Gotham: Season 3/ Episodes 21 “Heroes Rise: Destiny Calling” & Episode 22 “Heroes Rise: HeavyDirtySoul” [Season Finale] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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What I imagine each actor says to each other when they read their scripts. Perhaps what the writers say to each other as well.

For a lot of characters, the goal is finding who they truly are? With that comes growth and character development. Well, if you are a well-known name in the Batman universe. Everyone else suffers the same way Fish Mooney does. They rise from the dead, have their moment, and are sent back to the grave. Whoops, spoilers.

The Possible End of Lee Thompkins: Jim, Lee, Harvey, Hugo Strange

The virus is spreading through the city and Lee awaits for it to fully take hold of Jim. However, with catching Strange, and getting him out of Fish Mooney’s grips, they may get an antidote. In fact, they do get an antidote. One which, after quite a bit of the two-part finale, Jim administers to himself and Lee. However, despite her realizing her true feelings for Jim, she decides to not stay in Gotham. Also, to not ask Jim to leave with her. Perhaps meaning, finally, Lee is gone.

Commentary

Let’s be real, even in death no one stays gone in Gotham. I mean, how many times has Fish Mooney been resurrected at this point? Don’t get me wrong, I love Jada Pinkett-Smith, but I don’t understand the point of bringing Fish back to kill her so quickly. Did Pinkett-Smith’s contract have a certain episode count number that had to be fulfilled?

That aside, I really do hope Lee is gone for good. The show is coming to a point where its villain gallery is large and strong enough that we don’t need characters like Lee anymore. Characters like Harvey Dent have gone ignored for more than half a season and can we talk about Victor Fries? With Firefly, I can imagine her being some simple henchwoman. However, why is Victor Fries in the same boat? How did this intelligence dude end up a rook in the battle for Gotham? Much less the petty squabbles between Penguin and Riddler?

An Elementary .gif

It is all mind boggling really, and this is just the minor storyline.

Penguin Rises to The Top: Penguin, Edward, Barbara, Fish Mooney, Tabitha, Butch

For reasons never really explained, Fish forgives Penguin. In fact, she wants to control Gotham with him. However, this dream is short lived for she gets killed by James Gordon. In an anti-climactic fashion may I add. But, oh well. She’ll probably be back in the next season. But, in her dying moments, she bequeaths Gotham, and her minions, to Penguin. Problem is, there is so much standing in Penguins way.

First, there is Edward, but he is handled with some ease. If only because he is so methodical and predictable, Penguin tricks him. They end up right back at the docks where he tried to kill Penguin last time and Fries turns Edward into an icicle. Thus allowing him to thaw out at a later time. You know, after Fries likely betrays Penguin in season 4.

But with Riddler gone, there remains Barbara. Someone who still is quite power hungry. However, with Tabitha and Butch disrespected by her and everyone else, they decide she has to go. After all, when people step into “Your” club and ask for Barbara, what does that mean? Especially when people not even in the criminal underworld like Lee know what’s up.

Yet, being that this is Gotham, naturally, the crown doesn’t change hands without a death or two. In this case, Butch is shot in the head [note]and later revealed to be Cyrus Gold aka The Acolyte.[/note]. Following that, Barbara, after perhaps the best fight Gotham has seen in a long time, gets electrocuted thanks to Tabitha. But don’t worry if she is dead. For one, Tabitha doesn’t make sure of it, and two, this is Gotham dummy. She could be cut up into pieces and there would be some random reason she came back to life.

Long story short though, Tabitha isn’t sure what to do next but it’s clear she can’t take on Penguin. So, with that, she is seemingly going to find herself. Maybe even bring Selina along for the ride.

Commentary

While Penguin, undoubtedly, is the best character on the show, it gets tiring to see him in cat and mouse games. For whether he wins or loses, the fact death isn’t permanent on this show has stripped the shock of murder. Making me glad Riddle was put on ice and Barbara electrocuted. It makes it so Hugo Strange doesn’t have to come out of nowhere with some reviving formula or machine. Nygma will just thaw out and Barbara will be some mid-season finale surprise. Hopefully in the form of Harley Quinn, but that is a lot to ask for. Especially since with the Cyrus Gold reveal, the inevitable Victor Fries betrayal, and Jerome being due for his next stint within 13 episodes.

