by Claire Payne, Erin Marie Duncan and John Hammond.
Each season of a Gotham does get better, but in a way of natural development of the characters, story arcs and most importantly how eventually when we get to that point why Bruce Wayne decides Gotham City needs a Batman. Season one was more of a mix of detective episodes whilst we got too see growth in some of the villains in particular Oswald ‘The Penguin’ Cobblepot. Season two, three and four has shown extentisive story arcs and seeing the familiar villains from the Batman universe arrive and see how their stories effect out familiar residents of Gotham.
The first eleven episode all have been excellent at this stage i don’t think I could even pick out a favourite. Pax Penguina was a great way to start season 4, alot of decisions were made with characters in which direction to take them especially Bruce Wayne. Straight away we see the vigilante Bruce making decisions and wanting to help control the crime, whilst Jim Gordon was dealing with The Pax Penguina which was making the GCPD look completely incapable. Episode 4 which Ben McKenzie wrote himself was another highlight, Arkham Asylum made even creepier and crazy and we witnessed a dinner party that many of the elite of Gotham will never forget.
The existing characters have developed in a very interesting way, some have learnt from their existing mistakes and some maybe not. A big surprise for season 4 is the fractured relationship between Jim and Harvey, with Jim becoming captain. For Jim to get promoted was a natural progression but in the way he gained it not so much. The Gotham cast as a whole all have great chemistry on screen Jim and Harvey have really delivered a compelling story. Not only has Jim lost a good friend but a good partnership in the GCPD. Another fantastic duo is Bruce and Alfred they start out training for the battle against Ra’s al Ghul. Bruce having defeated him even in a way i didn’t expect and now having to deal with his guilt. Alfred letting Bruce deal with it the way Bruce wants to was emotionally hard but fantastic to watch. Bruce removing Alfred as his guardian was heartbreaking and i am sure Bruce will remember just how much he needs Alfred. Butch was reborn as the long away awaited Soloman Grundy risen from a toxic waste swamp and made an unlikely alliance in Edward Nygma. Drew Powells transformation from Butch to Grundy has been brilliant, i am glad they kept what Grundy was going to look like a secret until episode five aired. Now that Grundy is having flashbacks as his life as Butch its going to be interesting to see if Butch is gone forever. Ed having to deal with the truth that he can’t riddle anymore and his brain doesn’t function how it used to has been so interesting to watch, especially when he turned to Leslie after discovering she was working as a doctor in Cherry’s fight club in the narrows. Leslie being reluctant in helping Ed because of their history when Leslie does run the tests she reveals to Ed that there is nothing wrong with his brain, just psychological. Leslie kept this from Ed for as long as she could because Leslie liked having her friend Ed back and not The Riddler. Ed after seeing his Riddler reflection in the mirror, began to fight back as he is determined to keep the Riddler away for as long as he can. Selina’s mentor in Tabitha has been another highlight for myself personally in how well it has worked. Tabitha is the character this season I have grown to enjoy more, I disliked her when she murdered Gertrude then continued to torment Oswald with what she had done. But it’s her love for Butch that has impressed me especially when she tried to get Butch to remember who he is within his Grundy body. With Barbara returning from the dead thanks to Ra’s al Ghul bathing her in the Lazarus pit and wanting to be back in business with Tabitha and Selina. Her business being a weapons shop had everyone questioning who had funded her as she lost everything. Barbara’s s lips were sealed when it came to identifying Ra’s al Ghul. It was Bruce that guessed correctly that it was him funding her, even then Barbara denied it. Before Bruce killed Ra’s al Ghul, Barbara visited him in Blackgate Prision where he told her it was his time to say goodbye. But Barbara wanted the gift that he had been promising her a gift beyond her imagining. Ra’s placed his hand on the glass of the cell, Barbara placed her hand on the other side of the glass. With this Ra’s passed on some or maybe all of his power, the question now, is Barbara the new Ra’s as Bruce didn’t become him when he killed Ra’s al Ghul. Oswald ‘the Penguin’ Cobblepot is King of Gotham, again. The Iceberg Lounge essentially a nightclub, but his place of running the underworld. The Pax Penguina is in his control with the commissioner and mayor in agreement. With Zsasz being his right hand man, Zsasz himself has been used so well in this season. The grief he showed for Don Falcone was fantastic, he has become another highlight of season 4. We have definitely seen a different side to Oswald, in that he does want to be loved and craves real friendship. With his magnificent tantrums when things go wrong, Robin Lord Taylor has shown a great comedic to side to Oswald. Penguins next move in Gotham is going to be very interesting as it looks like he will become buddies with Jerome whilst in Arkham Asylum.
Gotham’s introduction to new characters this season have been exceptionally good. Some of the new characters were only in one episode and others have had continual guest role in season 4.
