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TV Review: Gotham Season 1 Episode 4 "Arkham"

10.14.2014

Episode 4: "Arkham"

Synopsis: As a contentious city council vote on the future of the Arkham district approaches, politicians from both sides are in danger. Gordon and Bullock must race to protect the council and an old friend visits Gordon.

Recap: Picking up directly from the conclusion of last week's episode, we find Gordon once again face to face with the returned Oswald Cobblepot.  Posing as a friend, Oswald comes back since Gordon spared his life, offering him his services as a spy on the mob.  He once again references the "war"coming to Gotham and says it has to do with Arkham before disappearing into the night..  At the same time, a Gothan councilman is confronted by a man with a strange weapon reminiscent of the airgun from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

The case is assigned to Gordon and Bullock, naturally, who investigate who killed the councilman.  Grabbing a random street thug, Bullock tried to frame him to make an easy arrest.  Gordon looks at the evidence which includes a plan for the development of the Arkham District.  The mayor launches into a presentation stating that The Waynes were proponents of the development of the last section of Gotham City with an eye towards affordable housing as well as a cutting edge mental health facility.  Gordon asks Alfred about the plan.  Alfred indicates that Falcone is now backing the plan and those going against them are supported by Don Moroni.

With another councilman kindnapped, this one in Moroni's pocket, we shift to the old Arkham Asylum, by far the most Batman-esque setting so far on GOTHAM.  The hitman reveals the councilman in a barrel and he proceeds to burn him alive.  At the resulting crime scene, Gordon reveals his theory about a Falcone-Moroni gang war.  Edward Nygma shows up with a paradox for the detectives that all three dead victims so far had puncture wounds, indicating the hitman doesn't work for either mobster.  In prison, a convict reveals the hitman's name, Gladwell, and his location.  Just missing him at his place of employment, Bullock and Gordon find proof Gladwell is the killer along with a list with the initials CLM.

At the restaurant, Falcone's men attack and Oswald manages to hide a bag of Moroni's money before anyone can find it.  Barbara and Jim discuss his secrets, including Cobblepot, which leads Gordon to figure out that Montoya led her to believe these things, prompting Barbara to confess her former romance with Montoya.  To show his appreciation, Moroni promites Cobblepot to restaurant manager, continuing his climb up the organization.

Gladwell turns out to be a cover identity and, with one day until the Arkham vote, Bullock and Gordon go their own ways to find the killer.  Bullock goes to see FIsh Mooney who is auditioning singers, whom she refers to as weapons, trying to find the perfect one.  Fish tries to dissuade Bullock from finding Gladwell, saying she has a Plan B, indicating the latest singer she interviewed.  Oswald calls Gordon to warn him that Moroni has a hit coming that night.  Gordon finds the CLM initials match the Mayor's police patrol and calls Bullock to the Mayor's mansion.  As the Mayor tries to retrieve something from his safe,Gladwell shows up.  Gordon plans to take the Mayor to his sister's house across townbut they encounter Gladwell.  Gordon and Gladwell fight and Bullock arrives just in time and they bring down the assassin before he can kill the Mayor.

Barbara gives Jim an ultimatum to let her in or let her go.  She asks about Cobblepot, but Gordon does not divulge anything.  We then see Fish Mooney with the two singers at the docks and tells them to determine who gets the job by fighting each other to the death.  Cobblepot then arrives at a vacant apartment where the restaurant attackers are revealed to work for The Penguin.  He gives them some cannoli, telling them they deserve it, poisoning them to death.  As the watch the Arkham vote, the Mayor announces the plan will satisfy both Falcone and Moroni while the Asylum will be rebuilt as well.  Gordon talks about the plan with Bruce Wayne, saying the plan is bad for Gotham but he feels there is still hope.

Rating: 7/10 Gotham PD Badges

Another episode into the debut season of GOTHAM and another episode that changes the dynamic of the series.  With the return of Oswald Cobblepot, this episode feels more about the overall criminal element in tthe city rather than a criminal of the week mystery.  The developing plan of the Arkham district seems very reminiscent of the Glades plot element from the first season of ARROW.  Between the two shows, ARROW still feels like the more developed story, but GOTHAM is continuing to grow on me.  The problem is that in the moments of sincerity or character development, the show still feels a little cliche and hackeneyed.  The show has remained consistent since the pilot, but unless it steps up it's game soon, I may begin to be concerned.

Next Episode: "Viper" airs October 20th. Gordon and Bullock search for the source of a new street drug that causes euphoria then death. Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot works his way deeper into Maroni’s inner circle and Fish Mooney continues to plot against Falcone

Source: JoBlo.com

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