Review: Gotham “Strike Force”


Where do I begin?

After last week’s death of Jerome, a character that I was coming to enjoy, our beloved Gotham has taken a left turn back to silly comic book land. We are introduced to Michael Chiklis’ Captain Barnes, who is all ‘no nonsense’ and military proud. I like Chiklis and I like how he’s playing Barnes, but the lines he’s given are sometimes horrible. He forms Strike Force Alpha (cliche much?) and puts them under the authority of Jim Gordon and no one else, to keep them from being corrupted. Never mind that Jim is hiding his own corruption secret from Barnes, which will inevitably blow up in their faces at some point.

And I can’t move on without mentioning that file folder at the end of the episode. Barnes throws down a folder, telling the task force that their first real assignment is to take down the Penguin. The folder is labeled Oswald Cobblepot, but below that, done with a label maker, is the phrase ‘AKA THE PENGUIN’. My empty aluminum can hit the screen. *sigh*

Theo Galavan continues on his path of super villainy, while keeping Barbara on a short leash and not using her at all… for anything. Galavan uses Penguin’s kidnapped mother as bait to force him to kill the only mayoral candidates standing in his way to become Mayor. Seriously? So, this weird little guy calling himself Penguin runs a vast crime syndicate in the city, making him the Kingpin of Gotham, but he can’t find where his mother is being kept? Furthermore, he had to be told by his number two guy to go looking for her, because he couldn’t think of that on his own? *sigh*


Galavan manages to bring Bruce a bit under his wing by introducing him to Galavan’s niece, Silver St. Cloud. How forced was this addition? I wanted to throw something at the screen. It’s bad enough that we’re never going to be rid of the Bruce Wayne storyline, but do we have to force in Silver while also forcing a wedge between Alfred and Selina? His slap felt almost as forced as Bruce’s part in this show. I will say it again; I hate the Bruce Wayne and Selina stuff, it needs to just go away.

Let’s not forget about Nygma. Here is another storyline they are forcing too hard. The producers must really want him to turn evil really bad. I know the season is called ‘Rise of the Villains’ and all, but really? His turn to the dark side feels forced as well like it’s taking forever to happen. Just get on with it. At the moment, he is your only other villain to run with. For a season based around villains rising, I don’t see anymore villains rising except Galavan. I was expecting more villains, more chaos, and more great character work. Instead, we lose all that and go right back to the shit that made me hate last season. What happened?

Overall, I was disappointed with this episode. It could have been so much better. It has been better. Less exposition by the characters and more nuance, more acting. A better script wouldn’t hurt either.

Three Borts out of five. (Average or so.)

What did you think of the episode? Do you disagree with me? Let me know down in the comments.

All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Deck Ape...or anyone else. Arrr!

R.A. Miller

R. A. Miller, the pen name of Robert Miller, spends his days working for the Suncoast Media Group and his nights writing for Deck Ape, as well as his own fiction. A graduate of Full Sail University with a BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment, Robert uses his knowledge and his skills to create spectacular, page turning fiction.

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