February 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Gotham “The Demon’s Head”

Season Four, Episode Four

OK, so, let’s talk about tone because in this episode, I saw the most awesome thing this show has done in quite some time and then it followed that up with one of the darkest things this show has ever done.

Let’s be fair for a moment:  Gotham as a series tends to bounce between the campy and the dark.  Dark camp if you will, or even if you won’t.  So, yeah, Sophie Falcone reaching out to the Penguin, acting innocently, and then getting three of her father’s lieutenants that were in hiding to come out only to be murdered by Penguin and Zsasz.  That’s par for the course.  Even the weird comedy about having Penguin say he was going to send “Victor” to deal with the returned Nygma and then having to clarify to Zsasz whether he means the bald psychopath or the guy with the cold gun (it was the guy with the cold gun).

Oh, and then not only does Sofia tell Gordon that this was all part of the plan, but she adds that he shouldn’t have gone to a gangster for help if he didn’t want his hands to get dirty.  That is an excellent point that it does seem as if law-and-order Jim Gordon would think of before asking the violent mobsters for help.  But then they start making out, so…that is somehow also Gotham.

And, of course, Nygma can’t think of a good riddle at all, sending vague bits via doomed messengers that don’t make a lick of sense to the point where Oswald feels bad for him and let’s him go.

See, that’s standard Gotham.  I expect stuff that almost makes sense if it does at all.

But then there’s the whole Ra’s al-Ghul plot.  It’s always nice to see Alexander Siddig, and he’s fine in the role.  If anything, he’s playing the role a lot more seriously than this show generally goes.  That’s fine. Ra’s, as a Batman villain, is the sort of character who stands out on his own, not one that mixes too well with the other members of Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery.  So, he’s not the issue, if indeed it is an issue.

See, Alfred and Bruce are trying to get information on that knife, and they take it to an expert and the expert’s grandson working out of a museum.  Ra’s murders the old man in the evening, but the knife is missing and the grandson ran off.  Bruce knows how to find him, but he doesn’t want to share too much with Gordon even as Ra’s poses as a diplomat to talk to Gordon on his own.  During the course of this plot line, I saw something that exceeded the series’s usual ridiculousness and one that was far darker than I think this prime time network show has gone to date.

The ridiculousness would be the guy Ra’s hire to find the grandson, a big brawny guy with a shirtless fellow that acts like a mad dog.  Yes, a man who was basically a dog.  That’s ridiculous, especially when Gordon beats him by tossing a bone out an upper story window.  That’s kinda awesome.

Then Ra’s, holding the grandson hostage, demands the knife, and when he doesn’t get it fast enough…he slits the boy’s throat.

Whoa.  Murdering a child?  That’s new.  I don’t recall Gotham doing that before.

And now, Ra’s is going to prison, but he looks kinda happy about that.

So, is Gotham upping its game, or is the knife going to become the season four version of the virus, where I get kinda sick of it after a while?