Gotham: “These Delicate and Dark Obsessions” and “The Primal Riddle” Reviews


By: Tyler Carlos (@tylos624)

“These Delicate and Dark Obsessions”

Star Ben McKenzie made his directorial debut with last week’s episode of Fox’s Gotham. A decent episode in it’s own right, this episode focused on Jim Gordon’s discovery of the Court of Owls, as well as his new ambition to infiltrate the Court and take them down from the inside. Bruce, on the other hand, is now in the place that will undoubtedly lead to his future as the Dark Knight, and Penguin has officially made a new friend in Ivy.

Caution: Spoilers ahead.

After the events of the previous week, Jim is now back in the driver’s seat. Jim’s interactions with his Uncle Frank were decent, though I did think that Jim’s uncle would [MAJOR SPOILER] make it a few more episodes. But with Frank’s death comes new revelations for Jim. He is now out for vengeance against the organization that took his father from him, and it will be interesting to see what Jim does now that he is joining the Court – especially considering Bruce has it out for the Court himself.

One thing that I’m a bit tired of seeing is Jim’s super awkward interactions with Leigh. Yes, we know he killed Mario. It’s time to stop shoving it down our throats and start doing something with it. I thought that Falcone would have done a bit more by this point, and I find myself just wanting more from this storyline. It’s obvious Jim still loves Leigh, but where could it possibly go from here.

Speaking of Bruce, the temple that he is being help prisoner is certainly the place where he will learn how to eventually become Batman. Now, I understand that this will probably be explained later on in the show, but what I don’t understand is why the Court imprisoned Bruce in a temple where he will learn to fight and come to grips with his parents’ deaths. It must be a part of the Court’s plans for Bruce, but by training Bruce this way, they are ultimately going to be creating their own worst enemy. Catherine from the Court has already made a deal that Bruce will leave them alone, and now she is breaking her own deal. I guess we will have to wait until we learn what’s happening with the clone to find out, as he was absent from this episode.

This episode also brought about the return of newly-dubbed Barbara Queen. It’s so great to see her sitting on the throne of the Gotham Underground, because she is just so deliciously unpredictable. And she now has done a favor for Jim, so now he is probably in her debt. We didn’t get much from her this week, but I can’t wait to see more of her.

The highlight of this episode definitely comes from the interactions between Ivy and Penguin. Now that Penguin is out to get revenge on Edward Nygma, he’ll need an army. The army we thought he would get turned on him almost immediately, and his reaction to being called a freak brought back the self-conscious psychopath that we love. And now he’s starting to embrace that.

Ivy’s suggestion that it be an army of freaks is exciting, because it means that we’ll be coming full circle with what happened in the beginning of season three, and hopefully that means that we will get Fish Moony back soon. But what I’m most excited about is that Penguin is going to be teaching Ivy what it’s like to be a villain. Ivy is still very innocent in her actions, but she has already become such a valuable partner to Penguin. Ivy has been greatly underused thus far, and now her true origin story can (hopefully) begin.

Overall, this was a decent episode. There was some good action set around Penguin getting revenge on his former partners, and now Jim’s end-of-season story arc is taking off. It was great that Uncle Frank sacrificed himself for Jim, because now Jim has more reason to complete his mission. I missed Alfred, Nygma, and Selina, but there is still plenty of season left.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


“The Primal Riddle”

Now THIS is what I’m talking about. After two good-but-not-great episodes since the show returned from it’s midseason hiatus, this week’s episode brought the action, schemes, teasers, and a few heart-stoppers that brought the show back to the roots that make it great.

Caution: Spoilers ahead.

SELINA! Holy plot twist, Batman! Now that was something that I just straight-up did not see coming. After two episodes with little or no interaction with Selina Kyle, the writers decided to make up for lost time and really give Selina’s story a push in the right direction (pun intended…yes, I know it’s terrible). But I’m getting ahead of myself…

First off, we have to talk about the clone Bruce and the real Bruce. So it appears that the clone Bruce was not perfectly created, as his biology is slowly deteriorating. With death seemingly not far off, clone Bruce decided to visit the only person he ever really seemed to care for: Selina. But after telling Selina of the Court’s plan, Selina got angry and threatened to reveal the clone’s true identity to Alfred. And that was when he PUSHED HER OUT THE FREAKING WINDOW!

If you’re like me, you were truly nerding out at this moment. Selina almost certainly not dead (this is Gotham, after all), but her fall obviously is meant to mirror the same event that happened in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. Selina lying dead on the ground and being surrounded by all those cats…this is where her evolution into Catwoman will definitely gain momentum, which is what her character needed. Just as Bruce is on his way to becoming Batman, she is on her way to becoming Catwoman. I just cannot wait to see what happens next! How will she come back to life? Will she be different? How will Bruce react to her changes? There’s just so much I need to know!

Okay…calming self…

As for the real Bruce, while we did not see him this episode, it was revealed that the Court actually plans to bring Bruce back to Gotham. Do they want him to turn into a vigilante? It seems out of character for them, because they are not unintelligent. Obviously Bruce will try to fight them if they teach him how to fight. They did kill his parents, after all. So…why? Guess we’ll have to wait and find out.

Jim, on the other hand, had a much more straightforward episode. He is now a full-fledged member of the Court of Owls, meaning he now sits above all of Gotham. The fate of the city now rests in his hands. I will admit that I thought that Jim’s test to join the Court would be more…murdery. And I am a bit surprised that the Court hasn’t found out that Frank’s death was a suicide…but maybe I’m thinking about it too much. For now, though, Jim’s ascension to the Court is a big turning point for the show. We’ll soon be learning much more about the Court and about its plan for Gotham. And Jim is in the middle of it all.

Now for Riddler, it is always so fun to see him play. He’s so good at getting what he wants and playing the people around him. And that moment between Riddler and Jim in the car before the Court arrived was actually very nice. It made us remember that Riddler wasn’t always a bad person, and that Jim and Ed have a friendly history. They’re actually sad to see where they both ended up with each other, and that’s the great characterization that we need. But now the Court has Riddler, and they’ll, no doubt, be putting his intelligence to good use before long.

Then there is Riddler’s very unsteady alliance between himself, Barbara, Tabitha, and Butch. I have always loved the drama and the crazy that Barbara brings to the show, and she delivered yet again. When she was screaming at Tabitha about how she made it to the top only to realize that someone else was already there, it made everything crystal clear. Tabitha, on the other hand, is so desperate for revenge that she is willing to go behind Barbara’s back…and Butch is supporting this. There’s trouble a-brewing between the Underworld’s Big Three, and if the past tells us anything, this is where the seeds of war are planted…and don’t we just love a good war for power on Gotham?

Lastly, Penguin seems to have most of his army now: Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and Firefly. They teased that the next episode will be bringing some big moves on their part. So while this army of freaks may not have done much in this episode, you can surely bet it’s coming soon.

Overall, this is the episode we’ve been waiting for since the show returned a few weeks ago. This was a strong episode that served a huge dish of crazy, action, and surprises – definitely one of the best of the season so far. Until next week, Gothamites!

Rating: 5 out of 5

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