But, speaking of Jerome, how interesting is it that the Tetch virus didn’t seem to touch Arkham or Blackgate? Granted, I’m not sure if it spread that far, but considering the super strength it gave everyone, you’d think some of those freaks would have made it out. If not destroyed the asylum to the point it had to be rebuilt. Though, in general, what maybe the most interesting thing next season maybe the rebuilding of Gotham. Especially considering how many shots of buildings on fire we saw.

The Rise of Catwoman and The Rise of Batman: Bruce, Alfred, Ra’s Al Ghul, Selina, Tabitha

Let’s cut to the chase: While under The Shaman’s influence, and remembering his directions, Bruce ends up in the lair of Ra’s Al Ghul (Alexander Siddig). Someone who isn’t convinced Bruce deserves to be his heir. After all, he didn’t hit the trigger on the Tretch bomb. However, with Alfred brought in and Bruce killing him, then breaking the conditioning, he reconsiders. But don’t threat, thanks to some green water, Alfred is all better. On top of that, there are some touchy-feely moments brought in. Mind you, there is no oomph to them, but it is the attempt that counts.


Though I should note, Selina gets something out of Bruce. For with him dismissing her, she realizes she can’t just survive off of being neutral anymore. In order to thrive, she has to pick a side. She has to stick with someone and truly learn what it means to be part of a team. Thus leading her to pursue Barbara and finding Tabitha. Someone who, with Barbara assumingly gone, and Butch with a bullet wound to the center of his forehead, could use someone like Selina. After all, outside of Penguin and his goons, there are no equals to her now. There isn’t a mobster she couldn’t take down but it is always good to have someone watch you back. So while Selina has been known to look out for herself, she could make for a good sidekick. At least for now.

Oh, and before I forget, the early stages of Batman have finally come. Bruce protects a family, similar to his, from being mugged. Then the season ends with him, amazingly quickly, getting to the roof of a nearby building and looking out into the distance. A would-be iconic moment if everything before it wasn’t eye roll inducing.

Commentary

Setting aside how cool it was to see Ra’s Al Ghul, and the question if Talia may come into play during season 4, let’s talk about Bruce and Alfred. I asked on Twitter and surprisingly people agreed, their sappy moments did nothing. Despite three whole seasons of bonding, and Alfred being in a life or death situation before, there were no tears. There were no tears, no gasps, just the same dead stare waiting for something interesting to happen. For, and I know I sound like a broken record at this point, no one significant dies on this show.

But to make matters worse, he dies in episode 21 and is revived within minutes in episode 22. That was as frustrating as when they didn’t let Selina’s death simmer for a bit. It’s like this show knows nothing about tension at all. It just focuses on the superficial and despite the leaps and bounds comic book adaptations are making in movies, Gotham is a horse with blinders on. If not so fearful its actors can’t adjust that the writers don’t find a point in trying.

Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)

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I reviewed this into season 2 then stopped. Picked it back up and was tempted to stop week to week. I’m not sure what hold this show has on me but even in the fall I’ll watch and review it. Though with this moving to Thursday, a very competitive night, this show will need to evolve. No longer will it be able to get away with relying on the famous names of villains and anti-heroes on this show. Nor can the show be heavily reliant on Robin Lord Taylor to be the back everyone builds themselves off of. There has to be a shared effort.

For, you know, the main reason why I find myself sticking around is because, at least with the villains, they get better with time. Some nailed it off the back like Penguin and Selina. Others relied on these two, like Bruce and Edward, to become better characters. And while Bruce and David Mazouz remains inconsistent, at least Cory Michael Smith learned how to ride Riddler without training wheels.

Something that I hope, so dearly, spreads. For if there is one good thing about multiple X-Men shows coming this fall, if not Spring 2018, it means real competition for Gotham. It means there will be a show to directly compare it to and I hope that sets a fire on both the writers and actors asses. Since this show has been complacent for too long and this move to Thursday will either be this show’s rebirth or a kiss of death. Those directly involved with its creation will be the ones to decide.

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