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.
This week’s episode finds Gordon and Lee Thompkins mending fences, The Mad Hatter being a big ol’ creep and A PENGUIN MAYORAL VICTORY. Highs! Lows! It’s Gotham, baby!
DENTAL PLAN KILL YOURSELF GORDON DENTAL PLAN
Max: After getting mindwhammied last episode by Jervis Tetch’s eerie ASMR abilities, Gordon is struggling to control his own body thanks to a lingering hypnotic kill order. All this Gordon stuff is such a bummer! Gordon’s storyline right now is sunglasses-wearing Dewey Cox screaming about going through “A Dark Fucking Period” in Walk Hard.
Kayleigh: There are Lars von Trier movies more spiritually uplifting than this episode. Still, it opens with Gotham’s first creepy abandoned amusement park. My baby’s growing up!
Sarah: Thank goodness Jim visits the bodacious “we’ve all got flair” Barbara to remind us that Gotham Can Be Fun.
BABY BRUCE CLONE: THE FINAL DECEPTION
Max: Selina gets captured by goons while pickpocketing at a dive bar but is rescued by Strong Bruce, who Selina realizes isn’t the Bruce she knows pretty early on but is down to smooch him anyway.
Kayleigh: I’m a little disappointed that my “kidnapped Bruce about to go over Niagara Falls in a barrell” prediction didn’t come true, but Selina liking Bruce’s clone better because he doesn’t hide his feelings for her is an interesting twist.
Sarah: Props to Selina for being clever enough to realize she was talking to a Bruce clone, because how often is that someone’s first assumption?
EPISODE PROS: THE MAD HATTER RECRUITS PROFESSIONAL WRESTLERS TO BREAK HIS SISTER OUT OF POLICE CUSTODY
Max: Gotham reimagining classic Batman rogues Tweedledee and Tweedledum as a five man criminal wrestling crew is what I tune in for every week. I wish every episode had masked wrestlers piledriving cops at GCPD headquarters.
Sarah: Do the Gotham cops still have, you know, guns?
Kayleigh: GPCD headquarters has been attacked by costumed maniacs so many times that the only cops left on payroll are Harvey Bullock and Lt. Bucketface, a mop with an overturned bucket for a head.
Max: Harvey Bullock torturing a suspect by threatening to burn his dead brothers’ “luch-a-dor-ay” masks was everything to me.
Sarah: Harvey IS the police force at this point.
EPISODE CONS: UGHHHHHH
Max: I think we all kind of figured Tetch’s sister Alice would die at some point this season but giving her a pretty gratuitous death on top of implying that, oh yeah, her brother’s been molesting her was like…not fun.
Kayleigh: The Riddler, Mr. Freeze, and now Mad Hatter. This is the third time a Gotham villain has accidentally killed a woman he loved as part of his tragic backstory, and not only is it insultingly sexist—it’s lazy. Like, I can’t think of a suitably snarky way to spin this, the end of this episode pissed me off.
Sarah: Gotham keeps accidentally writing compelling female characters just for the sake of killing them to bring to life every Batman villain before Batman even exists. I wish they would take a good hard look at characters like Fish and Barbara and realize how much stronger some of the show’s components are when untethered from the source material.
OKAY WELL ON THAT NOTE MICHAEL CHIKLIS GOT BLOOD IN HIS EYE
Max: Captain Barnes straight up got Brendan Gleeson’ed and now he’s got…powers? This was so so dumb, I kinda love it.
Sarah: It was frame for frame the 28 Days Later scene.
Kayleigh: SPEAKING OF LAZY. I feel like the teacher who caught her favorite student cheating. I know you can do better, Gotham.
Sarah: Despite the brazenly blatant plagiarizing, I’m bummed that this may be the final straw for Barnes, who has almost died, what, three times now? It’s going to be a sad turn to see the man who actually cares enough for Jim to save him from himself to become a monster.
TIME FOR BABY BRUCE 2.0 TO GET ETHERED TOO
Max: Because this is Gotham, a lady in a mask rolls up in a classic car to abduct a billionaire child’s clone. This kid’s definitely going to be some kind of crazy bad guy, huh??
Sarah: Hush hush, baby.
Kayleigh: The clone’s a sexy teen now! He’s gonna make it if he tries!
COBBLEPOT POLITICAL OPERATIVE EDWARD NYGMA
Max: The whole gift of the magi thing where Nygma wins Oswald the mayoral election by withdrawing all his bribes was just like…delightful. Butch isn’t happy that his spot as Penguin’s literal right hand man is being usurped, though so this will all go to pot pretty soon.
Kayleigh: I’m fuzzy on the timeline, do mayoral campaigns only last a week in Gotham City? I can’t believe Oswald was elected that fast! In what is such a dark episode, though, Penguin and Riddler framing their “NOT INSANE” certificates got a big laugh. (Next episode: scrapbooking!)
Sarah: I’ve been waiting for a framed sanity certificate ever since Strange started throwing them at cons like confetti and I’m so glad Gotham actually delivered.
Gotham airs Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on FOX.