Weâ€™ve made it! The season finale for Gotham, â€œAll Families Are Alike,â€ is easily one of the best episodes of the entire season. It did what most finales should do. It tied up storylines that played throughout the season, fleshed out a variety of characters and ended things on quite a killer note.
If youâ€™ve been following the show and/or these reviews, youâ€™ll realize something thatâ€™s been missing in quite a few of the episode, the mob storyline. Itâ€™s been some time since weâ€™ve seen or heard much from Falcone and Maroni actually interacting with one another. Well, itâ€™s safe to say that changes in a big way throughout this episode. It all started when Falcone was looking at chickens, you know typical crime boss stuff. He narrowly dodged a rocket and made it out with his life. But, Maroni and his men smelled blood in the water and were out to finish the job. Of course, Maroni isnâ€™t the only one with something to gain by killing Falcone.
Penguin and Butch stroll into the hospital to see Falcone while holding flowers and a gun, not making their intentions subtle one bit. Of course Cobblepot being Cobblepot, he gets on his high-horse and explains that the plan was set in motion since they first met. Then, he goes as far as saying, â€œIâ€™m going to be king of Gotham,â€ which has Falcone quipping, â€œYou? Never. Youâ€™re going to burn in hell.â€ Penguin answers snarkily with, â€œYou first, old friend.â€ It was so creepy and perfectly like the Penguin.
But, since nothing can ever go Penguinâ€™s way, Jim shows up just in time. And an unlikely partnership is created. We find out that Jim actually wants to help Falcone escape the hospital thatâ€™s being overrun by Maroniâ€™s men. Jim feels Falcone is the only one that can hold Gotham together, not to mention that Loeb is the one that ordered the hit and is backing Maroni. One of the best gun-fights of the season occurs after Loeb tells the gangsters that Jim is fair game, and we get to see Jim channel his inner John Wick. Jim then tries to leave Penguin and Butch tied up, but Penguin reminds Jim that he owes him a favor! I love this scene, particularly because of the weird union with Gordon and Falcone. As altruistic as Jim is, he knows that sometimes the evil that you know is best. The gunfight was also a huge plus since they donâ€™t happen all that often.
After finally making it back to the safe house, all is quiet for about five seconds. No one was supposed to know about it, but if you remember, Fish and Falcone have been in this safehouse earlier in the season. She shows up, after grabbing Selena and presumably taking a stop at the local Hot Topic and â€œbeauty parlor.â€ Fishâ€™s scenes have always been extremely awkward, but her and Selinaâ€™s looks were a bit overboard.
Alas, they tie everyone up, and Fish waits for Maroni to deliver on his part of the deal. For some reason, he goads Fish into becoming agitated by calling her â€œbabesâ€ and telling her to calm down. Yeah, perfect idea. While this is going on, Penguin tries to explain to her that once Falcone is dead, she is next because she is the only thing standing between him and Gotham. Maroni explains, in various ways, that sheâ€™s always a step below him, which only agitates her more. That is until she pulls out a gun and shoots him in the forehead from a few feet away. I am not a lover of Fish, but that sequence was fantastic. It really showed the craziness of Fish and how much she just doesnâ€™t care for being a follower after the whole Dulmacher ordeal. After the shot, everyone sprints every which way, and Penguin goes straight for Fish.
Another great scene ensues as they tussle for a while. Butch is pointing his gun at them both because he doesnâ€™t know who to shoot. Fish is the one that brought him in, but Zsasz made him Penguinâ€™s lap dog. So, what does a confused puppy do? Shoots them both, but he really feels bad for Fish. And this is when Penguin pushes her off the bridge into water far below, assumingly killing her and claiming himself, â€œKing of Gotham.â€ The moment was great, although I was hoping for a more bloody affair. But, it was nice to see one of Penguinâ€™s plans play out in full.
Another pivotal scene happened when Falcone explains that he isnâ€™t actually planning on saving the city and reveals that heâ€™s done. He then gives a switchblade to Jim that was actually given to Falcone by Jimâ€™s father. I really hope they delve into that storyline a bit more as that can provide for some nice reasoning as to why Jim decided to be the White Knight of Gotham.
Winding out the finale are pivotal scenes with Bruce, Barbara and Nygma. As was teased last week, Bruce is singularly focused on finding out more of who his father actually was. Lucius Fox hinted that his father was a stoic, and Alfred mentioned a quote which led Bruce to a book hiding some sort of key. After having destroyed much of Wayne Manor in trying to find a secret that no one knew existed, Bruce pushes the button on the hidden key. Lo and Behold, the fireplace slides back, and the Batcave is revealed! I honestly didnâ€™t think we would see mention of a secret cave anywhere, mainly since Bruce is still so young. But, Iâ€™m glad they gave us a peek at it.
On the other side of the coin we have Barbara deciding that she wants Thompkins to be her trauma counselor. What could possibly go wrong in this situation? After some prying, Barbara opens up, but not in the way that one would expect. She explains that she was actually the one that killed her parents, and she enjoyed it immensely. The Ogre absolutely broke that hollow shell that was Barbara Keane to begin with, and she has gone way off the deep end. She tries to go after Thompkins, but instead of killing her exâ€™s current lover, she gets her head bounced off the floor a handful of times. I am actually interested if she died or not, as it is pretty unclear. The scenes with the two were a bit weird, but I actually like the way Barbara was portrayed since it fit with how her character was throughout the season.
And, we save the best for last. Kringle confronts Nygma about the secret code he put within Doughertyâ€™s letter, and he creepily laughs it off as a coincidence. Once she leaves, he goes clinical, and we get to see beginning personality of The Riddler peeking through. He was so crazy maniacal and straight up awesome. He is going to make a fantastic Riddler in the seasons to come.
I couldn’t agree more about having Ben McKenzie and John Doman work together more and exploring the relationship between Gordon and Falcone with the history between Gordon’s father and Falcone and Gotham as an essential component. The actors are both excellent and have a wonderful dynamic together. Also, this connection should be integral as is Jim Gordon’s connection to family and his unexplored past, something so crucial to who he is and why he makes the choices he does. I definitely hope that there’s more to the story with these two. I only wish that it had been a strong, continuous thread throughout the first season with more to build on coming. It would make for compelling television and should be essential for understanding Gordon and his motivations now and moving forward to have viewers invested.
Definitely agree with everything you’ve said here. I love the fact that both “main” characters, Gordon and Bruce, believed their fathers to be flawless figures; when in fact they are just as flawed as Gotham has become. It will be interesting to see what they learn about their fathers and how it will shape them into the characters we know them as today. Thanks for reading btw!