This Week On Gotham: “The Anvil or The Hammer” Is Not Great, But It’s Enough For Now

The whole concept of the Ogre as a villain to stretch out for three episodes seemed a little lackluster for a series that has, so far, included elaborate criminals such as a possibly enchanted red hood that creates a false sense of invincibility, the murder of a snake lady, a man who cuts out adrenal glands for the purpose of preventing fear, and a myriad of other horrific murders and murderers of silly and intricate types.

This week we get the Ogre, so named possibly because of his once really ugly, squished up face, although I’m sure the people who have seen him didn’t know he was so ugly because of plastic surgery. He’s your run of the mill serial killer, except if the police try to go after him, he starts going after people the investigator loves. Possibly interesting in theory, but not in execution. In fact, the Ogre hasn’t been very interesting at all for the last couple of episodes he’s been unnecessarily the center of, keeping women in his house as potential soul mates until they under cook the lamb and get cut up in the dominatrix room. Despite all of these attempts at fixing him up, he still doesn’t seem that interesting for as many episodes as he has had.

What made this episode interesting is its ending. The Ogre is, apparently, very capable of causing Stockholm Syndrome with little time to spare, and Barbara after tug and pull bouts of torture and then affection seems to be strangely obedient by the end of this episode. When the Ogre puts a knife to her throat in front of Gordon, she tells Gordon to simply leave them alone. Oh, and when the Ogre tells her she has to have someone killed or be killed, Barbara chooses her parents, people who have little regard for her. If anything this is what is interesting about this episode. For one, it gives Barbara some demons to deal with that spruce up her otherwise annoying and unnecessary presence, but it also reveals she has a bit of a dark side. There’s no love between her parents, and even though they have mistreated her, Barbara has the ability to choose anyone, why her own parents? 

Probably because the Ogre was right. There’s something about Barbara that’s a little off, and her vacuous, unblinking gaze by the end of the episode insinuates that that part of her character might be explored. Enough to spice up her currently boring presence. (Hopefully). The other interesting tidbits are the Riddler, who, along with Mooney, is starting to become one of my favorite characters on the show. Last week he stabs a guy for hitting his crush, and this week he rolls in two large suitcases filled with body parts to dispose of them. When Ms. Kringle looks in the sink and sees dismembered hands and legs she asks what happens and Enygma makes a chopping motion through the air stating it was an: ax-accident.

That sort of morbid humor really pays tribute to the Batman genre and to the potential of the show, and it also creates roots for the Riddler to grow and become even more aggressively irritating.

Finally something must be said about the hilarious scene with Bullock, who is forced to attend a secret, ritzy club called the Foxhole that ends up being a dominatrix den. His initial intent is to peruse the place and find clues, but after a live show off camera, we can see through Bullock’s changing expressions into outright disgust, and the sound of what appears to be a chainsaw and an animal squealing (a horse or a pig?) that he’s seen enough. He barks out GCPD and the attempt at going undercover is over real quick. A really funny, scene, completely outfitted with ridiculous characters including what seems to be a man in a bunny/pig tied down and being fed milk.

Whoa Gotham.

Next week Jada steps back as Mooney with a half bald head and what appears to be an army behind her. The Penguin has instigated a war between Falcone and Moroni, and it looks like the streets of Gotham are brimming with gang wars and a struggle for turf. Hopefully the finale will make up for the past episodes.

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