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.'




Comments

  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!

    ReplyDelete
  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.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Slots' #1 by Dan Panosian

Created, written, and drawn by Dan Panosian, 'Slots' #1 is his baby and he has a story to tell at his own damn pace. This beautifully illustrated story is centered squarely on former boxer Stanley Dance and his attempt to find redemption despite being someone without many redeeming qualities.


SLOTS #1 
Writer: Dan Panosian Artist: Dan Panosian Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: October 4, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
'Slots' is more of a character study than a rip-roaring crime caper but Panosian's protagonist is a charming cad, full of confidence, capable of swindling you out of a restaurant bill with a devilish grin on his face. He's headed back to Vegas to fulfill a favor he owes. He returns to his old haunts where everyone knows him and knows he must be playing some kind of angle. 'Slots' succeeds because Stanley is so magnetic even when he's a jerk he's interesting. So following him around town meeting up with old friends is…

REVIEW: 'Cyber Force' #2 by Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill, and Atilio Rojo

As Carin becomes accustomed to her new abilities, Stryker is determined to keep her out of the line of fire. He knows these "gifts" come at a price. Meanwhile, The Accuser recruits a dangerous ally.


CYBER FORCE #2  
Writer: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill Artist: Atilio Rojo Letterer: Troy Peteri Edited by Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: April 25, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill set the foundation in issue one with the explosive and destructive arrival of The Accuser. In her wake was the shattered body of Stryker, who along with his paraplegic daughter, get an extraordinary chance to become not only whole again but enhanced. Carin has taken to her powerful working legs with enthusiasm and joy. Stryker not so much because he knows they're being used by C.O.I.It's an uneasy arrangement but origin stories are rarely simple and carefree. Whether one's powers are considered a gift or a curse, there is a price to pay i…

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 …

PREVIEW: 'Turok Vol. 1: Blood Hunt' TP by Chuck Wendig and Álvaro Sarraseca

The fascist Saurian soldiers of the Varanid Empire-part dinosaur, part man, all bad news-have seized control of the Lost Valley, and only the mysterious man known as Turok is willing to stand against them! But the all-new Turok only cares about one thing: he’s on a quest to track down a missing girl - and she might hold clues as to how the Lost Valley has changed so much!


Now Turok must infiltrate a prison camp run by the Varanid Empire in order to get more information about her whereabouts -- and beware, any Varanid soldier who gets in his way - because there’s a reason they call him the Dinosaur Hunter!
Turok Vol. 1: Blood Hunt TP

writer: Chuck Wendig

artist | cover: Álvaro Sarraseca

FC  |  140 pages  |  $19.99  |   Teen+

COLLECTS ISSUES 1-5 PLUS BONUS MATERIAL

In Stores 05/16/2018














REVIEW: 'Death or Glory' #1 by Rick Remender and Bengal

With a title like 'Death or Glory' and a writer like Rick Remender you know you're in for a raucous good time. Add the gorgeous art of Bengal and you have a new title that combines the best the medium has to offer in one kick-ass action comic.


DEATH OR GLORY #1 
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Bengal Letterer: Wooton Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: May 2, 2018 Cover Price: $4.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

Here's the lowdown: Glory Owen's father figure is ailing, dying of liver cancer, living off the grid and being in debt makes health care nearly impossible. Glory is desperate but motivated to get that money by any means necessary for a life-saving surgery. All it's going to take is some risky heists from some very dangerous and shady characters including Glory's ex-husband. 
Sometimes, comic book writers remind me of movie directors in their approach to storytelling. In Rick Remender, I see a little of Tony Scott (Top Gun, True Romance, Man on Fire) in his …