Friday, 19 February 2016

TV Review No. 10 Gotham: Scarification (S2, Ep5)

Strong Points:
Galavan's plan has been explained more
Firefly origin story told
Dramatic death of Strike Force member
Penguin and Butch's conversation
Good acting - even Galavan's improving
No Bruce!

Weak Points:
Nygma and Lee were in it just enough so we didn't wonder what they were doing, but weren't essential
Rocket launcher did nothing
The relationship between Galavan, his sister and Barbara is just weird
Gordon keeps getting misled
Some violence was over the top
Selena's passive aggressive 'do what you want' is a bit annoying

Spoilers ahead:
In-depth Review:

Start a fire and you will get burned. Ah Gotham, both cartoony and gritty, often at the same time. For every man burning alive there's a fondue party or rocket launcher firing in a building. I think that to really enjoy Gotham, you have to look at it episode by episode while subconsciously piecing it all together. With that in mind, this episode focuses on the origins of Firefly while also filling in the motivations for Galavan and his plan and showing Penguin slowly descending into madness. We'll focus on Firefly first, as creatures are attracted to fire, right?

Bridget, a girl who is a slave to her brothers (the Pike brothers) and a bit of a wimp (understandably), is tasked with arson after one of the brothers dies in a freak accident - he had dynamite in his trousers, the cops shot him and he blew up in a spectacular fashion. The person who asks for this arson is Penguin and by extension, Galavan, as he wants to hurt the Waynes (the buildings they are burning are owned by said family) and steal an ancestral knife. Flamethrowers are cool, but perhaps not when they are being used by a small girl and the arson leads up to some tense moments as we waited to see how Bridget would fare (we knew she'd survive but how well she'd fare was a bit of a mystery). After narrowly escaping and getting slightly burned she makes herself a fire retardant suit and develops a taste for fire (after being crippled with fear by it earlier). Selena tries to stop her, alluding to some backstory between them as Selena helps no-one, but ends up failing as Bridget now has a taste for fire.

It ends up with an attempt at an arrest of Bridget but she ends up accidentally burning one of the Strike Force members alive, a death which is tragic and one of the darker moments of Gotham if you stop and think about it; these are two kids fighting. Due to this action, Gordon decides to endorse Galavan as mayor (an offer he was given earlier in the episode) and in doing so, is playing right into Galavan's trap.

With Galavan now, and his plan is finally explained beyond real estate. Instead, it is a blood feud between the Galavans and the Waynes after an altercation left the Galavans exiled away from Gotham generations before. Now, Galavan wants to right this wrong by utterly destroying Wayne Enterprises using some sort of religious cult (now I'm not the biggest fan of DC so I don't personally know who they are refereeing to). To do this he got Penguin to deliver the knife to him as it was the Waynes and was used to cut of the hand of one of the Galavans when he was accused of adultery generations ago.

This scene is mirrored at the end by Penguin, as he cuts off Butch's hand so as to gain access to Galavan's team and find his mother. By each passing episode Penguin seems to be becoming more mad and drunk so it will be interesting to see where he goes.

Finally, Gordon and Lee had a fondue party with Nygma and Miss Kringle, which was nice and allowed us to catch a glimpse into the (temporarily) happy lives of the pairs. It also kept the characters in enough so that we knew what they were doing but it could've done with more or just not being there at all. Gordon also seems to just be used as a transporter between other characters' stories and conversations which is a bit of a shame.

Conclusion: overall, a nice beginning to the Firefly arc and we'll just have to see where it goes from here but it looks promising.

Rating: 79%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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