Episode 12: “What the Little Bird Told Him”
Gordon searches for the escaped Gruber. Meanwhile, Fish makes her move to dethrone Falcone.
Carmine Falcone has been a staple of Gotham since his introduction in 1987. In all subsequent storylines, Falcone is depicted as having been around since long before the Batman’s appearance. A crime boss of the more traditional sort than Gotham usually sees (i.e., no gimmicks or weird quirks), no sane criminal dared cross Carmine “The Roman” Falcone. Because unlike with most comic book villains, Falcone didn’t play around with his enemies. There was no laughing gas, hypnotic aromas, or missile-wielding penguins; just bullets and shallow graves. Most importantly, Falcone was an authoritative figure who could silence someone with nothing more than a stare.
With the show recently renewed for a second season, there’s the temptation to relax a bit. Instead, they react with one of its most Batman-like episodes yet. Focusing equally on the story lines of Gordon and Falcone, we are given a small but powerful glimpse into Falcone’s past, as well as the kind of man he is. No longer staying on the sidelines, the ruthless presence that made him feared and respected is on full display. A presence that can silence other crime lords without even a word. A demonstration of just how merciless “The Roman” could be when he made a point. This is clearly going to be a turning point for the dynamic of Gotham’s underworld rulers.
Gordon’s case is equally engaging. With a madman electrician/mind controller on the loose, Gordon sees an opening to get himself out of Arkham and back with GCPD. What follows is straight out of the detective novels that inspired Batman. Clues, corpses, cryptic messages, and creepy scientists with old grudges. Gruber is one of Gotham’s best villains to date, with a scheme reminiscent of the Van de Graaff generator in the Boston Museum of Science. The only thing cooler than turning GCPD’s headquarters into a lightning room was Gordon’s method of neutralizing him. Jim Gordon, you are the coolest cat on TV.
Another treat is the return of Edward Nygma, as well as further development into his potential love interest. It’s entertainment value is enough to validate resurgence, while also setting up interesting possibilities for the future. It’s the best kind of side story. The worst kind is sadly also present in the form of Barbara. She appears for a scene that has no relevancy to anything else within the episode, then is never seen again. I don’t mean to say I hate Barbara, but she was truly left to flounder this week. A better move would have been to expand on Dr. Thompkins’part, given she provided actual contributions to the episode.
Nothing is going to be the same now that Falcone has become wise to Fish’s treachery. Any traces of his “friendly” personality will be dispelled as he deals out punishment on his traitorous subordinates. At the same time, Fish has never looked better, rising to the occasion to meet the looming threat of torture and interrogation. Next week may well be the episode where Fish Mooney finally shines.
Episode Score: 8.8