‘What the Little Bird Told Him’ continues a run of strong episodes for Fox’s ‘Gotham’ pushing the serialised elements of the show further to the forefront.
I remain a little baffled that ‘Gotham’ is allowed to proceed with such a heavily serialised storyline when ‘Sleepy Hollow’ is continually criticised by Fox execs and so publicly being pushed in the other direction.
Picking up where ‘Rogues’ Gallery’ (reviewed here) left off Jack Gruber and Aaron Danzing are rampaging through the city after escaping the confines of Arkham and with the help of Edward Nygma; Bullock and Gordon quickly work out that Don Maroni is their target.
After his short tenure of one episode at Arkham Gordon is given a 24hr reprieve and re-instated as Detective in order to find the escapees. It’s not necessarily a smart move on the part of the writers to manoeuvre Gordon back in to the GCPD so quickly but given the late order to extend the series to a full 22-episodes perhaps a change was required in order to lengthen the arc of the season.
In the absence of Barbara there’s a burgeoning relationship between Gordon and Dr Thompkins which makes an interesting change to the show. Both Ben McKenzie and Erin Richards haven’t been given a huge amount of screen time together in order to make their relationship believable and yet we’re to understand they have years of pre-series history. In stark contrast in the last two episodes we’ve seen every interaction between Gordon and Thompkins and there’s a much more tangible connection between them. Perhaps this is a case of Thompkins being the woman he needs and not the woman he deserves… quick TDK quote for you there.
‘What the Little Bird Told Him’ has a huge amount of exposition for the mob storylines. We already know that Penguin is aware of Liza’s true allegiances but sadly Fish is unaware. She makes a move on Falcone by kidnapping Liza to safety and offering a ransom. Meanwhile the titular Little Bird steps in to inform Falcone of the betrayal and a coup takes place.
By the climax of the episode Liza is dead; Fish and Gilzean are held prisoner and Penguin finds himself in charge of the club and leading the remaining Mooney gang.
Testament to the strength of the writing and the characterisation in ‘Gotham’ is the fact that Jim Gordon can take a back seat and the show without the quality being affected. Each week since ‘Harvey Dent’ the show has been on the up consistently better itself in its complexity and its writing. In the beginning this felt like a show I SHOULD watch but wouldn’t rush to watch but now it’s cemented as a show I HAVE to watch at the earliest possible moment.
There’s no sign of the serialised nature of the showing coming to an end any time soon and I’m happy with that. I’ve said previously that I don’t know where this show is going in terms of a season ending arc and I’m still very comfortable with that. Where comic book properties can often come unravelled is in the adaptation of story arcs from the comics which means any familiar fans are already aware of all the major story beats and the eventual outcome.
With ‘Gotham’ the ultimate end-game is still clearly Batman but the journey to get him to is entirely unknown and that makes the show extremely exciting.