“A Dark Knight: My Three Soups” is McKenzie’s second crack at the director’s chair for the veteran show, Gotham . The first instance was season 3, episode 16: “Heroes Rise: These Delicate and Dark Obsessions”. That episode had rave reviews and warranted a return to now direct much more in the series.
McKenzie did a wonderful job in capturing the chemistry between characters such as Harvey and Gordon, Barbara and Bruce as well as the villains treating each one equally showing the dichotomy of sanity and insanity and how personal vendettas and our past relationships affect our decision making.
The tone for this episode was very dark and serious. Being part of the show gave McKenzie an insiders point of view and the ability to work with all the departments to create this menagerie of madness with elements from lighting, mood, even wardrobe to ensure that not only did it reflect and amplify the characters in the story but also keep the storytelling consistent without the crazy tangents that most shows suffer.
The change of attitudes was needed as situations got serious, and that was more fitting when this season where situations are darker than usual. One can simply just add ridiculous crazy things haphazardly and with great joy is to come great sadness. Mad Hatter was no longer jovial but more sinister and bloodthirsty. Jerome had his own personal affairs to get in order. McKenzie made us aware of the humanity of the characters and how it makes a big difference for them to be driven by their past that got them to their current state of mind. Even the most logical and calculated beings have a little bit of crazy inside.
Being an actor first, McKenzie was able to truly reflect on the dynamic of Harvey and Gordon Harvey pressured Gordon to keep his pride in check was a great way to start since that is easier said than done. If we wanted more from Gordon, then dealing with this lie was the next step to take for a guy who can sometimes fail to see the big picture. It showed growth on Harvey’s end that he could at a time like this.
Barbara finally addresses a gift Ra’s al Ghul left her. Now we know what happened to Barbara after her death, and that changed everything about her arc moving forward. Bruce and Barbara move forward with a continual reminder to Bruce that it’s not all about him.
For a show based on the Batman cannon things are shaping up and are getting exciting as we move forward into the series understanding what the destiny of young Bruce Wayne needs to become and how James Gordon will keep Gotham on its toes till that time arrives.