Movies & TV / Reviews

Gotham 3.21 & 3.22 Review – “Destiny Calling/Heavydirtysoul”

June 5, 2017 | Posted by Wednesday Lee Friday
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Gotham 3.21 & 3.22 Review – “Destiny Calling/Heavydirtysoul”  

As we went into this season finale, there was a lot going on. The Tetch virus was all over the city. Fish Mooney had taken Penguin to do Zod-knows-what with him, while the remaining underworld leaders scrambled for power. Bruce was furious with Alfred for killing his mentor (when we all thought Alfred was Bruce’s mentor), and Lucius Fox was desperately working on an antidote to the virus—that now has Lee and Jim acting their worst. As always, expect spoilers for Gotham: Heroes Rise: Destiny Calling and Heavydirtysoul to follow.
The rage virus, while not bringing about British zombies, is causing old ladies to rob banks and trains to spontaneously combust. So that’s not good. Jim is fighting the Tetch virus, but he’s also been hit with an accelerated version of it, so the slow burn we got with Captain Barnes is no longer a thing. The antidote is a way off, and Jim is more concerned with injecting Lee than himself.

As the season ends, it’s more clear why Lee injected herself with the virus. It wasn’t as simple as guilt, shame, or regret. Lee struggled and suffered and did her best, and still lost everything. Jim, her child, her husband, her faith in the GCPD. As Jim demonstrates, fighting the darkness is hard. Giving in to the anger, pleasure, base-instincts? That’s easy, and probably fun. Lee took the virus so her life would be easier and her morality could stop getting in the way of the things she wants. She wanted Jim. In some ways, it’s a shame that it didn’t work out. You know who they need for an antidote—Huge Strange, who is no longer in custody. Watch for Bullock to “blame it on the Butler.” Hilarious. Lee is waiting for Jim to give in to the virus, which he won’t.
Meanwhile, Bruce is in a GCPD cell. All season we’d been asking about why Alfred has been so large with the “my boy” and “Well, son” comments toward Bruce. Turns out, Gotham has been amping up that relationship because we need it now. Bruce got the things he most wanted from the Shaman (or as Ra’s called him, the Sensei), revenge for his parents’s murder, and surety of purpose. Most people want stuff like that—but it’s almost never that easy. Alfred does his best to impress upon Bruce what’s really important, but the boy is resisting.

Harv and Jim go after Strange, but Fish Mooney gets to him first. Ha! The rest of Gotham’s villains are fighting amongst themselves. Barbara seeks to take over everything, while Riddler’s only goal is to murder Oswald—who is now with Fish. Tabby and Butch have had it with Bar and her crap. I have to wonder if Ed is at all tempted by Barbara’s flirty nonsense. Seems too obvious for anyone to fall for, but men can be pretty stupid about such things. Viktor Fries and Ivy join a rotating pool of hired goons surrounding Fish and Penguin. We think Harv and Jim might get frozen at a point—but it’s just an ice wall. Watch for Jim to punch his way through it, probably making the wildlings on Game of Thrones pretty jealous. Fish and Strange et al escape. But it’s early. Speaking of escapes, Bruce also escapes GCPD custody after his emotional chat with Alfred…but not before we see that Alvarez is infected. Tough break, Alvarez!
You have to enjoy the sadism with which Penguin tortures Strange. Few people on Gotham so deserve a taste of their own medicine. One last shootout to Miss Peabody, who we now must admit is gone forever. Mooney’s vision of a city run by freaks sounds delightful to me. But we know if it happens, it’s always short-lived. Fish and her people finally have the antidote, when a fleet of Talons comes to take it. A fight ensues, and we’re as shocked as anybody to see Fish Mooney impaled on Jim’s sword—well, the one he was using anyway. Penguin’s anguish reminds us that Mooney’s desire to partner with him was genuine. Penguin and Fish’s feelings for each other are complex, but strong. Fish was a wonderful character, but it’s also safe to say she’s gone for good this time. Shame, that.

As the first half of the 2-part finale winds down, Bruce finally finds the demon’s head. He enters, and we see the Lazarus Pit in the form of a pretty green pool. Yup, it’s Ra’s al Ghul. He’s seeking an heir. Did we wait all season to see this dude for two scenes? Yeah, looks like it. But hey, it’s finally Ra’s al Ghul, so we ain’t complaining. For those of you who don’t know who this dude is, he’s trained DC characters from Batman to Green Arrow and in the New 52, has done even more. He also aligns himself with villains on occasion, so watch out for that. In Heavydirtysoul, Ra’s convinced Bruce to impale Alfred on his sword. Lot of impaling going on this week…this act is finally what makes Bruce remember who Alfred is to him. Lots of people think they have to “kill” (usually figurative) their childhood things in order to grow into adulthood. Is that what was going through Bruce’s mind here?
The new ep begins with Bruce using the Lazarus Pit to heal Alfred before taking him to hospital. Ra’s lets them go, telling Bruce he’ll see him again. Across town, Lee is leaving town and is waiting for Jim to join her. Anybody else think it’s weird that nobody in all of Gotham has a smartphone? Not even Bruce. Everyone has a friggin’ Nokia flip phone. Tetch is broken out of Arkham so his blood can be used to make more antidote. But everybody wants him, Bar and Riddler, Tabby and Bruce, and the GCPD. This leads to a long, suspenseful scene with chases and fighting and gunfire. Plus I think Jim might have cut out Tetch’s tongue at one point just to get a pint of blood to drop out of him. Eeeew. He’s clearly losing control of himself.

