Gotham, Season 1 Episode 20 Review: “Under the Knife”

(Beware, spoilers below!)

This week on Gotham we’re thrust into the action as Bruce wonders all along on the street and Selina defends him against a city punk. He’s horrified about Reggie’s death but Selina justifies what she did. Bruce still wants to go after the man who hired Reggie and she agrees to help steal the key to the man’s safe.

In the GCPD Gordon hurries in on Ed puncturing some watermelons in order to find out where Lee is. She’s at home, where she can hear the sound of someone breaking in. Turns out it’s only a cat – and Jim shows up to tell her the whole story. He tells her that she needs to get out of Gotham tonight, but she refuses. She says if he wants to protect her, he can find The Ogre.

Speaking of The Ogre, he introduces himself to another pretty girl in a bar: Barbara. She takes him home where she commiserates about her character and lack of loved ones before she tells him to let himself out. In The Penguin’s club he just about manages to hire some gun and knifemen to kill Don Moroni. Jim and Harvey question the first detective who dropped the investigation for some information. Whilst the two follow the lead, little do they know that The Ogre is outside taking photos of them.

Ed finds Miss Kringle with bruises on her, but she tells him that it is none of his concern. At Wayne Manor Bruce struggles with Reggie’s death by talking to Alfred. He agrees to go to the Wayne Enterprises Ball and admits that he has invited Selina to come with him. Jim and Harvey have a little trouble investigating their leads when they notice The Ogre’s car. He almost runs the duo over and in the precinct the killer calls Jim to give him his one and only warning to leave him alone. Jim holds a press conference to declare his intentions and warns that he will not stop.

In Barbara’s flat Selina gets her delivery of finery, much to Barbara’s surprise. Oswald gets a more unpleasant one of his own when Maroni shows up – and is sitting with Oswald’s mother. Jim and Harvey show up in in home of one of Gotham’s oldest families – only for the woman to be revealed as a rotting old corpse. Harvey figures out that the butler’s son is probably the killer and they try to question the old man. At the charity ball Bruce and Selina still argue about what happened the night before. He tells her there’s a line he can’t cross but Selina tells him she’d do it all again.

At the precinct Ed confronts Miss Kringle’s boyfriend about the bruises he gave her. He threatens the police officer but his threats are currently empty. The Ogre shows up at the ball, surprising Barbara. His father talks about his son’s ‘mommy complex’ but when they see the picture of his old face Jim realises that he probably had his face changed and operated on. In Penguin’s club Moroni begins to accost Oswald’s mother about the deeds he’s done and  Penguin tells him that he will pay for it.

At Miss Kringle’s Ed watches her come home from his car as The Ogre woos Barbara with words. Bruce and Selina manage to get an imprint of Bunderslaw’s key but she gets shocked when she sees the latter off with The Ogre. Ed confront’s Miss Kringle’s boyfriend and ends up stabbing him over and over. In the Cobblepot’s home Oswald has a heartbreaking conversation with his mother about the things he may or may not have done. At the GCPD Jim figures out that she’s the next target but he shows up too late. In The Ogre’s flat he reveals his room of weapons and torture devices to Barbara…

This week’s episode manages to hype both the season finale whilst also upping the ante for almost all our characters. With Fish’s absence the episode ran smoother, which paved the way for Ed to quietly steal the show. Up until now his interactions with Miss Kringle have seemed like nothing more than a means to keep him on our screens, but at least we were rewarded this episode with the storyline going somewhere. It gives us hope for how he may be given more screentime next season. Barbara has thus far been not a loved character at all, and for those who really hate her her entrapment into The Ogre’s web is not going to elicit much sympathy. However there was still plenty to care about in the episode, as we finally saw the division of the future Batman and Catwoman. Camren Bicondova did a great job of showing flashes of the future anti-heroine; both these kids are in different stages of who they’re deciding to become. Bruce is still struggling with himself whilst Selina has had more experience and is thus more assured. The Maroni/Oswald clash has been teased for so long that it was easy to forget it existed, but the episode did the story good service by bringing Oswald’s mother into the fray. Up until now it’s been mainly a battle of territory and power, but now it’s more personal. All in all, this episode of Gotham kept the cogs nicely oiled until the season finale.

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