After last week’s Gotham episode culminating in the death of Jerome (Cameron Monaghan), I didn’t know where things would go next. However, after watching Monday night’s new show, I can definitively confirm that Gotham isn’t slowing down; it’s speeding up. This week, Michael Chiklis (The Sheild, Fantastic 4), joined the cast as the new police captain Nathaniel Barnes, an army vet who might be even more squeaky clean than Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie). Barnes is putting together a strike force (hence the episode title) made up of uncorrupted police cadets with Detective Gordon at its head.
Meanwhile, Gotham City’s new big player Theodore Galavant (James Frain) continues to manipulate young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) by introducing him to his lovely young niece Silver St. Cloud (Natalie Alyn Lind), a character that Batman comic book fans will recognize as one of Bruce Wayne’s many lost loves. While coercing Bruce, Theo terrorizes Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) by kidnapping his mother and forcing him to become his own personal assassin, hurting Penguin’s pride as ‘King of Gotham.’ The show did a fantastic job of defining Penguin’s relationship with his mother in the first season, and so Gotham and comic book fans alike know that if you mess with Penguin’s mother, you have just considerably reduced your expected lifespan.
Personally, I am most fascinated with Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee). It looks to me like he is becoming more Batman-like in his promise to train Bruce. He is taking fewer chances and being a lot more aggressive toward anyone he thinks might hurt Bruce, including Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova). This is evidenced when she climbs the wall surrounding Wayne Manor and Alfred slaps her across the face hard and tells her to “jog on.” A scene that made me laugh was when Alfred seems to have arrived at school to pick up little Bruce but instead hands him gym clothes and tells him the distance from school to Wayne Manor. Bruce exclaims, “Do you expect me to walk?” Alfred replied, “No, Master Bruce. I expect you to run.” The writers of Gotham are throwing in James Bond references and showing off their fantastic geek credentials in this episode.