Gotham Review: The Strike Force


Warning: Spoilers for the Gotham episode titled The Strike Force

Batman fans! Welcome once again to your weekly Gotham review from Caped Crusades! I’ll keep my opening statement brief as there is plenty to cover in the review itself. As always I write this review in a ‘flow of consciousness’ sort of format, simply recording for you my thoughts as I watch the episode through for a second time.

So apparently Penguin’s crime family is full of people stuck in the 1980s. I guess this might have been done to emphasize that Gotham could take place in any time, but really it just makes them look dated and out of place, instead of timeless and mysterious the way the show is supposed to look.

You know, someone commented on Twitter Monday night when this aired, I was live tweeting on behalf of Caped Crusades, “that chair will never threaten anyone ever again!” I thought it was appropriate to mention here, as it was quite amusing.

I love Bullock so much! Captain Barnes yells “ten hut!” and the whole precinct snaps to attention as if the GCPD were a military base, all except Bullock who stands from his chair a hair too late, making him look very much like a civilian in the midst of an army platoon or something. He kind of looked a bit like the kid in class who only realizes the teacher has asked him to stand after he looks around the room and sees everyone staring at him.

I suspect that Captain Barnes will tragically lose his life just as he is changing Gotham for the better (or he’ll turn out to be a worse monster than Galavan or something), after all, if he and Gordon were to succeed in cleaning up Gotham then there would be no need for the Batman by the time Bruce grows up.

More from Bam Smack Pow

Penguin is quick on the uptake, realizing all the recent chaos was Theo Galavan’s doing the moment he saw Barbara. He also makes a fair point to Tabitha, so far he has proved everyone who’s ever underestimated him wrong. I’m also really looking forward to seeing him get his revenge on the Galavan’s, taking his mother may have worked in their favor in the short term but in the long run it was a big mistake. As he is a classic Batman villain we know he will be around to the end of the show, and I can’t see a scenario where he doesn’t eventually make them pay for kidnapping his mother.

I’m not sure who is crazier, Tabitha or Barbara, but the two of them in a relationship can’t be healthy for either of them. Especially when you throw Theo into the mix.

So Barnes pretty much just admitted to Lee that he was going to be killing more criminals than arresting, which in real life would put him under investigation and possibly get him fired. Because our laws say that a person is innocent until proven guilty, and is supposed to have laws preventing cops from indiscriminately killing suspected criminals, this is a highly undesirable trait in a police captain.

Gothamites are exceedingly gullible aren’t they. I’m still not sure why Penguin went in person to kill one mayoral candidate and sent Zasz for the other.

I need to say something here, and it might just turn into a rant so hang on tight folks. I want to make it very clear that hitting a child is never okay, and portraying it on television is disgusting! I don’t care if Selina did kill Reggy, who by the by tried to kill Alfred and would have been the cause of Bruce and Selina’s deaths had he lived, (and Alfred was going to kill the man himself)! Alfred is a grown man and he bloody well knows better than to strike a child, teenager or not! I am very disappointed in the Gotham writers for putting that hit into the script in the first place, let alone leaving it in the final cut! I understand the creative team wanted to have Alfred chase Selina away from Bruce for awhile but the lecture would have sufficed. Alfred has a foot and at least a good fifty pounds on her not to mention years of combat training followed by hard combat experience, I don’t care if she’s a ‘hardened street kid’ this is not okay people!

I could go on another long rant here about how women do not owe men sex simply because they are ‘good guys’ but I won’t because that is admittedly Big Bad Ed doing the talking and it’s pretty clear he is evil. I am wondering if the echoing quality of his voice is meant to represent that the two different Ed’s are getting a little more jumbled up. Like the echoing means that his voice is slowly merging with Nygma’s, he is gaining more control of the body and his voice will soon be the one other people hear.

