Review: Gotham Meets Expectations in 'Scarification' and Teases 3 New Villains

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 - 9:40AM
Reviews
DC Comics
Gotham
Tuesday, 20 October 2015 - 9:40AM
Review: Gotham Meets Expectations in 'Scarification' and Teases 3 New Villains
Gotham has gotten increasingly better since Jerome's exit from the show, and last week's 'Strikeforce' really added some interesting elements into the mix. And though 'Scarification' may not have been some mind blowing, must watch episode, it was definitely on par with what fans have come to expect from a show like Gotham.

In 'Scarification,' Penguin is given the task of setting fire to specific buildings owned by the Waynes by the Galavans. He hires a band of brothers known for their skills with committing arson, and of course, their 'little sister' who they get to do their bidding becomes the Batman villain known as Firefly.

During the course of the episode, the Strike Force raids one of Penguin's warehouses, confiscating millions of dollars from Gotham's new crime lord. Nygma and Ms. Kringle also have an amusing double date with Gordon and Thompkins, and Penguin ends up cutting off Butch's hand in an effort to make the henchman's attempt to become a double agent in the Galavans' organization look sincere.

Perhaps the most interesting developments to take place over the course of the episode, however, were the bits of Gotham's history revealed by the owner of an antique store to Penguin (which also teased the future appearances of 3 different villains), and Galavan's statement at the end of the episode which uncovered a piece of information that everyone probably knew anyway: Galavan wants to kill Bruce Wayne.

The best parts of this week's episode were without doubt the teasers set up for certain Batman villains, though. Maybe only fans of the comics caught them, but they were still, nevertheless, some of the most enjoyable moments from the show. For instance, when the antique dealer, Edwidge, tells of Gotham's history, she mentions five wealthy families that had control of the city for over 200 years. Though not mentioned by name, historically wealthy families that have held sway in Gotham for centuries ought to wring a bell, especially when the showrunner, Bruno Heller, has mentioned that this particular group will appear in the show sometime soon. It wouldn't be surprising in any way to see a connection to the Court of Owls in the near future.

Likewise, the reveal that the Dumas' changes their name to Galavan was also particularly telling. The Order of St. Dumas has been featured in a number of Batman comics, and of course fans can't think of the Order without thinking of Azrael, who once wore the mantle of Batman after Bruce Wayne's crippling battle with Bane in Knightfall. The Order of St. Dumas was originally a splinter group of the Knights Templar, so it'll be particularly interesting to see how they come into play this season beyond the Galavans' obvious goal of taking revenge on the Waynes.

It was also unsurprising (but yet exciting) to hear the Elliot name mentioned as one of the wealthy Gothamite families in Edwidge's explanation. In the comics, Thomas Elliot was Bruce Wayne's childhood best friend. Of course, Elliot grows up to become the villain 'Hush.' It would be really cool to see Bruce and Tommy together in Gotham, but it's questionable as to whether they'll ever use him in the series. It seems as though Gotham is really only interested in using the characters that they can make villains in the here and now. After all, they don't have much of a reason to use the ones who won't develop into baddies until way after the show comes to an end.

Overall, the episode was on par with what fans can expect from Gotham. It's not a spectacular show (at least not yet), but it is a decent one. The pacing is still off in some ways, as they've already killed off a member of the Strike Force before the audience ever had a chance to learn his name, and the music still seems extremely comical in some instances. And while the brutal violence was once something that set Gotham apart from most other comic book TV shows, it seems as though it's done for sheer shock value now, not because it's an effective way of presenting the story (like it once was). The show is doing a much better job at hooking its viewers though, as it's very difficult to not want to know what's going to happen next. 'Scarification' earns an 'OK' rating at 7.1 out of 10.

Catch Gotham on FOX next Monday at 8 p.m. ET.
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