Gotham Round Table: March of the Penguin

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Oswald reveals a major plan. Victor Zsaz makes an appearance. Jim goes on a last stand against the mob.

A lot happened on Gotham Season 1 Episode 7, and TV Fanatic writers Robin Harry, Hank Otero, Carla Day and Sean McKenna are putting down their chickens to talk about it.

So join in the latest Gotham Round Table and sound off with your own thoughts below!


What was your favorite scene?

Robin: This was such an intense episode that my favorite scene almost feels wrong, but I have to go with Harvey crashing Jim's place. I loved that Harvey came back to help Jim, but what killed me was the look on Jim's face during "Marco Polo." I was dying!

Hank: Victor Zsaz showing up at the station looking for Jim and all the cops bailing. I thought that was the perfect example of why Gotham doesn't work. Jim is the only freakin' good guy in that whole place. No wonder he ultimately becomes commissioner.

Carla: The reveal that Oswald was working for Carmine the whole time was awesome. In particular, the moment when Oswald picked Jim Gordon as his "executioner" was jaw-droppingly awesome. Up until that moment, Oswald's intelligence was a bit of an unknown. He never seemed stupid, but not really the brilliant read of character and manipulator as this episode revealed.

Sean: I'll go with Oswald showing up to greet Carmine followed by the flashback. While the whole plan was extremly outlandish and hinged on way too many things working out, it was a real surprise to me that Oswald was working for Carmine. It wasn't something I didn't see coming, and on Gotham, that's huge.

Gotham RT - depreciated -

What did you think of Victor Zsaz?

Robin: Hmmm. I liked him, but that's because I like The Joker, and they brought Victor very close to being that kind of humorous sadistic villain. I'm not saying he's the Joker, just that he was Joker-ish.

Hank: I thought he was decent, not terribly memorable. I didn't find him "Joker-ish," but I can see why Robin got that impression. He was chaotic, but much more of a lackey than the Joker would ever be. Mostly, I couldn't shake the fact the actor just played "The Mist" on Flash. Too soon guys!

Carla: When I read this question, my first thought was ... Who was Victor Zsaz? He was okay. I agree with Hank that he was more of an enforcer than a fully-formed villain in his own right though. Joker? I guess he could be, but I didn't make that connection.

Sean: I haven't yet watched The Flash, but I did know that he had just played a character on there. Victor was OK, certainly sadistic, but I can't see him becoming something more. He's definitely Carimne's lackey like Hank said.

Were you surprised Oswald was working for Carmine?

Robin: I did not even remotely see that coming. I was completely surprised! I always figured Oswald was devious, but damn, he's been playing everyone from day one! 

Hank: I've got to say I loved that twist and didn't see it coming. The Penguin is brilliant, now I'm sure Fish Mooney will be gone by the season finale. This season is definitely the rise of The Penguin and I'm okay with that. The gangsters are boring and predictable.

Carla: Absolutely. In a week of shocking moments on Arrow, The 100 and Scandal, this one is right up there with those. Never saw it coming and loved it. Their partnership signals a much more interesting journey going forward.

Sean: Like I said earlier, this twist was great, and not one I saw coming. I can only imagine that that means Fish won't last long this season. Which is perfectly fine by me. If anything, I'd love to see Gotham give Jim (it's good guy focus) a chance to grow and become more of a character like Oswald has been able to do.

What is next for Jim and Harvey?

Robin: Friends for life! Well, not really, but I think they'll continue to watch each other's back, if only just out of necessity.

Hank: I think Harvey's starting to admire Jim actually. Gordon reminds him of the cop he wanted to be before Gotham corrupted him. From Jim's end it seems he's listening a bit more and attempting to see Harvey's point of view. Their dynamic is one of the best parts of this series.

Carla: I want to believe that Harvey's sincere, but I'm not entirely convinced yet. He could be playing Jim to keep in the dark side's good graces. If Harvey's sincere, then this is just as intriguing an alliance as that of Oswald and Carmine. I'm withholding my final decision until we see Harvey actually be there for Jim for more than a moment.

Sean: I'm glad the animosity for lying was short and not dragged out. To see those two working together, with their banter was far more engaging than watching them hate on each other. Plus, to see Harvey take the backseat and choose to follow Jim was definitely an indication of what hopefully Jim can do as the series goes on. Those two are definitely in it together now!

Do you think Gotham is too cartoony or just right the amount?

Robin: The show has struggled to find a balance between the camp and the grit, but I thought this episode hit the perfect balance. It was just campy enough to keep it entertaining but gritty enough to keep it grounded.

Hank: Oddly enough, I find it more cartoony than The Flash, Arrow or S.H.I.E.L.D. While the overall noir vibe works, it's the dialogue and over-acting that makes Gotham way too campy for my taste. This is the one comics-based show that doesn't take its characters seriously. Mooney and the gangsters specifically are such caricatures they make Gotham seem like a Batman parody. There are moments that feel like something out of the classic 1960's Batman series, which simply doesn't work today. I'm out at the first "Bam!", "Pow!" or "Zap!

Carla: I keep watching Gotham because I hope it will lose that over-the-top cartoony aspect. This was the first episode that I really loved. If the show maintains this level of intrigue and toned down cartoony, I'll be happy. I'm not convinced we'll see that happen though.

Sean: It's hard (and maybe because my thoughts on Batman want it to be more like the Christopher Nolan films) but I haven't loved this show yet. I want to, but I agree that the dialogue and over-acting are reigning supreme (and the hour was written by series creator Bruno Heller). I can't but think of 1930s mobsters or a campy version that ties closer to Adam West's Batman despite the dark and violent setting of Gotham. There's still plenty to like and the Batman fan in me clings on that the show will improve, but it makes me wonder how long the show can sustain viewers.

And check out Gotham Season 1 Episode 8...

Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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Gotham Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

Stop treating me like a child! Explain!


Told you. Easy as pie.