Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Review of Gotham's 1x21: "The Anvil Or The Hammer"

Written by Jordan Harper
Directed by Paul Edwards

Jason: "Don't worry, I'm going to set you free. You're the one, Barbara. You're the one."

And they say romance is dead. Well, by the end of this episode, Jason did end up dead and Gordon a hero but not before he managed to do a total number on Barbara, who had something of a mixed bag this week.

One of the frustrating things about Barbara's character is that she's been little more than just the girlfriend or damsel in distress and it's like this episode heightened both of those things by mainly having her as Jason's captive before he gave her a horrible choice - who to kill. For a moment, I expected Leslie to be in the firing line but going for the parents, that was pretty dark of Barbara, wasn't it?

I'm kind of hoping that Barbara surviving her ordeal with the Ogre (even if her parents weren't so lucky) will mean that the character does descend on a dark path. At this rate, despite Jim prioritizing her safety, any chance of them getting back together seems to have gone the other way. I think the writers have realised that Barbara doesn't work as a love interest (no different to Laurel on Arrow then) but at the same time also seem keen to keep onto the character for a bit longer.

It's almost a shame that Jason didn't make it into the finale to a degree. Sure, he was the type of cliched serial killer that Criminal Minds trots out about every other week but he was a fairly interesting adversary for Gordon and I'd almost take his antics over some of the more tedious gang war stuff we've had in the series as well. Hopefully though with the Ogre arc, the writers will now realise that more invented for the show criminals are a way to go rather than bringing in nearly every Rogue Gallery member at once though.

Of course when we weren't dealing with the Ogre storyline and it's swift conclusion, Oswald really showed his hand this week. Like everyone, I assumed his plan to have Maroni killed was going to blow up in his face. We even had Maroni's would be killer come a cropper, so the reveal that Oswald just intended to properly start the inevitable gang war with Maroni and Falcone was actually pretty satisfying to watch instead. Oswald's certainly cottoned on to getting things done now. Even Butch looked a bit impressed.

As for Bruce - I knew that Bunderslaw was going to outsmart him but I did like the introduction of Lucious Fox and the fact that he opened up to Alfred about what really happened to Reggie. Of course Bruce isn't always going to get the results he wants but this was a good learning curve for him about good men having secrets as well.

Last but not least - Nygma really does seem to have slipped into the dark side as well. He took great risks with the way he disposed of Tom's body in GCPD and he couldn't help himself with that 'note' he left for Kringle as well. Although I think they should've left this for the second season, I'm enjoying this side to Nygma as well though.

Also in "The Anvil Or The Hammer"

It's brilliant that Nygma can walk around the station with two big suitcases of body parts and no-one batted an eyelid.

Jason: "The night we met I was going to kill you."
Barbara: "That's not funny."
Jason: "But then I saw something in you, Barbara. I saw the real you."

Yes, between drugging her, having her bound and gagged and brandishing a knife at her throat, Jason really did love Barbara. Sarcasm of course.

Nygma: "Okie doke. No body, no crime. No body, no crime."

Oswald: "Jim, I do love our give and take relationship but it's starting to feel one sided."
Gordon: "Fine, I'll owe you a favour."
Oswald: "You already do."
Gordon: "Then I'll owe you another."

Bullock's scenes at the Foxglove brothel party were hilarious. He somewhat scrubs up well enough too.

Kringle: "I don't know how you do this job. Death all around you."
Nygma: "One must have a sense of humour."

Sally (re Jason): "Promise me when you find him, don't arrest him. Kill him."
Gordon: "You got it."

Both Selina and Fish were missing from this episode. I did like that the former sent Bruce Bunderslaw's key though.

Alfred: "Your father was a good man."
Bruce: "I know but even good men have secrets."

Chronology: Not long from where "Under The Knife" left off.

Not as good as the previous episode, but I do think "The Anvil Or The Hammer" wrapped up the Ogre well enough and the set up for the finale was pretty fantastic too. I can't believe by this time next week, the first season will be done.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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