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TV Review: Gotham 2.14 “The Ball Of Mud and Meanness”
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Gotham 214-07

Season 2 Episode 14: “The Ball of Mud and Meanness”
Directed by John Behring
Written by Jordan Harper
Created by Bruno Heller
Starring Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, David Mazouz, Camren Bicondova, Morena Baccarin, Cory Michael Smith, Erin Richards, Chris Chalk, Michael Chiklis
Air Date: Monday, March 14th, 2016, 8pm

Last week on Gotham, Alfred (Sean Pertwee) tells Bruce (David Mazouz) that he will be the one to kill Malone, the guy who killed his parents. Bruce pretends to agree, but then asks Selina (Camren Bicondova) to get him a gun. Mr. Freeze (Nathan Darrow) attempts to grab his wife, Nora, from Arkham where she is being used as bait. Dr. Strange (BD Wong) helps him out in exchange for his formula. Lee (Morena Baccharin) goes with Freeze as a hostage, getting a lot of insight as to the inner working of mens minds from Nora, who then kills herself by switching the “bullet” to a flawed formula. Fries turns the gun on himself, but he is somehow resurrected in his true villain form by Strange. We see a glimpse of Theo Galavan (James Frain) in a giant tube.

Beware of spoilers below!

Gotham 2.14 “The Ball of Mud and Meanness” review: Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) is tortured by visions of his mother (guest Carol Kane), and then given the ice cream test? Not sure what that is about. However, somehow it ends up proving that Penguin is rehabilitated. The rest of the Penguin scenes do seem to portray Penguin as good and Dr. Strange as a benevolent healer, but I do not trust either of them. I honestly don’t know how much they are faking. All I know is that there is more to it than is on the surface.

Selina gives Bruce the gun, unbeknownst to Alfred, who takes him on the unsavory hunt for Malone. His words of wisdom? “Pick your battles. Don’t let them pick you.” Alfred must fight Cupcake, who is a big dude. But come on… we’ve all seen Alfred in action. Bruce goes forward on his own after the fight.

Bullock (Donal Logue): “For a butler you sure do get beat up a lot.” Bullock is the necessary comic relief to Gotham. Without his wisecracks, this would just be a tragic tragedy, and we would all cry all the time.

Alfred confesses the illegal plan and then implores Jim (Ben McKenzie) to find Bruce. Bruce is way ahead though. He found Jeri (guest star Lori Petty in joker makeup). She gives it up, but Jim catches up with him, but then gets “caught in a mosh” pit, so Bruce escapes.

What commences is one of THE most intense scenes on Gotham so far, without any chasing or fast action. Guest star Michael Bowen is fantastic as the cold killer. Bruce facing his parents’ killer is sad and angry, and the scene ends way different than I thought it would. This is the type of scene where Mazouz usually shines – his over serious demeanor, thoughtful and minimal conversation, and intelligence all contribute to subtle yet powerful interactions. We see a real step forward towards his Batman future. A letter to Alfred at the end explains it all. So good!

Lee is worried about Ms. Kringle and asks Jim to look into it. So Jim asks Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) about it (even though Lee does not want Ed to worry), and Nygma reacts crazily to himself. He is convinced that Jim is onto him, and plans accordingly. We also see a real step forward towards his future villainy.

I like the Joker connection in this episode to the murder of Bruce’s parents. I know some were in an uproar over a possible female Joker, but they used Lori Petty well, that tied to the current Gotham Joker storyline.

Great episode. All the little pieces seem to be moving forward at a proper rate, all circling Arkham.

Gotham airs Monday nights at 8:00pm ET on FOX.

FOX’s synopsis:

MON MAR 13 8/7c

Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Selina (Camren Bicondova) help Bruce (David Mazouz) on his quest to find his parents’ killer, Matches Malone (guest star Michael Bowen). Meanwhile, Gordon (Ben McKenzie) follows up with Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) on Kristen Kringle’s whereabouts and Hugo Strange (guest star BD Wong) continues his treatment to reduce Penguin’s (Robin Lord Taylor) in the all-new “Wrath of the Villains: This Ball of Mud and Meanness” episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, March 14 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

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1 Comment »

  1. I have to disagree. That was pretty painful, but then maybe I’m the only one who is bored to tears when the Wayne story is the main plot and uses up about 95% of the time, almost to the exclusion of all else. I thought it was one of the most unbalanced episodes, far too centered on Bruce, and a real turn off with pacing, plot and lack of far more compelling stories put on the back burner. I could never watch a show that was like this episode.

    Comment by or27 — March 14, 2016 @ 9:09 pm

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