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Gotham Review: Season Four Continues Disturbing Trend of Good, Bad and Ugly

by on October 1, 2017
 

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

In the premiere, Gotham tackles an interesting idea put forth by Penguin. He has issued ‘permits’ for criminals to commit crimes, kind of like a get out of jail free card. Controlled and managed crime is a fascinating concept for Gotham, which is a dark and dangerous city at the best of times. Crime has fallen off, police officers no longer feel like they are useless (more on this idea later), everyone is making money, what’s the problem?

Well, Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne, they are the problem.

Leave it to these two to rock the boat and cause chaos in this wonderful arrangement. Gordon of course plays by his own rules and while coming off as a cop with a heart of gold, he is actually a terrible police officer. He disobeys rules, cagallery-1500767152-gotham3uses tons of trouble and oh yes, is a murderer. Bruce meanwhile is now a vigilante in training, which is interesting in the fact that vigilantes do not have to abide by this card carrying criminal enterprise rule. He can do what he wants, like Gordon does, and these fellows are like two sides of the same coin. No wonder they get along so well.

Scarecrow also made his debut but while I enjoy the character himself, I don’t know what impact he’s going to have on our two vigilante heroes, as we find out in episode two when Scarecrow and Gordon go toe to toe. Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon are not perfect but they do have one shared strength, that being the power to conquer their own fears. Sure, there are some skeleton’s rolling around in the closets of these two that might rear they’re ugly heads later but I think Scarecrow’s biggest impact will be causing chaos in Gotham’s underworld, not with these two personally.

I don’t know about you, but Victor Zsasz has never been so sassy and fun in the first three seasons as he was starting out season four. I hope they keep him like this, he’s a hoot.

Selina is also going through her own training, or morphing into Catwoman, with the help of piss poor guide Tabitha, so it will be interesting to see what these two bring to the table, especially in the world of Cobblepot, I mean Gotham.

While episode two had SGotham-402_SCN25_JN0588_hires2carecrow as the main character, the really interesting and confounding story line was that of the GCPD. Oh yes, and yet another character returns from the dead. Man, does anyone ever die in this city?

The Scarecrow/GCPD plot arcs are actually intertwined to a degree. Gordon is left to fend for himself, fighting crazed inmates at the asylum who are now even more out of control than ever thanks to Scarecrow and what is horribly described as his ‘fear juice’. Really? Fear juice? Anyways, the reason Gordon is alone, besides his usual vigilante MO, is Harvey couldn’t risk leaving the precinct and losing the faith of his men.

Oh boy.

It should come as a shock to no one, ok maybe Gordon because he lives in a different universe sometimes, that the officers of the GCPD have finally had enough. Really though, can you blame them? This place has been a war zone for three seasons now and the officers get zero respect from the citizens of Gotham at the best of times. The idea put forth by Cobblepot and his ‘crime control’ idea must be very intriguing, especially when he shows up and offers to triple their salaries. Let’s face it, the GCPD is broken, probably beyond repair and maybe that’s a good thing. Time to start off new somehow, weed out those who as we saw, would rather put a beat down on Gordon than do their job. But therein lies the problem. Who is actually right here? Gordon gives a great speech about them not being fit to wear the badge, and he’s right, but this is coming from a borderline vigilante who likes to make rules up as he goes. This for me was the most intriguing part of both episodes and I am curious to see where they take it.

Posion Ivy is back, and re-inventing hemaxresdefault (2)rself again, so maybe this time she will become more than eye candy? Speaking of back from the dead, Barbara returns acting like a robot and in the business of selling weapons. Ok…although it is clear she is getting help from someone and this ‘surprise’ appearance is really not that surprising at all, given the show, I can’t imagine her bringing anymore to the table in this zombie like state. If she’s going to hang around, let’s hope she goes back to batshit crazy Barbara.

Oh, and Bruce’s new vigilante suit? I will say it looks good from a distance. Close ups of any kind make him look like the kid who went shopping for a Halloween costume and was stuck with this. Let’s hope they keep fiddling with the look. And please, do it now.

In the first two episodes “Pax Penguina” and “The Fear Reaper”, Gotham rolls out some interesting ideas, fun and familiar characters and those annoying plot holes and moments that characters do something so truly idiotic you want to pull your hair out. Yes, love it or hate it, Gotham is indeed back.

Episode 1 and 2: Three and a half stars out of five


Positives

-Penguin and Victor Zsasz were loads of fun

-Love the ideas floated about the GCPD and crime permits

- Is anyone on this show sane?

Negatives

- Barbara is back, acting like a robot, does anyone care?

- Gordon still a horrible cop

- Bruce Wayne and his vigilante suit? Keep working on it.

Editor Rating
 
Cast
84%

 
Sound
83%

 
Visual
85%

 
Writing
80%

Author Score
83%

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Bottom Line
 

The first two episodes had everything you love and hate about Gotham and in that at least it is consistent. Part of the charm of this show is the darkness and insanity that surrounds it, and that has not changed. Still, some wonky plot holes and characters acting ridiculous took away from some postitve steps forward. Hey, Gotham is back!