Gotham: “Arkham” Review

Never trust a man who won’t eat his own canoli

**Spoliers Below**

More moves, more shakes and a little trouble at home for out man, Jim Gordon. Gotham  was a little packed this week, as “Arkham” brought with it some revelations, and some plot movement. It’s weird to talk about so much plot and landscape changing in a show’s fourth episode, but that’s part of the appeal of Gotham as well as one of it’s more glaring weaknesses. But this episode was more focused on the established universe as opposed to winking and nudging the knowledgeable crowd, which made from an enjoyable affair overall.

Penguin-in-Gotham-TV-show-Poster

The villain this week, Gladwell, was fun but felt a little forced. We never learn who was employing him to take out members from both sides of the Falcone/Maroni war, and not a big enough deal was made of that fact. Yes, it was just a theory that was being thrown out by Gordon and Nygma, but it was still an interesting thread considering it was well…true. Gladwell was knocking off Councilmen who were paid off by both families, constantly altering the vote over what would happen with the land surrounding Arkham. The general’s put some pawns and lieutenants into motion and the city’s most desperate citizens were caught in the middle without even knowing. He also made sure to spew that quote his dad told him about simplicity (Which is a Da Vinci quote by the way), but he method of mayhem was anything but. His flute/dagger/looking glass thingy was needlessly complicated, which made it seem as though there was more story to be told but alas, Gladwell was shot down by Bullock and Gordon before we found anything out.

Can we write a letter to the person, or persons who name Gotham episodes? Yes, Arkham Asylum played into the framework of the episode, but just like “Selina Kyle”, this episode didn’t have much to do with the Asylum as a setting, but more as an idea, and while it is abandoned now, once the plot device of real estate came into play, it became hard to ignore the fact that we know Arkham does reopen as the holding place for Gotham’s worst criminals.

Speaking of the worst, Fish Mooney is setting something up to take Falcone down, but what we don’t know. What we do know is, she has no qualms with holding Joker style auditions(no pencils, but still). It’s hard to say what hiring a cute, not so songstress, will do. Especially if she’s using her as a weapon, but Liza was a way more convincing version of whatever Mooney was looking for. Maybe she’ll use her to get close, or earn his trust, or even drawn attention in some way. I don’t know, but Gotham has mustered up some intrigue, so I’ll call that a win.

Our ol’ pal Cobblepot made his presence known at the Gordon house. Showing up at the house was just a way to move the Gordon Family gotham_104_arkhamemptylotgladwell_5948_hires1drama forward, now that Barbara is openly questioning Jim’s actions, and he now knows that shes been talking to Montoya. What was really interesting was watching Cobblepot executing his own schemes. Finding out that he was the mastermind behind the robbery was nice. Working his way up the criminal ranks, by holding on to some of the money to return to Maroni. He then poisoned the henchmen he’d hired and took their loot for himself. Clever, but man, it’s gonna be hard to come by some more thugs if he keeps that up.

“Arkham” had some good beats. While the procedural aspect was a little phoned in and simple, especially given the difficulty Gordon has dealt with trying to crack much simpler cases. On the other hand, this could be signs of things to come. I didn’t fully like the use of the Arkham name, but I did enjoy the backdrop of the famous structure. It has a presence in the city, and with it opening, we should be introduced to some of the early baddies in Gotham mythos. I do want to know more about who hired Gladwell, and maybe that will come into play later. Right now, Gotham is hitting something of a stride, and it’s shaping things quite nicely.

Score: B-

 

 

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