Directed by TJ Scott
Barnes: "You're a warrior, Jim, so am I but you can't carry on the way you've been."
And with Essen being dead, her replacement had to come sooner than later and it came in the shape of Captain Nathaniel Barnes, who took a shine to Gordon and also booted out half the cops at GCPD in order to clean things up. Calling him a drill sergeant would be an apt comparison for this bloke. Aside from the fact that I like Michael Chiklis as an actor, I'm not sure how I feel about Barnes for now.
I guess his determination to actually clean up Gotham is admirable - even down to assembling a strike force with Gordon but is it me or is this the very storyline that could've easily been done with Essen still in charge? It might even work a lot more had she not been killed off but at the same time, Gordon might have met a kindred spirit in Barnes and his determination to uphold the law.
Gordon should also be worried about his debt to Oswald coming out too. Oswald made it clear that he'd use it against Gordon this episode when the latter pestered him at the precise wrong moment this week. I imagine this will come out sooner than later, which should lead to an awkward scene between Gordon and his new boss.
Speaking of Oswald, he found himself in the unfortunate position of having to do Theo and Tabitha's dirty work by bumping off potential mayoral candidates (as well as 'trying' to kill Theo for effect) and all because they're holding his mother hostage. I have to admit, this was actually the strongest plot of the episode.
It was nice to see Oswald under a bit of pressure and it'll mean that he will be a problem for Theo as the season progresses. Not only that but there was a beautiful moment where Butch genuinely sympathised with Oswald's plight as well. I think this was definitely Oswald's best episode so far this season and just further highlighted how nasty Theo can be as a character.
Of course when Theo wasn't holding women prisoner or making plans to run for Mayor, he was also charming Bruce and introducing him to his ward, Silver St. Cloud. I'm going to assume that Silver is also playing a role in Theo's very long and complicated long game but I'm sort of intrigued with the rapport between her and Bruce though.
Keeping with romance plots in this episode though - how creepy, cute and awkward was Nygma and Kristin's date? Every possible note that could've been hit managed to be during their scenes together and it'll be interesting to see if Kristin will end up a casualty of Nygma's dark side the closer she gets to him.
Also in "Strike Force"
Alfred slapping Selina was actually pretty unpleasant to watch, especially considering why he did it too. I like Alfred but that was just a loathsome move on his part.
Oswald: "Who are you?"
Tabitha: "My brother would very much like to talk to you. Alone."
Butch: "Why are you looking at me like that? You don't know me."
I like that this show isn't forgetting what actually happened to Butch. I do wonder though if it'll be reversed. If so, Oswald's screwed.
Theo (re Penguin): "I thought I heard you hated that name."
Oswald: "It grew on me."
Barbara (to Oswald): "You need this more than me. I'll make another."
Was Barbara even needed for this episode? She just mostly pouted, drank and pestered Theo about being bored.
Theo: "I will run for Mayor."
Alfred (to Selina): "That was for Reggie. I know you killed him."
We finally saw Nygma's apartment in this episode, which was pretty nice.
Nygma: "I like to cook. I'm a good cook. Is that okay?"
Kristin: "It is. Perhaps you should call me Kristin."
Gordon: "I'll face whatever's coming to me."
Oswald: "As will I. Goodbye Jim."
Standout music: Louis Prima's "Just A Gigolo" during Nygma preparing for his date.
Barnes: "Time to take down the Penguin."
Chronology: Not long from where The Last Laugh left off.
I was a little worried that after the Maniax trilogy that things might have slowed down a little but with the introduction of Barnes and Theo upping the ante and focusing his attentions on Oswald and Bruce, I guess I didn't need to worry. Strike Force was another excellent episode and it's highlighting that the writers have properly gotten into the groove with the series now.
Rating: 8 out of 10