Review: Gotham 1.20 – Under The Knife

Did I actually enjoy an episode of Gotham? I think I did, the show is still jerky and confuses the DC/Batman mythology, but this episode had some really enjoyable set pieces. The show still had its concurrent story-lines (minus Fish Mooney) but this time they flowed together well. Usually the show feels like each storyline is written separately, filmed separately and then edited together by a third party. This week was a continuation of last week’s storyline, with Milo Ventimiglia as the Ogre. This is a better format for the show, frankly they should have had longer running stories instead of the villain of the week format. It allows you to actually become invested and wonder what’s going to happen next, there's no suspense when you know it will wrap up at the end of the episode (don't get me started on the lack of suspense involving any character we know grows into an established Batman icon #PrequelProblems).


Gordon is still tracking down the Ogre, a man who has gotten away with murder, he does this by killing the investigating police mans loved ones. Gordon gets worried about Dr Thompkins when he finds out about this and rushes over to find her perfectly okay (If The Rock is franchise-viagra then Morena Baccarin in a bathtub should be episode-saver). This is a great bit of misdirection as the Ogre is under the impression that Barbara Kean is still Gordon's one and only.

The nice thing about this episode is that the main storyline is exactly that, the main storyline. The side story-lines are shorter and because of that they say what they need to say quickly and then cut. That forces a few odd scenes like Batman and Catwoman discussing her decision to murder KHSDKGHSDHSK last week, in a crowded ballroom. What I learned from this is that Batman is growing his 'I don't kill' philosophy but he hasn't learned tact yet.


The other short asides were Penguin and Nigma. Again both of these work because they were shorter, punchier and had genuine stakes (though even when the Penguin’s stories are longer it's pretty great because of Robin's performance). Nigma is still hopelessly infatuated with Miss Kringle, who is dating a cop that is abusing her. Nigma is furious about this and when confronting the not-so-gentleman doesn't work, he stabs the crap out of him in an open road and thus we get our first look at the future Riddler. There weren't too many scenes leading up to this and so the escalation to a stabbing took me off guard.

The Penguin is planning to take out Maroni, but Maroni knows he's up to something and decides to mess with him. He does this by becoming very friendly with Penguin’s mother, of whom the Penguin is very close to. Maroni drops the bomb by telling Penguin’s mother that he's not exactly the angel she imagines, which forces a talk that alters their relationship (because Penguin still wants to pretend he is just a night-club owner). Which again led to a brutal scene of the Penguin killing a random person, it was weird and quirky but felt in place.

The best part is that the case still hasn't been wrapped up and the end was left in a really cool, slightly ambiguous manner.

Score: 4/5

Gotham 1.20 – Under The Knife Watch Gotham Monday's on Fox.