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Review: Gotham 3×02 “Burn The Witch”

Written by Lisa Hafey

After last week’s episode, which was basically a crib note for the series, the writers of Gotham have decided we know enough, and run riot in episode 2.

*Obligatory warning that spoilers abound from here on in*

Opening scene reveals that Bruce was taken to visit the Court of Owls and SHOCK! The head owl reveals her face, and divulges that her name is Catherine. She’s not too keen on letting Bruce know the name of her organisation however, and even less so on him continuing to poke his nose into what she and her Court are up to, as well as the quest to find out why they killed his parents (he’s already worked out it was them). They strike a deal, after she threatens not just Bruce but “those he loves”. In return he lets them know that if he dies all his shares in Wayne Enterprises will go to the Federal Government, who will no doubt sift through his files. They come to a mutual agreement, and Bruce is returned home. There’s no rest for Bruce however, when his doppelganger shows up at the manor, setting the scene for next week.

Jim meanwhile is owning this episode, and is busily chewing up every other scene. First off Valerie Vale shows up proposing they team up to find Fish Mooney – all she wants is the story, he can have the money. She reveals her source is none other than Selina Kyle. Jim knows Barbara would have a clue as to where Selina is, and so they hightail it off to Barb’s club. We’re left in no doubt about the future of Jim and Valerie – Barbara asks if they’re dating, and the pair immediately as one answer “NO!” Just go get a room!

Ivy meanwhile, who last week had fallen into a drain, has now emerged from the Gotham River virtually unscathed apart from – and here’s our second SHOCK! for the evening – somehow she’s mutated into a fully grown woman…but her clothes still fit. A guy who offers to take her back to his place, as she’s thirsty, and gives her a glass of water, but she notices his plants are dying. This doesn’t bode well. After offering her his ex-wife’s clothes, we see Ivy give the water to the plant. Not long later she’s coming downstairs in the wife’s clothing…“Next time? Remember to water”. There’s no next time though, as she’s bludgeoned the poor chap to death.


Penguin meanwhile is doing a really great impression of someone with a sense of civic duty. He raises a rowdy rabble to help him find Fish, whose minions have kidnapped Bullock, in order to find out where Strange is. Keep up with us – it’s an action packed episode. Fish works her magic on Bullock, who then leads her to where Strange is. Penguin also goes there, taking his rabble with their flaming pitchforks, but not before Captain Barnes and the GCPD (along with Jim and Lucius Fox) arrive. Meanwhile, Valerie Vale, who has been double crossed by the police after she double crossed Jim (who of course double crossed her last week), has brought her own mob up to the (supposedly but clearly not very) secret location Strange had been kept. In fact, pretty much the entire main cast this week – with the exception of Barbara, Alfred, and Bruce, show up at Strange’s place.

Without going into more detail, Jim wangles it so that Fish falls into Penguin’s hands, to do with as he will. She greets him as Oswald, but harking back to last week’s meeting with Ed, he now owns his villainous name, and refuses to answer to any other. Here occurs the most beautiful scene of the episode. Penguin asks Fish why he didn’t kill him under the bridge, back in Season 1. Fish explains it’s because he is hers. He was her umbrella boy. The best thing she ever did was turn Oswald Cobblepot into The Penguin. Regardless of whether or not she was speaking the truth, it had the desired effect, and Penguin allows to her to go, and tells her not to come back. It’s a very moving scene, and full credit to Robin Lord Taylor and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Some of the mutants had a more central role this week: a blonde girl who has the power to somehow speed up so fast she looks like dust, or she’s able to teleport, or become invisible, or something. Another one is the brunette with the mask, who seems to have become Fish’s number 2. No sign this week of either Selina or Ed Nygma, and next to nothing of Bruce and Alfred, although Bruce’s doppelganger appears at Wayne Manor to the confusion of them both. David Mazouz giving a sterling performance differentiating betwen the two roles.

The final scene we get what we’ve known was coming for the past two weeks. Valerie shows up at Jim’s, and the tension mounts. He’s going to kiss her – he tells her to shut up and then goes for it. True love never runs smoothly for Jim though, as the end of the episode reveals the return of… we’re leave it right there.

What we can take away from this episode: Jim could easily tip the whole way and become a fairly decent bad guy (if that’s at all possible), but he’s still ruled by his conscience, so that’s not going to happen any time soon. We’re definitely looking foward to seeing some more character development next week, and whether or not Penguin still wants to eat Fish.

Final grade: A! You’ve listened and pulled your socks up!

Additional thought: Why has Ivy been affected this way by the Gotham River – Penguin went in the River back in Season 1, and he didn’t mutate?

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