Review: Gotham 1.11 – “Rogue’s Gallery”

After more than a month away, Gotham is finally back! Let’s hope that this freshman series can keep up the pace, character development, and excitement as we gear through the second half of the season. “Rogues’ Gallery” proves to be a solid step in the right direction.

If you are having trouble remembering what happened before this, Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) was sent to work at the newly opened, yet very sinister, Arkham Asylum. His pitiful girlfriend, Barbara (Erin Richardson) went back into the arms of her lesbian lover, fellow GCPD cop, Renee (Victoria Cartagena). Also, Fish (Jada Pinkett Smith) and all those other mob families, including double-crossing Oswalrd Cobblepot aka The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), continue to jockey for power in the mob scene. Yup. There it is.

Gordon is getting adjusted to the creepy Arkham Asylum, where the patients are putting on a play, despite the severe thunderstorm occurring outside. One of the patients suddenly loses it and attacks one of the other patients in the play. That escalated quickly! The quirky Nurse Dorothy (Allyce Beasley) is quick to help, but managing director Gerry Lang (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) has just about had it with all of the outbreaks. I don’t know if it’s the writing or the acting, but Lang just wasn’t good.

Enter a breath of fresh air: Dr. Leslie Thompkins, played by the beautiful and gleaming Morena Baccarin. She tends to the patient while managing to have a flirty banter with Jim – and that’s not easy because Jim is a stone cold wall. Can’t wait to see more of Dr. Thompkins!

Gotham Rogues Gallery nurse11Meanwhile, Selina Kyle aka young Catwoman (Camren Bicondova) is doing what she usually does: slinking around a dirty alleyway. She comes upon Ivy Pepper aka young Poison Ivy (Clare Foley), who has taken shelter in a box on the ground. Selina is going to help her, so she breaks into Jim’s empty loft apartment. That’s nice. #VillainsSistersForever

Back at Arkham, Jim discovers the “Crime of the Week” when he finds a patient named Jones aka the Frog Man (because a frog lives in his abdomen, of course) has been electroshocked into a vegatative state. Jim wants to call the police, but Dr. Lang is against it. Meanwhile, Dr. Thompkins continues to liven the show. The first guard Jim interviews admits that his keys went missing! That was easy. Cut to: a montage of Jim interviewing a bunch of the patients all while odd music plays. It was slightly jarring.

Gotham Rogues Gallery gruber11Some stand out interviews: a man named Gruber (Christopher Heyerdahl), who reminded me of a calculating Hannibal, and another named Aaron Helzinger (Kevin McCormick) who apparently always told the truth. No answers found and later that night, another victim, Royston (Sam Seferian), is electroshocked into spouting Shakespeare. This leads Gordon to assume it is a staff member who is the culprit. He tells Dr. Thompkins to go back to the women’s side of Arkham before things get messy. She doesn’t need your protecting, Jim. She can handle. She even jokes about being a member of staff too. Oh, Morena.

Managing Director Lang, besides being a terrible actor, continues to be a nuisance, denying everything to Jim. Luckily, Jim already called the cops and his BFF Harvey Bullock shows up and takes Dr. Lang out of Jim’s hair and down to the station for questioning. Since when did Bullock fall in love with Jim? Hmm.

For some reason the show decides to check-in on the terrible Barbara and Renee. I had almost forgotten about them, but realize it was just a wish I had. Apparently, Renee is already over Barbara because of the drugs and drinking. LOL. I’m sorry, that is too funny. Barbara is all mad and heaving. Renee even wants to call Jim. What is this? Or, whatever it was, I’m glad it is seemingly over. What were you thinking, Gotham writers? Side note: THERE WAS NO COFFEE IN THAT COFFEE CUP. That was TERRIBLE fake coffee drinking.

Gotham Rogues Gallery cat-ivyBarbara later calls Jim’s apartment and Ivy answers. She says Jim is busy and she is a friend of his. Hilarious! Apparently Barbara can’t tell when she is talking to a child because she throws her phone across the room in anger! She’s the worst. I’m starting to hate her so much I almost like her. Is that a thing?

