"Beasts of Prey" (S1/E19)
Author: Ricky Church (Follow RICHARDCHURCH16)
April 14, 2015

EPISODE INFO: "Beasts of Prey" was written by Ken Woodruff and directed by Eagle Egilsson. It originally aired on the FOX television network on Monday, April 13, 2015. GOTHAM is based on "Batman" characters owned and published by DC Comics.

SYNOPSIS: Gordon and Bullock investigate a cold case involving the Ogre, a serial killer who targets young women in Gotham City. Meanwhile, Fish plots her escape from the Dollmaker, and Bruce and Selina confront Reggie.

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: Peter Scolari as Commissioner Loeb, Morena Baccarin as Dr. Leslie Thompkins, Colm Feore as Dr. Francis Dulmacher, David O’Hara as Reggie, Dashiell Eaves as Kelly, Milo Ventimiglia as Jason Lennon, Willa Fitzgerald as Grace Fairchild, PJ Griffith as The Catcher, Brendan Griffin as Officer Len Moore, Barbara Rosenblat as Lidia Bicchieri.

PREVIOUS EPISODE: S1/E18 "Everyone Has a Cobblepott" Review by Ricky Church (3.4.15)

The review continues after the GOTHAM episode below!

After a month-long hiatus, GOTHAM returned with the first of its final four episodes, “Beasts of Prey.” It was a slow and rather uneventful episode, but one that laid a lot of groundwork for the remaining episodes. This series doesn’t often get a quiet episode, so it was refreshing to take a step back by offering a calm before the storm. Not everything worked in the episode, however, but it at least succeeded in setting up the final storylines.

The best thing regarding this episode was Gordon’s story as he discovered a cold case buried by the GCPD. It wasn’t long before Bullock discovered the cold case was pretty much a death sentence for the family of any cop who takes it on. It’s not enough that the serial killer, nicknamed The Ogre, kidnaps and kills young women, but he targets the families of any detective trying to find him. That revelation then led to a further shocking one: Commissioner Loeb intentionally sent Gordon the case so he and anyone he loved, such as Barbara or Leslie, would be targeted.

Given Gordon and Loeb’s shaky truce from the last episode, it’s a little surprising Loeb made a move against Gordon so soon. That being said, Gordon should have expected their truce wouldn’t last long as Loeb would do whatever it took to remove Gordon from the equation, yet its also pretty cold of the commissioner to put innocent bystanders in harms way in the process. After all, The Ogre only targets the families of cops, not the cops themselves. It was no surprise that Gordon furiously confronted Loeb in front of the entire precinct, promising swift retribution once The Ogre was behind bars. That was the best scene of the episode and Gordon was very intimidating not only to the cops around him, but even to Loeb himself thanks to Ben McKenzie’s acting.

Regarding The Ogre himself, it was a surprise he was revealed so quickly via flashbacks. Milo Ventimiglia, best known for his role as Peter Petrelli on NBC’s HEROS, played the suitably creepy killer. Since Gotham’s lacked subtlety in the past, it was quite nice to see The Ogre wasn’t overtly creepy and crazy, but played mostly straight throughout the episode. That could be due to either the writing or Ventimiglia’s acting, but most likely the latter.

The negatives of “Beasts of Prey” are not anything new as GOTHAM continues to cram every character the show has into one episode rather than give them breathing room and spread their plots out. The Penguin’s storyline could have been saved for another episode so Bruce’s investigation into Reggie activities would have gotten more focus. As it is, their scenes dragged the episode down as it jumped back and forth between the multiple plots. At least viewers will no longer have to deal with Fish trapped on Doll Island though.

STRAY THOUGHTS...
* Either The Ogre was created solely for the show, or he’s very loosely based off of an obscure Batman villain from the 90s.

* Seriously, it's great that the Fish/Dollmaker plot is finally done with. That storyline was stretched further than it needed to be!

GRADE: C+


GOTHAM airs Mondays at 7PM CT/8PM ET on FOX.
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