Gotham Recap: Raiders of Lost Arkham

Gotham Recap Arkham Turf War

A week ago I asked if making Arkham (namely, its iconic and always creepy asylum) a “character” on Fox’s Gotham would serve to prime the freshman drama’s narrative engine.

This Monday’s episode, titled and very much about “Arkham,” answered with a strong yes.

RELATED Fox’s Gotham Gets Full-Season Order

Spinning a story about the fight for Arkham’s redevelopment served multiple purposes. Most obviously, it gave us something “tactile” and specific for the warring crime organizations to clash over and grab a piece of — Falcone gets to build the low-income housing, while Maroni gets both the contract to spruce up the asylum and a chunk of land for a waste disposal site.

But more interestingly, the lousy, wishy-washy and simply unappealing deal that the mayor signed off on for Arkham rubbed young Bruce the wrong way. For after delving deep into his folks’ files on the matter — Thomas and Martha wished to replace the asylum with a cutting-edge mental health care facility — Bruce was aghast to see the abomination that plan had been watered down into. Rather than offer a new hope, “Everything they’ve worked for has fallen into the hands of criminals,” the lad lamented. “Not everything — you’re alive,” Jim corrected. And, the detective believes, it’s still “worth trying” to save Gotham.

This episode also took major strides in propelling the Penguin closer to power, as he (somewhat predictably) orchestrated a “hit” on Maroni’s restaurant, one where the mild-mannered dishwasher would play hero — to the mob’s mound of money. Oswald celebrated his promotion to manager by treating his accomplices to fresh — poisonous — cannoli.

RELATED Gotham Scoop: Nicholas D’Agosto Joins Fox Drama as Harvey Dent

Meanwhile over at Fish Mooney’s club, there was an odd bit of psychosexual something going on, as she auditioned female singers to… what, exactly? Seduce men? Seduce her? That sequence led to a showdown between the two finalists, one who had pipes, the other possessing great pluck. The feistier of the two emerged triumphant, and seems destined to play some vital role in Fish’s larger plan.

Lastly, there was pre-marital drama on tap for Gordon and fiancée Barbara, who is getting fed up with his late nights, long hours and refusal to talk about “Oswald Cobblepot.” Barbara comes clean in her own right, revealing the year-long relationship she had with Montoya and explaining why she concealed it from her husband-to-be for multiple reasons. But when Jim steadfastly kept mum on Oswald, Barbara laid down an ultimatum: “Let me in, or let me go.”

What did you think of this week’s episode, “Arkham” — the first in three weeks to not have some “colorful” Baddie of the Week?



Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. StephonJS says:

    it was great! it nice not to have a villain of the week every week.
    I’m enjoying the rise of the Penguin.
    And Thanks to FOX we are getting 22 episodes. THANK YOU!

    • But there was a villain of the week, “Gladwell”, he just wasn’t a memorable villain… Like at all lol.

      • Joey says:

        I actually thought he was intriguing, and he had a pretty interesting choice of weapon. I basically liked him until he essentially made it a suicide mission to kill the mayor. I figured if you’re an assassin for hire, unless you’re part of the League of Assassins, you don’t try to get yourself killed when you get caught.

  2. The first bad episode and it was really terrible, with a confusing plot over Arkham and an episode that showed Robin Lord Taylor unless he’s unhinged and violent.

  3. Bwhit says:

    Gotham continues to get better every week. I know Gordon eventually marries Barbara but she is so unlikable in my opinion. She wants him to tell her everything, but her secrets are not fair game until it serves a purpose to make him feel guilty.

    • Hmm says:

      THANK YOU! Starting to feel like the only one who is over Barbara.

    • Melanie says:

      I think the actress can be great, but the the producers are not using her enough. The fact that she only acts as Jim’s fiancée once in a while to doubt him is annoying. It seems like she has no life other than being in that apartment after Jim’s day.

