Gotham, we hardly knew you.
Sure, we have a pretty good idea of who you are, with your wildly eccentric villains, brooding, morally suspicious heroes, and pretty noir trappings.
You’re a telenovela mockumentary homage to Batman ’66 filtered through Hammer horror productions, right?
Whatever you are, Gotham, you’ve always been entertaining.
It’s been a month since the last time Gotham graced our airwaves, a programming decision that I think FOX may end up regretting in the long run. In this day and age of binge-friendly streaming offerings, waiting an entire month to show the last two episodes of a series seems like an invitation for viewers to lose interest.
I can almost guarantee viewership numbers will be down on Thursday night’s episode, “They Did What?”, in which Bane (Shane West) brings the pain train to a weary, battered Gotham City.
There’s also the matter of Nyssa al’ Ghul (Jaime Murray), who manages to chew scenery with enough panache to challenge even the might of Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin in all his glory.
I’ll be completely honest: I wasn’t thrilled with Murray’s al’ Ghul, she came across like a last minute extra on a lost episode of Dark Shadows, which has its own appeal, certainly. Still, Nyssa lurched to life in her own clumsy way, which may have had more to do with the stilted dialogue than Murray’s performance.
I also think a character like Nyssa needs a little more than two episodes to establish effectively, so I’m completely willing to cut Murray some slack. Those are some mighty big villain boots she’s staggering around in.
West’s Bane is pretty awful, too, but there is at least a certain degree of humor at play with the absurdity that is Bane. He’s a pretty terrible character outside of comics, and I think getting him right on screen would be really tough to pull off.
Gotham is catching up with the flash-forward from the excellent season opener, and we’ll see the coalition of Gotham’s defenders going up against the assembled might of the mind controlled government unification forces, which just bombed the hell out of the city.
That’s a lot of pressure for Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) to put up with, especially considering that he still hasn’t grown the mustache that is his true source of power and manly charisma.
There is a silver lining, though- Tze Chun is writing “They Did What”, and he’s turned in some of the finest moments of Gotham to date. I have hope. Bane ringing a bell for service levels of hope.
There is so very much to tie down before the category 4 last episode blows through the entertainment landscape, so here’s hoping! Don’t let me down, Gotham! All I want to do is love you!
“They Did What?” airs Thursday, April 18th on FOX. Here’s a tiny, tasty morsel: