On the D/L – Gotham

Jan 20, 2015 | Posted by in TV

Season 1 Episode 12 – “What the Little Bird Told Him”

Gotham brings some form of resolution to the long developed chess game between Fish Mooney and Falcone over control of the crime family.

The best thing about this episode is that it’s one of the few that actually feels like it has focus. The majority of time was spent on the battle for control with the Christopher Heyerdahl’s Electrocutioner story serving as the subplot. Gotham is at its strongest narratively when it keeps a firm focus on a couple of stories and explore them in more meaningful ways.


The Electricutioner threatens Jim Gordon

I’ve always thought the building gang war was the strongest aspect of this show so I’m really glad to see this given the biggest share of the attention. I found the revelation of Fish Mooney’s plan involving Liza to be really underwhelming. It might have something to do with the fact that it has felt a little underdeveloped by this point so the intended connection between the two characters isn’t quite there. I found it difficult to believe that Falcone would be so upset by her capture that he was willing to capitulate so easily.

Ultimately I really liked how this was resolved once Penguin told Falcone what was really going on and gave him the confidence he needed to get the upper hand. He turned the plan set by Fish on its head in such a clever way that it completely shows why Falcone is the Don. The pain on his face as he strangled Liza was fantastically acted by John Doman. I really liked that he did what he felt he had to despite being close to her. It’s something that he’ll come to regret but he can’t ever show weakness if he wants to keep his position.

I also liked that Penguin was the one who told Falcone the truth which clearly ties into his plan to become the Don. With Fish seemingly out of the way Penguin has only two rivals to contend with now. I get the impression that he has a slow burning plan to deal with Falcone and Maroni over the next while. I’m unsure what his master plan is but I like the way it is being teased.

The second story involving the Electrocutioner was less effective. If felt completely at odds with the main plot and had little in the way of connection to it. There was no real reason for his rampage and he was dealt with far too easily but it was nice to see a supervillain type character in the show. I just wish he’d had some defined motivation that gave him a reason for his rampage. Despite his poor characterisation Christopher Heyerdahl manages to inject a great sense of energy into the character and absolutely steals any scene he’s in. I really liked how theatrically over the top he was as he gave the show a much needed dose of fun. If he’d had a better plan then this could have easily carried an episode alone.


Falcone strangles Liza for betraying him

As predicted Jim Gordon is back to his old job as if nothing ever happened. I can’t help but feel that his stint at Arkham Asylum was a complete waste of time. All it really managed to accomplish was to free Electrocutioner and introduce Jim to Morena Baccarin’s Dr Leslie Thompkins. There are some scenes shared between them in this episode that feel a little out of place as well as rushing them together. It felt really clumsy and premature to have them romantically linked so soon. I don’t feel that their relationship was at that stage quite yet so a little more development was warranted on that one. I did like Peter Scolari as Commissioner Loeb and hope he returns in subsequent episodes. I like the conflict he has with Gordon so far. It creates an interesting dynamic that deserves to be explored.

Barbara was pointlessly thrown in here as well in a scene that does nothing more than establish where she’s going to be staying and that she has really creepy rich parents who seem detached from her. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about Barbara at this point but I mostly feel disenchanted with her increasingly pointless appearances. A similarly pointless subplot featuring Edward Nigma trying to hit on Kristine Kringle also fails to impress.

  • 7.5/10
    What the Little Bird Told Him - 7.5/10


Not the best episode of the series but definitely among the strongest. A sense of focus on the two main stories really helps this episode feel more complete.

The strongest aspect was the apparent resolution of the battle between Falcone and Fish Mooney. Some of it suffered from a lack of development before this point particulary where it concerns Falcone’s relationship with Liza. It didn’t feel as close a relationship as the episode suggested it is. All the same the end of this relationship was very well done.

Penguin’s plan continues to gain traction as he helps to remove one of his major obstacles. I’m sure he will continue to play them off each other until he achieves dominance.

The secondary plot wasn’t quite as strong but it was good to see a well acted, over the top supervillain character. He was dealt with a little easily and his rampage made absolutely no sense.

Also bringing down the episode were some really pointless scenes inclusive of a misplaced relationship development for Jim Gordon and Leslie Thompkins as well as pointless scene of Barbara going back to live with her parents. Scenes devoted to Edward Nygma chasing after Kristine Kringle were similarly underwhelming.

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