Beasts of Prey Plot Summary:
Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie) new found status at GCPD gets him roped into an investigation with a dangerous serial killer (Milo Ventimiglia). Bruce (David Mazouz) enlists Selina (Camren Bicondova) to help him track down Alfred’s (Sean Pertwee) attacker (David O’Hara), and Fish (Jada Pinkett Smith) plots her escape from Dulmacher (Colm Feore).
Gotham finally made its triumphant return. Seriously, it feels like the show’s been off for months, even though it’s only been just over one. The finale is fast approaching with only three episodes to go after this week’s mayhem. While slow at first, this episode ramps up beautifully in the second half as all four storylines were packed with great acting and high tension. The highlight for me though was Milo Ventimiglia, an actor I’ve always liked, but completely got the shaft in that little show called Heroes a while back.
Gordon and Bullock (Donal Logue) tracking down the murderer of a young woman (Willa Fitzgerald) was easily the best-written storyline of the episode. Unlike the other cases Gordon gets involved with, this one was thrust upon him when a young cop (Brendan Griffin) strokes his ego at Gordon’s new found power after black mailing Loeb (Peter Scolari). The set up for this, and where it ultimately ended up for Gordon was fantastic, and further illustrates just how sick the GCPD is. The case itself though was Gotham at its creepy best. Milo Ventimiglia easily became one of my favorite guest stars of the season, playing this absolute sick son of a bitch with a twisted motivation. The intercutting of flashbacks as Gordon and Bullock go through the case was a welcome change of pace from the usual formula. McKenzie also stood out in the acting department, but he usually does.
The other storylines weren’t as stellar, but definitely had their moments. Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) got a pretty straightforward plot thread, but it was classic Oswald in his element. Loved it. While the prison story with Fish started to pick up steam the last couple episodes, it reverted back to yawns here. Although, there was one tense exchange between Fish and Dulmacher that was very well acted by Smith, and the last scene with Fish and the prisoners was very exciting.
Building off the momentum from last episode, Bruce is determined to locate Alfred’s attacker, as we knew he would be. This one started off pretty boring, and I think that’s because Payne, Alfred’s attacker, just isn’t that interesting a character, so I’m not too invested. It wasn’t until Bruce and Selina teamed up where this really took off, and the chemistry between Mazouz and Bicondova has been great since the beginning. Bicondova in particular is fantastic here. She’s always been the whip smart street survivor, but when she threatens Payne, Bicondova got legitimately intimidating, and showed signs of Catwoman. I’m mixed on Selina’s ultimate decision at the end though. Certainly it’s true for the character we know she’ll become, but here it came out of left field, and just felt awkward. I’m curious to see how they respond to this in the next episode.
While a little slow out of the gate, I loved where this episode ended up. Despite a couple cliché lines, the acting was strong on all fronts, and sets up the last three episodes perfectly.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 (Very Good)
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.