Gotham S:01 E:12

Episode Title: What the Little Bird Told Him
Original Airdate: 1-19-15

After a week off last week, Gotham comes back with the first villain that really feels like it could have been one of Batman’s villains, and after doing a quick Google search turns out that he actually is a Batman villain when he goes by the name he is given in this episode: The Electrocutioner. But even though that aspect of the episode was the one that was played up the most in the previews, it didn’t actually take up a great deal of the actual episode. A large chunk of it dealt with wrapping up a good chunk of the grand conspiracy between Fish, Falcone, and Penguin. Overall, I thought it was another good episode with a few nice touches and once again a few real eyerolling moments that didn’t feel like it furthered the plot or the characters in a good way.

Breaking into the GCPD headquarters.
Breaking into the GCPD headquarters.

The Electrocutioner arc itself was done fairly well, Christopher Heyerdahl as Jack Gruber and all his odd little electrical gadgets. There’s a nice little setup and payoff with Nygma, Gordon, and the insulated galoshes. Though I wasn’t quite as fond of Nygma’s continued courtship with the other file clerk. It does have a few nice moments of foreshadowing where you can see the villainous seeds being planted, but generally it’s just him being quirky and weird, and I find it unfunny more often than not. Some of the best moments were between Gordon and the current commissioner played by Peter Scolari both when Gordon asked to be put on the case, as well as when he is at the news conference celebrating the capture of the escaped convict. Donal Logue constantly proves how valuable he is as a character, even though he doesn’t have a whole lot of screentime, he makes up for it by being an absolute joy when he’s being dragged into Gordon’s hole. It’s great to see Gordon really start to show what he can do and that he can be a force to be reckoned with. This is really one of the first few episodes where I like what Ben McKenzie is bringing to the table.

An electrical bomb, a little bit on the ridiculous side, but it looks cool.
An electrical bomb, a little bit on the ridiculous side, but it looks cool.

But the real meat of the story lies in what would probably be considered to be the B-Story between Fish Mooney, Carmine Falcone, and Mooney’s plant Liza whose name I hadn’t given much mind to until it got repeated ad nauseum in this episode. The entire Liza subplot always felt weak, and never made entirely much sense as to why Falcone would fall completely for this random woman, take her in, and treat her like a doll almost. He never makes any sexual advances towards her, he merely keeps her around him. We do get a bit of an explanation here when it’s revealed that she is supposed to remind him of his mother. It’s possible that it was mentioned in earlier episodes, but the point wasn’t driven home until now. But in the end, what is really important in terms of the show is that the balance of power completely shifts at the end of this episode. Falcone returns to form as a Don to be reckoned with, Fish Mooney is taken out of the equation albeit still alive, and Penguin comes out on top. At least with Falcone, there is a seed of doubt driven into his position with Morone who was generally just some comic relief as bait for the Electrocutioner. Finally, I do have to mention the worst part of the episode for me was the brief scene where Barbara goes to stay with her rich, prim, and proper parents. It felt unnecessary as a character building moment and it really just halted the momentum of the other important storylines going through the show. But overall it was a good episode, not great.

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7 thoughts on “Gotham S:01 E:12

  1. Nice Review Bubba. This to me felt like another lackluster go nowhere episode. So far, ‘Gotham’s been mostly dull, but I’ve noticed a pattern of insulting the audience, maybe not intentionally.

    An electronics van from the same store where a homicide occurred parked outside a major Police Precinct while a loud device is used to torch into the structure of the building going unnoticed? It feels like I have to go out of my way to forgive and suspend my disbelief that much more just to even accept the premise and set ups.

    While I loved Falcone’s transformation, the conspiracy payoff with Mooney felt dull and anti climactic. Also, what was up with Falcone’s all-girl crew? That took me out of the moment a bit. 😐

    Best thing of this episode I would say, Morena Baccarin! 😀

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    1. Something I just realized is that the episodes are pretty dense with a lot of different plotlines going on at once, too bad not all of them are interesting. But you throw enough against the wall, some of it’s going to stick. I completely agree with the Fox Force Five, I was totally caught off guard by his femme squad. And Morena Baccarin was excellent as well, there was just so much stuff going on I couldn’t fit it all in.

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  2. Yeah, it does feel a bit “busy” with all the subplots they try to throw in and then don’t develop fully. The Liza plot did feel pretty thin on the whole; yes, the mentioned the resemblance to his mother quite a bit early on, but the whole thing was so low-key it slipped the memory easily. Nice to see that resolved, and at least a little bit more strongly than it started.

    The “Electrocutioner” arc was short, and a little “pat” with the convenient clues throughout, but I liked it. I think that using the super-minor supervillains is the right way for Gotham to go right now. Give it a Batman-esque feel without treading too heavily on the Batman mythos itself. I mean, even I hadn’t heard of the Electrocutioner before this, that’s how minor he is. But storywise, it worked. And I loved the little anti-climactic solution Gordon had, with the cup of water, and also him putting the pressure on the Commissioner.

    I agree that the Riddler’s arc is pretty awkward right now. Granted, it’s meant to be, but it’s just not quite working yet. And yes, Barbara’s scene was utterly a waste of time. If her relationship with her parents is ever an important plot point, and I rather hope it isn’t, the scene could have been shunted to that episode instead.

    Also, unless I’m mistaken, this was the first episode not to feature Bruce. That’s actually a good thing; they need to rely less on being “pre-Batman” instead of being “Gotham”.

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    1. There may have been one other episode that didn’t have baby Bruce as I like to call him, or at least one that had him in a very brief scene. I initially thought that the Electrocutioner was an original villain because that was the assumption based on his name in the last episode. I think I would prefer to see them have more traditional criminals and fewer near-super-villains, though I do agree that it’s nice that they went super-obscure.

      I knew from the moment she was captured, probably even before then that Liza was going to die at the hands of Falcone, it was a decent moment but I did think it suffered a bit from predictability.

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      1. A bit, though I could have seen him letting her live, or having a henchman kill her. But I agree this was most likely. But what worked about it was the way he did it, in front of Fish. (I don’t quite remember if they killed Fish or not at the end, but he wasn’t present for it at any rate.) That sends a very particular message. “I don’t need to kill you personally. I just need to kill my own weakness. Without that, you are not a threat to me.”

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  3. Just realised that my comments on the last episode review referred to this one aswell, seeing how here in the UK, the edited ep 11 + 12 in a feature length episode. Have to say I loved the climatic showdown between Fish and Falcone, which played out so nicely over the previous episodes, even if the whole Liza plotline was abit weak.

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    1. I saw mentions on Twitter about Gotham returning, but I didn’t realize how. Curious how that would have played out here as a double episode. There’s some great stuff in here, and from your other comment I think the biggest issue with the show is that you have to leave continuity at the door to enjoy it. And if you can’t look at this as its own thing, it can be pretty infuriating at times.

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