A Recap, by definition, WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS! Proceed at your own risk!
FOX’s “Gotham” returned tonight and gave us an episode filled with the tension, action, and mystery that we’ve come to expect from the better episodes of this first season. It’s been on hiatus for quite some time and I’m positive many of the fans are happy to see Detective Gordon, Bullock, and Bruce return to fight for their city. It’s an interesting show to watch, especially after a weekend of Marvel’s defender (an alternative of sorts to Batman) and watch how differently FOX presents DC’s depiction of a crumbling city. While “Gotham” is highly stylized, it’s still an equally enjoyable watch and filled with so many great actors. I don’t feel there’s enough time to go into how much I love Donal Logue as Bullock; we’ll save that for another time. Another aspect that “Gotham” gets right is the intense adult matter they are allowed to explore for their time slot of 8 p.m. While evil and darkness may be hinted at through fog and shadows, we all know it’s there like a monster that once stalked us, as we lay in our beds, with the covers blanketing our worst fears. “Gotham” is that fear, the fear that waited for us, before we knew there was a Dark Knight watching over us. “Beasts of Prey” is a highly effective episode that introduces us to our season one endgame villain and feels like a monster movie of sorts – it hits all the rights beats and creeps along at just the right pace.
Peter Petrelli from “Heroes” is bad?
I only watched the first season of “Heroes”, but I remember it well and I also remember Milo Ventimiglia as Peter Petrelli. After playing Rocky’s son in “Rocky Balboa” and appearing elsewhere, he’s made his way to Gotham City. And he’s not a nice guy. In fact, nice should not be used in the same sentence when describing this villainous character referred to as The Ogre. He’s seen only through flashback during tonight’s episode that play like an old reel of film. He’s depicted as a wealthy, educated, and charming gentleman searching for “unconditional love.” It’s a line that works on a young woman with the last name of Fairchild (is that a reference to the comics?) and she happens to be the unsolved murder that Gordon is requested to look into. Later on, after he’s prepared breakfast, she tells him that she needs to go, but will see him later. He doesn’t respond warmly to this and grabs her wrist. Uh oh, where’s Batman when you need him?
The Boy Who Would Be Batman.
Yes, “Gotham” isn’t about Batman nor is it really about Bruce Wayne. But when we do get scenes with David Mazouz as the boy who would be Batman, they are always moments to pay attention to! The young actor has the maturity and acting prowess of a longer and more seasoned thespian. He’s terrific and throughout this first season has given fans a definitive young Bruce Wayne that has never been explored as in depth as it has now. Mazouz is effective at bringing to life a version of Bruce Wayne that we’ve never seen too much of, be it in the comics or animated/film versions. “Beasts of Prey” picks up where we last left off. Alfred has been released from the hospital after being stabbed by his friend Reggie. He’s home and wishes to track down his friend on his own, despite Bruce’s request that he doesn’t. Bruce then decides that he’ll go with Alfred, but he is still dealing with a serious injury that brings him to his knees. Bruce begins his investigation without Alfred and searches in several seedy areas of an already seedy city. He passes by Oswald Cobblepot while visiting a gun range and encounters his crush, Selina Kyle. She helps him track down Reggie to a derelict building and it’s here that we get another true glimpse into just how damaged Bruce may already be. He interrogates Reggie as to why he hurt his friend and while Reg heads towards a window to retrieve his bag, Bruce struggles to control himself from pushing the man to his death. The staging and photography of the scene is perhaps the best moment in this entire series as we see Bruce’s little hands in frame shaking as they near closer to Reggie’s back. Will Bruce kill the man? Of course, he won’t. But that doesn’t mean that Selina won’t. She does kill Reggie by pushing him to his death. It’s a scene of shock that would startle anyone watching tonight. Selina killing Reggie after Bruce won’t feels like another part of the foundation to develop the path Bruce is set upon that will one day lead to him becoming the Caped Crusader.
Shooting Fish in a Barrel.
Tonight’s episode opens with Fish coyly checking in with each of Dollmacher’s patients as she makes her way out of his fortress in the middle of nowhere. She’s stopped by a bunch of security guards who seem like they’ve been pulled straight out of “The Most Dangerous Game.” She’s told about the “poor souls” who’ve tried to ineffectively escape. It’s a minor setback to her as she’s determined as ever to “get off this hell of an island or die trying.” Fish tells the prisoners of a boat off the island and of her plans to set them free. They go along with it, but it eventually turns out to be nothing more than a distraction so she could escape with her real allies and “friends” to a chopper left unwatched. The escape almost goes well until she is shot while piloting a helicopter she spotted when she encountered the trackers in the beginning of the episode. Will Fish make it? Is she going to die? It’s been up in the air in regards to Fish Mooney’s longevity as she did not appear in the DC Comic books. Only adding fuel to the fire has been Jada Pinkett Smith’s statements that she will not be returning for season 2. We don’t have too many episodes left so I’m sure this mystery will be answered soon enough. No need to worry as her husband, Will, is Deadshot in David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad.” It’s nice that they are Team DC. I love Team DC.
Oh, and just one more thing.
“Birds of Prey” is an episode filled with plot development to usher in the final story for season 2. Despite the earlier part of the season focusing on the mob and The Penguin, this latter part seems to return its focus on Gordon and his city. Bullock had warned Gordon earlier about taking on the unsolved murder case. After Edward Nygma shows them of a broken heart symbol that was discovered near the body of Fairchild, Bullock’s worst fears are realized. They’re dealing with a serial killer that has never been found or attempted to be apprehended by the corrupt GCPD as The Ogre would target families and loved ones. Apparently Gordon was set up by one of his own and someone isn’t too happy with his recent promotion to president of the policeman’s union. Don’t worry about Ben McKenzie’s future just yet as we all know Gordon will eventually become commissioner. Until next week folks. Same Bat review. Same Bat website.
“Beasts of Prey” gets four out of five stars and “Gotham” airs Monday nights on FOX at 8 p.m. Check your local listings.