Gotham -- The Good And Bad Of "These Delicate And Dark Obsessions"

– by Mark Cook

Gotham returns with an all new episode focused on The Court of Owls.  Will the episode continue its decent story line from last week, or will it be character overload?  Read on to find out the good and the bad from "These Delicate and Dark Obsessions".

Photo Courtesy of Fox.

Photo Courtesy of Fox.

Good: The Return of Penguin -- Even though he has been a part of the entire season, it is good to see Penguin back to his vengeful ways.  When Cobblepot was mayor, and "in love" with Nygma, the character seemed to lack excitement.  Now that he has been wronged by the Riddler, he looks to be changing back into the character we all enjoyed.  His psychotic rage near the end of the episode helped restore my faith in the character, and the direction the writers look to be taking him.  Watch for he and Nygma to go head-to-head, much like Maroni and Falcone did during Season 1.  

Bad: Uncle Frank -- Is he good, or is he bad?  He's obviously fooling one of the sides, but is it The Court, or Gordon?  Uncle Frank was the reason Gordon's father died, he goes back and forth between The Court and Gordon, then he killed himself so Gordon could join The Court to take them down.  Seem complex?  That's the way it presented itself because it was another rushed story line.  Uncle Frank was introduced before the hiatus, giving the audience some anticipation as to his connection only for it to end a couple episodes later. 

Good: Penguin and Poison Ivy -- Their interactions were good.  This part of the episode was the most interesting to me as Penguin's former henchman turned on him (which I didn't expect) as Ivy said he would.  Penguin is going to find his resources, and backing, limited.  Look for Ivy to be one of his few allies in helping him rise back to power in the Gotham Underworld.  Ivy's portrayal in this episode was extremely close to the source material, which I enjoyed. From her perfume to her manipulation of the men around her, she could be an extremely important asset to Penguin.

Bad: The Story Lines -- There are too many stories happening at the same time.  Nygma, Penguin, Bruce, Gordon, Falcone, The Court.  All of these individuals have stories that minimally cross over in some parts.  It makes the episode seem jumpy, and difficult to connect.  I still feel that Gotham hasn't quite figured out the type of show it wants to be.  Instead of creating strong, cohesive stories they seem to create a bunch of mini stories that make up a season.  This season we have had Mad Hatter, Penguin as Mayor, Nygma and Isabella, The Court, Captain Barnes' transformation, Mario Falcone, the rise of Barbara, the return of Jerome, Selina's mother, Uncle Frank, the return of Penguin, the rise of Nygma, Bruce's doppelganger, Ivy's change, Bruce's journey, etc.  Many of these could have been strong stories on their own, but became mini-stories that lack a sense of fluidity. 

Photo Courtesy of Fox.

Photo Courtesy of Fox.

Good: The Return of Barbara and Tabitha -- I've always enjoyed their dynamics on Gotham. Yeah they are hot, but I also like that they have become the head of Gotham's Underworld.  They both were interesting characters in previous seasons, whether as Gordon's psychotic ex-girlfriend, or Galavan's sister and bodyguard, but having them as a team works.  They have a strong female presence, and it is interesting to see how they have gained their power.  They are finally leads rather than support characters.

Good: Talon -- His scene was awesome.  Enough said.

Bad: Bruce's Training -- I just can't get into it.  I think they would have been better sending him away, and letting the audience infer what his training was like, seeing as it was already explored in Batman Begins and other various comics.

Photo Courtesy of Fox.

Photo Courtesy of Fox.

Next week's episode looks to unite some of the Gotham Rogues Gallery as Firefly and Freeze look to join Ivy and Penguin against Nygma.  This looks like it could have potential.  What did you think of this week's episode?  Are there too many story lines?  If so, what would you keep and what would you drop?  Leave your comments in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!

Gotham returns next Monday at 8 p.m. on Fox.