TV Reviews

Gotham Season 3 Episode 1 Mad City: Better to Reign in Hell Recap

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Gotham ever since it began. It has so much promise considering its source material but it has always been mostly average to meh for me. I feel like the show is stretched out way too much, taking the focus away from the story in favor of useless fluff. The reason why I’ve kept watching it is that I’m just waiting for it to get better. Also, it’s become a habit for me.

The new tagline for this season is “Mad City” which pretty much fits the bill here. Last season ended with a bus full of inmates from Indian Hill, led by the annoying Fish Mooney, escaping the prison and heading back into Gotham. The good thing is at least Jada Pinkett Smith is not listed as a series regular if that is any indication.

Last season ended with Jim looking for Lee but at the beginning of this episode, he finds her but also finds that she is now living with someone else. Seeing that she looks happy, he gives up his search and goes back to Gotham.

So time has passed between then and the premiere and those so called criminals have been reaping havoc upon the city. It has been up to the GCPD and bounty hunters in order to capture the criminals. Of course most of them are still out there. Thankfully Jim Gordon is still on the case but it is still not as a detective but rather as a gruff, jaded bounty hunter. This is definitely a better place for him as the whole GCPD angle has been holding him back. He probably won’t be there forever but it’s nice to see this darker side.

Early on, we get to see this season’s newest addition with a newspaper reporter named Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung). She appears to be a great reporter in that she gets into just about everything going on in Gotham. Also with any new female addition, there’s always the remote chance of hooking up with Gordon at some point.

The GCPD have been trying to keep the whole escaped criminal thing under wraps but that doesn’t last long as Penguin comes in during a press conference to blurt out to the people of Gotham that these criminals are out there. This was what set things into motion for the rest of the episode as now everybody knows what’s going on and that Fish Mooney is responsible for it. This search is amplified once Penguin offers anyone a million dollars to anyone who would bring him Fish, either dead or alive. This allows seeds to be planted for the Gordon and Vale relationship as both team up in order to find Fish Mooney.

It may come as a shock to some but Barbara is still crazy. Now she is running a bar with Tabitha with the help of Penguin. In another subplot, Bruce has looked into the mysterious group running Wayne Enterprises behind the scenes and confronts them with this new information. After learning that he is on to them, one member calls upon an assassin to “make it quick”. “Other” Bruce is lingering around, watching from the shadows and trying to figure out who this other Bruce is.

Meanwhile, Fish and her cronies appear to be looking for a certain type of drug in order for her to “survive”. She is weakening everytime she uses her power and being the person she is, she wants to keep using her power. In her desperation, she finds Hugo Strange’s assistant Ms. Peabody in the hopes that she would fix her but unfortunately, only Strange can fix her.

At the end of the episode, the assassin finally shows up where he engages into a fight and gets the upper hand on Alfred. Surprisingly or not, Bruce comes down to check on Alfred and is then kidnapped. This episode left a lot questions. Why did he not make it quick? What’s up with other Bruce? Who is part of this mysterious group running Wayne Enterprises?

Overall, this was a decent way to start the season but was still rather meh in my opinion, not better nor worse than past episodes but was more of the same.

Score: 7/10

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