In Review: Gotham, Episode 27 “Scarification”

I can't rave too much because it's the first of a two-parter, but I'm liking what I'm seeing.

Gotham, Episode 27 “Scarification” Broadcast on October 19, 2015

Written by Jordan Harper

Directed by Bill Eagles

“Previously on Gotham“, Nathaniel Barnes introduces himself to the GCPD, the GCPD Strike Force is created, Barnes has decided to take down the Penguin, Cobblepot is being blackmailed to help the Galavans because they have his mother, and Theo has Penguin stage a fake hit on him so he can announce his candidacy for mayor. In the present, the Penguin has delivered a trunk to the Galavans. He’d like his mother back, but “The answer is no, old friend. No go.” With their “tool” gone, Theo asks Tabitha to keep herself in check since he’s running for mayor. She unlocks the trunk and reveals Sid Bunderslaw, who Theo demands tell them every dirty secret he knows about Wayne Industries. However, they need to borrow something of his first. Tabitha pulls out a knife and Bunderslaw’s screams carry over into the opening title sequence.

At one of the Penguin’s counting houses, Gordon, Bullock, Barnes, and the Strike Force sneak in an shut it down. Barnes wants to know where one of the criminals got a specific weapon. Gordon tells him there’s a supplier known as the Merc that sells to the highest bidder; he’s never been brought down because he’s bought off half the city council. At Penguin’s, the “King of Gotham” is fuming over what to do to Theo to get his mother back. His anger increases when he’s notified of the counting house’s fall. As Oswald shows his displeasure to the messenger, his smiles at the idea that’s come into his head. Cue first commercial break.

There’s a lot of blood in this episode. I’m going to grandpa on this episode and say that it didn’t need to be shown: off camera violence is always more violent in the viewer’s mind, and this episode should have followed that mantra. It was neat to see one character acting normal on a double date, Gordon again allying himself with the wrong person, Bullock adding some nice comedy relief, Butch getting to do something, an important weapon, an important flashback, Michelle Veintimilla’s excellent character (who was perfect!), Mary Joe’s cool character, and the individual who appears in the final scene. Three new characters that I hope will last for the entire season.

The good: Robin Lord Taylor (who’s so disarming in this episode!), Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Drew Powell, Michelle Veintimilla, Mary Joe, one surprising death at a chain link fence, any scene with the Penguin or Bridget suited up.

Fun lines: “Welcome to Gotham, captain,” “Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Great,” “We could really help each other,” “Your face will open doors, babe,” “Be strong,” “What the hell you packin’?”, “There’s a lid for every pot,” “She knows things,” “Am I going mad?”, and “How do we sell it?”

The bad: The violence was too much. It didn’t make me squeamish, but it seemed purposely inserted to make this comic material more adult. The recording being blasted inside the Merc’s warehouse was too silly — took a cool idea into camp.

The final line: I can’t rave too much about this episode as it’s incomplete, the first of two parts. Still, I’m liking what I’m seeing. I might retroactively change this week’s grade if next week’s is as good. 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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