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The Kids Aren't Alright in Gotham

Mike Hoffman | 26 Nov 2014 01:30
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While "LoveCraft" is mostly about Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, Alfred steals the show in Gotham's midseason finale.

Apparently nothing is more dangerous than a butler with a mission.

The teenage Batman and Catwoman are on the run in "LoveCraft," which sadly has nothing to do with the Cthulhu mythos, outside of a couple names. Harvey Dent planned to use Selina Kyle, witness to the Wayne murders, to scare his suspect, Dick LoveCraft, into ratting out his criminal compatriots. This does not go well, causing the the young duo to flee into Gotham City while Alfred, Bullock, and Gordon are in pursuit.

As a midseason finale, "LoveCraft" works well, surprisingly. Some minutiae of Gotham City might be lost on those tuning in for the first time, but overall it works to summarize early events while preparing for Gotham's return next year.

This episode also succeeds in setting up something new to look forward to when the show returns without going for an agonizing cliffhanger. There's a big shift in store for Gotham viewers, mainly because of a fundamental change in Gordon's role in the city. Of course, the showrunners could shift things right back to the status quo in an instant, but hopefully they're committed to trying something different for a while.

Butler Alfred Pennyworth is the most rewarding part of "LoveCraft." He gets to do a bit of everything he needs to do in order to earn his title of Tough Older British Guy, and Sean Pertwee plays it all well enough without coming off as cheesy. That's an achievement for Gotham.

Unfortunately, the show doesn't succeed in that regard with its child actors. David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova aren't terrible as Bruce and Selina, and they receive decent direction, but kids can only do so much with this script. Gotham's dialogue has always leaned towards cliché, and Selina's "hard-knock language" and Bruce's high-society mannerisms both fall victim to this. It's not insufferable, but it's not exactly enjoyable either.

Spoilers ahead, but if you want to watch the episode first, it's available on Fox's website and Hulu.

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