Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Gotham - Rogues' Gallery

After being disappointed by the first couple episodes of Gotham I decided to give the Batman-ish show a wide berth. News that Morena Baccarin was joining the cast as Dr. Leslie Thompkins and recommendations of others who thought the show had improved over the first-half of the season brought me back. Catching up on a few episodes I missed, and still quite concerned with a number of characters and plot points, I sat down to watch the mid-season premiere "Rogues' Gallery." The episode begins with Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) stationed at the recently reopened Arkham Asylum as punishment where inmate outbursts and attacks on (and possibly by) patients have begun to concern the asylum's director (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) who holds Gordon responsible for each breach in security.

Subplots involve Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) and Ivy (Clare Foley) breaking into Gordon's apartment, Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) continuing to position herself to take over for Falcone (John Doman), Renee (Victoria Cartagena) having second thoughts about her tryst with a spiraling Barbara (Erin Richards), and the Penguin (Robin Taylor) learns a hard lesson about his place within Maroni's (David Zayas) organization.

As with its other talent, Gotham has trouble making good use of Baccarin as anything more than stunt casting. The dialogue between Lang and Bullock (Donal Logue) is the stuff of bad pulp fiction. The reveal of Gruber (Christopher Heyerdahl) and Dorothy Duncan (Allyce Beasley) being responsible for the trouble at Arkham is hardly surprising and both Renee and Barbara's tryst and the Ivy/Selina storyline is nothing more than an excuse to push Barbara (a character who I've lost all interest in despite liking Richards) farther over the edge. The only real saving grace of the episode is there aren't any awkward Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) scenes unnecessarily shoehorned into the episode. Yeah, having some talent and useful characters to play with, Gotham still sucks.

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