Thursday’s Face-Off: Gotham vs. Arrow – Who won the night?

For me, Thursday night is all about the two self-made superheroes. Both are generally melancholy and come from wealth. Both feel like it is their calling to protect their home cities from the ne’er-do-wells that plague their respective cities. Both have been befallen by familial tragedy. However, these two are at different junctures in their journeys.

First Oliver, he has made an important decision in his life. He has handed over the hood to his close friend, John Diggle. What’s at stake is his and his team’s freedom, his relationship with his son, and the city as a whole.

But old habits die hard. Especially when it comes to the safety of Felicity.

Felicity, as Overwatch, is an integral part of the team. Now that Ollie is not the Green Arrow and sitting on the sidelines, worrying about the safety of his love has been amped up. Which was evident in last night’s episode. Cayden James has created an evil plan and, like in Mr. Robot, it entails taking down the internet. When Alena goes to Felicity for help, Felicity drops everything to assist and that means not telling anyone, but Oliver, of what she is up to. Luckily, the rest of the team has been tracking Evil Laurel because she has been picking off people. Why? Well, it is because these three people protect the internet in Star City. Clearly, they need better cyber security. The team realize what is going down and catch wind of what Felicity is doing and they end up rescuing her.

When the team realizes what Cayden is up to, they work together to ensure the internet is safe. they even had a little help…from Oliver. He is now where Felicity used to be, back at HQ directing her to the server room safely. Even though they won this battle, they have to be wary of what Cayden will throw at them next.

Yes, the tables have turned for “Olicity” and we all think it is for the better, for now. Because we all know superhero tales are like roller coaster rides, they have their peaks and their valleys.

Next for Arrow – Deathstroke Returns – Slade returns and asks Oliver for help tracking down his son; the rescue mission gets complicated by a terrible revelation that could shatter Slade’s hopes of reunion.

Bruce Wayne is still suffering over the decisions he made when R’as al Ghul was in Gotham.

So, as any teen gets when things do not go his way…he acts out. Unlike your kid, who may just slam doors and sulk as he is grounded time and time again, Bruce has the luxury of infinite wealth and being an orphan. As an event unfolds in his manor, he crosses paths with a young lady he knew when he attended school. She reintroduces him to old classmates and goes down a spiral that ends up with him buying a nightclub, drinking, dancing, ad making out the night away…we are now in the midst of Bruce’s teen angst years. How Alfred will deal with that, no one knows. How Selena handles this, will be interesting. Who becomes his enemies will be even more interesting.

While this is an interesting plot point, it is the emergence of James Gordon as the true hero of Gotham that steals the show. I always compare James Gordon to any of Jimmy Stewart’s heroes. Stewart always portrayed average middle-class Americans who struggled in crisis, but ultimately overcame their struggles to become heroes. That is James Gordon and he is hitting his stride, thanks to PYG.

PYG is initially determined to take everyone corrupt police officer down, but his scope changes after intentionally crossing paths with James as he disguises himself as an officer that was tortured by PYG. While James is elevated as a hero after saving officers from a trap set-up by the PYG, Harvey is wallowing in the pits for accidentally running into the trap and shooting an officer by mistake.

Now, all the officers (in apparently the only GCPD station in Gotham…this may explain why crime is so rampant) are indebted to James and the tide in the GCPD is shifting as the officers shun their corrupt ways.

What this means for Harvey or even Penguin, well it is not good.

There was an ancillary story that revolved around Barbara, Tabitha and Selena. I see that they are trying to create the foundation for the Sirens, but they could have shelved this story line when the show returns from it’s fall finale.

I said it before, this show would do better if it had stand alone episodes that focuses on a specific character’s story line. Last night would have been stellar if it solely focused on James, PYG, Harvey and the cops. Michael Cerveris is amazing to watch and he and Ben McKenzie have a great repertoire

Next: A Dark Knight: Stop Hitting Yourself – Grundy and Nygma become main attractions at Cherry’s Place in The Narrows. Penguin wants revenge when he hears Nygma is mocking him on stage and enlists The Sirens for help. Meanwhile, Gordon is offered the position of GCPD Captain.

I give the night to Arrow for them successfully focusing the show on the new dynamic between Oliver and Felicity, while pointing us in the new direction of who our new big baddie is. 


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