GOTHAM Season Finale “All Happy Families Are Alike” Recap

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Oh Gotham, how you can frustrate us so.

There’s no need to throw everything at the wall and try to find something that sticks, you’ve had plenty of success in your inaugural season. You are a great crime show, at times fantastically intriguing with great performances from Donal Logue and Ben McKenzie, and you’ve set up Batman’s hometown and Rogues Gallery very nicely. But you ended Season One with an overall stinker of a show.

Fish Mooney returns to Gotham, and she recruits Selina Kyle to her cause, that being taking the throne of Gotham’s organized crime family. Both Fish and Selina change their looks for their new mission, looking like extras from The Warriors film from 30+ years ago. Fish kills Don Maroni by the end of the episode, paving the way for her return to the top as Falcone decides to retire. But The Penguin has other plans, throwing Fish from the Gotham rooftops and into Gotham Bay to her untimely demise. It was no secret that Jada Pinkett-Smith would not return for Season Two, but Penguin’s off the rails performance in her murder was overkill.

And so was the fact that suddenly Edward Nygma is a schizophrenic.

Gordon and Bullock saved Carmine Falcone’s life following his kidnapping at the hands of The Penguin, deeming him the lesser of all evils for the future of Gotham City crime. Falcone decides to retire, now owing Gordon a favor for keeping him alive throughout Fish and Penguin’s power-grabbing nonsense. Ben McKenzie continues to turn in the performance of his career as Detective Jim Gordon on this show, giving the man a gravitas and intensity that he has never really had before in any incarnation.

And Bruce finally discovers that his father, having always been portrayed as a good man, had his fair share of secrets. With Alfred’s assistance, Bruce discovers a hidden area in his father’s office – an area that has a stairwell that leads under the mansion. This is fun Batman lore, but unless Gotham showrunners are headed down the Flashpoint path of Thomas Wayne as Batman, it could prove silly in the end to have the Batcave be a result of some secret life of the Wayne patriarch.

Gotham was a mixed bag in it’s first season finale. While I am sure to return for Season Two, I doubt I will watch with as much interest as I have throughout this entire first season. There was certainly something very intriguing about a crime show set in Gotham City that follows the early days of Jim Gordon in a corrupt GCPD, but in the end there was too much too soon to make the entire story that’s being told feel absolutely necessary.

Fans, will you return for Season Two?

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JD Shrader

JD Shrader

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