Review: Gotham (S1 E18/22), Monday 27th April, Channel 5



gotham-image-everyone-has-a-cobblepot-becky-ann-baker-robin-lord-taylor[1]In many ways, Gotham is like a Western – you get cowboys with white hats, cowboys with black hats, and the city-dwellers caught in the middle. Then a two-fisted sheriff rides into town to stand up and fight for what’s right – and Jim Gordon is that sheriff. Trouble is, the hats worn by his deputies are kinda grey.

Jim Gordon’s full of righteous fury when the corrupt cop he arrested, Flass, is cleared in a ploy orchestrated by Commissioner Loeb. What’s more, Flass plans to stand for President of the Policemen’s Union, which would spread the corruption in GCPD. To make matters worse, Bullock’s testimony cleared Flass – so why did he do it?

Bullock explains that Loeb’s power stems from the fact that with the help of Falcone, he has got dirt on every cop on the force – including Bullock, who was forced to off a perp, or get killed himself. Everyone has an Oswald Cobblepot, Bullock explains – only Jim Gordon didn’t go through with shooting his.

With the help of Harvey Dent, a reluctant Bullock, and the cunning Cobblepot, Gordon seeks out Loeb’s cache of evidence, which he figures is held in his country house; what he actually finds is a pair of creepy housekeepers, and Loeb’s nutty daughter locked in the attic. The daughter evidently killed her mother, and Loeb has been hiding her for years; this gives Gordon the leverage he needs over Loeb, not only to convict Flass, but also to destroy the evidence against Bullock.

As an aside, Jim decides to extort the support of Loeb in running for President of the Policemen’s Union. Jim’s rise to power and influence begins – can he resist the corrupting forces which have ensnared Loeb, and is this in fact a new day in the GCPD? (we suspect not – and incidentally, we love the fact that the newshounds at Jim’s press conference use flashbulbs of a type not seen since the ‘60s).

It’s left to Penguin to tidy up the loose ends at Loeb’s house, which he does by bumping off the housekeepers to stop his involvement in the plot getting back to Falcone.

Other minor plots have to be serviced. Ed Nygma continues to pursue Miss Kringle, buoyed by the news that she’s dumped Flass – but in fact she’s moved on to another, more clean-cut cop (Miss Kringle seems to be secretly a bit of a slut, an aspect of her character we’re keen to see explored). And Bruce Wayne, tending to Alfred in hospital, is visited by Selina, who he asks for help in finding Alfred’s attacker Reggie Payne.

But what of Fish Mooney, last seen like Milton’s Samson, “Eyeless in Gaza, at the mill with slaves”? She wakes up after putting out her own eye, only to meet the director of the sinister transplant facility, Dr Dolmacher, and to find that the charming Doctor has fitted her with a new organ – admittedly, not the same colour. The horrific implication is that the Doctor can use surgery to reward, or to punish – as we see in the horrific patchwork creature he makes of the facility’s failed administrator.

Fish returns to the dungeon full of promises to the captives, but we reckon she’s interested only in plotting her own escape. Though she gets her wished-for promotion to management, it comes with a twist; she discovers that the facility is housed on a blasted island surrounded by icy oceans, offering slim hope of freedom.

A pot-boiler of an episode, then, keeping things running along, but with little real development; and no appearance of Lee Thompkins or Barbara Keane, Maroni or Falcone. Sometimes you do feel the lack of action in Gotham, but the build-up is necessary. We reckon there are two big developments waiting in the wings; Fish is going to have to bust out and return to Gotham, and Gordon is going to have to finish off Loeb; the sneaky little man won’t take lightly the prospect of being run out of town by the new sheriff.

Chris Jenkins

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