TV Review: Gotham - Season 2 Winter Finale "Worse Than A Crime"
Season 2 Episode 11: "Worse Than A Crime"
Synopsis: When Bruce Wayne is kidnapped, Gordon must look to some unlikely and dangerous allies for help. It is a battle of the villains, and not everyone makes it out alive.
Recap: The master plan of Theo Galavan (nee Dumas) and the Order that bears his family's name comes to a head in the mid-season finale of Gotham. I have made it pretty clear through this run of eleven episodes that the FOX series is vastly improved over the first season and this episode exemplifies why. With all of the key characters introduced between the first and second seasons of the show coming together on either side of the war in Gotham, we are getting the creation of Gotham's fictional universe on the scale the showrunners have always anticipated.
Jim Gordon is a fugitive from the law after attacking Theo Galavan last week and the GCPD is hunting for him. While Captain Barnes knows that Gordon may be innocent, he must uphold the law. Barnes represents the by the book rules Gordon used to follow, but over the course of this season we have seen his conscience challenged and his decisions less honorable even if they are fully justified. Gordon awakens to find himself in Edward Nygma's apartment along with the Penguin, but Gordon doesn't seem to question why Ed would be in the company of a known gangster. Gordon wants to, maybe even needs to, take down Galavan and will do whatever it takes to do so, even if that means teaming with Penguin. Meanwhile, Alfred finally escapes from Tabatha Galavan only to end up getting tasered by the GCPD.
Lucius Fox reports Bruce Wayne missing after arriving at the Manor to reveal he finally reconstructed the stolen hard drive Bruce gave him earlier this season. Fox, Bullock, and Alfred discuss what could have happened to Bruce and that Galavan must have him. When they say they need Jim Gordon but do not know where he is, Nygma chuckles and gives them a riddle that leads them to his apartment. Lee Thompkins goes to try and talk Gordon out of attacking Galavan with Penguin and reveals she is pregnant with his child. Gordon decides to leave, but just as he is about to, Alfred, Bullock, and Fox arrive to reveal that the Mayor has Bruce. Gordon tells Lee he has to go and she tells him to find her when everything is over. Gordon and the team decide to infiltrate Galavan's home, guns blazing, and Selina arrives to help them get through security. It is intriguing to see these heroes and villains teaming up to stop Galavan and the Order of St. Dumas, even if their rationale is a bit blurry.
All the while, Silver St. Cloud has lost her uncle's trust. Theo Galavan tells her if she can make Bruce fall in love with her again, he will accept her once more. Bruce clearly sees through Silver's tricks, but Silver begins to truly feel for Bruce. Bruce has accepted his fate and is understanding in that he will be reunited with his parents in the afterlife. The time comes for Bruce's sacrifice in The Order's ritual. He is brought before the monks and Galavan with the ceremonial Wayne knife. As the knife is raised to kill Bruce, Silver cries out. The delay is enough time for Gordon and his team to gun down the monks and rescue Bruce. Galavan escapes to his penthouse and retrieves two parachutes. He tells Silver he is disappointed in her and as he goes to attack her, Tabatha knocks him out saying she is down with her brother and is looking out for herself. She and Silver escape while Gordon busts into the room.
Gordon handcuffs Galavan and says he will stand trial. Galavan laughs it off, knowing he will get out. Gordon then questions whether he should just kill Galavan when Barnes arrives and tells Gordon he is under arrest. Penguin knocks out Barnes and he and Gordon take Galavan to the docks, the same place Gordon faked Penguin's death in the pilot. Only this time, Penguin beats Galavan with a baseball bat. Gordon stops him and then shoots the Mayor in the head. As he walks away, we are left to ponder whether the villain rising on Gotham is actually Gordon himself. As the episode wraps, Gordon meets Lee and asks her to marry him. Lee contemplates but we do not hear her answer. We then see the facility under Indian Hills where Galavan's body has been brought. With Penguin's umbrella shoved down his throat, the doctor mentions he will be a perfect subject for Dr. Hugo Strange. The stinger sequence quickly shows a man running down an alleyway only to be met by a shadowy figure with a backpack that shoots prue ice. Ah, Mr. Freeze is coming to Gotham!
While the subtitle of "Rise of the Villains" still has half a season to go, we have so far seen Edward Nygma and Oswald Cobblepot begin to embrace their true nature as iconic Batman adversaries. Other traditional bad guys like Selina Kyle and Harvey Dent remain in a place between good and evil which is necessitated by the central focus on Theo Galavan. Galavan has been very melodramatic this season and there was a lot of potential in his master plan, which in the end seems way too easily thwarted. The Order of St. Dumas could come back to be a foe later in the season, but with the two biggest members dead, it seems unlikely. The tease of both Hugo Strange and Mr. Freeze bodes well for the second half of the season and also signals that this show is firmly going away from the "realistic" bad guy approach we have seen so far.
Episode Final Verdict:
Next Episode: Gotham returns with new episodes in February 2016.