On the D/L – Gotham

Oct 14, 2014 | Posted by in TV

Season 1 Episode 4 – “Arkham”

Gotham moves forward with the Arkham plot that has been mentioned before now. In this show’s universe Arkham asylum was closed many years ago and is currently lying dormant along with lots of real estate around it. “Arkham City” as depicted on a map is something that the various mob elements of the city want to claim as their own territory so it’s an ample setting for a gang war.

Given the constant referencing to Arkham and building it up in the background I was expecting a little more from the first episode to directly feature it. There are a couple of press conferences from the bumbling Mayor who highlights what he plans to do with the area as well as a number of exposition heavy scenes from other characters who feel the need to explain what their plans are. Ultimately the area in question could really have been anywhere but I guess mentioning Arkham is a ratings draw given the popularity of the video game series to bear that name and the general public knowledge of it being part of the mythos.


Cobblepot tries to become a snitch for Jim

Jim and Bullock are drawn into another case of the weak in the form of a new killer named Richard Gladwell (Hakeem Kae-Kazim) who does his killing in service of both rival mob bosses Falcone and Maroni. He carries out these murders in a really clinical and detached way. He seems to be a guy who plans everything out very meticulously and is something of a perfectionist who really enjoys his work. The fact that he’s working for each of the rival mob bosses is an interesting idea that isn’t all that well explored. When he was introduced it seemed like he had some kind of personal vendetta that happened to be political but as it turns out that he was working for both sides to help decide whether affordable housing or waste disposal would win a  councillor vote. Not the most nefarious of criminal motivations and it ruins what could otherwise have been a cool character. At least some merit is given that he ties into the Wayne murder case in some way.

I feel that Gotham is starting to settle into a case of the week style structure that furthers elements of the Wayne murder in a small way and this is what I feared would happen from the first episode. A show like this only has a certain shelf life due to the fact that eventually Batman has to show up and that changes everything really. I’m not sure how much the show will hold my interest if it continues to stick with this formula as it is already starting to feel a little tiresome, especially when the main plot isn’t up to much like this episode.

Bruce Wayne’s story was good this week, the Arkham plans and the murders inspired him to start some detective work of his own and try and find answers to the murder of his parents. There’s not a definitive lesson learned like last week but there’s development towards the man he will be in the future. Having Bruce do this sort of stuff so early might be developing him a bit quickly. There are 22 episode of this season and Bruce is already well on his way to being Batman without being the right age, I feel they need to slow this part down.


Arkham Asylum’s gates are opened for the first time in a while

Fish Mooney had some interesting things to do this week as she spent most of the episode recruiting. She is looking for a beautiful woman who can sing, seduce and knows how to handle herself for reasons she doesn’t divulge. My theory is that she expects to overthrow Maroni and wants someone to handle her affairs in the nightclub when she moves up the criminal ladder. Her scenes were great and it was interesting to see the hypnotic effect she has on those around her, being able to bend them to her way of thinking and how quickly she can corrupt people.

Cobblepot’s scenes really steal the show. His rise to power is being developed subtly and it’s interesting to see how he tries to manipulate situations in his favour. He’s doing the right things to keep himself alive by trying to be useful to Jim Gordon and standing out from the crowd in Maroni’s eyes. Robin Taylor Lord plays this role perfectly by making him pathetic enough that he needs to be pitied but incredibly ruthless at the same time.

The only noteworthy piece of development for Gordon this week was his relationship with Barbara -no doubt temporarily- falling apart, there’s been hints at the secrets she has been keeping from him since the first episode but this is where Jim actually finds out and it creates a chasm between them. Barbara understandably throws the secrets he keeps right back at him, especially Cobblepot showing Barbara to be a formidable presence in this show who is more than capable of handling herself. This bump in their relationship gives Ben McKenzie some great stuff to work with in his performance.



  • 6/10
    Arkham - 6/10


A fairly disappointing outing this week. After many mentions of Arkham the payoff of using it for the first time doesn’t really bring anything exciting to the show. There is a promising killer character but the show is descending into a case of the week formula with some ties to the overall plot of the series. Jim Gordon is given some extra things to work with when he finds out Barbara’s secret but other than that he doesn’t have much in the way of development. Strangely Bruce Wayne is developing a little too quickly which leaves me to question what they will do to slow this development down in the coming episodes. Cobblepot and Fish Mooney have some great scenes that elevate this to slightly above average.