Gotham Review: All Happy Families are Alike

Synopsis: Fish Mooney goes head-to-head with Maroni and Penguin in an attempt to re-stake her claim on the city.

Gotham ends its first season better than it started. I’ll admit, I had mixed reaction on the announcement of the show, on its premiere and throughout the season. It has had some strengths (Penguin, Nigma, Falcone vs. Maroni) as well as some weaknesses (Barbara, Dollmaker, Selina). This week’s episode gets rid of a few of both.

In a nutshell, Fish Moony has finally completed her long road to recovery and returns to Gotham. Meanwhile, there’s a fun shootout at the hospital where Penguin tries to take out Falcone, but is stopped by Gordon… who gets caught in the middle of the Falcone-Maroni war. Gordon, Penguin, Bullock and Falcone are then captured and their fate is left to Moony… who calls in Maroni. Another shootout ensues, with Maroni biting the bullet (surprising). The ordeal ends with Falcone getting out of “the business” and Moony taking a dip (presumably dead). Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce is in high gear to discover his dad’s secret. Did you guess how this was going to end? I sure did. And on a forget this was included level, Barbara has a therapy session with Thompkins and goes off the rails. Thompkins did a good job here, but I’m still annoyed by Barbara.

This was a busy episode, which I didn’t mind. We had a big wrap-up on Fish’s story, as well as Maroni and Falcone… setting up a good story line on “the freaks taking over” the city. I’m looking forward to this as Nygma may become one of the first freaks (his two minutes this week was very true to character in my book). Bruce’s road to the batcave also got a shot in the arm, leaving me looking forward to the next step. Season two is looking promising in these parts.

Unfortunately, there’s plenty to not like about Gotham as well. There are too many characters which lead to introductions with no follow up (Dent, Montoya, Ivy just to name a few). Also, some of these characters are just all over the place (Selina, Barbara). I have zero interest in the two I just mentioned, and can’t even remember the handful of stories throughout the season. Looking ahead, I feel the show needs to take a breath, focus on fewer characters and create some dramatic storylines throughout the season. Plus, cut the cheese (cat got your tongue?). We get it, Selina’s going to be Catwoman some day (rolls eyes).

Overall, I’m disappointed with the first season of Gotham. While we saw plenty of characters, action and drama, we also saw A LOT of characters, cheesy dialogue, bad story arcs and at times no direction. However, there are signs of hope and that’s what I’m looking forward to next season.

Episode rating: 7.5 / 10

Season: 6.5 / 10

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Ryan Lower

A lifelong fan of the Dark Knight, Ryan Lower grew up far from Gotham in Indiana but has planted roots in Chicago. A writer for a T.V. station, he also enjoys brooding at home in his own batcave, devouring Batman comics, shows and movies.