Gotham 2:21: A Legion of Horribles
Imagine if you could take the cheese of of the old Batman television series from and film it with modern day techniques and sensibilities. It would probably look like “A Legion of Horribles,” the latest episode o Gotham. This episode has it all, from the overall tilted angles of evil villain lairs to deathtraps that the heroes must escape, to clayfaces who will mimic the appearance of characters we love. A perfect ending for this episode would have been to have an announcer come in from out of nowhere and say “How will Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon get out of Arkham Asylum? Be sure to tune in next time, same Bat time same bat channel.” The thing is, it took two two seasons for Gotham to work it’s way to such glorious levels of cheese.
Through all that cheese, there are still moments of insight. Bruce is seen here learning more about his father and the kind of man he was from Hugo Strange and Lucius Fox, and the things that both of these men were telling him were a lot like the lessons Bruce learned over the course of the film Batman Begins, and, during these scenes, the soundtrack recalled the music from that great film. All this is happening as Hugo Strange tries to settle into his “mad scientist controlling the world” persona, but even he is being watched by what this viewer believes is the Court of Owls. I’m only a casual fan of the Batman comic books, but I don’t think I’m reaching here. The Court wants Strange to resurrect someone from the dead with their memories intact, and he may have done that in the person of Fish Mooney. Strange toyed with her DNA in the process, mixing it with the DNA of a coddle-fish, and now she may possess new abilities, but she also knows who she actually is.
This episode is just the wind up for a pitch that will be thrown and caught in the final episode of the season. It involves a an attempt by Bruce to rescue Selena from the Asylum with the help of Lucious Fox and Jim Gordon that quickly goes south. We know that the new acting captain of the GCPD, Harvey Bullock, is on his way with a strike team, but the last act of this episode is all about showing how there is “no escape” for our heroes: Gordon’s face is being reproduced by an early version of Clayface that Strange created: Luscious and Bruce are in a gas chamber with Ed Nygma (now helping Strange) is in control of, Fish Mooney is locked in a cell but is realizing she has abilities, all while Selena is dealing with Firefly (a woman who was once her friend) down below. Remember, same bat-time next week, Bullock will storm into the facility with his strike team, people will get shot, and things are going to go down. This episode isn’t so much a story as it is a means for the show to bide its time. That said, I liked it.
It was fun, fast moving, and tense. It wasn’t, however, all that interesting, though Bullock remains the one character who seems to really get how absurd this all is. It’s hard to judge this episode until we see what happens in the next episode.
My rating: 3.7/ 5