TV Recap: Gotham, ‘Under The Knife’

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Under the Knife Plot:

Despite the potential risk to Thompkins’ (Morena Baccarin) life, Gordon (Ben McKenzie) goes after the Ogre (Milo Ventimiglia) who chases another vulnerable victim.  Bruce (David Mazouz) and Selina (Camren Bicondova) attend the Wayne charity ball and make their move on a Wayne Enterprises executive, while Oswald’s (Robin Lord Taylor) plot against Maroni (David Zayas) gets a slight set back.

This week’s episode of Gotham was all about characters getting their moments.  Even characters I haven’t liked much throughout the series got their due.  You see many of them at the breaking point, and that’s how you know a season finale is near.  Let’s start with the person who’s probably been the single worst character on the show.

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

(Spoilers Ahead) Barbara (Erin Richards) poetically states to the Ogre that if she were hit by a bus, nobody would care.  There’s no doubt that was written more for the audience than the actual show, especially the venom in which Erin Richards read the line.  I guess it was pretty funny, but am I supposed to feel bad now for cursing this character?  No.  The character has been poorly written and poorly acted, and I will criticize as such.  Even after all that though, the character finally served a purpose, and this Ogre character was the perfect foil for her.  If the show has made one element clear with Barbara, it’s that she’s clearly screwed up, and the Ogre preyed on that brilliantly.  I finally got to see some personality and angst in Erin Richard’s performance, especially when they danced at the ball.  In a warped way, these two really are the perfect match for each other, which was no doubt intentional on the writers.  They left you with a great cliffhanger, that’s for sure.

Speaking of the Ogre, Milo Ventimiglia brought it once again – just a great damn villain.  The Ogre’s back story and how he came to be was very well done, real tight.  This was yet another example of Gordon showing huge GCPD balls, and his press conference was another great moment for Ben McKenzie.  I didn’t think this storyline would bleed into multiple episodes, but I’m fine with it.

While I mentioned how Barbara finally served the story, as did Gertrude (Carol Kane), Oswald’s mom.  This has been a real annoying character for me since the beginning, but she was used to great effect here.  Kane and Taylor had some real nice moments, and it’s the most vulnerable we’ve seen Oswald.  Maroni got the ultimate revenge, which made Oswald that much more sadistic by the end of the episode.  I can’t wait to see how that plays out as we approach the finale.  It’s on.

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

Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) was another Batman villain who got his moment.  This had been building for a while, and it was gripping to finally see Nygma succumb to what we all knew was inevitable.  Smith did a great job in this episode, but I wish Nygma’s actions weren’t so run of the mill, and were more Riddlerey, but we’ll get there.

The other major plotline was between Bruce and Selina.  I was a little uncomfortable with Selina’s actions last week, but the first scene between them as they discuss the aftermath of what happened was great.  Bruce’s dialogue was a little on the nose though and too Batman.  The date aspect of Bruce and Selina added some light to the episode, even if it was just a ploy.  Mazouz and Bicondova continue to have great chemistry, and now there’s even some added tension there.

All the storylines were solid this week, but it fell short of being a great episode as certain scenes felt rushed.  With only two episodes left though, we should be in for a great home stretch.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 (Very Good)  

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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.