As you may or may not have noticed, each week, we're taking a look at many of the characters that have appeared on Fox's Gotham. Last week, we talked about the folks that worked at Gotham Central and this week, since we talked about the cops, we got to talk about the robbers. Well, the people highlighted in the crime syndicate of Gotham.
Like many folks that live their whole lives in New York City or Chicago, when you are born into a bustling metropolis, like Gotham, it's a place you're going to set down your roots and stay in you're whole life, so it makes sense to see so many beloved Batman characters as younger versions of themselves in this show.
We still have a few weeks to go before the winter break for the show is over, so hopefully, this will hold over as many of you Gotham fans as possible. This week is a tad shorter as we're looking at just four key players in the crime syndicate of Gotham. Here they are.
Fish Mooney, played by Jada Pinkett Smith, is one of the very few characters from this show, and the only character in a starring role, that is not based off a character in the DC Universe. While she doesn't appear in the comics, she's still a key player in the fight to lead Gotham's crime syndicate. She's making small plays in order to, in the grand scheme of things, gain control of Gotham's underground.
What's Working: Smith's portrayal of the character, which is large and very out there, works well, even though it's the most polarizing character on the show. It's cool to see someone established be hungry for the main job.
What's Not: She gets buried on some episodes and forgotten about. At times, her story isn't important on the overall show and her scenes feel like filler.
Conclusion: Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney is a great addition to the show. Sure, there's quite a few people that hate the character, but she bridges the weird gap between cop drama and comic book adaptation, with her over-the-top presence on the screen, which is pretty cool for someone not in the comic.
John Doman plays the ringleader of the crime syndicate of Gotham: Carmine "The Roman" Falcone. He's a pretty big deal in the world of comics, as the head of organized crime in Gotham, when Bruce Wayne got back into town. On the show, he's in the same position, but one where there's a pretty big power struggle brewing, right under his nose.
What's Working: John Doman does a swell job as the character. He's stoic and plays a man in charge well. He may be a bit older than some fans would want, but in the end, that doesn't matter.
What's Not: For every good moment this character has, he has some not so great ones as all. Every time he shows his strength, he also shows a lot of weakness. I, like many other characters, don't see Falcone as a man fit for the job.
Conclusion: He's a bit down the middle and surrounded by much more interesting characters actually doing some great things. In the episode prior to the winter break, we did get to see him lay down the law, but overall, he's actually a tiny bit forgettable.
Most Batman fans know who Maroni is. He's the mobster who turned Harvey Dent into Two-Face by throwing acid in his face. While that doesn't happen until years later, unless Gotham wants to do it early, Salvatore Maroni, played by David Zayas, is a an hungry for power and closer than anyone else, who isn't Falcone, to getting it.
What's Working: David Zayas. That's what's working. Ok, I'll admit I'm a David Zayas fanboy, ever since I saw him on HBO's Oz, but while the character only appeared in a few episodes, he made a bit of an impact, and he's a pivotal part of the climb to lead the underground of Gotham.
What's Not: As soon as the credits came up and it said "Guest Starring David Zayas," we knew this wasn't going to be a long-term thing. It's weird to think he's a main player and Penguin's boss, but we haven't seen him in a while.
Conclusion: He's a great part of the Gotham underground dynamic, but not seen as much as he should be. While the cast of this show is already pretty bloated, adding more Maroni will only strengthen the criminal element story lines.
We're saving the best for last. Robin Lord Taylor has all the fans of the show talking for his portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot, the man who would eventually become The Penguin. He's rising through the ranks of Gotham's underground and using everyone around him as pawns. While other characters try to make plays for Falcone's throne, Penguin is playing the long game and we're all watching it happen before our eyes. In the comics, Penguin has a firm grasp, as a leader, on parts of Gotham, but now, he's the man who has to fight off up and comers, like the man he used to be.
What's Working: Out of all the folks fighting to lead the criminal element of Gotham, Penguin's story has the most legs. It's the most interesting because he isn't looking for a quick score. He takes very calculated risks and sets things up for the long run, compared to Mooney who wants power now. In addition, Penguin is playing all sides of the field.
What's Not: He's been a tad bit on the backburner, recently, so the show could focus more on Bruce Wayne. We're getting one short scene a week. It's sad for fans.
Conclusion: In many people's eyes, Penguin is the best part of the show. His story is engaging and Taylor's portrayal of the character is astonishing. He's the character that a lot of folks come back for time and time again.
There you have it for this week. Next week, we'll be talking about the kids of Gotham. Cue fanboy rage across the planet! If you're wondering why Mayor James or Liza aren't a part of this list it's because you'll see them three weeks from now in our supporting characters feature. What do you folks think about this group of characters? What's working for you and what's not?