Kinda felt like this was their first miss, excepting the decent ending. They should have built the episode around that instead of stupid goat man. At first I thought he was going to be Scarecrow but then he said some cringy line like “I am the incarnation of the goat!”
Add me to the “liked it” column. I thought it was a fine one-shot story with a villain that would be a good fit for Batman’s rogue gallery. Incorporating the Bullock backstory and the progression of the Cobblepot plot made it even better. I do agree that Nigma’s interaction with Chris Kringle (gah) was pretty awful, though.
Well, they certainly made up for lost time with this episode in terms of moving the plotlines along. Last week with the Goat it felt like nothing happened; this week there was something going on every minute. I really like what they’ve done with Penguin…the mix of hyper-intelligent manipulator and insane killer is portrayed nicely.
That version of Zsasz was cringe-worthy … and not in a good way.
When Zsasz comes off as a goofball and the Penguin comes off as the more terrifying psycho killer of the two, you know the writers have gotten lost. (The fact that he was attended by two supermodels with guns as henchmen show that we’ve long since left Nolanville and are headed straight to Schumacherland.)
I actually liked Zsasz. OK, the henchgirls were silly, I’ll grant you that. But Victor himself seemed fine to me, a bit wild-eyed as you’d expect, and it felt like he really wanted to cut loose but was held back by the orders from his boss. Maybe I’m just projecting what I know about the future character, I dunno.
After skipping episodes 2-5, I watched the last two and now I’m back into this show. I’ve gotten over the ‘no Batman’ thing. What intrigues me is the overall, I hope, story arc of this Penguin guy playing the gangster against the other gangsters, while planning to use Gordon and I guess cops in general to do…whatever. It’s like all these people are caught in a whirlpool and don’t know it. Gordon and his partner vs random villains? Not interesting. Gordon being a puppet of a puppet? That’s intriguing.
I really do like what they’re doing with the Penguin. I’m not much into Batman lore, but the Penguin never struck me as a particularly interesting villain, yet here they’re making him into a master schemer. Finding out he asked for Gordon, and let Mobster Boss #1 know what was up ages ago was quite the reveal.
Agreed. I think I’d actually sort of enjoy a triple-format for the show:
Long-arc of Bruce’s slow development into Batman-esque figure in the background (e.g., learning about detective stuff, gaining control over the family empire, and eventually going off in search of ways to better his body as he has his mind)
Long-arc of Gordon slowly establishing himself as a good (and Good) enough cop to make his way up the ranks without getting killed off by the mob, setting him up to be Commissioner by the time the show wraps.
Per-season arcs setting up famous members of the Rogues gallery pre-Batman by showing their rise from nothing to the powerhouses that many are by the time they take on a proper Batman.
I’m basing #3 entirely off of how well the Penguin arc is going so far. Sure, some background material like Don Falcone and Victor Szasz shows up, but seeing Penguin work himself up from a low-level thug to the powerful mob boss we know he is in his later years is actually a ton of fun.
If they can manage to do the same with other characters without going all-in on the hokeyness inherent to them, I think it could easily last a few years.
I agree with all of that, but the flaw I see in that plan is that once you’ve established a character on the show as a major focal point (the Penguin), it’ll be hard to regulate him to the sidelines (or off the show completely) in future seasons. There becomes the need to write him in and just have him ‘do stuff’, and the show gets bloated and unfocused. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.
The show’s been a lot smarter than I expected. Far more intelligent than the Flash. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, since I’m surprised they can make the premise of Gotham without Batman interesting at all.
If the show lasts long enough for that to be a problem, it will have had a good run. And add me to the list of those who’ve never found Penguin interesting until his current incarnation on Gotham. It’s the first time I’ve cared about the character in more than 40 years of following Batman.
That’s certainly possible, but at least for this first focus on Penguin, I think they can pretty easily avoid it by transitioning him from “the guy we’re watching become a criminal mastermind” to “the guy in the shadows calling the shots”. Once he’s established as a big man in the mob, he only needs to show up in a few episodes for a few minutes to maintain that in the future. Now, if they get someone like the Joker going, well, that’s gonna be tougher to handle.
There’s always the option of putting them in the cooler for a while - i.e. we see a glimpse of them becoming the great villains they are, then Gordon catches them, so they don’t need to be all running amok in Gotham at the same time.
Aye, the reopening of Arkham presents good possibilities. . . especially since it seems like it will only come along w/ a great deal of mob involvement in corruption, providing an in-universe (TV universe) reason for the revolving door it traditionally presents villains. In they go for just long enough for the people to think they’ve won, out they pop when they’re ready to get back to “real work” and stop letting “Jimmy” feel like he’s done something useful.
In fact, the notion of sort of patting the citizenry on the back with a large, obvious arrest every so often is already being seeded into the show’s mythos. The crooks are so in control they can feed a patsy to the terrified, furious public every so often to give them an illusion of control and safety, while continuing to operate just fine in the background.
Yeah, they could do that, and I really hope they do, but it’s much more normal for shows to just keep getting more and more bloated with characters. It’s especially hard to cut fan-favorites like the Penguin actor is turning out to be.
This week’s episode was a nice followup to the big stuff in the last one. I like that they addressed the whole cops-didn’t-help-Gordon thing right away; had they left it alone, that would have been a pretty big loose thread. The Black Mask sighting was fairly well done, I thought. Assuming the show keeps going I fully expect him to be back, probably as more of the crime boss that he was in the comics.
I haven’t cared for the Bruce Wayne segments, but they did some good stuff with that this week. It was amusing to see Alfred watching the food fight. Normally that’s something a parent / guardian would clamp down on, but you could see him working out that this was the first time he’d seen Bruce behave like a kid since the murder of his parents.
They also brought up a contradiction which never really crossed my mind before. Batman is a streetwise vigilante. How the hell does a sheltered billionaire become streetwise? Batman’s skill set fits better with a bitter ex-cop or an ex-street kid, not a rich man.
Agreed, and they also showed the other side of the Bruce-Alfred relationship when Bruce put his foot down about Selina staying with them. They’re doing a good job balancing that out, I think. I wasn’t a big fan of this version of Alfred at first, but he’s growing on me.
In pretty much all the origin stories there’s a big chunk of time (usually late teens/early twenties) where Bruce disappears from public life and goes off to parts unknown to learn all his not-being-a-billionaire skills. I thought Batman Begins did a pretty good job of representing that with the bit where he trades coats with the bum and jumps on a cargo ship, and of course then they used it to lead into the whole Ras thing later.
I’ve found the Bruce Wayne segments to be the best part of the show. The kid actor they got to play him just nails it. He’s aloof and confused in a way that is really believable and sincere. Watching him come to grips with his rage in the way he’s doing so really makes sense in light of his future self.
Like ineffable, I wasn’t a big fan of their version of Alfred at first, but I see where they’re going with him after the last few episodes and it works well for me.