Gotham: Season 4 Midseason Review [Spoilers]


Maybe it’s just me. It seems like I’m turning against some of the shows I used to like. Now I’m doing it with Gotham as well.

This season hasn’t been great so far. There have been interesting moments, but not enough to make me look forward to the next episode. Season 4 kicked off with the idea that Penguin was selling free passes to criminals, not allowing any crimes unsanctioned by him. The Pax Penguina, it was called. Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow, makes an early appearance, and it’s done very well.

Young Bruce Wayne is beginning a proto-Batman career, even receiving a suit designed by Lucius Fox.

Barbara Kean is in league with Ra’s al Ghul. Bruce ends up killing Ra’s. Bruce doesn’t take being a murderer well. He descends into wanton delinquency up to the midseason finale, when he has his lawyers sue for his emancipation and he ends up firing Alfred.

Edward Nygma, the Riddler, is freed from his ice block by a deranged number-one fan, but his brain has suffered from the freezing process. But, he’s still smart enough to team up with Butch, who is back from the dead and revived as the rather Hulkish Solomon Grundy.

Jim Gordon travels to Florida in order to talk Don Falcone into wresting control of Gotham from Penguin. Falcone declines, but his daughter Sofia returns to Gotham intent on taking her place at the head of the Gotham underworld. Sofia decides that Jim should take Harvey’s place as Captain of the GCPD. He does; driving a wedge between him and his best friend.

Cop-murderer Professor Pyg terrorizes Gotham for several episodes. He even goes so far as to kill homeless people and bake them into meat pies to feed to Gotham’s socialites. By the midseason finale, it’s revealed that Professor Pyg was just one prong of Sofia’s masterplan to steal control of Gotham from Penguin. Sofia also arranges to have Don Falcone assassinated. She’s a bad girl.

There’s a lot of stuff happening this season. It’s all over the place. Ra’s played a smaller role in the proceedings that I would have preferred. And Bruce’s spoiled-rich-kid act is tiresome. The whole Jim/Penguin/Sofia/Professor Pyg storyline seems to have accomplished little, even though Sofia definitely emerges as a true villain by episode 11. The “Young Batman” storyline ground to a sudden halt as wealthy playboy Bruce Wayne became the focus. Brain-damaged Riddler becoming pals with Solomon Grundy and Jim’s ex-love Lee also seemed to go nowhere.

When Bruce fired Alfred, I felt like I’ve already seen this scene on the show, dealt with the same emotions. It feels manipulative and trite.

When Butch/Solomon Grundy receives massive head trauma from Tabby until he begins to feel more like his old self, it feels stupid, pointless and somehow inevitable. As does the revelation from Lee that Ed Nygma didn’t need help from the Wizard from Oz because he had his brain all along.

Lots of things keep happening, much of it visually interesting, but the show is failing to keep my interest with something resembling a cohesive story. The back half of the season needs to get its act together. I won’t have to bail on this one if it gets cancelled beforehand.

Hope springs eternal. Let’s see what happens.

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