Our latest trip to Gotham in Episode 4, â€œArkham,â€ was met with a few uneven scenes, but the episode overall was a step up from last week. Cobblepot stole the show as usual, but we were also given another awkward villain encounter, deeper insight into the Mob war thatâ€™s about to go down revolving around Arkham and Fish Mooneyâ€™s motives became even more mysterious.
In the last episode of Gotham, Cobblepot showed up at Gordonâ€™s doorstep with a proposition for the detective. After a brief bit of coercing, Cobblepot convinced Gordon to let him be a secret agent of sorts to save Gotham, since itâ€™s â€œhis city.â€ Cobblepotâ€™s new employer, Maroni, was chosen by design, and we continue to see the conniving ways of the soon to be Penguin. After viewing the episode, itâ€™s clear that Cobblepot doesnâ€™t follow the saying, â€œyou canâ€™t have your cake and eat it too.â€ Allied with Detective Gordon? Check. Played Maroni and in turn was given a promotion and access to further monitor the Mob boss? Check. Gained a boatload of cash? Check. Proved that canolis can be deadly? Check. Gotham is chock full of ruthless villains, but there is only one Penguin. Such a superb showing once again by Robin Lord Taylor.
The villain this week is a stark contrast from last, where the â€œBalloon Manâ€ was quite comical and a bit campy, â€œGladwellâ€ is pretty ruthless taking out his targets eyes with a metal spike. In his first scene, he is talking to a councilmen and his aid to look into the metal object. If you ever wondered how Gotham has come to its current crime riddled state, when you have councilmen volunteering to look into questionable metal objects, the answers are quite apparent. Needless to say itâ€™s revealed later, after Gladwell murders another councilmen via gas and fire, that he is just playing the game. He doesnâ€™t side with either crime lord, Falcone or Maroni, in their bid to get what they want out of Arkham. One wanting it as low-income housing, while the other simply wants it as a dumping ground. Although I had little objection to the villain, he didnâ€™t really seem to have a calling card. Yes, he kills with a pretty unique device, but he appears to kill any way that he can. In a later fight scene, he has no problem picking up a gun to continue his dirty work.
The usual sticking point of just about every episode so far, Fish Mooney. The character just feels a little bit oddly written. Although having no qualms with the acting by Jada Pinkett Smith, the forced feel and very â€œLook at me, Iâ€™m a mob boss too,â€ really comes across as heavy handed in each and every episode. Also, this episodeâ€™s forced girl-on-girl action felt more like a ploy than needed characterization. Mooney is trying out ladies for a job, and for some reason she has to make out with said person before she approves of them. Itâ€™s a weird sequence and the tryouts also resemble Jokerâ€™s tryouts in The Dark Knight far too closely. And the movie did it far better.
While Mooney had an awkward showing, we did get a nice look into Gordonâ€™s juggling act of personal life and being Gothamâ€™s savior. A bomb was dropped on Gordon, and while that remained wholly unresolved, he still pursued Gladwell, putting an end to his eye-poking shenanigans. The pairing of him with Cobblepot was pretty intense and interesting, showing two polar opposite characters trying to rid Gotham of Mob Bosses but for wholly different reasons. It was also nice to see Harvey Bullock actually do some honest police work for once, while firing his gun about 10 times of course.
Gotham had a better showing than last week, but I feel it is still in an identity crisis of sorts. At times the show feels pandering, while other times it hits the nail right on the head. The paring down of a few essential characters has done wonders for this episode, and I can only hope they keep the characters at a minimum. And when in doubt, Cobblepot.
+ Cobblepot has another outstanding episode
+ Delving into Gordonâ€™s Hectic life
+ Some actual police work was nice for a change
– Every Mooney scene feels forced
– Weird lesbian scenes with little to no reason for it