Gotham Recap And Review – S01E22 – All Happy Families Are Alike – Season Finale

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Gotham ended its freshman season tonight with its twenty-second episode, All Happy Families Are Alike.  How was it?  I’m sorry to say that this was one of the most inane and nonsensical episodes I have ever seen.  It seems that the episode attempted to shock viewers with some artificial twists and turns, but the writers didn’t get the message that viewers will never be shocked if they don’t care about the characters or the story.

Spoilerific Recap

At Gotham City’s shoreline, Selina Kyle witnesses the arrival of Fish Mooney.  Mooney greets Selina and promises her that it’ll be a new day.

At Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne is still angry at allegations that his father was complicit in corruption.  Bruce recollects to Alfred that when his father worked in the study, the door was always locked and classical music was playing.  Determine to find out his father’s secret, Bruce starts to look at every corner of the room.

At the docks, Carmine Falcone arrives to inspect his chickens.  Assailants quickly arrive and launch a grenade at him.

At GCPD, men from both sides of the Falcone/Maroni war are brought in and locked in cells.  Jim Gordon meets a physically recovered Barbara Kean in Leslie Thompkins’s office.  Leslie advises Barbara to seek some counseling.  Initially refusing to do so, Barbara agrees to go to counseling if Leslie acted as her therapist.  Gordon soon receives word from Harvey Bullock of Falcone’s hospitalization.  According Captain Sarah Essen, corrupt city officials ordered the hit on Falcone and have switched their support to Maroni.

At the hospital, Falcone awakens to restraints.  Oswald Cobblepot and Butch Gilzean soon pay him a visit.  After Oswald gloats, he attempts to slit Falcone’s throat.  The killing is stopped with the arrival of Gordon, who arrests both Oswald and Gilzean for attempted murder.  Gordon frees Falcone with the plan to have the mob boss stop the war.  Gordon exits to a suspiciously empty hallway.  Gordon calls Bullock and is advised to leave the hospital.  Corrupt Commissioner Gillian Loeb soon arrives ordering Gordon to give up Falcone, Oswald, and Gilzean.  Gordon refuses and a violent gunfight ensues.  After taking out the gunmen, Gordon finds Bullock, who assists them in escaping the hospital.  Using an ambulance, they drive through Sal Maroni and his armed men.

Arriving at Falcone’s safe house, they’re greeted by Selina Kyle, who has now been recruited by Mooney.  Mooney herself soon makes an appearance with her entourage.

At Barbara’s apartment, Leslie tries to get Barbara to open up about her experience with the Ogre.  Barbara confesses to Leslie about a dream involving the Ogre where he comes after her.

Mooney reunites with Gilzean and quickly sets up a meeting with Maroni.  Gordon, Bullock, Falcone, and Oswald have been tied and restrained.  When Gordon attempts to signal help from Selina, she brushes him off.  Mooney tells the captured group that Maroni will give her back all her territories if she executes Falcone.

Barbara continues to talk to Leslie and reveals that she was attracted to the Ogre because he frightened her.  The conversation becomes twisted when she asks Leslie if Gordon ever hit her in the heat of passion.

Maroni arrives to meet with Mooney.  The conversation is friendly until Oswald inserts himself and tells Mooney that Maroni will kill her once he executes Falcone.  Tensions rise when Maroni calls Mooney an underboss and makes her a second-rate partner.  When Mooney objects to Maroni’s treatment of her, he continues to taunt her with derogatory remarks.  Fed up with Maroni, she shoots him in the head.  A gunfight erupts between Mooney’s people and Maroni’s.  Bullock sees his chance and frees Gordon and Falcone.  Oswald frees himself and runs.

Leslie makes another attempt to have Barbara talk about her time with the Ogre.  Barbara tries to deflect the question and talks only about Leslie’s and Gordon’s relationship.

Outside, Falcone reveals to Gordon that he plans on retiring and moving south.  With Mooney’s people approaching, the three hide in a shipping crate.  They’re quickly found by Selina Kyle and her group.  Gordon, Falcone, and Bullock are brought back to Mooney.  However, Oswald fires an automatic rifle wildly causing everyone to take cover.  Seeing Mooney run towards the roof, Oswald goes after her.  Gordon, Falcone, and Bullock jump in their car and speed out of the safe house.

