Author: Richard Church (Follow @RICHARDCHURCH16)
November 26, 2014
EPISODE INFO: "Lovecraft" was written by Rebecca Dameron and directed by Guy Ferland. It originally aired on the FOX television network on November 24, 2014. It is based on "Batman" characters owned and published by DC Comics.
MAIN CAST: Ben McKenzie as Detective James Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, Sean Pertwee as Alfred, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle/the future Catwoman, Zabryna Guevara as Captain Sarah Essen, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma/the future Riddler, Victoria Cartagena as Renee Montoya, Andrew Stewart Jones as Crispus Allen, John Doman as Carmine Falcone
GUEST CAST: Richard Kind as Mayor James, Drew Powell as Butch Gilzean, Mackenzie Leigh as Liza, Nicholas D'Agosto as Harvey Dent, and Kyle Massey as Mackey
PREVIOUS EPISODE: S1/E9 "Harvey Dent" Review by Richard Church (11.19.14)
SYNOPSIS: Selina leads a new friend on a perilous journey through Gotham to evade the assassins who are on her trail. Following a misstep, Gordon is reassigned to duty at Arkham Asylum.
The first half of GOTHAM’s inaugural season comes to a close in the episode “Lovecraft,” once again building upon the improvements of the past few episodes. There weren’t many scenes which felt awkward or out of place as Gordon and Bullock hunted down assassins out to kill Selina Kyle and, possibly, Bruce Wayne. It was a gripping episode which also found use for Bruce Wayne and Alfred, giving them both, especially the famed butler, plenty of material to work with.
The tension started from the top of the episode with the invasion of Wayne Manor, a rather intense confrontation where viewers saw just how tough Alfred can be. He really got to strut his stuff throughout the episode, going so far as to threaten Fish Mooney’s leading lieutenant. For viewers used to Michael Gough or Michael Caine’s Alfred, or even the one from the comics, this is a further departure from what has come before.
A notable aspect about Alfred’s character shown here is that, unlike Bruce in the years to come, Alfred doesn’t seem to hesitate in taking a life during the course of his duties. He killed one of the home invaders and didn’t have a problem holding a knife to Butch’s throat. While this isn’t necessarily off-putting, it’s certainly different to see what methods Alfred will use in order to protect Bruce. It would also be interesting to see this brought up in future episodes, perhaps with Bruce condemning Alfred for taking a life, planting the foundation for his “no killing” rule.
Gordon wasn’t put to as much use in this episode, but that wasn’t too much of a problem. He came in strong in the latter half as he fought Copperhead and had a showdown with the mayor. The level of contempt he has for Gotham’s corrupt system is sold very well by Ben McKenzie’s acting. He seems more comfortable with the material he’s given now and that’s probably because Gordon’s arc and GOTHAM in general has been so much more focused lately.
The only awkward scenes had to do with Bruce and Selina. Again, some of their dialogue felt forced and didn’t come across too well. That being said, the chemistry between the actors has been getting stronger and several scenes worked well with them. Another aspect of “Lovecraft” which felt a little off was how underutilized the subplots were. Penguin’s appearance was brief and ultimately didn’t amount to much. The same can be said for Fish Mooney; while her scheming sets up what her next steps will be once GOTHAM comes back, she didn’t have much purpose except to provide information to Bullock and Alfred. Seeing as this was the midseason finale, one would think there’d be more of a cliffhanger with the mob plot.
Overall, “Lovecraft” was a solid ending to the first half of GOTHAM’s season. Hopefully the show will continue to build upon the improvements and really deliver a tale worthy of Gotham City’s mythology.
Some stray thoughts:
* Alfred and Bullock make a pretty good buddy cop team.
* It’s interesting how they used the female Copperhead introduced in ARKHAM ORIGINS and how she was semi-honorable by not killing anyone outside her contract.
* Did anyone else notice how much better everything was without Barbara?
* Lovecraft hinted to Gordon who truly runs Gotham. Could they be “watching all the time, ruling Gotham from a shadow perch”? This isn’t the first time a conspiracy has been hinted at either. Could The Court of Owls be making an appearance soon?
Richard Church is an aspiring writer for short stories, novels and screenplays.
He is also an avid fan of the superhero genre.
Follow him on Twitter @RICHARDCHURCH16.
GOTHAM airs Mondays at 7PM CT/8PM ET on FOX.
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