Gotham, ‘A Day in the Narrows’ Brings Back Vibes of Season One

Gotham, ‘A Day in the Narrows’ Plot Summary:

Plot: Bullock (Donal Logue) forces Gordon (Ben McKenzie) to work with Penguin’s (Robin Lord Taylor) men after they get a lead on Professor Pyg’s (Michael Cerveris) current cop hostages.  Bruce (David Mazouz) tries to put Ra’s al Ghul behind him with a little teenage rebellion, while Selina (Camren Bicondova) goes after a dangerous biker gang to spite Barbara (Erin Richards) and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas).

This week’s Gotham was vintage Gordon. It had a fantastic season one vibe. Gordon is the one honest cop trying to make a difference against an entire corrupt police force. One of those cops he’s fighting against is none other than Harvey Bullock. What makes this conflict even more impactful than in season one is that Gordon inspired Bullock to be a better cop.  To see him revert back creates more frustration for Gordon, and you can see it all over this episode.

The episode begins with Penguin barging into Bullock’s office, which absolutely disgusts Gordon.  What a great way to start.  It’s a triple whammy for Gordon.  Not only is this sniveling jackass throwing his weight around, but he’s even more pissed at Bullock for going along with it.  We also get the introduction of Headhunter (Kyle Vincent Terry), a new assassin on team Penguin who’s a stupid, but entertaining foe.  Gordon immediately can’t stand this guy.

They all go to the narrows where you have cops and Penguin’s men badgering the scum of the narrows, which creates complete and utter chaos.  This is just an unworkable environment for Gordon.  The real drama continues to be on Gordon and Bullock though.  Gordon pleads with Bullock to get rid of Penguin’s men who will eventually make the situation worse, but Bullock refuses.  

The episode offers some nice twists.  You know how it’s all going to end though. but you want to get there.  It was great to see Gordon get the vindication he deserves.  There was some truly great writing here, as we get a small scene where Gordon and another cop have a contentious confrontation.  Where we see them at the end though was subtle, but perfect.  It summed up the entire episode in a nutshell.  My only complaint is that Bullock acts a little too dumb here, but it almost works because he knows it, and is too desperate to do anything about it.

The other element to this was Professor Pyg, the man pulling all the strings.  This is a damn good villain.  The voice is pure perfection.  Michael Cerveris is nailing this character.  We’re only two episodes in, but him and Gordon have already developed a fierce rivalry.  He’s a classic comic book villain that keeps you on edge, and is just the right amount of creepy.  I’m salivating to see what he does next.

Leaving the GCPD, we get a very entertaining Bruce Wayne arc.  It begins okay, with Bruce feeling guilty about not feeling guilty or whatever, but then he gets taken away by a nice new friend, Grace, played by Samia Finnerty.  She takes him to the obnoxious rich teenager’s club, where one of them who looks like Ryan Phillippe in Cruel Intentions has a real stick up his butt about Bruce.  To see Bruce put this kid in his place was awesome.  

To see Bruce interact with normal teenagers was odd, but proved to be thoroughly entertaining.  This definitely leaves Bruce in an interesting place for the next couple episodes.

The other storyline was a simple one between Selina, Barbara and Tabitha.  This was a pretty standard and predictable arc, but it worked.  These three are a good criminal grouping.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  I like crazy Barbara, but I enjoy seeing her take command as a level headed, no non-sense leader.  These three will no doubt cause a lot of ruckus in Gotham soon enough.

Gotham is now truly hitting its stride. They packed a lot in here, including two characters developing (or re-developing?) drinking problems. The end of the episode hints that Penguin may be taken down a peg. It’s always great when his ego gets the best of him.  I also love what he decides to do with Headhunter at the end.  Classic.  

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Great)

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.