ReviewsTelevision & Film

Is GOTHAM A Mad City?


Episode 301 “Better To Reign In Hell”
Written by: John Stephens
Directed by: Danny Cannon


Welcome back, Batfans, this week was the season 3 premiere of Gotham. This episode takes place 6 months after the season 2 finale left off and we get to see where our favorite, not so favorite, and new characters are and what they’ve been up to. We also find out that some of the Indian Hill inmates have escaped and have been committing crimes.


Cop Out
GOTHAM: Ben McKenzie in the Mad City: Better to Reign in Hell FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX.
GOTHAM: Ben McKenzie (Jeff Neumann/FOX)

Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is no longer a cop and is now setting a path of being a bounty hunter and a pretty good one at that. He suspects that Lee (Morena Baccarin) is dating another guy after looking through her living room window to see her and the other guy share a kiss. He then leaves and no dialogue is exchanged, so now we have a more hardened chip on his shoulder.

Back in Gotham, Jim is on the hunt for Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith); he wants to get her for the $1 Million reward that Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) has set for her and he wants to stop the robberies that her gang has been doing.

Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung) is a reporter in town she teams up with Gordon to help find more information about Indian Hill and Fish. She is a spunky “take nothing from anyone” reporter who will go anywhere and do anything for her job. I like her loyalty and admire her dedication to her job and I think she will be a great welcome addition to the show. If you are familiar with the comics and batman movies, Vicki Vale is a love interest for Batman. This is Vicki’s aunt.

Of course, Valerie isn’t exactly everything she makes out to be. She’s on the hunt for a good story, so she figures to latch onto Jim to get the scoop. She helps him, he helps her. Only she gets more than what she bargained for when she sees one of Fish’s thugs sprout bat wings during a confrontation with Jim at the apartment of Ms. Peabody (Tonya Pinkins).

Poor Ms. Peabody. Used pretty much for bait by Jim, she gets caught and taken to Fish, who demands a stabilizing agent for her powers. Ms. Peabody says only Dr. Hugo Strange can do that kind of work — if it can be done at all — and that pretty much seals her fate. Marv (Victor Pagan) is the one who “hands” Ms. Peabody her doom, by grabbing her and soaking the life out of her in seconds. Shades of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Penguins Eat Fish
GOTHAM: Robin Lord Taylor in the Mad City: Better to Reign in Hell season premiere episode FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX.
GOTHAM: Robin Lord Taylor (Jeff Neumann/FOX)

After a pep talk from Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) Penguin goes to the GCPD office and says that the reason for the Indian Hill residents escaping, and the person currently in charge of their activities, is Fish Mooney.

After dropping that little bombshell, he and Butch (Drew Powell) go to visit Barbara (Erin Richards) and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) at their new club. Oswald offers them protection but they decline. Penguin then sets a $1 Million reward for anyone who brings Fish to him either alive, dead, or chopped into little bits. Penguin is going down his path to becoming the crime lord of Gotham and is getting more ruthless. He is continually my favorite character on this show.

Fish Out of Water

Meanwhile, Fish has some Sith Lord powers now as a result of her stay at Indian Hill, but whenever she uses them it wears her out and she has to get medicine to replenish her powers and strength, so she and some of her Indian Hill people rob pharmacies and medicine supply shops. Fish’s new crew is going to be an interesting dynamic in the city.

GOTHAM: Guest star Jada Pinkett Smith in the Mad City: Better to Reign in Hell. FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX.
GOTHAM: Guest star Jada Pinkett Smith (Jeff Neumann/FOX)
Line in the Sand

Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) are back from Switzerland, and Bruce goes to see Selina (Camren Bicondova) and apologize for leaving how they left things. This after Bruce confronts the board of Wayne Enterprises to announce that he has evidence of collusion between board members and those responsible for the atrocities at Indian Hill. Paints a big target on his back. Then they go for pancakes.

Later that night, on the orders of the Court of Owls, a superpowered hitman invades Stately Wayne Manor and manages to kidnap Bruce after a rough-and-tough tussle with Alfred.

Cat on a Hot Gotham Roof

Selina is working with Fish Mooney on one her heists and then leaves to go to the rooftop place where she and Ivy Pepper (Clare Foley) live. They feed their birds and then Seilna leaves and Ivy gets confronted by a guy who looks exactly like Bruce Wayne but with longer hair and he asks where Bruce Wayne is. I wonder that the dynamic between Selina, Ivy, Bruce, and the clone is going to be.

Selina is also growing to understand that there are some weird things happening with Fish, with the powers and everything. And it comes crashing down for her when Ivy shows up where she’s not supposed to be. Giving chase, the Fish Goon Squad catch Ivy on the roof, and when Marv — the one with with the aging powers, remember — catches up to Ivy, he barely has her in his grasp before Ivy slips and falls into the rushing water of a nearby storm pipe.

This will come back to haunt us, Gothamites.


My theory on the clone Bruce is that he has a rapid aging disease and will actually suit up to become the Batman after spending time with normal-age Bruce, Selina, and Alfred. We don’t know what kind of powers or abilities the clone has, if any, but so far he is the same as Bruce…

just with a hairstyle from The Crow.




Jeff Hackworth

Jeff Hackworth hails from the Republic of Texas, where he possesses mascot powers, cosplay skills, Power Ranger knowledge, comics and video game abilities, while being a mild mannered school teacher.

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