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.
Riddles! Gay mental projections! James Remar! All this and two David Mazouzs in the return of GOTHAM.
SOME TOTALLY CLASSIC RIDDLER SHIT
Max: I’m extremely into Nygma bumping off the smartest people in Gotham City as part of his official transformation into The Riddler. Also, his ringtone is the ‘66 Batman theme.
Kayleigh: If we don’t get a ? and The Mysterians song played over a Riddler montage this season I will cry bullshit.
Sarah: I’m still hoping for a green spandex singlet with bedazzled question marks.
MY FAIR LADY FEAT. THE BRUCE WAYNE DOPPLEGANGER
Max: The Court of Owls is grooming dupli-Bruce to replace the real Bruce! Meanwhile, Actual Bruce is learning how to throw knives from the world’s favorite murder butler Alfred Pennyworth.
Kayleigh: “Gotham Season 3 has a teen Bruce Wayne clone” is a sentence that brings me so much joy just typing it out.
Sarah: Explaining this show to people has become a treasured pastime.
DRUG HALLUCINATION PENGUIN
Max: Nygma’s Cobblepot hallucination having a ruined suit and a crab crawling on him is that extra visual flourish that makes this show a little more interesting than CW DC shows.
Kayleigh: This episode stops dead in its tracks so that a tuxedo-clad hallucination of Robin Lord Taylor can have a ”Puttin’ on The Ritz” musical number. Actual photographic evidence of me watching this scene.
Sarah: Gotham joins Legion with this trippy musical scene trend and I’m delighted. I hope Riddler keeps hallucinating all of his dead exes even without the pills so we can have a chorus line.
SLOBBY COP/SCIENCE COP ROUTINE
Sarah: “Only one person calls me “Foxy”.
Max: Lucius Fox and Bullock teaming up to catch Nygma buddy cop schtick is wonderful, especially given how Fox is usually resigned to exposition.
Kayleigh: Honestly, I would Not Even Be Mad if they sidelined Gordon for a while so that Harvey and Lucius can be the Abbott and Costello of the GCPD. How does Harvey not recognize the voice of his creepy homicidal coworker who told riddles on the phone, though?
Sarah: I would love a recurring bit of Lucius sighing through singing telegrams delivered by fruit people.
MEANWHILE GORDON AND JAMES REMAR ARE HANGING OUT IN THE BLACK LODGE
Max: Always glad to see James Remar, even if this b-plot of him trying to get Gordon to help him overthrow the Court of Owls is kinda boring.
Sarah: Even Jim knows this is a contrived bit of plot device to get him out of Gotham so Harvey and Foxy can go on a date.
FINALLY, BRUCE BEATS UP A BUNCH OF GUYS
Max: Baby Bruce has grown into a Furious Young Adult and he’s here to kick Butch’s nephew’s ass for very nebulous reasons.
Kayleigh: All it takes is the death of his adolescent dreams of hope and love to turn Bruce Wayne into Batman, who knew?
Sarah: I kind of hoped the note was written by Alfred so he could manufacture a real fight for Bruce, because that’s his brand of fucked up parenting.
RIDDLER AND LUCIUS FOX IN A BATTLE OF WITS
Max: Lucius coming up with correct answers to Nygma’s riddles that AREN’T the ones he wanted to hear is so good. Lucius is a genius but he reaches the conclusions Nygma can’t or won’t.
Kayleigh: Lucius becoming Nygma’s nemesis because he’s his intellectual equal and cuts through his “Riddle me this! *cartoonish giggle*” bullshit is pretty brilliant, and it’s a natural extension of their first meeting that’s a pretty subtle payoff by Gotham standards.
Sarah: It’s interesting how often people actually do win Riddler’s little games but then get hurt or mutilated anyway because he was too busy yammering to free them from his trap.
DAVID MAZOUZ HAS KIDNAPPED DAVID MAZOUZ
Kayleigh: This remake of The Parent Trap has way more kidnappings and knockout drugs than the original.
Sarah: Bruce playing a game of “circle the differences” between himself and his clone and not picking up on the extremely obvious red flags in time made me want him to get knocked out.
Max: Stupid, stupid Bruce Wayne. You deserve what happens next.
SO WE’RE JUST DOING THIS EXACT PENGUIN BEAT AGAIN?
Max: Oswald has been pulled out of this river so many times. I hope he’s nursed back to health by a different member of Batman’s future rogues gallery every season.
Kayleigh: We need a supercut of every time Penguin is shot, dumped in a river, or thrown out of the mansion by Philip Banks.
Sarah: Death is as meaningless in Gotham as the source material.
BRUCE WAYNE HAS BEEN EXILED TO SKY PRISON
Max: Bruce looking out the jail cell window at what are presumably the Himalayas made me laugh so hard.
Kayleigh: Bruce, five seconds after the camera cut away from him: “…Fuck.”
Sarah: Batman Begins a little sooner than anticipated.
Max: This was a pretty strong episode and definitely one of the more thematically dense episodes to date. Gordon, Bruce’s clone and Nygma all tackling questions of identity and coming away with pretty different answers.
Gotham airs Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on FOX.