The fight for Tetch ends with Penguin clubbing Riddler and loading him into Jim’s ride to make his escape. Bruce may have made a sizeable mistake in taking Alfred to the hospital. Sure, they’re family and he wanted to save him. But Bruce showed an actual doctor what the Lazarus Pit can do. I gotta think that’s not good, and that any docs snooping around this kind of ancient magic will not be welcome.
Penguin and Riddler exchanging jabs generally needling each other is fantastic. They’re not wrong. Riddler’s ego is enormous, while Ed does act like a petulant child when he doesn’t get his way. In this latest contest of who-can-get-the-upper-hand, Riddler appears to win. But no…Penguin is far better at knowing people and planning ahead. Whereas Riddler has some low-key obsessive-compulsive tendencies, like having to finish things once he starts them. You know, like when Eric Cartman hears “Come Sail Away” by Styx.

Penguin and Riddler find themselves on the same docks they ended during the midseason finale. We’re suspicious when Penguin decides to “wait” on his last words. Duh, Oswald unloaded the gun. He also called Ivy and Fries. Ivy seems a little more serious these days. Should be fun to see how that plays out. Oswald and Ed have such amazing chemistry, it’s really a shame that they aren’t a couple. I’d watch these two play chess for 12 straight hours if they made a show about it. Penguin explains to his old friend that he was “the one time I let love weaken me.” So rather than killing Ed, Oswald let Fries freeze him up good. You’ll notice that Bruce has almost the same conversation with Selina that Cobblepot is about to have with Nygma—the whole “I thought I knew you, you don’t know yourself, who are you without me” talk.
Tabby and Barbara’s final confrontation didn’t end as I expected it too. Sure, Tabby would want to kill Bar if she knew Bar killed Butch. But could she really win? Yes! From the looks of it, Barbara is dead of electrocution and Tabby has no one left. Barb, you were a terrible girlfriend, a lousy daughter, a horrible business partner—and an exceptional villain. We’ll miss you, Bar.

As the season winds down, Bruce implores Alfred to tell him who he’s supposed to be. Alfred explains that he needs to find his own path. Alfred’s path was to protect the Wayne’s, and Bruce. Once Bruce finds something he can protect, he’ll know his true path too. Now we know why the show isn’t called Gordon, or Rogue Babies, or I Can’t Believe it’s Not Batman. It’s called Gotham, because Gotham is literally what makes Batman tick.
But Gotham is not over yet. Selina seeks out Barbara at Siren’s Club, and finds Tabby instead. Tabby is also looking for a new pal (anybody else wonder what happened to Silver?), so she and Selina hang out. Finally, we see that Tabby’s whole purpose on the show is to give Selina Kyle her whip—with which Selina is clearly a natural. Penguin, back in his family home, plans his new club with its centerpiece attraction. They’re taking their sweet time showing it to us, but finally they do. It’ll be a great art piece for The Iceberg Lounge.

The end of the season is framed with Lee’s goodbye letter to Jim. Gotham makes people crazy, either animal or victim, where everyone ends up alone. It’s sad, but there’s one last GIANT revelation to be had. The late Butch Gilzean? That’s not his real name. Turn back now if you don’t want to know…that Butch’s real name is Cyrus Gold. Kids, that means that all along—Butch has been Solomon Grundy waiting to happen. OMG!!!
Harvey will remain Captain for the time being. Tetch is back in Arkham. Jim is more than ready to stop fighting cults, viruses, and people in crazy costumes. Yeah, good luck with that. Finally, we see a small family getting robbed—not unlike a certain opening scene in a certain Tim Burton movie. The patriarch is about to be shot when a slight figure pummels the robber. We know immediately who it is, but they still make a big to-do about showing us a long, comically-framed reveal. Nice! If you somehow didn’t know that Bruce Wayne was on his way to being Batman, that would have been amazing…almost as amazing as Lee and Jim getting back together, which they will.

There were rumors that we’d see Harley Quinn in the season finale. Unless it turns out to be Tabby, I’m pretty sure we didn’t.
If you’ve been reading all season, you already know that I’m way impressed with everything Gotham has given us. In some ways, the further they stray from the comic canon (while giving or hinting at the stuff we really want), the better it is. As for me, I’m taking some time off to finish my screenplay (which sounds more pretentious than it is, I promise) and will be back to 411Mania in the fall.
See you’s then!

The final score: review Virtually Perfect
The 411
One of the things Gotham is best at is staying unpredictable. Sometimes, they do this by taking beloved characters and drastically changing the arcs we know. Other times, it's as easy as plain old plot or character reversals. This week's 2-part season finale combined all of these in ways that were shocking, thrilling, and utterly insane. Penguin and Riddler sparred, Alfred got emotional, and we finally met the guy we'd been waiting all season for. Thanks for another great season, Gotham.