Well, that was fast.
While Jim’s tenure at the famous location now looks like it was a way to set up for The Electrocutioner (rather than a change of focus for the show), I was glad we got to learn more about Jack Gruber and his true identity during the hour.
Where Jack was relegated to a few short moments before the reveal at the end of Gotham Season 1 Episode 11, he got some front and center time to cause his electric mayhem.
From messing with the mind of the State Farm Discount Double-Check guy to causing problems with Sal Maroni, I was actually far more engaged with Jack’s antics, especially considering we got some backstory to his motives. There was a reason he went after the people he did.
Yes, there was still some of that campiness that seems to surround the characters of Gotham, but Christopher Heyerdahl was able to elevate his character’s presence from the last time we saw him. Certainly, Jack’s nickname of The Electrocutioner is much scarier than the likes of a name such as The Balloonman, but there was something to the costume design and dialogue delivery for Jack’s character (plus having his henchman follow him around) that really made me believe he could be someone Batman might fight in the future.
This was a far better focus on the character than his introduction, though I wasn’t surprised to see his defeat by the end. Done in by those pesky rubber shoes.
The hour definitely felt much more like a comic book (the cinematography and camera angles really added to that), and one that really wants to have that noir style in an era that still uses projectors and flash-bulb cameras. In some respects, that style works, but there’s still things that almost feel too ridiculous.
Take, for instance, Fish’s big play against Carmine Falcone. She finally made her move… over the telephone. I get that she wanted to pay him a certain level of respect and tell him to get out of town, but did she really think it would be that easy? Fish, who sent in a secret weapon that reminded Carmine of his mother, thought everything would go so perfectly?
I guess she thought his affections for Liza would work, but of course, Oswald shattered those plans in his reveal to Carmine.
I’m glad Carmine didn’t go down so easily, but I really expected something much more dramatic with Fish trying to take control. Perhaps that will come by the end of Gotham Season 1 because while he was quick to kill Liza, he merely locked up Fish.
Classic bad guy move: letting your enemy live so they can wind up finishing you off later.
Ultimately, this hour fit right in line with Gotham’s case of the week episodes, though Heyerdahl was definitely a highlight. And while we got a new romantic pairing with Jim and Dr. Leslie Thompkins (sorry, Barbara), its still the least interesting aspect of the series.
Additionally, it seems that Gotham wants to move quickly from its stories and bad guys, but I wish that we would get a little longer to go in depth with some of the characters. Give them time to grow, especially the enemies that Jim must face.
This was a step up from the previous installment, but Gotham still feels very surface level. There’s plenty of style, sure, but I’d love for it to get some more substance.
What did you think of the hour? Do you want to see The Electrocutioner again? Sound off below, and catch all the latest episodes when you watch Gotham online now.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.