Reviews: Gotham – S.2 Ep.1 (“Damned if You Do”)

Posted: September 29, 2015 in Reviews
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WARNING: Spoilers ahead

Aside from some wooden acting and awkward plot devices from time to time, “Damned if You Do” was actually a pretty decent episode as a whole, and served as a great introduction to the series for someone (i.e. me) who hadn’t seen previous episodes in their entirety.

The Plot

The episode revolves around Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) being fired after capturing a criminal on the streets. To get his job back, Gordon has to make a deal with Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) to collect on a debt, accidentally killing the criminal he’s collecting from in the process.

Meanwhile, billionaire Theo Galavan (James Frain) frees a number of Arkham Asylum inmates, including Barbara Kean and Season One favorite Jerome Valeska, to put together a deranged criminal team for reasons currently unknown. There’s also a subplot about Bruce Wayne and Alfred cracking open the door of the not-Batcave, but it doesn’t really advance much beyond a clear reference to the young Wayne’s future nighttime activities.


This episode definitely wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t that great either.

For starters, there’s Jim killing someone in self-defense. No, him killing another person during an illegal job isn’t my issue, it’s the way he reacts: complaining to Penguin about how he had to do it. Clearly, the man is willing to do almost anything to get his detective job back, so what’s one more body on that pile? Also, that camera shot used during a few of the character’s running scenes looked ridiculous at best. Thankfully, it wasn’t used for that many shots, so it’s at least a little excusable.

Bruce and Alfred’s problem with the door lock dragged on a little longer than it should have. I realize neither character is exactly a genius at this point in time, but to think that the code “BRUCE” wasn’t even thought of once is stretching it a bit. Also, what’s up with the extremely short scene with Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith)? Yeah, it’s pretty clear he’s crazy, but why such a small focus on him? A reminder so the audience doesn’t forget he exists?

All in all, I liked the episode enough to want to catch up on the rest of the series. I just hope the rest of Season Two picks up the pace and the quality a little.



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