TV Review: Gotham Series 1 Episode 19: ‘Beasts of Prey’

This week’s Gotham finds Jim Gordon on the trail of a serial killer. reviews

Gotham Beasts of Prey


This review contains spoilers



So sharp-eyed readers might have noticed we’ve skipped an episode – you have a couple of looming deadlines and a bad case of norovirus to thank for that. Thankfully, we didn’t miss too much – the main major development was Jim Gordon finally compromising his morals significantly, blackmailing serial blackmailer (and also his boss) Commissioner Loeb to endorse him as president of the GCPD union. This episode’s also an alright one, though its main plot mostly exists to set up future episodes down the road.

Naturally, this week, karma comes back to bite Gordon. When an eager young policeman brings him a cold case – that of a serial killer apparently fixated on young, single women – he’s eager to take it up, in the hopes that there’s a younger faction in the GCPD actually looking to work with him. But it later transpires that the case was given to him on Loeb’s orders. You see, the serial killer (the Ogre) has a nasty habit of killing any cop that dares to investigate him…

This week, the show also experiments with a bit of non-linear narrative, tracing the story of the Ogre’s latest victim through a series of flashbacks. This had the side-effect of giving the villain a surprising amount of development for an original, non-comics character – showing him off as a smooth-talking Christian Grey type complete with a rather more fatal room of pain. The fact that he’s apparently the main villain of a four-episode arc to round out the series might have something to do with it (I was expecting the Dollmaker, given he’s actually been hinted at before now, but I guess he’ll be relegated to Fish’s plot).

The main subplot is Lil’ Bruce Wayne trying to hunt down Reggie, Alfred’s old war buddy from a few episodes back, after he stabbed the butler and ran off. He manages to enlist the help of Selina Kyle to do so, since the future Batman’s not particularly street-smart as yet, and once again the child actors get a surprisingly good scene as they track Reggie down and interrogate him. He threatens to tell his bosses of Bruce’s inquiry, and we learn the major difference between Bat and Cat – Bruce doesn’t kill, Selina’s more flexible. It’s Bruce’s first taste of the harsher side of crime-fighting, and tellingly he doesn’t send her away for it – it’ll be interesting to see where this one leads.

Then there’s Fish Mooney’s continuing story, as she tries to escape the Dollmaker’s mysterious island facility. After a quick break-out to establish where the nearest convenient helicopter is, she does it again with an entourage, sacrificing half her men to the guards so she can escape with the other half. But then she’s shot on the way out, and since Jada Pinkett-Smith says she’ll be leaving at the end of this season…well, who knows how that one’ll go. Though none of the subplots have been particularly boring as of late, I hope she makes it back to Gotham to tie up some loose ends first.

Overall, we get a pretty good opener for a four-part case, of all things – it’ll be interesting to see Gotham abandon its weekly cases in favour of something longer in the main plot. And next week, the Ogre’s after Barbara. Things just get better and better!

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