TV Review: Gotham - Season 2 Episode 8 "Tonight's The Night"
Season 2 Episode 8: "Tonight's The Night"
Synopsis: Galavan sends Barbara after Jim Gordon, while he tries to make a business deal with Bruce Wayne. Barnes and Bullock are hot on Barbara’s trail, and Nygma has a run-in with a familiar face.
Recap: Eight episodes into the season and we are quickly approaching critical mass for Gotham's second year on the air. After what started as a stellar run to redeem the James Gordon origin series, Gotham has started to wobble in recent weeks. While the more serialized format this year has improved leaps and bounds over last season's villain of the week format, this episode brings to light a couple of key issues inherent to the show, namely the stupidity of the lead character.
Last week, Jim Gordon finally realized that the newly elected Mayor of Gotham City is actually a psychotic villain and vowed to take him down. This week, despite revealing his hunch and details of his showdown with the Mayor and The Penguin, Captain Barnes feels the evidence is "thin" and says they cannot take action. Then, Gordon's former fiance shows up and presents the GCPD with a proposition right out of SEVEN. While Kevin Spacey's serial killer in that film was promising to reveal all, Barbara Kean is reluctant to dish on Theo Galavan unless Gordon goes with her "somewhere" to "see something". Gordon claims to be playing along and kisses Barbara (as Lee Thompkins watches) and says he needs to try and get her to talk. So, without logical reason, Barnes okays Gordon and Bullock to go where Barbara wants to go.
Everyone has a bad feeling about the excursion and Barnes even tries to call them back, but their car is T-boned and Barbara takes Gordon prisoner. Barnes is, of course, pissed and sends Bullock home, but Bullock investigates anyway and realizes that Barbara is holding Jim at the church they were set to be married in. Barnes, once again, calls the lead thin but they go and find Barbara holding Gordon and Lee hostage (when the hell did they manage to kidnap her?). Barbara lets her crazy flow free this week. After an opening dream sequence set at the same church, Barbara professes her love for Jim while also threatening to kill him and Lee. Clearly, Jim still loves her even though she is batshit crazy. They tussle towards the end and she professes her feelings once more before plummeting from the church as Jim screams.
But, of course she doesn't die! After the commercial break, we learn a convenient branch and bush combination stopped her from breaking her neck as they take her away to the hospital. Lee tells Gordon they will need to talk after this is all done, all but sealing their break-up. I find it very hard to believe the showrunners will reunite Jim and Barbara after the events that have taken place on this series, but if they do it will have to be by some massive changes to the character. Barbara was a wasted character in season one and only became intriguing after her arc this year. I also really like Morena Baccarin as Lee so I hope this doesn't mark the end of her run on the show. With her parting gift, Barbara does manage to reveal that Mayor James is still alive and the GCPD are able to find and rescue him. But, why the hell would the genius plan of the Galavans leave such a loose end?
We know Theo Galavan's master plan involves the death of Bruce Wayne and this week he tries to convince the young billionaire to sign over Wayne Enterprises in exchange for evidence of who killed his parents. Bruce battles with the decision and decides to sell to Galavan despite Alfred's objections. Bruce cannot wait to finish his training and must know the truth now. But, as he readies to sign, Bruce changes his mind. At the same moment, Gordon and the GCPD arrive to arrest Galavan for the kidnapping of Mayor James. Galavan quickly burns the envelope with the supposed identity of the murderer of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Bruce sees the envelope aflame and screams he will do anything to know the truth. Well, almost anything as he just proved he will not sell his company. Ugh, terrible writing.
The other subplot this week involved Edward Nygma burying the body of Kristen Kringle only to have to dispose of a nosy hunter as well. Trudging through the woods, he comes across a trailer and the gravely injured Penguin who needs immediate medical assistance. Next week will reunite the two future Batman supervillains in what will hopefully be the beginning of a great friendly rivalry. Otherwise, this week's episode was full of sloppy writing, bad character decisions, and weak progress for Jim Gordon, Bruce Wayne, and Theo Galavan. I imagine that getting caught is all a part of Galavan's plan, but this episode just came off as very sloppy with actions that defy justification. Hopefully the matchup of Penguin and Riddler next week will pull this show back on course.
Episode Final Verdict:
Next Episode: "A Bitter Pill To Swallow" airs November 16th - Gordon and Barnes continue cleaning up Gotham, and Gordon comes face-to-face with one of the city's most dangerous hitmen, Eduardo Flamingo. Meanwhile, Nygma and Penguin cross paths again, and Bruce pressures Galavan into handing over the name of his parents' murderer.