Gotham: Review: Series 1 Episode 21: The Anvil or the Hammer

Gotham 1.21Jim chases after the Ogre as the Penguin runs out of patience, and the Riddler cleans up…

A rather unsatisfying penultimate episode for the season sees the Ogre plotline sorted out, but in a way which negates a lot of the good work done to Barbara’s character last week. She didn’t shy away from the Ogre’s Christian Grey-type room when it was consensual but she’s considerably less happy when he reverts to type and starts to threaten her life… although her method of getting away from him, or at least putting off her own death, is warped, to put it mildly.

We discover the limits of Harvey Bullock’s foibles when he goes undercover in what’s meant to be a kinky bondage club (or at least the sort of kinky bondage club that you can put out at 8 in the evening on American television… which isn’t that kinky by any stretch of the imagination), but at least this provides another chance for Jim and Harvey to actually do some police work, following up on clues. Coincidence of timings abound, though, and it all feels rather done by rote.

As for the Penguin, his plans to take over Gotham are finally being put into action, while the Riddler casually takes two suitcases full of dead policeman body through the GCPD… Yes, that is as insane and contribed as it sounds, and actually (at this point anyway) totally unnecessary! His letter on behalf of the deceased to Miss Kringle is similarly contrived: hopefully he’s going to be treated better as a character once his full riddler-ness is revealed.

Threaded throughout the episode, Bruce learns that his father has feet of clay, but that he might have an ally within Wayne Enterprises (i.e. enter Lucius Fox), and confesses Selina’s crime to Alfred. The next encounter between those two should be interesting…

Verdict: The series needs to sparkle next week to ensure that the season goes out on a high. 6/10

Paul Simpson


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