MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
Again Gotham reaches for greatness and yet again it’s seemingly perpetual flaws keep dragging it back down to the depths of good but flawed.
‘Goat’ delves into the past of one of the series outstanding characters Harvey Bullock played by Donal Logue. Told in flashback, a younger, idealistic Bullock and his older partner are staking out a house where the dreaded ‘Spirit of the Goat’ serial killer has claimed his latest victim. During Bullock’s heroic attempt to save the victim his partner is wounded and Bullock himself takes the life of the killer. Flashing forward to present day Bullock is presented with the murder of Amanda Hastings whose killer’s M.O matches the dead serial killer almost exactly. In fact the new killer is so identical to the previous in his methods that he copies elements from the original killers rituals that were never disclosed to the public. The story and its final reveal is really well played out and it’s genuinely interesting and a nice take of the serial killer motif.
The strength of ‘Goat’ is that it’s a Bullock-centric episode that presents us with a different perspective on the cynical, corrupt Detective. We get glimpses of the type of ‘White Knight’ cop he used to be vs the man he is now, and he is shown to be softer and more compassionate than he has before. As always Logue gives Bullock substance and it’s great to have an episode to flesh him out but as good as this is the episodes flaws scupper the potential.
Erin Richards’ Barbara is the weakest link in the Gotham cast. Her performance is so bland and lacking in energy that whenever she’s on screen. There is absolutely no chemistry between her and McKenzie and whenever they share a scene together the show devolves into bad soap opera dramatics. It’s a big issue for me as Gordon’s relationship with Barbara is a big part of the Bat Family mythos and the miscasting of Richards’ is going to continue to hurt that aspect of the series future. Her scenes with Montoya which could be very compelling fall flat because of her performance.
The other re appearing problem is the young Bruce Wayne scenes. As an audience we know that Bruce will one day become Batman so the writers should hold back on the obvious foreshadowing. It feels forced and takes time away from the more interesting story being told. But a small scene of genuine emotion from Pertwee’s Alfred does help proceedings
As for future Batman villains we do get a welcome look into the character of Edward Nygma beyond his irritating habit of announcing himself with riddles. There are a few nice comedic touches to his character and we see him a little more fleshed out than before. While not being a main focus of the episode we see
Cobblepot reuniting with his Mother, his final revelation ends the episode on a high note.
Despite the episode suffering from the flaws that have plagued the show since the Pilot, ‘Goat’ is by itself an interesting entry to the series. The consistent quality of the performances and the production value keep this show afloat.
‘Spirit of the Goat’ is a fun, if flawed episode. 7.5/10