TV Review: Gotham Season 1 Episode 11 "Rogue's Gallery"
Episode 11: "Rogue's Gallery"
Synopsis: Det. Gordon’s assignment at Arkham Asylum gets off to a rocky start when the murder of a guard ignites an investigation, leading him to meet Dr. Leslie Thompkins (guest star Morena Baccarin, Homeland). Meanwhile, Cobblepot continues to build his army.
Recap: The mid-season finale of GOTHAM left our hero, Jim Gordon, reassigned to Arkham Asylum following a botched attempt on the life of the Mayor. With Barbara gone back to her lover Renee Montoya, Selina Kyle hiding out, and the war between Fish and Penguin brewing, GOTHAM should be ramping up for a big second half, right?
This episode opens with a creepy play put on by the Arkham inmates which results in one of them being injured. Gordon then gets a dressing down from the Arkham director who threatens the disgraced cop with remedial duties at the facility. It is here that Gordon meets Dr.Thompkins who is clearly meant to be a potential love interest for Gordon, something blurted out by the inmate being treated. GOTHAM's writers do not seem to understand the value of subtlety which may be what continues to have fans rolling their eyes at the show.
Of course, Gordon has a mystery to solve at the Asylum in the form of an inmate he finds almost comatose sitting in his cell. Thompkins deduces the man was given excessive electroshock therapy. The director once again chastizes Gordon and tasks him with finding who did it. Gordon discovers a guard lost his during the fight after the play which leads to the inmate who put on the play, Jack Gruber (the excellent Christopher Heyerdahl). We get a nice little montage of the inmates at Arkham and,shockingly, none are future Batman villains.
We see another inmate electroshocked and, once again, Gordon stumbles upon him. For such a good cop, Jim Gordon really has shitty luck. Thompkins says the same process was used on this victim but it is not as severe, leading her to question if the attackers skills are getting worse or better. Gordon calls the GCPD and good old Harvey Bullock arrives to investigate. Bullock helps facilitate his partner's investigation by taking the Director down to the station so he can stay out of Gordon's way. A nice bit of comic relief from the great Donal Logue who continues to be a highlight of this show.
Bullock questions Director Lang who says the electroshock was not performed by a skilled surgeon because there aren't any on staff or interned at Arkham. When Bullock questions what the director his hiding, he says he will never tell Bullock and that he should stop trying to learn more, hinting at the larger conspiracies on GOTHAM. Gordon keeps reviewing files and while looking through blueprints for the facility is told by the head nurse that the basement is closed off. The director says he trust everyone, but pauses when thinking of the nurse. She is soon revealed tobe an inmate and not a nurse. As Gordon trails her, she unlocks all the cells, flooding the halls of Arkham with freed inmates. She is soon trampled to death by the stampeding inmates who chase down Thompkins and Gordon.
At the station, Bullock reveals to the captain that the nurse was actually convicted as a med student of poisoning some kids with candy for learning purposes. The captain commends Gordon for still fighting and getting a win, pulling out some liquor to toast with the two detectives. It bothers me quite a bit that all of those so opposed to Gordon's fight for what is right are now so easily in his corner. But, wait! The medical examiner arrives to say the nurse had electroshock therapy as well. That means she couldn't be the mysterious attacker! Back at Arkham, a prisoner unlocks a gate, taking down a guard and reveals that Jack Gruber was behind it the whole time. Gordon finds the director dead along with a letter from Gruber teasing he will pose a threat to the city and soon.
Selina continues her good samaritan phase as she helps Ivy Pepper to Gordon's penthouse condo. As Ivy deals with a cold, Selina watches the skyline from the balcony and makes soup for her sick friend. The phone rings and Ivy answers it. She pretends that Gordon is there and teases Barbara by posing as a girlfriend of Jim's.
Barbara remains in bed and Montoya tells her they cannot be together. She offers to call Jim and, naturally, Barbara freaks out. Montoya, who pursued Barbara for the first batch of episodes now is the voice of reason telling her former lover to return to her new male lover. It almost feels like the writers wanted to play up the lesbian angle for these characters and then had no clue what to do with it.
Oswald Cobblepot continues to embrace his Penguin persona as he attempts to hustle some men at the waterfront where he is knocked out by a pair of uniformed cops. In a holding cell, Penguin sees Bullock and begs for his help. Bullock decides to ignore Cobblepot and leaves him to wait. Moroni arrives at the station and tells Penguin that he is in jail because Moroni put him in there for trying to raise taxes on the fishermen without approving it with him. Cobblepot promises never to do it again and Moroni sets him free. Moroni calls Penguin a monkey and slaps him lovingly, leaving a scowl on his face.
Fish entertains a fellow Falcone soldier, Saviano, who says he wants the boss taken out and they discuss, hypothetically, who would take over. Fish decides they need to take him out but Butch convinces her to let him talk to Saviano. Fish asks whether Butch is turning on her which he protests too much. Butch meets Saviano at the waterfront who offers him all of Fish's interests if he takes her out. Butch decides to think about it. When FIsh asks about the meet, Butch leaves out the details of Saviano's offer. When they meet again at the close of the episode, Butch gives his friend an answer by shooting him in the head.
Verdict: 6/10 Gotham PD Badges
GOTHAM still has an identity crisis as we approach twelve episodes into the debut season. There are elements here that work very well and others that completely miss the mark. For instance, the Arkham setting showcases the first villain worth a damn in Jack Gruber but is marred by cheesy dialogue throughout. The mob storylines for Fish and Penguin remain the most intriguing but are given the backseat as we have to endure the useless Barbara and Selina subplots which felt forced into this episode. Thankfully, there was no forced Bruce Wayne scenes this week, but I bet there will be on the next episode. We didn't get nearly enough of Harvey Bullock this week but when he was on he was great. I am still on the cusp of hating this show but I still think there is a lot of potential, I am just not sure how much longer I can give it the benefit of the doubt.
Next Episode: "What the Little Bird Told Him" airs January 19th: In an attempt to get his job back, Gordon seeks to capture Jack Gruber, a deranged electrical genius who escapes Arkham Asylum. Meanwhile, Falcone struggles to hold onto his empire after Fish Mooney makes her next move.