Gotham, Season 1 Episode 19 Review: “Beasts of Prey”

(Beware, spoilers below – scroll down to skip the recap!)

After a short Spring hiatus Gotham is finally back, so let’s get stuck back into the action! We start off as Fish looks out from her new place in the Dr Dollmacher’s hospital. She’s made some friends with the patients but right now she’s wandering about in order to attempt escape with the hospital. Outside she runs into the man in charge of capturing the folks attempting to escape. He tells her if she tries it again it’ll be her last.

In Wayne Manor Bruce is hosting Jim for lunch, who knows the duo lied about knowing who did it. He thinks it’s because Alfred wants to go after the culprit himself and he tells Bruce to stay out of it. Back in the GCPD a policeman comes to see him about a case – the Fairchild case – that wasn’t closed a while back. Jim asks what his angle is and young policeman says that he wants to try and help clean up Gotham with Jim; bringing him this case helps him do that. After work Jim goes to Leslie and it turns out the murder happened in her old neighbourhood, so she gives him a couple of hints.

Back at Dr Dollmacher’s Fish goes back underground to tend to her old friend Kelly. She tells him she needs his help because she’s wants to get off the island or die trying. Meanwhile Alfred is back on his feet, and tells Bruce that he’s going to look for Reggie. Bruce tells him that he can’t do it and Bruce suggests that he comes too, but before he can object Alfred staggers: his wound is bleeding.

In the city Oswald is trying to buy a bar but the lady isn’t having it. She tells him that if he can make her granddaughter leave the guitar playing lothario who’s seduced her she’ll consider his offer. In the GCPD Jim and Harvey talk out the case and Jim is finding it hard to get the latter to come along with him. Jim admits that he wants to show people that things are going to change but Harvey says trying to fly too close to the sun will get him burned.

Underground Fish discusses her breakout plan with the other inmates. She intends to get six of them out on a boat. Jim goes with Harvey to question a bartender who saw the girl that disappeared. She says the girl was on a date with a good looking guy. We flashback to the girl on the date with said guy, who admits that his relationships never work out because he’s looking for unconditional love and he thinks that scares people off. He takes her back to his place and we see in a cupboard there are handcuffs and chains behind the door.

Back in the present we see Bruce investigating whilst Alfred recuperates. The goes to a gun shop as Oswald passes by. The latter has managed to capture the guitarist, who insists he isn’t going to leave the lady’s granddaughter. In response, Oswald cuts off his fingers. Leslie tells Jim and Harvey that the Fairchild autopsy is peculiar because her body is pretty pristine, with no other trauma markings to suggest it was an abduction. However, Jim’s still sure she was abducted.

We flashback to the past again as Grace wakes up in the guy’s apartment. He wants to go with her to an exhibit but she tells him she has to go to work since she’s already late. The guy, Jason, is unhappy that she needs to go and he grabs onto her arm, telling her no. In Dr Dollmachers, Fish is snooping around in the doctors office in order to find the keys to the boat. However, the Doctor pops in to see her but her excuse doesn’t add up. He tells her that he’s sussed that she’s trying to escape and pulls a gun on her. She lies to him that she’s been having nightmares about the man that was stitched together in bits and pieces and she wanted to take her life as opposed to end up like that. He tells her that if she pulls one again he’ll bring her back from the dead in order to stitch her up.

In Gotham Selina meets Bruce because he wants her help to find Reggie. Ed manages to turn up a piece of evidence which shocks Harvey, who realises that it’s the work of a serial killer. Back in the past the girl sits having a fancy dinner with Jason. She’s cuffed to the table. When he’s unhappy with the food she cooked he tells her that it’s not working out. He chains her up and moves to kill her.

Oswald is happy because he’s finally got the bar he wanted. His henchmen asks what he wanted the bar so much for, and he says it’s because it’s where he’ll kill Don Moroni. On the Dollmacher’s island the escape plan is put on place. Fish runs back to get Kelly as the muscle starts to put her plan in place. The Dollmacher shows up knowing that Fish has escaped but she releases some of her friends and they beat the Doctor up. It turns out the Fish set up the muscle in order to get at the helicopter; she manages to get it in the air but she gets shot.

In the GCPD Harvey tells Jim more about ‘The Ogre’, who kills the family of anyone who investigates. He also tells him at only a handful of senior guys know about The Ogre, which makes the fact Jim was given the case very suspicious. In a shooting range Selina and Bruce find Reggie but he won’t tell them who hired him until Selina threatens to drop away his medicine. Reggie gives him two names who wanted to know how much Bruce’s investigation had gone. Selina drops his medicine bag out of the window and Reggie threatens to tell the person who hired them. He reaches out of the window to try and get at his bag. Bruce is tempted to push him out of the window but Selina knows he can’t do it and does it for him.

Harvey manages to find out that the Commissioner put the young cop up to it. However Jim refuses to let the case go and when the Commissioner comes in the latter tells him that once he’s put The Ogre behind bars he’ll go after the Commissioner.

This was one long episode of fleshing out the situation without too much being resolved. The most revealing moments were in the Bruce/Selina team up. Her ability to kill where Bruce wasn’t shows yet another facet of their differences in character. To be fair to the show, we’re winding up to the season finale and given that the extremely creepy Ogre will to have a multi-episode arc suggests that Jim will have some pretty high stakes on his hands by the end of the season. Jada Pinkett Smith is great in the material she has to work with but unfortunately for her just not enough is set up around her to make us care much about what happens. Characters we like – hell, even Oswald – have more to play for than her need to get back to a Gotham that seems to have forgotten she was even there. However an interesting point was Fish’s care for her friend Kelly. She’s happy to do what needs to be done but still has a heart. Gotham has thrived on a being a dark show that’s still fun in its characterisations and that’s what keeps the episode afloat even if it isn’t the best of them

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