One Sentence Review: Though I found the political posturing around the Arkham land deal the convoluted, confusing and complex, the payoff and set up for the future gang war was pretty exciting.
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So apparently the refurbishing of the Arkham district is a pretty big chess piece in the oncoming conflict between the various gangs in Gotham City. Though I usually enjoy complex political posturing behind a simmering conflict, I don’t think this episode pulled it off well. The story was too methodical in its explanation, and too vague in what would be better for the city. I understood that Falcone and Marone are struggling for control, they both hired the same guy to kill the opposition, and they both will probably have at it in an episode or two. I get the why, but the how just makes me shrug.
The villain of the week, was hit and miss for me. The hitman Gladwell had a great persona. He talked to his victim in a cordial, matter of fact manner that i found intellectual yet intimidating. He reminded me of Jubal Early in Firefly. Anytime a drama can make me think of Firefly is always a good thing. His modus operandi was another matter. He killed people with with a special metal spike of his own design. Though a neat little toy, it essentially amounts to a knife. The badass hired killer, goes after the mayor… with a knife… when a cop is protecting him with a gun. I got the vibe that it was supposed to be a gimmick to make him stand out in the cartoony way as a batman villain should. It got in the way of suspension of disbelief.
Now for my favorite element of this episode; Though the Penguin’s calculated rise to power is a close second, I have to admit that Barbara win wins for sheer improvement. Gordon’s fiance has been my least favorite aspect of the show. She has been relegated to the simple love interest role. I haven’t been a fan of Erin Richards portrayal of the character. In this episode we see the growing suspicion and distrust between to the two. Not only is the acting better but it sets up and interesting new storyline. Barbara desperately wants to believe her fiance is a good man, but for her own protection Gordon won’t tell her anything. I can’t say I blame him. He confided something secret to her in the second episode which she reported to the news. Though she was trying to help him, it shows a fundamental violation of faith. From her perspective she has a secretive fiance who does nothing reassure her suspicions. He could be a crooked cop and instead of coming clean, he shifts the argument to something that is largely inconsequential, such as her previous relationship with a woman. If I were her, I’d dump him too.
We’re seeing a much meatier dynamic than anything the couple has gone through so far. If you’re the only clean cop in a corrupt city, you have enemies everywhere. The woman who wants to spend the rest of her life with you deserves to know that. We know the two will get back together… after all they have to conceive Batgirl some how. Love cannot exist without trust. It would be a unique love story to show how these two people can repair the damage they’ve done to each other, and rebuild the trust.