Fox’s “Batman-without-Batman” soap opera is the most amazing weird show on network 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 isn’t officially a Halloween episode but it’s still got plenty of swamp zombies, murder and Hammer Horror style Dracula deaths!
BUTCH CAN’T COME TO THE PHONE RIGHT NOW. WHY? OH, BECAUSE HE’S SOLOMON GRUNDY
Max: Butch’s supervillain origin story feels appropriately ’50s horror movie. Just ditch this comatose guy in a polluted bog!
Sarah: I have been waiting for this moment since season 2.
Max: Everyone gets hung up on the name but honestly Slaughter Swamp is a nice spot for weekend getaway from the urban hustle and bustle of Gotham City.
Kayleigh: Love your job as much as these guys love dumping coma patients into that Toxic Avenger goo.
HARVEY’S STUCK BETWEEN A HOAGIE AND A HARD PLACE
Sarah: Harvey Bullock is wearing glasses and I swallowed my gum.
Max: Season 1 Bullock was kind of a wise-ass sleaze who was constantly talking about lunch, Season 4 Bullock is trying to navigate an INSANELY complex corrupt municipal bureaucracy in nerd glasses.
Kayleigh: I want to braid his hair.
BRUCE HAVE SOME EGGS
Max: Alfred’s just trying to feed this growing boy some breakfast but he can’t look away from the Ra’s Al Ghul knife wiki.
Sarah: Locking a magical knife in particle board desk with an Office Depot key seems like such an empty gesture when you’re caring for a sociopath.
Kayleigh: Maybe Bruce would have fewer dark obsessions if Alfred just got him a dog or something.
FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND
Max: Great turnout at Alex’s funeral. We got, what, five people here?
Sarah: Well Bruce, keeps unintentionally killing all the other members of his family so.
Kayleigh: This is what the funeral for Neville Longbottom would be like if he died before he got hot.
RA’S CUBE: HYPERCUBE
Max: Love to transfer mysterious energy from myself to my lover/second-in-command through the bulletproof glass of my cube prison.
Kayleigh: Oh no, Barbara’s a Horcrux.
Sarah: If Barbara suddenly has heightened gymnastic agility powers, then this could be one of the stranger origins of Harley Quinn (or an HQ predecessor) we’ve seen.
Kayleigh: Not shown: Professor X hitting up Magneto for another chess game booty call in the big plastic prison cube next door.
LOOK AT BOB NEWHAND OVER HERE
Max: It was really nice of the swamp to not only bring Butch back to life as a shambling albino hulk but also give him a new hand. Too bad the first thing he does is murder a couple of depression era hobos.
Sarah: I was worried they wouldn’t be able to write in an origin for Solomon Grundy’s name, but as luck would have it, a group of pikeys travelling on foot all the way from the Emerald Isle had just settled in for the night with their gramophone.
Kayleigh: Nothing a TV hobo loves more than a dented can of beans and a creepy children’s choir singing the theme to Annabelle vs. Chucky.
RIDDLER NEEDS BRAIN PILLS, BABY
Max: Ask your doctor if “Smartivia” is right for you.
Kayleigh: Shoutout to the random pharmacist able to kick a supervillain’s ass.
Sarah: One thing this show excels at is delivering exactly what you think an innocuous, everyday location would look like in Gotham City, and a pharmacy would absolutely just be shelved with identical, unmarked bottles all containing giant white pills.
Max: Riddler’s gun being….a squeak toy? Really got me. Nygma’s at his lowest point here, stabbed in the hand by a pharmacist, downing placebos and getting conked on the head by
Mongo Solomon Grundy.
ALFRED AND JIM GOTTA STOP BRUCE FROM TRYING TO KILL AN IMCUBED PRISONER
Max: Bruce rolled up to Blackgate to commit some light ritual knife murder, but, sike, it was a trap and Ra’s smacks him around.
Kayleigh: This is like if Shinji snapped and finally decided to stab Gendo.
Max: Later, the prison guards, who totally don’t worship Ra’s Al Ghul, tell Alfred and Jim they haven’t seen Bruce and also ask them to surrender their guns. There’s some fun shtick where Alfred keeps producing hidden sidearms and, of course, a pair of brass knuckles.
