Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gotham - Episode 4 - Arkham - "You'd have to be crazy to pass on a plan like this."

Last week Gotham through some vigilantism at us. This week we get back to some good old fashion out and out murderous crime.

Let's start with the main trouble of the episode. And hitman, or an assassin if we're being fancy, is walking the streets of Gotham. That is not too amazing a thing. Plenty of people are up for offing someone else's problems. But in this case, someone is killing off councilpersons.

The first one is a sly affair, approaching the politician at night as he goes to his car. He walks up as an eager voter. This puts his bodyguard and him off guard. Then he gets to his killing.

This hitman has a gimmick. Any worthwhile comic book assassin has to have a gimmick. His is the fact he uses an ornate sticking blade. A lovely bit of craftsmanship.

"Yeah. No naked lady. But there is a lot of caked blood..."

He convinces the bodyguard to look into the tube that holds the blade. Idiot.

Then he stab and then slowly finishes off his target. He apologizes to him first, saying that he's voted for him.

So, yeah, he's a cool and efficient killer. Looking at him I feel like there's an unspoken trope in the air.

The police are puzzled by the murder. For Essen and Bullock it can't be a political killing. It's just cheaper to buy off members of the city council. They aren't worth killing. Gordon is leery. His contact with Cobblepot is making him see that something is on the verge of happening.

Bullock starts shaking down muggers. You know, pick up the usual suspects. It's what Bullock turns to.

Gordon doesn't care for it. Then he gets some of the crime scene evidence. He sees that the victim had papers about the Arkham District Development Proposal.

Arkham District. The Sim City game that will follow on Arkham Knight.

As has been hinted at, Arkham Asylum is up in the air. For years it was closed down. Now many different people see it as a path to wealth and power. As it is, the city is planning to level the asylum. Then it is going to redevelop the entire area. New low cost housing. New business. AND, a new large state of the art psychiatric facility.

(Arkham City. With the game in the market, you knew they had to put that reference in.)

But at the same time, another plan is up for the area. Don't update anything, and start dumping toxic waste there. Isn't that a great plan?

The real trouble is that the first plan was the Wayne Enterprise plan for the city. When the Waynes died, Falcone took it over. The other plan is one that is being proposed by Marconi, Falcone's crime competition.

The dead councilperson is a person in the pay of Falcone.

Then another councilperson is killed. He's placed in a barrel outside of Arkham, and then set on fire. It's quite a message, and this politician was in the pay of Marconi.

Arkham Asylum. Stately home of...Oh, he's just escaped.

It's starting to look like a mob war.

Then Edward Nygma proves his value.

"...Could you guys give me a minute? I haven't come up with my fun riddle

He discovers an oddity about the two murders. They were both stabbed by a blade of the same dimensions. A specialized blade. That suggest that these murders are not just tit for tat killings. Something else is at work.

While Gordon and Bullock get close to catching the assassin, they can't get their hands on him.

After some sifting through some clues, Gordon realizes that the next target will be the mayor. He races to the mayor's home and sees that his police security is missing. Going inside he warns the mayor.

"Sir! It's Paul Reiser. He's coming for you!"

Before they can get out and to police headquarters, the assassin is upon them. Gordon tries to fight him off, but loses his gun. They fight and run around the mayoral residence before they finally get the upper hand.

They try to learn who hired him, but he forces them to kill him instead.

So who came up with this plot? And why? Was it a convoluted plan to disrupt the vote to Maroni's favor? Was it the bidding of someone with old Arkham issues? I am curious to learn.

But what happened in the mob's bickering families? The episode proves to create a ripe environment for change.

Maroni seems to be on the move to something, as we see him massing a large amount of cash for some reason.

Falcone is trying to complete the massive Arkham deal to help build up the city, cement his hold, and make himself far richer.

And, Mooney? She seems to be planning. Thoughout the episode she is trying out new attractive young female singers. She listens to them.

"What do you mean there's already a singing contest with a judge who makes
catty comments?"

She has them prove that they know and like to seduce men. Then she takes her top two candidates out to a parking structure. She has the pair fight for a lofty slot with her.


The winner is with her, as she contemplates Falcone's future. She has a plan. But what will it be. A femme fatale? An assassin of her own? How many wheels within wheels is she building for herself?

And Pengie? Well, as we saw last episode he makes his presence known to Gordon. He gives Kean a fake name, so she won't know who he really is.

"I'm...Sorry. I am just blanking on my current alias."

