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Gotham Review – Beasts of Prey

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So this week we had a couple of story arcs drawing to a close, what with Fish and co.’s escape from Dr Dolmacher’s facility and the death of Reginald Payne. These multi-episode arcs work quite nicely I think, rather than a week-to-week police procedural format. Each of the storylines, Fish’s escape from hell island, Bruce’s going after Reggie, and Gordon’s investigation into ‘The Ogre’ (not a fan of that actually, the initial ‘Don Juan Killer’ is better), are multipart in length with none of them wrapping up inside a single episode. Which is great, complex interweaving stories are an excellent way to go. So first up we have Bruce and his search for justice for Alfred, and with Kat’s help he does indeed manage to track down dear Reginald but before we get to that, there is one scene that is absolutely worth mentioning in detail. While Bruce is running around from gun range to gun range looking for Reggie based on his misinterpretation of Alfred saying that Reggie’d be at a ‘shooting gallery’, Oswald ‘Penguin’ Cobblepot walks by

Now, he doesn’t actually see Bruce, but he does stop and sort of shiver for a moment, like someone just walked over his grave. It’s quick subtle moment of an eventual major villain walking past his eventual lifelong worst enemy (besides maybe the Joker, but that’s a whole other story) that I personally loved. It was just a small under-the-radar bit of foreshadowing and yet utterly brilliant. Less is more, always. Anyway, Bruce and Kat find Reggie and Kat threatens to drop his stash out a window if he doesn’t tell them who hired him to spy on Bruce. Reggie eventually folds and Kat drops the drugs anyway, though only onto a window ledge just barely out of sight. However, Reggie goes on a rant before realising this, threatening to expose Bruce’s intentions to those that the young billionaire is seeking, threats that he keeps making even as he’s leaning precariously out a third story window trying to retrieve his pills. Now, Bruce, despite obviously being very tempted, doesn’t shove him to his death, thus giving us our first glimpse at the budding Dark Knight’s no-kill rule.g2

Selina though, always the more morally ambiguous of the pair, has no such reservations. And although I saw it coming, after all, what else is going to happen in TV land with so many signposts pointing to an incoming Disney villain death, it was still a shock. Since Catwoman doesn’t really murder people in the comics barring a few rare exceptions, so the fact that she apparently made what is hopefully her first kill as a child in Gotham is a pretty big deviation, and one I’m not entirely sure I’m comfortable with. I mean, this isn’t Cassandra Cain we’re dealing with here, it’s Kat. Roguish as she is, killing a man in cold blood is a huge step in a totally new direction for her. But her reaction to what she’s done is something we’re yet to see, which was always an equally important element whenever the comic book Selina killed as well. Moving on, Fish’s story also seeing its conclusion, and from what I understand in reading general commentary on the internets, not a moment too soon.

And I would agree, Fish was an interesting character when she was first introduced, but it was clear right from the beginning that she existed so that the creators had a major character to kill off without rocking the continuity boat, something that’s well past its overdue date. While I have enjoyed watching Fish play her game of staying forever on top on the island, I would have been just as if not more happy to see Falcone dispose of her post failed coup d’état and have the third story arc focus on the machinations of the two mob syndicates instead. Fish’s arc has been well milked for all its worth and then some I feel. Still, she’s bleeding from a severe left abdominal gunshot wound so it does all seem to be finally coming to a close. Lastly, there’s the hunt for this ‘Ogre’ serial killer. I like him. He’s creepy and slick and just the kind of brilliant psychopath Gotham City tends to be famous for. When Harvey pointed out why cops never went after him because of his penchant for targeting their families if they did, the first thing I thought was, “now this is why Batman is needed in Gotham and I’m glad they’re showing it”.g3

Because Jim’s been making some good headway all on his own, and you don’t want to start getting the feeling that Batman’s going to be superfluous if you’ve already got super-cop Jim Gordon running around. I did also enjoy Loeb’s gambit of deliberately manoeuvring Gordon right into Ogre’s line of fire, though where this ultimate confrontation between Gordon and Loeb is going to lead puzzles me, as Loeb is a significant factor in the GCPD’s corruption that makes the Dark Knight so desperately needed down the track. Making the resolution of this current showdown between Gordon and Loeb somewhat curious. But otherwise good stuff and am still onboard for more.

Review by Josh Jennings.

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Joshua Jennings

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