After what was easily the most shocking episode of the season in “Last Laugh” which culminated in the death of Jerome, you’d think Gotham might take a step back. But you’d be wrong, “Strike Force” actually upped the ante in numerous ways. Including adding two new characters who will definitely have an immediate impact on the show.
I’m saying this right now, I totally dig the character of Nathaniel Barnes. His entrance was legendary, which honestly isn’t much of a stretch as he’s played by Michael Chiklis from The Shield and Fantastic Four fame. How he immediately entered in, shook things up, made Gordon his second, and began to reform the GCPD into the department it should be? And we weren’t even 30 minutes in by the time this all happened? Legendary.
Now yes, we know he’s going down, either by death, or some other horrible incident. This is Gotham, and Gordon will need to be Commissioner. However! This is a good thing. As we’ve seen too many GCPD people be polar opposites of Gordon, or be totally grey. Even Essen, rest in peace, had moments of hesitation. Barnes has none of that. And him building a strike force for Gordon made of corrupted cops straight out of the academy? Brilliant. I look forward to seeing how things play out.
This of course brings us to the other half of the show. Theo Galavan and his “plans” for the city. Lest you think he’s just spinning his wheels to try and get what he wants, he proved tonight he’s been planning and preparing for this for a long time. Manipulating Penguin into doing his dirty work was great. As was Penguin’s rebuffing his offer at first. I personally like the “A year ago I was holding Fish Mooney’s umbrella” speech, you know they’re going to regret messing with Penguin. But for now? With his mother hostage? He has no choice.
Another brilliant part (whether intentional or not of how it sparked) the introduction of Silver St. Cloud as Galavan’s “Ward” was nicely played. And with the seeds of their friendship, and possibly more than that, in place. Galavan now has a chance to put Bruce in his pocket.
Oh, and Alfred? Man was he brilliant. His slapping of Selina was jaw dropping to say the least. But you knew he had good reason. I’m not sure why they did that little scene of Selina at the end, but the interaction with them was great, and no doubt it’ll lead Selina down an even darker path.
Sure, there were some small down moments. You saw that Gordon didn’t full agree with some of Barnes methods, which is natural in some ways, but it felt a little forced here. And some scenes, like Nygma’s scenes with Kristin, were ok but pointless in the scope of the episode. But overall, this was a great followup to “Last Laugh” and proving that Gotham is truly on a roll.