I think it’s safe to say that Gotham has taken television by storm as FOX’s breakout hit of the fall season. For those of us enthralled with superheroes, this prequel to the Batman series has given fans another angle on one of our favorite DC Comics, with both heroes and villains to savor.
The series begins with deaths of Bruce Wayne’s parents, when newly appointed Detective Jim Gordon arrives on the scene and a plethora of our favorite yet-to-be villains begin to come out of the woodwork. With a stellar cast including OC and Southland star Ben McKenzie (Jim Gordon), the incomparable Jada Pinkett Smith (Fish Mooney), Dexter alum David Zayus (Salvatore Maroni) and (the best casting choice in my opinion) the very talented, brilliant Robin Lord Taylor (Oswald Cobblepot) who steals every scene as “The Penguin.”
Gotham has garnered consistent ratings throughout the first part of the season and after TV By The Numbers 30-day Multiplatform calculations, the show is up over 135% from live+same day views with a whopping 15.9M. With these numbers it’s clear to see the show appeals to all fans young and old as the origins of how Gotham’s notorious criminal element unfolds.
The mid-season finale leaves Detective Gordon banished to report for security detail at the ill-fated Arkham Asylum after attempting to take crooked politician, Mayor Aubrey James (Richard Kind) down. Jim’s girlfriend Barbara (Erin Richards) leaves him for her ex-girlfriend, Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena) who also happens to be a Major Crimes Detective. Cobblepot is playing both sides of the mob, seemingly working for Maroni, though secretly infiltrating the ranks on behalf of Carmine Falcone (John Doman). Teenage run-away Selena Cat (Camren Bicondova), who is destined to become “Catwoman,” is the only witness to the Wayne’s murder. To protect her, Gordon stashes her at the Wayne residence. However, unfortunately, she’s back on the run after assassins track her down. Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), though young, has had to grow up quickly, and he eagerly continues to test himself, facing his fears and conducting his own investigation into his family’s company.
This week’s new episode “Rogue’s Gallery” is set primarily at Arkham Asylum, as Gordon attempts to fit into his new environment. Things quickly get crazy (pun intended), when an inmate attacks another, then one ends up a vegetable thanks to someone’s experiment. However after an inmate shows up dead, Gordon takes matters into his own hands and calls his old partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) to have a little chat with the man in charge of the Asylum, who is hell bent on excluding any GCPD involvement from the investigation.
As things begin to escalate at the Asylum, Gordon meets Dr. Leslie Thompkins, played by Morena Baccarin. For those who may recall, Thompkins originally teams up with the Wayne family in the comics; however for the this series she will work closely with Gordon, become his ally. In an interview with EW, Baccarin explains they are not sticking too close to the original mythology where her character is concerned. In addition, it appears she could end up as Gordon’s new love interest, as his relationship with Barbara seems to be at the very least, on the rocks.
While Gordon has his hands full at Arkham, things within the mob families are beginning to take shape as Fish puts her name in the pot as the possible new boss, once Falcone is out of the picture. Of course this doesn’t sit right with Falcone’s right-hand man, who attempts to lure Fish’s right-hand man Butch Gilzean (Drew Powell) to commit to his side against her. What does Butch have up his sleeve? Is he really loyal to Fish or does he have another plan to ensure his place within the Falcone organization? Meanwhile, Cobblepot is up to his old tricks when he attempts to raise the fees Maroni charges fisherman without the boss’s consent. Let’s just say, he’s taught a lesson that he won’t soon forget!
Although this week’s episode has its moments, I’m giving it a B for lack of much of an excitement factor. I felt this installment was a little slower than some of the season’s earlier episodes, but delivers as we get a feel for Arkham Asylum and who the players are within its walls.
The big reveal of who is conducting experiments on inmates within the mental institution was actually a decent twist, though didn’t have the O-M-G factor. I actually enjoyed seeing Moonlighting alum Allyce Beasley as Nurse Dorothy Duncan and Hell On Wheels star Christopher Heyerdhal as one of the inmates. Both added a little flavor to the episode.
So what’s coming up? “What the Little Bird Told Him” airs January 19, as Maroni becomes suspicious of Cobblepot’s behavior, especially after his headquarters is attacked! Not only is Maroni getting nervous, but Falcone questions Fish about her loyalty to him. Gordon confronts an intruder, then questions the Commissioner with the support of his partner Harvey. Edward Nygma (Corey Michael Smith), our soon-to-be “Riddler”, flirts with his hearts desire, records custodian at the precinct Kristin Kringle (Chelsea Spack). Wonder how Nygma’s special boots will help Gordon? I guess we’ll have to stay tuned to find out!
Gotham returns Monday, January 6 at 8 p.m. on FOX![amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00NQGOU60][amazon template=iframe image&asin=B001614FX0][amazon template=iframe image&asin=B001BFZAZ8]