TV Recap: Gotham, ‘Lovecraft’

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Lovecraft Plot Summary:

After Bruce (David Mazouz) and Selina (Camren Bicondova) escape professional assassins at Wayne Manor, Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Bullock (Donal Logue) go looking for them, while Gordon (Ben McKenzie) attempts to track down the man responsible, Dick Lovecraft (Al Sapienza).  Meanwhile, Falcone (John Doman) tightens his grip on his associates after a large sum of money is hit.

This week’s episode of Gotham begins with Alfred fighting a bunch of violent assassins, and it never lets up from there.  The intensity was all over the place in Gotham’s first mid-season finale.  Tensions were high.  Underlings were murdered in soup dishes.  And Bruce Wayne may or may not have attempted to jump a roof top.  There’s a lot to digest, but let’s start with the future Batman himself, as a lot of the emotional high points revolved around Bruce Wayne this week.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX
Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX

The relationship between Bruce and Selina continues to fire on all cylinders. Their chemistry is easy to latch onto, and while Mazouz does a great job once again as Bruce, it was Camren Bicondova who was really given a chance to shine this week.  She completely owned every scene she was in, and has total control of this character.  What I love about the writing here is that Selina is clearly smart as a whip, yet she still manages to get herself involved with the dirtiest scum Gotham has to offer. That’s Catwoman.  No matter how smart she is, she can never avoid getting into the worst situation possible.  While the Selina and Bruce plot could have easily gone too Home Alone, the balance is kept just right, keeping it gritty and tense, which is always what a Batman story should be.

It’s always risky to rely on kid actors for a lot of your scenes, but the performances were solid all the way through, including Clare Foley who returns as Ivy Pepper, a character we haven’t seen since the pilot.  I enjoyed how nuts this character was.  In a lot of the Bruce/Selina scenes, Gotham itself also got to shine, as we saw some of the grimier places the city has to offer, which really added to the tone of the episode.

The biggest Bruce moment though was between him and Alfred.  For any huge Batman fan like myself, that relationship is always going to be powerful.  Despite some forced dialogue, their scenes did not disappoint in the least.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX
Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX

Bruce wasn’t the only one Alfred had chemistry with though.  I loved the pairing of him and Bullock.  I thought they could have done more with this, but I liked what was there.  Bullock is a great character because when they need to go serious with him they can, but tonight he was awesome as comic relief.  All his dialogue hit.  Alfred also has a nice scene with Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith).  It’s great to see characters like Alfred and Fish who wouldn’t normally interact have a nice exchange like that.

Speaking of Fish, all the mob plots this week worked just as well as the main story.  Falcone reminds us why he’s the top dog in Gotham in a very Scarface like scene.  It was perfect.  And of course we can’t mention the mob scenes and not talk about Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor).  There’s a tense moment between him and Falcone, and just when you think you’ve figured out Oswald’s true allegiance, we are reminded yet again not to underestimate the Penguin.  He’s playing everybody like chess pieces.

We’ve gone through this review and haven’t even mentioned Gordon yet.  McKenzie really brought it, as the episode kept jerking Gordon around.  Him and Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto) in particular had a very contentious scene.  D’Agosto was given a lot more to work with as they toned down the coin flipping/dark lighting.  We get to see how dangerously aggressive a lawyer Dent can be, which makes me excited for future appearances, although he still had some rough dialogue towards the end.  Speaking of the end, Gordon delivers a pretty straight forward line to the Mayor (Richard Kind), which reminds us all why Gordon has the biggest balls in Gotham.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX
Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX

This was a perfect midpoint for the season, especially with where they leave Gordon.  While the last fifteen minutes lost some of the intensity from earlier in the episode, they got to hold back a little bit. It’s not a season finale. There was definitely plenty of action, including a bad ass performance from Lesley-Ann Brandt who plays the main assassin.  This episode also did a great job of keeping you engaged in the main storyline of the season, which is the conspiracy behind the Wayne murders.  Gotham continues to get stronger every week, and January can’t come fast enough.

Rating: 9 out of 10 (OMG) 

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Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.

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Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.