Gotham 2×14 Review: ‘This Ball of Mud and Meanness’

Selina and Bruce in ‘This Ball of Mud and Meanness’

Gotham teased some major character developments in ‘This Ball of Mud and Meanness’, but I’m not sure if the writers will stick with any of it.

The episode focused on Baby Bruce Wayne trying to find the man who killed his parents two years ago. It was fun watching a young child, accompanied by his loyal butler, moving through the streets of Gotham. They hit some hurdles along the way, but Bruce’s determination helped him overcome them. While I enjoyed their little journey, the fight between Alfred and Cupcake felt out of place. To me it looked like an excuse to immobilize Alfred and let Bruce move on his own in ‘This Ball of Mud and Meanness’.

I have heard fans complaining about Bruce’s backstory in the show. The writers have taken a lot of liberties with the source material, and the Bruce we see on our TV screens doesn’t feel like the one we know from the comic book series. I understand the concerns, I do. But Gotham has been quite clear about doing its own thing from the start. That’s why I’m not annoyed by how the show has been treating Bruce. Actually seeing him onscreen is far better than sending him off to some desolate place to train, and not seeing him until he puts on the cape years after the current timeline.

The writers also paid a small tribute to Maniax, and it is clear that the idea of the Joker is alive in the streets of Gotham. It is more of an inspiration that makes people wear clown makeup and act crazy. Bruce met Jerry during his journey, and she came across as quite mad. I know the writers aren’t going to make her the real Joker, but it would be fun to watch a female version of the iconic character. I still have my fingers crossed that Barbara ends up taking on the name.

In the end, Bruce didn’t kill Malone, the guy who murdered his parents. There was also a lot of uncertainty regarding whether or not Malone did kill his parents. He also made Bruce realize that if he wanted to vanquish evil he would have to understand how poor people lived in Gotham. This led to Bruce leaving home to stay with Kitty Selina.

Selina and Bruce being together is something I have been waiting for since the premiere of this show. Catwoman and Batman share a unique relationship, and it is fun to see that between their younger versions as well. If living with Selina means we will get to see more of them in Gotham then I’m all for it.

Riddler ready in Gotham ‘This Ball of Mud and Meanness’In other plot developments, Penguin showed Dr. Hugo Strange that his experimental therapy was working. I’m not sure if Penguin has indeed turned a new leaf or not, so I’m excited to see how things work out for him now that he is out of Arkham. Edward Nygma also came under Jim Gordon’s eyes this week. Gordon and Leslie seem to be the only ones concerned about Ms. Kringle’s whereabouts, which is kind of weird considering Ms. Kringle worked for the G.C.P.D. A search party should’ve been dispatched a long time ago. Gordon tried to get Edward to talk, but it was made clear Nygma wasn’t going to get himself caught. I really want to see him trap Gordon somehow and make him solve frustrating riddles to survive.

But as I mentioned at the start of my review, while ‘This Ball of Mud and Meanness’ teased a lot regarding future character developments, I’m still a bit wary about the writers ignoring all of it in the upcoming episodes.

What did you think of Gotham this week? Did you enjoy everything that happened in ‘This Ball of Mud and Meanness’? Let us know!

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Masters in Psychology and an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Arousing the Legacy, Missing in Somerville, The Game Master of Somerville, and The Escaped Murderer of Somerville. He gives us insight on comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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