Episode 10: “Lovecraft”
by Dan Tomasik
Bruce and Selina must flee Wayne Manor when a hit is put out on Selina.
Through thick and thin, Alfred has always been there for Bruce. As a butler he is always present but rarely explored. Alfred’s true feelings and character remain a mystery to Batman readers/watchers. In some ways he is like Batman’s henchman, but a henchman who has earned a special place in our hearts. Another favorite story trope of mine is bit characters given development. Characters who serve little purpose in the grand scheme, characters who can be killed off or disappear without causing any notable ripples; but aren’t. These characters are the true everymen of any story.
Gotham’s mid-season finale has opened up endless doors of possibility. Along the way, an interesting and enjoyable romp through the shadier streets of the city with Selina and Bruce. But the episode truly belongs to Alfred.
What do we know about Alfred Pennyworth? Not a damn thing. He serves the Wayne family and has a growing attachment to Bruce, believing himself to be the only family Bruce has left. This is the complete encompassment of Alfred, as established in the Batman mythos. Somewhere along the way, Alfred was a badass. A badass, a marksman, a fighter, a man well-versed in the darker parts of the world; Alfred is awesome. Fighting off assassins with fists and guns, taking a bullet to the shoulder and shrugging it off, tearing Gotham apart to find his young charge. He even made Fish Mooney look good. Dear God, Mooney was her best since this series began! This is without doubt the coolest Alfred, ever.
Gordon’s moments were fewer, but no less awesome. He remains on a warpath that will pit him against every nasty Gotham has to offer, stubbornly refusing to let anyone stand in his way or slow him down. This includes his partner, who generally adopts a half-assed strategy towards everything, the new district attorney, who is too frightened to stand up to his superiors, and his mayor, who demands he stay in line. The harder things press in on him, the more he rises to the occasion.
We also got a great blast from the past in the form of young Poison Ivy, who is already beginning to show the cracks of madness that will eventually envelop her. More interesting still, all of it is traceable back to both Gordon and Bruce, setting up a vendetta for each of them. Furthermore, she’s already at a point where even Selina is understandably disturbed by her behavior. From one act, her entire life has been changed. Fantastic work by the folks at Gotham.
Come January, Gordon is going to be at the heart of corruption and madness, playing referee. Gordon has been reassigned to guard duty at Arkham Asylum. Is it so wrong to ask Father Time to skip the month of December, just this once? Gotham is just about to get wicked.
Not only is Gordon locked up with the city’s biggest baddies, but things are getting interesting for the outside forces as well. Penguin is playing a dangerous game with Mooney and Falcone, and for the first time the two underlings seem to be on equal footing. Nygma has shown himself to be upset by Gordon’s departure, hinting that he may be a valuable ally in the days to come. For an all-around good episode, what a fantastic ending.
Episode Score: 8.0