MAD GREY DAWN PLOT:
Nervous about Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie) investigation into Miss Kringle, Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) aims to take the detective down with a series of clues. Gordon has his own problems though when Internal Affairs reopens Galavan’s murder case. Bruce (David Mazouz) begins his first day on the streets, and Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) tries to adjust to life outside Arkham.
Fresh off the news that Gotham has been renewed for a third season, you couldn’t ask for a better episode to remind us why. They packed a ton in this week. We had bomb threats, emotional breakdowns, characters starting a new, so there’s plenty to cover. Even though Gordon held the emotional core of the episode, we have to begin with Edward Nygma, who went full Riddler. I couldn’t be happier.
They teased us last week with the green question mark, but this episode made it official. The first scene was a fantastic introduction to Nygma’s most Riddler-esque crime yet, and the way it was meant to be solved couldn’t have been more perfect. I was satisfied right there. If that was it for Riddler the rest of the episode, I would have been hunky dory. They didn’t even scratch the surface. This was absolutely brilliant. How everything unfolded was pure Riddler. It was a crime worthy of a big screen adaptation. Kudos to the writers on this one. The Riddler is my second favorite Batman villain, and a character I’ve been dying to see get justice for a long time. I saw it here.
Nygma’s crime coincided with Gordon’s story as well, in which Internal Affairs reopened the Galavan case. Ben McKenzie gets the MVP this week. You can feel the guilt and anxiety flowing out of him. We all knew this situation was coming back, and boy did it ever. Ever since Michael Chiklis was brought onto the show, he and Gordon have had some gripping moments, but this may have been the best one yet. Chiklis and McKenzie were compelling as hell. Gordon’s arc also led to some powerful scenes between him and Lee (Morena Baccarin). Even with all their problems, she still loves the crap out of this guy. The Gordon/Bullock (Donal Logue) scene at the end though was definitely the emotional exclamation point. Even though this season has been advertised as villains centric, this was another reminder that Jim Gordon is the heart of this show, despite what some people will tell you.
Bruce had a rough first day on the streets with Selina (Camren Bicondova), but showed he’s a tough little bastard. We got plenty of Bruce last week, and this built off the momentum perfectly. While there was only one stand out moment, it was a pretty damn good one. No Alfred this time around, but his presence was certainly felt. Great job on the score all around this week, but in particular Bruce’s big moment.
Oswald’s first day out of Arkham was flat out pathetic, but that was the point. It was hard to see Oswald get humiliated like this, but I know it will make it that much sweeter when he finally gets his mojo back. After wandering aimlessly for a while, Oswald finally came into contact with Elijah Van Dahl, played wonderfully by Paul Reubens, a welcome addition to the Gotham gang. Elijah was an important person in Gertrude’s past, and creates an entirely new situation for Oswald. I’m just glad to see Oswald in a different scenario where he’s not being controlled by a bad guy. We’ll see how this new family plays out.
Since the mid-season return, every character has gotten a chance to shine, and I’m hoping next week it will be Bullock. This episode also gave us the reawakening of another big character. I suspect it’s about to get real interesting at Arkham Asylum.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (Really Great)
Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.