After a quick paced first half to “Gotham”, we are almost half way done with FOX’s freshman drama. “Gotham”, at best, has been a series about a city crumbling under too much weight of politics, crime, criminals, and the all too few honest law men trying to serve justice. Much like the themes of the show, “Gotham” is a series struggling in its own way to find a unique voice that sets it out from the rest. Unlike CW’s far superior “The Flash” and “Arrow”, even NBC’s “Constantine”, which are series that fully know what they want to be, “Gotham” hasn’t fully realized its identity. It knows the road it needs to travel, but has somehow gotten lost taking many alternative routes to get there. “Lovecraft”, the mid-season finale for “Gotham” shows us it’s not time to throw in the towel just yet.
The mid-season finale opens by introducing us to a lesser known character from the Batman comics. Copperhead, recently been depicted in “Batman: Arkham Origins”, is found on the property of Wayne Manor. After running into one of the groundskeepers, she quickly dispatches him with a snake-like move. While Copperhead and other assassins make their way to Wayne Manor, Bruce and Selina are found balancing themselves on top of a stairwell inside. Selina is helping Bruce test himself and his physicality when Copperhead (unknown at this time) arrives at the front door. Alfred, believing her to be a car accident victim, lets her in and suddenly understands his mistake as the stranger’s demeanor changes as she spots Selina. Alfred quickly moves to defense and fights Copperhead along with a few other assassins as Selina and Bruce escape.
After the attack on Wayne Manor, the police arrive and Gordon reveals his investigation of Lovecraft to Alfred. They believe that because of the investigation into Lovecraft with Harvey Dent, Selina has been targeted as she would be the one to testify against him in court. Gordon vows that he will find Bruce, along with Selina, and leaves Bullock to pair up with Wayne’s butler (not valet). Elsewhere, Bruce and Selina make their way into the city while Bruce is visibly concerned for his friend and guardian. While looking for a phone to contact Alfred, Selina reveals that she is the one being targeted and not Bruce. She upsets him and quickly disappears on one of the rooftops. He chases after her and leaps across a roof to get to Selina. They then decide to head to “The Flea”, a place where most of Gotham City’s homeless children reside.
Oswald Cobblepot is brought to Falcone Mansion and questioned about the mole in his organization. Falcone understands that someone inside is playing him and aligning themselves with Maroni, after his money was burnt in last week’s episode. Cobblepot, manipulative yet honest, alerts Falcone that the mole is someone “artful” and “close” to him. He suggests Fish Mooney while leaving the idea that it may be Falcone’s own, Liza, who is, in fact, Fish’s mole.
Gordon, having left Wayne Manor, goes to Harvey Dent to learn the status and whereabouts of Lovecraft. Believing the contract placed on Selina Kyle to be “a win” and a “panic move” on behalf of Lovecraft, he accepts full responsibility as to the outcome of the dire situation. Meanwhile, Bullock is interrogating an informant who won’t offer up any information on Selina until Alfred offers $100. They then head over to Fish Mooney’s club, after being told that Cat a.k.a. Selina has been seen with Fish in the past. Upon arriving, Alfred appeals to Fish’s side of honor and compassion, and she promises to inquire about the children’s whereabouts. Back at The Flea, Bruce and Selina run into Ivy Pepper. Selina finds the girl to be scary and they head to one of her fence’s named Clyde.
Gordon, arriving at one of Lovecraft’s hideouts, after Dent informs him of a few places he’s been known to stay at, finds him hiding in the bedroom. Lovecraft tells Gordon that he did not have any involvement in the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne and had actually spotted a discrepancy in the Wayne stock shortly before they were murdered. He believes that there may have been people playing the stock as if they were aware of what tragic fate was in store for The Wayne Family. Before Lovecraft can reveal anything else to Gordon, they are interrupted by Copperhead and the assassins. Copperhead fights Gordon, eventually besting him by wrapping her legs around him and knocking him out. He wakes to find Lovecraft dead in his bathtub, having been killed from a bullet wound to the head with Gordon’s gun.
Back over at The Flea, Clyde double crosses Selina and holds them both while they wait for Copperhead to arrive. They manage to escape while Alfred and Bullock converge on the warehouse. A shootout ensues and eventually Gordon arrives on scene. They manage to get to Bruce, while Copperhead and Selina both escape. Back at the GCPD, the Mayor is furious over the inside plot Gordon and Dent concocted to take down Lovecraft and other criminals. Gordon, bordering on the edge as the Mayor says, promptly tells him to “kiss my ass!” This results in a cover-up of Lovecraft’s death, being written off as a suicide, and finding Gordon demoted to a security guard at Arkham Asylum. Selina returns to Wayne Manor to say goodbye to Bruce and return some of his personal items that she had intended to fence to Clyde. Before Alfred enters, she kisses him and escapes through the window. Alfred and Bruce acknowledge that Wayne Manor will be different with her absence. The final scene is of Jim Gordon walking into Arkham Asylum and the show ends, with a commercial teasing its January 2015 return.
The fall-finale of “Gotham” was just as fun as the whole series has been. But the show could be so much more as many fans believe it could be. The episode, while focusing on Bruce and Selina, does deliver on two very important aspects. We are treated to yet another unforgettable villain and are given more of Robin Lord Taylor’s fantastic Oswald Cobblepot a.k.a. The Penguin. Much like the introduction to Victor Zsasz, the debut of the Batman rogue, Copperhead, is welcome due to an amazingly physical and creepy yet sexy performance by Lesley-Ann Brandt. Each scene rattles with a snake-like score and her movements are very deliberately like the Copperhead in which she is named after. “Gotham” has consistently delivered when focusing on lesser known villains such as Zsasz, and the fact they haven’t been killed off is reason enough to continue to watch, in hopes of their inevitable return. With that said, it’ll be interesting to see the direction the second half of season one takes, hopefully as with ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” the series will get better. For “Gotham” to truly stand out and be the show we know it could be, the focus of the series should revert back to Gordon, The Penguin and the Maroni v.s. Falcone conflict. “Gotham” makes for a fun hour of drama and crime based on one of DC’s most celebrated of universes. Here’s hoping that with the second part of the season, “Gotham” becomes one of DC and FOX’s most celebrated shows!