Gotham: The Complete Fourth Season
Review by KC Carlson
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that many viewers of TV’s Gotham considered its previous season as possibly a transitional one. The recent arrival here of Gotham: The Complete Fourth Season will most likely emphasize that on my second viewing. My re-watching it on Blu-Ray will provide for both crystal clear and murky and moody visual storytelling. Gotta love technology…
(Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed here. The opinions are my own.)
I’m informed that the subtitle for Season 4 is “A Dark Knight” — although this is not mentioned anywhere in the season set packaging. Longtime Batman fans, however, are intimate with the phrase and know what’s coming soon, even though they know what that means for how the series must eventually change. And eventually end (or more correctly, move on to somewhat different storytelling).
But that’s getting ahead of this discussion, about the show’s previous season, which is now available for purchase or streaming. The particular package sent to me includes all 22 originally broadcast episodes (four of them expanded with bonus Deleted Scenes), plus two special features.
The first, “Solomon Grundy: Born on a Monday” runs nine and a half minutes and documents the almost-season-long story of how criminal Butch Gilzean was transformed into the monstrous Solomon Grundy by both mystical and chemical means — and how he eventually forms an easy bond with series regular Edward Nygma (AKA the Riddler). Actor Drew Powell plays both versions of Gilzean/Grundy and discusses this on-camera in the mini-doc.
The other special feature is “The Sirens Take Gotham” (13 minutes), featuring the trio of Barbara Kean (Erin Richards); Selina Kyle, the future Catwoman (Camren Bicondova); and Tabatha Galaven, aka the Tigress (Jessica Lucas) — a trio of friends, mentors, and sociopaths, to various degrees. They’ve had successful alliances so far, but the doc hints that the characters all feel like they’ve been marginalized, and the show’s producers indicate that because of this, all the alliances are going to change for the new season. Wow, I hope they’re not “fixing” what wasn’t broken to begin with. These women are often the best part of the show.
Also included is almost an hour of “The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels: San Diego 2017”. This features mini-clips and panel excerpts with stars from all the DC Comics television programs, and because of this, like last year, this special feature will repeat on all the other DC TV series collections (The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow).
Much of Gotham season 4 was based on bits and pieces (“loose interpretations”) from some of the comic books’ most famous Batman stories including Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: Year One, and Batman: No Man’s Land. The Scarecrow, Professor Pyg, and Ra’s al Ghul are the villains that take prominence this season.
I’m looking forward to watching the season again. What I will be watching for when I do re-watch soon: Any scene with Donal Logue (playing Harvey Bullock), Sean Pertwee (Alfred Pennyworth), or Robin Lord Taylor (Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin) in it. When the show runs its course, I hope somebody develops a wacky sitcom starring the three of them. Lead actor Ben McKenzie (James Gordon) debuts as a scriptwriter this season on the episode “The Demon’s Head”, and it appears he also may have an interest in directing.
The upcoming season five might be the one where David Mazouz (young Bruce Wayne) might actually be taller than Ben McKenzie! Yikes! That kid grows like a weed!
Gotham: The Complete Fourth Season is available to purchase on Blu-ray and on DVD starting today. We already know that the next season will be the last, and it will have fewer episodes than this one. Reportedly, it will air on Thursday evenings when it returns. And since Fox already airs Thursday Night Football on that night, it seems likely that the show won’t return until at least January 2019. This set can tide you over in the meantime.