[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”12779″ img_size=”900×500″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]The much anticipated final season of Gotham made its premier with an episode entitled: Year Zero. It started with a flash forward to a scene where the Riddler, the Penguin, Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock are shown arming themselves, getting ready for a fight. They then come together, not to fight against each other but teamed up against an unknown adversary. This is the start of Year Zero and it held all kinds of promise, but then it jumped back to day 87 after Jeremiah made good on his claim to isolate Gotham from the rest of the world. Of course, the government in its infinite wisdom, helped out by refusing any assistance and forbidding anyone from entering or leaving. Gotham’s citizen’s tax dollars in action.
This chaos left the city divided with different factions controlling areas of the city. Oswald Cobblepot controlled City Hall and most of the weapons. He had a plant converted to making more ammo although some of the bullets produced would misfire on occasion. First rule of production, underfed and over worked workers can produce sub-par product. Perhaps if he didn’t feed his dog steak and give some to his workers he would get better results.
Barbara Kean and her Sirens control the area around Barbara’s club and also control food distribution. The area west of Gotham is controlled by Scarecrow (whose costume is still freaking awesome). Firefly and Mister Freeze are battling for control of the area to the north of Gotham, while Jim Gordon and the GCPD controls the area around the precinct while struggling to care for the citizens who elected to remain in what’s left of the besieged city. Riddler is waking up in dumpsters in an inner battle with his Edward Nygma personality which leaves the Riddler raging in the mirror for Edward to show himself.
As for Bruce and Salina, they are both with Gordon at the GCPD as Salina is still trying to heal after the tragic events in the Season 4 final. With the diagnosis that her spine would turn to jelly without surgery, they have no choice but to perform the operation in a makeshift surgical room to attempt to stabilize her back. Unfortunately, Scarecrow never got the memo that a surgical procedure was taking place and proceeded to cut the power to the precinct and steal their meager supplies and medicines. As luck would have it, the GCPD had a generator that kicked in and let them continue the surgery.
Meanwhile, Jim and the rest of his crew attempt to thwart Scarecrows heist with Gordon and Scarecrow facing off. The battle goes back and forth until when in close combat, Scarecrow’s scythe cuts a steam pipe which effectively separates them and allows for the Scarecrow’s escape. Bruce gets an opportunity to test some of Lucious Fox’s night-vision tech and starts taking out the Scarecrow’s henchmen one at a time in a very Batman like attack. That’s when the power is restored and the blinding light through his night-vision goggles gives the Scarecrow’s men the chance to get away.
After the Scarecrow’s attack, Jim realizes they are in dire straits as now instead of weeks worth of food, they now have days. In addition, the medicine Salina needs to heal and deal with the pain from her surgery were also taken. The operation was a partial success. Her spine was stabilized but she still would never walk again. She then tells Bruce that it is ironic that with everything she had done, it was her friendship with Bruce that took her down. As Bruce was leaving her side, a strange looking nurse told him, “The Witch” was the only way to heal her.
As Gordon and Harvey discuss their situation, Bruce enters and tells them that he can find away to fly in some supplies to replace what was taken. Jim has his doubts since the government isn’t allowing for entrance to Gotham. Nonetheless, they are short of options so he tells Bruce to make it happen if he can.
In a short span of TV time, a helicopter is seen approaching, carrying the much needed supplies. Unfortunately, an unknown assailant shoots the copter down and with it, the supplies. The race is on to try to retrieve the helicopters contents. First on the scene is the Low Boys but their possession of the helicopter’s bounty is short lived as Penguin shows up and takes them out. Next on the scene is Jim Gordon and the GCPD who after some back and forth banter between Gordon and Oswald turns into a gun fight with Gordon’s group being outmanned and low on ammo.
Things look bleak for the good guys when they run out of ammo when suddenly arrows start flying about taking out some of the Penguin’s men. Tabitha has made her appearance getting her hands on Penguin to get revenge for the death of Butch last season. She prepares to shoot him when her gun misfires, the results of Penguins hit or miss ammo shop. He takes that opportunity to stab Tabitha killing her, just as Barbara enters the scene. Screaming at seeing the death of her paramour. She tries to take revenge but instead gets shot by Penguin who then intends to complete his taking of the supplies.
His plans are thwarted when unbeknownst to him, Bruce has arrived, taking out the guards outside and obtaining a chest of the Penguins ammo which he slips in and gives to Gordon, Harvey and crew while Oswald is preoccupied with Tabitha and Barbara. After reloading, Jim steps up and offers Oswald a deal. He will split the supplies with him, if he will let Barbara and them leave. Thinking Jim is out of ammo, he counters with he will kill Barbara, take all the supplies and leave Jim to consider his great fortune. Jim’s response is to open fire with the recently obtained ammo, much to Cobblepot’s surprise. Jim ends up shooting him in his just repaired leg and watched as the Penguin and his men make a hasty retreat.
After obtaining the supplies, the immediate need for food and medicines has been postponed. Jim gets a radio message from an unknown source who says that he has support outside of Gotham but they do not reveal who they are. Meanwhile, someone snuck in and left a drawing of eyes and the words Hahahahaha! for him to find. Jeremiah’s return perhaps?
Elsewhere, Oswald is getting his leg treated for the bullet wound and places a huge bounty for the death of Jim Gordon. Barbara is back at her club and swearing that Cobblepot will die for what he did to Tabitha. Bruce visits Salina only to find out in her depression she attempted to kill herself but was stopped by the hospital staff. The strange nurse again appears repeating that only “The Witch” can cure her. Bruce asks her where he can find “this Witch” as the episode ends.
This episode I believe sets the stage for what is to come. With only 12 episodes to wrap things up, they have to cram in a whole lot of story in a short span. The main gist of this episode proved that the relationship between Jim and Bruce has evolved. He no longer looks at Bruce like he is under his care. Bruce has proven that he is capable of holding his own and making meaningful contributions in their struggle in “No Man’s Land.” He makes this clear by telling Bruce if he wants to go along with them on a mission, he no longer has to sneak his way in, all he has to do is ask. He has earned his place.
The stand out performance in this episode was Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin. As he normally does, he chewed up the screen, displaying just the right amount of crazy and civility, especially in his encounters with Gordon. He was at his evil, calculating best in this episode. You must be doing a great job if you can make people cringe at what you do but smile at you at the same time.
The death of Tabitha, while sad, didn’t carry quite the emotional punch it might should have. Perhaps because her character has never been emphasized as much as it might. Although the emotional toll it takes on Barbara will no doubt push that plot along.
Back surgeries are complicated, delicate things. How nice to know you can do successful surgeries in a make shift hospital without any complications or any real need for sterile fields. Makes one wonder if surgery is not as complicated as we make it out to be.?
I would give this episode a solid B+. There were no real “oh shit! Moments” but it did set the stage for what will be happening, eventually leading to the opening scene we glimpsed at the beginning of Year Zero. Hold onto your seats, it is going to be jam packed ride. Did you watch the Gotham season premier? Did it measure up to your expectations after all the discussions leading up to it? Share your thoughts with us at GVNation.
Senior Writer at GeekVibesNation – I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 17 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.