THINGS ARE GETTING MAD CRAZY
It’s back to Wonderland err Gotham this week, as Jervis Tetch reemerges as the main villain amidst a focused, intense, emotional story.
I’ll start right off the bat by saying this: this is the best episode Gotham has ever put forth. There have been some incredible high points in the series (as well as some deep low points). From the onset of the episode, there was no time to waste. I applaud the series’ writers and production staff for taking this episode by the reins and absolutely nailing the feeling of excitement and intrigue.
In the name of saving spoilers, I must be vague. Jim Gordon is presented with numerous choices throughout the episode, including a particularly big one at the end. Ben McKenzie’s performance was equally as impressive as Benedict Samuel’s as Tetch. In the pre-Batman era, Gordon has been repeatedly been symbolic of what is to come later in life as Bruce Wayne grows up and takes up some sense of morality as the Dark Knight. Gordon has swayed lately and I believe it is to show us that despite Gordon’s best efforts to not become corrupted by Gotham and its insanity, Bruce will be the one that Gordon could not be. In this episode, it was amazing to witness Gordon’s unwavering stance. Nothing could deter him from looking fear in the face and standing up to it.
Though the episode’s superb performances aren’t limited to McKenzie and Samuel (in fact, they are fantastic across the board), Samuel delivers an absolutely chilling performance as Tetch; one for the ages. He is clearly unstable and the wide range of emotions that took us from laughing to crying to downright bitter are not easily emulated. Samuel’s performance ranks near or at the top of the list of Gotham Villains, possibly second only to Cameron Monaghan’s not-Joker. Speaking of which, I can’t wait until Jerome returns (that isn’t a spoiler). There was one point in the episode where Tetch is crying while losing his cool, and smiling all at once. I felt goosebumps.
The overall story feels like it could have been ripped as DLC directly from one of the Batman Arkham games – those games have been lauded as some of the greatest Batman stories ever told. Odds are, we’ll wait at least another 5-6 episodes before seeing an episode worthy of being discussed in the same breath as this one, but next week’s episode is already looking to be on the up and up. In the show’s final stages, I felt my heart racing and my stare growing more and more intently. My absolute favorite part includes Gordon’s pushback with Tetch, where he begins to turn the tables on a man that had been inside his head, that had controlled him so easily. If nothing else, Follow The White Rabbit expressed themes of redemption and self victory.
Gotham’s finest episode yet has me counting down the days until next week’s. Bravo, Fox.
+ McKenzie’s stunning, strong performance as Gordon.
+ Samuel’s memorable, legendary performance as Tetch.
+ Entire cast knocks it out of the park – career highs were seen across the board.
+ Story is intense, emotional, scary, deep, and even fines a moment or two to genuinely make the audience laugh.
– Penguin/Nygma side story feels forced – I still can’t decide if Ed is playing Oswald (I think he is).
– Kringle clone. Huh?
Josiah LeRoy has a passionate love of all things Geek. he is thankful that you are reading this and hopes you find it as enjoyable as he does. This week, he watched Hocus Pocus & Casper for the first time ever.
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