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Gotham - Rogue's Gallery - Advance Preview

It's a new year, which means Hell-atus is over and the spring half of the season is about to begin. What better way to start off the new year with a return to this TV season's grittiest destination, Gotham. While the mid-season finale of Gotham wasn't the best hour of the season, it definitely set the stage for the next half of the season. Jim, choosing to keep his stance on Gotham's shady ways of corruption, was assigned to security detail at Arkham Asylum. I have to admit, I have been wanting to know exactly where Jim's story unfolds from here, something I can't say I was too concerned with for most of the season. I feel the sweeping opera that is the struggle for Gotham simply pushed Jim's story to the background a bit. At the end of the day, Jim was supposed to be our protagonist on this journey and so far after ten episodes he has lost both his job and his girlfriend. How much more can the man take? Will he let these setbacks hold him back going forward? How does the show handle putting him in Arkham, such an iconic place in Batman mythos? Finally, where does Dr. Leslie Thompkins fit into this world? "Rogue's Gallery" is indeed our first look into these questions and more.

File Name: Rogue's Gallery.
Case File: Season One, Episode 11
Study Originated by: Bruno Heller & Sue Chung
Conducted by: Oz Scott

The Case:I happen to feel that Gotham is strongest when it doesn't rely on the case of the week to carry the episode, so I thought going into this half of the season, with Gordon in Arkham, that aspect of the show would be less prominent. Turns out I was wrong. Rogue's Gallery does feature a case of the week, just one inside of Arkham, instead of on the streets of Gotham. This was not a bad thing though. Maybe it will get weary if it continues past this episode, but I have to say using Arkham as the backdrop for this week's case was a good move. In the time that has passed since the finale, Jim's tenure at Arkham has started off kind of rocky. Arkham's Director Gerry Lang doesn't seem to be so sweet on Jim, and when a fight breaks out between inmates doing Shakespeare at the the hour's beginning, he makes this fact very clear. What's also clear is that while on the inside of Arkham, Jim will have a new type of partner to play with professionally(Maybe romantically) in the form of Dr. Leslie Thompkins, (Firefly's Morena Boccarin). Sparks appear to fly between the two, but those are not the only sparks flying, as a patient (The Frog Man) is found brain dead in his cell by Gordon as a result of electroshock therapy. Director Lang refuses to get the cops involved, so Jim tasks himself with finding the culprit. Watching Jim interrogate inmates proves why the Arkham setting is a good direction for the show, some great comedic moments there watching Ben paly straight laced to all kinds of crazy. For those who think the bromance of Bullock and Gordon will be affected by his restationing, never fear, Bullock will be here, all it takes is another victim and a defiant Jim to call him in. (Donal Logue really chews scenery with his charisma this week, something I felt the character lacked a bit of early on)

The case seems pretty cut and dry, I thought I had it pegged halfway through and the show seemed to back me up, until a bait and switch in the episodes final-ish moments shook things up. Most cases of the week thus far have ended up with the culprit being unmasked or meeting their grisly ends, but this week's case is different. This week we may have our first multi-episode villain introduced and that is a plus. Also, I would like to add that while no death will ever top the woman killed by the falling body in The Balloonman, watching someone get trampled to death is definitely on my list of Weirdly Gory Deaths only seen in the world's least desirable vacation spot, aka Gotham. I love it though, it really helps provide a comic book feel to a show that sometimes doesn't feel like it's related to a comic book at all. Which could be considered genius or incompetent depending on how you look at it.

Supporting Research: An interesting tidbit is revealed when Director Lang mentions to Bullock that there are secrets about Arkham that he would never reveal and that he could never know. (What's up with that?)I do hope we come back to that at some point. Arkham is synonymous to Gotham's identity in my opinion and the surface seems to have barely been touched. This week, while there is no mention or sight of Lil Wayne or The Riddler(Ed!) or Falcone this week, we do get some subplots involving some of our other character's this week.

Penguin, at the top of the hour, decides to assert himself by intimidating some poor fishermen under Maroni's turf to pay higher taxes. What Penguin doesn't count on is the police that were called, who are supposed to be in Maroni's pocket, clocking him cold and subsequently waking up in a cell. A cell, from which he later tries to appeal to Bullock from to no avail. (I am loving the spark that Bullock has this week, let's hope it maintains itself). Penguin, of all people, should know this is Gotham, and there is always someone with a card to play and a lesson to be learned. This subplot, felt clunky and I'm sure will help strengthen his resolve to take over, but it didn't add much to the overall aesthetic this week.

Speaking of cards to play, we get to watch Fish hypothetically play hers when she questions two of her equals on Falcones payroll as to who rises when Falcone meets his end. All I will say of this one is, I am generally left with a few more questions as the result of what spawns out of this. Is there another player we should be on the lookout for? Who knows, this is Gotham and everyone has a card to play.
We also got more Selina Kyle and Ivy Pepper this week. There really isn't much more to say honestly, the little they did this week turns out to be connected to another arc, one that is probably going to span a good chunk of story. While it wasn't purposeless, I feel the story it ties into is. Sometimes, conflict for conflict's sake can be a bit messy. But, I do love me some Poison Ivy, so glass half full for now.

And finally, Barbara and Montoya finally get to the root of their relationship and get honest about where this is going, but Jim-Barbra shippers, this is only going to get worse before it gets better.

Conclusive Findings: Coming off a decent mid-season finale, the premiere is a bit more of the same, which is a good thing. One of the strong selling points of Gotham is that it seems to have found it's voice early on. It has produced great episodes that can be either procedural or serialized, and sometimes a bit of both. This week is no different. Jim's story doesn't have to be all serial because the story in the background is(Fish, Falcone, Penguin etc.). I'm currently watching Person of Interest for the first time (I'm in season 2) and to me that's what Gotham feels like right now. That is the closest comparison I could draw right now which is a great compliment to both shows. Also, which is funny because PoI was created by a Nolan. This week's episode handled a shift in our main characters journey seamlessly. Sure, he is no longer a detective by rank, but a man of the law and honest detective is who he is and that's what Gotham needs as evidenced by how even inside of Arkham he is still playing detective. So the story move to Arkham seems like a good one. I'm sure it won't take, but it is fun and definitely a nice stepping stone for what's next in Jim Gordon's journey. Morena Baccarin was a great addition and I look forward to how a character with her legacy is handled going forward. It's nice to have another force of good on the show who won't turn bad (I'm looking at you Harvey Dent). Rogue's Gallery is the kind of filler episode that truly gets you excited for things to come and is a great way to start the 2nd half of the season.

Rogue's Gallery airs Monday, January 5th on Fox!

Catch up here!

Now it's your turn. What are you looking forward to most from Gotham this new year? Are you excited to see Jim inside of Arkham? Are you excited to see Dr. Thompkins? Do you think the Jim-Barbra saga is a needed part of the show? Are you still watching Gotham? Sound off Below!

About the Author - Winston Mize
Winston is a 24 year old goofball, born in the north, and currently living in the south. He loves TV.... for some it's coffee, for him it's TV talk that gets his day going. He wants to be a screenwriter, and watches some of everything. You name it, he's probably checked it out. And he would like you to know that it is okay for a 24 year old to play with action figures... well, he does anyway
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