Gotham “Mad City: Better to Reign in Hell” Review

Rating: 8.3

SPOILER WARNING FOR THE FOLLOWING GOTHAM REVIEW:This review will contain spoilers for the episode discussed, please make sure to watch before reading the rest of the review, unless spoilers are your thing.

The cops, robbers (and all the broken out creepy crawling inmates from Indian Hill) of everyone’s favorite crime riddled city of Gotham have finally returned for season 4.

Dr. Hugo Strange’s plans for Indian HIll are a bust, all his experimented on psycho Arkham inmates currently running afoul of the city and under the leadership of can’t keep her down Fish Mooney. Bruce Wayne now has evidence of a secret society that has taken over his family’s company Wayne Enterprises and was truly running the horrors that took place at Indian Hill. And Jim Gordon, ready to give love a chance, sets off to find Dr. Lee Thompkins and win her back.

Sadly, Jim’s plan doesn’t go so well. We begin the season seeing Jim approach a quaint little home, on a  much brighter and sunnier day than Gotham has ever seen. Armed with some flowers (chocolates probably hurt either) he is ready to reenter Lee’s life as he hears her laughter coming from inside. A quick peek relieves a happy Lee, setting a table for two, with a handsome new man in her life. Most likely realizing that her days would probably be sunnier like this without him, decides to forego his attempts at rekindling what they once had. Dejected and heart-broken, Jim does what any other man in his position would do: return to Gotham and become a bounty hunter.

It’s six months later and no one can say Jim doesn’t apply himself to his profession as he “apprehends” (translation: lets a bus smash him up)  a rather burly and part rhinoceros (??) escapee who is breaking into a local pharmacy, a repeat offense lately for the escaped prisoners. Jim’s become quite the bounty hunter bringing in 6 escapees much to the chagrin of Captain Barnes, who at a press release tries to calm the distressed public over the whole sticky situation.

Not letting him get away with easy answers is Gotham Gazette reporter, and new character Valerie Vale. She is taking the captain and the mayor to task, the Penguin makes an appearance to join her in this endeavor, in his own special way. He announces to Gotham that the missing, presumed dead, and enemy number one for Cobblepot, Fish Mooney, is leading the escapees and no one is safe until she is brought in. Figuring he might need to up his efforts in this endeavor, Penguins decides to go visit some old frenemies about the matter.

On a rougher side of town, the murderous gal pals Tabitha Galavan and Barbara Kean are running a popular new establishment, Sirens. Penguin and Butch make a stop, with three matters of business. One, to congratulate the two on their successful club (as he knows, that’s not always so easy to run in this town). Two, to offer protection insurance (a vital arrangement in once again this town) to which the two women politely and capably decline. Three, Penguins wants them to put the word out, a million dollar bounty for whoever brings in Fish Mooney. Once business is out of the way, Butch makes some time to pine for his lost love Tabitha, clearly not yet over their break up.

Bounty hunter Jim Gordon enjoys the simple things in life: bashing the skulls of Gotham’s criminals and enjoying a solitary cup of coffee. He will still get to enjoy his first simple pleasure, but the second one might be out with Valerie Vale in town. Valerie’s obviously resourceful, and would love to enlist Jim’s resources in getting her next big story. Jim, uninterested, blows her off, until she drops the million dollar bounty currently out on Fish, which she knows might pique his interests.


Valerie isn’t the only one with resources, because even though Jim isn’t on the GCPD anymore, he still has some powerful friends on the force in Bullock and now in the newly hired Lucius Fox, who has since abandoned working for Wayne Enterprise once learning of the company’s lack of morality and working for the GCPD as their resident expert on everything “weird”.  Lucius informs Jim that he has discovered that the pharmacies being robbed all had one medication in common, an anti-immune drug that could have been used in Strange’s experiments and there’s only one medical facility left unhit in the city that manufactures the drug. Jim is able to head off Fish, Selina, and some experimented cohorts at the FRAY medical facility, not without a scuffle, but is unsuccessful in apprehending his million dollar bounty this time.

Bruce Wayne and Alfred return from a nice long wealthy vacation and now that Bruce is back in Gotham he has a word or two for his company Wayne Enterprises, about their shenanigans. The young Wayne calls a board meeting to make the declaration that he now knows that something within the company is conspiring with a secret society and using his company, and his parent’s good name, to act outside of the law and any moral standards. Bruce vows to find out who within the company is the conspirator and put an end to it. Shortly after the meeting adjourns, creepy owl masked secret society lady gets a call to alert her of Bruce’s action. She sends out a masked assassin, and tells him to make Bruce’s death quick and silent.



As the young billionaire makes a visit to Selena, who still feeds her poor dead friend Firefly’s pigeons, but she is not at all happy to see him. Bruce attempts to explain that he had to leave Gotham to research this secret enemy going after his company, and wants warn Selena to be careful. She takes the warning and gives Bruce a massive cold shoulder. She heads off, basically telling Bruce she can take care of herself. While Bruce is left looking dejected, another person is lurking in the background. It appears Indian Hill was trying to clone people, particularly Bruce. This Bruce double is still a big mystery and we’ll see how his presence will bring trouble to Gotham.

Selena finds Valerie and asks if she is still offering cash for good information, and wants to know how good information on Fish Mooney is. Valerie takes that intel to Jim who decides to make up his plan to flush Fish Mooney out. Jim makes a visit to Dr. Peabody, who appears to be under some kind of witness protection these days after the fall of Indian Hill. Jim wants to use her as bait to get Fish, but once again the trouble making escapees of Indian Hill show up and kidnap Dr. Peabody. Jim has a fight with one and the escapee almost falls out of the window, as Jim grabs him large bat wings are appear flapping from the man’s back. And Valerie is able to get a quick shot of it with her camera from the streets below.

Dr. Peabody is in the hands of her once patients she tortured and experimented on, and Fish is leading them to one purpose: to get her more power. Alas Dr. Peabody isn’t a wealth of information, as she can’t save Fish, only Strange can, and he is being kept away under tight secret. Fish tells Marv, an escapee with the ability to age you rapidly to death, to finish Dr. Peabody off. But trouble emerges as a spy is caught on the scene. The spy turns of out to Ivy, who followed Selena to the scene. Poor Ivy just wants in on some of the action, but Selena was resolute in saying these people were too dangerous and didn’t want Ivy to get hurt. Fish doesn’t take any sympathy to Ivy (maybe don’t call all the scary people that have you captive monsters next time Ivy?), Marv goes in to take care of her but only grasps her for a second, before Ivy falls far down below in an open pipe drain. Something tells me though (casting news) this won’t be the last we see of Ivy.

The premiere comes to an end with a break-in, despite the new security system, of the Owl Lady’s masked assassin as he makes his way into Wayne Manor and knocks out Alfred. With a incapacitated Bruce, he makes his way to what I imagine is Bruce’s 100th time being kidnapped. This season should be a lot of fun as there are many possibilities they go down with the escaped prisoners of Indian Hill, Bruce’s clone boy, and possible get some real answers on this slowly being revealed Court of Owls.

All photos credited to: FOXTV/Gotham


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