Gotham 1×04 – Arkham

"You may very well be the last good man in Gotham."


At the moment, Gotham is a very frustrating and shallow show.

I want to love this series; most productions would kill to have access to DC’s enormous universe and Batman’s iconic rogues gallery, but Gotham seems content with telling unexciting stories and executing them in an even worse manner.

On one hand, I’m glad that the infamous Arkham Asylum is at the center of the season’s mythology, but I can’t handle any more cryptic talks about impending “wars”. Instead of just dazzling us with beautiful sweeping shots of the city (and let’s face it, this show is gorgeous), Gotham needs more substance, because its storytelling is pretty clunky and haphazard so far. Perhaps the network should send in an order for a new writing team? Because these scripts just ain’t cutting it.

The saddest thing of all is that you can practically see Ben McKenzie rolling his eyes at his material. The show is doing a terrible job of making Jim and Bullock anything more than incompetent detectives. It doesn’t help that all the clues they stumble upon are painfully contrived, from the CLM list which our murderer apparently dropped (!!!) in his dayjob, to bringing so much attention to Gladwell’s eye-spike weapon which served no purpose beyond pathetically linking the two murders together. It’s all just so very lackluster and uninspired.

Fish’s subplot was a tad more successful with her auditioning potential singers/assassins to deal with Falcone. While Jada still annoys me, it was nonetheless amusing to watch her order the women to “seduce” her before pitting them against each other in a vicious fight. Now that Fish has a weapon, maybe her storyline can gain some traction and escalate the stakes in the process.

I’m glad that Barbara finally told Jim about Montoya instead of dragging out this subplot for half a season. However, it was pretty hard to feel anything during that supposed “break-up” in the end when we’re not even invested in the relationship. We never really saw what made these two click, and that just rendered the scene pretty weak as a result.

While it was quite obvious that Oswald had orchestrated the whole restaurant murder shebang, it was still satisfying to see him get promoted to manager before finally taking out the evidence (the team he hired) through a box of poisoned cannolis. At this rate, Oswald will replace Maroni by the midseason finale (not that I’m complaining). Gotham needs a threatening antagonist and a sense of urgency.

Bat Bits

– Did anyone else think of Harley Quin in the teaser when Jim and Oswald got interrupted by the girls laughing?

– The trashcan murder was admittedly amusing. And Arkham LOOKS great.

– Edward Nygma (The Riddler) had one scene this week and it wasn’t even witty.

– Funny how a network show can barely showcase the lesbian kiss. What is this 2005?

– Does no one else feel like Bruce’s storyline keeps hitting the same beats over and over every week?

– The fight scene at the mayor’s house was pretty stupid. Gordon throwing books at Gladwell and losing his gun in the process was plain insipid.

– Maroni biting the steak was pretty cartoon-ish. I still can’t believe they wrote that in.

Cracks From Gotham

Fish: I ain’t lookin’ for no girl, I’m looking for a weapon.

With such rich source material, it’s a pity that Gotham continues to disappoint. I’m still holding out hope, but this is taking way too long

Nad Rating

1 comment

  1. This ep was downright violent.
    I enjoy a**kicking scenes but here, the bad guys are getting too much scene time for it.
    Some of it are not even that relevant; like those Fish Mooney scenes.

    I agree with you regarding the James-Barbara relationship.
    The actors don't have that chemistry that will make you root for them to get back together.
    My reaction on the break-up was: Ah, okey. Moving on. :))
    Gosh, James-Bruce has more chemistry being the Big Bro-Small Bro.
    Even Selina and James has a bit of a joy to watch on screen.

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