Directed by Danny Cannon
Theo: "The world sees criminal lunatics. I see brilliance. I see charisma and power."
I also see something of a contrast to the previous season in a way. Last year there was a heavy emphasis on mob wars between Falcone, Maroni, Oswald and Fish and with only one of them still being an active cast member and enjoying their little kingdom for now, it was time for this show to really step up a gear with some new blood on the villain front.
Theo Galavan and his sister, Tabitha/Tigress might very well be the very thing that Gotham needed in terms of new villainy because with this episode alone, Theo has charmed the city into thinking he's the dog's unmentionables while Tabitha helped to break out six inmates from Arkham - Barbara, Jerome, Sionis, Amygdala, Robert and some other bloke whose name was never mentioned and all so their criminal genius could be happily exploited for Theo's end no doubt.
Funnily enough the only person who didn't seem too keen on playing ball was Sionis but Tabitha quickly put a stop to that by killing him off a fairly brutal fashion, which seemed to intrigue both Jerome and Barbara quite a bit. Speaking of Barbara - it truly is amazing what a season can do to a character.
Last season she was a bland and boring girlfriend with a drug problem that hadn't been well thought out. This year, she's completely nuts, making threatening calls to Gordon and Leslie, casually dismissing Jerome and using Sionis to get a telephone when she wasn't making Amygdala into her personal bodyguard and foot slave. It's actually really amazing how the show managed to turn the character around and more power to Erin Richards who clearly is having a blast playing a more unhinged Barbara this year as well.
As for the rest of the episode - Gordon's demotion to beat cop/getting fired was resolved a little too quickly. Doing Oswald a favour (good going there, Bruce) ended up with Loeb being forced into retirement, Essen getting a deserved promotion and Gordon his own job but his actions in order to get it should inevitably have consequences as the season progresses though.
As for Bruce and Alfred - they sort of discovered the BatCave (let's be honest, that's what it is) and when they couldn't think of a password, they used a bomb in order to get into the place. More noteworthy was that this episode really did signpost Bruce's future even more than ever before and that's kind of a good thing really.
Also in "Damned If You Do"
Although they're regulars, this episode didn't feature Nicholas D'Agosto (Harvey Dent), Chris Chalk (Lucious Fox) or Michael Chiklis (Nate Barnes)
Zaardon: "Dark days are coming."
Gordon: "Thanks for the heads up."
I loved the sheer daftness of Zaardon and even more so when he was used as plot device for Theo and Tabitha to break out Barbara and company from Arkham.
Nygma (to himself): "Holy moly, look at you. Everyone's gonna think you've gone nuts."
Jerome: "You're bad."
Barbara: "Yeah, so why don't you go and make me a sandwich."
Aside from Nygma's brief scene, Selina was also revealed to be working for Oswald now. That should be an interesting dynamic to watch.
Oswald (to Gordon, re Selina): "Isn't she darling? It's like having a cat around the house but no horrid dead mice."
Bruce (to Gordon): "Sometimes the right way is the ugly way."
Update on Bullock: He's working a bar that plays Irish music, has been sober for 32 days and has a girlfriend who doesn't hate him. He'll be back at GCPD by next week then.
Barbara (to Leslie): "I just wanted to say that I hope you die screaming, bitch. Love you."
Oswald (to Loeb): "You're a rare animal but that does lead us to a sad pickle."
Standout music: The use of "Perfect Day" at the start of this episode was actually pretty perfect to be honest.
Barbara: "While that sounds fabulous, I am not a brilliant outlaw. I just have issues."
Theo: "You have ferocity and beauty and desire and that's enough."
Chronology: It's been a month since the events of "All Happy Families Are Alike"
Well, this was fun. Actually, it really was. The humour used to offset some of the doom laden stuff in "Damned If You Do" worked pretty well and I really like this whole "Rise Of The Villains" theme that the season seems to be embracing. A great start to the new season.
Rating: 8 out of 10