Friday, October 13, 2017

My Review of Gotham's 4x04: "The Demon's Head"

Written by Ben McKenzie
Directed by Kenneth Fink

Ras (to Bruce): "You're finally beginning to see things clearly. The question is: are you strong enough?"

Have I mentioned that Gotham are doing a far better job with their depiction of Ras Al Ghul than the Arrow universe did? Well, even if I have, it bears repeating as this episode really showed what a magnificently dangerous man Ras well and truly can be when pushed into a corner.

Now I wasn't shocked that he killed kindly museum guy Niles, who had the misfortune of examining the knife that Bruce bought at the auction that Ras was so desperately keen on acquiring. I was however shocked that the show actually went ahead and allowed Ras to slit poor Alex's throat when Bruce refused to hand over the knife towards the end of this episode.

Considering the amount of things that the show has done in it's four seasons, seeing an innocent kid getting murdered was by far the most shocking they've done. I liked the character of Alex. He wasn't the brightest bulb in the room but he was sympathetic and it was nice to see Bruce interact with someone his age range that wasn't Selina for a change. Had things been different, Alex might have been a good friend to Bruce but Ras certainly put an end to that one.

Of course when Ras wasn't killing people to get his knife, he was sending a bodyguard with a dog man creature named Anubis to try and do the same thing while formally introducing himself to Gordon in an attempt to play nice. The latter stance almost worked until Alfred blew both Gordon and Ras's mutual scheming against one another.

Still though, this was a truly excellent episode for Ras where he definitely emerged as a big threat and even with him being shipped off to Blackgate, I didn't need the trailer for next week to inform me that he would get out of his prison sooner than later. Of course, it wasn't just Ras that fared well in this episode.

Both Bruce and Gordon themselves were on fine form and it was nice to see the pair of them actually working together to try and stop Ras. I also liked that Gordon was a lot more competent in this episode than usual and that he actually gave Bruce some pretty sound advice as well. This is a version of James the show needs more and more.

Saying that though, I don't think Gordon really understand what he's done with bringing Sofia back to the city. In this episode alone, it seemed like she was able to play off both Oswald and Gordon while at least letting them both think that they have her sussed out. Now this side to Sofia, I'm also in favour of. I'd rather see Sofia using both Jim and Oswald than being played so easily by both.

As for Oswald, when he wasn't testing Sofia out as a potential threat, he was also having to deal with Nygma's frankly pathetic attempts at revenge. I have to admit, I loved the rapping riddles bit (mainly for Zsasz's reactions) and I also loved the moment where Oswald and Edward finally faced off and the former stopped Fries from freezing the latter as well. Oswald not putting Edward on ice again will probably come back to haunt or maybe it'll be the beginning of a truce between the two. I imagine we won't have too long to wait for an answer to that one though.

- Benjamin McKenzie (Gordon) wrote this episode after directing last season's These Delicate And Dark Obsessions. He really should write/direct more for the series.
- How gorgeous does the Iceberg Lounge actually look? I love the umbrella light especially. It's just in this episode I really got a proper look at the place.
- No Selina, Ivy, Tabitha, Butch or Bullock in this episode and Barbara was relegated to at least two scenes. We did get some more of Harper though who seems okay, character wise.
- Chronology: More or less from where They Who Hide Behind Masks left off.

Now that was brilliant. The Demon's Head certainly showed us that Ras mean business as an antagonist this season and the excellent team up of Gordon and Bruce really worked well for the episode with the Oswald, Nygma and Sofia subplots. Can Benjamin McKenzie write another episode for the series?

Rating: 9 out of 10

No comments: