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‘Gotham’ Episode 4 Recap: Arkham

By Margeaux Johnson · October 16, 2014

This week Fox ordered a full season of Gotham, extending the season to 22 episodes. Fox’s vote of confidence isn’t surprising given that Gotham is the network’s star player this season. The dark underworld of Gotham city has many players, but the most influential character these first few episodes has been Oswald Cobblepot.

Cobblepot is back in Gotham and pays a visit to his new found friend James Gordon. Walking straight into his front door, Cobblepot is an eerie sight for Gordon and audiences alike. It seems that Cobblepot wants to befriend Gordon and again reminds him (and us) that a war is coming. He volunteers to act as Gordon’s inside man. Gordon reluctantly agrees, he knows that Cobblepot is nothing but unstable trouble.  

The mob continues its fight to control Gotham city and each side hires the same hitman to do their dirty work. After last week’s silly “Balloon Man” villain, the writer’s upped the ante with a smart henchman who builds killer flute like devices. That’s right; he takes out each target with a flute that shoots a blade through the eyeball.  He convinces the councilman’s assistant to take a look inside the strange devices “peep” hole and easily takes him out. Taking out the councilman becomes an even simpler task.

While Gordon and Bullock are on the assassin’s trail, Fish Mooney is auditioning girls to sing at her club. It’s clear neither girl has much talent, but Fish is looking for something more than a pretty face. She has each girl try to seduce her, but she’s still unsatisfied. In the end the girls have to fight to the death for a spot on Mooney’s team.

Meanwhile, Gotham’s mob bosses are set on taking over the Arkham district, a wide area for land development and an abandoned asylum. Before their murder, the Wayne’s hoped to build a state of the art mental health facility and rebuild the area. Falcone and the Mayor supported the plan, but now Maroni wants a piece of the profitable plan. The sudden deaths of the council men may sway the vote in one man’s favor. Will Maroni take over the Arkham district or will Falcone become more powerful?

Oswald is gaining the attention of Maroni and stages a robbery to make himself the hero. During the robbery, the restaurant manager is killed and Oswald saves some of Maroni’s money. More money and respect is exactly what Oswald is after. After he is promoted to restaurant manager, Oswald poisons his dimwitted henchmen and takes the stolen cash. He’s really moving up in the underworld.

Barbara is still haunted by Montaya’s distrust of Gordon. She confronts him about Oswald, telling him that Montaya and Allen believe that he was the one who killed him. Gordon made the mistake of getting Barbara involved in his business before, and he won’t do it again. He won’t just tell her that Oswald was the guy at the door (although this was one time he should have told her the truth). Barbara gives him an ultimatum- either let her in on what’s going on or leave.  Gordon, in an effort to keep her safe, chooses the latter.

Bruce Wayne makes a brief appearance in this episode. Alfred comforts him after a bad dream and later we learn that young Bruce is probably one of the brighter detectives in Gotham when he wonders if his parent’s death is linked to the current murders.

Gordon and Bullock save the day and the last target, the Mayor lives. The Mayor makes an unexpected announcement. Instead of giving the land to one crime boss, he has opted to share the district. Falcone gets to continue the Wayne dream with the new asylum and Maroni gets the surrounding land to use for waste. Bruce watches the announcement on TV, stating that the city is being run by criminals. The mayor’s compromise may have saved his life but it’s pretty clear the ramifications will be deadly.

This episode gives us a brief glimpse of the Arkham gates, one of the more poignant settings in the Batman universe. I’m sure that the next few episodes will give us more Arkham history and hopefully more sinister villains.