrayal of the young Master Bruce. But the events with Silver St. Cloud have really matured him as a character and David Mazouz is really starting to show what he can do as an actor. The scenes in this episode where he is fully able to see through Silver’s attempts at trickery, and in doing so ends up truly getting through to her was really great to watch unfold. He played the scenes very calmly and even got to toss out a welcome bit of comic relief when he claimed to have had an escape plan in working order. The escape itself was a great moment where everything managed to come together in just the right way. We hadn’t seen much of Chris Chalk’s Lucius Fox in a while, but he fit in perfectly with the character dynamics. His reluctance to join in the fire fight, his riddle solving abilities, and the play at the end to get the police involved were all very great moments in their own ways. I was extremely skeptical at the beginning of this season, but it really has me hooked in the direction it’s been going. I just hope they don’t completely screw things up with the introduction of Freeze. Or should “ice” say that I hope they don’t “cool” things off with a character who last left too many fans “cold”.