Fox‘s Gotham Tonight’s The Night TV Show Review. Gotham: Season 1, Episode 8: Tonight’s The Night is mostly a focused side story, with some rather anticlimatic resolutions to two running conflicts toward the end.
Gotham has been chronicling the descent of Babara Kean (Erin Richards) into horny, wickedly optimistic–essentially Harley Quinn-lite–insanity for a while now, but it hasn’t been much of a concern; even as she fell in with the gang of conspirators led by Theo Galavan (James Frain). This is the episode where her story really blows up.
The lead-in is that now that Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) knows how wicked Galavan is, and Galavan in turn knows that he knows, peace obviously won’t last. Captain Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis) isn’t willing to let Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) pursue their quest against Galavan, especially considering their tipster was his Public Enemy Number One, Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor). As luck would have it, though, Galavan sends Barbara out to kill Jim Gordon, something she’s desired for a while.
Watching their vitriolic, geographically-diverse and sexually-charged battle probably isn’t what most viewers wanted to spend an episode doing, but Richards’s performance sells it; at least for a while. In the time-honored tradition of many villains in the Batman mythos, she combines happy-go-lucky mannerisms malignant desires, and her constant smirking and seductive teasing isn’t only convincing; it’s also stunning coming from the same actor and character who was so different throughout most of last season. It’s compelling to watch in itself.
What Barbara doesn’t have, though, despite having gone from Jekyll to Hyde, is any apparent character depth. She relentlessly flings love-hate taunts at Gordon in what, despite the kinetic nature of the episode, feels like a short thematic loop, and somewhere along the line, it just starts to feel like the audience is being trolled, too. Meanwhile, Theo Galavan makes a move on the fortune of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), and Gordon intervenes. At this point, it’s not quite clear where the series will go.
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