‘Gotham’ Season 4 Premiere Recap: “Pax Penguina” – Out with the Old, In with the New

Collider | 9/22/2017 | Vinnie Mancuso
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Outside of a few rejected album reviews drunkenly sent to every music magazine in the country at 4 AM, I rarely get the chance to compare Fox’s batshit Batman prequel Gotham to the music stylings of Taylor Swift. But the show’s Season 4 premiere, titled “Pax Penguina,” provided a surprisingly prescient opportunity to do just that. Much like Swift hinted at her transition from a sugar-laced pop-singer into something angrier and more prone to shop at Hot Topic by declaring the Old Taylor was dead, young Jonathan Crane announced that he, too, has officially become something darker. “Jonathan Crane isn’t here anymore,” he says at the episode’s conclusion. “It’s just the Scarecrow.”

Trust me, the Swift comparison makes more sense than it seems. The death of the “Old Gotham” and rise of the “New Gotham” is the entire point of this show’s existence, that period when muggers and pickpockets were slowly replaced by homicidal clowns and psychotic Trivia Night hosts, and things got so out of control that the town’s richest citizen was forced to dress like a flying rodent and throw bat-shaped ninja stars into criminals’ kneecaps. Jonathan Crane emerging from a closet wielding a fear toxin and acting under the influence of a hallucinated fire-breathing scarecrow is both A) very, very similar to the writing process on “Look What You Made Me Do,” I assume, and B) just the latest sign that Gotham—and Gotham—is still on track to become the supervillain-infested madhouse we all know and love.

Dark - Mid-afternoon - Dark - Night - Oswald

Unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet; we’re in the Dark Mid-afternoon before the Dark Night, and Oswald Cobblepot is still trying to enforce his unique brand of violence-based order on the city. The former mayor and current Iceberg Lounge nightclub entrepreneur has introduced the Licenses of Misconduct, a system of Get Out of...
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