Gotham failed to impress with its mid-season premiere, “Rogues’ Gallery,” but it did plant seeds for what could have been an exciting arc that propelled us to the last ten weeks of the season – namely the introduction of Arkham escapee Jack Gruber, aka the Electrocutioner. Unfortunately, those hopes were crushed this week, as “What the Little Bird Told Him” put a swift end to those exciting story beats and truncated Gruber’s storyline halfway through the episode.
Jim Gordon is also no longer working at Arkham Asylum and has already pushed forward with a romantic relationship with Dr. Leslie Tompkins (played wonderfully once more by Morena Baccarin, though Gotham is under-utilizing her talents). For a series that was initially only meant to span 16 episodes before quickly being stretched to 22, Gotham is almost dead set on blazing through storylines at the expense of its characters and season-long arcs. It feels as though the writers have specific beats they need to hit, and are willing to jump right to them instead of build towards them, resulting in very little character development or satisfactory storytelling.
Last week felt like a bold and exciting step toward a more serialized structure, but I fear that as we trek through the season’s remaining episodes, Gotham will slip back into its procedural roots.
Like many episodes, however, “What the Little Bird Told Him” is an unbalanced affair with one silver lining: the mob storyline involving Carmine Falcone, Fish Mooney, and the Penguin. Gordon’s quest to bring down the Electrocutioner may not have been as…. electric as one would have hoped, but Fish’s scheme to bring down Falcone was finally put into motion, with some truly shocking results.