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REVIEW: Gotham 2×20 “Wrath of the Villains: Unleashed”

Gotham is a show that, despite a bunch of convoluted ideas and intermingling plots, takes viewers from nowhere and leads them nowhere. The entirety of season 2 has allegedly been building up to something but, as we near the end, it still seems as though the Gotham finale will be as lackluster as all of the episodes leading up to it.

Spoilers ahead!

“Unleashed,” was another episode dealing with the Gordon’s hunt for the resurrected Galavan and Bruce’s hunt for anything pertaining to his parents’ death. Unsurprisingly, both, “mysteries,” can be tracked back to Dr. Strange and Arkham Asylum. While Jim and Harvey’s search warrant gets them absolutely nowhere, Bruce’s forethought to bring Selina into the fray leads to much better results. Mainly because Selina does what she’s best at and breaks into the ward via some abnormally large vents and Bruce does what he’s best at best and goes back to his mansion to bring Alfred in on what’s going down.

Elsewhere, Azrael gets his hand on the genuine sword of sacrifice or whatever it’s called and promptly uses it to stab his sister. Unfortunately, before she gets impaled, Tabitha reminds Azrael that he is in fact Theo, prompting a few old memories, the largest of which is: death to the Son of Gotham.

This again?

Because it was such a fun and riveting plotline the first time around?


Naturally everyone gets in a tizzy and drops everything to make sure that Master Wayne is safe, with Gordon abandoning Harvey and Tabitha in a literal crypt as Alfred is basically just his typical, high-strung, overly armed, worried self. Understandable considering Theo all but waltzes into Wayne Manor without one iota of trouble

Alfred and Bruce: why the hell would you waste time running around an enormous mansion closing curtains and locking windows when you literally could have immediately hidden in the SECRET ROOM THAT NOBODY, LEAST OF ALL GALAVAN, KNOWS ABOUT?!

Geeze Louise with these two.

And it of course gets worse because, instead of running when his butler tells him to, Bruce stays to watch Alfred get beat up by Galavan and thrown out a window. Classic. Almost as classic as the, like, twenty old-school automobiles in the Wayne garage. One of those cars serves as a pretty solid battering ram when Bruce uses it to drive into Galavan while the psycho is giving his villain speech but, Bruce being Bruce, he immediately gets out of the car to see what damage was done.

None, apparently, since Galavan uses a GD whip to snatch Bruiser and attempt to kill him before being (temporarily) stopped by a few rounds from Gordon’s gun. I say temporarily because Theo gets up again before Penguin makes his own entrance with Bruce and the two shoot him with a missile.

That’ll do it.

Unfortunately, while Galavan is being set on fire, Selina might be as well because, though she manages to find Bridget in the Arkham basement, her old friend has no memory of her and thinks she’s a human on which to test her new Firefly identity.

Once again, Gotham gave us an episode that did absolutely nothing. The past few episodes have been focused on Galavan’s resurrection and… he was killed off with a missile and a one-liner. What was the point of this entire half-season? None! The ease with which Galazrael was taken care of is a pretty bad sign where the remainder of the season is concerned because… what honestly could happen?

I guess technically Strange is supposed to be the big-bad of the season but he’s neither big nor all that bad. He’s creepy and is clearly causing problems for everyone in Gotham, but the way everything is playing out is so monotonous and generally pointless that I don’t see how the final two episodes could have even a modicum of excitement.

Episode Grade: C

Episode Highs:

  • Harvey is of course the best option to be Captain. He’s one of few people with common sense and some semblance of morality so it’s understandable why the no-name officers would look to follow him.
  • The Nygma/Selina exchange(s) in the vents of Arkham Asylum were great. “Forensic guy?!” “Street trash girl?”
  • “If he wanted to wear leather, he should just wear leather. This is Gotham city, nobody cares.”

Episode Lows:

  • The sparse Penguin sightings did little in the episode’s favor. Sure, he had some of the best lines and killed Galavan (thankfully putting an end to that plotline) but his presence felt like more of an unsubtle reminder that he exists than it did an actual plotline.

Additional Thoughts:

  • Jim was annoying as a cop but he’s even more annoying as a civilian acting like a cop, right? I can’t be alone on this one.
  • I want a spin-off with Nygma and Selina that’s just them trading snarky comments and rolling their eyes at each other.

What did you think about the latest episode of Gotham? Are you excited for the final episodes or mostly just excited that the season’s almost over? Sound off on Twitter or in the comments below!


About the author

Silje Falck-Pedersen