“Worse Than a Crime” – Aired 11/30/2015 – ***** Stars
Written by Bruno Heller
Directed by Jeffrey Hunt
*spoilers contained within*
Well fellow Gotham fans, the time of testing patience has come: the winter break. The show has taken us on a wild ride since the season premiere and now we must get off the ride until February 29 but not without a grand send-off episode. Gotham City doesn’t seem to have any room left for Galavan (James Frain), Det. Gordon (Ben McKenzie) or Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor). Each of these three men has their own vision of what their city’s future should be and they all think their vision is the better one. Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is forced to grow up faster than anyone should have to when he must face the idea that Galavan wants him dead after learning how he was tricked by Silver (Natalie Alyn Lind) on Galavan’s orders. Now that all of these characters have hit their limits, there is only one inevitable outcome to the whole situation: all-out war.
Theo Galavan seemed to have gotten the upper hand during last week’s episode, “The Son of Gotham”, when he was acquitted of all charges, left Gordon to be killed by corrupt cops and kidnapped Bruce. This was not the case as Penguin saved Gordon, then Alfred (Sean Pertwee) went to Galavan’s office and battled Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) to the point of being knifed in the back while jumping into a garbage truck. Alfred winds up in a landfill being pursued by Tabitha and two henchmen. He manages to evade her only to have a load of garbage dumped on him. He digs out and tries to hitchhike but gets frustrated and carjacks someone while, unbeknownst to him, a police officer is watching. She orders him to freeze then incapacitates him with a stun gun. Gordon wakes up in the apartment shared by a lullaby-singing Oswald and Ed (Cory Michael Smith). When he is about to leave to get Galavan, Oswald says they’re better off working together. Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) pays a visit to Bruce and Alfred when he notices the apartment is ransacked and no one is home. He goes to the GCPD to tell Det. Bullock (Donal Logue) and Capt. Barnes (Michael Chiklis) what he saw and thinks Galavan did it. Barnes says Galavan is innocent and will not be pursued anymore unless their is conclusive evidence against him. Barnes gets a call and the trio finds Alfred sleeping in a holding cell.
Bruce has been given a mark of death by Father Creal (Ron Rifkin) while Galavan tells him the Dumas story. He reveal Bruce is his ninth and final victim. He is “the last son of Gotham.” Bruce does not flinch and seems to accept his fate. Galavan calls Bruce a brave young man then has him transported to a holding cell. For this moment, everything seems to be going Galavan’s way, but that won’t last for very long.
Galavan finds out from Tabitha Alfred escaped and is furious. He thinks she is not taking his pursuit of all-out power in Gotham seriously enough. To add to his frustration, Silver tries to fake a cold so she won’t have to witness Bruce’s execution. He tells her after all Bruce did to her that if she still loves him, she has no reason to still be part of the Galavan family. He wants Silver to smile as she watches Bruce die, but more importantly, for her to prove to him that she is as ruthless as he is. Silver says no and Galavan threatens her by telling her he’ll remove her family name, despite Tabitha trying to defend her. He orders Silver to make Bruce fall in love with her again and that he wants to see him kiss her. Silver eventually goes along with it out of fear of expulsion and possibly death.
Silver visits Bruce, but he catches on quickly to her game and tells her to leave. She apologizes to him and insists she loves him. He says he doesn’t love her, but lets her sit with him after all. At first, Bruce doesn’t say much as Silver tries to use small talk to get Galavan’s plan going. Eventually, Bruce does open up and shares memories of himself and his parents. This seemingly changes Silver and she vows to help him escape. She asks a guard for his gun and when he hands it to her, shoots him. It seems like a great plan until Galavan is waiting for them as they sneak through the inner parts of the building. They are thrown back in the cell when Silver again apologizes and it’s understood that the escape was part of a long con. She tells him that she loves him again, but Bruce says he doesn’t love her but actually pities her and wants to know why she’s doing all of this to him. She says it was Galavan’s test and then considers herself as a fool and terrible person with no hope of redemption. Bruce tells her she still has hope and it’s not all her fault.