Jonathan Crane / The Scarecrow a definite fandom favourite from season 1 returned. Charlie Tahn reprising the role gave Gotham the opening two episodes the hype it deserved. A tragic inmate at Arkham Asylum as a result of his fathers fear toxin experiment gone to far, he became a useful accessory to a group of bank robbers wanting to show Penguin they will continue their criminal activities without a license. By using the fear toxin they could spray their victims, Jonathan himself overcame his fear of seeing The Scarecrow and decided to become him and take his own revenge on the GCPD. Episode two titled “The Fear Reaper” was a creepy episode where Jonathan returned to Arkham to make his revenage on the weird but brilliant Warden Reed. Whilst the GCPD get a report from Arkaham Jim had no choice to go alone to investigate, when Jonathan sees Jim on the security monitor he announces to the asylum that the enemy is here. The Scarecrow sprays Jim with the fear toxin and he sees Leslie in bath wanting to take her own life. Jim manages to overcome this fear to Jonathan’s shock, as Jim is managing to gain control over the other inmates that Jonathan sprayed with the fear toxin he escapes. The Scarecrow story arc remains open at this point in the season, with recent rumour that Charlie Tahn will be recast it will be interesting to see what’s in store for the Scarecrow.
Sofia Falcone was introduced as Carmine Falcones daughter in Episode three and by episode eleven she quite possibly became the most dangerous woman in a Gotham. Jim went to Falcone to get help in stopping Penguin from enforcing The Pax Penguina, but with Falcone dying he was not interested in saving Gotham. Sofia turning up and wanting to help Jim wasn’t really a huge surprise but it was mysterious in how she was going to gain Penguins trust. Immediately Oswald wanted to meet her as with a Falcone back in the city of Gotham he knew it would threaten his position, Sofia ensured she was back in Gotham to help with the various Falcone charities and she just wanted to come home. Oswald still suspicious of Sofia’s intentions she managed to get in his vernable side having Oswalds mother’s Goulash made at a Hungarian restaurant, Sofia showed Oswald how warmth can applied to his damaged ankle. Oswald certainly started to enjoy her company and maybe it was to make sure that he was being seen with a Falcone, when Sofia surprised Oswald with an orphanage it was weird because Oswald was not that fond of children. One of Sofia’s orphans, Martin did gain the trust of Oswald which made it even easier for Sofia to manipulate.Everytime Oswald thought he had managed to foil Sofia she had a perfectly exceptional answer. Sofia dinner party for the orphanage was where I suspected that she knew the serial killer Professor Pyg, another move that Sofia made which Oswald suspected she had used his vernability was when Jim Gordon was made captain of the GCPD, because it would of needed Falcone influence for the mayor to make that decision. Oswald confronted Sofia and she admitted that she did make Jim captain, Oswald saw this as betrayal but because she was willing to eat one of the people pies to save Martin he forgave her betrayal, but warned her to never do that again. When Martin told Oswald that he had seen Sofia kissing Jim, Oswald healthy paranoia was right along that Sofia was plotting against him with Jim, she was warned that Oswald was a mastermind but Sofia found it amusing that Oswald found that their friendship had become intimate because of goulash and a foot rub. Sofia showed that she had done all her homework on all the possible enemies that she could encounter during her plan, when Sofia refused to reveal to Oswald what she has been plotting he got a The Denist to try and torture it out of her. The Denist soon changed his loyalty to Sofia after he knew that she knew about his family. Sofia was then kidnapped by the Sirens thinking that she was still friends with Oswald, as Sofia explains to Barbara that she is so close to taking the underworld from Penguin that he tried to kill her. Selina thinks maybe she’s telling the truth but either way Barbara knows Penguin will want Sofia. A deal is made with Penguin which Tabitha and Sofia thought was too easy, but Barbara makes it clear that the Sirens will not work for anyone else, Sofia promises she will give them anything they want from Penguin. With Sofia going to Jim after the sirens gunshop was blown up by Zsasz she explains to Jim that Penguin now knows everything, but Jim sees through Sofia when she requests he uses the GCPD against him. Jim goes to Penguin as he can’t allow Sofia let the city burn to the ground so she can prove herself to her father, Jim wants to put Sofia on a train home. The deal Jim makes with Penguin, that Oswald doesn’t get involved. Sofia is headed home on a train when Oswald discovers Martin has been kidnapped by the Sirens, Zsasz knows which Train Sofia is on and frees her in exchange for Martin. Sofia arranges a meeting with Oswald, It’s clear at their meeting at the Crown Point Bridge what Sofia wants, full control of the underworld. Oswald who also found out Sofia’s slight weakness as she has lived her life trying to get her fathers approval, Oswald submits his power of the underworld. In a move that even Sofia didn’t estimate Oswald blows up the car which he tells Martin to get into. Sofia determination to win the war ensures Barbara that if The Sirens walk away they will never have a piece of the city.
