It’s been awhile but if you want to read my individual episode recaps/reviews, click here.
I’ve mentioned before how much of a love-hate relationship I have with Gotham. It’s not a great show per se but I start every season hoping that it will finally be the show that it could be, however, it never seems to happen and this season was no different. A full 20+ episode network is one the biggest causes of this. As many as half of the episodes each season are filler and also storylines are dragged out and recycled to the point that it doesn’t matter at the end.
There were simply too many characters this season which just bogged down the season as a whole. Now let’s just quickly run through a bunch of them as it would take too long to do it in depth:
- Penguin became Mayor with Ed as his chief of staff. He was in love with Ed. however, Ed was in love with someone else so Penguin had them killed. Penguin thought that now they could be together but when Ed learned the truth, he shot Penguin. Of course he didn’t die so now he wanted revenge against him, Barbara, Tabitha, and Butch. During this time, Ed became the Riddler.
- Barbara, Tabitha, and Butch were building their empire but it seemed that it was really Barbara’s and they were playing second fiddle to them so they plotted some revenge of their own with the two of them eventually ending up on top once Tabitha kills Barbara.
- The worst Gotham character, Fish Mooney, was back but luckily wasn’t a series regular. She escaped from prison with the rest of the Indian Hill freaks. Since all the freaks got captured, she kidnapped Strange so he could make her an army and then she disappeared only to come back to save Penguin from near death before she ultimately died for good.
- Ivy fell into magic water and became older and hotter. She used this and her plants to make men do her bidding. Selina didn’t recognize her at first but they eventually came back together by the end.
- Lucius helped a few times and that was pretty much it.
We all know who the main characters are and those are Gordon and Bruce. Gordon and Lee separated at the end of last season and that was still the case here. Lee had found someone new, a man named Mario Falcone (James Carpinello), but Gordon was not over her. Of course this relationship would be used against him and their back and forth would last all season.
For the most part, Lee was an annoying character, approaching Fish Mooney levels, because the character was just so badly written. Her purpose only seemed to be for conflict but it always felt forced. Either she argued with the other characters for one reason or another or was a target. Early on, she was a target by a hypnotist named Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel). He was an interesting villain at first although the only important thing about him was his sister Alice (Naian Gonzalez Norvind). What was special about her was that her blood was a virus capable of making people become violent. This pretty much was the whole point for the first half of the season. Jerome actually showed up too, however, it ultimately didn’t matter.
The first half of the season for Bruce mostly consisted of him battling the Court of Owls and Kathryn (Leslie Hendrix) and furthering his relationship with Selina. The season also featured Bruce’s clone for some reason named 514A (or Clone Bruce as I’ve been calling him). He primarily came between Bruce and Selina while later impersonating the real Bruce when he kidnapped by the Court and sent away at some remote mountain, starting to learn how to be Batman.
Meanwhile, in the midseason finale, we were introduced to Gordon’s uncle Frank (James Remar) who just happened to be a member of the Court of Owls. We learned that both him and the Court were responsible for Gordon’s father’s death. Frank tried to convince Gordon to help him take down the court but it was unclear whether he was being genuine or if it was just a ploy to bring him in.
Apparently Bruce’s teacher was the actual leader of the Court and everything that had happened was his ultimate plan to get to Bruce. The last step was that the Court would set off a bomb made from Alice Tetch’s blood in order to cleanse the city. Of course when he returned to Gotham, Alfred was able to bring Bruce back but he had to kill him and bring him back to life using the Lazarus pit. This was all a test from Ra’s Al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) with Bruce realizing what he had done immediately after doing it.
While that was happening, Lee had injected herself with the virus and she became even more insufferable than she already was and was determined to make Gordon admit to himself who he really was. She did that by forcing him to take the virus himself. They went at it for a little while until Bullock convinced him that he was meant to be a cop, leading Gordon to cure himself and also Lee (and eventually everyone else in Gotham). It was when she was infected that she finally came to term with whom she’s been this season and hopefully she’ll be better off next season because of this (we all know she’s coming back even though she left Gotham again).
The last shot of the season was definitely cause for promise as Bruce was practicing his Batman routine, saving a rich family from being mugged or worse, ending with him standing on a roof ledge and looking out in a very Batman-ish fashion.
The performances were okay all around and no one really stood out. They were all compelling enough to watch although at this point, this show is just on in the background. There are too many characters so it is difficult to focus on all of them and thus hurting the season as a whole but it’s not the actors’ fault. If the writing was better and the storylines focused, instead of being dragged out, the show could be much better but until then: