In Review: Gotham, Episode 22 “All Happy Families Are Alike”

There's a death, a possible death, a change in power, and the reveal of a famous location.

Gotham, Episode 22 “All Happy Families Are Alike” Broadcast May 4, 2015

SEASON FINALE

Written by Bruno Heller

Directed by Danny Cannon

“Previously on Gotham“, Barbara catches James sharing a passionate kiss with Dr. Thompkins, Miss Kringle inquires if Edward has seen her boyfriend and he says he hasn’t, the Ogre kills Barbara’s parents in front of her, Bullock kills the Ogre, Lucius Fox tells Bruce his father was a true stoic, “He kept his best self hidden,” Falcone tells Gordon he won’t let his city fall apart without a fight, and a shooting war has broken out between Falcone and Maroni’s gangs. Now, at Gotham Harbor, a small boat carries Fish Mooney in, with Selina watching her arrival. Fish tells her it’s about to be a brand new day. At Wayne Manor, Bruce smashes a photo of his father and scours its pieces. Alfred chimes in, “Still looking for secrets?” Alfred reassures his young master that his father had no secret life. This does nothing to dissuade the boy’s opinion. At a different location on the docks, Falcone arrives to inspect some livestock. A motorcycle pulls up and one rider produces a rocket launcher and fires at the don’s car, destroying it. Cue opening title sequence.

Police headquarters is bustling, and Gordon looks at the ever increasing number of goons put in the cages. He quickly leaves for Thompkins’s office, where she’s just finishing checking out Barbara. Physically, she’s fine, but Thompkins wants Kean to go to trauma counseling, but she doesn’t want it. Barbara says good-bye to James after thanking him for saving her life. The doctor continues to press for counseling, so Barbara says she wants the doctor to be her counselor. “I can talk to you.” Thompkins relents, while James looks uncomfortable at the prospect. Leaving the loves of his life, he encounters Bullock who tells him that someone hit Falcone; he’s in the hospital. Harvey reveals he’s heard all of Gotham’s bigwigs have switched their loyalties to Maroni. In the hospital, Falcone awakens, strapped to a gurney, alone and far from anyone. The Penguin arrives with flowers, while Butch bears a shotgun. “Penguin, thank god. Get me out of here,” Falcone demands. Oswald reveals he’s been playing the old man since they first met and he’s responsible for starting this gang war. He’s about to slit the old man’s throat when Gordon appears behind Butch with a pistol to the thug’s head. “Nobody move!” Frustrated, the Penguin says, “Walk away!” Jim replies, “Shut up. You’re both under arrest for attempted murder.” Cue first commercial break.

A decent season ending with some fantastic gang stuff, as well as a few disappointments. I enjoyed everything with Falcone, Maroni, Gordon, and Bullock. I tolerated Fish because I was looking forward to seeing her killed. I liked how Drew Powell got some good scenes, though they were short. John Dorman did a great job as the tired gangster who’s got nothing to lose. His final scene with James was great. David Zayas was spectacular, having Sal relish the moment of his triumph. Ben McKenzie was fantastic, torn between gangsters and the women he loves. Donal Logue was also excellent, as the dirty detective who is always being pressured to leave his comfort zone to help his partner. He had a great line at Jim’s apartment. I enjoyed Camren Bicondova, who had Selina do something unexpected, though what she does will change her relationships with others. David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee are fine, but the ending of the episode was ruined by last week’s preview. Robin Lord Taylor was spot on as the whiney two-faced wannabe King of Gotham, who would sell out his mother if he had to. Evil, pathetic, and a monster when given a momentary reprise. I’ve hated Fish Mooney since the series began, and what happens with her upset me, as did the Penguin’s final scene, as I expected the other person with him to do something physical. There’s a short scene with Edward Nygma and Miss Kringle that shows that he’s gone completely over the edge. The editing was a little much on this scene. However, Cory Michael Smith continued to shine. I was bored and unsurprised by Barbara and Leslie’s scenes. I felt like they were interrupting the more interesting story of the gang war. There’s a lot to like in this episode, though some stuff that wasn’t resolved which could have been, or was spoiled.

The good: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Robin Lord Taylor, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, John Dorman, Drew Powell, David Zayas, and a Peter Scolari (Hooray! Love him!) appearance, plus the squeak in the final shot.

Fun lines: “We ain’t children. And it ain’t morning,” “I know it,” “Se la vie,” “You first!”, “‘Winning side’, my ass!”, “He’s the best bad man we got,” “Wrong place. Wrong time. Go. Now,” “Hope. It’s for losers,” “Hello. What’s up?”, “Nothing good,” “This is delicious,” “I am relaxed,” “Spoken like a true Mafioso,” “Cat got your tongue?”, “Yes!”, “Fish! Where are you?”, “Told him that woman was trouble,” “He is so weird,” and “At one time.”

The bad: Bored by Barbara and Leslie, which had an unsurprising surprise, a moment with Barbara that made my thirteen year old say, “Here’s Johnny!”, Jada Pinkett Smith–no more of her, please, the over-the-top editing on Ed, and a spoiled finale.

The final line: There’s a death, a possible death, a change in power, and the reveal of a famous location. There’s a lot to like, and some parts that left me hanging, but there’s another season on the way, so hopefully some of my concerns will addressed then. Still, it was entertaining. Overall grade: B+  

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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