Tuesday, January 06, 2015

My Review of Gotham's 1x11: "Rogues Gallery"

Written by Sue Chung
Directed by Oz Scott

Leslie (to Gordon, re Frogman/Royston): “One man ends up a vegetable while the other one recites Shakespeare on a loop.”

It might have been a month and a half nearly since the last episode but I have missed this show and it’s great that this episode, in spite of one or two weak moments was generally a good one to watch.

With Gordon being demoted into working at Arkham Asylum, most of this week’s focus was there and I have to be honest, the episode worked all the better for it. Not only did Morena Baccarin make an instantly likeable impression as Dr Leslie Thompkins and had great chemistry with Gordon but the actual case of the week was just fantastic.

Having both Frogman and Royston become victims of some extreme shock treatment that generated different results was one thing but the actual reveal of the culprit was something else altogether. For a fraction of a moment, I considered Leslie being responsible (especially as Gordon was so quick to believe her innocence) and then it looked like the rather dotty Nurse Dorothy Duncan was the culprit instead.

Points have to be given for this episode’s reveal of Dorothy’s true origins (an inmate pretending to be a nurse and also the fall woman for the real baddie) as it was one of the best surprises the episode did, along with the arrival of Jack Gruber as well.

This show has needed a recurring menace who isn’t a mobster or a gun for hire and with Gruber, it seems like we’ve got one, at least until the next episode. I loved his cat and mouse antics with Gordon in the episode and his murder of the annoying Lang with his accomplice worked pretty well too. Also the preview for the next episode did highlight how much of a problem he will be for GCPD as well.

Speaking of GCPD, they were mainly in the background this week, save for Bullock getting involved in Gordon’s main case and lording it over a briefly imprisoned Oswald as well. Bullock’s unbridled delight in being reunited with his partner was another highlight and it did show just how much things have changed between him and Gordon as well. It wasn’t so long that Bullock would’ve been delighted to see the back of Jim, now he just wants his partner back as does Essen, who was also great in her small scene this week.

Another gem within this episode though was the friendship with Selina and Ivy. I liked that the former tried to look after the latter by giving her shelter in Barbara’s apartment and a part of me got a kick out of Ivy winding up Barbara as well for good measure. That of course did lead to the weaker aspects of the episode.

Barbara has not improved as a character over the winter break. Not only did Renee dump her in this episode (which made them getting back together pointless in the first place) but Barbara spent most of the episode out of her tree on pills and losing her cool with a little girl as well. I like Richards as an actress, I genuinely do but Barbara is starting to grate in a massive way as a character.

As for the gangland plots this week – something of a mixed bag. Neither of them were bad as such but both of them were plots that could’ve been left for later episodes. On the other hand, the fact that Butch willingly killed off one of his oldest friends to prove his loyalty to Fish was interesting and much as I do like Oswald, he did push his luck with trying to hike up the fishermen’s taxes. No wonder Maroni thought a night in the slammer would do him some good.

Also in “Rogues Gallery”

Props have to be given to the night time city scenes of this episode which really did look like they could’ve come out of the comics.

Oswald: “You’re beginning to irk me. You’re talking to me, the Penguin.”

I think we learned more about Butch in this episode than we have done with several other characters on the series, including Fish to a point.

Fish: “You don’t think I could run the family?”
Mobster: “Hell no, why not? Women’s lib and all that.”

Renee: “That was a mistake.”
Barbara: “What was?”

This episode was the first one not to feature either Bruce or Alfred, not to mention that Nygma, Falcone and Crispus were no shows too.

Bullock (to Oswald): “See I like having you here. I can sit at my desk and look at you. It’s soothing like a bonsai tree.”

Barbara: “Who’s this?”
Ivy: “I’m a friend of Jim’s. Who’s that?”
Barbara: “Go to hell.”

Standout music: The Five Satins “In The Still Of The Night”.

Maroni (to Oswald): “”You’re a smart monkey but you’re still a monkey and I’m the zookeeper.”

Chronology: No specified amount of time has passed since “LoveCraft”.

While this was not an episode without it’s faults, “Rogues Gallery” was however a pretty strong way of kicking off the second half of this season but I do feel like some of the mobster plots need to be trimmed in parts, other characters needs some more scope and back story but on the other hand, Arkham was well utilised in this episode, Leslie made a positive impression and Gruber now poses a good threat to Gordon and Gotham, so plus points there.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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