Features TV

REVIEW: Gotham 2X14 “Wrath of the Villains: This Ball of Mud and Meanness”

This episode was by far the slowest since Gotham’s midseason premiere. Possibly even the slowest of the season as a whole. Refocusing on Bruce means refocusing on the somewhat dull and overplayed plot of him trying to hunt down the man presumed to have killed his parents. Considering this is a story that’s already taken up over 35 episodes to tell, and we’re clearly not even close to being done with it, you’d think that it’d be at least somewhat interesting.

It isn’t.

It wasn’t interesting in Season 1, it wasn’t interesting at the top of Season 2, and it still isn’t interesting. The writers have dragged this story on for the sole purpose of allowing us to watch Bruce transform into whatever it is they want him to be but… Bruce is still Bruce. Even “dark” Bruce isn’t all that dark, which kind of defeats the purpose of everything that has transpired up to this point.

This was very much a filler episode, providing the barest amount of new information and generally lacking in terms of excitement and interesting plots.

Spoilers ahead!

Unsurprisingly, the central focus of the episode was on Bruce and his desire to find his parents’ killer. He and Alfred make their way to a fight club where our second favorite British butler (Edwin Jarvis takes the top spot) finds himself in a vicious brawl with a thug who goes by the name of Cupcake. The altercation ends with Cupcake giving them the information they need and Alfred in the hospital.

Convenient since it allows Bruce the opportunity to seek out Matches on his own.

Gotham214

He manages to get the info he needs from a very willing-to-help patron of an underground club before bolting from the establishment just quick enough to avoid being stopped by Gordon. He and the gun Selena gave him make their way to the home of Matches Malone where he… offers the killer a wad of cash. It’s Bruce’s way of getting Matches to talk about past kills and get a feel for the man.

Eventually he whips out the trusty gun and informs Malone that his parents were one of the assassin’s hits. Bruce is a bit disheartened when Malone doesn’t immediately remember the night of the Wayne couple’s deaths and sheds the classic single tear when the murderer finally does. Bruce has his chance to kill Malone but (again, unsurprisingly) chooses to instead lay his gun on the table and walk away… leaving Malone to commit suicide just as Jim rolls up.

Then Bruce just bounces from Wayne Manor and decides to live on the streets. As one does.

Elsewhere, in the absolute briefest of subplots, someone finally gets suspicious about the missing Kringle and, unsurprisingly, that someone is Lee. Despite the lingering awkwardness between her and Jim, she gets her baby daddy to look into it, which leads to Nygma being lightly questioned. Naturally, Ed isn’t thrilled with this and immediately snaps into his, “suspicious and ready to do some damage,” persona.

Gotham214strange

Also elsewhere, Oswald’s torture-therapy causes him to, “become sane,” according to Dr. Strange, and he’s released from Arkham with little fanfare. Strange voices some deeper plans for Oswald, all of which involve releasing him into the public and keeping tabs on him.

As previously mentioned, so little happened in this episode that it was an honest struggle to get through. It was the equivalent of white noise playing in the background and is entirely skippable in terms of the series as a whole. There was no exciting villain, no action, and nothing that drove the plot forward.

Episode Grade: D

Episode Highs:

  • Jerry the terrifying clown was the only bright spot of this episode. She calls it like she sees it, doesn’t take most of the crap thrown her way, and does what she wants simply because she can.
  • “I won’t kill babies.” That’s where Malone draws the line.

Episode Lows:

  • This is a pretty slow show on a good day but my god this episode dragged on. It made one hour feel like 5.
  • Literally nothing happened.

Additional Thoughts:

  • Do you think Lee might be Nygma’s next victim? Nobody likes a snoop… especially a murderer with multiple personalities.

What did you think of the latest episode of Gotham? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below!

About the author

Silje Falck-Pedersen