Gotham Season 4 Episode 1 Review: Pax Penguina

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Gotham is back in all its goofy glory ready to thrill and chill for another season.

Gotham Season 4 Episode 1 did a fair job setting up the storylines for the season, but did it have to begin with so many head-scratching moments?

We picked up a few months after the Tetch virus mayhem to find Penguin in control of the city (again), Jim in the dark, and Bruce and Selina ready to get their game on.

Eyes on You - Gotham Season 4 Episode 1

There was no doubt Penguin was going to regain control of Gotham and its criminal underbelly. That was the plan at the end of Gotham Season 3 as Fish Mooney lay dying in his arms. 

Only Penguin would come up with the idea to license crime to control the criminals. It's not clear exactly how long the licensing has been in effect, but it seems there are quite a few criminals who hold the right to do it.

It makes me wonder why Jim has just become aware of what Penguin has been doing. Jim is a master when it comes to fighting crime, so it seems like he would have known about Penguin's innovative idea earlier.

It could be that Penguin only just made it official by going to the mayor and police commissioner demanding they follow his new rules, but it's still a bit confusing that no one was aware of these licenses before now.

What was Jim doing all this time? Did he take a break to recover from the Tetch virus, therefore, making him oblivious to everything happening in the city?

If he was working, he must have known the crime rate was going down. Jim's instinct would have been to question and investigate it, yet he didn't do it even though he told Bullock he'd seen these licenses before.

Jim would know it was Penguin behind it and would have done something about it. He wouldn't have waited this long.

It is out of character for Jim to behave this way, but Gotham is Gotham, so I'll go along with it.

Jim vs. Penguin - Gotham Season 4 Episode 1

What I can't go along with is Penguin's wussy behavior after being sprayed with the fear juice. Penguin has shown throughout the seasons what a treacherous villain he can be. He cooked his step-siblings and viciously murdered anyone who got in his way. 

And while I get that the fear juice can bring anyone to their knees, a supposed vicious criminal like Penguin grabbing Jim to save him from his nightmare was embarrassing.

It was unnecessary to show Penguin in that light, and it's annoying that Penguin's character isn't consistent. He's a big, bad villain. Keep him big and bad. Is Penguin's fear really The Riddler? How can he love a man and be so afraid of him at the same time?

Still, Gotham did a decent job setting up the Scarecrow arc, even if Penguin was at the short end of the stick. The Scarecrow is coming, and he looks scary as hell.

I cannot express how exciting it is that Bruce is finally becoming Batman. That seems to be the game plan even though he's still a teenager and isn't as buff as Batman will be. But this is what we have been waiting for since the beginning of the series, and it has finally arrived.

However, there is a time problem with his story, as well. We know at the end of Gotham Season 3 that he was already fighting crime, so what has he been doing since then?

I guess he's been doing what he was doing when we left him. Hasn't anyone realized something is amiss? No one has reported that someone in a long dress coat and a mask is beating the crap out of people?

Surely Penguin would hear about and demand it be resolved immediately.

Unless, like Jim may have been doing, Bruce was laying low, maybe taking care of Alfred. It's not that every moment needs to be accounted for, but it needs to make sense. Fill the plot holes, please!

And one other thing that was bothersome was Bruce jumping off a building with only his long coat yet landing on his feet. I can suspend my disbelief with a lot of things on Gotham, but this wasn't one of those times. 

Baby Bruce No More - Gotham Season 4 Episode 1

At least he could've waited until he had his proto Batsuit before performing tricks.

Selina's story was the most solid as it was apparent she'd been training with Tabitha for the last three months. She showed off her new skills in a way that was quite believable.

Tabitha taking Selina under her wing was one of the best moves the show could take, and I love the dynamic between them. 

It's great that Selina is willing to learn from Tabitha, but it's also great that Selina is still her own woman. She's not letting Tabitha control her; she's making her own decisions.

One of the best parts of the hour was Victor Zsasz making an appearance. He steals the show every time he's on screen. He's scary and humorous at the same time, and I hope we get more than just little doses of him this season. Gotham can do a lot with his character. It just needs to take advantage of his brilliance.

"Pax Penguina" was a bit of a rocky start to the season, but there are good storylines that show promise; Bruce's being the most of exciting of all. Will Baby Batman decide to take on Scarecrow, or will that be Jim's villain to catch? 

Either way, I look forward to what the rest of the season brings. How about you?

What did you think of the season premiere of Gotham? Hit the comments and share your thoughts.

If you need to catch up, you can watch Gotham online right here at TV Fanatic.

Pax Penguina Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (46 Votes)

Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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