Skip to main content

GOTHAM Review (S1E13): 'Welcome Back, Jim Gordon'


'Welcome Back, Jim Gordon,' is not just the return of the detective from the doghouse but the return of the formulaic police procedural. See Gordon argue with his superiors, see Gordon go against their wishes, see Gordon be told he shouldn't rock the boat, see Captain Essen not help-then help-Gordon roused by an inspirational speech. We've seen this before and it's not any better than the last thirteen times. 

A "public service homicide" occurs according to Bullock in a warehouse (where else?) because no one innocent was affected. Well, this poor schmuck was killed and left dangling with drugs hidden in his heel. It turns out he was part of a group of killers known as the Uptown Assassins. Or could be the name of a break dancing crew from the 80's. Luckily, for Gordon and Bullock a witness by the name of Leon Winkler has stepped forward to provide a description of the killer. Unluckily, for Leon he's waiting for the sketch artist in the least safest police interrogation room ever. He's subsequently murdered by a mysterious assailant. And the procedural begins. 

As it always does. A quick death, jump to the crime scene with photographer, Nygma and Bullock and Gordon standing by examining the situation. The virtual same set-up as any crime of the week we've seen before with exactly the same amount of intrigue and tension: zero. Perhaps, it's the usual insignificance of such investigations that only lead to propelling Gordon's storyline as the department's sole honest cop. But really in doing what needs to be done to bring justice isn't always that honest anyway. He'll pursue justice and be told time and again to get with the program only to prevail in the end. The formula continues. 

Arnold Flass, another cop, is Gordon's suspect but because this is the GCPD, the Captain tells him good luck getting an arrest. At this point, the Captain should already know that Gordon won't stop investigating and that she'll eventually give in and help. This is not new territory and thus the redundancy. 

Gordon gets help from Cobblepot to get the evidence needed to arrest Flass. A favor among friends is how Cobblepot sees it and he provides him with a murder weapon and a tape of another cop, Delaware, confessing that Flass was running the stash houses he was suppose to shut down. A confession Cobblepot got through his henchman torturing Delaware's wife. The scene was cleverly horrific with tension and menace that brought real power to the story. Unfortunately, there aren't enough scenes like that to save the episode. In other situations, the tension is subdued or smothered by some contrivance rendering a scene flat. 

It's only when the show follows the villains does it really get interesting or exciting. Even though Mooney's capture and escape with Butch's help devoid of creativity just having the mob bosses at odds makes for some scenery chewing delight. Sure, Cobblepot's montage of drunken joy at Mooney's club he had taken over a waste of time the payoff came when Mooney returned to claim it. Standing there with Butch by her side holding a baseball bat, Mooney is mocking Cobblepot. Finally, some earned tension on screen. Some critics point to Jada Pinkett Smith's over-the-top portrayal of Mooney. I say, 'thank goodness' for breathing life into a character and a show that at times needs a defibrillator. Along with Robin Lord Taylor's devilishly wacky Cobblepot they've saved episodes all by themselves. 

Bullock's fondness for Mooney also was an interesting thread in the end. A development that brought some questions as to how far they go back and what does either owe to each other. It was a nice layer of character development that hopefully will be explored later. 

Bruce returned briefly to learn a hard lesson about getting too close too fast with a girl. Searching the streets for Cat proved fruitless but of course she found him at home later when she climbed through the window. Cat rejected Bruce's help and offer to stay at the mansion. She even smashes the snow globe he gave her as a gift. He means well, but he's still a kid. A privileged kid at that. Alfred tells the dejected youngster to keep his chin up and get back on his parent's murder case. This won't be the last time young Bruce will have girl troubles. Not by a long shot. 

In the end, the show lacks focus and consistency. The tone changes week to week without an end game. Great performances by the villains prop up the episodes but too much reliance on Gordon's predictable scowling and growling over meaningless cases.  It needs a consistent hard edge it gives its villains whose character rarely changes providing a great foundation to draw from. Everything else feels disjointed and slapped together with school glue. 

If you're a glutton for punishment, check out previews of next week's episodes with these 3 videos:

Ben McKenzie & Donal Logue discuss Gordon’s return to the GCPD and tease the lengths he will go to fight corruption.

Ben McKenzie discusses his relationship with Barbara and new romance in Gordon’s future. GOTHAM airs MON at 8/7c on FOX.

Robin Lord Taylor recaps Fish’s downfall and teases the big changes that are to come.



Comments

  1. I stopped watching and the funny thing is, you could be talking about episode 3. Definitely didn't sound interesting enough to take another look. Such a waste of talent and time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here's the thing, Gotham gets ratings and is in worse shape than Sleepy Hollow fundamentally. Sleepy can be righted with certain tweaks. Last night was a good episode, it centered mostly around Crane and Abbie. Gotham has more issues and it lies in execution.

    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 …