Gotham, Episode 11 “Rogue’s Gallery” Broadcast January 5, 2014
Written by Sue Chung
Directed by Oz Scott
A very quick review of what happened previously leads to Arkham Asylum at night during a rainstorm. Within, new guard James Gordon watches as a play is performed by the inmates for their peers. Elsewhere in Gotham, quick cameos are shown of Selina, Harvey, and Barbara illustrating their current states. Back in the asylum, the pitched singing of an actor causes a burley inmate to go bonkers and rush the stage, throw the man to the ground, and proceeds to beat him. The others watch and cheer as an alarm is sounded and Gordon tries to break things up. The beaten man is wheeled into the hospital unit, where Gordon is berated by Director Lang for, again, not fulfilling his job appropriately as head of security for the men’s wing. If Gordon is found lacking again he’ll be knocked down to the remedial roster. Dr. Leslie Tompkins arrives later, sees the patient is fine and recognizes the notorious Gordon. The two talk and the good doctor, coming over to help from the female wing, is mildly flirtatious. With the rain done, Seline emerges on the street but is stopped by some coughing. It’s Ivy Pepper (the future Poison Ivy) who’s sick from exposure. Unable to leave her when told to, Selina helps the sick friend to a safe place–Gordon’s empty apartment. She breaks in through the balcony and lets Ivy in through the front door. The scene then moves to morning with Penguin at the docks. He’s shaking down some fishermen for more money, but they refuse because he’s not Boss Maroni, plus they’ve already contacted the police who have just arrived. One officer knocks Cobblepot out with one punch. Back at Arkham, Gordon is walking the halls when he notices an inmate in his room staring out the window. It’s the man who attacked the singer during the performance. He goes in to find the man unmoving. Gordon touches him and the man falls over to the floor. Cue title sequence and first commercial break.
This episode had some really strong points and really low points. I liked the mystery of what was being done to the inmates and how Gordon had to investigate. Nice way to introduce the new characters at Arkham Asylum and show how this type of job was a different type of hell in Gotham. It was neat to see Morena Baccarin enter the show as Thompkins. I’m looking forward to how she’ll be the other side of the triangle with James and Barbara. This episode quickly, too quickly, resolves the Barbara and Montoya relationship. All that buildup to be undone in one scene? Too fast. The mobster storyline was really rote. It was a good way for Drew Powell to stretch as Butch, but if a viewer couldn’t predict the ending of that thread, then they haven’t read or seen enough. Even the Penguin piece, which was short, was meh. However, Robin Lord Taylor continues to dominate as Cobblepot. He just eats up the screen! Also eating up the screen was Donal Logue as Bullock. His first scene was great, with his dialogue being fantastic. However, once away from James and involved in questioning a potential witness the dialogue became so cliché. I couldn’t believe it was the same character talking. Clare Foley had a terrible scene involving a conversation where she had to laugh. It’s the worst laugh. Rocket Raccoon would call out that fake laugh. Also not working was Jack Gruber played by Christopher Heyerdahl who’s channeling Anthony Hopkins’s Hannibal Lector. He started out cool and got silly. He’s returning next week as C-level future Batman foe.
The good: Allyce Beasley! Love her! Butch getting some solo scenes. Harvey’s rescue for James. Harvey and Cobblepot’s scene is brilliant! Nice phone call scene with Barbara.
Fun lines: “All right. I can dig that,” “What’s a bonsai tree?”, “Spiffy means dorky,” “You’re a smart monkey, but you’re a monkey…And I’m the zookeeper.”
The bad: Butch’s solo scenes playing out Soprano‘s leftovers, cheap horror movie quick edits when the device is used, Harvey’s dialogue with the witness is clichéd, terrible laugh from Ivy, Gruber sounding too much like Hannibal Lector, and the final scene is really telegraphed.
The final line: An average episode with wheels moving but to anywhere major? Overall grade: C