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: 'Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman' #6 by Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora

The series has been great fun but for fans of the original Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter and the Bionic Woman starring Lyndsey Wagner it's been a time machine to what could have been when these two iconic heroines meet.


WONDER WOMAN '77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #6  Writer: Andy Mangels Artist: Judit Tondora Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Release Date: September 20, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
 Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora have put together a sprawling crossover event that faithfully captures the tone and aesthetic of the 1970's shows. Often complicated and full of exposition, the camaraderie between Diana and Jamie is genuine and to see them in action makes the cover price worth every penny. Bringing together not only the titular heroes but incorporating their respective supporting characters like Wonder Girl and combining villains was no easy feat but Mangels and Tondora pull it off with enthusiasm and precision.
The plot to use Fembots to…

LONG BEACH COMIC CON Invades the Southland with William Shatner, Dave Gibbons, Cosplayers, and More

It's that time of year again when pop culture fans from all over Southern California and beyond descend on Long Beach to meet and greet some of their favorite stars from comic books, television, and movies. This year the 2017 Long Beach Comic Con offers some new exciting guests, panels, concerts, film festivals, cosplay contests, and an expansive Space Expo.


Visit downtown Long Beach on Saturday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 3 for the annual Comic Con at the Long Beach Convention Center. This year's lineup includes legendary actor and cultural icon Star Trek's William Shatner speaking in the Main Stage room on Saturday as well as esteemed veteran comic writer and artist Dave Gibbons (Watchmen).
A con that still values comics will feature comic book vendors, artists, writers, and publishers. Approximately 100 other guests including animators, voice actors, and professional cosplayers will be participating in more than 100 entertaining and informative panels covering animation,…

REVIEW: 'Genius: Cartel' #3 (of 5) by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman, and Rosi Kampe

Adam Freeman and Marc Bernardin tighten the vice around their hero Destiny when she deviates from the mission to a plan of her own. Now outgunned and trapped while trying to rescue dozens of frightened women from the cartel's sex-trade, Destiny must use her superior intellect to find a way out alive in Genius: Cartel #3.


GENIUS: CARTEL #3 (OF 5) Story: Adam Freeman, Marc Bernardin Art / Cover: Rosi Kampe Colors: Brad Simpson Letters: Troy Peteri Published: October 18, 2017 Diamond ID: AUG170655
Ignoring orders to assassinate the leader of a drug cartel, Destiny pursues her true mission—free two dozen young girls from the cartel’s sex-trade operation. With an army of mercenaries on her tail and the US border over 1,500 miles away, how will she fight her way out while protecting such fragile cargo?
Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
When Destiny decides to alter the mission leaving her troops to complete the assassination of the cartel leader, she opts to lead the women a…

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 …

REVIEW: 'Crosswind' #4 by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs

'Crosswind' #4 delves deeper into the situations that Cason and Juniper have found themselves in. The fates of both are increasingly in danger just as Cason as Juniper begins to stabilize the domestic life. Juniper as Cason has a target on his back and a deception that could cost a life before the two return to their rightful bodies.



CROSSWIND #4 Writer: Gail Simone Artist: Cat Staggs Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: September 27, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
The last issue was a satisfying chapter but things get inevitably messier. Cruz is out to get Cason for sleeping with his fiance Mika and making sure he keeps quiet about killing the idiotic son, Siggy, of the mob boss. He's got to play Mr. Randolph against Cason now and it's sure to set some deadly actions in motion. Meanwhile, back in suburbia, Cason just set Juniper's husband straight about his philandering. He needs help getting away as a woman so he enlists the help of a transgender woma…