Fox‘s Gotham Strike Force TV Show Review. Gotham: Season 2, Episode 4: Strike Force piles the stakes high, with good results. Last episode concluded with Theo Galavan (James Frain) betraying his temporary ally, Jerome, while hiding
the fact that they were ever allies from much of Gotham’s population. Turns out, he was conducting a false flag operation to endear himself to the people, and is now heading straight for the mayoral election. Just because he stabbed the future Joker doesn’t mean he’s not evil, though, because in addition to his popularity, Galavan goes to Oswald “The Penguin” Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), and orders him to murder all of the other candidates, or else his mother Gertrude Kapelput (Carol Kane), whom Galavan has captured, will pay!
Meanwhile, Captain Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis) assumes command at the police station. A draconian bully in the name of ethics, he’s quickly recognized as the right man at the wrong time for Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), who generally shares Barnes’s principles, but has since crossed the line to become an inadvertent hit man for Penguin, and vulnerable to Barnses’s wrath as a result. Ignorant of their dealings for the present, though, Barnes enlists Gordon’s help putting together the titular strike force, who are called into action in a hurry as Penguin begrudgingly begins his assault on Galavan’s rivals.
The result is a series of mood whiplashes to the almost surreal extreme, with the force going through some scenes that feel like a less comedic but equally lighthearted version of Police Academy, while Penguin and his minions feature in a series of scenes that rival The Godfather in not just their focus on polite evil, but their heavily premeditated shots that set an incredibly cynical mood. The two come to a head as Penguin sends Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) on a mission and the strike force intercepts him.
The downside to this tight focus is other plot points, such as the development of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) are forced deep into the margins, but what’s focused upon here is so well-done that it’s hard to care. It’s nice to see Penguin, whose uninhibited malevolence and its accompanying lack of consequence last season reached memetic levels, be pushed into a situation of vulnerability by a villain more concerned with image, and to see both his decent and human sides flip around rapidly in his head, with maddening results. Meanwhile, the suspenseful circumstances make the next steps in his and Gordon’s relationship something to look forward to, in a way they haven’t always been.
Leave your thoughts on this review and this episode of Gotham below in the comments section. For more Gotham reviews, photos, videos, and information, visit our Gotham Page, our Gotham Google+ Page, our TV Show Review Facebook Page, subscribe to us by Email, “follow” us on Twitter, Tumblr, or “like” us on Facebook.