The bloody first half of Gotham’s fourth season has ended… bloody. The comics often dive into violence, but this show has such a wonton campiness to its violence that it is actually quite easy to get swept up in it.
It has been a spectacular and Grant Morrison-y ride so far with Professor Pyg and Scarecrow, but in the end returned to its crime pulp roots in “Queen Takes Knight”‘s final moments. Carmine Falcone being killed off in the opening minutes of the episode was a devastating, but fitting, gut punch considering Gotham City is no longer the place where a gangster like himself belongs but is a place where a schemer like Sofia Falcone or Penguin can actually thrive.
A whole era in the comics was based on Falcone being the first foe that Batman ever faces. Those adventures will now never happen, at least not in their original form, which is not surprising for a show that is apparently now shipping Riddler and Leslie Thompkins. The underworld of Gotham City will be a drastically altered place now that Carmine Falcone is gone, his daughter taking his seat of power and Penguin in Arkham… So everything will not be so different. The path Gotham has set for the rest of its season has me excited to see how it unfolds.
The real surprise, however, comes with the fallout. It’s entirely possible that, after Gordon’s trusting Sofia Falcone has blown up in his face, his relationship with Bullock will turn antagonistic. The beginning of Bruce Wayne’s Dark Knight career has also taken an interesting turn with Alfred taking a stand against his playboy persona, which turned physical, and getting fired for his troubles. The officers killed by Professor Pyg, on the orders of Sofia Falcone to manipulate her way to power, is now on Jim Gordon’s head because he got so swept up in Sofia’s seduction that he turned his back on his best friend Harvey Bullock when he was at his lowest.
The underworld of Gotham City received a new face in this episode which is fitting considering that in the final moments of the episode we meet Oswald Cobblepot’s new next door neighbor in Arkham Asylum: Jerome, the show’s proto Joker who will surely have something to say about Bruce’s nocturnal activities when the show returns next year.
The process of changing Sofia Falcone from femme fatale/damsel into full-blown criminal mastermind also effectively changed the landscape of the show into noir. The further we get to Bruce Wayne donning his Dark Knight persona, the more the world around him is matching his comic origins with the next season hopefully being a complete Batman tv show.