This week’s episode of Gotham Arkham is the first to start unraveling the very complex plot that our main hero, Jim Gordon, stumbled onto when he began investigating the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Spoilers will be found throughout the article going forward, including a minor spoiler for the AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Gotham Arkham – It’s all about the Asylum!
We’re made to think that the rival mobster families are fighting over the Arkham district of Gotham City. It’s being hinted at for the uninitiated that there may be some unseen forces beyond that pulling strings. With the wild popularity of video games taking place at Arkham these days, it’s no surprise that Arkham Asylum may be the staging point for some big big things. The Waynes were attempting to have the old Asylum torn down along with the surrounding slums so that a new state of the art mental health facility could be constructed and low income housing built throughout the district. The deal as it stands at the end of the episode is that the old Asylum is merely going to be retrofitted and upgraded with minor improvements to some of the surrounding housing. Also, Maroni’s crime family get a new contract for a dump. This is a recipe for disaster, but I really get the feeling that some of our yet to be introduced bad guys are playing everyone perfectly.
One of the most interesting characters to follow so far has been Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin. (WALKING DEAD SPOILER) After being killed off on The Walking Dead Season 5 Premiere last night, Robin Lord Taylor seems to be doing alright for himself in Gotham as the Penguin. Hippie Sam didn’t have it so good. If you watched last week’s episode, The Balloonman, you know that he slipped into Maroni’s main restaurant as a dishwasher. He also managed to catch the eye of Maroni himself. Tonight, he engineered a robbery that put him in charge of the restaurant and got some cash in his pocket, after he took out his hired thugs. He now has Maroni’s ear and trust, as well as a decent stash of cash. I’m not really sure how much longer Fish Mooney will last this season, not that she isn’t making her own plans to take down Falcone. I’m just not sure that she’ll be able to get herself into a position where she could come out on top. After all, Penguin is a name that has some weight to it in the Batman Mythos, Fish Mooney not so much. At the same time, I’m not so sure Carmine Falcone is going anywhere since he has been such an important character since his introduction in Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli.
I didn’t mind Alfred so much this episode. He seemed to be a lot more tame, like he is settling into his role. That would be a relief. Bruce was still playing detective, trying to tie the Councilman murders to his parents as an elaborate scheme surrounding Arkham. Of course, the kid is probably right. If you look at some of the casting, you can definitely see that we’re going to spend a lot of time in Arkham this season, which was extended to 22 episodes from its original 16. So that’s good. Especially since I think I’m enjoying it.