Episode: Rogue’s Gallery
Original Airdate: 1-5-14
I’m not going to call this episode a “midseason premier”, but Gotham does return from its brief hiatus with a bang. I wasn’t entirely sure what was going to happen with Gordon being knocked down a peg working security in the newly re-opened Arkham Asylum where his boss knows that he’s doing doggy duty and lets Gordon know it every step of the way. It’s not quite One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest but it does have its share of crazies for the sake of being crazy as well as a few more interesting and psychotic characters. What this episode does do well is the mystery aspect of the crime at hand where someone in Arkham is performing electro shock experiments on the inmates and it’s up to Gordon to figure out who it is. There were several twists and turns as well as several red herrings and couple nice bits of comic relief to round it out. What the episode did not do well, which it often doesn’t do well with is the rest of the characters.
While Gordon was off mucking about playing security guard and paying penance for going against the mayor and Falcone, the show has a few other things going on in the rest of Gotham. Of those, the other mini-arc that I did really enjoy was the one surrounding the very minor character of Butch, Fish Mooney’s right hand man. While Mooney and the other mob lieutenants are conspiring against Falcone, Mooney wants the power for herself but is not the next in line based on seniority. Butch takes it upon himself to go talk to the other mob mini-boss who he had been friends with since they were young. He really walks a fine line between making it seem like he is going to turn on Mooney or not until it culminates in one of the best moments in the show so far when he asks forgiveness for a time when they were young and they pulled a job where they ended up with about 50 pounds of fresh meat and Butch kept the best cuts for himself. It was a little heavy handed on the symbolism, but Drew Powell who plays Butch really made that moment count for something.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Gotham without having something for me to complain about, and I was not fond of what was going on with Barbara Gordon and Renee Montoya. Nor baby Ivy and Catwoman. For some reason Ivy is sick, but doesn’t want to deal with any doctors, and baby Cat thinks the best idea is to take her to Gordon’s place which he hasn’t been in due to all the hours he’s been putting in at Arkham. There’s even the random phone call that Ivy just happens to decide to answer and Barbara can’t tell the voice of a 12 year old from the voice of a full grown woman and goes off in a jealous fit, though there are also some implications that she’s using drugs. It just doesn’t make sense and doesn’t make me care about her character. I’m also not sure how I feel about the other newly crafted villain from this episode, Jack Gruber who ends the episode on the loose as a possible recurring Batman style villain with essentially his own personal zombie. It just feels like it’s going too far into Batman villain territory already and that bugs me. But I do want to end this episode on a bit of a high note as the best scene in the episode by far was Donal Logue’s return when he comes to Arkham. It just brought a huge laugh out of me and he played it perfectly. Still overall, a pretty great episode with a few weak spots.