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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: Gotham 1×22 “All Happy Families Are Alike”

Written by Scott Swartz

I think I finally get it, I understand why Gotham is such a misshapen and befuddling mess, It is insane and needs to be put on drugs. Right now it belongs in Arkham because it is just plane batty and out of control I mean you have and I counted six parallel storylines that are either started out of nowhere or end abruptly. Gotham has more storytelling problems than Arkham has inmates and for us to be able to understand everything that is going on would be a great success. I mean none of the stories really have a cap on them and a left beyond open ended. I mean even the big death of the episode felt incredibly underwhelming and non committal to me as a viewer and really set the stage for something lackluster. Eb and flow absolutely necessary in order to craft an engulfing finale, yet Gotham is without the most basic of principles, structure and that is why it fails.

So let’s focus on that structure, Maroni is out for Falcone and everyone and their mother is out hunting for him. This would be a great focal point as it thrusts Jim to defend a man he dislikes while at the same time making sure all of the major players converge on a single area. In theory this should work and yet somehow everything breaks down as the episode goes on. First we have the police and the mayor ok the hit which works and fits in the narrative, but for some reason just telling us this information is not enough for the show. To have Commissioner Loeb come down to the hospital and basically oversee Maroni’s hit was beyond idiotic and for no other cops to care about the gang war besides Gordon degraded the GCPD’s ability even more. You could have at least had a few cops, hell even a few dirty cops rather than Maroni’s hitmen, be involved in the hunt.

Once you have the shootout at the hospital, which was ok, we had everything fly off the rails at Falcone’s safe house. I like that Maroni  got killed as he was just a stupid, and annoying character, but the fact that Fish not only came back, but also managed to turn nearly everyone was beyond dumb. First off you have Selena who just decided one day she wanted to carry a shotgun and join up with Fish. Nothing in Selena’s character this entire season signaled that she would follow orders let alone side with the mysterious crazy woman who jumped off the boat. The biggest transgression for me however was the “fight” between Fish and Penguin which felt like I was watching a fight in a comedy. These two characters are supposed to be powerful and dangerous, but they just ended up being clownish and completely useless to the point that once Penguin became king I was just laughing to hard at the utter amount of bullshit that went on. Seriously, they didn’t even commit to killing Fish as we never see her body post fall, that shows you don’t have faith in the characters you have created if you can’t give them a defining moment.

However, nothing encapsulates the confusion of Gotham more than Barbara who at this point should win an award for being the single worst character on television. Through a series of insane decisions Barbara is left alone with Leslie in a locked room without any supervision or police protection. At that point Barbara breaks and attempts to murder Leslie like she did her own parents and by the end is left unconscious on the floor. Barbara has basically never had a flawed character trait she didn’t like: good girlfriend, bad girlfriend, hostage, lesbian, psychopath. Yet for some reason Gordon leaves the clearly mentally unstable woman alone with his girlfriend like there is nothing to worry about. That’s bullshit, because no one and I mean no one is that stupid that they would leave a clearly dangerous person alone without any sort of supervision. I really have no idea what they are doing with this character or how they are building a future for this show right now, as it is just so haphazard and slapped together.

I am so confused as to what is planned for this show or how it is actually supposed to be good. All I can hope is that when it returns in the fall that somehow all of this makes sense because as of right now, train wreck doesn’t even describe Gotham.

Final Grade F

Final Season Grade C-

-Falcone goes into retirement

-Fish and Penguin “Fight”

-Barbara going completely crazy

-Selena turning evil

-Lack of GCPD anywhere

-No structure to speak of

Extra Thoughts

-Bruce found the Batcave. He’s 11 and found the Batcave, so he probably won’t use it for like 10-15 years.

-Nygma freaks out because someone found him out. In other news no shit sherlock, you put your name in the message.

-Seriously how the hell did Selena turn on everyone in two days?

-That’s it for Gotham this season. May someone put this show out to pasture very soon, for all of our sakes.

About the author

Scott Swartz

1 Comment

  • I couldn’t agree more. I can’t remember ever being so happy to see a show’s season come to an end. I have friends who enjoy this show and it baffles me. It’s one of the worst-written shows I’ve seen. The character of Barbara should be used as a teaching point in screenwriting classes on how NOT to write a character.