Continuing their conversation, Barbara finally opens up to Leslie about her neglected childhood.  When talking about the night her parents were murdered, Barbara openly confesses that she was the one who killed them.  Leslie becomes disturbed by Barbara’s admission and wishes to leave.  Barbara grabs a knife and chases after Leslie.  Leslie locks herself in the bathroom where she breaks a mirror to use a shard as a weapon.  As Barbara breaks through the door, Leslie lunges at her.  The fight ends up in the foyer.  In a desperate move to defend herself, Leslie slams Barbara’s head on the floor multiple times, knocking her out.   Gordon, Bullock, and Falcone enter to the conclusion of the fight.

Oswald chases Mooney to the roof, but Mooney ambushes and disarms him.  The two engage in a brutal fight.  However, Gilzean holds the two at gunpoint.  Unable to reconcile which side he’s loyal to due to his brainwashing, Gilzean opts to shoot both Oswald and Mooney.  Coming to his senses, Gilzean apologizes to Mooney, but is knocked out by Oswald.  Oswald lunges at Mooney and throws her over the roof and into the water, seemingly to her death.

At GCPD’s archives annex, Ms. Kringle confronts Edward Nygma about the fake letter from Tom Dougherty.  She figured out that the first letter of each line spelled out “Nygma.”  Nygma denies everything and points to coincidence.  When Ms. Kringle leaves, Nygma has a mental break, revealing his insanity.

Overlooking the city in Barbara’s apartment, Falcone tells Gordon that Gotham City now needs a lawman.  Falcone then gives Gordon a switchblade which belonged to Gordon’s father.  The story behind the switchblade was that it was a last minute gift to Falcone on his birthday.  Falcone ends the story by telling Gordon that no matter how honest his father was, he still carried a knife.

At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred have looked through every corner of the study.  In a conversation with Bruce, Alfred uses a phrase which triggers Bruce to look through a book for a quote.  Bruce soon finds a remote entry key hidden in one of the books.  He presses it and loud classical music starts to play.  As the fireplace opens, it reveals an entryway with stone stairs leading to a secret lower floor.

Good Moments

  • Uhmm … when the end credits started rolling.

Bat Signals (References and Giveaways)

  • Easter eggs are supposed to be kind of subtle right?  I guess if it’s Gotham, then this hitting-you-over-the-head clue is their version of an Easter egg: the secret passage to the future Batcave.

Riddle Me This … (Predicting the Past)

  • I really can’t comment on this section anymore.  Tonight’s episode has shown that Gotham destroyed the whole Batman myth.  This is not the spirit of the legend.

Final Thoughts

Gotham‘s season finale, like most of its first season, was a complete letdown.  I never thought Gotham could get any worse, but All Happy Families Are Alike proved that this whole series is one big trainwreck.  Characters were acting … well … out of character, and the plot went nowhere.

There are just too many problems to list, so I’ll just go with the biggest ones.  Was Selina Kyle just shoehorned in because they felt like they didn’t have enough characters for this episode?  The way she was recruited into Mooney’s group was so brute forced that I was cringing.  They also put her in a ridiculous outfit and hairstyle so that she would look like Fish, Jr.  The worst part about Selina was that she turned on Gordon for no rhyme or reason.  Just a few episodes ago, she was all soft-hearted in trying to defend Bruce and help him solve a mystery about his parents.  Now she’s part of a murderous gang?  Really!?

Carmine Falcone has to be one of the lamest and weakest crime bosses I have ever seen.  After escaping, he just blatantly tells Gordon and Bullock that he’s now thinking of retiring?  Plus, the biggest embarrassment about their escape was that with two seasoned cops, the best they could do was hide in a shipping crate?  And they did the hiding in plain sight of the people chasing after them.  Jeez, I wonder how they got caught.

Then there was the whole Nygma story that seemed like it was tacked on for no reason.  Ms. Kringle just openly confronts him about the letter?  Come on.  And then Nygma is shown to have multiple personality disorder with a cheesy effect that looked like it was from the 1970s.

Season finales usually make people hate the summer break because they need to know what happens next.  Gotham‘s season finale makes you grateful that summer is already here and that this debacle is temporarily over.

Next: Catch up on Gotham with a review of The Anvil or the Hammer

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