And we’re back.
I’d say this was a nice, relaxing time off, but it’s been busy. So picking right back up is actually just a welcome return to routine.
I have to give Gotham some points off the bat for this week’s episode. For the time being, it looks like they’re planning to stick to the changes of the mid-season finale. This isn’t to say this is a full-blown triumphant return, but I’m happy they’re not just trying to reset the board.
But even with the change in setting, the show seems to be going with the mantra – the more things change, the more they stay the same. Gotham is still keeping to the ‘case of the week’ format that made up much of the first half of the season, simply transferring the crimes within the walls of Arkham Asylum. Once again, Gordon is the determined do-gooder who’s looked down on by those above him – this time for not delivering results as opposed to just letting things go. They even got Bullock in on the action for this one.
Actually, that’s not entirely fair- they did at least give Gordon someone else to work off of in future episodes care of an early version of Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin). There’s not much established for her right now, but she is at least a sympathetic ear to Gordon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she is employed to create some tension with the Barbara storyline.
Keeping to that established form, Gotham’s crime syndicates once again get the more interesting narrative this time around. On Fish’s front, the earlier quiet scheming is now gaining momentum. She sees that her colleagues are scared and is angling on that to persuade them into backing her. It’s not exactly The Godfather, but it’s at least making progress as a narrative.
Oswald’s story takes an interesting detour this week. After his engineered rise in the ranks of the Maroni family, he reaches the end of his leash on this episode. Angered at his subordinate going over his head, Maroni lets him get arrested and spend time in holding to teach him a lesson. It appears to have taught one, but from the look of things, not the one he had in mind.
Finally, this week gave us another look into the life of Selina. Honestly, this was a pretty unremarkable plot line, and mainly just served to remind me how extraneous their early version of Poison Ivy has been to this overall show. More than anyone else, her shtick has been hammered on the nose pretty hard, and it doesn’t add much. All we got out of it this week was her adding some further dramatic tension to the Jim-Barbara dynamic via what was effectively a crank call.
So all in all, it’s back to business as usual for Gotham. This isn’t a particularly strong episode, but it’s not without its good moments. Once again, I’m always glad to see Donal Logue back as Bullock, even if it’s kind of a reach to justify him on the case now. Likewise, Robin Lord Taylor is continuing to make Oswald into a wonderfully slimy character in the best ‘love to hate’ style.
Also, the episode’s decision to end the case on a somewhat open note – the criminal actually escapes to run free – was an interesting touch. What becomes of it in the future remains to be seen, but it does present an interesting hurdle as to how the city could still need a Batman if Gordon keeps bringing them in.
I’m still seeing enough good in this show to keep from dropping it, but it still looks like it hasn’t really shaken off the dust from its time off just yet. I’m still planning to take it to the end of the season to see where they go with this, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for a bit more
momentum by now.
Well, we’ve still got half a season, so things can still pick up. I’ll be back next week to see them follow up on this week’s ending in What The Little Bird Told Him.
-Donal Logue and Robin Lord Taylor welcome comebacks
-After all the ‘Soon’ last season, Fish is making her move
-Despite the seeming shakeup at the mid-season finale, the show is still keeping to form
-Guys, either find a use for Ivy or just don’t put her in. As it is, she’s a sore thumb on this one