While a low point in the season, “New Day Rising” did at least advance the story lines to new places again. In one episode we got Cobblepot’s election end, the clone saga move to a new point, Gordon and Leslie make up (sort of), and the Mad Hatter put away. Gotham is at its best when it doesn’t dawdle, that’s what made season 01 so unbearable at times, because it refused to move forward. In 02 and 03, it keeps moving forward, so even the bad storylines don’t linger beyond their uses.
The Mad Hatter story was indeed the best part of the episode once again, especially when they focused on how Hatter put an “impulse” inside Gordon to kill himself because of what he was feeling about Leslie. Seeing this play out multiple times over the episode helped sell it. Yes, we knew he wasn’t going to die, but that didn’t make it any less dramatic at points, as his “impulse” caused more harm than Gordon would’ve ever wanted.
The death of Alice was telegraphed, but it was actually a very important scene. Because she technically died by accident, and by Jervis’ hands, meaning this will no doubt warp him even more, and send him careening down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. Also though, we saw just how much his “love” for Alice pushed the siblings away, and again added to the insane love of Alice like his comic counterpart had. That being said, I was a little jarred by the abrupt ending of the conflict after Alice’s death. Yes, she’s dead, but the Tweed brothers still had shotguns, and Tetch was still in play, how did that end? In fact, we didn’t even see Tetch afterwards, which was disheartening, as it would’ve been great to see him in a frenzied state of sorts saying, “I will find you Alice…” or something along those lines. Oh well, maybe next time.
Speaking of “next time” the clone story ended in interesting fashion. This was easily the weakest part of the episode, which is sad, because it did have potential. I’m glad we got to see how fearless this other Bruce was, and that scene where he saved Selina was pretty epic. And thanks goodness she realized the truth, albeit in a very interesting way, cause her not knowing would’ve been very painful to watch. That being said, his “leaving” at the end was a bit over the top. Yes, he may not feel pain, but that fall would’ve killed him. And yes, while him telling off Bruce was cool, him going all “did she know it was him when she kissed him” was a little too melodramatic. Thankfully, with the Owls now having him, there’s potential for more fun down the line.
Which of course brings us to Penguin, who had a very interesting turn here. I wasn’t expecting the election to be so soon, which is fine, because of the whole “keeping things moving” part I mentioned above. What I also didn’t expect was the “who rigged what?” storyline that both made and broke friendships. Yes, it’s totally believable that Penguin would want to ensure his victory, but for Nygma to stop him and prove a bigger point? Very cool. Plus, not only does it put Nygma in power as Chief Of Staff now that Penguin rules the roost, but now Butch is wanting payback on both of them for making him a fool. This will be fun.
And then there was the ending…Barnes is “infected” with Alice’s blood. What will come of it? Not sure, not yet anyway.
Again, this wasn’t the best episode, but for what it did, it work, and so I won’t rate it too lowly for that. I do hope though that with these new threads, things rise back up.