Final Thoughts From the Gotham Episode "Damned if You Do..."

by StevenHelmer

Thoughts from the season 2 television episode that first aired September 21, 2015.

Synopsis: After being fired from the Gotham City Police Department, Gordon (Ben McKenzie) seeks help from the one person who can get him reinstated, The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor). The new crime boss is more than willing to help. However, as is often the case with their relationship, Gordon must first perform a favor that he morally objects to.

My Thoughts

1. The main story about Gordon being forced to collect on a debt for The Penguin in order to be reinstated proved to be much more interesting than I thought it would be. This is mostly because, at first, it looked like he was going to stick by his guns and not cave in. Then, when he carried out the mission and shots were fired, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe he was being set up.

2. While everything ultimately worked out for Gordon, I can't help but feel the incident leading up to his reinstatement as detective will eventually come back to haunt him. The Penguin may have stayed true to his word. But, he now has dirt on the detective that could be used against him when the situation arises.

3. Speaking of The Penguin carrying out his end of the deal, I loved how he did it. I figured he would just kill Commissioner Loeb and let Loeb's successor reinstate Gordon. Instead, he cleverly tricked Loeb into reinstating the detective and retiring shortly after. It was a much cleaner way of doing things because it prevented an investigation and is the type of scheming that helped him get to the top.

4. I'm still trying to get a read on the new, rising Gotham City crime boss, Theo Galavan (James Frain). He seems to be the one who ultimately creates the city's super villains. But, I don't know his motivation yet. Is he trying to take on the Penguin? Or, does he have political reasons for his move?

5. Along those same lines, I'm still trying to sort out Barbara's (Erin Richards) role in all of this. She's obviously insane and definitely attracted Galavan's attention as a result of that. But, I'm still stumped about which Batman super villain she's supposed to be. My wife and I both think Harley Quinn but I honestly can't be sure.

6. Speaking of Barbara, that was pretty cool how she managed to get all the violent Arkham Asylum inmates wrapped around her finger. She's insane, violent and manipulative. That's a real nasty combination and Gordon's girlfriend, Leslie (Morena Baccarin) better watch her back.

7. I'm normally not a huge fan of the segments involving the young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), mostly because the series doesn't really seem to have a good place for him yet since he's obviously too young to become Batman. However, I did, admittedly, like his efforts to get inside his dad's secret lair (AKA the future Batcave), especially when he decided to bring explosives into the mix. I'm not sure what his success and the letter he found really mean in the short term. But, it was still fun to watch.

8. I also couldn't help but notice some of the irony with that door. There are times when he seems wise beyond his age, such as when he gave advice to Gordon. Then, he has moments where he seems to lack common sense, such as when he randomly pressed keys on the locked cave door rather than taking a moment to figure out what his dad might have used as a password (for the record, BRUCE would have been used on my third or fourth try). But, then again, everyone loves a good explosion.

Final Opinion

I enjoyed the first season of this show and was hoping the second season wouldn't be a big letdown. So far, at least from this season premiere, that doesn't appear to be the case and I can't wait to see what happens next.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 09/23/2015, StevenHelmer
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