Gotham “Mad City: Burn the Witch Review
By James Gisante
“Who the hell are you, Jim Gordon?” is the question newcomer Jamie Chung’s Valerie Vale asks in tonight’s “Mad City: Burn the Witch” and given the direction the series is taking, maybe the answer is “who he was always supposed to have been”. Gordon has been playing by his own rules for years now, and now free of the GCPD’s binding restrictions and regulations, we’re seeing a man unburdened and ready to do whatever he feels is right to get the proper outcome. It might be a while before Gordon returns to the badge, but if his bounty hunter tactics continue at this pace, it’ll be worth the wait.
Also enjoying their new role in society is Penguin. His journey from umbrella holder to king of Gotham has always been central to the show’s story and his position as people’s champion is definitely going to be an interesting ride. It’s also appropriate that as he embraces his new position he finally gets closure on one of the oldest rivalries the show has had in his feud with Fish Mooney. Jada Pinkett Smith continues to add layers and depth to Fish as she finally reveals to Penguin just why she let him live in the season 2 finale. If the character, who was initially met with skepticism, is remembered for nothing else it’s that she created this Penguin and that might be enough for her legacy. Her journey moving forward with a returning Dr. Strange (a returning B.D. Wong) is sure to bring more emotion in the coming weeks as well.
Surprisingly also seeing closure, at least temporarily, is Bruce’s investigation into the shady group secretly controlling Wayne Enterprises. While it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Court of Owls return very soon, Bruce’s quick decision to abandon his quest in the face of threats against himself and his loved ones is a curious one that felt a little against character. Bruce has never shied away from danger, even when he should have, so now when he’s closer than ever to uncovering who ordered his parents’ murder seeing him back down didn’t feel quite right. It won’t matter though as his doppelgänger has finally decided to make himself known to both Bruce and Alfred and that mystery is going to need as much time to grow as possible.
Gotham’s women are also making an impact of their own. With a newly aged Ivy having killed her first victim for treating her better than he ever treated his house plant, her body might not have been the only thing to have been transformed in the premiere. Maggie Geha is bringing an edge and sexiness that was needed for the character and aging her might prove to be the best decision the show could have taken her. And finally, ending with a returning Lee Thompkins, her arrival in Gotham is sure to give an already fringe Gordon even more reason to look at where his life has led.