Martin Carr reviews the fifth episode of Gotham season 5…
Reunions are a hit and miss affair at best. One of two things tends to happen in that either you have common ground, or more often than not people have moved on. Shared experiences, old memories and reminiscing are good for about five minutes but unless there is something more these things are often painful. So it is with Gotham this week where the return of an old friend gives Jim Gordon pause for thought. Elsewhere double crossing, double dealing and double trouble remain par for the course in a series which is big on production design and little else.
You get the impression that information is being drip fed to the audience in an attempt to maintain interest. Ed Nygma continues to be the loose cannon we expect while others are consistently morose, mildly indifferent or looking to profit from the chaos. Even the reappearance of Hugo Strange proves to hold no golden chalice of narrative progress, in spite of the bullets, bloodshed, plotting and deceased citizens Gotham is busy doing nothing. If Penguin is arrested one more time, bargains with essential information and then escapes this reviewer may consume his own hat. Due to the lack of mainland intervention it is the equivalent of watching children arguing amongst themselves in a locked classroom. Nothing but futile finger pointing, almost comic book levels of claret and no one any closer to the grave, but then again maybe my school was different to yours.
As I have said on numerous occasions this is not the fault of any one actor involved. Each and every one of them does the best they can with this material but unfortunately it just doesn’t pass muster. Episode five might uncover a few secrets, reveal another twist or two and contain one or more explosions but simply put these people are caught up in ever decreasing circles. You get the impression that this padding is to make way for that one solid gold idea which will underpin the whole season. In the meantime there will be resurrections a plenty, remote controlled able bodied assassins and hard drinking leather clad feline females treating all with indifference. Such is the indestructible nature of almost everyone in Gotham that I am waiting for Tabitha and Butch to walk back into the Sirens bar unscathed. For the sake of all concerned let us hope Gotham is heading somewhere soon and it does so with something akin to drama.