Sofia Falcone is truly revealed in the mid season finale, Crystal Reed herself said in an interview that when she read the script for episode 11 she fully understood what Sofia was actually about, she enjoyed the secret process that the Gotham writers kept from her. When Sofia is requested by her father, Don Carmine Falcone, who has returned briefly to Gotham. Sofia desperate to prove to her father that Gotham is her birth right, and she sees that her father and when Jim arrives at the mansion looking for her that they didn’t believe in her. Carmine being assassinated as he walks to his car to take Sofia back down South, Sofia is also hit but survives. I had my suspicion if Sofia was behind her fathers murder, when she arrives at the funeral wearing full black face veil to show mourning which was definitely believable. What gave it away, Sofia was wearing red leather gloves, i looked at this as a little clue. Zsasz soon decided the Falcone name was worth more then the Cobblepot name, as he truly didn’t believe Penguins hands were clean in the death of Falcone. Sofia successfully having removed Oswald from Gotham and his new residence back in Arkham Asylum, she had full control of the underworld including their new captain James Gordon. Sofia found Jim very predictable as he will come after her if she takes over where Penguin left off, but she has a proposal but Jim not interested until Professor Pyg reveals himself. So Sofia hired Pyg to impresonate a serial killer, she did confess to killing her father and made Jim captain because she needs control and she planned it from the first day they met. This is Sofia’s revenage on Jim for the murder of her brother Mario, and at the moment Jim can’t do nothing about it. I thought Sofia was far to mysterious to begin with her character arc has been played out really well over the first eleven episodes.
Mr Penn has to be one of the bravest men in Gotham, being Oswald Cobblepot’s facts and figures man has often led Mr Penn to deliver some really bad news to Penguin. Andrew Sellon who plays Mr Penn is one of my favourite new characters for this season. There is a great nervousness, but he is never afraid to tell Penguin the truth. Mr Penn is also constant wealth of information which led Oswald to find out that Sofia had purchased an old hotel which was for her orphanage. The episode that Mr Penn really showed just how brave and courageous he is at delivering bad news was “stop hitting yourself.” The first piece of news Mr Penn delivered to Penguin was that Edward Nygma was doing a theatrical mickey take of him in the narrows which sent him into a rage. Second piece of bad news Barbara keen and her associates failed to obtain Edward Nygma like Oswald ordered them too. The third piece of bad news was that the mayor had made James Gordon captain, which to Mr Penn relief he walked away unscathed. By the mid season finale it looked like Mr Penn was the only person that hadn’t double crossed Penguin, hopefully we will see Mr Penn again before the end of season 4.
Mrytle Jenkins is a great example of how a character can make an lasting impression by just being in one episode, there was huge appreciation for Myrtle played by Ilana Becker throughout the Gotham fandom. Mrytle was a self confessed number one fan of Edward Nygma, whilst working as a barmaid at the Iceberg Lounge she worked out Penguins daily rountine so when the timing was right Mrytle defrosted Ed from his icy cage. Ed and Mrytle have history as they both attended the same school and class but unfortunate for Mrytle, Ed never remembered her. Mrytle really was a delightful character as she very enthusiastically told Ed how she had followed his rise to becoming The Riddler, her plan being was to nurse him back to health then help Ed reclaim his crown as Gothams greatest villain with Mrytle being The Riddlers new sidekick. Every sidekick needs a new outfit, Mrytle designed her own “Riddlette” dress which Ed wasn’t impressed with. With Ed’s muscle dystrophy from being frozen for five months and his brain not being able to function, Mrytle decided his brain needed exercising with some Riddles. Ed gets every single one of them wrong to Mrytle disappointment, unknown to Mrytle, Ed’s body is now fully functional and grabs the heavy book and whacks Mrytle across the head with it. Mrytle Jenkins time comes to an end when Zsasz has tracked her down, she explains to Zsasz and Penguin that Nygmas mind is broken. Because Penguin has had a lot of people steal from him recently he wanted Mrytle to be made an example of.
