Review: Gotham (S1 E21/22), Monday 18th May, Channel 5


gotham-555x312The thing about Gotham is that you can never quite tell who’s going to turn out to be a villain (well, unless you’re very well versed in Bat-lore, and maybe not even then). Okay, we know Selina Kyle has turned killer and taken the path towards becoming Catwoman; and Ed Nygma has finally flipped, slaughtered love-rival Dougherty, and started the spiral descent towards becoming Riddler; but who’da thought that Jim Gordon’s vapid girlfriend Barbara Keane would turn bad?

Last we saw Barbara, she was going into serial killer The Ogre’s sex-dungeon with a look of pleased anticipation; after a night presumably being B’d, D’d, S’d and M’d, she emerges looking rather pleased with herself. At this stage she doesn’t know that The Ogre kills the girls who don’t satisfy him; Barbara arguably faces a worse fate, in that The Ogre figures that he’s finally found the girl for him, and wants to keep her. But to qualify, and save her life, she has to nominate someone for him to kill, and who does she come up with? – her icily uncaring parents.

While Ed Nygma dissolves love-rival Dougherty’s body in the morgue, Bullock gets a lead on The Ogre from a sleazebag who leads him to a high-class brothel, The Foxglove. Bullock suits up to go undercover, and after busting what must be the least sexy brothel in town, finds a survivor of The Ogre’s early experiments. She gives Jim enough clues to find The Ogre’s apartment, but he and Barbara have gone.

By the time they’re traced to Barbara’s parents’ place, the old goats are dead; Jim kills The Ogre, but a bloodied Barbara is understandably almost catatonic. Did she, though, play a part in the killing of her parents…?

Bruce Wayne gets a copy of Bunderslaw’s safe key from Selina, tricks his way into the office and opens the safe; but Bunderslaw’s not caught napping, and teaches Bruce a lesson in business policy. Bruce is thwarted, but meets a potentially valuable ally, junior exec Lucius Fox, who hints that Bruce’s father in fact had a hidden life.

Bruce confesses to a shocked Alfred that Selina killed Reggie Payne, but Alfred’s more upset at Bruce’s loss of faith in his father. What was the secret he and Bruce’s grandfather both hid?

Butch plants guns in Mama’s joint so Connor can kill Maroni. Connor delivers Penguin’s message – that the hit was ordered by Falcone – but when he pulls the trigger, nothing happens. Penguin’s intention, then, was never to kill Maroni, but to set him against Falcone. The inevitable war erupts when Connor’s head turns up at Falcone’s in a box, and Maroni leads his goons in attacks on Falcone’s businesses (using, we loved to see, old-fashioned Tommy guns).

So this is it; the gang war predicted in the first episode has finally broken out, and it took the conniving Penguin to bring it into being. With Barbara safe – or is she? – Jim Gordon ought to be able to concentrate on the war – but it’s hard to know who to root for when Falcone’s influence was the only thing keeping the city relatively peaceful.

Then there’s the question of the missing Fish Mooney – will she return for next week’s finale? Well, do bats come out at night…?

Chris Jenkins

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