It occurs to me that the Wayne family gets a lot of credit for having built the city of Gotham, and Theo Galavan claims that his family built Gotham but were betrayed. It seems quite likely that the Waynes may have betrayed the Galavans and he wants revenge on Bruce as the only surviving Wayne.

As much as Butch may not like Penguin, for killing Fish and for taking advantage of the brainwashing Zasz did, he still wants to help Penguin rescue his mother, he’s not just going to do it because Penguin tells him to, he actually wants to help. Though whether that is because he still has some human decency and cares about what happens to Mrs. Cobblepot, a strange but ultimately sweet woman he has met in the past, or because he is concerned about all the crap the Galavans can make them do until she is safe I don’t yet know. I suspect it might be some combination of the two.

Ah Victor Zasz, not just a psychotic killer but talented too. I know he started working for Penguin because that was the job Falcone gave him but I have to wonder what keeps him loyal to Penguin now? Is it just that working for Penguin gives him the best opportunity to do what he loves to do? Or is it some odd loyalty to this particular crime family that the writers haven’t gone into yet?

I cannot stress enough how amazing the Gotham writers have made Harvey Bullock! He really does have like all the best lines on the show! I love the sense of humor they write him with. I love his line “yeah, do that!” (followed quickly by “okay, so they move well”) in response to the suggestion by a member of the strike force to flank Zasz in order to take him down. Harvey’s one liners never fail to make me smile at least once every episode of Gotham, no matter how many times I have to watch the episode to get my work done for Caped Crusades.

So I was always under the impression that Ms. Kringle was never going to agree to a date with Nygma, and that eventually she would reject him so harshly that he would snap. Obviously I was wrong. Not to say that can’t still happen, after all maybe it’s their break up the tips him over the edge. Maybe she comes to the conclusion that he is a freak, or that he killed her ex and dumps him in a particularly rude manner. Or maybe she doesn’t cause the snap, maybe the snap happens first and she is his first victim as The Riddler. Actually she probably comes to a sticky end at the hands of The Riddler either way. When I first saw this scene I thought that Kristen suspected Ed of doing something to her ex, and that she excused herself to the bathroom for a chance to leave, but clearly I was wrong. Or as someone tweeted Monday night, maybe she thought about it and finds the idea that he could have killed her abusive ex to be hot.

As cool as Big Bad Ed is for the moment I wish he didn’t exist because really Kringle and Nygma are so cute with their glasses and their sweaters and general nerdiness. By the way, I mentioned this when I was live tweeting but when both members of a couple wear glasses, those glasses only come off for very serious kissing. I was quite excited for Nygma when I saw she took her glasses off. I find myself torn between loving the way the writers are turning him into the Riddler and rooting for him to stay a good guy and get the girl.

Watching Gordon confronting Penguin about his ‘attacks’ on Gotham’s mayoral candidates is just as frustrating as seeing him watch Galavan’s super fake hero act in The Last Laugh. I’m going “come on Jim you’re supposed to be this great detective (at least on this show, let’s face it, if he were so awesome in the rest of Batman canon as he is supposed to be on Gotham there wouldn’t need to be a Batman. Though he is usually a good enough detective to suspect who Batman is, and that his daughter is Batgirl without ever wanting to confirm it) why can’t you figure this out! Look at how fake Theo Galavan’s acting is!” and also “you know Penguin, you know his weakness, hell didn’t you meet his mother at some point? put the pieces together! It doesn’t make sense for Cobblepot to do these things and he is clearly distraught it should be easy to put two and two together and realize his mother’s been taken and he is being used!”

See I think it’s actually going to be the death of Cobblepot’s mother that will really turn him into a monster, maybe even something worse than we have ever seen from the Penguin before. It should be quite interesting to see.

We want to hear from you! Leave us your thoughts and opinions in the comments! Want more Batman? Download the Fansided app for more Batman news! Don’t forget to like Caped Crusades on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Really love Batman? Caped Crusades is always looking for volunteer writers! Leave us a comment, email an editor at, and apply on