TV REVIEW: Gotham 2.4 – Strike Force | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: Gotham 2.4 – Strike Force

By Jason Pickup

TV REVIEW: Gotham 2.4 - Strike Force

“Strike Force” slows down the pace on Gotham this week. Not a crawl mind you, but after the breakneck speed of the season’s opening we’ve definitely let off of the gas some. Gotham is still keeping its focus and direction tight, and the majority of this week’s episode folds in on itself as the interactions between the main players weave in and around each other. Galavan enlists Penguin to do his dirty work, which prompts Gordon and his new commissioner to try to take down Penguin. There, that’s 90% of the episode in less space that your average tweet. Sure you have Bruce and Nygma dancing around the periphery but at this point that’s almost a given.

I’m not even mad that at some point this episode Gotham turned into The Untouchables. Now when I say turned into The Untouchables I don’t mean like in season one where Falcone whacking someone at a fancy dinner reminded me of Al Capone beating someone to death with a baseball bat at a fancy dinner. No, Barnes and Gordon going to the Gotham Police Academy is lifted straight out of The Untouchables. Again, I’m not even close to mad, it’s a logical progression for the show to turn Gordon and Barnes into Elliot Ness and Jimmy Malone trying to find officers unaffected by Gotham’s corruption to take down Al Capone Penguin.

Unlike Ness, Jim however is walking a very, very fine line right now. Jim is anything but squeaky clean at this point in the show and a simple phone call from Penguin or one of his goons could result in Gordon on the other end of his handcuffs. He’s effectively hamstrung and honestly, after some of the dumb things he’s done, if he was to end up behind bars I’d have a hard time feeling bad for him. But that makes for compelling viewing. Gordon and Bullock have both so far been spared but both are currently painfully aware of the sword hanging directly over them at all times.

This week we’re also descending further down the rabbit hole that is Theo Galavan’s master plan. A good chunk of it is still up in the air but for now the aim seems to be eliminate the competition, capture the Mayor’s office and bulldoze half of Gotham into shiny crystal towers. Theo stepped up his game this week, blackmailing Penguin into doing his dirty work and at the same time setting Penguin up to be the next one to take the fall in Theo’s quest for the gold.  Galavan may have the leverage now holding Mrs. Cobblepot hostage but he’s got to know that threatening Penguin’s mother isn’t the key to long term relations between the two parties. Short term, this seems like a miscalculation on Galavan’s part as releasing her will simply provoke swift and brutal retaliation and keeping her will eventually lead to her being found and the aforementioned swift and brutal retribution.

Galavan has some sort of design on Bruce as we introduce obscure comic book love interest Silver St Cloud as Theo’s ward. It’s the smart play, what’s the easiest way to get to a teenage boy, a teenage girl batting her eyelashes. Galavan does owe a bit of gratitude to Alfred this week for helping Galavan without even realizing it. By Alfred sending Selena packing he’s effecting kicked out the linchpin stopping Bruce from rolling over to Silver. That’s not to say Selena might now still come to save Bruce, after all a cat usually isn’t discouraged the first time you spray it with the water bottle.


Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

The Great:

TV REVIEW: Gotham 2.4 - Strike Force
Chiklis: Sometimes the obvious choice is the correct choice. Who do you hire for a show that’s equal parts superhero drama and cop drama? How about an actor who’s spent a good part of his career either playing a cop (The Commish and The Shield) or a super hero (Ben Grimm in two Fantastic Four movies and the father of a super-powered family on No Ordinary Family). So now we have The Commish playing GCPD’s new Commish, which is to be honest, how I imagine the casting agent pitched the role. Barnes is a no-nonsense commissioner, ex-military and flies straighter than one of Oliver Queen’s arrows. Chiklis has both the acting chops and the imposing demeanor to pull it off. It’s even fun to watch the interactions with Gordon as Jim is ex-Army and Barnes an ex-marine how Gordon has begun to default to soldier mode in Barnes’ presence, standing a bit straighter and adding in the formal “sir” to replies. Chiklis is signed for the rest of the season according to IMDB, so hopefully there will be some stability to the GCPD in the meantime.

Or does it? Could the white knight be a facade? Could Barnes be in the pocket of Galavan as well? The timing is impeccable as Barnes shows up just in time for Penguin to need to be apprehended and out of Galavan’s hair. I don’t want to be the Debbie Downer here but it would also explain why Bullock escaped the initial noose. Bullock keeps Gordon in check or at least on a bit of a leash.

The Good:
Butch: I’ve consistently enjoyed Butch throughout the show, he’s equal parts loyal dog and frightening murder machine. This week steps it up a bit. Black humor is a tough to pull off and Butch shines while Penguin shanks a mayoral candidate. When asked why they’re doing this he just kind of shrugs his shoulders and talks about how he’s got no clue and that he’s been doing crazy stuff all day. As a way to get through the ordeal he suggests that the other office workers just picture themselves somewhere else to get through the trauma like he does.  Later the puppy dog side comes out as Butch tries to calm down Penguin in the wake of his mother’s kidnapping. He’s Gotham’s big lug, and while I wouldn’t doubt his ability to go full Mongo on someone he provides a sort of emotional confidant for Penguin that I couldn’t see him getting from Zsasz.

The Bad:
Alfred: Alfred raising his hand to Selena set the character back a bit for me. I can understand being mad she was responsible for your old army buddy buying the farm, but on the other hand your friend was a bit of a turd and tried to stab you. Alfred struck me as the ‘no women, no kids’ type.

Politics: Why do villains always pursue a career in politics? You’d think there’d be much more criminal competition in political office than on the streets.

FBI Score:  8.5 out of 10. “Strike Force” is a bit more laid back than the previous three episodes this season but still manages to move the existing plot forward and adds a few wrinkles to the dynamic. It is still a great episode, but after zooming through the straightaway, the slow down around the proverbial curves feels a bit different. It’s still exciting, just in a different way.

Jason Pickup

Jason just pawn in game of life.

More Posts