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Gotham - A Day in the Narrows - Review

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“Gotham” spent “A Day in the Narrows” building the tension between Gordon and Bullock, having Bruce break bad, and solidifying the Barbara/Tabitha/Selina sisterhood.

After a gruesome delivery to the precinct, it’s clear that Professor Pyg is stepping up his game against the GCPD. Already at odds over Bullock taking bribes from Penguin, the animosity between him and Gordon is only heighted when Oswald inserts himself into the situation and insists that his own men be made part of the search for Pyg, including Headhunter (Kyle Vincent Terry, “SMILF”), a broadly cartoonish security consultant subbing for Zsasz (who, hilariously, is “off visiting his bubbie”). Gordon tries to argue that the GCPD doesn’t work for or with Penguin (...except for all the times he did just that, I guess), but he’s overruled by Harvey. This “task force” is immediately put to the test when three police officers go missing in the Narrows, one of Gotham’s worst neighborhoods (which was introduced into the Batman mythology in “Batman Begins,” but, given Bullock’s expositional speech, I don’t believe has been explored on the show), and Gordon spends this section of the episode somewhat justifiably, somewhat hypocritically questioning the methods of both the cops and the criminals as they search.

Of the three cops, one is dead, the second injured, and the third’s still missing. Gordon accompanies the wounded Officer Fisoli in the ambulance and there’s a good scene where Gordon finally acknowledges his hypocrisy and uses it to bond with him. It gets Fisoli to cough up a clue that leads Gordon to an abandoned courthouse in the Narrows, followed quickly by Bullock and Penguin’s men. But it turns out that Fisoli was actually Pyg in disguise and he was using Gordon to bait a trap. Gordon tries to warn everyone off, but Bullock – prodded on by Oswald and his very tall hair – refuses to listen. The resulting raid, of course, goes badly and Gordon has to step in and single-handedly save the day. As Pyg probably wanted, this shakes things up for all the players – Gordon is lauded as a hero by his fellow officers, Penguin’s power is publically undercut (he angrily murders Headhunter as a result), and a sullen Bullock hits the booze. It made for an okay step forward in the professor’s story arc, but I’m more interested to see what Pyg has planned next.

Meanwhile, after sitting out last week, we rejoin Bruce suffering through a charity function at Wayne Manor. It’s clear to us, and to Alfred, that his anger about what happened with Ra’s al Ghul is eating him up. Surprisingly, relief from that anguish comes from an unexpected source. He’s approached by an old classmate named Grace (who’s not, as far as I can tell, based on any Batman character; it would have been fun if they had named her after one of Bruce’s many paramours in the comics, like Julie Madison maybe, but oh well), who invites him to ditch the shindig for something more age-appropriate. They go to hang out with some other kids their age, one of whom is a recast Tommy Elliot (now played by Gordon Winarick, “Madam Secretary”), who recalls Bruce punching him the last time they saw each other. But it’s another guy in the clique named Brant who’s rude to Bruce so later, when a club Brant’s taken them to refuses to let them in, Bruce takes the opportunity to humiliate him by buying the club and barring him from entering. The buzz of the alcohol, the beat of the music, and the kisses of a smitten girl seem to drown out Bruce’s pain so, as he tells Grace, he decides to try out this “other side” of himself for a while. A little of this could go a long way, but I’m curious to see how Tommy Elliot plays into this storyline, and what’s going to snap Bruce out of brat mode.

Across town, with Ghul gone, Barbara is breaking up the girl gang, telling Tabitha and Selina that she only started the outfit to be Ra’s eyes and ears in Gotham. Tabitha – who’s had one foot out the door the whole time – is fine with that, but Selina is insistent that the three of them can still be a force to be reckoned with if they stick together. To try and prove that, Selina slips into her proto-Catwoman garb and sets out to steal a payday from a motorcycle gang. She gets in over her head, though, and is forced to call for help. Barbara, at first, is uninterested in Selina’s plight, but eventually joins Tabitha in a rescue and recommits to the group. As subplots go, it’s pretty pointless, though it was fun seeing Babs sipping cocktails again.

Thanks for spending “A Day in the Narrows” with me. Which storyline in this week’s “Gotham” did you find most worth your time? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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