While Barnes puts out a missing persons report on Bruce and Alfred, he also puts out an APB on Gordon, marking him as a fugitive of the law. Leslie (Morena Baccarin) is furious when she hears what Barnes has done. He tells her Gordon is helping Oswald against Galavan which makes him dirty. Leslie says Gordon is a good cop and would never side with Oswald. Leslie finds Gordon in the apartment with Oswald and a lot of guns. She tells him about the APB but he says must find Galavan and put an end to his doings once and for all. He tells her she must stay away from him and even Gotham for a while and she responds she’s pregnant. Back at the precinct, Bullock, Lucius and Alfred asks Ed where Gordon is, Ed gives them a riddle but they crack it and rush to Gordon’s home where he is about to take Leslie out of Gotham. They tell him everything about the APB, Bruce and Galavan and he tells Leslie he must go. She understands and wishes him well. Gordon, Lucius, Alfred and Bullock team up with Oswald and his henchmen. Lucius asks about plan B but Oswald quickly responds, “Failure is not an option.” Even Selina (Camren Bicondova) offers to help by getting them in to the building unnoticed. The makeshift army takes up arms and marches to Galavan’s penthouse to save Bruce. The drum of war has sounded.
Selina sneaks into the garage and takes out guard. She opens the main garage door and leads the group up a back staircase. They hear chanting and yelling which means the ritual has begun. As Bruce is lead away, he tells Silver he accepts her apology, he loves her and then kisses her to appease her in the eyes of Galavan. He is then tied to a pole and Galavan holds the knife which will be used. He looks toward Silver as she cringes and gives the knife to Father Creal. Father Creal is ready to strike when Silver screams and Gordon storms the room, gun drawn. The monks draw their weapons and Gordon’s group opens fire. Alfred and Selina save Bruce and lead him away while the others take on the monks. Father Creal jumps to attack Gordon when he is shot and killed by Bullock. Galavan ushers Tabitha and Silver into his office where he takes out two parachutes. He is about to choke Silver when Tabitha knocks him down. She gives Silver the other parachute. Galavan pleads but she kicks Silver out of the window and then jumps herself, deploying both chutes, leaving Galavan to Gordon and Oswald. Barnes, upon hearing information from Lucius, storms the office to arrest Gordon but is knocked out cold by Oswald. The two drop Galavan off at the pier. Oswald severely beats him with a bat before Gordon steps in. When Oswald falls back, Gordon shoots him dead. In the next scene, Gordon visits Leslie at the park and tells her it’s all over. He then proposes to her, but all she does is smile.
“Worse Than A Crime” left us a few goodies to hold us over until February. The first is a scene at the Indian Hill facility showing preserved bodies. A fresh body is wheeled in and when the doctors open it up, it’s Galavan’s with Oswald’s umbrella shoved into his mouth. Miss Peabody says, “Mr. Strange has high hopes for this one.” It was reported last month that B.D. Wong of Jurassic Park and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fame joined the cast of Gotham as Hugo Strange. I am a fan of his and am very eager to see what he brings to the role and the show.
In a second scene, we see a man in a suit and hat running through an alley. He is cornered by someone with a tank on his back and a scarf covering his face. As the man cowers in fear, he is shot with ice and frozen. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Freeze has arrived in Gotham City. Around the time Hugo Strange was announced, Nathan Darrow from House of Cards was named as Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze. This is not the first time the cold doctor has been on the small screen. He was portrayed by Eli Wallach in the 1960’s Batman TV series and voiced by Michael Ansara in Batman: The Animated Series, Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero and other animated appearances. You can read What’cha Reading staffer Steven’s review of “Heart of Ice” here. The frozen ending title screen was a nice touch to end a great mid-season finale.
I cannot wait until February 29th for the return of Gotham and the debut of Mr. Freeze and Strange. The writers ended the first half of the season cleanly by wrapping up the Galavan story and setting up the new stories. This finale concluded with the bang we’ve been waiting for this whole season. If you have not watched this season or any season of Gotham, I suggest using this break to catch up. You will not be disappointed at all. I’m personally going to use the break to watch season one on Blu-ray; not only to re-live the first season and how it all started, but to avoid going through Gotham withdrawals. I cannot say enough about how amazing this show is in every way, shape and form.
On a Batman-related note, the sneak peak at the teaser for Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice was fantastic. There wasn’t much to it in terms of action or dialogue, but it got the job done in getting fans excited for the worldwide debut of the trailer this Wednesday on Jimmy Kimmel. You can check out the clip here of the cast of Gotham choosing sides for the movie here.
Gotham returns to Mondays 8pm Eastern/7pm Central on Fox on February 29, 2016. Check your local listings.