"What the Little Bird Told Him" (S1/E12)
Author: Richard Church (Follow @RICHARDCHURCH16)
January 21, 2015
EPISODE INFO: "What the Little Bird Told Him" was written by Ben Edlund and directed by Eagle Egilsson. It originally aired on the FOX television network on January 19, 2015. It is based on "Batman" characters owned and published by DC Comics.
MAIN CAST: Ben McKenzie as Detective James Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, Sean Pertwee as Alfred, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle/the future Catwoman, Zabryna Guevara as Captain Sarah Essen, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma/the future Riddler, Victoria Cartagena as Renee Montoya, Andrew Stewart Jones as Crispus Allen, John Doman as Carmine Falcone
GUEST CAST: Morena Baccarin as Dr. Leslie Thompkins, Drew Powell as Butch Gilzean, David Zayas as Maroni, Christopher Heyerdahl as Jack Gruber, Anthony Carrigan as Victor Zsasz, Kevin McCormick as Danzig, Dash Mihok as Detective Arnold Flass, Peter Scolari as Commissioner Loeb, Adrian Martinez as Irwin, Caroline Lagerfelt as Mrs. Kean, Richard Poe as Mr. Kean, Victor Cruz as Desk Sergeant
PREVIOUS EPISODE: S1/E11 "Rogues Gallery" Review by Richard Church (1.6.15)
SYNOPSIS: In an attempt to get his job back, Gordon seeks to capture Jack Gruber (guest star Christopher Heyerdahl), a deranged electrical genius who escapes Arkham Asylum. Meanwhile, Falcone struggles to hold onto his empire after Fish Mooney makes her next move.
An anticlimax is defined as a disappointing end to an impressive or exciting series of events. If there is one way to describe the latest GOTHAM episode, “What The Little Bird Told Him,” it would be just that: an anticlimax.
I noted in the previous episode that it was interesting GOTHAM kept its latest villain of the week, Jack Gruber, alive for future confrontations with Gordon as it changed up their format slightly. All the other villains of the week were either captured or killed (mostly killed), but this presented a recurring villain who was unconnected to the Batman rogues gallery and would plague Gordon every now and then.
Fast forward to the next episode and not only is Gruber caught in the story’s conclusion, he’s revealed to be Batman rogue Electrocutioner, a relatively small-time villain who was featured in ARKHAM ORIGINS mainly for laughs. This plotline also brought a very quick end to Gordon’s exodus from the GCPD as he’s welcomed back, albeit reluctantly, to the station.
The other anticlimactic aspect of “Little Bird” was Fish Mooney making her move against Falcone in her master plan – a move that just doesn’t make much sense or ring quite true to her or Falcone’s character. Fish’s apparent plan was to get Falcone so infatuated with this girl Fish planted in his circle, kidnap her and force him to leave Gotham City in order to keep his girl safe. This is after months of hearing Fish talk about him with contempt, seeing her rage against him and taking out his men whenever she had a chance. Leaving him alive also just doesn’t make sense. What if he figured out afterward that Liza was Fish’s plant and came back with a vengeance? Or he simply found retirement in the county didn’t suit him?
What was surprising was Falcone’s initial decision to actually agree to Fish’s terms and leave Gotham with Liza. He told Zsasz if that many people wanted him to step aside, why shouldn’t he, content with the decision as long as he went away with Liza. This decision didn’t make too much sense either, but its more from a story perspective though. Scenes between Falcone and Liza have been few and far between since she came into the picture and, by each of their own admission; they hadn’t done anything sexual, let alone kissed. The problem is their relationship lacked chemistry and believability. Would the audience and fans really believe Carmine “The Roman” Falcone would give up Gotham City for a woman they hardly knew? Let alone one who reminded Falcone of his mother?
“Little Bird” did have some bright spots, however. It was nice to see Falcone, who is usually so composed, really lose control when his mother came up. He was very angry when he discovered Fish used this sacred vulnerability against him and John Doman really sold those scenes. However, it also highlights the fact that he was sparing Fish, despite telling her using his mother’s memory part of her plot is something he would never forgive. What if she comes back with vengeance? Some of the humor in the episode worked well too, such as Penguin’s unintentional reveal to Maroni and Bullock’s repeated “You think you were being careful?” question to Gordon.
Though the battle between Fish and Falcone isn’t over, it feels like the major cards have been played and left us wanting. Fish’s master plan was rather underwhelming and, though Electrocutuioner is once again left alive to plague Gordon, it was unfortunate to see Gruber dealt with so quickly. Add the fact this episode comes after the announcement of GOTHAM’s second season renewal and it leaves a fairly lackluster episode.
Some stray thoughts:
* Gruber’s electrocution seemed to kill people only when the plot demanded it (Penguin survived that knob shock when it killed the other person. And the entire police station somehow survived)
* This episode was at least more focused than others as it only dealt with two plotlines. Only scene that felt out of place was Barbara’s
* Also second episode in a row Bruce and Alfred haven’t appeared. Is this the start of a new trend?
Richard Church is an aspiring writer for short stories, novels and screenplays.
He is also an avid fan of the superhero genre.
Follow him on Twitter @RICHARDCHURCH16.
GOTHAM airs Mondays at 7PM CT/8PM ET on FOX.
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