Skip to main content

'Gotham' Review (S1E4) - 'Arkham'

Earlier today word came out that Fox's Gotham got a full season order of 22 episodes. The show has done extremely well in the ratings and it seems the network's gamble to have a Batman prequel has paid off so far. That means there'll be six more episodes to look forward to. As for tonight's Arkham episode, well, it was eye popping. 

In a bit of a reversal from last week's Ballonman episode where victims were tied to a weather balloons and lofted into the sky this week the 'crime of the week' involved some bloody and brutal methods. Councilmen are being killed and one gets a spike through the eye and the other gets stuffed in a drum and set ablaze. It all happens within the first 15 minutes. Pretty gruesome stuff and sets the tone for the episode.

It's this type of change of tone from one week to another that gives the show a bit of an identity crisis. Just how violent and gratuitous is it meant to be? Some shows have an expectation of brutality on a weekly basis. The Walking Dead, CSI, Hannibal, and so on but where does Gotham stand on the balloon-to-human BBQ scale? Some consistency would be appreciated. 

When we last left Jim Gordon he had an unexpected visitor at his door. Oswald Cobblepot was back in town and begging to help 'the last honest cop in Gotham' avoid an impending gang war. Or was he? 

Back at his day job at Maroni's restaurant, Cobblepot, trusted dishwasher got a promotion saving a bag of cash from murderous bandits. That's one way to climb the business ladder. As usual Robin Lord Taylor is phenomenal as Cobblepot. You can't keep your eyes off him.

Equally as compelling is Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney. She still hasn't stepped outside her club as she's auditioning torch song singers. She's not looking for a girl she's looking for a weapon. Whatever that means. In any case, Smith owns every scene she's in and this one is no different as she asks each woman to 'seduce' her. 

The first gives her a backrub that disappoints and Smith's expressions are priceless. The second can't sing but sure does can seduce. It's not clear what Fish has in store for the winner. She promises 'power, money, respect' but it could simply be a plot to seduce Carmine Falcone and kill him. The selection process boils down to a street fight much like in The Dark Knight where the Joker breaks a cue stick in half and has two rival henchmen duke it out for a spot 'on the team.' 

Barbara and Jim have heart-to-heart about secrets. Suffice it to say it doesn't go well. Babs tells Jim about Det. Rene Montoya and their relationship from years back. Jim realizes Rene's been feeding information and misinformation about his involvement with Cobblepot. Yet not all secrets are revealed but Babs leaves Jim anyway. 

The Arkham District (including the Asylum) was the centerpiece of the episode as both crime families were vying for pieces of the development deal from the mayor. Pulling some strings was Cobblepot pitting the families against each other in what looks like a plan to see to ascend to the top while manipulating the players. 

The show is still finding itself although the narrative might be clearing up as the season is clearly becoming about the Penguin's ascension to power. The sessions between Jim and young Bruce Wayne are still more like debriefings than casual talks. Nonetheless, the show's production values are tremendous, the sets look vintage noir, shadows and dim lighting even people using electric typewriters and as long as Fish and Penguin are on screen the show is going to be fine.


Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Bonehead' #2 by Bryan Edward Hill, Rhoald Marcellius, and Sakti Yuwono

Bryan Hill pumps the brakes a little in the follow up to the fast-paced debut of 'Bonehead' with more great world building. The mystery surrounding Bonehead 56 deepens but we at least get some backstory and details about what his arrival means for a pair of brothers with opposing viewpoints.

Writer: Bryan Edward Hill Artist: Rhoald Marcellius, Sakti Yuwono Letterer: Jaka Ady Graphics: Comolo Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 31, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score:★★★★☆ (4/5)
After a thrilling video game-like first issue, issue two gives way to the brothers Kray. Aleph is a tech scientist examining the unconscious "56" and marveling at his abilities. He reminds him when his brother Hideki roamed the city as the vigilante Blackdeath. Hideki is a Gladiator (cop) now and he questions Aleph's methods with 56 and its legalities. Nonetheless, they need 56 to be free on the streets for now so they can monitor him. The brothers c…


Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

REVIEW: 'Infidel' #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote, Aaron Campbell, and Jose Villarrubia

'Infidel' #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell arrives at a time when the horrors of everyday life for marginalized people is scary enough but add misogyny and xenophobia from demons and well, that's just multi-dimensional haterade. This contemporary horror story feels timely and brimming with scary thrills.

Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote Artist: Aaron Campbell, Jose Villarrubia Letterer: Jeff Powell Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: March 14, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Aisha is an American Muslim woman who just moved into a haunted apartment building with her boyfriend, his child, and his mother. It's the perfect horror movie set-up that includes a tragic incident that led to the killing of several people, the haunting aftermath of the explosion, a boyfriend's xenophobic possibly racist mother, and terrifying nightmares. Pichetshote has cooked up a potent cauldron consisting of the right horror tropes mixed with equally horr…

REVIEW: 'Hit-Girl' #1 by Mark Millar and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz

Hit-Girl is most certainly back and as deadly and crazy as ever. She's gone international looking to fight injustice and find a worthy sidekick. Mark Millar is in top form with help from artists Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Sunny Gho. The heart of the Kick-Ass legacy lives on as bloody and as thrilling as you remember.

Writer: Mark Millar Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Sunny Gho Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: February 21, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★★ (5/5)
The retirement of Dave Lizewki as the original Kick-Ass has left a void in Mindy's crime-fighting life. Trying to recruit his replacement has been challenging to say the least. She's going to go it alone and taking her skills global as a cry for help leads her to Colombia.

Millar hits the floor running with a wild prison break, Mindy parting ways with an unworthy partner, and a grieving mother looking for justice. The sudden blitz back to the world of Kick-Ass is like comfort food for comic book fans. …

ADVANCE PREVIEW: Veronica Goes Vampire in New Horror Series 'Vampironica'

NEW ONGOING SERIES! When Veronica is bitten by a centuries-old vampire, her thirst for blood threatens to turn Riverdale into a haven for the undead. Will she put an end to the vampire threat or give in to her bloodlust?

Script: Greg and Meg Smallwood Art: Greg Smallwood, Jack Morelli  Cover: Greg Smallwood Variant Covers: Francesco Francavilla, Audrey Mok, Djibril Morrissette-Phan, Marguerite Sauvage On Sale Date: 3/14 32-page, full-color comic $3.99 U.S.
Artwork by Greg Smallwood