Gotham Season 1 Review “What the Little Bird Told Him”

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In the latest episode of “Gotham,” we had another, perhaps inevitable, fatality, and it was an ugly one, in “What the Little Bird Told Him.” Though we all knew Liza was playing a most dangerous game, she can’t say she didn’t know what she was getting into- even if she wouldn’t quite have believed what was in store for her if she was caught. I mean, I figured it was all going to end badly for her, but I didn’t expect it to end so brutally. Yikes!

Just as Falcone was considering leaving the game for good and taking Liza with him, she was “kidnapped” by Fish, who, of course, was the one pulling her strings in the first place, something that only the Penguin was privy to, but hadn’t told Falcone as of yet. Unfortunately for poor Liza, she might have fared slightly better if he had known before Falcone had gotten so attached (or maybe not), but as it turned out, forces conspired against the Penguin getting to him before it was almost too late, so that Falcone’s heart was fully invested in the matter by the time the Penguin did tell him, and that did not bode well for young Liza.

Seeing through Fish’s “kidnapping” gambit immediately, he went to the meet and agreed to leave town with Liza, but only if he got to see her and knew she was safe. What Fish didn’t know was that Falcone already knew about Liza by then, and once she produced her, he proceeded to choke the life out of her. Like I said, pretty brutal. That done, Fish knew the jig was up and faster than you can say “Uh-oh,” Falcone’s men had taken out hers and captured Fish. Enter the Penguin, gleefully gloating his revenge over her, at long last. He might have cut it pretty close, but in the end, he got it done.

The question is, at what cost? After all, during his down-time, he blabbed that he was supposed to meet Falcone to Maroni, so now Maroni knows that the Penguin is up to something, which can’t end well, either. So, who will end up on top? My money’s on Falcone, though I suspect that the Penguin will not come out of this unscathed. I don’t know if they’re going to go in the same direction as the Tim Burton “Batman Returns” and make the Penguin a mutant of sorts, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up at least getting deformed somehow, now that all of his double-dealing is starting to come to light. We shall see.

Meanwhile, Gordon continued his hunt for the elusive Jack Gruber, aka “The Electrocutioner,” who used a bizarre get-up to shock his victims into submission- or death. Given 24 hours to bring him to justice by the current police Commissioner Loeb (Peter Scolari, “Girls”) – or else he could say goodbye to his career altogether, along with poor Bullock, who was caught in the crossfire- Gordon doubled down on finding him, seeking help wherever he could find it, including Dr. Thompkins, who gave him reason to believe Gruber might be after Maroni. Turned out that the two used to be partners and that Maroni had stiffed him on a bank job, which didn’t sit too well with Gruber.

Sure enough, Gruber and his henchman attacked Maroni and his men at the restaurant, which was where the Penguin got sidetracked, just as he was about to tell Falcone that the Liza thing was a sham and that Fish was playing him. Maroni survives the attack and goes to the precinct for safekeeping but the “Electrocutioner” attacks anyway, taking out most of the station with another electro-bomb, before being defused by Gordon via a…wait for it…cup of water! Kind of brilliant in its simplicity, I thought. Either way, it did the trick and Gordon was successfully reinstated, having caught his man, and Bullock got to keep his job, so all’s well that ends well, I suppose.

That was about it, really, beyond Barbara going back to her parents with her tail between her legs and Maroni probably being wise to Penguin playing both sides. Oh, and Falcone now has Fish held captive, to what ends we’ll have to wait and see. Also, Gordon kissed Dr. Thompkins, so I guess he and Barbara won’t be getting back together in the immediate future. Still, it was a fast-paced episode that really zipped by to a somewhat inevitable conclusion.

I mean, I can’t say I was surprised that Liza got hers, but I was a little shocked Falcone choked her to death like that. Pretty hardcore for an early evening show, you know? I suppose they kind of made up for it with the amusing way that Gordon defeated the “Electrocutioner.” It’s not often you see a villain brought down with a cup of water, “Wizard of Oz” notwithstanding. (Hey, she took an entire bucket of water, at least!)

All in all, a solid enough episode, if lacking a bit in the character development arena. Nothing wrong with the occasional action-packed episode, though, so I’m okay with that. The real question will be how the show handles the back half of the season. So far, so good, but if we’re going to have a long-lasting show, there needs to be a bit more going on than the typical bad-guy-of-the-week thing.

We’ve gotten some solid back-story on the Penguin and Bullock- now it’s time to get some more on Gordon in particular, and maybe some more on the other main villains, like Falcone, Maroni and Fish. Well, assuming Fish makes it past the next episode, that is. I think the show certainly has promise, though, and I’ve liked how they’ve handled things thus far. Now it’s time to deepen things a bit more, so it feels less cartoonish and more real. Yes, obviously, the show has its roots in comics, so a certain degree of that is to be expected, but there’s no harm in trying to flesh things out more. Hopefully, the show will do just that in the weeks to come.

What did you think of “Gotham” this week? Were you shocked by the way Liza died, too? What do you think Falcone will do with Fish? What will Maroni do with the new information he has at hand? What’s Barbara up to? Is Jim moving on with Dr. Thompkins? Who will the next big villain be? Sound off below, and see you next time!