– Spoiler Review –
During Gotham‘s winter break, I began to wonder if I had been too hard on the show so far. I kept looking back at “Lovecraft,” the midseason finale, and finding myself enjoying some of the things it set up, mainly Gordon’s new job at Arkham Asylum and Mooney possibly putting in a bigger push to overthrow Falcone. That meant I was going into “Rogues’ Gallery” with a positive attitude for the first time since the pilot and it’s second episode, but I can’t say I was completely able to keep it by the end of the hour.
Ending Gotham TV Show Reviews (9/26/15)
I probably should’ve done this more formally back when I called it quits with the show after its umpteenth break during the first season, but I won’t be reviewing this series anymore. I had been holding out hope the show would get better for the second season and the creative team behind it were saying all the right things, but the S2 premiere was just more of the same. Sure, there’s some promise for better things ahead in it so I’ll be tuning in, but this is more in regards to my own personal time constraints and my sanity. Sorry and thanks for checking out Mynock Manor for details on Gotham and I seriously hope the show hits its stride soon. We still have plenty of content on the site so browse around before heading somewhere else!
As I’ve been taking issue with before, Barbara’s relationship drama not only seems like a running joke, but feels a waste of the character and unfortunately this week does nothing to change my opinion of it; But it feels like the crew behind Gotham finally realized it was a joke too. Since Barbara left Gordon, we’ve seen her appear three times, count them THREE times, and all three times were in the exact same bed with two of those appearances happening in “Gallery” alone. Barbara is all wide-eyed and lovey to Montoya when she returns from somewhere only to suddenly break up with Barbara because of how toxic they are together. We literally see none of this toxicity, only hearing about it, and it makes me tilt my head to the side and ask, “Why did we go through all this? Just to be edgy by having a lesbian coupling?” With Barbara on the fritz with Montoya, she calls Gordon’s place. Oddly enough, Selina had taken an abandoned Ivy to crash at Gordon’s place, leaving Ivy around to prank answer Barbara’s call. Barbara’s relationship drama has been literally turned into a joke, but it’s been a joke since the start anyways.
Thankfully we have Dr. Leslie Tompkins to fill in the competent and drama-less female character void for Gordon to interact with, played wonderfully by the Firefly alum Morena Baccarin. Her character is mostly helpful, isn’t just there because she’s attractive, and she might actually provide the show with some stability. I look forward to her presence as the Asylum arc plays out over the second half of this season.
On the flip side, Dr. Gerry Lang, or as I affectionately called him just moments after meeting him, Dr. Dick, is a character who was just simply grating. I’m more than happy he dies at the end, since his character served no purpose other then to give Gordon hell/something to growl at. I mean, Dr. Dick came down on Gordon for each incident like he was the only guard in Arkham and then kept stonewalling him over things most renowned surgeons and doctors wouldn’t have any trouble understanding were necessary. At least Isiah Whitlock Jr. played Dr. Dick to a fault.
But I did enjoy this week’s procedural element, something I figured the Asylum setting would help Gotham stretch its legs a little with. One of the strongest of the earlier episode was “Spirit of the Goat,” which was the first episode to tease supernatural elements and feel the most comic book-ish. Having one of the inmates, Gruber (played by a rather great Christopher Heyerdahl), electro-shocking other inmates into becoming his personal pets is a creepy and fantastic concept. It helps set Gotham apart by featuring a more over-the-top killer/madman and let’s him loose at the end with the tantalizing promise he’ll gladly be seeing Gordon again. This looks to be Gordon’s first true member to his own little rogues’ gallery and as interesting as it was to see, it unfortunately adds even more clutter to an already cluttered show. Either way, here’s hoping the Asylum gives us more of these type of unique killers…and spends more time focused on them.
Don’t get me wrong, Fish Mooney has been a fun character thanks to Jada Pinkett Smith, but focusing on her right hand man Butch took away from the more important and scene stealing gangster. On top of that, it wasn’t surprising that Butch chose to side with Mooney, even if the show tried its hardest to sell his friendship with the man he wound up killing. As a fan of the Godfather films (and who isn’t?), I appreciated the mob-style execution complete with some old time-y music.
And when we weren’t focusing on the Asylum or Butch’s adventures, there was still Penguin and Selina and Ivy to contend with. Both of their storylines felt unnecessary for the hour and detracted from the overall episode. Especially Ivy and her prank answer of Barbara’s call. But as Robin Lord Taylor continues to rock as Penguin, it’s hard to get mad at more screen time for him even if it isn’t all that important or pressing.
Finally, when Bullock first appeared, I forgot just how much I missed him. I almost missed him as much as he missed Gordon, as his line to the inmate quoting Shakespeare, “Alright, I can dig that,” was hilarious. He is one of the bright and shining spots to this show and I hope they can implement him more while Gordon is away at the Asylum.
Here are a few other things:
- I guess Jack Gruber is a new villain in the DC universe, so it’s exciting to see someone new with so much potential finally on Gotham, instead of us looking at a bunch of characters who we already know have potential to be villainous that we may never get to see. Now it just needs to be revealed Jack Gruber is related to Hans Gruber from Die Hard and we can have the Gotham/Die Hard crossover in Arkham Asylum we didn’t know we wanted. Actually, that could be pretty awesome. Let’s make that happen, okay?
- Is Gordon sort of living at the Asylum? Because Ivy and Selina stayed there for quite awhile otherwise it seemed.
- So it wasn’t the kindly old lady in the basement with the candlestick? Drats, I lose Clue again.
- Honestly, we already had a Asylum breakout? I thought they would’ve saved that for later.
- The band who played the song during the Gordon interrogates the inmates montage was Royal Blood, a two person rock band who makes it hard to believe it only consists of two people; They rock harder than most 4 or 5 piece bands you’ll listen to and they were one of my top artists and top albums of 2014.
The biggest takeaways from “Rogues’ Gallery” are: this show still can’t focus too much on one thing, which might be for the better since focusing might reveal more problems; Bullock is an essential piece of what makes this show good; please, drop the relationship drama already; and the Asylum might just give Gotham what it needs to stand out a little more since its original concept of a young Gordon in a pre-Batman Gotham City hasn’t exactly fired on all cylinders. Oh, and that Gotham/Die Hard crossover really needs to happen now.
+ Morena Baccarin as Leslie
+ Creepy new member to the DC Rogues’ Gallery of the Bat-verse
– Lack of focus
– Barbara’s relationship issues….again…
– Arkham’s admin being a dick for no good reason
S1, Ep. 12: “What the Little Bird Told Him”
S1, Ep. 10: “Lovecraft”
S1, Ep. 9: “Harvey Dent”
S1, Ep. 8: “The Mask”
S1, Ep. 7: “Penguin’s Umbrella”
S1, Ep. 6: “Spirit of the Goat”
S1, Ep. 5: “Viper”
S1, Ep. 4: “Arkham”
S1, Ep. 3: “The Balloonman”
S1, Ep. 2: “Selina Kyle”
S1, Ep. 1: “Pilot“