Gotham: Review: Series 1 Episode 4: Arkham

Gotham 4Plans for the old Arkham Asylum site look as if they’ll be a trigger point for the gang war coming to Gotham…

On the same day that the show gets picked up for a full 22 episode season (and starts its UK broadcast), Gotham ups the body count, and shows the depressing futility at the heart of Jim Gordon’s quest. No matter what he does, it doesn’t seem as if he’s going to have a chance against Maroni, Falcone and Fish Mooney… particularly if the Mayor is as bad as those he allegedly is standing up against. Even young Bruce Wayne is beginning to understand just what sort of vipers’ nest he’s growing up somewhere near – Jim Gordon gives what’s presumably the show’s mission statement towards the end: all they can do is try to sort things out.

There are some really nasty moments in this episode – the disposal of the various councilmen shown in almost loving detail at times – and Jim Gordon doesn’t come out of this too well. His relationship with Barbara is not healthy, and his reaction to her confession about her prior life with Montoya doesn’t do him much credit. This series is already playing enough with the Batman mythology that we can’t guarantee that Jim and Barbara will end up together – and they’ve got a long way to go.

Young Mr Cobblepot is also trying to play as many ends against the middle as he can – but the position in which he finds himself by the end of the episode surely means that he’s going to be publicly exposed, which should cause considerable problems for a lot of people, not least Jim Gordon. I suppose we should be grateful that he finds a different way of knocking off his enemies this episode!

Verdict: Much more grounded than the earlier episodes, this is nearer the detective/gangster series that I was expecting. 7/10

Paul Simpson

<<< 3. The Balloonman



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