Saturday, March 10, 2018

My Review of Gotham's 4x13: "A Beautiful Darkness"

Written by Tze Chun
Directed by John Stephens

Ivy (to Gordon): "First I was a seed, then a sprout and now I've bloomed."

Last week gave us something of a taster of Ivy 3.0 in action and this week went full bloom with her being the main antagonist and let's just say, if you're a fan of the traditional version of the character, this episode might appeal to you a lot.

Peyton List could still do with emoting a little better but so far, she's doing a pretty decent job as Ivy opened the episode by paying poor Wayne Enterprises employee Roland a house call and murdering him in front of his family and a horrified Selina, who quickly turned on her and was forced to team up with Gordon in order to stop Ivy from causing more havoc this week.

Of course, Gordon wasn't really that effective against Ivy. Before he got to her, she had already the GCPD into her super fans, kidnapped Lucious in order to take Project M, paid Bruce a visit to poison him and oh, also came up with a way to amplify her already impressive powers. How the show plans to defeat next week should be very interesting to be honest.

I quite liked seeing Gordon and Selina working together against Ivy and I also liked the latter addressing her not very pleasant history surrounding her parents and Gordon during her face off with Jim as well. I also liked Lucious getting a bit more screen time, even if he was Ivy's love slave for most of his appearance this week. As for the Project M being Lazarus water, well, this along with a certain nightmare sequence will ensure that Ras will be back very soon as well.

Getting into the nightmare sequence - I guess we should thank Ivy for poisoning Bruce. Aside from the fact that it's clearly snapped him out of his bratty phase that was wearing thin, there's also the fact that when he wasn't seeing both Jim and Oswald in future looks along with Selina, Barbara, Bullock, Leslie and Alfred in other roles (as well as Ras slicing his face off), he also got a glimpse of his own future. I know the trailer already spoiled it but seeing those bats was still a surprise moment nonetheless.

Away from the Ivy and Bruce storylines this week, Oswald was having a rather rotten time in Arkham with Jerome going out of his way to make him his pet project and Edward being a bit too happy to gloat while also asking for help in his own way. I'm not surprised that Jerome is playing a long game of his own while having his own way in Arkham but I also think whether Oswald likes it or not, he's probably going to end up needing Jerome's help for his own escape plan too.

As for Sofia, she's enjoying the queen of the underworld role a bit too much and right now, she's got no threats to worry about. Oswald's locked away for the present, the Sirens are on her payroll and she has Gordon where she wants him over the Pyg situation. Not to mention the fact that Leslie is also being pulled into her orbit, which can't be good for either of them.

- Oswald in the clown costume and the mime act with Jerome. I'm not even going to question how things are let slide in Arkham.
- Why the heck was Bullock holding onto a rooster in Bruce's fantasy sequence? Actually come to think of it, why was Leslie dressed as Cleopatra too?
- No Tabitha or Butch/Grundy this week.
- Chronology: Six weeks since the events of Queen Takes Knight.

A Beautiful Darkness did a great job in setting up Bruce's future and while the Oswald/Jerome and Sofia subplots worked rather well, this was definitely Ivy's moment to shine and cause mayhem and she did it with aplomb. I am hoping that when her arc ends in the next episode, it won't be too long before she sprouts up again.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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