December 6, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Gotham “They Did What?”

Season Five, Episode Eleven.

OK, that was kinda bad.

If I am being honest, I would never call Gotham great television.  At its best, it’s campy and fun, but it’s not on the same level as…well, anything else I am writing up these days.  Locke & Key may come closest, but Gotham perhaps is trying to be, well, it’s own thing.  It created storylines with over-the-top characters that many times overstayed their welcome.  Plots rarely made sense if you stopped to think about them for more than a few minutes, but that was OK because stuff happened so fast that even if something stupid was happening, not only would the characters treat it like it wasn’t stupid but something just as if not even more stupid would be along in another episode or two to make everyone forget about it soon enough.

Like, wasn’t Jim Gordon convicted of murder, sentenced to prison, escaped, and exonerated within something like three episodes?

So, it comes down to this episode, the penultimate, basically setting up the finale where Bruce will return after time away to become the character everyone tuned in for all these episodes to actually see in action.

But man, was this just…dumb.  There’s a difference between dumb and stupid here.  Stupid is something that operates under its own rules but never seems all that smart even while it stays within the logic of the show.  I can watch stupid, think it’s not very smart, but it still doesn’t exactly shatter my suspension of disbelief.

Dumb is just something that isn’t all that bright but likewise knocks me out of the show.  That’s what happens here with Bane and to an equal extent Nyssa.

In the case of Nyssa, I just didn’t think the actress did that good a job.  There’s something of an art to the sort of over-the-top emoting the characters on this show engage in, and Nyssa just seems…bad.  Compare her to Penguin or Riddler and it just ain’t there.  I seem to recall the actress did a season of Dexter once upon a time.  I don’t recall if she was all that good there either, but that was before I noticed Dexter itself wasn’t a very good show and was generally as good as whoever was playing the season’s Big Bad.  And I don’t really have an urge to revisit Dexter anytime soon, so I won’t be finding out.  Besides, her most memorable moment was probably the horrendously stupid “Pardon my tits” line.

As for Bane, he takes over the army because he snaps one guy’s neck and the rest, I guess, forgot they had guns until the end of the episode when the scene that opened the season finally happens, only I could have sworn the shootout between Gordon, the Riddler, the Penguin, and the cops on one side and the military on the other was a nighttime scene the first time around, and this one looks to be in broad daylight.  Lots of shots fired, and aside from the Penguin getting an injury to one eye, it looks like no one is hurt until the soldiers finally remember they outnumber Bane and his people when he orders them to execute the entire remaining population of the city.  Then Bane surrenders.

Some threat.

So, bad acting and a stupid threat that might have worked had Bane been given more time for development.  Yeah, this was a shortened season as it was, but everything got wrapped up almost as soon as a threat appeared.  Bruce finally leaves to finish his training on Dagobah or Nanda Parbat or something, Selina looks disappointed, Riddler and Penguin decide they love Gotham but hate the people, and Gordon becomes the Commissioner.

The episode almost works as a half-assed series finale.

But that’s for the next time I suppose.