"Gotham" 2.4 - Strike Force (8 out of 10) - Written by Bruno Heller and John Stephens, Megan Mostyn-Brown Based on characters created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Howard Chaykin, Frank Miller, Greg Rucka; Starring Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Morena Baccarin, Erin Richards...; Rated TV14. Aired on Fox 10/12/15.
Going into this week’s episode I’ll admit I was nervous. Trying to top last week or even compete was not going to be an easy thing to pull off. That being said “Strike Force” wasn’t as good but it was still a great episode. Some of the energy that Jerome brought to the show is definitely missing but what else could happen when you kill a powerhouse character like that? On the up side we still have Penguin and his character as always is a joy to watch.
Something that season two is doing that the previous season could never get right is knowing when to put the characters on screen and knowing when to leave them out of an episode. Penguin is on top of the world as far as the Gotham criminals go. He successfully worked his way up to the top seat and has his lackeys to do his bidding, what could possibly go wrong?
Theo Galavan is the answer to that question, we now know he wants to become mayor and in so doing destroy Gotham from within. Galavan is smart to try and keep his distance from the criminal things he wants done and for that he now uses Penguin to get his bidding done. Penguin is left with no choice because his mother is being held hostage by Galavan and as we know from season one Penguin’s mother is one of his major weaknesses.
To save his mother Penguin must kill off the other mayor candidates, one thing I didn’t understand other than pushing the plot the way the writers want it to go was Penguin killing one of them himself. He has Zsasz who is more than happy to kill people take out one of them and Butch threatens all the witnesses that saw Penguin kill the woman candidate but it didn’t take long for one to come forward and say it was the guy with the limp.
It seemed a little sloppy to me without explaining why he had to do it. I understand by Penguin being the one on the hook for the murder it puts Gordon in a bad spot seeing as he owns him a favor but they could’ve had Zsasz cut himself adding another tally mark to his body and have that be something someone witnessed. The GCPD know that Zsasz works for Penguin and then you push the plot forward if the new Captain Nathaniel Barns (Michael Chiklis) wants the leader and not the lackeys. The only thing I can figure is that because Penguin is so upset and unhinged with his mother being held hostage he’s not thinking clearly. We also know however that Penguin thinks ahead and even if it seems like others have the upper hand he will get his in the end.
Back to Capt. Barns, he’s everything Gordon needed in season one. He hates corruption and fires a bunch of cops, he even arrests another. Bottom line he’s a no-nonsense cop and won’t stand for corruption in any way inside the GCPD. What I’d really like to know is where this guy has been? I hoping we learn a little more of his past and he’s a transfer from another city. It wouldn’t make much sense for him to have been part of the GCPD this whole time because in season one Gordon was known as the only good cop that tried to do something about the corruption. Maybe Gordon’s actions inspired him or maybe he’s just like Galavan and putting on a show for the public. Either way I want to know more about him and I love the fact that Chiklis is playing him. He is one of those underappreciated actors in my opinion and he is perfect for this role.
Bruce and Alfred were small time this episode but Alfred had an amazing moment where after finding out the truth of how Reggie died slaps Selina across the face. It really showed how protective he is of Bruce and also helps push Selina in the direction of crime because I think it’s going to be awhile before she dares to show her face around Bruce and by extension Alfred anytime soon. To help fill the void Selina will undoubtedly leave in Bruce’s young heart we meet the young and beautiful Silver St. Cloud (Natalie Alyn Lind) it's unclear if Bruce's new school mate is in Galavan's evil camp or just part of the social elite but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.
Although St. Cloud comes from the comics and even almost has Bruce about to hang up the cape and cowl we’ll have to wait and see where their relationship in the show goes. “Gotham” doesn’t exactly follow the canon comics but as I’ve said before that’s okay.
Lastly we come to Nygma, I don’t know how I feel about his split personality. There’s times I love it and other times I’m torn. Although it makes for a good story telling and character arc what I’m wondering most is where will The Riddler come from? Will it be one of his personalities that triumphs over the other or will The Riddler be the answer to Nygma’s own personal riddle of who he is. I’m okay with going away from the comics but the whole two personality thing belongs to Two-Face and that’s something that I don’t think can be changed.
Overall it was a great episode and season two continues to satisfy in ways season one never did. There were a few slips this week but nothing major. The show is really gaining traction and if it keeps its momentum whatever climax they are building too will be nothing short of epic.