Gotham Season 2 Episode 15 Review: Mad Grey Dawn

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Holy Hell, Batman! 

How many OMG moments could Gotham Season 2 Episode 15 possibly have? Nygma! Bruce! Penguin and Pee Wee!

And then, Gotham had to ruin it with a time jump and flashbacks. 

What a killjoy!

Sort of like when Bruce was on a high after his fight with Sonny Gilzean, talking about how he felt unbreakable and invincible and Selina had to ruin it with her, "Nobody's unbreakable, Bruce."

Well, thanks Selina. Because, just in case you didn't notice, Bruce kicked some royal bad guy ass even if he got himself pretty beat up in the process.

The point is that he switched modes. No longer was he Bruce Wayne, whiny rich kid. In that moment when he challenged Sonny and took the beatings and egged the goon on and took even more beatings, he was mind-set Batman. Yes, I said it. And I LOVED it!

I loved every moment of his crazy brazenness, every moment of his unhinged defiance, every moment of that moment he fell down that Batman mind well.

Once again, David Mazouz knocked it out of the park. His performance was just on point and simply...awesome!

While Bruce and Selina were tackling Sonny and his gang (with Ivy's help), Penguin was visiting old friends, including Sonny's uncle, Butch. It seems that Butch and Tabitha have shacked up, and they seem pretty cozy, but I'm still not getting the point of their relationship and what it's going to mean in the future.

Penguin shows up with a box of muffins as a peace offering. Tabitha thinks the "new" Penguin is an act and taunts him by mocking his mom. It doesn't bother him at all. He laughs. To be honest, I really thought her mockery would cause his switch to flip, so I was as surprised as she was that it didn't. 

Gilzean wants to let him go. The big teddy bear has a soft spot, but Tabitha, who's enraged because he killed her brother, which doesn't even make any sense since she abandoned Theo, decides he needs some sort of punishment. So, they feather him. Like a Penguin. It's ridiculous, really.

Then he visits Nygma and gives him a lecture about giving up violence, and Nygma, who's on his own path to crazy, kicks him out, which leads to one of the best scenes of the night: Penguin meeting his dad.

Poor Penguin is being rejected by everyone and goes to visit the one person who would never reject him: his mom. Unfortunately, Gertrud is gone, but as fate would have it, Penguin's dad, Elijah Van Dalh shows up. Initially they don't know who the other is, but when it happens, it is so touching!

Paul Reubens plays the part perfectly, even if he does sort of look like an undertaker. But it's Paul Reubens and Paul Reubens is, well, awesome! And Paul Reubens and Robin Lord Taylor together is just television bliss...like eating a Rainbow cone on the sunniest of summer days.

Daddy Elijah takes Penguin in without a moment's hesitation, clothes him, let's him take a bath (by himself, thank God), feeds him and tells a heartwarming story about how he and Gertrud met. It's a simple story, but it's told with such feeling. Penguin is just in awe, and when he asked Elijah if this was a dream, I almost cried.

There is no doubt that Penguin needs a break. Unfortunately his new family doesn't look too thrilled that he's around, so it's going to be interesting to see what happens there. I'm also not sure if I like this "new" Penguin. It's all so strange. As Nygma said, "The new you is kind of freaking me out." 

The main story of the hour was, of course, Nygma and Gordon. Has Nygma gone full-blown crazy or what?!

I almost died when I saw him at the museum with the green suit! And how clever was that Acme-like bomb piece of art (with the sign saying "This is a real bomb")? That whole scene sort of reminded me of a campy version of The Thomas Crown Affair

Nygma is going through a lot of trouble to get Gordon away from snooping around about Ms. Kringle. I guess it's a lot more fun creating puzzles than just outright killing the guy. Though, he almost did with the bomb at the train station.

When I first saw that crowbar, I really thought it was a mini Riddler cane, but the way it was planted and then used by Gordon was pretty clever. And I did not see the Pinkney set-up coming at all. And while it all fit together a little too nicely, the road to get there was a lot of fun. 

I'm curious as to when Penguin told Nygma about Gordon killing Galavan. I was sort of surprised by that. When the whole anonymous tip came up, I really thought it was going to be Professor Strange who dropped that doozy. But, the puzzle wouldn't have worked if that was the case.

I don't think I have ever disliked a character more than Gotham's version of Jim Gordon. The guy's self pity is nauseating. Why didn't he stand up for himself when he was being accused of Pinkney's murder? He killed Galavan, not the kid. 

Take responsibility for what you did do. Instead, he dropped his head and asked for his rep and allowed himself to be cuffed and carried out in front of the entire station. But, then he begs Bullock to find the bomber?! Puh-leaze!

And let's not even talk about that scene with Lee! Ugh! Seriously, what a douche! 

While I absolutely loved everything about "Mad Grey Dawn", the ending with Jim's interrogation room flashbacks and the fast forward to a conviction four weeks later was absolutely maddening. Why did Gotham have to destroy such a perfect episode with such perfect ridiculousness?!

Other Thoughts:

  • Cory Michael Smith. That is all.
  • "Hey Pinkney, what do you call a tavern of blackbirds? A crowbar." Ha. 
  • So, does the nurse regularly apply makeup and lip gloss to their unconscious inmates? Barbara's lip gloss was perfectly absurd.
  • Barbara waking up to Jim's name being said on the radio was just plain stupid. If he was going to cause her to wake up, why didn't him being in the same room as her a few episodes ago do the trick? Ridiculous.
  • Sasha Van Dalh looks like a young Jackie Kennedy.

What did you think of "Mad Grey Dawn"? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Remember you can catch up on the craziness when you watch Gotham online any time, right here via TV Fanatic!

Mad Grey Dawn Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (29 Votes)

Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Gotham Season 2 Episode 15 Quotes

Museum curator: What kind of art thief would take time to defile such masterpieces?
Bullock: An ignorant one?

Listen, if you give us the coffee can, and go back to sleep, you'll be able to fly.

Bruce