Episode 20: “Under the Knife”
Gordon dives deeper into the hunt for the Ogre, meanwhile Bruce and Selena dig into Wayne Enterprise, and Maroni digs into Oswald.
There’s no new DC characters this episode.
Gotham has a tendency to be very hit or miss. Some weeks, sitting through it can feel like a chore, even a punishment. Other weeks, it’s the reward that makes everything else in the week worth dealing with. Last week was a miss. This week, a home run. It’s going, it’s gone, it’s not coming back, the ball has left the stadium, begin the victory lap around the bases. Oh, where to begin.
Bruce and Selena are in top form, standing on equal ground with any of the adult actors in all their scenes. From there, an opening with Nygma letting out pent-up aggression by stabbing watermelons. Next, a scene straight out of Alien, but without falling into the same trap as the usual horror fare. Then comes the unstoppable force that is late-season Barbara, flirting with “The Ogre”, Gotham’s sickest bachelor. It’s a dangerous connection that keeps everything perpetually on edge. Last but not least, a “friendly” visit from Sal Maroni gets under Penguin’s skin in the worst way. You can toy with a man, toy with his emotions, his schemes, and his loyalties; but you do not toy with his mother.
Everything is hitting close to home. Family, friends, loved ones; Gotham is pushing in the places where it hurts the most, yet it’s impossible to look away. This is what happens when an emotional bond is formed with characters; they become like a part of our lives. TV writers are becoming sharper than ever at finding the things that get audiences emotional. Relationships are more information-based than ever before. With texting taking over the main means of communication, being in a relationship is more like reading a book than ever before. With every message we know the signs, analyze for every possible meaning, and worry to death about the smallest things. In the pursuit of understanding better, we’ve become more vulnerable. Shaken by the smallest twist in the story. Shows like Gotham know how to play off that vulnerability to the fullest extent.
Everything keeps on building and building. The drama, the mystery, the excitement, the misery, the madness. It’s the same characters from last week, but everything feels fresh and new. It’s like a totally different show. The Ogre isn’t just creepy and disturbing, he’s dangerous. He’s taking hints now from Red Dragon and Psycho, creating a puzzling monster that we can’t take our eyes off of, as opposed to the creep we could barely stand to watch a week ago. Edward Nygma’s love woes are reaching a climax; this isn’t fun & games anymore. The path of the hero and the path of the villain share many similarities, and sometimes people do bad things with good intentions.
A week ago, the Ogre was the last character anyone wanted to see again. Now, the anticipation for his next move has us on the edge of our seats. The end is nigh. Gotham City is becoming a terrifying place to be. With only two episodes left, the only question that matters is whether or not Gotham can pull off two more homers. For whatever the opinion of a reviewer counts for, I think it can. And it will.
Episode Score: 9.4