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REVIEW: Gotham 1×21 “Anvil or The Hammer”

Written by Scott Swartz

Really getting tired of you Gotham. It’s not even that you don’t have the possibility to be good, because somewhere underneath it all you still have some great possible characters. Somehow though you manage to squander potential whether it be in finally having an interesting villain, retreading plots that we have already seen, or simply having characters who are too dense to catch on to what is really happening. It’s not even that it is just the poor writing as that would explain so much, it is just that we have gotten to the point where any person with half a brain could have figured out how to build a more satisfying and interesting plot. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to read the writing week to week because there are poor decisions and then there is the writing on Gotham.

Let’s start with the episode and series biggest problem, the fact that it has no idea what to do with certain characters. Normally I would say that the show seemingly has no idea and put my faith in the grander plan, but Gotham has not earned that right. Barbara could have easily evolved into something real and terrifying this week as The Ogre imprisoned her and forced her to choose to kill someone. They could have made her willingly complicit, they could have made her like who The Ogre was, hell she could have defended him at the end, but no. Gotham chose to make her the victim and be absolutely useless in the scope of the show, at one point I thought Barbara was crying because of how awful the writing was. It’s just exasperating, I mean they cast off Montoya so they could easily cast off Barbara or even better put a bullet in her, because that would be a more fulfilling storyline than what we got.

Then we have The Ogre who up until this week had been interesting and fun to watch play out, but in the end Gotham managed to ruin the only thing they had going for them.We get all of this good backstory about who The Ogre is and how untouchable he has been for nine years, and now all of a sudden we are supposed to believe he has gotten to arrogant for his own good. That’s stupid, if we are supposed to believe that The Ogre is that great, which we are told many times this week, he should not need to call and gloat when his silent alarm is tripped. Add on the fact that it was due to this arrogance that Gordon was able to track him down and you have an increasingly flawed thought process for our villain. What’s the worst part of it all is that he gets a bullet to the head, because if you had an interesting adversary you don’t always have to put a bullet in them. I mean I know The Ogre deserved it but Jim is supposed to be better than this he should have been able to take him in and throw him at Loeb’s feet just to show his success.

Where we had a unique original villain killed off, Nygma and Penguin continue to flounder in the mediocrity of their respective roles. Last week I said Nygma needed to outsmart the GCPD to prove his worth as a villain and he did in the stupidest way possible. It’s seemed impossible but apparently Nygma is so unnoticeable that the fact he wheels two briefcases full of body parts through the precinct doesn’t raise an eyebrow, nor the fact that a cop has apparently all but up and vanished. Someone, even Kringle, should’ve asked to see what was in those briefcases, but apparently that would have required some actual intelligence. The only part of the whole “plan” I was ok with was Nygma gloating with the letter as that was a total Riddler move. As for Penguin, how many times do we have to see the same plot before the writers realize we don’t care? This is what is sixth coup of the season and no one has thought to maybe say screw Penguin let’s just kill him. It just managed to feel so predictable as Gotham does not have the balls to actually kill off any major player in the Batman mythos, and at this point they really need to.

Thank god there is only one episode left because at this point this show either needs to be blown up entirely and re tooled or taken out back and shot.

Final Grade D-

-Barbara was absolutely useless

-The Ogre became an absolute joke

-Nygma was not smarter than those around him

-How many times do we need to do the same Penguin plot

Extra Thoughts

-Hey everyone here is Lucius Fox, because we literally have no idea what we are doing.

-Alfred was apparently ok with Bruce being complicit in the murder of his friend. Da Fuq

-So there is gonna be a gang war. Why didn’t Penguin do this with any of his other attempts to overthrow Maroni or Falcone?

About the author

Scott Swartz