Monday, November 24, 2014

REVIEW: 'Gotham' - Selina & Bruce Are On the Run While Jim Has Harsh Words for the Mayor & Harvey Dent in 'LoveCraft'

FOX's Gotham - Episode 1.10 "LoveCraft"

Selina leads a new friend on a perilous journey through Gotham to evade the assassins who are on her trail. Following a misstep, Gordon is reassigned to duty at Arkham Asylum.

Wayne Manor has been a safe place for Bruce following the murders of his parents. At times this season it's been a slog seeing him in the same room during similar things as a way to test himself week in and week out. And yet, the show has been establishing a strong rapport between Bruce and Alfred. It's a weird and dynamic friendship where Bruce is the master but Alfred is the parental influence. Until this episode, Bruce has only left the Manor twice - the first for a corporate fundraiser that was attacked and the second to return to school where he is immediately bullied. Wayne Manor is safe and secluded. It allows him the setting to learn as much about this city and how it truly operates. And yet, there is only so much he can learn while cooped up in there. To truly know how the streets of Gotham work, he has to escape to the streets of Gotham at some point. The opportunity presents itself in the fall finale when assassins come knocking on his door trying to take out Selina.

Jim Gordon took Selina to Wayne Manor in the first place because she would be safe there. She and Bruce have quickly built an interesting relationship. It's nice to have these two young characters interacting with each other. They have a nice back and forth that needed to be there given what they will grow up to be - Batman and Catwoman. Now, they are forced on the run together. Bruce doesn't have to stick by her side. She is the target. The assassins do not want to harm him. He sees an intrigue within Selina. She presents this whole other world to explore unlike anything else he has previously experienced. He is allowed to go out into the world and interact with some of the corrupt elements of this city. Yes, there's life and death stakes but this little journey is very important for the development of these characters.

However, the corruption in this city is only getting worse. Jim, Harvey Dent and Bruce all believe they can enact justice for the people responsible for the Wayne murders. Selina knows better than to think a trial will actually take place. And yet, the idea of justice is what is motivating the other three to act right now. Part of it is a learning curve as well. Dent knows where the line is in this city and is willing to go along to a certain extent. He is the reason why the assassins know where to find Selina. He is so convinced that Dick LoveCraft is connected to the Wayne murders even though he doesn't have any proof to substantiate his accusations. He's basically just putting this threat out there to see how the criminal organizations of Gotham react - with is very dangerous for Jim, Bruce and Selina. It's a risky way to do business. It should make Jim cautious to teaming up with this District Attorney again.

That is made especially true by hour's end when Jim has to deal with the consequences of the actions he originally set into motion. He is not willing to back down in this fight. That means a demotion to serving as a security guard at the newly opened Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. That's basically where the Mayor can send all of his problems away. It's an easy explanation. The people sent to the asylum need help and guidance to fit into the structure that's at play in Gotham. It could also be a very big learning opportunity for Jim. If all the city's problems are being swept under the rug via Arkham Asylum, it could be the perfect place for Jim to learn the fundamentals of this city. So while it is a demotion and he has to say goodbye to his "friends" at the police precinct - the hug from Nygma was as awkward as Harvey's offer to get a drink sometime honorable. This move can be very important for Jim's understanding of the inner workings of this city. That could make his determination to save this city only stronger. Only time will tell if it will pay in the long run.

Some more thoughts:
  • "LoveCraft" was written by Rebecca Dameron and directed by Guy Ferland.
  • That Alfred-Bruce hug was incredibly well-earned.
  • Isn't it nice to see that Wayne Manor has more rooms than just the one Bruce frequently is in?
  • It was also fun to have Alfred and Fish in a scene together. That dynamic could become very interesting once the show decides to have Alfred and Bruce explore the city more often.
  • At hour's end, Selina returns to Wayne Manor to say goodbye to Bruce and kisses him. Her stay wasn't as long as I was expected. However, what was the best case scenario going to be? The events of this episode had to happen because of the corruption throughout the city.
  • Ivy was a big part of the show's promotional push before it debuted in September. She appeared in the pilot and hasn't been seen until this episode. It's mostly just a "here's what's been happening with this person."
  • I thought LoveCraft being shot in the head by Jim's gun would have had much larger consequences for the detective. And yet, he's just demoted and the Mayor can easily explain it away as suicide.
  • Oswald shows up just to be threatened by Falcone and to tell his driver that timing is everything. That's a weird use of the show's breakout character in the final episode of 2014.
  • When is Jim going to make some actual progress on the Wayne murder case? So far, that story has just been full of teases and red herrings - with LoveCraft serving as the latest fake out. Once we get a better picture of the forces involved, the story will become much more engaging.