‘Gotham’ 4×14 Review: ‘Reunion’

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“Reunion” is just what it says in the title: A reunion of the teams we’ve loved so much over the past four years. No matter how much is wrong in Gotham, all is right when Bruce & Alfred are back together at Wayne Manor, and when Jim Gordon & Harvey Bullock are back together at the GCPD.

Lord knows Gotham needs them now that Penguin & the Riddler are also reunited.

This episode also includes a couple of significant partings of the ways, and we’ll start there.

Selina & Ivy

These two had been friends and allies from almost the very beginning, when Ivy was an orphan and Selina an abandoned teen living on the streets. But Selina no longer recognizes this new, murderous version of her friend, and sets out to stop Ivy’s reign of terror – first by trying to talk her out of it, then by fighting it out.

The fight ends in a draw, but Selina scores a significant win by destroying the last of the Lazarus water Ivy’s been using to create her deadly plants.

There’s another significant win for Selina here: She may deny it, but in this episode she plays the hero, fighting for what’s right. She risks her life to stop Ivy’s killing spree, not only for the sake of the innocent victims but also for her friend’s sake.

We get to see the light in Selina that is such a perfect compliment to Bruce’s darkness.

Ed & Lee

For just a little bit, we also got to see some light in Ed Nygma. But we’ve always known it would not last for long. After spending so much of this season at Lee’s side, he leaves her at just the wrong time, unable to admit his love for her or to tell her how hard he’s struggled to keep his insane alter ego at bay.

Ed’s been losing ground against the Riddler for weeks now, and comes within inches of killing himself to finally end the struggle. He doesn’t go through with it, though, when Riddler convinces him to commit himself into Arkham Asylum instead.

Leading us to the next reunion….

 

Cory Michael Smith as Ed Nygma.

“Gotham” 4×14 “Reunion.” Source: FOX

Penguin & The Riddler

Poor Ed’s been played. Arkham is exactly where Riddler wanted to go all along, so he could be reunited with his old frenemy, the Penguin. Just the word “Riddler” uttered by Penguin is enough to bring the Riddler to the fore, completely burying Ed.

Maybe for good. 

And don’t forget… Jerome is still there at Arkham. Along with a host of other baddies.

Lee & Jim

Remember I mentioned Ed left Lee at just the wrong time? The newest Queen of the Narrows has been having some problems with her sister-in-law, who wants a huge tribute from the people there.

Actually, Sofia Falcone is not all that interested in taking 30 percent of all income from the Narrows. What she really wants is Jim Gordon, and she thinks hurting Lee is the best way to get to him.

And she does hurt Lee, literally, taking a hammer to Lee’s hand in a rather graphic sequence that once again proves Gotham does better when it implies the violence rather than showing it outright.

When Jim finds out Lee is injured, he knows who is to blame, and vows to take Sofia down.

Jim & Harvey

But this isn’t something Jim can do alone. He needs his partner back, away from the bar and back at GCPD.

Away from the bar isn’t too much of a problem. Ivy turned it into a murder scene at the start of the show. She’d been hunting for Harvey – the man who killed her father – but settled for everyone else in the bar instead. It’s not a place Harvey wants to return to.

Really coming back to GCPD is another matter. Harvey’s got a lot of bottled-up anger to deal with, and Ivy’s herbal influencer helps unleash some of it. Harvey’s resentful over losing his job to Jim – but eventually he admits he’s even more resentful at himself. “I spent too long putting this all on you,” he tells Jim. “Fact is, I only got myself to blame.”

Well, not entirely, Harvey. Jim Gordon is not exactly a white knight, and he admits that as well, telling Harvey he knew Sofia had hired the Pyg, but had covered it up.

These confessions are all I’ve wanted to see from these two men. They are stronger together. The GCPD is stronger when they are together. Harvey doesn’t actually answer Jim’s request for him to take back his badge – but it sure feels like he will.

Sean Pertwee as Alfred.

“Gotham” 4×14 “Reunion.” Source: FOX

Bruce & Alfred

And that brings us to the final reunion, the one we knew was coming – after all, we have more than 75 years of comic book history telling us it would happen – but we didn’t quite know how.

After his Ivy-induced vision quest, Bruce is ready to apologize to Alfred and ask him to come home. But that’s not enough for Alfred. He wants Bruce to take the next step – recognize the darkness that exists inside himself alongside the light. And it’s not just enough for Bruce to say it; he has to show it.

That’s a tall and bewildering order for Bruce. How do you prove something like that?

Well, as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Bruce gets the opportunity to say quite a bit about Alfred at a Wayne Foundation gala, but his actions after Ivy invades the gala mean more to Alfred than the most flowery, complimentary speech ever could. Bruce saves Alfred’s life and helps fight against Ivy’s minions, saving many other lives. “This is who you are,” Alfred tells Bruce.

Well, almost. It’s still going to be a bit before we see the full Batman costume, especially since Bruce burned the mask for the proto-Batsuit.

I’m not quite sure I understand how fighting the bad guys proves that Bruce has accepted the darkness, but it seems to have shown Alfred what he needed to see. He’s home, and it’s about time.

Random notes

  • Missing from this episode: Butch/Grundy and the other Sirens, Barbara and Tabitha. But there was so much going on I didn’t have a chance to really miss them.
  • But I do miss Victor Szasz. Even if he has sworn allegiance to Sofia now.
  • One of the best exchanges of the episode comes early on between Sofia and Lee, after Sofia has demanded a huge tribute from the people of the Narrows. “I thought it was all about family,” Lee tells her sister-in-law, who replies, “I never said it was a happy family.
  • Best line of the episode goes to Ed, explaining to Lee that Jim had an affair with Sofia: “Your ex has been sleeping with your dead mafioso husband’s sister.”
  • Loved seeing Selina serve up a bit of truth tea to Bruce, telling him to just apologize to Alfred already. I have adored these two together since the beginning of the series.
  • Also enjoyed Ed’s recruitment of the best spies in the Narrows. I knew even before they showed the spies that they would be children, but the promised payment was a hoot: A complete set of encyclopedias (minus Volume T)…. and $20. You know how to hook ‘em, Ed!

Gotham airs Thursdays at 8/7 Central on FOX.


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