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.
Penguin’s the mayor, the boys of Gotham City have lady problems and A TERRIBLE SECRET THREATENS ALL THAT BUTCH HOLDS DEAR. It’s Gotham, baby!
MAYOR PENGUIN ERECTS STATUE OF MOTHER ON THE STEPS OF CITY HALL (IT’S IMMEDIATELY DESTROYED)
Max: Penguin just happens to own a statue of his mom and here he is installing it on city property.
Sarah: How many of Penguin’s moms’ heads are going to wind up on his dining room table? Also I love that Gotham’s mayor’s mansion looks like any mayor’s mansion from Scooby-Doo.
Max: The “mayortague” of Penguin playing man of the people was delightful.
Kayleigh: Penguin in a puffy chef’s hat! Penguin with a giant pair of novelty scissors! The episode sadly doesn’t end with Penguin decapitating a man with those scissors, but then, mankind was never meant to fly so close to the sun.
BUTCH IS DOING SOME BREAKING BAD SHIT TO EARN PENGUIN’S LOVE BACK
Max: I was so delighted that the Red Hood Gang came back, even for just an episode.
Kayleigh: The plot of the episode is actually fairly predictable—of course Butch is behind the Red Hood Gang, and of course Nygma double-crosses him—but Gotham’s darkly comic, off-kilter tone makes it interesting. A priest explodes in this episode, folks. With a grenade!
Sarah: Maybe he should go full Walter White and leave Gotham for a cabin in the mountains. Why is this poor man still here??
GORDON AND BRUCE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS
Sarah: It’s fun how I’m never super sure Bruce is Bruce when he appears alone and talks about Selina.
Max: Gordon buying Bruce a sandwich at a shitty diner and having a heart to heart was a much needed beat for this show. Even though Gordon isn’t beholden to a Wookiee life debt to find the Wayne killers, he still clearly likes Bruce a lot.
Kayleigh: Sometimes I think this show is in danger of forgetting Gordon and Bruce’s relationship, but McKenzie and Mazouz are very good together.
NO ONE HAS EVER DESERVED A PUNCH MORE THAN NYGMA
Max: Nygma rolling up the GCPD like he owns the place to the visible horror of all the cops was a nice way to build on some character relationships we haven’t thought about in a while. Lee Thompkins punching him in the face because he’s an unrepentant murderer who killed her friend was perfect.
Sarah: Lee is wasting no time in name-dropping Falcone and adapting to her new mob-wife lifestyle and I love it.
Kayleigh: Lee being so comfortable with her fiance’s mob ties is still weird to me, but if anyone needs to be threatened with swimming lessons in cement shoes, it’s Nygma.
YOU GUYS GOING TO THE BLACK TIE SUPERVILLAIN MAYOR PARTY AT SIRENS TONIGHT?
Max: Barbara just drinking champagne from the bottle while like three different major Batman villains try to kill each other, love it.
Sarah: Zsasz is back and throwing out cute little waves at people I’m so happy.
Max: “You got the Zsasz?” “I GOT THE ZSASZ!” I love that Zsasz is just totally amoral, he’ll go with whoever’s paying him that week.
Kayleigh: Bruce and Penguin have their first face-to-face meeting! And they talk about the time Theo Galavan was reduced to a fine red mist on Wayne Manor’s driveway! Sean Pertwee’s pronunciation of the word “bazooka” also single-handedly raises this episode’s letter grade.
Max: Alfred thanking the current mayor (The Penguin) for saving him from the LAST mayor (AZRAEL) is the perfect snapshot of Gotham’s madcap weirdness.
AWKWARD TEENAGE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FEELINGS
Sarah: Selina confuses all Bruces equally.
Max: Gordon got tired of this plotline stagnating so we get a cute lil kiss between Bruce and Selina.
Kayleigh: Future costumed vigilantes starting their dramatic rooftop “WE’RE THE SAME!” “WE’RE NOTHING ALIKE!” confrontations early, I see.
JIM GORDON LIKES ORDERING AT RESTAURANTS
Max: Don’t paw at the waiter, Jim.
Sarah: Jim is trading intel for dates.
Kayleigh: Jim’s been in so many love triangles that he’s a Professional Third Wheel now.
Sarah: I have never yelled “kiss on the mouth” at the television louder than at this moment.
Max: This is… wild. Nygma pulling some Talented Mr. Ripley business with Oswald, culminating in a sanitized for TV “warm embrace by a roaring fireplace.” Gotham is fascinating in that Penguin is very obviously being played as gay, but the show plays coy with it in a way it doesn’t with the show’s lesbian relationships.
Kayleigh: So much to unpack here. THE GOOD: Gotham’s breakout character is being portrayed as gay. THE BAD: Network/company higher-ups probably won’t let two valuable pieces of Batman IP be out, confirmed queer men. THE UGLY: Barbara/Tabitha is probably held to a different standard because “hot girls kissing” is more appealing to that desired men 18-49 demographic.
Sarah: Subtext aside, Nygma’s devotion plucked Penguin’s most prized heart string—loyalty. After the extremely unsubtle reminder of how affected he was by his mother’s death and also Butch’s betrayal, this embrace was actually quite touching.
Max: As luck would have it, I got to see next week’s episode early at PaleyFest and girls….Shit gets really intense.
Gotham airs Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on FOX.