Gotham: Getting More Ridiculous


I’ll admit that after initially watching Gotham‘s latest episode, “By Fire“, my thoughts were “okay, it could’ve been worse, but it’s certainly not that bad.”  However, after watching the latest episode of another more superior comic book series last night — The Flash — I had to reevaluate my opinion.  “By Fire” is probably the most ridiculous and banal episode to-date.  Where do I start?  The obvious “I’m an abused person, so now I’ll go evil trope”?  A seasoned jaded officer getting so scared of a fatally injured suspect that he kicks him to death?  A protagonist who’s acting way out of character to gain the audience’s empathy for his anger?

Gotham is really going downhill with the writing and storytelling.  The characterizations are becoming more and more moronic.  I’m all for craziness and over-the-top, but Gotham just doesn’t make sense anymore.  The world the writers created isn’t even consistent.

Bad Cop, Bad Cop

In “By Fire” we saw Jim do his best “Dirty Harry” on a suspect who doesn’t even look to be that much of a threat.  I get it, Gotham‘s writers want Jim to lay into the bad guy to show us that he’s angry.  But Jim is angry over the death of rookie cop Garrett — someone Jim’s only known for two weeks, at most, in the in-show timeline.  Does that really make sense?  Besides, the audience thinks its silly due to the fact that we don’t even know enough about Garrett.  What makes Garrett’s death that much more important to Jim than other deaths?  Is Jim going to act this way with the death of any semi-close acquaintance?  If Jim acts this way to the death of minor characters, I really don’t know where the writers can take his character if someone like Leslie or Bruce dies?

Let’s Forget That A Kid Has a Shotgun

Is it just me, or was the end scene with Selina aiming the shotgun at Leslie completely hilarious?  Jim comes home and sees Selina aiming a shotgun at the love of his life.  After having a tense conversation where Selina finds out that Bridgit Pike is dead, Jim just lets her walk out … still armed!  Really?  My question to the future commissioner: “Aren’t you supposed to be cleaning up the streets of Gotham?”  I think that starts with making sure minors aren’t carrying shotguns in public.  For a cop who’s supposed to be a natural at law and order, you just let a kid with some serious anger issues storm out without saying a word to her.  Nice work.  I’m sure you made Capt. Barnes proud.  He can add that note to the write-up he gave you for beating a suspect senseless.

Has Bullock Jumped the Shark?

I understand Harvey Bullock is a sloppy, formerly corrupt, nonchalant cop.  That doesn’t mean he’s an idiot.  So why in the world did a street-savvy rough-and-tumble detective get so freaked out by a dying person grabbing him?  I’m sure that out of all his years on duty, he’s seen some pretty grim things.  It’s really hard to take this show seriously when you have a guy incessantly kick an already dying guy to death.  The scene with one of the badly burned Pike brothers suddenly coming to consciousness reminded of the Sloth scene in Se7en (1995).  That’s why when he grabbed Harvey’s leg, I thought Harvey was immediately going to scream for a medic.  But no, Harvey kicks a suspect (now victim) to death, and loses the one witness who could tell them what happened.  At this point, Harvey is basically a comedic foil for Jim.

Final Thoughts

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Gotham‘s writers are just going through the motions.  It seems that to them, anything that’ll serve a quick resolve for a plot will be good enough.  Gotham has a tonal issue.  Are the creatives aiming for dark and twisted?  Or are they aiming for dark and serious?  There’s a difference.  They seem to want to achieve the aesthetics of Burton’s Batman yet retain Nolan’s more metaphysical Dark Knight.  At the end, they’ve only achieved a very laughable series with some really inconsistent characters.

Fox’s Gotham airs on Mondays at 8:00PM EST.

Next: Catch up on Gotham with a review of 'By Fire'

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