Gotham Review: Damned If You Do…


Welcome Batman Fans, to the first Gotham review of the season! Last night’s episode titled Damned If You Do… was fantastically full of drama and intrigue! I’m just getting back into the swing of things not that Gotham is back on the air, so just as last season this review will just be my thoughts as I watch the episode.

Okay so first of all I have to comment on the cave that Thomas Wayne was hiding in his study. I know many people are a bit confused by this, calling it the Batcave and wondering if Thomas was somehow Batman before Bruce. I just want to clarify a few things for my readers. There has always been a whole series of caves under Wayne Manor, and we have seen in other Batman mediums, like the Chris Nolan movies that the family is at least marginally aware of their existence (when Bruce fell down that well and gained his fear of bats Thomas Wayne would have noticed the caves). So it’s possible that the hidden entrance to this cave could have been put in long before Thomas, as some ancestor could have used it for any number of things, hiding alcohol during prohibition, hiding runaway slaves, and the like. Or if Thomas Wayne was the one to install an entrance to this cave behind the fireplace in his study, it would make perfect sense that he hide his investigations of Wayne Enterprises somewhere only he (and some day his very clever son) could find. It is entirely possible, and even fairly likely that Bruce will turn this cave into his Batcave someday, but just because his father used it first does not mean that Thomas was Batman. Thomas had reason to hide his activities in regards to investigating the corruption of his company but he had no cause to become Batman, that would put his life in too much danger, and he had a wife and son to think about. I am also fairly sure that the show’s creators would have had some small hints and whispers on the show of a dark vigilante who roamed Gotham prior to the Wayne murders, if they were going to have Thomas Wayne be Batman. It also just flat out doesn’t make sense to have him be Batman, as that only happened in the comics in some convoluted alternate world where Bruce was killed in that alley instead of his parents.

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Okay so I’m watching the episode again as I write this review, and that means I’m now watching this episode for the third time and I only just saw the title on the screen declaring it was one month later from Bruce’s discovery of his dad’s cave. How could I have missed that twice?!

I just have to mention how totally creepy Penguin and Victor Zasz are now that they’re working together. And with Zasz on his side Penguin sure is a lot more intimidating.

Jim Gordon is one seriously stubborn bastard isn’t he? He wouldn’t quit when he was shuffled off to Arkham, and even when Lobe demoted him to traffic cop he still hung in there. He’s what some people would call mule headed.

Zaardon the Soul Reaper is hilariously dramatic, only in Gotham would you end up with a nutcase like this. I’m sure Gordon was thinking “oh crazy guy in a costume with guns and swords taking people hostage on the streets of Gotham, it must be Tuesday”.

Dark days are coming is pretty much the line of every criminal in Gotham when they come across Gordon, maybe if he took them seriously and figured out what to do to prevent the darker days of Gotham Batman wouldn’t be necessary.

I really love what they’re doing with Edward Nygma’s character, the evil personality within, kind of a Big Bad Ed (like Harvey Dent’s Big Bad Harv) is an interesting take on the transformation from quirky good guy Ed Nygma to full on villain The Riddler. I’m excited to see where they take this.

Okay so we all know that Commissioner Loeb deserves to rot in prison for all the crap he’s done, least of all for trying to get Leslie Thompkins killed by a serial killer to get back at Gordon, but now he deserves to have his ass kicked too, how dare he call Captain Essen “young lady”!? I really love to hate this character and I am so glad he gets a little of what’s coming to him by the end of the episode.

Jim’s conversation with Bruce is a definite glimpse into the future. It makes perfect sense to me, given the relationship the two traditionally have, that it would take a lecture from Bruce to get Gordon to break his own moral code for the greater good.

I really dislike the camera shots they did of Jim’s face as he was running from Ogden Barker and his men, it was just awkward and weird. Hopefully they won’t be doing that much in the coming episodes.

I cannot stress enough how much I absolutely love Bruce and Alfred’s relationship on this show. I know people have had some complaints about this show but you can’t deny that the relationships and character development are amazing! Bruce and Alfred’s argument about the bomb was funny and adorable, and Alfred listing the other necessary bomb ingredients and offering to put the kettle on might just be the funniest thing to happen on the show. I also can’t help but notice that David Mazouz had quite the growth spurt during the hiatus, I swear the kid is like six inches taller than he was in the season finale. He’s going to be Sean Pertwee’s height by season three!

Butch looks a little off his rocker, like he might just snap at any moment. Which is probably due to him working for the man who killed Fish Mooney, after he was forced to shoot her due to Zasz’s brainwashing.

Penguin and Zasz are so awesomely terrifying together, I love how they handled Loeb! Their bickering about when to kill Loeb had just about everyone laughing when we were live tweeting the show Monday night. “Now chief?” “One moment Victor, the commissioner deserves time to process this… say a prayer or what have you” followed later by “you what me to kill him now?” “No, make him a nice cheese toastie. Yes, kill him now, please.” “Just wanted to be clear.” I’ve seen that three times now and I still laugh every time! This is the least that Loeb deserves for all the wrong he has done, for all the crooked deeds.

I’m unfamiliar with Theo Galavan and his sister Tabitha but I’m looking forward to seeing what they are going to do on the show, I’m already very excited for next week’s episode when they unleash Jerome, Barbara and company on the city to reek havoc.

So the writers of Gotham are definitely playing around with the order of major events in the history of Gotham. I don’t know how many fans are aware but Sarah Essen did indeed become the Police Commissioner, but she wasn’t known as Commissioner Essen because she took over after Jim retired and by that point she was his wife, which makes her the second Commissioner Gordon.

Oh my god, Jerome is so the perfect Joker, I’m going to be sorely disappointed if this kid doesn’t turn out to be him. Cameron Monaghan is a brilliant actor, and like the rest of the cast of Gotham, perfect for his role.

I really can’t believe that it never occurred to Bruce and Alfred that the password to unlock the cave is ‘Bruce’ I mean really, it should have been obvious to a pair of intelligent men like themselves. But I love the looks on their faces when they successfully set off their bomb. I get that Bruce enjoyed it, many a young man enjoys a good explosion, but Alfred was maybe a bit too gleeful, he’s supposed to be setting an example for Bruce, but in this moment they are definitely more like friends than guardian and child.

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