Sometimes Gotham is great. Sometimes it’s terrible. There’s not a lot in between.
Its finale, “All Happy Families Are Alike” didn’t go bad out of nowhere. The decline steadily began when the excellent Everyone Has a Cobblepot gave way to Beasts of Prey.
It got worse episode by episode.
Gotham’s best part is its characters and the characters were ruined. Riddler, a subtle villain even in his worst self, started acting like Norman Bates, stabbing and giggling. By the finale, he’s gone full Gollum.
All Happy Families Are Alike went off every rail there is. And none of the character moments made any sense.
James Gordon, whole defining trait was doing the right thing no matter what, suddenly buys into Falcone all the way fighting to help him rule Gotham. Falcone even compliments him for thinking like a mafioso.
And he keeps rambling about how he’s done in Gotham when just before the entire police force was cheering him.
Gordon doesn’t care about the law. He pals around with Falcone. He lets him go.
But All Happy Families Are Alike might as well be wearing a “We Don’t Give a Shit Anymore” sign. When you’re dressing up Fish and her gang like Mad Max rejects, you’re either going for parody or you just don’t care.
All Happy Families Are Alike is so full of stupid and ridiculous moments that it’s probably parody.
The rooftop showdown, “Shoot him”, “No, shoot her” and “I’m King of Gotham”. Gordon running around firing two guns and an assault rifle with one hand. Barbara smashing her way through a bathroom door with a kitchen knife.
All Happy Families Are Alike has so many cliches that it seems to have been designed to be stupid. It’s like the sort of episode writers might throw out in response to network demands. “You want this garbage. Here’s this garbage.”
Maybe Bruno Heller sucks. He hasn’t written many episodes, but The Blind Fortune Teller was good.
But if this signals where the show is going in Season 3, it’s bad news. And even if it doesn’t, most of the characters have been ruined.