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Gotham: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray Review)

As everyone gears up for the final season of Gotham, it’s time to go over the fourth and surprisingly best season of the series. I’ve been clear in my thoughts about the Batman show not featuring Batman in the past. The first season was a disappointment, the second season improved upon things, and the third season found the series embracing its craziness. The fourth season continues that trend, working more as a supervillain ensemble series, that happens to be in favor of the good guys somewhat succeeding, in the long run, to keep things going. Regardless of how compelling the storytelling is, this show works best as a wild and colorful series, happy to throw viewers through a loop by way of costume and production design, and the over-the-top acting that comes with it. Now fans can take in this fourth season, boasting some extras, and more.

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Series: 

As many already know, this series is set in Gotham City, before the days of Batman. Ben McKenzie stars as Jim Gordon, who continues to be pushed by all the madness around him. As this season begins, Robin Lord Taylor’s Oswald Cobblepot is in control of Gotham’s underworld and finding ways to make crime “legal.” Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) has been pushed far enough to begin early vigilante work, to bring justice to his city. And that’s just a basic setup.

Many other villains are still at large and embarking on various schemes. Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) are attempting to hold their own level of criminal control, though Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) finds her way back thanks to some mysterious assistance. Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) manages to get out of a previous predicament, forming an alliance with Butch aka Solomon Grundy (Drew Powell), and finding his way into the nest of an underground fighting circus led by Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin).

One of the new arrivals is Sofia Falcone (Crystal Reed), who makes things challenging for Gordon, even with her assistance in going after Professor Pig (Michael Cerveris), and helping to bring balance to all the criminal activity taking place. This matters little compared to one of the most significant aspects of the season, which is the continued rise of “sorta Joker” Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) and the assistance he gets from Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel) and Jonathan Crane (David W. Thompson).

Plenty of other regulars fighting for the good of the city continue being a presence as well, including Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), and Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk). It all amounts to a continued fight for a Gotham that can thrive amidst so much corruption.

This Blu-ray set includes all 22 episodes of the second season.

  1. Pax Penguina
  2. The Fear Reaper
  3. They Who Hide Behind Masks
  4. The Demon’s Head
  5. The Blade’s Path
  6. Hog Day Afternoon
  7. A Day in the Narrows
  8. Stop Hitting Yourself
  9. Let Them Eat Pie
  10. Things that Go Boom
  11. Queen Takes Knight
  12. Pieces of a Broken Mirror
  13. A Beautiful Darkness
  14. Reunion
  15. The Sinking Ship the Grand Applause
  16. One of My Three Soups
  17. Mandatory Brunch Meeting
  18. That’s Entertainment
  19. To Our Deaths and Beyond
  20. That Old Corpse
  21. One Bad Day
  22. No Man’s Land

At this point, I find myself giving in to the show, which seems to have also given into its gut instincts. As much as the series may want to promote the inherent good that can be found, believing in people like Gordon, it is much more comfortable in the glamor of evil. With such a long list of Batman villains to work with and no real care about the lack of Batman, Gotham has found plenty of ways to incorporate plenty of iconic and less-iconic villains, while keeping it all quite entertaining. The only downtime comes from complicated romantic interludes involving Gordon or Bruce, which is less compelling compared to the utter madness seen from Jerome, for example.

As you can tell by many of the episode titles, this series has even gone to the lengths of adapting certain famed comic book arcs in the mold of Gotham’s style. It’s a neat way to nod to the series and either please or enrage fans that are accepting of Gotham’s lunacy or appalled that a decades-old property dares mix things up for the sake of an Elseworlds-based TV show.

Now, I did say this is the best season yet, and while I stand by that, I still wouldn’t call this appointment television either. For all the confidence this series has in making its characters larger than life, the storytelling can be clunky, the pacing can be thrown off (though binge watching may benefit the series), and there isn’t all that much going on thematically (an area where season three’s politically-charged areas – Penguin’s mayor plotline – was stronger). Still, this season does seem to be the most confident in its vision, the most experimental in its direction, and probably the most consistently entertaining.

At this point, I know I won’t be getting a hardboiled detective noir focused on Jim Gordon. Try as McKenzie might, the character only has so many beats to play, given what Gotham’s writers are best at coming up with. That said, as a macabre take on the aesthetic many trashed when it came to Batman & RobinGotham succeeds thanks to letting its ensemble run wild. For every weak subplot, there’s something else that proves to work on some level. Given the variety that exists in the CW superhero universe, it’s nice that Gotham, despite being on another network, also manages to feel anything but plain.

 

Video: 

Encoding: AVC MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: Once again, nothing new here regarding the HD quality. Gotham continues to be a sharp and nicely defined series to watch on Blu-ray.  There is a lot of great detail to take in, given the varying locales and sets featured in this season. Aspects such as costume and makeup design also play a huge role.  All of this comes through incredibly well.

Depth: There are aspects of the city and its underlining that do an excellent job of conveying the sense of depth that is nicely handled for this Blu-ray.

Black Levels: Much like the characters, there are a lot of dark and shadowy aspects to the look of this series, and they come through very nicely thanks to the dark and inky black levels featured on this Blu-ray presentation.

Color Reproduction: Given the style of the series and the different locations, some key moments play quite well in regards to the use of color, which is fine for a series like this. The increased comic book nature of the series benefits what we see here.

Flesh Tones: Things like lighting, locations, and other aspects keep the characters in constant flux, but textures and flesh tones always come through.

Noise/Artifacts: Nothing to call out.

 

Audio:

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: Gotham is a lot of things, including an excellent source of different audio elements. The series has a lot going on regarding big musical swells in the score, the action, and characters talking and yelling. There is a strong handle on the presentation that helps this all come together.

Low-Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is given a chance to go to work often. This Blu-ray does a fine job of allowing the subwoofer to leave an impact.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound channels do their job in immersing the viewer throughout every episode, regardless of the series’ quality.  The ambiance, score, action, and dialogue are all balanced quite well, making for a solid three-dimensional experience.

Dialogue Reproduction: Everyone sounds loud and clear.

 

Extras:

Spread across all four discs, the extras are basically deleted scenes and a couple featurettes. Once again, there is not one commentary track in this set, which is a shame, as it would be good to hear anything about the series from the cast and crew. Some features on the fourth disc, however, actually provide some decent insight.

Additionally, the series arrives in a standard case, housed inside a cardboard slipcover. Inside you can find a handy guide to which episode is on each disc, if there are deleted scenes for the episode, and a list of the other special features. That’s always appreciated.

Features Include:

Disc One:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD)

Disc Two:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD)

Disc Four:

  • Solomon Grundy: Born on a Monday (HD, 9:53) – The filmmakers go over the transformation of Butch into comic character Solomon Grundy and how that plays into the season.
  • The Sirens Take Gotham (HD, 12:57) – A look at how Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina have grown into the characters they currently are this season, and what that journey has led to.
  • The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2017 (HD, 58:16) –
  • Deleted Scenes (HD)

Digital HD Copy Of The Series

 

Summary:

Next year I’ll presumably be reviewing the final season of Gotham. I only hope it goes out as strong as something like this, as the show seems to have found a groove right where it wants to be. As it stands, this season 4 set may lack more in the way of extras (commentaries would be great), but features a fine technical presentation to go along with the show itself.

Order Your Copy Here:

 

 

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Video Game Player, Comic Book Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

1 Response to “Gotham: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Emilio Lafarga Giribets

    I think there’s a mistake and you must mean ” it contains….of the fourth season…”