Well folks, it is my turn to review an episode of Gotham, with the second episode of the fourth season being my lucky turn. I haven’t seen an episode since the pilot, so how much IMDB/Google assistance I’ll need to follow the basic plot points!
1. Fedoras and smart phones
The show, I see, is still walking that weird Tim Burton line of modernity versus film noir fashion. Everyone’s wearing a hat like they’re in a Cary Grant film, but technology is super advanced. I get why this works, visually, but it leads to some ridiculous realizations when you put your mind to it, like the idea that, because they still have giant fans on the walls, that the GCPD building isn’t air conditioned. This is the most minor of nitpicks, but it sets the tone for just how odd this show is as a viewing experience.
The jarring camera work of the pilot has remained I see, and the Scarecrow moments were particularly ’00s horror-lite. Scarecrow is one of the great Bat-villains, and the basics of the character work here, even if it seems like every characters has needed daddy issues imported into their biography to normalize the ages at which they started doing crazy shit.
I also found it amusing that the reason Gordon overcame the toxin is that he just simply decided to get over his fear. He’s essentially a faith healer, but only with fear toxin.
3. “It’s a dangerous sport”
Lucius Fox, who seems to work for the GCPD but used to work for Wayne Enterprises, maybe, had one of the weirdest line readings of anyone in this episode, and that is saying something. He sees Bruce after he’s been brought into the precinct after falling through a skylight when a robbery was taking place, and he tries to get to the bottom of why Bruce is there. It appears that he already sort of knows that Bruce is trying to be a vigilante, and it appears that both Bruce and Alfred know that he knows. So they have this weird conversation, which is essentially this one, where no one really says anything of note.
What makes the scene of note though is the way that Fox replies to a comment about how Bruce has concrete dust all over him because he was ‘rock climbing.’ Fox waits a beat and says “Be careful rock climbing; it’s a dangerous sport.” This is fine line if meant in a wink wink nudge nudge say no more way, or in a “I’m clueless and wishing you well” way. But it is delivered as if it was written on a cue card six seconds before he had to read it. It was not dissimilar to a radio DJ reading something clearly handed to them to read on the air which they didn’t have a chance to look over.
But that’s the way so much of this show is delivered. It is almost like a soap opera, where actors don’t have time to fully digest a script before shooting. Everyone kind of talks in either a hushed, pensive tone, or a screaming at the top of their lungs like an insane person, and it appears that each character chooses which way to deliver each line before they even see the script. It’s a wild thing to watch unfold.
4. Supporting Character Roll Call!
Penguin – A poor man’s Benjamin Linus from LOST.
Barbara Kean – Needs a shirt for under her suit jacker.
Poison Ivy – Drinking potions like she’s Miles when his book isn’t getting published.
Selina Kyle – Seemingly personality-less.
Harvey Bullock – Drunk.
Zsasz – Bald.
Tigress – Tigress is on this show? Also, lost a hand.
5. Feels like I’m wearing nothing at all
So, Lucius Fox drops by the back door of Wayne Manor with a surprise gift: a new suit for Bruce to wear ‘rock climbing’ wink wink that is bulletproof and has a com device in it. It is, essentially, a less colorful Kick-Ass costume, which is fine, whatever. But the dialogue accompanying Bruce trying it on was amazing.
Amazing, because it directly references another Fox program, The Simpsons, as Bruce says that it feels like he’s wearing “nothing at all.”Continued below
Stupid, sexy Bruce.