Martin Carr reviews the fourteenth episode of Gotham season 3…
As all the disparate strands coalesce into a singular whole of villainy in this winter finale, Gotham gets grandiose, creates conclusion and makes season three worth an entrance fee. With people plunged into darkness, rioters running amok and one staple faced sociopath ruling the roost Gordon, Bullock and our boys in blue have their work carved out. Add to that kidnapping, revenge plots coming to fruition and a liberal ‘Fight Club’ lift thrown into the equation and things are shaping up nicely for a third act season three closer.
Chief amongst the attractions which have injected new life into this seasonal epiphany is Cameron Monaghan with his air of rusty nailed vocal malevolence. A presence not just within his scenes but also as a character pervading each bit part player who inhabits the darkness. This showman with additional metallic accoutrements has embraced those elements of chaos most interesting to him. Adding spice to the scenes between Mazouz and Monaghan as they push each other to excel, which grounds the endeavour, in spite of behavioural elements of ‘The Batman’ beginning to push their way through Bruce’s persona.
Gordon meanwhile becomes city janitor in his role of clean up merchant for a city gone mad. With numerous members of the unhinged mentality tearing up the town teams are marshalled, measures taken and flat foots dispatched at the behest of Bullock and co. Elsewhere buried within the spectacle of Gotham going under is a quiet coming together of Penguin’s revenge posse. Hatching in the background, plotting in clandestine huddles before making their big reveal come close of play. Tabitha, Barbara, Butch and Nygma have played Oswald like a second-hand fiddle for the better part of a series now, playing happy families whilst planning the downfall of each other. Making this kind of double cross not only worth the air time, but also more engrossing in terms of characterisation.
With so many possibilities opening up for the final few episodes due to air in April, Gotham has not only proved itself adept at broadening its comic book appeal. But shown once and for all that there is life after Ledger in the Joker department. If they can keep the momentum going with the inclusion of ‘The Court of Owls’ as an interesting sub plot, then there are any number of directions things could go come the inevitable season closing cliff hanger.