It’s Gordon versus the world in tonight’s episode of “Gotham.” The episode, “Penguin’s Umbrella”, written by showrunner Bruno Heller and directed by Rob Bailey, is a gold mine of an episode. If you haven’t been following “Gotham” before tonight each Monday from now on needs to become appointment television.
“Penguin’s Umbrella” follows Gordon (Ben McKenzie) as he begins his war with the crime families of Gotham and further escalates the conflict between Marroni (David Zayas) and Falcone (John Doman). “Gotham” has started to succeed on the fact that it isn’t a series about Batman, Catwoman, The Riddler, and other characters appearing in DC Comics. The show is about the people who will one day become the characters we all know and is proving a successful formula when handled right. Oswald Cobblepot a.k.a. The Penguin, is just about the only series regular who, more or less, is exactly how we’d expect to be translated from the page. And Robin Lord Taylor? Oh, how he devilishly sets fire to each scene he’s in. One of the breakout stars of the FOX series, Taylor is surely the one to watch as the first season develops the underlying theme of The Rise of The Penguin.
Gordon says “This is my home. This was my father’s home. I’m not leaving.” If Bruno Heller is able to continually oversee a smart direction for this series, then “Gotham” isn’t going anywhere.
Noteworthy Scene: The introduction of Victor Zsasz in the pre-Batman world of “Gotham.” Played by Anthony Carrigan, the character of Zsasz has quickly risen the ranks of Batman’s rogues gallery after an inclusion in “Batman Begins”, and the well-received “Arkham” video games. Serving as a hired gun for Carmine Falcone, one of the best, well-executed, and choreographed scenes in the series would be the shootout he has with Gordon at the G.C.P.D. He is creepily played by Carrigan and is just what you’d expect from the character. The performance and characterization, as written by Bruno Heller, is the key to everything fun about “Gotham.” While the audience doesn’t expect (nor does it want) a Batman show, it goes unmentioned that the fans do enjoy their easter eggs. “Gotham” hasn’t shied away from delivering on winks and nods, and in a brutal scene of Zsasz killing a police officer, he is quick to pull out his razor and carve #26 onto his arm. His body count and self-inflicted cuts rise! This fan hopes to see him return this season.
“Gotham” airs Monday nights on Fox. 8 pm ET. Check your local listings.