This article contains spoilers for the Gotham episode: Burn The Witch.
Last night the second episode of the third season of Gotham aired. It was a hodge-podge of moments that moved a few plot lines along and created some new ones. But it also strengthened a few characters and weaken a few others. But lets get to the important moments.
1 – Bruce Wayne meets with the Court of Owls. I'm not exactly sure what this is supposed to have accomplished. He put himself and those he loved at risk to have a face to face, which oddly they granted, and the net gain was nothing. I expected it to be part of a bigger plan on Bruce and Alfred's part to take the investigation into the shadows. Setting up how Batman works… but where there did seem to be part of a plan there, him having to promise not to investigate anymore set that whole thing off. Bruce was really going to give up looking for his parents killer to make the deal. Very out of character even at this younger age. This would've worked so much better had it been part of the plan.
2 – Jim Gordon: Ladies Man is getting a bit ridiculous. Barbara Kean is still in love with him, crazy as she is. We see at the end that Lee Thompkins has come back to town and now he's started up something with Valerie Vale. Gordon is kind of a jerk in this series so I'm not sure how he is supposed to be getting the girl constantly. He was nothing but a jerk to Vale and she falls for him. The bad boy gets the girl trope is very old.
3 – We now have the older and more taller Ivy Pepper / Poison Ivy and her scene is rather cliche. She is found by a guy who was recently dumped and can't remember to water the plants… problem plants his ex left behind… and of course this sets off the Ivy enough to kill him. That seemed a bit over the top even for this show. A more subtle transition could've worked better here, but instead we get the "now she's sexy and evil" version thrown at us.
4 – Gordon deals with Fish Mooney. I'm not sure how the writers for this episode looked at how all of this worked out and thought: "Yeah, Jim Gordon would do that." To save his friend, Gordon made a deal with Penguin to provoke a riot and have innocent citizens charge into the facility and take on armed Indian Hill escapees all so Mooney can escape with Marv and Hugo Strange. Except he's giving Penguin a chance to take out Mooney. Citizens died, escapees died and Mooney would've died except Penguin let her go… but the odds are now Strange is going to die. I have a hard time seeing how this Gordon can come back around and be Commissioner Gordon that we all know and love.
5 – Penguin and Mooney have a moment. Outside in the woods, Penguin has the drop on Fish and is ready to kill her except he has to know why she spared him before. Fish admits that she is proud to have helped Oswald Cobblepot grow into being the Penguin. It's almost a parental moment and having lost both of his parents recently, Penguin was susceptible to it. This was probably the best character moment in the episode.
I know I sound negative about the episode and that's because I think we're seeing a show that is still entertaining but drifting very far away from the source material. I don't expect adaptations to be exact, I never have, but I think the key is to keep the heart of the characters the same and the rest will work. Here I don't see the heart of Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon being on track. Hopefully the writers will turn that around at some point soon.
Next week we get our first look at The Mad Hatter.