Back at the station, Bullock grills Dr. Lang about electroshock and his staff. Dr. Lang is afraid of authority, but promises to never tell his secrets. He denies all accusations, saying his staff has been together for years, except “her”…

Gotham Rogues Gallery oh-jim11Meanwhile, Jim and Nurse Dorothy search the closed off basement, where no one has been in 10 years. Clearly, Nurse Dorothy is the culprit, but then Dr. Thompkins appears suddenly. Not sure why. And we all know she isn’t the culprit. So, okay? Well, Nurse Dorothy makes a break for it, pushing Dr. Thompkins to the ground. She then releases all of the inmates, before getting trampled to death in their stampede. The inmates are about to attack Dr. Thompkins, but Jim arrives and yells, which makes them back off, momentarily. His voice and manner are strong enough to ward off attacks. Jim and Dr. Thompkins safely escape thereafter.

Later at the station, it is revealed that Nurse Dorothy was actually a former patient! HA! How did they miss that? She apparently hid in the basement during Arkham’s transition. Chief Essen (Zabryna Guevara) congratulates and maybe even flirts with Jim about his success. BUT THEN, we discover that Nurse Dorothy was electroshocked too! She was just acting on the orders of another…who is revealed to be the calculating Gruber and his other lackey, Aaron.

Jim and Harvey rush back to Arkham, but it is too late. Gruber and Aaron have escaped, killing a guard and Dr. Lang! Sorry, not sorry, Lang. In his dying breath, he spouts out Gruber’s name. Jim notices a note in his hand from Gruber that basically taunts Jim and we see him driving away into the city. And so, Jim finally returns to his loft, finding no Barbara, and no pesky kids.

Meanwhile, in a completely different plot, The Penguin, acting as cocky as ever, tries to implement a tariff inflation on the fishermen for some reason, but ends up getting arrested and has to spend the episode locked up in the middle of GCPD. It turns out that Maroni was just teaching Penguin a lesson about hubris, making sure to tell Penguin that he is a monkey and Maroni is the zookeeper. Penguin’s face says otherwise. Let us not forget he is secretly working for Falcone.

Gotham Rogues Gallery Fish11And in another separate plot line, some other mob members, one an old friend of Butch (Drew Powell) named Saviano (John Enos III), come to visit Fish to talk about what happens when Falcone is gone. Saviano is the most senior mob boss, so thinks he should be next. Fish, who never steps outside of her damn empty club, thinks it should be her. After they leave, Fish worries that Butch would betray her. He promises he wouldn’t, but his face says otherwise.

Later, Butch goes to meet Saviano, who wants Butch to betray Fish. Butch ponders for a while before returning and apologizing to Saviano for cheating him out of meat they stole when they were kids. Saviano accepts and then Butch shoots him in the head. I must say, the music was a nice touch to it all! But nice to see Butch is loyal to Fish. There is SOME honor among thieves.

That’s it for this week. The show is going on hiatus next week, but will be back the following week. What did you guys think of Gotham’s return? I thought it wasn’t perfect and was all over the place, but it was fun. I loooove the addition of Morena Baccarin. I think she’ll be a good match for Jim. They already have more chemistry than Jim and Barbara. Can we all just agree that Barbara should just be written off the show already? No offense to Erin Richardson, but Barbara just doesn’t fit. Also, all of the mob family stuff, it’s not that interesting. Fish has been saying/doing the same thing since the pilot. I want new and fun things from her. We don’t have to be endlessly reminded about Falcone/Maroni and all that. Penguin added a fresh take and now he is getting suckered into this mob business and it is just blah. Less plot driven, more character development driven, please. Otherwise, good, fun episode.

Let me know what you guys think in the comments below!

Gotham airs on FOX, Mondays at 8/9c. Watch full episodes on FOX.com.

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Post Author: Ben Fleck