Professor Pyg was a Dc character I knew little about, again throughout the fandom when it was announced that Professor Pyg was definitely going to appear in season four there was a great deal of positive excitement. Michael Cerveris needs a standing ovation just for the creative performance he brought to the role, there was definitely a freaky, creepy vibe but I adored his diction and the way his voice sounded. Episode six was the start of his story arc in which Professor Pyg was murdering police officers, dirty cops that were on Penguins payroll. Pyg’s victims would be left all wearing a severed pigs head, in which Jim and Harvey had come to the conclusion that Pyg was sending Penguin a message. Whilst preening the severed pigs head for his next victims Professor Pyg listens to opera music, these next two masks are for some more police officers that are on Penguins payroll. The two officers are found outside of a courthouse where Jim and Harvey are looking for another officer, with a lead to an abandoned dairy factory they find the third officer wearing the pigs head. He had a grenade wired inside his abdomen which is activated by Jim, when Jim wakes up he is tied to a chair and he finally gets to meet Professor Pyg. By still concealing his identity he was tickled pink to meet Jim as he is a fan, Pyg makes it clear he’s not a fan of Harvey as he thinks he holds Jim back. Using an overhead light Pyg uses it to shine on Jim’s face which is the first time we got to see the amazing detail in his pigs mask, as Pyg explains that himself and Jim have something in common, to his disgust Jim disagrees but Pyg continued to explain that they both want the corruption and filth inside the GCPD to be removed. Professor Pyg is on the same mission with Jim but he does it with flare, with Jim accusing him of being disillusional Pyg’s voice become softer as he told Jim that he had suffered profound loss at the hands of the greedy pigs of Gotham. This brilliant first encounter with Professor Pyg ends with Harvey having his throat slit by Pyg as he cut and ran, Jim stayed to save Harvey’s life but realising Harvey is also on Penguins payroll.
Professor Pyg was successful in striking fear into the people of Gotham, an unusual delivery was made to the GCPD. White boxes, 24 of them oozing with blood, all of them contain severed pigs heads. Two police officers have been taken from The Narrows, with one of the residents of the narrows coming forward and confirming they saw Professor Pyg take them away in a hearse. With an incredibly clever twist Fisoli one of the police officers they were looking for is still alive, Jim goes in the ambulance with him. After a quite in-depth conversation with Fiscoli and recalling how the Pyg was torturous and sang nursery rhymes, he remembers something that Pyg said about where the last police officers they are looking for could be. Jim works it out and Fiscoli manages to tell Jim he is one of the good ones. The GCPD think they have Pyg trapped inside of the old courthouse, Jim receives a call on his cellphone from Professor Pyg. Pyg explains why he spell Pyg with a Y and not an I, because it’s short for Pygmalion as he is creating a new Gotham and a new Jim. Pyg warns Jim not to go inside the courthouse as he will die and that would be a huge hitch in his plan, with Jim asking Pyg why he should believe him Pyg changes his voice to officer Fiscoli. After another telephone call from Pyg to Jim he congratulates Jim on saving Officer Patel, Pyg has always know that Jim was the kind of person to get things done. Jim promises Pyg that he will hunt him down and Pyg was delighted and hoped he would as his step in his plot to rid the rot of Gotham is a saga, epic and was a spectacle.
Another brilliant thing about Professor Pyg is his range of disguises, he starts episode 9 which is curiously titled “Let Them Eat Pie” disguised as a priest luring homeless people into a van with promise of a meal. With more opera playing he takes a photo of each homeless person and writes their name on each photo, one of the men starts to cough and choke. All six have been poisoned, the priest disguise has gone and Professor Pyg is back and ready to start carving up his victims. Professor Pyg congratulates Jim on becoming Captain of the GCPD, he reveals to Jim phase two of his plan. Pyg invites Jim outside to see a striped marque. A crowd has gathered, Jim makes his way through the crowd. Inside the marque is two pigs, a table is set up for afternoon tea, two dead people are sat in each chair and the pigs begin to eat them. With the medical examiner confirming the two people have been living outdoors for some time and their organs have been removed, a toxin result leads Jim to a paper factory. Jim arrives at the paper plant to see more bodies with their organs gone and an old smoker oven which is still warm, Jim now knows Pyg has been cooking his victims. A door slams Harper and Jim make their way outside, Pyg creeps up behind Harper and kidnaps her. Jim did offer to trade places with Harper but Pyg didn’t except that as Jim is in his final act. When I suspected Sofia knowing who Professor Pyg was is at her dinner party for the orphanage, Pyg appears in a chefs hat, moustache and a French acccent. Pyg shows Sofia some very dodgey looking pies and calls them “Gotham meat Pies.” Professor Pyg interrupts Oswald and Sofia discussing Jim becoming Captain, he asks them to be seated while showing his meat cleavers. The Gotham writers managed to do write a scene that was genius, they took the song Cell block tango from the musical Chicago and rewrite it to become the Meat Pie Tango. Under each plate dome is a pie with the photo is took of the homeless person with their name underneath this tells the elite of Gotham who has been cooked in each pie. Oswald is the first to refuse to eat the pies but with Martin being held with a cleaver to his throat, Pyg saw Oswald as the biggest glutton of them all. Oswald takes a bite of the pie whilst urging and tells the other guests too. Jim after arriving at Sofia’s was discovered by Pyg and locked in the same room as Harper, Jim manages to get the door open and interrupts the dinner party. Another impressive scene in this episode is the knife fight between Jim and Pyg which ends up with Pyg being knocked out by Jim and then arrested and taken to Arkham. So the next big question for Jim and us the viewers who is Professor Pyg?
