TV Review: Gotham Episode 201 “Damned If You Do”

Gotham 201

So this episode leaked a week early but the leak looked awful. I stopped it about 5 minutes in. I was super worried the show was now being shot at 30fps. Which looks like a soap opera. Luckily it was just the leak that looked like that. The show still looks gorgeous.

There is still a lot going on in every episode. We start where we left with Bruce and Alfred finding the staircase leading down from the fireplace in Bruce’s Father’s office. Their is a locked door at the bottom. Bruce can’t guess the code.

It then jumps ahead a month. Gordon is now a uniform cop walking the streets. Until he has a confrontation with his partner that gets him fired.

Riddler, I mean Nygma, is completely bonkers and talking to himself still.

Jerome and Barbara meet in Arkham. Jerome wants to be friends. Tries to bond over their shared parental murder. Barbara blows him off until she finds out he may be able to get her to a telephone.

Penguin is now running the criminal side of Gotham. Selina works for him (or maybe with him…I’m not sure Selins ever really works FOR anyone). Gordon goes to him for help after he is fired. Without him even saying what he wants Penguin knows he wants Commissioner Lobe fired and his job back. Penguin agrees but wants a favor from Gordon.

Bullock seems to work at a bar. He quit the GCPD. He quit drinking. He has a girlfriend. He tells Gordon all of this. It may even be true.

Gordon goes to see Bruce and Alfred as well. He tells them he was fired from the GCPD. He is also honest about the fact that it’s possible to get his job back but that he has to do a favor for Penguin. Bruce discusses his morals with him. Bruce, by the way, looks about 3 years older. I guess he hit a growth spurt.

Barbara has a almost Harley Quinn like vibe going on. She’s very flirty and a bit off kilter. She gets the male inmates to do things for her. I doubt they’ll be turning her into Harley Quinn but the vibe is definitely there. I don’t really know where they’re going with this.

Gordon decides, no doubt because of Bruce’s reasoning, to collect the debt for Penguin. The man refuses to pay and pulls a gun. Gordon fights him and his men and gets the money but then has to shoot the man when they pursue him.  Watching Gordon struggle with his morals and balance them with his desperate pursuit of honor and structure in Gotham and the GCPD…a structure he can’t begin to acquire without breaking his so carefully maintained morals. It’s a frustrating and interesting dance to watch.

Barbara calls Gordon. She lies and tells him that Lee lied. Barbara says she didn’t kill her parents and that Lee attacked her. Gordon hangs up on her. She then calls Lee and says she hopes she dies screaming. Lee wants to leave Gotham. So, Gordon has to confess his crime to her. I’m sure he would have anyway.

Victor and Penguin show up at Lobe’s house in the middle of the night. They’ve killed his guards. Penguin makes a truly disgusting looking peanut butter sandwich. He then tells Lobe that since he can’t manipulate or blackmail him he has to kill him. Lobe asks what he wants. He tells him he needs Gordon reinstated. Lobe agrees but Penguin tells him he doesn’t trust him. Right before killing him, when Victor has a gun in his face, He mentions another option.

Lobe resigns as Commissioner. The former GCPD Captain is made Commissioner. Gordon looks pleased. I don’t know that he is completely comfortable with the path he had to take to get to this point but he is at least happy with the outcome. He is also reinstated as a Detective.

Through an elaborate scheme (because that’s how everything happens in Gotham) 6 inmates are broken out of Arkham. Among the 6 are Jerome and Barbara. The man behind it all also holds a high position in the city of Gotham (I can’t remember the position). He seems to intend to create super villains or a team of villains…not really sure.

After blowing off the door to his father’s secret room, Bruce finds a note from his father. The note talks of his father’s fear for his life (and also mentions that the code for the door was “Bruce”). It also tells Bruce that he can not have the truth of the family business and happiness. It begs him to choose happiness….unless he feels a true calling.

It feels like they are rushing things awfully fast. Bruce already sort of has the bat cave. Gordon is on his way to Commissioner. I know they probably have plenty left to show as Gordon has to navigate the sticky, twisted path between good and evil to try to get to a high enough position of power to do good. I look forward to seeing that journey but……I’m assuming the show has an expiration date. I’m guessing they are planning on only running for 4 or 5 seasons at the most.

I mean, Bruce and Selina will grow up quickly. Slowing down the time on the show doesn’t make the actors stop aging. They can only plan on keeping them children for a few years at the most. And they have said Batman will never appear on the show. So, Bruce can’t be an adult for very long. Selina is older than Bruce (I think). Although this season since his growth spurt she doesn’t look as much older as she did. It still means there is a limited amount of time for the show to exist before Selina and Bruce are the ages they are when they become Catwoman and Batman.

Now, that is unless they change things in the story. They have already done that. Barbara Kean has never been a villain before. The time period has also been altered. Everything looks older, like a noir movie. Even the cars are rarely, if ever, modern but they have cell phones. Cell phones and computers seem to be the only modern devices they have, though. They seem to exist in a world where technology developed differently. So…….who is to say who becomes who when? I supposed they could change anything they want.

I really do love this show. It’s such a great show. It’s well written and beautifully shot. This episode lives up to the show’s first season. It isn’t as spectacular as the finale but it is a good kicking off point to the season.

I miss Fish Mooney, though. I feel like her ending was anticlimactic. Maybe she will come back. She fell into water and there wasn’t any mention of a body. So, who knows?

Whatever happens I look forward to seeing it all unfold.

Gotham airs Monday nights on Fox

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