Review: Gotham S1E7 ‘Penguin’s Umbrella’

                                                         MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
‘Penguin’s Umbrella’ is a near perfect
episode that achieves the potential of that the series began with.
More crime drama than Batman prequel, gone are the flaws that brought
down the previous episodes quality and are replaced with high stakes
and a sustained air of tension throughout. The promises made by the
Pilot are fully realized and it is the best episode of the series by
The story centers on the fallout from
Cobblepot’s revelation that he is indeed alive and well and that
Gordon disobeyed the order of Gotham’s criminal godfather Carmine
Falcone. The idealistic young detective finds his life spiraling out
of control, targeted by the Mob, his fiancee forced to flee the city,
and the G.C.P.D has forsaken him. But he’s not completely alone, he
gets help from old friends and unlikely new allies when he finds
himself on the run from the Mob’s vicious hired killers led by Victor
Zsasz, a sadistic killer who carves notches in his flesh for every
kill. Not only has Cobblepot’s survival put his life on the line but
has shattered the already fractures truce between Gotham’s feuding
criminal gangs. The Penguin’s manipulation of Sal Maroni and his crew
has escalated tensions between the Mobster and Falcone’s crew, not
least Fish Mooney. Each gang lashes out at each other violently with
Cobblepot at the center of the chaos, a grinning, pale faced
Almost every element of the show falls
perfectly into place and the flaws that prevented the series from
achieving its potential are cast aside. The dull relationship melodramatics between
Gordon and Barbara are gone for the most part and her presence in the
episode actually adds to the story this time around. There are also
no forced allusions to Bruce Wayne’s destiny, it’s refreshing not to
be continuously reminded of a fact that we all know already. All the performances,
even Richards, are pitch perfect and everybody brings their A game to
the episode which I feel is a real game changer for the show. The
focus on crime drama over the somewhat repetitive villain of the week
stories that have led up to this point lifts it to new heights., and
by the end of the episode the status quo is changed in such a way as
to alter the direction of the entire arc which makes things fresh
and exciting. The great pacing of the episode allowed for all the
major players in the show to get their moment on screen while at the
same time zipping back and forth between the action and showing the
escalation of the gang feud which drives the series.
‘Penguin’s Umbrella’ also serves as an
introduction of one of Batman’s comic book foes, Victor Zsasz. While
a tad over the top in places the character is well realized and is a
welcome addition to the ranks of Falcone’s crew. He didn’t feel
forced on the audience and his first appearance was quite memorable
and the actor adequately creepy.
All the strengths of the show were shown, especially Lord-Taylor as the Penguin, and the weaknesses that had haunted the show were expunged. 

All in all a near perfect episode that transcended the series batman prequel premise and became it’s own entity, a Gothic crime drama. 9/10

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