TV Show Review

TV Review: GOTHAM: Season 1, Episode 7: Penguin’s Umbrella [Fox]

Zabryna Guevara Ben Mckenzie Gotham Penguin's Umbrella

Fox‘s Gotham Penguin’s Umbrella TV Show Review. Gotham: Season 1, Episode 7: Penguins Umbrella doesn’t deliver on all its promises, but it does deliver a good time. It can be said in Gotham‘s favor that the show is rarely predictable; that it constantly throws in new elements to keep people

guessing where it will go, but it can also be said that some of these elements come at the expense of what logically should be happening. The biggest offender in this regard is definitely the rise of Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor); it’s one of the most important events in the series and as such, should provide a compelling narrative, but is touched on only sporadically, which at times also makes his conspiracy seem more haphazard than it would otherwise. True to this form, Penguin‘s Umbrella doesn’t really star Penguin. The end of last episode seemed to suggest that he was about to ignite a war between the Falcone mob and GCPD, wherein the latter would have no choice but to ally with him, but while it becomes apparent here why that doesn’t happen and what his actual motive was, it still seems like it would have been an exciting scenario–for another day, perhaps.  Another disappointment is that the trailer included a shot of Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) loading up a sub-machine gun, suggesting that he’d be mowing down some bad guys or at least trying–in fact, this is used only to threaten people, and could easily have been his standard-issue pistol, making the big gun seem like nothing but trailer fodder.

These issues aside, Penguin’s Umbrella has a lot going for it. Jim Gordon may not get to fire off his automatic, but he still gets a lot of action courtesy of the conflict, in which he’s almost alone until finally some other cops come over to his side. It also helps that the Villain of the Week confronting him, Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan), is maybe the best yet.  Zsasz isn’t in it for very long, but all things considered, that’s probably a good thing, and he’s very much a part of the bigger picture, in a series where many other VOTWs just distract from it. Best of all, though, Zsasz is fun. Evil characters are like girl characters; too many writers don’t think to give them any traits beyond those adjectives. Victor Zsasz, however, manages to be amusing in his happy-go-lucky brand of villainy; doing things that don’t contribute at all to furthering his agenda and aren’t scary at all in themselves, but do nail him home as a DGAF kind of guy on all levels. Particularly in the episode’s climax, he provides perhaps the funniest throwaway gag in the series so far.

The mobsters, too, get into quite a scuffle over Cobblepot, and narrowly avert a full-scale war when their leaders, Carmine Falcone (John Doman) and Sal Maroni (David Zayas) meet and agree to a settlement; even with Gordon coming in for an arrest. Finally, Penguin may play a small, subtle part, but it’s still important, and saying anymore would probably be too close to a spoiler. Suffice it to say, though, that for anyone who’s been with this series since the beginning, it’s quite a treat!

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About the author

Thomas Fairfield

Over a decade ago now, Thomas Fairfield wrote a thread on IGN's Sonic the Hedgehog board, impressing other users with his eloquence. Soon after, he would also come to irritate them due to his self-righteousness. A legacy was born, and Thomas is still impressing and irritating people all across the Internet, whether on his personal blog, http://entertainmentexaminer.blogspot.com/ , or on many other sites where he has accounts. When he's not typing out walls of text, Thomas can be found engaging in a number of other activities, such as playing Team Fortress 2 and belching in the microphone, hugging his cats, and learning Japanese.

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