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Gotham Review: Bruce Wayne Learns Hard Truths in “This Ball of Mud and Meanness”

by on March 15, 2016
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While there were some interesting developments concerning both Penguin and Riddler, this episode for the most part was all about Bruce Wayne and his hunt for the man who killed his parents. Not even the hunt so much as what would he actually do when he found him and how that would shape him in the years to come. We already know he will eventually become the big bad Batman but as this episode showed us, there is a lot the young Bruce has to deal with before he ever wears that mask and cape.

It was enjoyable, in a fun not sadistic way, to watch Dr. Strange to continue his experiments on Penguin. There iGotham-ep214-female-joker-1s an obvious cat and mouse game going on here, what is Strange really up to and is Penguin really making progress or faking it, but either way the end result will have some lasting effects on Gotham. The scary thing is, the experiments going on in Arkham’s basement haven’t even been released yet so that is definitely something to look forward to.

Nygma also took some more positive steps towards a total breakdown and becoming the Riddler full time. This has definitely been one of the slower burning story lines but I’m hoping the payoff is worth it, especially since Nygma’s psychosis seems to be targeting Gordon as his personal enemy right off the bat.

Let’s get back to the young Bruce, though. After getting a gun from Selina, he sets out with Alfred to follow a lead to find the whereabouts of Matches Malone, the man who supposedly killed his parents. Alfred is conveniently sidelined in the process, leaving Bruce on his own to confront the man, gun in hand. The exchange between Bruce and Matches is wonderful, giving Bruce yet another glimpse into the mind of a crimi8da4ec8119fb44d5c4ce4bf1de4d8b8cnal which also helped him to realize he still has an awful lot to learn in that regard.

There has always been some confusion to whether Thomas and Martha Wayne were actually assassinated or just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gotham has invested too much time and effort on the assassination theory to abandon it now but thanks to Matches Malone, another theory has been presented to Bruce which might haunt him even more. This realization leads Bruce to make a decision that will surely see him embrace the criminal element in a way he has not yet experienced and help guide him along the way in terms of his transformation into Batman.
This was another solid effort this week for Gotham, making three in row since they’re return from the winter break. If this is any

indication of the direction they are going things are really looking good for the show. Now if only someone could take Gordon by the throat and shake some sense into him…nah, can’t see that happening. Still, a self-destructive Gordon is at least entertaining and it was fun to see the show make reference to that fact in this episode.

 

Four out of five stars

Positives

- Bruce Wayne takes another step towards the Bat

- Riddler and Penguin are getting ready to explode

- Hugo Strange is still creepy as hell

Negatives

- Still not enough Bullock for my liking

Editor Rating
 
Cast
90%

 
Sound
88%

 
Visual
91%

 
Writing
92%

Author Score
90%

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Another solid episode for Gotham since returning from the long winter break. The show is moving all it's pieces around to prepare for something huge and I for one, can't wait till the Arkham basement baddies are let loose on Gotham as well.

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