Fox‘s Gotham Worse Than a Crime Crime TV Show Review. Gotham: Season 2, Episode 11: Worse Than a Crime is not necessarily a bad episode, but it’s a disappointment compared to what came before. That means, most immediately,
the superb previous episode, but moreover, it’s a lackluster resolution to the suspense built over a whole season.
As established in the last episode’s conclusion, Theo Galavan (James Frain) is the heir to the vanished Dumas family, and after revealing this to Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) he beat him up until Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) comes to rescue/capture him. Now, there’s a warrant out for Gordon’s arrest since he kept pursuing Galavan even after he was acquitted in court, and as often is the case, he and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) are forced to team up with Cobblepot, Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova). Meanwhile, Galavan has kidnapped Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) for his occult sacrifice, Silver St Cloud has fallen in love with Bruce for real, (Natalie Alyn Lind), and the clock is ticking for all.
This all could be interesting, and indeed, it’s not dull, but it’s underdeveloped compared to what it could and deserved to be. The big strength of this season has definitely been its (mostly) eschewing villains of the week in favor of Galavan and his plot being the underlying theme for the entirety of its run, but now that all has been revealed, he’s lost his luster. With his hands in Gotham’s history, big business and a secret society, Galavan’s conspiracy runs deep, but he himself does not; stripped of his ruse as a rational and decent man, he’s shown here to be a totally evil, dark and psychotic monster. The thing about monsters, though, is they’re supposed to be scary; that was the case with Galavan just last episode, but here he’s lost that bite. Jim Gordon has been shown repeatedly to be no slouch in the hand-to-hand combat department, and in Son of Gotham Galavan personally demolished him with his bare hands. Here, he’s been inexplicably demoted to an evil buearaucrat whose goons do everything for him, and puts up little fight himself. Having simultaneously too few positive traits to be a likable character and too little competence to be a threat is a bad place for any antagonist to be in; when the whole season is basically about him, it’s much worse.
Lackluster adventure elements aside, the episode delivers somewhat well-done character-to-character interactions. Lind manages to make Silver a more sympathetic character in what may very well be the last episode she’s ever in, an impressive feat considering what a scumbag she came off as when conspiring against Bruce and Selina. However, the writing can’t be praised in kind; this is the first time the reason she’s indebted to Galavan is explored at all, and even now it isn’t explained well, and so her falling for Bruce just doesn’t feel like the strong character development it should have. There’s more to like in the latest iteration of the strange bedfellowship of Jim Gordon and Oswald Cobblepot, including a major breakthrough for Gordon, a callback to the first episode, and a darkly comical mythology gag.
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