‘Anything for You’ Plot Summary:
Oswald’s (Robin Lord Taylor) celebration as newly elected mayor is ruined when the Red Hood Gang remerges. Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) is tasked with uncovering their true identity. Bruce (David Mazouz) hires Gordon (Ben McKenzie) to track down Ivy (Maggie Geha), while Barnes (Michael Chiklis) worries about his exposure to Alice’s blood.
Not only was this the most entertaining episode of Gotham this season, but it was probably the best. While not as jam-packed as most episodes, there was a clear focus on character and relationships. In fact, this could have been a Valentine’s Day episode. Bruce and Selina (Camren Bicondova). Gordon and Valerie (Jamie Chung). Butch (Drew Powell) and Tabatha (Jessica Lucas). Other people (maybe?) finding love. We’ll get to that, but first and foremost, this was a Nygma episode.
Nygma ran the show. It was everything you loved about the character. He was conniving. Brilliant. Cocky. Obnoxious. What this season has done better than any other is flesh Nygma out as a human being. Maybe there’s a big ruse coming, but he genuinely cares for Oswald, and values his friendship. While that dynamic is firing on all umbrellas, it was a pleasure to see Nygma walk back into the GCPD. Sadly, there was no Nygma/Gordon reunion, but his cackling face infuriated everybody else he pissed off. One great scene in particular was between him and Fox (Chris Chalk). There’s a very Riddler-esque revelation from last season, and seeing these two geniuses spar off was just a delight. The real sparring though came between Nygma and Butch.
If Nygma was the star, Butch was number two. A great episode for Butch, a character I’ve always enjoyed, due mostly to Powell’s performance. He’s always the sad sack. The “Aw, shucks!” errand boy. This episode took him through a gauntlet of ups and downs. The conflict between Butch and Nygma was a pendulum. Whenever I thought I had it pinned down, there would always be a misdirect. Their battle encompassed many of Gotham’s all-star crazies, including a return for Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan). It even got Tabatha involved in a major plot. The cherry on top was Barbara (Erin Richards), who stood in the background laughing it up and enjoying the show. This was a great use of her character.
If I’m not mistaken, this was the first meeting between Gordon and Bruce this season. Ever since the pilot, their relationship has always been a huge strength, as it should be. The writers were in the zone for this one. Both gave each other advice. Both acted on it. Although, I’m not sure I would take love tips from Jim Gordon, but whatever. At least without the Bruce clone running around, we were able to focus on a great Bruce/Selina plot. Gordon was downplayed in this episode, but we get a couple nice moments between him and Valerie.
The only weakness this week was Barnes. Much like the Bruce clone, I’m a little queasy about the blood thing. Seems kind of silly, but we’ll see. I suppose the real show stopper was towards the end between Oswald and Nygma. That was hilarious, and a big time “Got ya!” moment. This might be a case of the writers hedging their bets as they test the waters. We’ll see on that one. There’s no shortage of intrigue right now on Gotham, including a real wallop of a stinger to close out this fine episode.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (Really Great)