Saturday, 16 January 2016

TV Review No. 2 Gotham: Damned If You Do (S2, Ep 1)

Strong Points:
Interesting character development
Superb acting
Great action
Sets up the rest of the season well
The villains are a lot more interesting than the heroes

Weak Points:
Some of the gore was over the top and unnecessary (got rid of the tension)
Some of the cameos were not needed
Run cam was gimmicky
Doesn't seem to be any particular objective yet
The villains are a lot more interesting than the heroes

Spoilers ahead:
In-depth Review:

As more of a Marvel fan than DC, the original season of Gotham took me by surprise with an interesting story, great characters and acting and just enough action and suspense to keep everyone satisfied. Penguin, especially, was great and with this season being subtitled 'Rise of the Villains', the expectations were high. I was not disappointed with this hour long special, although some parts could've been handled better.

Starting with an opening montage of most of the characters and where they are now was a great way to firstly remind people about what has happened but also to introduce some more subtleties in their characters from either end of the scale, with Penguin performing a mob-esque execution to show the power hungry maniac that he is and Harvey working at a bar, having given up the life of a cop.

Bruce is still here and still not Batman (although he is getting angrier). After, finding his father's secret hideout in the previous season, Bruce and Alfred go down to find yet another obstacle in a metal door with a passcode combination (he really doesn't want this place to be found does he?) More arguments ensue and everything just ends up blowing up. While it's nice to have Bruce in it for the sake of continuity, can we please have him MIA for at least an episode so as to focus on the other characters?

One such character is Penguin, who has become the King of Gotham (well technically the boss as he's not of royal blood and...). Robin Taylor delivers another stand out performance as Penguin, who finally has all the power and is loving it. After watching from the shadows, he now brings out the full arsenal of mob related stereotypes, from kissing the man on the head before shooting him, to asking for trust from Gordon after he is asked for another favour. The confrontation between these two was great and I can't wait to see this supposed 'friendship' be used, broken and thrown away by both of them.

Of course, Penguin isn't the only villain in the episode with appearances from Barbara Gordon, that guy who just has to be the Joker, Selina (anti-villain?) and two newbies to the show. If Marvel is all about the heroes and their twisted feelings and thoughts, then Gotham is all about how insane they can get the villains with great performances all round. However, they didn't really need everyone there with Selina being forced in for one scene just to tell everyone that she's still there and that she's still not good. But who could forget Edward Nygma, aka The Riddler, arguing with himself in the mirror?

A couple of action scenes in this episode, namely a chase scene between Gordon and some cops. While the chase wasn't noteworthy (I'll get on to that), the end was. Gordon ends up shooting and killing the mobster boss who was chasing him and thus committing the one thing he never thought he would do. A crime. We will have to wait and see how that plays out.

The chase scene was shot by what I can only presume was a Go-Pro and while fun at first, quickly became a bit of an annoyance and was accompanied by a bit of a dip in camera quality. Stick to the suspense please guys!

Conclusion: overall, I thought Damned If You Do was a good beginning to Season 2 and foreshadows great things ahead. If they can work out what the objective is.

Rating: 78%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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