  4. Katie says:

    Gotham was great tonight and has been a must see on Monday nights for me since the first episode. I have loved Richard Kind since he was Paul on Spin City and I admit that I look at him and sometimes still see that wacky Paul, but I put that out of my head and focus on his performance as the mayor of Gotham. Barbara is annoying, but then again, I have always found women that need to know e-v-e-r-y-thing annoying. She should understand that work is work and his work is none of her business. The less she knows, the better. Jim is trying to keep her alive. She needs to respect and recognize and stop ruffling feathers. Speaking of which, Penguin got my interest from the pilot and still has it. I don’t know if it is the character or the actor’s performance, but he is interesting to watch. All the “bad guys” in Gotham promise to be worth checking in on every Monday night just to see what they are plotting next. I really like this show and am glad for the full season pick up!

    • Joey says:

      You pretty much spelled out my thoughts exactly.

      • Walter says:

        I agree as well. I’ll confess that I find the actress who plays Barbara the wink link in an otherwise very strong cast.

        • TinLV says:

          Agree. They need to think about recasting the part of Barbara.. this actress just isn’t clicking. She’s probably a good enough actress, but if there is no chemistry between the actors, no one will root for them..

          • Melanie says:

            I disagree with all your comments. I feel she is underuse right now and that’s why I don’t like her because she is nothing else than Jim’s wife-to-be-at-home, she needs a life. And I sort of understand her asking question about his work because in Gotham (and in every crime series), you never know if what you don’t know is for bad reasons (drug trafficking) or protection. It could easily be either one.

  5. Luli says:

    Matt, is there a Castle recap for tonight’s episode??

  6. Joey Padron says:

    Good episode. The Penguin is enjoying his rise to power. Mob guys got what they want for Arkham. Interest to see what Fish will do with new girl she hired. She’s good fighter.

  7. Candice says:

    I liked most of what I saw. The weather guy kept interrupting the program.

  8. K says:

    Could someone tell me what the phone call between Gordon and Penguin was about? A weather alert interrupted that part for me.

  9. Nick says:

    I think this show is great. Particularly, Donal Logue’s Bullock and Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin. Brilliant. Just brilliant. It’s also really good (as a Dexter fan) to see David Zayas on TV again.

  10. Xara Vam says:

    Is it me or did the new girl in FISH’s nightclub remind me of the Black Canary????

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Perhaps, but obviously not a character they are allowed to use.

      • Xara Vam says:

        HOWE COME?

        • Xara Vam says:

          Why can They cannot use the Black Canary? i

          • Bill says:

            Because she’s on Arrow

          • Xara Vam says:

            So because she is on ARROW she cannot appear on Gotham? why is that? either way Gotham doesn’t seems like they will be using the actual names (Catwoman, Poison Ivy Penguin) just their background story and style as they become those.My question then is could that be Black Canary or an inspiration of? there were to many coincidences BESIDES the difference that her name was Liza not Dina; BUT did anyone else GET that idea when watching last night?

          • Davey Elmer says:

            Because she’s not a Batman character.

            The reason Gotham can get away with ‘name-dropping’ a character like the Dollmaker (who’s already appeared on Gotham) is because said character is part of the unrestricted access to the Batman license for which they paid a hefty chunk of change.

  11. Amanda says:

    Really great episode!!! I agree the show is getting better each week and I really like how everything is playing out as the villains rise and what we know of the Batman history. Plus I never realized how many real-life mafia shoutouts we are getting on the show. The company this week’s villain Gladwell worked for was called the Lanksy Building, which would be named after real-life ganster Meyer Lansky. As a fan of “Boardwalk Empire” I feel like I’m spotting them even more and the show does have their own versions of Charlie “Lucky” Luciano and Al Capone with Carmine Falcone and Sal Maroni. When you look up the character’s influcenes in the comics it is those two famous mobsters. So it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out and if they’re going to introduce their own version of Lansky.

  12. Muriel says:

    Sigh, I feel slightly underwhelmed by this show and I don’t know why… I like Penguin and Arkam seems promising but for some reason I’m not blown away by this show..