Gotham Season 2 Episode 17 Review: Into the Woods

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What a cuckoo kind of hour.

On Gotham Season 2 Episode 17, Jim and Nygma circled around each other with Jim eventually winning the fight despite being a loser, Penguin got his balls back in a rather sick and violent sort of way, and Bruce showed us how far from Batman he really is after being easily manipulated by Alfred...again.

I'm sort of disappointed that Nygma was such an easy catch. You'd think after a nearly two year slow-burn kind of villain-y buildup, that it would take more than a light bulb going off above Jim's head to take the guy down.

Sure, it was the cuckoo clock that did Nygma in, but wasn't that a rather silly oversight on Nygma's part? It seems sort of on par to his blabbing to Kringle about Dougherty's death. Smart villains make stupid mistakes and then repeat them, I guess.

Still, it would have been nice to have had Gordon and Nygma circling each other a bit longer, because that scene with the two of them in Nygma's apartment was just so well done. Superb acting by both Cory Michael Smith and Ben McKenzie.

My biggest issue with the whole cuckoo clock downfall is not the clock itself, but rather the audio tape. How could a guy who did so well at covering his tracks, and who was nearly flawless in how he set up his nemesis, not know that Internal Affairs records all anonymous calls?

Wouldn't that piece of juicy evidence have been presented at Jim's trial? After all, that is the basis on which Jim was convicted of Pinkney's murder, right?

And even if it wasn't presented at the trial, why did it take so long for Jim to remember that fact? Wouldn't it have popped up in his brain while he was in prison with nothing to do but think?

Whatever. It seemed a rather easy way to move the story forward and put Nygma in Professor Strange's clutches, no matter how well done the scenes were.

Not that I don't find the idea of Nygma becoming part of Strange's army intriguing. I just think he could have stood on his own without the good professor's help.

Especially now that Penguin is back to his old self – with maybe a little uptick in the cuckoo department. Okay, maybe a lot.

But before we go down that dark and creepy road, let's talk about Jim.

Jim accomplished what he set out to do at the end of Gotham Season 2 Episode 16, which was to clear his name. It was the reason he needed to stay in Gotham. The reason he couldn't go to Lee. 

And he did it in record time.

Yet, even though he redeemed himself in the eyes of Barnes, the GCPD, and Gotham City as a whole, he still came up with another excuse why he couldn't go to Lee: he has to keep his promise to Bruce first.

Because, you know, that's more important than going to a woman who has stood by him through thick and thin and tolerated all his lies to see how she is after the loss of their child. A loss for which he is to blame.

Nice way to avoid responsibility, Jim. But, yet, Gotham (and everyone else for that matter) should place their fate in his most capable hands?

Yeah, right.

And, of course, Barbara showing up is just going to help things along too, I suppose. 

It's an annoyance that Jim is being allowed to skirt around the Lee issue...by everyone, including Barnes. As fierce as Barnes was about Bullock helping Jim or Jim lying about Galavan or any other issue involving right and just, where is Barnes' balls when it comes to making Jim man up to the mother of his now apparently deceased child?

Why is it he lets that go and actually helps him with yet another excuse? Do women just not matter at all on Gotham?

This whole storyline sucks. If the writers were going to throw Lee in the trash, they should have just let Jerome (or Barbara for that matter) kill her off in the beginning of the season.

Penguin is back and with a vengeance, though that seems a bit of an understatement. Whatever cuckoo clock that had been ticking in Penguin's mind since his stay at Arkham finally went off.

I'm not sure if it was Grace's "slut mother's stew" comment or the throwing of the food that started Penguin back down that dark road, but he sure took a detour from the old Penguin we used to love once he found that poisoned bottle of bourbon.

It's a horrible thing to poison an innocent dog, even if it wasn't necessarily done in spite, but it's a whole different kind of horrible when you kill and cook your evil stepsister. And then let her own mother eat her.

And the way in which Penguin slaughtered Grace was so beyond anything Penguin has ever done. Even shoving his umbrella down Galavan's throat wasn't as barbaric as what he did to the Van Dahls.

It's not that the Van Dahls didn't deserve some sort of gruesomeness at Penguin's hands, but the degree of viciousness he displayed this time around seemed way over the top. 

I do not like this new Penguin. He is definitely not improved. But, then again, didn't Galavan warn us that the "monsters" were coming?

Thanks to Jim, Bruce and Selina found their way back to Wayne Manor. Bruce had come so far over the past few episodes in terms of development that it was quite disappointing he was so easily manipulated by Alfred.

What danger could Selina possibly face from whatever is on his father's computer that she hasn't already faced living on the streets? Why would Bruce think that Selina needed to be protected from anything?

Didn't he just spend the last few weeks living on the edge with her, exploring Gotham's underbelly?

If Bruce truly respected Selina, he would have let her into the secret lair, not blown her off because of a few hokey warnings from Alfred. Obviously, Bruce didn't learn anything.

If I was Selina, I would have thrown that jacket to the wind, too. Selina took Bruce fixing her torn sleeve as a sign he really cared and trusted her. For him to shut her out without any reasonable explanation was just a slap in the face.

I hope Selina never helps Bruce again. He sure as hell doesn't deserve it.

What did you think of "Into the Woods"? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Remember, you can watch Gotham online anytime, right here via TV Fanatic.

Into the Woods Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

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

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