Final Thoughts from the Gotham Episode "Scarification"

by StevenHelmer

Thoughts from the season 2 television episode that first aired October 19, 2015.

Synopsis: Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), still reluctantly working for Galavan (James Frain), hires a family of arsonists to burn down buildings owned by Wayne Enterprises. Meanwhile, Galavan tries to convince Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) to use his influence as the police union president and endorse him as Gotham City's mayor.

Wow, Talk About Holding a Grudge

Well, it took a few episodes, but we now know Galavan's motivation for targeting Gotham City and especially focusing on Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). Basically, if I understand this correctly, his family was run out of Gotham City and forced to change its name to Galavan because of a false rape allegation from the Wayne family more than 200 years earlier. Sounds like a legitimate reason for revenge, albeit a somewhat weak motive.

It does make me curious what, exactly, his plan is for the young Bruce. He has had opportunities to kill the last (as far as I can tell) member of the Wayne family and hasn't followed through. He must have something else in mind then.

I Now Also Understand Why Gordon is Still Alive

This was a piece of Galavan's plan I was admittedly puzzled about. Gordon has proven, time and time again, he's capable of stopping criminal plots and, because of that, it didn't make a whole lot of sense, at least at first, to keep him alive.

However, keeping Gordon, who is well-respected, alive so he can give Galavan his endorsement for mayor does make a lot of sense. So, at least until he is actually elected, letting Gordon live isn't really such a dumb idea after all.

But, Could He Be Any More Obvious?

Based on what we now know about his family's history with the Wayne family, Galavan's decision to have Penguin set fire to Wayne Enterprise holdings makes sense.

What doesn't make a whole lot of sense, however, was his decision to only target those properties. It didn't take much detective work to figure out the connection between the buildings and, if I were Galavan, I don't think I would want that connection figured out so easily.

If he was going to burn down the buildings, it just seems like it would have made more sense to burn down a few random addresses while he was at it, just to make the motive a little less obvious.

I Loved the Merc

I think the thing that really impressed me about Gotham City's one-stop shop for criminal weapons was the way it perfectly illustrates just how corrupt that city is. If a criminal can run a well-known department store (complete with intercom advertisements, sales and price checks) and not be bothered by the local authorities, it shows a brand new extreme that, while a little campy, was very entertaining to watch.

In fact, I think my only real complaint about this was the way it was shut down so quickly. I would love to see that in more episodes.

I'm OK With a Female Firefly

At first, I was a little confused by who Bridgit Pike (Michelle Veintimilla) was. But, once she donned her costume, I realized the show was recreating the Batman villain, Firefly, as a woman. And, surprisingly, I was actually OK with that.

Normally, I'm much more of a traditionalist when it comes to things like that. But, as I think I've mentioned in the past, Gotham City has surprisingly few female super villains and, given this show is a reboot and is essentially starting with a clean slate, I like the creativity. In fact, I would love to see them do this with some of the other traditionally male villains, maybe even the Joker.

Final Opinion

This was a very creative episode that managed to give us a bit of Gotham City's history, explained Galavan's motives and even reinvented a villain. Overall, I have to say it was very entertaining and I'm glad I'm still watching this series.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 10/20/2015, StevenHelmer
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