The search for Fish Mooney continues in ‘Burn the Witch‘, an episode that postpones Bruce’s conflict with the Court of Owls to focus on the chase for Strange’s “best creation”.
I’ll be honest. After watching the final minutes of ‘Burn the Witch’, I’m completely clueless as to what the purpose behind Fish Mooney’s return is. The events taking place in Gotham imply that it’s the beginning of a new era, and Fish is something that many relate to the old days of Season 1 with Falcone and Maroni. Having the Penguin preferring his new alias over “Oswald” is another sign that he’s done with the days when he was just Fish’s umbrella boy, and that the city has moved on. Fish’s role in the story seems to be leading nowhere besides just being Strange’s favorite creation. These are all reasons why, even though the “resolution” of Fish and Penguin’s conflict was sweet, it still felt pretty anticlimatic. It could be argued that Fish was just lying to get out of there alive, but it’s also a fact that she did let him go in the previous finale. As per Penguin, it seems like he could become the media’s favorite boy, and is now even earning the trust of citizens, which is pretty amusing to see.
This turn of events certainly did not please Jim either, who keeps working with Valerie against his will… kinda. Valerie falls under the “annoyingly, intrusive journalist” trope, but she also happens to be very sharp and witty. Unfortunately, even though her interactions with Jim make for some really amusing dynamics, the sudden, yet totally predictable hook-up at the end of the episode felt very cheap. Even more so given that the “cliffhanger” of this episode is Lee returning. We still don’t know what she’s been doing these months or what her relationship with that other man is exactly. Still having Barbara in love with Jim is OK since her insanity makes them getting back together impossible (and she’s really shining in these first episodes), but having Jim now surrounded by up to three women seems a bit too much. Especially since his character has a lot of potential this season. No longer working as a cop, but still somehow operating as one gives the writers a chance to free Jim from the “must follow the law” rules that used to bind him in the past.
Ivy Pepper is alive and all aged up. This would have probably been a bigger surprise if it weren’t for the casting news of Maggie Geha we had already gotten. Ivy didn’t have much of a role in this episode except for establishing that she’s the new femme fatale, but it’s certainly better than just randomly showing up as a homeless kid who brings nothing to the plot. Here’s to hoping that this decision is due to something else other than just an excuse to sexualize the character. Seeing her reunite with Selina should be interesting.
As per Bruce himself, last week’s cliffhanger did not have that much of an impact in this episode. His meeting with the Court of Owls was short and confusing in a good way. Bruce realizes that he’s dealing with something much bigger than what he expected at first, and he ends up agreeing to stopping his investigation if only to protect those he loves. However, as Alfred comments later on, nothing guarantees that they will keep their part of the deal. Judging by the end of the episode, it seems like they will also be pretty busy with that Bruce-look alike that just entered the mansion.
No one managed to “burn the witch” in this episode of Gotham, but Fish doesn’t even seem that intimidating anymore in comparison to the Court of Owls. There are still many questions unanswered and many characters left in the shadows (Selina, Nygma…). It’s only the beginning, and even though the start of Season 3 is not as impressive as Season 2’s was, there’s still a lot of potential and room for improvement.