Gotham Season 1, Episode 4 “Arkham” – Poisoned Cannolis
The crime bosses want control of Arkham, but neither Cobblepot nor Gordon want to give it to them. The focus of Gotham’s fourth episode, which aired on Fox, this week was who’ll gain control of Arkham Asylum.
As we know from last week’s episode, Oswald Cobblepot is already back in Gotham. He showed up at Gordon’s door to chat, but thankfully, he gave a false name so as to not alert Barbara to his true identity. Gordon wants to know why he’s there so he takes him out to the alley. Cobblepot believes that Jim Gordon is the last good man in Gotham and he wants to prepare Gordon for the war that’s coming. He will be Gordon’s secret agent. Cobblepot warns Jim that people are talking about Arkham.
The focus in this week’s episode of Gotham was, you guessed it, Arkham Asylum and the plans to build low-income housing or a new state-of-the-art mental institution on the grounds. This was a plan that was backed by the Wayne family and now the mayor. But both Carmine Falcone (low-income housing) and Sal Maroni (new mental institution) want part of that land, and they will do anything to get it. Even murder. Does this mean that the Wayne were murdered as part of the war between the two crime bosses?
A man approaches a councilman with something that he’s built and would like advice on. It turns out to be a really sleek weapon that shoots out a dagger that he uses to kill the councilman. The police chief thinks it’s just wrong place, wrong time, but when another person is murdered, Edward Nygma tells Bullock and Gordon that it was the same person. Turns out it’s a guy named Gladwell, but it’s not actually a guy named Gladwell. This new mercenary killed Gladwell and assumed his identity.
Cobblepot, who’s been promoted to the restaurant manager after a robbery in which he both survived and saved a big bag of money for Maroni (who owns the restaurant), alerts Gordon to the identity of the next hit: the Mayor. Gordon goes to his home, but Gladwell is there. After a fight, Gladwell is dead and the Mayor is saved, but he’s so scared he won’t back either Falcone’s or Maroni’s plan. He comes up with a compromise: part of Arkham will be used for homes and the other part for waste, and the Asylum will be remodeled.
Fish Mooney stood out this week for me. She’s been a bit of a cartoon for me in the first few episodes. The way she talks is like a caricature of what a real person should be. But finally, FINALLY, she’s starting to break out of that. Fish is looking for singers for her club. One girl is good at singing, but not seducing (Fish wants a weapon, not just a pretty singer). The second girl is the opposite. Who should she pick? She makes them fight to the death, and the second girl (Liza) wins. Fish is using them, of course. Should Maroni win the fight for Arkham, she’ll have the girl to ensure Fish’s own safety. Jada Pinkett Smith is finally getting into her role. She was frightening, in control, sneaky, and all the things Fish should be in this episode. I’m looking forward to seeing her continue to grow into her role.
Barbara confronts Gordon about the murder of Cobblepot. He wants to know why she’s so close to Montoya. It is finally revealed to him that they used to date. He doesn’t care about that just that Barbara lied to him. She gets angry and asks about Cobblepot again. He won’t tell. She says he must choose to tell her the truth or let her go. When he doesn’t respond, it seems he let her go.
Gotham continues to get better with every episode. Characters get more comfortable in the roles, the campiness continues to be toned down and wrangled under control, and viewers (at least I am) are glued to their screens to find out what happens next. Especially with Cobblepot. Robin Lord Taylor is phenomenal. He plays his roles perfectly: from meek dishwasher not meaning to eavesdrop to the confident boss who gives cannolis (poisoned cannolis, of course). Taylor outshines everyone on this show and I just hope that Gotham can live up to their Penguin.
Gotham airs Monday at 8/7c on Fox!