"Gotham" 1.11 – Rogue’s Gallery (5 out of 10) – Directed by Oz Scott; Written by Bruno Heller and Sue Chung; Based on characters created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Howard Chaykin, Frank Miller, Greg Rucka; Starring Donal Logue, Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sean Pertwee…; Rated TV14” Aired on Fox 01/05/15.
Gotham is back and I was super excited to watch tonight’s episode, sadly I was extremely disappointed by it as well. It seemed as we approached the mid-season finale that the show had found it’s stride and was focusing on only a few characters in each episode in order to really flesh them out and give us the back story to each character on the show. It was working and was making me start to care about the people I was watching each week. Then with the show’s return it suffered from the same mistakes as the pilot episode.
We not only caught up with what was going on with Gordon but also everyone else who lives in Gotham minus Bruce and Alfred. It is important to catch up with all the characters we have met so far but not in one episode. We ended the mid-season finale with Gordon entering Arkham Asylum. That’s what I wanted to see and learn about. However it was only part of this week’s episode.
Let’s start with everyone else first. I have really enjoyed watching Fish set the pieces about to turn on Falcone but this week the story following her and Butch was unneeded. It's only purpose was to show Butch’s loyalty to Fish by killing his best friend Jimmy. They killed him because he was next in line to take over if Falcone died. Instead of spreading this out through out this week’s episode they could have done it another week in five to ten minutes of screen time at the most. It was drawn out and felt like nothing other than filler.
We also got to watch Cat and Ivy break into Gordon’s apartment to get out of a storm and spend the night. That’s all that happened other than Ivy answering the phone when Barbara called and pretends to be Jim’s lover by talking in an adult voice. I’ve said it before but the drama between Jim and Barbara is pointless. We know they end up together and I couldn’t care less if they fight along the way. Their relationship is not what makes future Commissioner Gordon awesome.
When we catch up with Penguin he is trying to raise taxes without Maroni’s permission and ends up getting punched by a cop and then arrested just so Maroni can teach him a lesson. This story line I was okay with because it moved the Penguin story arc along. Maroni tells Penguin “you’re a smart monkey but you’re still a monkey and I’m the zoo keeper,” as he’s being released from jail. The look Penguin has just screams revenge and I can’t wait to see what happens when Penguin finally executes his plan to take over. But like Fish's plan I don't need to see every single step along the way. The writers need to be careful they don't make this story arc dull. It's one of the best parts of the show and it would be a shame if they loose that.
Now onto Arkham Asylum, the thing I was most excited to see in this episode. I was very curious to see how it compared to the comic version but unfortunately they didn’t tell us much about it. What we do learn is that Dr. Leslie Thompkins played by Morena Baccarin works in the woman’s wing. Thompkins is straight form the comics and seeing her here pre Batman is a lot of fun. She is one of the few people Bruce trusts with his secret and she often serves as a moral compass for The Dark Knight. Other than Gordon there are about 6 other guards…that’s about it. The main plot this week was that someone at Arkham was using electricity on inmates to try and accomplish a form of mind control. I thought for sure the villain was Nurse Duncan and was pleasantly surprised to learn the real villain was Jack Gruber.
Neither of these characters appears in the comics by those names so I didn’t think much about them. It wasn’t until the preview for next week came on and they called Gruber “The Electrocutioner” that the geek in me got a little excited. The Electrocutioner isn’t anyone special and is hardly a contender for Batman in future but it was still a nice nod to the comics and it's fans. The Electurcutioner is actually made fun of in “Arkham Orgins” when Batman takes out the assassin with one kick. Clearly he's nothing special but still seeing a Batman villain from the comics as the main bad guy for an episode or two is fun to watch even if the villain is B class at best.
Overall the episode was just okay. It was filled with a lot of filler and I was really hoping for more information on Arkham coming back from the break. They continue to set the stage for bigger things, I just hope when those bigger things eventually get here that they don't disappoint.