Whatever issues you might have with The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Bane is probably one of the most divisive. Either you loved it or you hated it. Nolan’s take on the villain deviated so much from the comics, it was a wonder why he even chose to go with Bane in the first place. Another strike against Nolan’s Bane is that you could also argue that the character was racebent from the way he’s depicted in the comics. Or not. Personally, I rather enjoyed Hardy’s completely wacky and out there interpretation of the character. Not only are his mannerisms and fuddy-duddy English accent so utterly imitable, but he made a character that is admittedly boring on page really compelling on screen.

The reason that I just spent 100+ words talking about Bane in The Dark Knight Rises is because last night’s episode of Gotham used the opportunity to introduce Venom, the drug responsible for Bane’s abilities in the comic. And the whole time, all I could think about was Tom Hardy in his ridiculous face mask.

Anyway, I will admit that the most recent episode of Gotham was probably its most well put together. That said, I still didn’t really like it. And to be honest, it really isn’t even worth me repeating myself every week. The show has an identity crisis, and until it can figure out what it wants to be, I don’t think I’ll ever like it. The problem is that this identity crisis is baked into the show’s premise. The only thing it could improve upon (without rebooting the whole damn thing) would be to tone down the flamboyant acting and cut down the cast by 20 or 30 characters.

Like, for example, why was Selina even in this episode?

The lone bright spot was seeing the development of Bruce’s relationship with Alfred. I’m still not sure I’m down with Sean Pertwee‘s gruff take on the Waynes’ loyal manservant, but the scenes between the two actors — particularly the one in which Alfred silently acknowledges Bruce’s need to investigate the corruption within Wayne Enterprises — were highlights.

I’m also pretty impressed with David Mazouz’s intense portrayal of Lil Bruce Wayne. While I’m still not a fan of including Baby Bruce on the show, I have to admit he’s often one of the better actors in the ensemble. Maybe because he isn’t asked to play it over the top. Something the other actors need to be reminded of most of the time.

Still, for most of the 44 minutes the show is on, the ridiculous far outweighs everything else. I’m surprised my eyeballs are still attached for all of the rolling they were doing throughout the episode. Some of the more roll-worthy bits were summed up by Alice as she live-tweeted last night:

The old British professor with the walker hopped up on Venom and fighting Bullock was easily the best stupid moment in the whole show so far. Part of me was secretly hoping that they were gonna reveal the old guy was going to be Hardy’s Bane from Dark Knight Rises, which would have explained Bane’s ridiculous accent in the movie.

The last scene between Carmine Falcone and Fish Mooney’s newly hired femme fatale was also pretty terrible. Never mind that Gotham’s most feared mob boss likes hanging out in Brooklyn feeding pigeons, but that he’d be so easily swayed by a pretty girl humming an aria on Peter Quill’s Walkman. Also, what’s up with John Doman’s line delivery on this show? He’s so much more menacing on Person of Interest and even The Wire. But here? I just don’t see it. Maybe’s Gotham’s interpretation of Falcone is more grandpa than asshole. But Doman plays asshole so well!

Maybe they should let him say “Fuckin’ McNulty” once or twice. Then maybe I can see it.
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2 thoughts on “When Gotham is Ashes, You Have My Permission to Die

  1. I’m with you on this episode. Even though I still really dislike the fact that Bruce has so much screentime and is acting way too much like mini detective Batman, I did like the moment you pointed out. I also disliked Penguin and Marconi’s turn. I didn’t think we needed to see him be a thuggish mob boss just yet.

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  2. Alfred is actually one of the few characters on the show who doesn’t make me wince. I’m still in “watch it to make fun of it” mode, and I genuinely like the Penguin, but I don’t know how much longer I’ll stay with it.

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