by Diana Vaccarelli
—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—
Monday September 21, 2017, Fox premiered Season Four of Gotham. This premier episode opens six months after the tragic release of the tech virus that ravaged Gotham in Season Three.
The city is finally getting back on its feet with the help of crime boss Penguin, who has issued “licenses” to commit crimes. As you might expect, this does not sit well with Detective Jim Gordon (who, in case anybody is wondering, just happens to be my favorite character in the series).
- Writer John Stephens delivers an episode of fantastic dialogue, full of a combination of wit, humor, and seriousness not seen in many TV shows today. An example of such creative writing occurs after Detective Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is beaten up by fellow cops and says “I think we can forget about backup.” The timing is perfect and welcome relief from the intensity of what came before
- I enjoyed how focused this episode was on how the crime rate has lowered due to certain criminals being issued licenses to commit crimes…because although the crimes still are being committed the permits mean that they’re no longer considered illegal and therefore don’t count in Gotham’s statistics.
- The opening of the episode showed a teenage Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) continuing toward his destiny to become the Dark Knight by fighting two grown men mugging a young couple. As a Batman fan, I love seeing this transition into the classic vigilante. And as a TV fan I was impressed by the brilliant choreography of the fight scene.
- The chemistry between Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue, who plays Harvey Bullock, was classic buddy/brother material pulled off perfectly.
- The bad – and when say bad I mean terrible – thing about this episode was the unfortunate decision to have David Mazouz use a voice very similar voice to that of Christian Bale’s Batman. Homage? In-joke? Whatever the intention, it came off as very derivative, no, outright cheesey and totally unnecessary, to me.
- While we’re on the subject of Christian Bale, the scenes with the Scarecrow were in my opinion total rip offs of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films in terms of tone, photography, and evenstructure.
- Gotham is a great show for Batman fans, especially Dark Knight Saga aficionados. It isn’t perfect (like, say Outlander, as those of you who read my reviews regularly “know”), but it’s certainly worth checking out. And if you do, please let me know your thoughts below.
Diana Vaccarelli is TVWriter™’s Critic-at-Large and a student in the TVWriter™ Online Workshop. Find out more about her HERE