NYGMA IS GRAPPLING WITH THE MAGIC REALISM EXISTENCE OF SOLOMON GRUNDY
Max: Riddler and Solomon Grundy are going to fix each other’s broken brains, with friendship and hot dogs acquired through murder. It’s an Of Mice and Men kinda deal.
Sarah: Grundy is basically a giant puppy who occasionally shakes his toys too hard.
Kayleigh: I’m going to need a Riddler/Grundy fanvid set to “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” on my desk by Friday.
SOPHIA KNOWS A GOULASH GUY
Max: Did anyone’s episode of Gotham randomly switch to two minutes of Curb Your Enthusiasm?
Sarah: I love that the subtext of giving Oswald a meal he’ll never forget suggests poison but they’re really just trying to make the GOAT goulash.
Kayleigh: So when do we get the official Gotham tie-in cookbook? Gotta get me some Slaughter Swamp soup!
TALKIN’ KNIVES WITH THE DEMON’S CHRIS HARDWICK
Max: Ra’s Al Ghul’s master plan is…..asking a teenage boy to kill and replace him? I mean, I get it.
Kayleigh: Damn millennials, killing the “immortal knife-wielding megalomaniac” industry!
MY LUNCH WITH PENGUIN
Max: LOVE Penguin’s weird beard goulash taster goon. That guy’s like five seconds from revealing some magician secrets.
Sarah: Oswald’s reaction to the goulash was ripped straight from Ratatouille, and I knew it would be at the scene set-up. You guys, are WE writing this show?
Max: Scientists are saying it’s possible.
*THIN LIZZY’S “JAILBREAK” INTENSIFIES*
Max: Thank you, Gordon, for reminding the audience of the insane mini-storyline where you were in prison. Anyway Alfred and Jim figure out these Ra’s goons-posing-as-guards are Fake Prison Boys and proceed to kick their asses.
Sarah: At this point, how many times has Jim witnessed Alfred killing people?
Kayleigh: It’s a little known fact that butlers can declare martial law.
CLASSIC GOULASH AND ANKLE MASSAGE CON
Max: Sophia Falcone is basically doing what Fish Mooney did to her dad in season one, trying to exploit his weird mom fetish in a horny way? It’s a bold move, let’s see if it pays off.
Sarah: It absolutely will. All of Gotham’s dons have mommy issues.
Kayleigh: The new female don is massaging the bad leg the last female don gave him, while still plotting to destroy him. Gotham is a finely woven tapestry, folks.
COME STAB ME BIG KNIVES
Max: Ra’s peer pressured Bruce to stab him with a magic knife or he’d kill his future wife and kids and WELL.
Sarah: Bruce is on Day 7 of his no-kill code and he’s already indirectly killed a child and straight up stabbed a man to death. We’re doing great, folks.
Kayleigh: I’m assuming there are eight hundred “MY Batman doesn’t kill, stop giving my childhood a purple nurple” tweets right now blaming this somehow on Zack Snyder?
Max: Amazed we didn’t get a close up on Ra’s glowing ruby ring to ensure he’d be back in future installments.
Kayleigh: Cue Barbara turning around with glowing eyes a la the end of the “Thriller” video.
THE END OF BABY BATMAN??
Max: Bruce stabs like ONE ancient immortal warlord with an enchanted dagger/turns him into a dusty skeleton and he’s ready to burn his proto-Bat get up in a fire place. Alfred objects, mainly because that’d probably be a logistical nightmare smell-wise, and they reach a “let’s just put the mask away for a while” compromise.
Kayleigh: Keep in mind that Jim Gordon’s response to a sixteen-year-old’s confession of murder is literally “just don’t do it again.”
Sarah: Honestly, if we can pump the brakes a little on the Batman storyline, I’d be good with it. However, this is all fueling my theory that Gotham is a version of Batman created by his villains, instead of the other way around, as it often is in the comics.
OH SNAP IT’S THUNDERDOME
Max: OF COURSE the Riddler’s going to be Solomon Grundy’s manager in an underground fighting arena run by Not-Roulette.
Sarah: And of course Lee Thompkins is here as a fight doctor because all of Jim’s exes turn into villains of the underworld. Vale is probably writing for Breitbart by now.
Kayleigh: Lee’s nailed that “Russian assassin about to crush a senator’s head between her thighs” look; this bodes well.
Gotham airs Thursdays at 8 PM on Fox.