Here’s Wayland’s take on “The Son of Gotham” – see Jamie’s review here.
We’re heading for the mid-season break quickly on “The Son of Gotham.” The episode opens with a woman being attacked on the street, and her attacker suddenly getting grabbed up. Years later, when Batman brings in the era of the vigilante in Gotham, that’s not so unusual, but in this time frame, it’s not common.
Gordon and Barmes are among the ones in attendance at Officer Parks’ funeral. It’s a grey day, raining, about as gloomy as you could imagine. The writers have pretty obviously never been to an actual law enforcement or military funeral, as they got a lot wrong, but it was a decent, if melodramatic, scene. Gordon later goes to see Galavan in jail, who seems supremely unworried about his hearing the next day.
Gordon goes home, and is in full-on self-pity mode. Lee tries to help him, but he’s in too dark a place to listen. Lee has the patience of a saint. Gordon sits at the table alone, in his dripping wet uniform, while Lee wisely realizes he’s not going to do anything good for himself at the moment and she goes off to bed.
The mugger from the opening scene shows up again. He’s surrounded by monks who keep intoning an odd chant about the day of reckoning. They’re not the friendly sort of monks who help lost travelers. They’re the “we’re not going to see the mugger again,” kind.
At Gotham Academy, Bruce and Selena are planning to get more information out of Silver. Selena doesn’t think Bruce is going to succeed at this, but Bruce says it’s worth the risk. Selena scrambles up a tree to hide from Silver as Bruce puts their plan in motion.
Gordon does the usual cop-show thing of being ordered off a case and pursuing it anyway. He and Harvey manage to get a lead on the symbol from Galavan’s apartment. It belongs to the Order of St. Dumas. In the comics, that Order has ties to both Azreal, a Batman supporting cast member, and Manhunter Mark Shaw, a personal favorite of mine. At least they picked a name with some history behind it. The former abbey is now a Chinese massage parlor that is every bit as shady as it sounds. The monks turn up there and have a fight with Gordon and Bullock, who now have a much more legitimate reason to poke into the monk angle. Barnes grudgingly agrees, but only if Gordon goes to the Grand Jury hearing for Galavan.
Bruce’s plan apparently hits a snag. He is supposed to meet Silver after school to get some information. What happens instead is that when Bruce shows up at the spot, he gets grabbed and stuffed in a van. In the distance, you can see Alfred waiting to pick Bruce up at their usual spot.
Gordon managed to stop at least one monk, and Leslie has the body. The dead monk has self-inflicted wounds, marking him as a penitent monk, granted an extreme version of that. Between them, Lee, Harvey, and Gordon find something that sends Gordon and Bullock off to the sewers. Lee goes on to meet up with Nygma, who is spreading the story that Miss Kringle left town with Dorogherty, her abusive boyfriend. He’s also dealing with a stream of phone calls from Penguin, his temporary roommate. Those two are doing the Gotham version of the Odd Couple.
Bruce ends up tied to a chair in a warehouse, with Silver tied up nearby. The thugs are brutal, not caring that either their victims are either rich or kids. They are very determined to find out who has been poking around about the Wayne murders. There are a lot of twists and turns in this scene, but it is one of the better scenes in the series so far. That’s all I say to avoid spoilers.
Gordon and Bullock have their own issues, as they run into more of the monks down below the sewers. These are the cleanest, prettiest looking sewers I’ve ever seen. Gordon does pull a clever trick to get some more information from the next wounded monk they end up with.
At Galavan’s apartment penthouse, Tabitha has returned and is poking around in the fireplace, looking for something or other. Maybe she was trying to find the monk’s habit Gordon already took. At any rate, Alfred shows up looking for Bruce. They have a nasty fight with assorted weapons which ends with neither of them doing well.
The hearing they’ve been referring to all episode goes horribly badly on many levels. Mayor James changes his testimony, now naming Penguin as his kidnapper. Galavan gets all smug as he’s released, and Gordon punches him. Gordon is hustled from the courtroom and then promptly tazed and kidnapped. That seems to be going around, random kidnappings in Gotham. He ends up being brought somewhere by Galavan, who gives him a chance to fight. Galavan takes Gordon apart, fighting like a martial arts master, which also fits with the Dumas/Azreal angle. Gordon is left to be tortured when yet another unexpected event happens.
Bruce and Selena eventually get back to Gotham Manor. They’re both congratulating themselves on their handling of the abduction/Silver St. Cloud mess. Bruce and Selena share a moment that definitely foreshadows the Batman/Catwoman dynamic to come in the future. Selena leaves, and Bruce later has a much less welcome visitor, ending the episode with both Bruce and Gordon in a fair amount of trouble.
What I liked: Bruce impressed me for one of the first times this series, and it was a nicely done scene. Lee is trying really hard to help Jim, and her concern is obvious, but it’s also in reasonable limits. The Penguin/Nygma scenes are really entertaining. The St. Dumas name is a nice call back to other bits of Bat-history.
What I didn’t: Gordon is just going off the rails. I get what’s happening, but he’s getting increasingly hard to like. I think Lee and Bullock, maybe with Barnes, need to have an intervention.