TV REVIEW: Gotham 1.4 “Arkham”

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Gotham has finally become a Batman show, mostly because it seemingly has two personas about it: stuff that’s decent and then everything else. As per last week, Robin Taylor Lord’s Penguin continues to be an absolute bright spot in the eye of an otherwise destructive hurricane, but even this week the character seems to be stuck in plots that have little logic around them (he gets told to stop paying attention to the ongoings at the restaurant, pretends to go back to work, and then immediately goes back to snooping). Lord gets some great moments along side Ben McKenzie’s Gordon and a twisted reveal when we’re shown he was the one responsible for the stickup.

The mob war over the tract of land that we’ll soon know and love as Arkham Asylum starts with the best intentions (and actually gives the show some good forward momentum), but ultimately falls flat (mostly because we already know the area is doomed to become a cesspool for criminals). This plot could have been something that was explored for several episodes, setting up the land as the spark that lights the fuse for a season long (or even a few episode long) arc in which Maroni and Falcone’s goons make increasingly larger plays over what’s essentially one of the larger parts of the Wayne legacy. Even Hakeem Kae-Kazim’s Gladwell has the makings of an antagonist better than the Balloonman.  Yet, it’s all over and done in one episode and features a moment in which Sal Maroni eats a piece of steak with his bare hands out of excitement.

I want to like the show. And there are more good moments (including some good character conflict between Gordon and Barbara) but the show continues to underwhelm. I’m not invested or interested in any characters other than Gordon and Cobblepot.

Quick Thoughts

– Kudos to Gotham for a least getting a director to bring some more style to the visuals.

– After taking last week off, we’re subjected to another horrible Ed Nigma moment Lucky us.

– The show continues to have tonal daddy issues, this week very clearly looking to Christopher Nolan for inspiration.

– Just after we talked about how good it was that Gotham was only going to have 16 episodes this season, Fox has gone and given the show eight additional episodes, bringing the total for this season from 16 to 22. Take that as you will.

– “It was just a box of paperclips, I didn’t think anyone would mind.”

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