Pyg decides he wants to listen to his choice of music in the recreational room in Arkham Asylum, one of the inmates is not happy with the choice. Pyg in his own flamboyant way breaks the vinyl record in half and stabs the inmate. This incident also let us see that Pyg’s face when he got punched by the inmate one of his cheekbones stuck out but with the sound of crunching metal Pyg put his face back into place. X-rays were taken after the incident and sent to Jim and Lucius to look at, Pyg has had surgery to change his appearance. Pyg is delighted when Jim arrives at Arkham to see him, in a very clever shot scene, Jim gets as close as he wants to to study Pyg’s face to try and see his real identity. Jim punches Pyg to see for himself as his right cheekbone sticks out, and watches as Pyg uses his left hand to put his face back into place with the sound of more crunching metal. Pyg gets annoyed when Jim informs him that he is yesterday’s news now he is in Arkham, but he sees this as a mind game that Jim is playing. Jim turns his back to leave his cell this angers Pyg and his true accent, which is southern is revealed. A drawing has been completed at the GCPD of what Pyg possibly looked like before his surgeries, a police station down south recognise him and Pyg’s real name Lazlo Valentine is revealed. He escaped from their custody, Jim makes his way back to Arkham but it’s to late as Lazlo has murdered a guard, left a message for Jim on the wall in blood and escaped.
Lazlo Valentin or Professor Pyg last appearance maybe for this season in Gotham is when he is revealed to be working for Sofia all along. He was the sniper that shot Sofia to make it look like the attack and murder of Carmine realistic. Sofia finally murdered Lazlo/Pyg after Jim got to know everything Sofia had been planning. The Professor Pyg story arc will always remain one of my favourites in Gotham, by how many characters were effected by Professor Pyg. The biggest fracture of all is the great working relationship and friendship between Jim and Harvey. Michael Cerveris is another talented actor to appear in Gotham, I hope to see him one day in a broadway show or in the west end.
The one person who I never thought that would get into Oswald’s emotional side would be a child. Martin was spotted being bullied by two older children at Sofia’s orphanage, when Oswald stoped Martin from setting alight his bullies backpack it wasn’t because it was wrong but because he would be seen. Martin communicated with a notepad and pen which he wore around his neck, Oswald explains that revenge must be specific. He asks Martin what revenage he envisioned on his tormentors, Martin draws a picture of a person with dagger in each eye. Oswald sees this as maybe a little over ambitious and Martin needs to be more crafty in driving a wedge between these two friends. With his tormentors flunking Maths, which Martin is excellent at. Martin let’s the girl who had been bullying him copy his Maths test, which she is grateful for. Martin then pretends whilst they are back in the playground that the boy bully has been torturing him again. This does drive a wedge between the two bullies, Oswald is there in the playground to congratulate Martin on his success. As Oswald tells Martin that minions are better then friends, Martin writes down that he is Oswalds friend. Oswald removes the bit of paper as he believes him and Martin are conspirators not friends and Martin needs to forget about friendship. Sofia is pleased that Oswald had met Martin, after hearing that Jim had been made captain Oswald realises again that friendship had betrayed him. Oswald decides to make Martin his spy at the orphanage dinner party but he needed to find out from Martin if he was planted by Sofia and she groomed him and told Martin how to act or Martin just happened to gain his trust which it made it easier for Sofia to manipulate. Oswald asks Martin for proof of their friendship as he would like Martin to be his eyes and ears of what Sofia is planning to prove his suspicions of her was right. Things get quite dramatic for Martin when he is taken hostage by Professor Pyg at the dinner party, his life is threatened and by the end of the evening writes down on his notepad that he saw Sofia kissing a policeman, which is not what Oswald wanted to read. Martin writes down eventually that Sofia told him to tell Oswald that he saw Sofia kissing Jim, Oswald does see this as betrayal but Martin writes down that Sofia used him. Martin then gets kidnapped by the sirens so Sofia can use him to make a deal with Oswald, so that Martin isn’t used as a pawn in Sofia’s game anymore Oswald tells Martin he has always cared about him. Oswald asks Martin to go and wait for him in the car, which to Sofia and the sirens Oswald blows up. Zsasz brings Martin back to the Iceberg Lounge where Oswald congratulates Martin on doing a splendid job of dying. Martin now has to leave Gotham as Oswald needs to make sure he remains safe, with another note on his pad saying that he doesn’t want to leave Oswald. Its an emotional goodbye and another end of a characters story arc, Christopher Convey who played Martin was another great addition to Gotham, and got Oswald to admit that his heart is his weakness.
