I’m going to be completely honest from the beginning in this one, at the moment I am really struggling with Gotham. Although it is true that there are elements about the show that are interesting I am really struggling to engage with it. To its credit Gotham is always well shot, the gang warfare is interesting and they have illustrated young Bruce and Alfred in a way that really adds to the show, there are also some stand out actors who when they are allowed to be on the screen together to chew the scenery they thrive. However…there is just something about the rest of the show that really isn’t hitting the spot for me.
What is intensely frustrating is that it never really feels like anything is resolved during the course of the episode. Obviously they need to have ongoing plot lines and not every episode can have a nice happy ending but there never seems to be a resolution. The right people sometimes get arrested and that is the end of that but for some reason it never feels like an ending. Take this episode for example, that didn’t really feel like a closed chapter did it? The main villain involved in the Viper attacks died but it just didn’t feel like an ending, of course the idea is supposed to be that Venom is still in circulation as they are alluding to Bane’s origin story. My point is that the little teases and implications to villains returning isn’t the problem, even the villains that surely aren’t returning such as the Balloonman don’t feel like their story ended. This isn’t because they got away with it; they get imprisoned but the endings don’t feel like they have weight to them.
This may be something to do with the pacing of the show at the moment, it feels like the producers of Gotham really haven’t got the formula right yet. To be honest I thought that the pilot was perfectly paced but for some reason they have elected to deviate from this, resulting in episodes that are quite engaging in the start, boring in the middle and rushed at the end. It is this sense of a rushed ending that makes you feel like none of the stories are being properly resolved.
The problem with Gotham is that they are trying to create something that caters to both police procedural fans and fans of the DC Universe. This would be excellent if they had a clear vision for how this was going to be achieved. When Gotham is done well the references to the DC universe and the appearance of Batman villains blend seamlessly with the more gritty detective elements of the show. The issue is that often times the police side of the show can get a little stale and formulaic, and some of the more garish deaths can look ridiculous. The CGI in this episode felt jarring and out-of-place, the problem isn’t that it is a more fantastical element thrown into a gritty world, the producers have proved they can do DC universe stuff in this darker version. No, the problem is that the CGI was done badly, it was obvious and to be honest, done without any thought for the tone they are trying to create. It was blatant and ham-fisted, done with no eye for what you should show and what you shouldn’t. In terms of CGI less is often more, they didn’t understand that.
On the up side this episode was well acted for the most part, the top gang leaders such as Maroni and Falcone are played by heavy weight actors that make scene in which they feature electric, however briefly that may be. The scene in the restaurant involving Maroni, Cobblepot and Gordon was engaging and appropriately tense. I just wish there was more of this.
I have been quite scathing about Gotham I know that, but I write this out of concern. I am not slating it on purpose for something to hate, it’s a kind of tough love. I am being so hard on Gotham because I want it to do better, I would love for it to work. Gotham can be a good show they proved that in the premiere, I just hope the writers booked they’re ideas up and that this kind of episode isn’t representative of the majority of them.