TV Recap: Gotham: Rise of the Villains, ‘Worse Than a Crime’

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Worse Than a Crime Plot:

As Galavan (James Frain) holds Bruce (David Mazouz) hostage in preparation for his final revenge on the Wayne family, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) and Gordon (Ben McKenzie) rally troops to take down Galavan for good.

There’s a lot to digest, and much like season one’s finale, this mid season finale was more of a mixed bag than I would have liked. The biggest problem (and strength) was the pacing. It was a real slow burn, but the last ten minutes were almost too much to handle. Holy umbrellas. While 75% of this episode was solid, the other 25% left me so damn satisfied, you almost forgive the short comings. Buckle in – it’s the last Gotham till February (ugh).

My biggest complaint that I have to get off my chest right away was the sudden tension between Galavan and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas). Huh? Did I miss something? I know Galavan has scolded her a few times, but she never seemed to care. Now all of a sudden she’s pissed off with big bro, and even talks back to him? This was never hinted at whatsoever. If this was something merely in passing, then okay, but the problem is it plays a crucial role in the episode. I had a real problem with that. It’s almost like Tabitha’s sole purpose in this whole series was to do that at the end.

Guest star Nathan Darrow as Mr. Freeze in Gotham: Rise of the Villains: Worse Than A Crime – the fall finale episode of GOTHAM. Photo Credit: FOX

The Bruce/Silver (Natalie Alyn Lind) shenanigans were also hot and cold. I give a lot of credit to Lind. She gives one hell of a performance as the two have an emotional roller coaster that was like Space Mountain on steroids. What worked for these scenes was you had no idea who was playing who, and who was being honest. It was a true guessing game. The dialogue is well written, and I appreciate the effort to develop Silver’s character, but this whole plot moved waaaaay too slow. There comes a point where it just drags.

Now we get to the good stuff. The best part of this episode by far were all the primary players in the entire show coming together like a deformed version of the Avengers to take down Galavan. All of them gathered in Nygma’s (Cory Michael Smith) apartment was awesome. They all had a reason to go after Galavan, and they were all different. Family. Revenge. Justice. It was such an organic way for everyone to come together. It was great to see Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) again. His scene with Nygma was especially hilarious. We also got the best Bullock (Donal Logue) moment of the season, by far.

One of the best elements of this series has always been the Gordon/Penguin relationship, and boy did we get a ditty in this one. Watching these characters spar never disappoints as the scenes practically write themselves. We finally saw Penguin get his mojo back, wearing his classic suits with that conniving glint in his eye.

GOTHAM: L-R: James Frain and guest star Ron Rifkin in the ÒRise of the Villains: Worse Than A CrimeÓ episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, Nov. 30 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Nicole Rivelli/ FOX
Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/ FOX

It was Jim Gordon who stole the show though, in particular his final moments. Not only do we get a legit twist between him and Thompkins (Morena Baccarin), but Gordon’s final decision paid off everything they did with his character all season long. To watch Gordon make the choices he made was dramatic television at its best. Remember when people complained about the show only wanting to force Batman villains? Haha.

While it needed to pick up the pace early on, this was the best note to go out on before a 2+ month hiatus. The last leg was action packed, although I wish the final shootout with all the characters was a bit more intense. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the last couple scenes. We got a pretty big name drop, and literally see another character who I’ve been waiting for since the series begin, but I certainly wasn’t ready for all that just yet. This will be a long two months.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.

1 COMMENT

  1. I couldn’t agree more going down the list. The payoff was what finally came after the dragging and stalling and extremely anti-climatic waste of time approaching the compelling parts that should have been the focus all along, which was anything featuring and related to the main character, Gordon and Ben McKenzie’s excellent performance. If only it could have been front and center throughout, the same weakness that plagues the series too often. Kudos to McKenzie for using so many nuances to bring the character and story to life and have whoever he’s on screen with flourish as well.

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