Gotham Season 4 wasn’t short on strong female characters, Detective Harper played by Kelcy Griffin. Harper stepped in to help Jim when Doctor Nile Winthrop got murdered by Ra’s al Ghul, Harper soon showed her quick wittiness when Jim questioned was she there to babysit him, with Harper asking Jim if he needed babysitting. With already being thorough in investigating the crime scene, she showed intelligence and strength in ongoing episodes. We were all worried in the fandom that Harper might of been killed by Professor Pyg, but thankfully she survived and calling her stab wound a scratch. When Jim entrusted Harper with Sofia to return her home back down south, he got whacked on the head by Zsasz and woke up in Virginia. But it’s her belief in the GCPD and Jim becoming captain I like about Harper, I felt you already knew that she wasn’t in favour of the Pax Penguina. In the mid season finale Harper wasn’t afraid to speak out against Penguin calling him a twerp when he came storming into the GCPD. With Penguin back in Arkham, Professor Pyg dead, it was Harper who started to clap her hands in recognition at what her captain James Gordon had achieved.
The Narrows was a new part of Gotham that we visited, it was Ed who took his new friend Grundy to Cherry Fightclub. As soon as you saw the interior it had an atmosphere of grit, grime, the music, the fashion of the citizens of a Gotham that came to fights to win some serious cash. Cherry played by Marina Benedict, definitely stood out from the crowd with her bleached blonde Mohawk, unique style of eye makeup and tattoos coverings her neck and chest area. Cherry herself a very flamboyant announcer in the fight ring and is more then delighted to have Grundy as her new champion. But it the deal she has with Leslie, as Leslie is the fight club doctor in exchange she gets to run a free clinic to help the people of the narrows that were effected by and still recovering from the Alice Tetchs virus. Cherry is soon found out by Leslie, that it was her who told Penguin that Ed was at the fightclub. Because Ed and Grundy have become the stars of the fightclub when Leslie reveals to the crowd they become angry, which shows Cherry’s true feelings towards the people of the narrows. Cherry calls out the sirens who are there to collect Ed for Penguin, but in Barbara own way she announces that they don’t work for Penguin anymore and with a surprising, great aim shoots Cherry in the head. Another potentially ongoing guest character from Gotham gone, and so far probably the biggest shock for me personally that Cherry won’t be in Gotham.
One of the great things being part of the DcWorld team is being able to discuss our thoughts. I got together with Erin and John and they shared their thoughts with me.
Erin Marie Duncan thoughts on Gotham
I think what I was hoping more of this season with Gotham is more development of Bruce Wayne as becoming Batman. They sort of teased with it during the beginning of the season and then it fizzled out with the death of Ra’s al Ghul.
I am interested in seeing what they do with Ra’s al Ghul because with his death Bruce became The Death’s Head. But he hasn’t really taken the reigns of what he was. So my question is: will Bruce get it passed down to another person or will someone from Ra’s past come to take the power?
So with that, I haven’t really been enjoying Gotham as much as I have been the past seasons. I’m hoping that it will pick up after the hiatus is over with. But as soon as Ra’s al Ghul was killed, I would still watch the show, but without the suspense of wondering what’s going to happen next as
I had before. Right now it’s a lot of back and forth revenge stories.
John Hammonds thoughts about Gotham
As a whole I have enjoyed the season a lot and it has gone from strength to strength throughout the 11 episodes aired so far. I do feel, and I have said this before, that it started as a slow burner (no bad thing at all for me) but that is because there has been so much fleshing out of characters, so much development of characters which, again for me, has been something I have thoroughly enjoyed watching.
Sofia Falcone, I think it was safe to say that she would cause a stir in Gotham, one way or the other. However, I will be honest and say I didn’t see what happened during Queen Takes Knight coming and she showed herself to be more ruthless, manipulative and cunning than we saw before. Although, to be fair, the episode title should have given that away. For her to have her father killed to have the blame put on Penguin and to hire Lazlo to have police officers killed all to get back at Jim as revenge for killing Mario was quite the story and ensured that she is a suitable villain to have in the Gotham universe, superbly played by Crystal Reed, a perfect fit with the sow.
Mr Penn, Oswald’s lackey? I don’t see him as much more than that (well, obviously). A little weasel of a character and one who you know is going to take the fall at some point or other during the course of the series. Has a bit of a Pee Wee kind of vibe to him, maybe intentional and maybe because of his attire. Played well enough by Andrew Sellon but the character was always going to be a sacrificial one I think.
Professor Pyg A highlight of the series so far and a perfect fit to this Gotham world. If there was any character who would be a fit in this series then Professor Pyg is it. Michael Ceveris is superb in the role, bringing such a maniacal touch. Brings a certain horror to the show, an American Horror Story (Season 2) kind of vibe. Dark, dangerous and extremely evil. I do hope we see Lazlo’s Pyg persona as I feel that is where the main threat of his character comes from as opposed to just being Lazlo Valentin.
The Scarecrow I was chuffed on watching The Pax Penguina and seeing Jonathan Crane (Charlie Tahan) back in the show. While his appearance was short-lived (hopefully more to come), he made enough of an impression to show that he be a horrific villain for Gordon and GCPD to come up against. I loved how we got to see where his Scarecrow costume came from, I love his backstory and I really enjoy how the character seems influenced by the Nolan Batman movies.
