Review: Gotham (S2 E6/22), Monday 15th February, Channel 5

GOTHAM-S2E6One thing you have to give Gotham is that it gives plenty of screen time to its female protagonists, even if most of them seem to end up dead or demented. Certainly this episode brings closure to two female plot strands, and neither of them are happy endings.

The longer-running strand is the romance between increasingly unhinged Ed Nygma, and the sweet but doomed Kristen Kringle. While Kristen warms to the new more confident Ed, what she don’t know is that this aspect of his split personality is already a killer.

Playing the Riddler-to-be as a duality is a strange move, since it trespasses on the ground of Harvey ‘Two-Face’ Dent, but it’s a plausible interpretation, particularly so when Ed strangles Kristen even as he professes his love for her.

Bringing this arc to an end terminates speculation of how Kristen’s character would end up – not as a supervillain, as it turns out, but in a shallow grave.

Of course another conflicted female character has to be dealt with; Bridget Pike has turned herself into Firefly, has revenged herself on her depraved family, and is now setting out to deal with similarly inclined sickos. But having accidentally killed one of Gordon’s strike force, she is obviously for the chop. After teaming up with Selina to bust up a sex slave auction, Bridget’s end comes in a fiery confrontation with the cops where she goes up like a pyre – but is she dead?

Meanwhile Penguin has embedded Butch in Galavan’s operation, and while Tabitha is pleased to see him – we loved her line about the possible attachments for his stump – he’ll have to work hard to build trust and find Penguin’s kidnapped mother.

All this pales into insignificance compared to the final revelation that Waynecorp has a dirty secret at its facility at Indian Hill – corpses are being experimented on in an attempt to manufacture some sort of superhumans. Is Bridget destined to become a subject? Who or what are the other figures we glimpse in the sinister lab?

It’s a particularly grim episode, with incinerated corpses, human torches, stranglings, beatings and psychological torture – we loved it. And the great thing was that it opened up so many more possibilities; Ed can now go full nutso, Butch has a hammer for a hand, Tabitha has a new plaything, and Waynecorp is apparently building monsters in a basement. With a confrontation between Penguin and Galavan also brewing, we think that after a slowish start, this season is turning into an absolute inferno.

Chris Jenkins

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