Progress!… at last. Channel Surfing: Gotham – Spirit of the Goat, and other shows you missed last night.


They’re getting better!  Slowly… but they’re getting better.

Here was an episode that spent some time on character development as it focused mainly on one of Harvey’s old cases – the serial killer, the Goat (No, not the Greatest Of All Time, just the Goat… like the animal… so lame – can we get somebody in here to create better character names please?!).  The Goat was a case that Harvey worked on when he was younger, and apparently more like Gordon in that he actually gave a damn about something other than getting off the clock.  Apparently the case ended when Harvey shot the Goat after he had injured Harvey’s partner, but now it’s time to re-open the case when they find the victim of a copycat killer; what tips Harvey off is a penny (Liberty penny to be precise) sown into the victim’s head.  This revelation spurs Harvey to act like more of a cop than we’ve seen from him yet, and it’s revealed during the course of the show that he used to be something of a “white knight”, always “jumping into the breach”.  Say huh?!  We’re talking about Harvey ‘I’m off the clock‘ Bullock, right?

Suffice to say, after some impressive detective work mostly on his part with a little help from Gordon, they get their man.  Right as he’s about to sacrifice the daughter of some of Gotham’s upper-class, they get their man.  But the point is they get their man.  Or do they?  Doing a little more groundwork, Harvey realizes they haven’t got it all figured out, and he goes to confront the real criminal: the woman behind both the original Goat and this manifestation.  While he’s there, he finds out just how powerful the power of persuasion can be as he gets his butt kicked for the second time this episode.  Whatever you say about Harvey Bullock, let it never be said that he can’t take a punch like a champ.  All’s well that ends well though, and the world is set right – Harvey making sure that the Goat can never again terrorize Gotham.

Other than the main story about Harvey and the case, Gotham, does a bang-up job of jumping around from pointless sub-plot to pointless sub-plot: you’ve got Nygma trying to impress a young woman and failing almost as badly as I used to in high school; you’ve got Bruce sleeping fitfully on the couch while Selina prowls around his house… not sure why exactly, but the stalker factor is high; and Oswald takes a bath while his mother fusses over him – their relationship is weird and just wrong, make it stop please!

And then there’s the ending where the MCU has their man: Gordon.  They finally think they have enough evidence (because the presumed disappearance of a known mob snitch, no body, and the word of a wino on the pier is sufficient evidence for any court, anywhere, anytime.  Please kill me now.) to pin the alleged murder of Oswald on Harvey.  Again, no body and the word of a wino – but then again what do I know?  I’m just a guy who likes to use his brain.  There’s a big scene as they bring him to the precinct and try to slap cuffs on Harvey too, but guess who walks through the door: Oswald!  Because he too is dumber than a doorknob.  And while this gets our two favourite cops out of cuffs – there’s a while different set of problems coming down the pipe next week.

Bottom line: Gotham takes three steps forward and two steps back consistently.  But with 16 more episodes this season, that makes for… sixteen more steps forward!  A lot of vigilantism going on in this town already – pretty surprised they needed Batman at all later on, but then again this version of vigilante goes around killing the daughters of rich people.  I find this to be a terrible idea – just saying.  Hopefully they continue to develop the main characters (they really don’t need to focus on so many), they lose the awkward/pointless scenes, and they find a direction that keeps us watching.

Until next time.

Gotham airs Mondays at 8pm PST on Fox




Scorpion is a show about a company of individuals high on IQ, short on EQ.  They’re helped by a waitress with a genius son, and are frequently employed by a federal agent.

This week’s episode finds them under review by a State shrink.  On the last case they were hired to protect some art.  The art is a fake, they find the forger, then they find the crook… then they blow up the art.  The $100 million piece of art.  On accident, really.  I think they got cleared by the shrink, but you’ll have to watch to know for sure.  Ah, heck – they get cleared, or this would have been a really short-lived show.

This is a fun, if over-acted show.  It can at times be cloyingly obvious – super obnoxious.  But there’s action and fun times.  It’s not for everybody, but give it a try and see if you like it.

Scorpion airs Mondays at 9pm PST on CBS


The Blacklist

And that brings us to The Blacklist.  I’ve followed this show since it came out because: James Spader.  That’s why.  It doesn’t hurt that the female lead is Megan Boone though.  Spader is internationally known criminal bad-boy, Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington; heck, he’s #4 on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.  But he’s turned himself in… kinda… and now he works with Agent Elizabeth Keen (Boone), and only Elizabeth Keen (which makes me wonder if I can make that demand at work and get away with it… No?  Fine, fine.)  Each week he turns over the name of another internationally known bad-guy, and they work together (sometimes) to catch them.

This week, Red is more concerned with animal victims than human ones as he turns over any information he has on the Mombasa Cartel, the leading poaching organization in the world.  There are the requisite twists and turns while they chase down leads, there’s even the part where humans are tagged and then released into the wild to be hunted down by some demented man-child.  In the end, the FBI gets what they were after, and Red gets something he didn’t expect.  Meanwhile Elizabeth has a secret, and now we all know what it is.

I like this show because of James Spader alone.  His calm, cool, collected mannerisms; the way he relates to the other characters; and the way he tells a story all contribute to making this show a success.  The acting across the board is great, and it’s a compelling story.  Go ahead.  Watch it.  You know you want to!

The Blacklist airs Mondays at 10pm PST on NBC

Until next time!

J.T. Riles ~


Categories: Channel Surfing

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