It's always delightful when a show picks up exactly where it left off the week prior; especially when they leave you with such a tantalizing situation with so many possible outcomes. Watching "Peter Humboldt" waddle into Jim's
apartment was quite a treat. Then, they went and ruined everything with the confrontation outside. When did Detective Gordon contract the Dean Winchester/Christian Bale Batman voice? Fellas, it's not as sexy or alluring as it may seem. I would also like to know who thought it was a good idea to have Mr. Cobblepot recite lines from a Richard Gere movie. "I got no place else to go!" (Sure, sure I just aged myself by citingAn Officer and a Gentleman,
but I don't care.) Appealing to Gordon's greater good, Cobblepot tries to set himself up as his secret accomplice citing this nugget of wisdom, "As you know, war is just politics by other means and isn't politics just money, talking?" What are we talking about?Let's all say it together.....Arkham!
Hot tip: if random dude approaches you in an empty parking lot at night, hands you a suspicious looking item and then instructs you to look into it, um, don't do it. I do not know what that weapon is, but I like it and I'll take two, please. Now, the lighting of a man on fire was more than I needed to be subjected to. Perhaps I'm still overstuffed on violence after the season premiere of The Walking Dead or maybe setting someone on fire is just really, really awful. However, love the chutzpah of an assassin who works in Human Resources under his legal name. Only took two cartons of cigarettes and one minute to get that super top secret information.
Going into tonight's fourth episode we were all aware that Gotham had just been picked up for more episodes. This means 22 instead of the original 16 that had been planned on. I, for one, am not uber excited about this. I firmly believe that we have far too many episodes in a season. As someone who likes to spend days gorging on BBC shows, a shorter season equals tighter storytelling. Luther, The Fall, Broadchurch, Whitechapel...these are all excellent examples of a shorter season being 100x more fulfilling than one that just drags on. You know, like, The Strain. Or how about this for something to think about; Sleepy Hollow, Scandal, Hannibal and the mother of all amazing television shows, Breaking Bad all had short first seasons and they were all fantastic. Some more so than others, but all of these short seasons just left you that much more excited for the next one. It's just so American; we have to super size everything and that's not always better, but I digress.
A couple of episodes ago, I gave Gotham a pass for what felt like cheesy overacting because this is, ultimately, based on a comic book, but I'm over that. First of all, there is nothing cheesy about a comic book and secondly, to write some of these actors into one note characters is a disservice to both them and us. Ben McKenzie can do so much more than talk like angry Batman, make silly faces at Donal Logue, who is also being severely under utilized, and then have a heart to heart with Bruce Wayne at the end of every episode. Surrounding the superb Robin Taylor Lord (Penguin) with a bunch of doofus' acting like completely basic Italian/mob stereotypes, all the way down to the cannoli's, does not make for compelling television. They may as well have just added some graphics of sound effects on the screen. At least that would be like the classic Batman television show. Bam! Kapow! Seriously, was I the only one waiting for someone to utter that classic line from The Godfather? "Leave the gun, take the cannoli."
As for Ms. Fish Mooney, I don't know that I have the energy to deal with this nonsense. Fish is a fierce woman who is going to use a woman as a weapon? Well, alright. I will hold judgement on that until after we see this "weapon", but I will not hold my tongue on that cat fight. How can one episode of television be so contradictory? "We love women in power!" "Gordon doesn't care that Barbara had a girlfriend; he cares that she lied!" "We like to show women being unapologetically sexual!" aaaand........"WE LOVE A GIRL FIGHT!"
They should have just made them have a pillow fight in their teeny tiny underwear. I'm not entirely sure why this bothered me as much as it did, but it did. (P.S. If you started singing "Liza with a Z" in your head while watching this episode, we are BFF.)
Gotham started out so strong and now I have to question if I only keep watching because of Mr. McKenzi and Mr. Lord. Clearly, there are many seeds being planted and plenty of characters that are yet to be fleshed out and that is why I will remain optimistic, but it's not usually a good sign when one episode elicits so many pop culture references. We're only through the fourth episode of the first season and it's already feeling a wee bit tired and unsure of itself. Gotham, please find your voice and be the awesome show that I know is lurking under all of those wacky storylines.