Detective Harper Love her, limited appearances but she’s a no nonsense detective, supportive of Gordon. Hope we get to see a lot more of her in the second half of the season.
Martin Easy pickings for Penguin to corrupt after seeing him bullied at the school. He may not speak but I think that, even as a young ‘un, it gives him a bit of threat to anyone. He does seem to care for Penguin and seems genuinely gutted when he is sent away, BUT, I’m not sure we’ve seen the last of him and I feel he could be very manipulative with those who make contact with him. Not sure his love for Penguin was entirely real.
Myrtle Jenkins Mad as a hatter, completely besotted with Ed, enough to pretty much kidnap his frozen body and try to nurse him back to health so he can rise as The Riddler once more. Appeared in a very fun episode of the show and the interaction between her and Ed was good to watch. A shame tat she had to be finished off by Zasz when Oswald found out she ad taken Ed from The Iceberg Lounge.
Alex Winthrop – Another minor character this season but, while not much to talk of in way of the character himself, his death is is one of the most shocking that the show has seen. I certainly took a sharp intake of breath when it occurred.
Cherry Yeah, ok as a character, a bit stereotypical of the type of character she was; fight club owner etc. Was shocked when her death came about, BUT what an eye from Barbara.
The character development of many characters has been the standout part of this season for me. Brilliant stuff from all involved.
Solomon Grundy I’ll admit, I was a bit wary of how this character may transfer from the comics to the small screen. But, my concerns were unfounded as I think that Drew Powell, who I thought would have been nothing more than a nit part actor in the show from that start, has turned in to one of the biggest stars of the show. And, to be fair, Drew has had one of the tougher parts of the show, playing one character, before a complete u-turn and going on to play another. From Butch/Cyrus’ death to his return as Grundy, this character has had more going on than any. As for this season, Grundy has been great fun to watch. I really enjoyed his “birth”, a scene that looked like it came straight out of an 80’s horror/horror comedy movie, I’ve enjoyed his interaction with Ed, becoming good friends, the fight club scenes and the little snippets of his memory returning as he takes blow after blow to the head. What will happen next I have no idea but I do look forward to seeing it.
Ra’s Al Ghul Being a fan of Arrow as well, and seeing the character appear in that show, I was interested to see how this take on the character would compare. The answer? Very different and, another example of how this show takes influence from Nolans Bat-Trilogy (for me anyway). Siddig plays the character in a similar vein to Neeson but, maybe, in a more sinister way (Alex Winthrop anyone?) and then letting himself be arrested? All part of his plan, of course, but ultimately, wanting Bruce to be his executioner was a part of the story I never expected. I’m not 100% sure we will have seen the last of him, because, in this show, anything is possible.
Party Boy Bruce Wayne This I saw coming. Yes, despite seeing him with a mask fighting crime, it is too early for us to see Batman on the streets of Gotham (at least in this series). I have really enjoyed seeing Bruce grow through the 3 and a half season of Gotham and this season has seen a massive turn in his character. Yes, he is a fighter, he wants to be a protector, but after his execution of Ra’s he now knows the affect that killing someone can have. He, obviously, hasn’t taken it well, despite him having avenged the death of his parents. He knows that, even that, will do nothing to stop the pain that one would feel at an event such as that. Therefore, he deals with it the only way he can, or the only way he thinks he can, by becoming the playboy that Bruce Wayne is known, at times, to be. This is a story I have loved watching throughout this season and I’ll look forward to where it leads during the second half, especially as he has let Alfred go. David Mazouz , excellent and his scenes with Sean Pertwee show so much chemistry you would believe that this is what they do. Fantastic.
Pax Penguina I’ll be honest, the “licence to crime” aspect of the story took me time to get used to. I can see how it would happen, Penguin now running Gotham, running crime and “making police officers jobs easier”, then in turn having GCPD officers on side, in his pocket etc. His story was always going to go downhill from there. From King to Cell within the space of 11 episodes and mainly thanks to the efforts of Sofia Falcone. You can see his decline go and go throughout the 11 episodes and Robin Lord Taylor puts in such a good performance as Oswald, making it all very believable.
Ed, Grundy and Leslie teaming up Ok, so this I never saw coming. Maybe Ed taking advantage of Grundy was a given but to throw Leslie in the mix was very unexpected. In fact, I never saw her first appearance coming anywhere near that fight club. I’ve enjoyed seeing Ed fight with his inner Riddler, struggling to come to terms with the fact that he’s not the same person as before the freeze. To find out that there is nothing wrong with him was probably expected and I’m sure that the master of puzzles will be back. We all know that he is taking advantage of Grundy in order to win fights, earn money etc but now Grundy is remembering it’ll be interesting to see where that goes.
