Gotham Review – “Rogues’ Gallery” S1E11

Oh thank you, Jesus; TV season is back. Right out of the gates, Gotham is back with a variety of new things going on. Jim Gordon has been demoted by the mayor himself to work security at Arkham Asylum, where he will meet Doctor Leslie Thompkins and all hell will surely break loose. While we were very welcome to have Gotham come back, the show is still plagued by the same issues that have done it a disservice all season long.

Pros:

The Freak Show: Gotham can be laughable at times, but there is absolutely nothing fun about a looney bin. There are a few scenes here that set the tone for a darker and scarier rest of the season. Just like it should be.

Leslie Thompkins: There’s really no stopping me from turning into a drooling fanboy when I see Morena Baccarin on screen, but I will attempt to stay level-headed. The newest addition to the show has big shoes to fill in from comic book lore, and has been solid so far.

By himself but not alone: I jumped for joy when Gordon’s former partner Harvey Bullock showed up. Their once-awkward partnership has gained quite a bit of chemistry, and will be one of my favorite components of the show going forward.

Butch starts earning his nickname: In what could have been a very lame twist, Fish Mooney’s fight-hand man ends up getting a lot of brownie points for being a soldier.

Speaking of Fish Mooney: It could be the off-season drought of TV, or it could be the lack of screen time she got, but I found Fish’s character to be much more palatable (haaaa….) this episode. Let’s hope the trend continues.

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Cons:

Penguin is not a peacock:  After Robin Lord Taylor’s Oswald Cobblepot became our hand-down favorite of the show, it was a little disappointing to see him put in his place so abruptly.

Spoil the mood tunes: Every time that a legitimate threat is formulating, Gotham feels the need to let us know just how dark and suspenseful it is – with some Danny Elfman-esque effects. Severely corny and outdated 25yrs later.

Barbara is a FLOOZY: This episode broke whatever attachment I had to Barbara. Not only is she slummin’ it up with Montoya, but she’s added zero value to the show and was dumb enough to believe that a little girl who answered the phone is sleeping with Gordon. What a winner, Jimbo.

Shiiiiiiiiit: Isiah Whitlock, Jr., known to most as The Wire‘s Clay Davis, makes a cameo here as the Director of Arkham Asylum. He must have not learned a damn thing from those federal inditements, because his quick exit was a major let-down for me.

No Waynes: While the Bruce Wayne and Alfred angle had a lot of progression before the break, they were noticeably absent from “Rogues’ Gallery.” I could do without Bruce, honestly; I just want to see Alfred crack heads.

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Easter Eggs:

Tempest: The beginning scene has the inmates performing Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the plot of misdirection and deceit is quite relatable to the events in “Rogues’ Gallery.”

Jack Gruber: The mastermind being all the different ECT experiments is, thanks to next episode’s preview, the Electrocutioner, most recently an Arkham Origins villain. He sure doesn’t look the part, but whatever.

Aaron Helzinger: Poor guy – ya try to do the right thing and what happens? Bam, lobotomy. Helzinger is a very minot character from the  early 90’s, a man with spontaneous fits of rage after having his amygdala removed.

 

Hugo Strange: Quite… strange… how this Gruber is so much like Hugo. From the electro-compulsive therapy to the need to want to play with the inmates’ minds, even down to the black gloves and the way his face looks, everything about this Gruber guy screams Hugo Strange.

Leslie Thompkins: Every TV Asylum needs a sexy doctor, and Leslie Thompkins fills, no… floods, that position. Seriously though, Dr. Thompkins is one of Batman’s most trusted civilian allies. In the comics, an aged Thompkins offers asylum to all those in need of help, good or bad. She’s the poster-child of the Hippocratic Oath, and with any luck, the best damn rebound that Jim Gordon could ever hope for.

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Predictions:

Don’t be a (Hugo) Strange(r): Gruber’s escape from Arkham will have serious repercussions, from Gordon’s position at the joint to the series of murders Gruber will surely commit before being apprehended.

Sparks fly between Thompkins and Gordon: If you are not rooting for them to hook up, then I don’t know what are you doing.

Bye, Bye Barbara: After her latest outburst of stupid, I have every reason to think that she will be stuffed in the metaphorical refrigerator sooner than later.

Butcher’s block: After Butch’s latest show of loyalty, and emergence as kind of a badass, Fish Mooney will eventually thank him in kind with cement shoes. That’s just what bosses do.

Selina doesn’t actually know a damn thing: This future Catwoman is an absolute USER. Like the kind the Eurythmics used to sing about. There’s no way she actually has anything relevant to say about the Wayne killer.

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Hush Comics gives “Rogues’ Gallery” a C+ for being unable to rid itself of the laughably implausible plot devices when there is a perfectly good drama waiting to be fleshed out.

All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

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