“I CAN DIG THAT.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Gotham returned from its midseason break this week with plenty to prove. The first half of this debut season has had its fair share of ups and downs, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing if Gotham can kick on a bit in the second half. “Rogues’ Gallery” wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, but there was enough there to suggest the show is capable of turning a corner.
The biggest difference in the show now is the refreshing change of scenery that comes with Gordon’s reassignment to Arkham Asylum. It’s great to see such a fabled piece of Batman lore taking center stage in the show, and I’m hoping to see a lot more of it before Gordon’s inevitable return to his previous position. Arkham’s inmates should provide plenty of “case of the week” fodder, and it’s always likely we may see a couple of well-known characters pop up from time to time. Morena Baccarin’s Dr. Leslie Thompkins is the biggest new addition to the cast, and it looks like she’ll be partnering up with Gordon in the asylum and may also be a romantic option for him.
The actual case this week was fairly standard stuff, with an unknown foe running around Arkham Asylum, performing electrifying experiments on the inmates. As I said, the case was rather standard but it did do a good job of introducing us to the asylum and Leslie, while also giving Gordon a reason to be reunited with Bullock. Gordon and Leslie have already struck up some good chemistry and it seems like the events of previous episodes have changed Gordon a little bit. He didn’t seem like his usual grumpy self and is actually looking like somebody who could open up. Barbara continued to be quite unlikeable this week, so I’m hoping to see much more of Leslie.
Penguin, Selina and Mooney each got a little bit of screen time this week, although it didn’t do much to advance their storylines at all. To be honest, I would have liked to see more time given to other parts of the episode, although I understand the need to catch up with most of the characters again after the break. Butch’s side story surprisingly proved to be the most entertaining secondary plot this week, as his loyalty to Mooney was tested by an old friend. I liked that the writers played with us a little bit here, making it seem like Butch was going to betray Mooney. It turns out that Butch is willing to kill his old friends for her, and that’s the kind of loyalty you can’t buy. I really enjoyed that closing “hit” scene, as it looked like something ripped straight out of a mob movie: the old cars and music, the target being lulled into a false sense of security and then the shot of the kill from outside the car (wonderful stuff). Mooney’s storyline is starting to feel a little bit dragged out now but this side of it was great.
Perhaps my favorite thing about this episode was that our villain Gruber, played by Christopher Heyerdahl, actually lived to torment Gordon another day. Heyerdahl always brings a great energy to the roles he plays, and Gruber’s psychotic electrocutioner could be a lot of fun as a recurring villain. It may seem like a small thing, but building up a couple of good, recurring villains is something Gotham needs to be doing to improve. “Rogues’ Gallery” hasn’t convinced me that Gotham has turned a corner and will suddenly become a great show, but I still think it could be close to becoming a very good one if it irons out some of its more prevalent problems.
What did you think of Leslie Thompson’s debut on the show? Let us know your thoughts on this and the episode as a whole on Twitter @YouNerded or in the comments below.
75/100 – Good
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