Gotham – S1E4 – Arkham – Recap

Hi! So, Fox just upped Gotham to a full season! I don’t know about you, but I’m “celebrating” by getting blind drunk!

This week’s episode picks up right where last week’s ended, with Penguin showing up at Gordon’s apartment, being a total creep. They go down to the street, and Penguin tells him that he may just be “the last good man in Gotham” while Gordon does a pretty decent Christian Bale Batman voice. I like how Gordon is viewed (by almost everyone!) as being a really amazing guy, even though he’s an awful detective and hasn’t really accomplished anything. I guess everyone in town got a copy of Year One when the GCPD hired him.



We cut to a parking deck, where a city councilman is approached by a stranger, who, after some idle chit chat, pulls out a sonic screwdriver and kills both the councilman and his aide by stabbing them both in the eye! Gross! After the opening title, Captain Essen brings the case to Gordon and Bullock, telling them that the “smart money” says the killing was just “wrong place wrong time” – seriously? They were stabbed in the eyeballs! That’s really weird and not at all how people are normally killed (as far as I know!)

Gordon finds that a box of evidence has been left on his desk, which includes a map of the “Arkham district,” just as the mayor is holding a press conference talking about the area, talking about how it’s the last undeveloped district in the whole city (although I feel like they should have spent a little more time developing the rest of the city, it’s kind of gross.) The mayor explains that he’s going to implement the plan that the Waynes had for developing the area into low-income housing for the city’s less fortunate – which, considering that this is the same guy who two weeks ago tried to ship all of the city’s hobo kids out of town, is probably not the truth.

Jim drops by Wayne Manor to ask Alfred about the Wayne’s plan, and deduces that Boss Maroni is using Arkham to undermine Falcone – he comes to this conclusion just as Bruce walks in, which is lucky, because now it’ll be pretty easy for Bruce to tell Gordon what he should do. Like all 10 year old crime victim/police detective interactions in the real world.

Gordon gets a call from Bullock telling him that another councilman has been abducted, as we see the guy with the sonic screwdriver pull into the gates of Arkham Asylum, and roll a large fuel can full of the councilman out of a truck. He pours gasoline on the councilman and sets him on fire! This guy is nuts! The next day, we meet up with Gordon, Bullock, and Essen at the crime scene, where Gordon tells them that these murders are a precursor to a gang war between Falcone and Maroni, with Arkham as the main point of contention. Both of these people have lived in Gotham longer than Gordon, yet the idea of these two rival crime bosses fighting one another has never occurred to them, apparently. Bullock asks Gordon how he knows all of this stuff, but before Gordon can tell him “why, I’ve been spending my days with a young boy detective” they’re interrupted by creepy Ed Nygma, who will someday become the Riddler! Nygma tells them that both councilmen were stabbed with a “metal spike” which points to them being killed by the same man.


Bullock and Gordon interrogate an inmate with a spooky beard, who gives them the exact name of the killer (“Gladwell”) along with where he works! That’s easy! They go there, and after after a few tense moments when you think Gordon is going to get stabbed, they just find a clue (a piece of paper with “CLM” on it) and walk away. Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce wakes up from a daytime nightmare of his parents getting murdered, then asks Alfred for all of the Arkham-related files in the house, explaining that he’s looking for a connection between the deaths of the councilmen and Arkham – seriously? We’re just going to straight up have this kid performing unsolicited detective work? I can’t wait until Gordon brings him to the Captain, as a “special helper.”

There’s a fake robbery at Penguin’s food and bev job, which is really just an opportunity for them to kill Penguin’s boss (along with some other guys) as a “message” to Maroni. Maroni’s guys arrive to find Penguin huddled in the freezer. When Maroni shows up to the restaurant, he tells Penguin he did a great job and promotes him to manager of the whole place! Although this will make it hard for Penguin to pretend he’s dead.

Back at Gordon’s apartment, Barbara accuses him of having secrets, and asks him about Penguin, which leads Gordon to realize that Barbara had been talking to Montoya and asks how they know each other, and Barbara tells him that they totally used to make out. I guess it was in college.

Back at the station, Bullock walks in with a bombshell: the real Gladwell had been dead, in his apartment, for like five years! Gordon and Bullock banter back and forth a little, before Bullock takes off for this weeks obligatory visit to Fish Mooney. At Mooney’s club, she’s auditioning a signer, but it’s really that she’s looking for a “weapon” to use against Falcone. Fish asks her to seduce her (as a test I guess?) but she just kisses Fish, downs her drink, and walks off (this is a callback to an earlier scene that I skipped, where she was auditioning another girl.) Bullock walks in and gives Fish all the information, asking her to find the killer.

Penguin calls Gordon, telling him that the next murder will occur that night, but doesn’t give him any more information, which is really not that helpful. EXCEPT it prompts Gordon to get the list of officers watching the mayor, and their initials are C, L, and M! Gordon heads to the Mayor’s house, only to find that the police officers assigned to him are gone – he enters the house just as the killer is heading towards the building. He pulls out the sonic screwdriver, and forces his way in, grabbing Gordon’s gun as he does so. There’s a brief tussle where Gordon almost gets stabbed, but luckily Bullock shows up and saves him. There’s a really weird moment where the killer makes a little “I’m still awesome you guys” speech and jumps at the Mayor, but Bullock and Gordon just shoot the crap out of him. I mean, I understand the guy thinking he was all bad ass because he had a fancy knife, but seriously, he had two guys point guns at him (during the fight Gordon got his back, I guess.)

Back at the station, Barbara apologizes for not telling Jim about her and Montoya, she tries to get the truth about Penguin out of him – he refuses to tell her, and she (I think) dumps him. We cut to Mooney in an alley, where she makes the two girls from before fight over who gets the job of…well, I really don’t know what the job is. After a brief stereotypical “girl fight” (smacks, hair pulling) the “sexier” of the two just beats the crap out of the other, slamming her head onto the pavement.


Penguin shows up at an apartment where three goons are counting piles of money. We find that the robbery from earlier was not setup by Falcone; it was all the Penguin’s doing! He gives the goons cannoli, which is pretty nice of him. Cannoli is delicious. At the station, Gordon and Bullock watch the Mayor give a press conference, explaining that the Arkham district will be used for both low-income housing and waste disposal, so…wait, what? Also, the asylum is going to be reopened. Ok, sure. I’d live there. Sounds perfectly safe. Apparently the press conference is super long, because it gave Gordon enough time to make it all the way to Wayne Manor, where him and Bruce talk about the Mayor and how everything sucks and Gotham is in trouble etc., so forth. But the episode closes on Penguin walking out of that apartment and oh no it looks like the cannoli he gave those guys was poisoned!

And that’s that! Based on the previews for next week, there’s going to be a lot of punching and gritted teeth – do your best to avoid poisoned snacks and meet me back here next week, same Goth-time, same Goth-channel!