This week ‘Gotham’ bows out with its mid-season finale ‘Lovecraft’ a direct follow-on from last weeks ‘Harvey Dent’ (reviewed here).
Where ‘Harvey Dent’ focussed on a little less of the action and more of the characters by manipulating them to where they need to be for this episode, ‘Lovecraft’ by comparison ramps up the action. Sadly it fails to leave us with an edge-of-your-seat cliffhanger but it does make some changes which will provide an interesting backdrop for the second half of the season.
The episode opens with an assault on Wayne manor lead by familiar character Copperhead – you may know her best from the game ‘Batman: Arkham Origins’ – and two other assassins. Their attempt to take the manor is thwarted by Alfred, allowing Bruce and Selina to escape.
Gordon’s time in this episode is split between the hunt for Dick Lovecraft, believed by Harvey Dent to have hired the assassins, and also the search for Bruce and Selina.
Penguin makes his next move by confessing to Falcone that there is a mole in his midst and that they’re working for Fish.
Bruce and Selina share their first kiss and she also introduces him to more of the darker side of the city via an underground mall where all of Gotham’s street kids – including the returning Ivy Pepper – hang out.
This is another richly layered episode of ‘Gotham’ which perfectly intermingles all of the different story elements. The assault of Wayne manor ties in to the investigation of Dick Lovecraft; the missing teens end up running in to Clyde (as associate of Ivy Pepper) is wants to hand them over to the assassins. The assassins are also the ones to murder Lovecraft and that murder is what brings about Gordon’s dismissal from the GCPD and his post-finale move to guard duty at Arkham Asylum.
I said in my review of ‘Harvey Dent’ that the show was succeeding at mixing its storylines together to create a really rich tapestry and this episode is another great example of that. All the characters have their own individual motivations and missions yet somehow they’re intrinsically tied together and all roads go back to Falcone, Maroni and the mob.
‘Lovecraft’ has a few good twists and turns, when the unconscious Gordon wakes to find Dick Lovecraft murdered by his own gun I feared we would be ending on a cliffhanger of his arrest for murder but thankfully ‘Gotham’ didn’t go down the predictable route and instead covered up the murder as a suicide and the twisted mayor used that to push Gordon away from the action and sideline him to a dead end job at Arkham.
Dependant on how long his tenure at Arkham lasts the shift in focus from the GCPD to Arkham could bring in more of a focus on the crazy criminal element in ‘Gotham’. We haven’t seen much of it in this first part of the season but at some point the violence in the city needs to escalate towards the point that causes Batman to emerge. Now Bruce is far too young to don the cowl at this stage and the escalation can’t happen overnight but ‘Gotham’ does need to begin bringing in glimpses of the level of chaos it will be drowning in several years from now.
‘Lovecraft’ is satisfying in that it ties up the storyline which begun in ‘Harvey Dent’ well and it spins the story in a new direction but it feels more like a slow season finale than a mid-season break.