Previously, on Gotham: “The Balloonman”
Synopsis: As the Gotham city council prepares to vote on the future of the city district known as Arkham, politicians from all sides are in danger from a mysterious killer. Gordon and Bullock must rush to protect the members of the city government before a clandestine agenda is set into motion. Meanwhile, Oswald tries to strike a deal with Gordon.
In this episode, the Arkham city district is the center of dissention, as various political groups and criminal organizations attempt to set their own agendas for the city district. Overall, the episode had a nice blend of the individual characters’ storylines and the main arc focusing on the Arkham city district. The parts that fell flat could be overlooked by the parts that shined as Arkham was up for grabs.
- The introduction of Arkham brought the viewer deep into the Batman mythos, both showing the history of Arkham and how important the area of the city is to multiple factions within the city social structure. Two competing, mob-backed plots and a third conspiracy seemingly meant to throw everything into chaos surround the Arkham project.
- Stick him with the pointy end. The hit man in this episode calling himself Gladwell was interesting. The No Country for Old Men style of killing of his victims was something that made me sit up a little in my seat as each victim looked into the pointy end of his weapon.
What did not work
- This is Gotham Idol! Mooney is on the lookout for a woman whom she can use for some unknown purpose. All we know is she has to be able to sing, have attitude, and oh—seduce her! What?! Crazy, I know, but that is each contestant’s final test. From the first girl, whom I lovingly refer to as “Man Hands,” giving Mooney a shoulder massage, to the girl-on-girl kiss by the brunette—each scene was more uncomfortable and clumsy than the first.
- The awkwardness culminated in a catfight. The episode reached its lowest point, as Mooney pits her two prospective “weapons” against each other in mortal combat. It was laughable to see the two ladies whale on each other, a scene that lasted all of five seconds with the winner saying “When do I start?” It just did not work and seemed ridiculous in a show that still cannot figure out if it wants to take itself seriously or not.
- The dialogue and overacting is still patchy here and there (Gordon giving his best Christian Bale Batman voice as he yells at Oswald), but they are getting better.
- Oswald shows up at Gordon’s door and introduces himself to Barbara as Peter Humbolt a friend of Gordon’s (as crazy as that seemed in so many ways). After some small talk, Gordon walks Oswald out of the building and demands to know why he came back to Gotham, heatedly explaining that if the bad guys find out Oswald is not dead, they’re both dead! Oswald pleads his case saying he had no place else to go and that Gotham was his home. He explains he could help Gordon proclaiming that Gordon is the last good man in Gotham, and that he wants to prepare Gordon for the war coming. Oswald will be his source within the criminal world. Oswald finally leaves but not before he lets Gordon know that people are talking about Arkham and he should be asking why?
- Later, in the restaurant when Oswald is working, he hears Maroni talk about his own plans for Arkham and sees some of Maroni’s men bringing in bags full of money to be counted in the back room. The next day the restaurant is robbed with different people including Oswald’s boss getting killed. Oswald however was able to sneak out of the line of fire, and grabs a bag full of money and locks himself in the freezer. How lucky is that right?
- Maroni shows up, a little irked, after the robbery to talk to Oswald and thanks him for saving some of his money. In fact, since the restaurant manager was killed in the robbery, Maroni decides to promote Oswald. No more dish washing for Penguin! He is now the restaurant manager. I guess good things do come to those who wait.
- The scene then switches to Oswald at the door of an apartment with a box of goodies. In the apartment are the robbers of the restaurant. The robbers were happy as can be as they count their money and thank Oswald for pointing them in the direction of the restaurant. So I guess it was not a happenstance… Penguin is scheming! He offers them the goody box of cannoli, which they take without hesitation. You know for a job well done. Well as they eat Oswald just watches as they drop to the floor dead. It is all about the loose ends.
Killing for Arkham:
- At the beginning of this scene, a man approaches a councilman and his body guard in a parking lot. He shows him something he has built telling the body guard to look inside the cylinder. A spike comes out of the end and kills the body guard. He then uses the weapon to kill the councilman. At the precinct the captain tells Gordon and Bullock about the murders and assigns them the cas.
- After doing some interrogation work, Gordon looks through an evidence box from the case. In the box were development plans for Arkham. Coincidence? The plans show that the Wayne family had a plan for the district and the Mayor endorses those plans. The plan would mean building a new asylum in the city to help the less fortunate. Gordon goes to the Wayne estate to look for answers. Bruce doesn’t want his parents’ dream to die with them and wants to endorse the plan as his parents did.
- Crime bosses Falcone and Maroni both have their own agendas for the Arkham district, and Gordon needs to make sure the opposing sides do not erupt into a gang war.
- In a strange twist, Nygma shows up to the crime scene of another murder and tell Gordon and Bullock that the same person that killed the previous two also killed this councilman. The same guy is working for both Falcone and Maroni. Can you imagine if either of them wanted to put a hit out on the guy that is killing the competition?
- Bullock and Gordon uncover that the killers name is Gladwell, and track him down at his legitimate work place. Gladwell is there, but he sees them before they see him and he is able to get away. It turns out Gladwell is not his true name but the name of a man he had stolen his identity five years previous.
- Oswald contacts Gordon and tells him that the Mayor is going to be killed tonight. Gordon goes to the Mayor’s home, but Gladwell shows up and chaos ensues. The result? Gladwell is killed by both Bullock and Gordon (with his magic gun) and the Mayor is saved.
- The attempt on his life frightened Mayor James to vote for a compromise of both Falcone and Maroni’s plan. Part of Arkham will be used to rebuild homes and the other part will be used for waste, and the Asylum will be partly remodeled.
A Fish and Her Cat Fight:
- Mooney is looking for singers for her club. The first girl who auditions is good at singing but not great at seducing (neither men nor women), which is important for Mooney’s plan. She is not just looking for a girl; she’s looking for a weapon (for reasons we do not know as of yet). The second girl, Liza, is better at seducing (kind of) than she is at singing. What to do?
- In the end, Mooney takes both girls to a warehouse. She instructs both girls to fight it out and the best woman wins. Liza comes out on top of one of the most ridiculous fights I have seen on TV.
- Despite both the crime bosses getting their way, Gordon believes Gotham can still be saved, and he tells Bruce the same, even though his parents’ dream will not become a reality.
- Gordon comes home, and Barbara confronts him about Oswald. But instead of focusing on the Oswald “murder,” Gordon turns the question on Barbara, asking why Montoya is so caught up with her. She tells him they used to date. Gordon is upset about Barbara’s lying (supposedly) and, later at the GCP precinct, they are able to work it out. However, Barbara does bring up Oswald again, and Gordon tells her that he is no longer going to bring up work with her. And Oswald is a work-related issue. She tells him she cannot live that way and tells him he will have to make a choice: Tell her the truth or let her go. Gordon does not respond, and Barbara walks away.