The Gordon takes him outside to scream at. This terrifies Gordon. He let him live, and if anyone learns the truth, he and Kean will be dead.

But Cobblepot begs Gordon to believe that he can help him stop a mob war. Cobblepot assures him that he'll be the man that can save the city, and help Gordon stop the real gruesome events to come.

Cobblepot continues to work for Maroni at his restaurant. He eyes the bags of cash coming in, and keeps his head down.

"Anybody who moves will face the wrath of Nylonface!"

Then the quiet restaurant is utterly changed. Gunmen race into the dining area, and kill the manager. They then start killing the mobster's and workers. Penguin grabs a bag of the money and hides.

"...I wasn't planning to role around naked in this money!"

He's later found by Maroni's men. They take the money, and have him wait to talk with Maroni.

Maroni is impressed with his initiative. So Cobblepot is now the manager of restaurant, and a trusted man in the Maroni organization. He's moving up the ladder. How far is he from being the opposite of Mooney now?

Level Up!

But this story isn't over. Cobblepot later visits a rundown apartment. Inside he finds the gunmen from earlier relaxing and counting the bags of cash they grabbed. Cobblepot congratulates them, and passes them some treats.

"Heeere's...Damn, what's my name with you guys?"

He sits back as they eat. And they quickly die.

"Hrm. Why can't I ever keep friends?"

Now Cobblepot has all the cash. And no one alive knows that he was tied to the hit on Maroni. That is a nice bit of work.

Throughout the episode he does help Gordon, warning him about the danger coming, and helping him get ahead of his assassin.

So I have to ask, did he hire the assassin? Did he want to provoke a fight that would cover his crime? It would mean that he hired an assassin, and then sent the police after him. And then he acted to keep the assassin from finishing the job. (It would mean Cobblepot wouldn't have to pay him.) Then the mayor would still be alive to be of future use.

It wouldn't put it passed the Cobblepot I've known. Is that what we should assume now?

So what happen to Arkham? The results of the killings and fear, and maybe some cash pushed around, is that their was a political compromise. How eerily realistic.

"Despite the rumors, I will not be committed to the asylum."

First some new housing will be built. That will go to Falcone. Their will also be a nice new toxic waste dump. That will be run by Maroni. Arkham Asylum? That stays at it is. It will get rennovated now. And then it will reopen to help cure the troubled inmates that will be entering it.

Ever hear the statement that any solution that leaves no side happy must be a good one? What do you think now?

Granted, Maroni is happy enough. Mooney is to, as Falcone is humiliated. Cobblepot is pretty happy to.

Bruce Wayne isn't though. So much for his mother's dream.

"Right now I'm either going to be vigilante, or start a PAC."

Though we have seen Bruce pivot a little this episode. Instead of being so focused on the murder of his parents, he got engaged on their legacy. The Arkham Project. It's gotten his mind in a matter more in the here and now.

But it meant he had to take a blow when he saw his parent's plan get turned into a toy for mob bosses to fight over. It's a lesson. But it also may be an impetus to ask more questions about his world.


This made for a fun story as the assassin made for a nice new addition to the threats of Gotham. He made for a good villain. I do kind of lament that he got killed.

One thing that surprises me is that Arkham is done now. (Or so I am thinking.) I had thought the debate about Arkham might have stretched through the season. Maybe we'd learn about the asylum's history. Maybe learn about the Wayne ties to it. But the vote about it's future is done.

That isn't to say it's story is done. Up to now it's been a shutdown facility. Now it's to be opened. New staff will need to come to town. It will need to be updated. Perhaps this will lead to visits there. Perhaps it's history will become a matter. Maybe this will lead to an understanding of the Wayne interests.

As I have said before, I don't want to be too obsessed with second guessing the season's plotting. They seem to have a plan. And I want to see where it will lead.

As it is, I hear they will soon be introducing Dr. Leslie Thompson. I hope she'll add to new dimensions in the show.

The one other thing I will note in Kean. She got to leave the apartment this week!!!

It was nice to see. She and Gordon are having trouble. He is keeping secrets. But so is she. So she reveals that she had a drug problem and was involved romantically with Montoya.

Gordon is upset that she never told him. But she's still pissed that he refuses to be open with her. I am usually not on the side of the spouse when they complain about police officer spouses keeping things in. But I do get here concern. He's in some heady business, and she's been left in the dark.

They need to sit down and discuss their relationship and future.

And, again, she's not in the apartment! Hopefully she gets to be more active.

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