TV REVIEW: Gotham 2.2 – Knock Knock | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: Gotham 2.2 – Knock Knock

By Jason Pickup

TV REVIEW: Gotham 2.2 - Knock Knock

When Gotham returned last week, the first episode was a much better effort than the bulk of season one due to one simple fact: The KISS principle. No, not cameos from a mediocre, aging rock band; rather by Keeping It Simple, Stupid. I’m happy to report that this week’s episode continues in the tradition of trimming down the number of overall stories to tell thicker, more interesting stories with the uncut threads.

Knock Knock delivers us the first (if memory serves correctly) Penguin-less episode of Gotham. After factoring heavily into the first episode, you’d expect him to come calling in some way either to ingratiate himself to the new commissioner or to beg a favor of Gordon now that he’s on the force again. Honestly, even as a man who enjoys every moment Penguin is on screen, I didn’t miss him this episode since there’s that much going on without him. I’ve spoken of it before in season one, but, Gotham has a very deep bench as far as talented actors. It’s perfectly acceptable to bench Penguin or Alfred or even Gordon for an episode and still be able to tell a great, well-acted story.

Galavan has taken the remaining Arkham escapees and has set them loose on Gotham to drop people off on a roof, set fire to a bus full of teens, and to go into the lion’s den and actually shoot up the GCPD Station (side note: does Gotham only have one police precinct? You’d think a city that big would have more than one). Jim’s story weaves in and out of that one as he attempts to put together the bigger picture to no avail. Nygma gets his usual three minutes of talking to himself, then finds himself wrapped in as the massacre at the GCPD unfolds. Bruce and Alfred kind of bookend the story with more developments on the mystery cave working their way into the main story to make sure Gordon survived the aforementioned ruckus.

The big question I have after getting two episodes in is how long will it be until Galavan’s plans start interfering with Penguin’s operations? Penguin exploits the system but he needs that system to be in place in order for his operations to be successful. If the city shuts down, ships and trucks filled with stuff to steal then sell stop coming in. In the parlance of Dungeons and Dragons, Penguin is very much Lawful Evil and Galavan leans on that line between Neutral and Chaotic Evil.  I’m sure Galavan has a plan but right now it seems to be short bursts of anarchy. But once the plan starts to shape up it’s only a matter of time before the bad guys are at each other’s throats. It should be ugly, brutal, and entirely satisfying to watch the monsters tear at each other.

The Great:
Alfred: I’m not sure which I enjoyed more tonight: Alfred finally doing the right thing with Bruce or Alfred casually threatening a man’s life over gin and tonics. Let’s look at both: Alfred has been hit or miss (mostly miss) with his guardianship role over Bruce. He’s taught him how to fight, how to build a bomb, and generally looked the other way at behavior that should be investigated by professionals. But smashing the server might have been the smartest thing Alfred has done for Bruce since the inception of the show. At this point there’s no doubt that without Bruce, Alfred would be lost. He’s just got a funny way of showing it sometimes, moving from keeping Bruce away from any information that could bring him harm to deciding that if Bruce is going to get into harm’s way, that Alfred should be the one to fully teach Bruce how to get the best of them.

The interplay with Lucius is another example of how unsubtle Gotham can be at times. You know exactly what Alfred is insinuating and just in case you don’t, he flat out drops the ‘oh by the way you mess this up and I’ll kill you’ for the benefit of the innuendo impaired watching at home. No-nonsense-Alfred is my favorite Alfred and I’m glad Gotham moved beyond the notion of the aged butler who offers sage advice to a more active guardian and mentor for Bruce.

TV REVIEW: Gotham 2.2 - Knock Knock

Galavan: I’m going to go ahead and double down on the Galavan being R’as. The notion of cleansing Gotham, tossing it into a state of chaos, then offering to save it is a very Al Ghul-esque plot.  Though I’m sure his definition of “saved” and any sane person’s idea of “saved” aren’t even in the same ballpark.  Galavan really is Gotham‘s first big bad. Everyone up until this point has been working in the small scale or working within the confines of the system to get what they want. I’m even willing to look the other way at the slight parallels to pretty much every big villain so far on Arrow with the hopes that the payoff will take us in another direction than that other show.

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The Good:
A Bus Full of Cheerleaders: Because why wouldn’t they? If you’re going to go over the top and not offend a large segment of the population by hijacking a bus full of nuns, then cheerleaders is your next best choice.

The Bad:
Jerome: It’s not so much Jerome in and of himself that gets to me. It’s the fact that he emotes like Nicholson’s Joker, especially in the scene where he’s firing his gun. Jerome talks like Hammil’s Joker, which to be fair, is the standard of excellence for Joker voices. Jerome in a police outfit and use of a video camera to taunt the general public evokes Ledger’s Dark Knight performance. I think you’re starting to see the issue. I’d be happy to let Jerome fly on his own merits with or without being the Joker, depending on how the chips fall. But he’s not standing on his own merits, instead he’s a sort of Frankenstein’s monster cobbled together from bits and pieces of the actors who came before him.

Not the Time or the Place Bruce: I have several question about Bruce showing up at the police station after the attack. First question is to Alfred. Who in their right mind brings a 14-year old to the still-warm scene of a crime, especially one who’s still in the process of coming to terms with their parents’ murders? Second question is to the officers containing the scene from the outside. Who lets a teenager into a crime scene? Finally to Bruce and Jim. You guys have spoken more than once, why haven’t you at this point exchanged phone numbers? The constantly needing to impart information face to face is getting old.

Random Musings:
In the Maniaxx could we be seeing the beginnings of Killer Croc in the tall bald one and Mad Hatter in the short crazy haired one?

Chris Chalk as Lucius Fox is equal parts young Keith David and Michael Kenneth Williams and I’m totally OK with it.

Did Barbara go off script saving Gordon from the massacre or does Galavan have designs for Jim?

I’d like to see Riddler get more than 5 minutes to develop his character. I’m interested to see how the actor can carry the transformation in a longer sequence.

FBI SCORE: 9/10. I don’t want to jinx it but I’m really hopeful for this season of Gotham. If done right there’s going to be a really satisfying payoff and in the mean time, watching all hell break loose is satisfying.

Jason Pickup

Jason just pawn in game of life.

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