Skip to main content

'Gotham' Review (S1E12): 'What the Little Bird Told Him'

Enter the Electrocutioner
Gotham suffers a sort of identity crisis much like Harvey Dent himself. Not the hamfisted younger version introduced earlier in the series but the much more villainous future Two-Face of Batman canon. On the one hand, the show is a police procedural with sometime buddy cops Gordon and Bullock trading quips and arguing over how to handle a case. On the other, there's a gritty mob crime drama with riveting and cunning characters on the verge of destroying one another. Guess which show we'd like to see more of?

Compounding the show's dilemmas are the abundance of storylines vying for screen time. And not all them of them deserve their share. Take for instance, the odd appearance of Barbara Keen. After a falling out with Renee Montoya she heads home to see her parents who are disturbingly stoic and emotionless to have her there. I could not help but wonder, why am I watching this right now? 

There was no sign of young Bruce Wayne and Alfred this week after that relationship began showing some signs of purpose and chemistry. Perhaps if the show had originally planned for 22 episodes they could have prepared for these storylines to better evolve organically. Unfortunately, the initial order was for 16 episodes and after 'What the Little Bird Told Him' it certainly feels like things are coming to some sort of conclusion. 

The show begins with a great sequence of the Electrocutioner, now on the loose after escaping Arkham last episode, walking down the street with his mute accomplice in tow while Johnny Cash serenades the scene. It's the type of direction and camera work you'd see in a feature film. It works because it tracks the villain of the week demonstrating his ruthlessness in a way that is engaging and shocking. Unfortunately, the Electrocutioner devolves into a cartoonish baddie as the show goes on. Even his capture is astonishingly weak. I'm talking rage-throwing-the-remote weak. 

These mood swings in tone hamper the show from truly taking off. Gordon gets on the Electrocutioner case by bluffing and talking in some weird accent. He's suddenly overconfident, defiant and determined to get his man. His relationship with Dr. Leslie Thompkins is blossoming, but I can't for the life of me determine how or why. They've spent little time together and so far haven't shown enough sparks to light a match yet make out. This despite the best efforts of guest star Morena Baccarin who is radiant and charming but poorly served by the script. 

What keeps me coming back is the mob storyline that allows pros like Jada Pinkett Smith, John Doman and David Zayas to scheme and plot against one another with menacing glee. Breakout star Robin Lord Taylor as the Penguin gets to put a monkey wrench in Fish Mooney's plan to kidnap Liza and force Falcone to skip town forever.  A re-energized Falcone makes Mooney pay with Liza's life as the 'little bird' in question is the Penguin who informs him that he's been duped by the young admirer. It's a show of strength and power by the Don that resonates when he takes Mooney hostage after earlier considering retiring. 

If only the rest of the show's storylines took themselves more seriously or were at least as consistent as the mob plot. Gotham is really two shows in one. A thrilling mob crime drama surrounded by a schizophrenic police procedural dramedy. With a full season this year, plus a season 2 order, Gotham has the time and the support to continue to find itself. Hopefully, fans will stick around long enough for the show to reach its potential.

Check out scenes from next week's episode, 'Welcome Back, Jim Gordon.'


  1. Gotham lost this Batman fan. You hit it right on the money, the villains are cartoony as hell and their capture is usually uneventful. Personally, I've never been into mob dramas or procedurals. That's probably why this show failed to connect with me.

    Constantine deserves a renewal over this show 1k times more. Unfortunately, by fans continuing to watch this garbage the good shows get axed.

    So disappointed but hey atleast we've got The Flash!

  2. It's wildly inconsistent from week to week. but i've always liked mob dramas and that part of the show i find most intriguing.

    Constantine has improved so much from the pilot it knows what it is and is just fearless and funny that it deserves another season.

    you're right at least we have The Flash. the best of the bunch.


Post a Comment

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: '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

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …