Fox’s “Batman-without-Batman” soap opera is the most amazingly weird show on television. For every episode this season, Deadshirt’s own Sarah Register, Kayleigh Hearn and Max Robinson discuss the good, the bad…the beginning? of little Bruce Wayne, skinny Oswald Cobblepot, and Jim Gordon sans ‘stache as they try to find their way in the misery-soaked, work-a-day world of…GOTHAM.
Max: ALLIANCES SHATTERED! DEATH AND CARNAGE! LIKE A MILLION GUYS! This week on Gotham.
RIP PENGUIN’S MOM. YOU’RE SINGING “WHEN YOU SMILE” TO THE ANGELS NOW
Max: Man, this scene was brutal. A ton of stuff happened in this episode and Gertrude Cobblepot dying was something I for some reason didn’t expect to see on this show? Oswald holding her and both of them pretending like nothing’s wrong was perfect.
Sarah: Watching Penguin hold his dying mother kind of makes you forget that he’s murdered a ton of people. I had a legit “OH NO SHE DID NOT” moment after Tabitha stabbed her. The Galavans have fucked up.
Kayleigh: Robin Lord Taylor is not afraid to be utterly vulnerable as Penguin, which is one of the things that makes him absolutely the best the part of this show. He’s slashed a man’s throat for a sandwich and by god he’d do it again, but he’s also a man who deeply loved his mother and wanted to save her.
I’m sad we lost Gertrude, and that we probably won’t get a scene between her and Paul Reubens as Cobblepot’s father. But in her few appearances, Carol Kane created this totally bizarre character who still had a believable bond with her supervillain son. She’ll be missed.
Sarah: Maybe we’ll get a Paul Reubens/Carol Kane flashback a la last season’s baby Falcone flashbacks.
THERE’S A NEW MAYOR IN TOWN. A DISCIPLINE MAYOR.
Max: Galavan got elected Mayor offscreen and he’s here to usher in a whole new age of Gotham City fascism!
Kayleigh: I’m kind of getting bored with every Galavan scene that isn’t him bouncing off Penguin or being vaguely incestuous with Tabitha. I miss Jerome.
Sarah: I get really frustrated with Gotham citizens buying the bullshit Galavan spews directly into the news cameras every time he gets “attacked” (so, every single public appearance), but then I start thinking about real world politics and some of the behavior from Presidential candidates in debates recently and I get kind of quiet and eat cake for a while.
SELINA MEETS SILVER, AND THIS IS SOME PRETEEN SUPERHERO BETTY AND VERONICA SHIT
Sarah: Haaaaaaa remember how last week we were all concerned for Silver’s well being? Yeah, she can go kick rocks. Selina’s smirky “who the hell are you” comeback to Silver’s threats was choice. Also her slap comment to Alfred. Selina OWNED in this ep.
Max: Silver is apparently every bit as evil as her White Stripes surrogate parents. She sucks and I hate her. I can’t WAIT for Selina to kick her ass.
Kayleigh: First the Galavans were straight out of The Count of Monte Cristo, now they’re Great Expectations, with Silver being raised to break a boy’s heart. My heart breaks for Selina, though. She’s saved Bruce’s life more than once, and Alfred and Bruce are still ready to push (or in Alfred’s case, slap) her out of Bruce’s life. The implied classism in this situation, with Bruce immediately taking poor little rich girl Silver’s side over “gutter trash” Selina, makes it sting even more. There’s some fantastic body language during their awkward tea party. Bruce and Silver sitting next to each other on the couch, with Selina sitting apart from them on the arm of the chair, never fully comfortable.
Max: That scene was great, especially Selina not immediately rising to Silver’s bait and waiting a bit before he calls bullshit on her act.
NYGMA SENDS HIMSELF ON A SCAVENGER HUNT…AND THERE’S A REALLY GROSS LADYFINGERS GAG OH GOD OH GOD
Sarah: OK, so I laughed at the ladyfingers bit, SO WHAT?
Max: This episode is probably the first time since the premiere that the Gollum/Smeagol Nygma shit worked for me, probably because it gave us our first glimpse at straight up Riddler shit. A dude BULLYING HIMSELF was a significant part of this episode.
Kayleigh: Nygma is finally starting to act like The Riddler, sending himself on a macabre scavenger hunt for Miss Kringle’s remains. He even has little “?” clue cards! Unfortunately I’m still really skeeved out by this plotline and the way Kringle’s dead body has become a kind of comedy prop? At least Essen and Gertrude had some dignity in their deaths.
Sarah: That’s kind of Gotham’s thing though, isn’t it? There are some serious characters and then there are characters who seem more like sight gags. They dressed Kringle like a 1960s librarian with her initials stitched into her sweater even when she was sitting across very normally dressed Lee in a modern apartment. I’m not saying I’m happy about it, but I can see them making a joke of her death or Butch’s (please no though) more so than Essen’s.
Max: Some VERY STARK differences in how two long-time characters’ deaths were treated in this one.
HARVEY DENT…THE FORGOTTEN HARVEY?
Sarah: I legitimately thought the writers forgot about Harvey Dent after Nygma grew another personality and I was totally OK with it.
Max: Shitposter Harvey Dent, taking a break from following people to their cars long enough to attend the Mayor Galavan’s victory gala-van. Let’s talk about this show’s significantly more interesting Harvey, who got to fire like a million guns and was just generally great this episode.
Sarah: Harvey Bullock spouted his classic “this is Gotham” tagline before he and Jim got to shoot Very Large Guns at Zsasz and his well-dressed lackeys and I think an angel got its wings.
Kayleigh: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Zsaszness.
Max: I liked how he was like “Ahhh alright cya” when Jim and Harvey started in with the assault rifles.
AN ARMY OF PENGUINS! I HAD A DREAM LIKE THIS ONCE WAIT NO I DIDN’T
Sarah: Someone get Kayleigh the smelling salts.
Kayleigh: Luckily my fainting couch was right here. Penguin’s army of penguins! All they needed were rockets strapped to their backs.
Sarah: This is such a classic Joker move, and I love it. It’s the most comic booky thing Gotham has done. It reminded me of Joker dressing up cops as himself and sending them out to get shot by their comrades in No Man’s Land.
Max: Dude PLUS Butch getting out of the handcuffs with a fake hand was also textbook Joker shit! Even knowing this scene was coming, I was completely delighted by the Penguin’s cosplay army. What the fuck did he promise these people?!
Sarah: The showdown between Gordon and Penguin was Heart Wrenching. I know they were pointing their guns at each other but they were also not about to shoot each other, and I felt like they kind of wanted to hug? Penguin’s desperate “he killed my mother” plea and Jim’s sympathetic “I know” killed me.
Kayleigh: Gordon and the Penguin reaching out to each other as “Jim” and “Oswald” amid the violence was pretty powerful. Is showing Penguin mercy still Jim’s downfall? At least Penguin warned him that Galavan was targeting someone he cared about.
Max: I like how Penguin was getting sloppy previously and now he’s in like unkillable survival mode. Dude dives through a warehouse window and steals the mayor’s limo in the span of ONE episode.
Sarah: Penguin’s superpower is that people constantly underestimate him.
Kayleigh: With Gertrude’s death, there is nothing holding him back now. Bring it.
Max: THE PENGUIN’S SO CLOSE TO THE EDGE DON’T HOLD HIM BACK.
GORDON VS. GALAVAN!
Max: It took seven episodes but Gordon finally realized that the weird millionaire nobody’s ever met before was a villainous scumbag! And there was even trash talk! Last Monday night was great for “episodes where shit gets real” between this and Fargo.
Sarah: It’s exhausting watching Jim and Bruce catch up with the plot sometimes.
Kayleigh: The World’s Greatest Detective wasn’t built in a day.
Gotham airs Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on FOX.