So far, Gotham has managed to imbibe a straightforward police procedural with a vague Batmany ambiance. From the set design to the curling smirks of Oswald Cobblepot, the viewer always knew that this was Gotham City and someday, Batman will sweep across the skyline.
Tonight’s episode, “Spirit of the Goat,” lacked this, however. It felt entirely too much like a generic police procedural and, until the very last moment, had nothing particularly interesting to offer the viewer. Once again, Gordon is torn between his personal life and his secret-filled, dangerous career. Once again, Bullock is a barking mad dog and Nygma is a creep. Gotham has developed a rather monster-of-the-week feel; the overarching tale of Bruce’s dead parents and the mob war that Cobblepot keeps warning about are mere afterthoughts to each week’s new, largely forgettable villain.
The high point of this episode was the use of the great character actor, Dan Hedaya (Blood Simple, The Addams Family) as Detective Dix, Bullock’s former partner. The casting in Gotham has been on point so far and I look forward to the introduction of more characters from the Batman universe as this show progresses.
As Bullock and Gordon search for answers on the mysterious killer, the Goat, who preys on Gotham’s high society children, Bruce sits at home and watches the news (does he ever go to school at all?) and Cobblepot returns to his high-strung, Norma Bates-like mother. In a distinctly creepy and off-putting subplot, Nygma intrusively tries to flirt with a young woman who works in the records department of the GCPD. In these moments, he reminded me of every clichéd “nice guy” who just tries so hard but really, he’s just a huge weirdo with boundary issues. In an effort to impress her, Nygma basically oversteps his bounds and reorganizes her entire office, which is totally inappropriate and, as a type-A person, would horrify and infuriate me. I think this scene was supposed to be played for laughs or even make us feel sorry for dorky Nygma, but it just majorly turned me off and made me shudder.
The subplot of Barbara and Renee is also getting old very fast and, as a huge fan of the Question, this worries me. I dig the diversity of Gotham, but the secondary characters do need some work.
Overall, “Spirit of the Goat” desperately needed a shot in the arm. If anything, the most exciting part of the episode was the promo for next week’s episode, featuring Victor Zsasz, a character I am definitely looking forward to seeing.
Did you check out this week’s Gotham? Which Batman characters are you hoping to see in upcoming episodes? Tell us what you thought below!
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