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TV Review: GOTHAM – Season 1 Episode 4 – “Arkham”

By: Darryl Frisbie

GOTHAM

“War is just politics by another name,” Penguins says to Gordon and then with one word he reveals where the blood feud will begin- Arkham”

This was an intense episode, fueled by a hit man who used a steel spike as his weapon of choice. His victims were council men deciding to vote on the critical fate of Arkham and the utilization of the property.  The opposing players in the battle for Arkham are Maroni and Falcone. Bruce Wayne confesses to Jim Gordon that his parents mission for Arkham was to house and rehabilitate the mentally ill in the most humane manner. Unfortunately, Bruce has to sit helpless as the war for Arkham begins.

Arkham sign colour

The most engaging part to this storyline is the Penguin himself. We witness him play the lowly unsuspecting dishwasher at Maroni’s restaurant, and then see him make his first move by hiring gunmen to steal some mob money hidden in the back kitchen, while the manager is left for dead. It’s clear it’s not wise to cross Oswald Cobblepot. And never accept a gift of cannoli’s because it may be your last. In the end, he takes all the money and is now the man at the restaurant calling the shots.

The conclusion of the episode we have the mayor threatened by the mob and he cowers to their demands. Half of Arkham goes to Maroni where Gotham’s waste will go, while the other half to Falcone’s low income housing.

gotham-arkham

Now I want to delve deeper into the strong points of this show and what I feel may help it improve, but let’s start with the weak points. Fish Mooney is very derivative and that was made very clear in this episode. It’s like she’s a poor imitation of Eartha Kitt. Unfortunately, some fans of this show find her as a strong character but the only glamorous thing about her is her wardrobe. When the singers audition for her club and she asks to be seduced, that whole sequence felt not only contrived, but wasteful to the storyline. Too many shows capitalize on a characters sexual orientation and every case it has to be the most trivial thing to the plot. So if I had my way Fish Mooney would have less screen time. I would love to see more of Edward Nygma. He has to be the most undervalued character of the show and he’s a great character!!! And while there are so many great characters on the show it’s hard to bring them all in focus within forty-five minutes of actual show time. But since it’s a TV show, it has the advantage of developing these characters over a ten season period (fingers crossed). My hope is that we will have episodes where the central focus will be Oswald Cobblepot or Edward Nygma. These are characters that deserve more than just being in the background. And I’m all for strong female characters, whether it be the heroine or the villain but Fish Mooney just does not cut it. One more thing that could help improve the show is the investment of the audience in our heroes. While the villains are just as fascinating we need to still have a reason to care and root for our heroes. Overall the show is great and the relationship between Bruce and Gordon is developing well.

Overall Grade: 7/10

 

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