Warning: This review contains spoilers
In the second episode of Gotham’s sophomore season, we see yet another solid episode. We still have some issues with the tone and pacing, but it was a lot better than previous episodes. We start off with the Maniax, which is apparently what our team of psychopaths’ are calling themselves. They are on the roof of the Gotham Gazette, and are spray-painting the letters M-A-N-I-A-X-! on helpless reports as they throw them of the roof and onto the street. They want the people of Gotham to be in fear of them. They want to be in control of Gotham City. This is what makes the lack of the Penguin is this episode so jarring. As of now the Penguin is the one in control of Gotham City, and if anyone else tries to take control he’ll be there to stop it. Maybe this is a plot point they will visit a few episode’s down the line. This will create an interesting dynamic between the GCPD, Penguin’s gang and the Maniax.
Meanwhile Bruce is trying to use his father’s computer to try and find out more on what he was doing in this cave. Alfred does not believe Bruce should see what’s on this computer. He thinks whatever is on this computer is what got Bruce’s parents killed, so in an effort to save Bruce from suffering the same fate, Alfred smashes the computer! This obviously causes a rift between Bruce and Alfred. Bruce is so upset about is he tells Alfred to leave for good. What makes this scene so good is that you can see the concern in Alfred’s eyes. You always feel that he really cares for Bruce, even if he doesn’t know how to show it. Bruce finally realizes this and stops Alfred at the train station right before he takes off. Bruce tells Alfred that he wants him to train him. He wants to see what’s on this computer, but wants to be ready for what comes with knowing what may happen once he does. Alfred agrees and gets the help of Lucius Fox to help fix the damage to the computer.
The strained father son dynamic between Alfred and Bruce is an interesting side-story to what’s happening to Jim and the GCPD. They didn’t overuse Bruce like they have most episodes, which is an improvement. Having Bruce be a side story is better for the show as a whole. Keep the focus on Jim and the GCPD, while having Bruce and Alfred appear sparingly.
The GCPD still have not caught the Maniax’s yet, they don’t even have a single lead. Jim goes to talk to Bullock to try and get him to come back and help stop the Maniax’s. Here we find out that Harvey is engaged to Scottie (Maria Thayer). She does not want Harvey to go back to the police force, so Harvey declines Jim’s offer. Harvey does give Jim some helpful advice. The Maniax stole a fueling truck from a shipping yard. With the truck missing Jim was able to use the plate number to find where they were headed. It turns out that they are about to set a bus full of cheerleaders on fire! This is a great scene, as you see just how crazy these guys are. Spraying the kids with gasoline and taunting while doing it is sick. Jyrome is about to light them up until Jim and a few other cops come to the rescue. Jyrome is the leader of this team, and he has been pretty entertaining with his performance. He does get a bit to campy at times, but overall he was almost reminiscent of Mark Hamill’s Joker in Batman: The Animated Series.
The Maniax don’t stop at trying to blow up a bus full of kids. They also go and kill almost everyone in the GCPD! This is something I did not see coming. Killing most of the police and detective’s was a risky move, and they managed to pull it off. Seeing the fear in Jim’s eyes really sold this scene. Most of his friends and co-workers are dead, and with Commissioner Essen now dead who will lead the fight against the Maniax? This is what brings Harvey back into the fold. It’s now up to Jim and Harvey to take back Gotham City.
This episode had a Tim Burton feel to it, which is what this series thrives on. I’m really interested to see what happens now that Commissioner Essen is gone. Will Jim step up and become Commissioner? I hope not, as it seems way to early for that to happen. I’m sure Penguin will have some kind of say in the matter. Also where is Selina? She appeared briefly in the first episode, but hasn’t been seen since.
Overall I think is a step in the right direction. The Burton feel this episode had is a lot better than the Schumacher tone it had last season. Hopefully they will keep this style for the remainder of the series.
Gotham airs Monday nights at 8/7c on FOX.