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[TV Review] ‘Gotham’ Episode 2.09 – “A Bitter Pill To Swallow”

Gotham” went for some siege action this week when it came to the latest attempt to take out Jim Gordon and it amounted to a solid amount of fun.  While searching and photographing Theo Galavan’s office for evidence after his arrest, Gordon and some fellow officers (including Chiklis’ Captain Barnes) become trapped when a veritable platoon of assassins are sent to take Jim out.  The first attempt was one of the most fun, with Gordon tussling with a would-be murderer in the elevator, but the mid-section of kill attempts were a bit blander than I expected.  Lucky for me, the fun resumed once an ace in the hole was sent in.

Eduardo Flamingo (Raul Castillo) is the last man sent in to finish the job and his flashy cannibal self served up the kind of pulp entertainment that this show has crafted weekly since the start of the season.  This series knows it’s ridiculous at this point and just revels in it, which is what I love about it most.  Sure, we get a bit of drama dished out between Gordon and Barnes (giving Chiklis some meat to chew) during the downtime between attacks, but that’s just a side dish to the delicious camp factor entree.

Elsewhere, we have the arguments between the wise Alfred and the moronic young Bruce, which tones down the grimness this week and dished out some cheeky responses from Mr. Pennyworth.  It managed to be one of the more engaging episodes this year when it comes to Bruce’s (usually pointless) arc, so two thumbs up are in order in that regard.

Of course we also have the fact that Edward Nygma found the half-dead Penguin in the forest last week.  He’s since taken him back to his Gotham loft and is slowly nursing him back to health.  Having two mentally-off characters bonding over their shared love of murder injects another wild flourish into the series that makes me smile.  Things are starting off slow here between the two, with not much going on beyond conversation, but it looks like the start of a beautiful partnership that will undoubtedly bear some tasty fruit in the future.

Back to Gordon, the more unhinged and angry he gets, the better.  Part of that might be the fact that I still think Ben Mackenzie uncannily resembles a young Russell Crowe, right down to similar acting choices and facial tics.  The other part of it is that each week molds him more and more into a classic hard-boiled detective always up against the odds and barely making it through alive.  That’s always been a cliched set-up that I’ve loved, so seeing it play out against a “Dick Tracy“-esque cast of weird psychopaths makes it that much more enjoyable.

Gotham“, you aren’t perfect by any means, but you entertain me so.  I’m honestly going to miss you during the mid-season break (I think we have two more episodes to go), which is something I definitely would not have said a year ago.  I look forward to what silliness you will deliver me before Christmas!

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