As for Leslie I’m not sure. Maybe that’s because I only know what I have read before, nursing a young Bruce Wayne and becoming a confidant of Batman later on. I know she wants to try and help those less fortunate with her clinic but, now that she is the new boss of the club, where will she go. This is one of the only things I haven’t been sure of during the series, where will this character go. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the character because I do, I’d just like to see her go back to where she started.
Tabitha mentoring Selina Very apt for this to happen. The Tigress mentoring The Cat. Perfect. Before Barbara came back on the scene, seeing these two in action has been great. Selina has gone from kitten to cat under the paws of Tabitha and, throw in Barbara and The Gotham City Sirens are a team to be reckoned with. I have loved seeing Tabitha’s reaction to seeing Butch again, she obviously really loves the big lunk, even turning to kidnapping him and beating him about to try and make him remember her. Despite it’s violent nature, it is a pretty sincere moment. That sound crazy doesn’t it?
As for Selina kitten to cat in 11 episodes. At times before she has shown some vulnerability but, as she learns her skills alongside Tabitha, you see her become an extremely fearless young woman; what we expect from Catwoman.
Barbara Is there anyone crazier in the show than Barbara Keane?? I’m not sure and we see more of it here. A woman who is afraid of, absolutely, no-one. Coming back from the dead, courtesy of Ra’s, going on to get back in to business, albeit weapons, getting together the Sirens, leading them in to a little war with Penguin, the lady has no fear whatsoever. A trait shared by all 3 of The Gotham City Sirens. Long may it continue. Erin Richards is suitable excellent in the role. Is she likely to become Harley do we think?
Jim becoming Captain I’ve left this until last as it not only shows character development for Jim, but also Harvey. Or, more so, for their partnership. As a fan of the whole Batman universe, it was always going to come that Jim and Harvey’s friendship/partnership would fracture. It was even more obvious at the start of the season, the licences. You saw the start of the fracture there. As the first half of season 4 has gone on it has become more and more until the final break. It has been rather heartbreaking to see these two friends/partners go through what they are going through and a lot of the credit, in fact ALL of the credit, has to go to Ben Mackenzie and Donal Logue who have played their parts like never before during the show. I know a lot of people have said that they don’t want to see this “break up” but, for me, I have loved watching it. Two great actors giving it their all for the show and for the fans of the show. Absolutely brilliant, despite the very sad aspect of the season.
Victor Zsasz Another character who, despite limited screen time has had some quality character action. From being Penguins right hand man to ensuring that Penguin finishes the season where he does. It was nice to see scenes like this for the character as Anthony Carrigan is bloody excellent as Victor and deserves something like this.
Stand out scenes
The biggest stand out scene for me, during the whole series, was Jim signing his contract to become Captain of the GCPD with Harvey in attendance. You can feel the emotion that pours out of the actors, the break up of that friendship, brilliantly played out.
The same can be said for the scene involving Bruce and Alfred, Bruce removing Alfred as his legal guardian. Again, a truly heartbreaker of a scene that brought a lump to my throat like the one above. And, again, superbly acted by Pertwee and Mazouz. Credit to both.
Bruce Wayne “Suits Up”
Selina kicks ass.
Favourite episode so far
Queen Takes Knight – probably an easy option but an episode that ties everything together so well, it had me think “Ah, of course” or “WTF” a good few times. Thoroughly enjoyable and with a great little finish that will no doubt set up some of the goings on for the second half of the season.
“What do ya say pal? I’ll be your best friend.”
Characters I’ve grown to like/dislike more
One I have grown to like more is Tabitha. When she first came in to the show I thought she was a little bland, despite her obvious skills. I know, I’m sorry. However, thanks to season 4, her scenes with Selina, The Tigress has turned in to a a character I enjoying seeing more and more of on screen and one that I now look at differently when watching older episodes she has appeared in.
As for characters I don’t like as much and, again, it’s not that I don’t but Leslie I’m hoping that things change for the character as I don’t feel the direction that she is going in was needed. Again, my apologies. This is probably because of the what I know about the character and I am sure there is more for me to read regarding her. I guess I feel that not every character needs to have a darker side?? I guess that’s the nature of the show.
As a whole I have enjoyed the season a lot and it has gone from strength to strength throughout the 11 episodes aired so far. I do feel, and I have said this before, that it started as a slow burner (no bad thing at all for me) but that is because there has been so much fleshing out of characters, so much development of characters which, again for me, has been something I have thoroughly enjoyed watching.
I do think that it is very influenced by the Nolan Batman movies, but I also think that there are elements of horror movie influences (80’s to present). In fact I think this season has had a bit of an 80’s feel to it and I love it.
It’s been a great first half and if this is anything to go by, then we are in for a treat during the second half. I truly hope that we get more seasons after this one as there is so much more that can be told.