Welcome to the weekly Super Hero Comic Book TV Power Rankings! In which every week I discuss and rank the weeks Super Hero TV shows. This means shows like Flash, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Constantine and Gotham. Sorry Walking Dead fans but there areo Super Power elements in your show. Please feel free to comment and yell at me for what I did wrong or how off base I was with my rankings. I’ll see you in the comments
Warning: Here be Spoilers
Who are you and what have you done to Gotham!? Man, this episode was not messing around. A direct continuation from last (my favorite type of progression) and it ramped up from the previous episode’s strong ending.
I’m not sure if you guys had noticed, but I’ve rarely mention the main character, Jim Gordon in these write ups. Why? Because he’s probably the most bland character on the show and really brought nothing to the table. That all changes with this episode. Gordon shows off a real hard edge that has been sorely lacking and reminds us that he can play hardball when needed. His dispatching of Gilzean and his ballsy attitude when walking into the police station after every cop knows that he’s a dead man was great and gives us a glimpse of the man he is destined to become in the comics.
Much better than his appearance in The Flash was Anthony Carrigan’s portrayal as Victor Zsasz. His creepy look and intimidating presence was of much better use here than when he was “The Mist”. I loved how he is used as a “big gun” whenever Falcone needs something done and it needs to be done right. His presence means that the mob boss is flexing his muscle and the show should continue to utilize him that way. I mean, compare Victor to Nygma in the context of the show and tell me who’s storyline you would rather follow. His scene in the police station, while almost comically overdone was still very effective. The fact that Victor can empty an entire station with a few words shows how cowardly and neutered the Gotham police force really is.
Not everything was great though, Bullock kind of just decides he should give Jim another chance without any sort of development or thought. I mean, it’s not like he’s a core character or anything… Bruce Wayne keeps getting shoe horned into the plot and somehow made Alfred a hilarious middle aged racist when he straight up JACKED Crispus Allen for apparently knocking on the door? The episode also leaves me with a sort of loathing for Barbara as she does a super dumb move that ruins everything that Gordon was trying to accomplish.
Falcone, aside from having the look of a mob boss wasn’t doing much for me as a character until this episode either. Recent revelations however, show that Carmine Falcone is much smarter than everybody in the room by a country mile and all of a sudden I can’t wait to see what he does next.
The best episode of Gotham by far and next episode will either be a cool down or keep the momentum.
The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak
First off, kudos to the nod to classic comic book tropes. Secondly, I feel like the show is brown nosing a bit here with all the Felicity love. Not that this episode delves into the deep dark background of Felicity but I always tend to dig these types of episodes. The ones where we see a supporting character before they hooked up with the main hero, in this case we meet goth Felicity who was a “hacktivist”. We also meet her mom who drops by unexpectedly for some comic relief and it works I guess? Honestly the whole goth bit and the embarrassing mom who drops by thing is a tad overdone and while it works here it’s painfully by the numbers.
The plot is that Brother Eye attacks the city, and no, it’s not that brother eye. Not the cool one Batman built/fought/whatever the continuity is at this point. It’s a hacker who takes control of Starling City for like a night…. Then the Arrow stops him annnnd yeah! That’s the plot. I feel like having an engaging and entertaining plot while at the same time providing good character moments is one of the hardest things to do in TV so most shows never hit that point and few shows hit that mark even a few times. I feel like Arrow has done it before but this is sadly not one of them. We have some moments with Roy, with Laurel and even with Ollie and Thea but nothing substantial and Felicity’s main arc is really of no consequence. It’s like the writers decided that she needed an origin but it’s ultimately uninspired and the only real interesting plot point is the end of the episode which has nothing to do with her. I won’t spoil it here but it sheds some light on the murder of Sara and was far more interesting than anything else that happened here.
If you are going to phone it in, I’d rather have you not try it at all. Even my TV crush can’t save this uninspired episode.
Agents of SHIELD
No Shield this week due to politics
No Flash this week due to politics
The Devil’s Vinyl
One of the things that has always made me self conscience about being a comic book fan, is that whenever a favorite story arc of mine, would make it onto my tv screen via film, cartoon or what have you, is how flat it would all feel. So many idiosyncrasies would be lost in the transition and I would find myself doubting if I ever liked the story at all.
Thats how Constantine makes me feel. Of the limited Hellblazer books I’ve read there were so many cool moments in those stories and character traits that sound great when explaining them to a friend. On screen so much of what makes Constantine “cool” seems lost in translation. If I were to read a 6 issue comic arc about John Contantine and a demonic record, I would eat it up. Here, it’s just an episode full of moments where a guy on TV is trying despaately to sound cool. Hearing John explain to Zed about the band he was in in his youth comes across as someone loudly proclaiming how cool they are with half true stories that no ones cares about.
You may think it’s harsh to give a show so much grief for being 3 episodes in, but with a concept with so much potential it’s frustrating to see this going to waste. I mean could you imagine if Russell T. Davies or Stephen Moffat got to sink their teeth into Constantine? My review to this episode is this: there was some spooky stuff, Chas showed up and Constantine and Zed were passive aggressive with each other.
So yeah, an episode about a demonic record with the voice of Lucifer seems like it would be great but all the false bravado here makes it ring hollow.
A surprisingly competent trailer dropped check it out
Current Power Rankings Note: Because Arrow and Constantine were so unimpressive this week they still stay under the shows that didn’t have episodes this week due to Election Day
Gotham (1) Previously (3)
Flash (2) Previously (1)
Agents of SHIELD (3) Previously (2)
Arrow (4) Previously (4)
Constantine (5) Previously (5)