After some episodes hinting at it, we finally get to see the famous Arkham Asylum for the Mentally Ill, which in Batman’s comics ends up being a second home for most of the vigilante’s crazy supervillains, and here in Gotham is obviously going to play a key role, if it hasn’t already! The best thing about this episode is that it is pretty coherent. The way the characters are growing feels logical, never forced, always being tied directly to the events that surround them, and that, through one main thread – Gotham’s corruption, darkness and criminality – and many different subplots, have inevitably led us to where we are. And that is a much darker place than when the show began. In my last Gotham review, I was wondering how Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) would change after the revelation he suffered, where he realized that all of Gotham was crooked and corrupted, and that “the program” was bigger than his crooked partner Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), his Captain Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara) or even the Mayor Aubrey James (Richard Kind), as it meant that all elected officials were, in some way or another, filthy and therefore, a potential target for a do-gooder vigilante. Well, this episode, focused on the fight to control the rights to own the Arkham neighborhood, left abandoned after the Waynes were killed, only further shows us how all politicians are deep inside the mobsters pockets. Both Gotham’s criminal kingpin Carmine Falcone (John Doman) and his rival Sal Maroni (David Zayas) will go to any means necessary to get a piece of Arkham, and therefore power over the city. This episode had, as usual, lots of action, but what really stood out for me was that the mood was significantly darker than previous episodes. Not only because we didn’t get the occasional stupid scene, but because the story moved into high gear, which can only be described as the prelude to Gotham’s Crime War. I was happy with what we were given this episode; mainly because it featured all of what I was asking for, but in bigger and certainly more intense doses. A devilishly evil soon-to-be criminal mastermind Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), played everyone here: his boss Sal Maroni, Detective Jim Gordon – with whom he’s got a creepy relationship — and his partners in crime, almost ignited the Mob War he needed to become Gotham’s Kingpin. He didn’t succeed thanks to Gordon’s role, but he got richer in the process, while earning Maroni’s respect and climbing up his boss’ chain of command. Cobblepot is played at perfection by Taylor, I cannot imagine Penguin being any other guy but him after seeing his performance. He certainly carries most of the strength of this episode, also providing the best scenes of the whole thing. On the other side of the coin, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) was given much more screen time this time around, something that is much appreciated. It seems I wasn’t the only one rooting for more Bruce time. While other people might find it forced, I like his relationship with Gordon, and how they both find in each other someone they can trust. Sadly, I felt as if Barbara (Erin Richards) had not evolved at all. This is one character who is obviously secondary, while still is kind of the moral compass for Gordon. However, her distrust of him, her not understanding why he has to keep secrets to himself, felt forced and repetitive. I believe the writers want to make Gordon a much darker character, and he will be that without Barbara to help him, but even so, the way the relationship is handled bothers me. So, to sum it all up, we got a cooler work-for-hire villain, Cobblepot feeling more like the Penguin and really rocking it, and a first look at the Arkham Asylum, which felt as creepy as it should. The only thing that keeps me from giving Gotham a better rating is that it sometimes can feel predictable, but luckily that fact doesn’t take away any of the fun. Oh, and Fox has given Gotham the full season treatment, so in case you haven’t, there’s still time to visit the city of the Dark Knight and catch up on what so far has been a creepy ride. Gotham 1.04 "Arkham"4.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.