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 episode is all about pigs! Professor Pyg! The corrupt cops of the GCPD! Literal pig heads left under a bridge? “Hog Day Afternoon” isn’t as breakneck nuts as the last few episodes, but there’s a lot to like here, all the same. Oh, and The Penguin tries to schedule some lunch dates or something.
TONIGHT ON HUMAN BATTLEBOTS
Max: As glimpsed last episode, Lee Thompkins is back and apparently works as an on-site doctor for the Gotham City equivalent of Monday Night Raw. Morena Baccarin is out here pounding shots and fixing broken noses!
Sarah: Lee clearly needs cash for something. I’m guessing it’s for more eyeshadow.
Kayleigh: Don’t you just hate it when you run into an old co-worker at a bar?
SOPHIA FALCONE IS STILL PLAYING PENGUIN MINDGAMES
Max: This Sophia/Oswald plotline is so odd. Falcone’s daughter’s scheme here is usurping a criminal empire one business lunch at a time? Meanwhile Jim Gordon is just kinda hornily waiting on the sidelines for this to shake out?
Sarah: Is the show tweaking Penguin’s sexuality again or is this a weird mom thing with Sophia?
Kayleigh: I don’t think this is about seducing Penguin so much as exploiting his big weakness, since trusting people is usually his downfall. But they’ve dipped into this well many times (his parents, Ed, Fish) and Sophia isn’t a particularly compelling actress, so this is boring.
PROFESSOR PYG, BABY!!!
Max: Professor Pyg is one of the bigger Batman villains to come out of Grant Morrison’s tenure on the book, showing up in video games, cartoons and, now, Gotham. That is straight up Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris in a pig mask doing a Emo Philips impression, and I’m here for it.
Sarah: Professor Pyg is a character who absolutely deserves to be on the show, especially with an over-the-top performance. Having him put severed pig heads on dirty cops is appropriately on the nose as well.
Kayleigh: Babe: Pyg in Gotham City.
Max: I want to emphasize that this episode cuts from Gordon telling Penguin someone’s trying to send him a message to the villain of the week literally putting lipstick on a pig.
“LOOK AT THAT, PORKY DON’T HAVE NO HEAD”
Max: Harvey just seems happy to be back doing what he loves best: Lazily half-solving weird murders and trampling on the civil rights of guys who sort of look like Hank Azaria.
Sarah: You ever notice that when Jim and Harvey start investigating a murder spree, they never actually prevent a murder? And in some cases even cause it?
Kayleigh: You know, I could do with about 100% less severed pig heads, thanks.
PENGUIN’S UPSET ABOUT GETTING GHOSTED
Max: Every single Victor Zsasz scene this season has been a priceless gift. Dude aggressively does not give a shit about anything but getting paid and he loves eating bread.
Sarah: He’s the perfect foil to Penguin’s emotional outbursts, and I hope the show keeps their partnership around for a while.
Kayleigh: Another great meal for Zsasz’s food blog.
MILLION DOLLAR GRUNDY
Max: Can’t believe Gotham is adapting the Simpsons episode where Homer can’t get knocked out so he boxes hobos for money.
Kayleigh: Secret underground Fight Club founded by the cast of Derek Jarman’s Jubilee.
IT’S BEEN TOO LONG SINCE WE GOT A HARVEY/GORDON MONTAGE
Max: Bullock threw that dirty cop’s corndog on the ground and CACKLED.
Sarah: This montage is definitely about two detectives enjoying their job and totally not about two men wryly diving head-first into their work to avoid dealing with their own shit.
Kayleigh: “The Boys are Back In Town” lovingly implied, here.
LEE THOMPKINS: RE-ORIGINS
Max: Lee’s using her illegal wrestling den money to fund a walk-in medical clinic in The Narrows! After a season of Crime Wife Lee and Blood Virus Villain Lee, it’s nice that the show remembered that this is her deal.
Sarah: This is the most contrived and complex origin for a Batman B character that has ever played out on screen or page, but I’m glad we’re finally getting a glimpse of the “real” Dr. Thompkins.
Kayleigh: Thank god for Gotham’s endless supply of Dickensian orphans with consumption.
OSWALD HATES FAKE FRIENDS AND DRAMA
Max: Mr. Zsasz is like the deadliest assassin in Gotham City, and The Penguin uses him to spy on lunch dates and clandestine meetings with zoning commissioners.
Sarah: Just imagine the “skills and abilities” section on Zsasz’s resume.
Kayleigh: Zsasz has a birdwatching side blog, so it’s cool.
Max: Zsasz is probably super good at WordPress.
DUMB RIDDLER KEEPS BLOWING IT
Max: The gag that Nygma found out about Lee’s clinic but is too stupid to know how to use that information in a blackmail attempt is very good.
Kayleigh: He’s like a walking Homer Simpson voiceover.
Max: This is the second Homer Simpson comparison we’ve made this week and, you know what, I feel fine with that.
JIGSAW IS NOW PLAYING IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE
Sarah: If ever I am trapped in a Saw-like death contraption, please send literally anyone else to save me besides Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock.
Kayleigh: “Let me just keep pulling this weird string out of his mouth, I want to see where this goes.”
Max: “Pyg maybe used to be a cop” is an interesting wrinkle; he’s like The Punisher plus Banksy. DID ANYONE ELSE NOTICE PROFESSOR PYG’S CURLY APRON TAIL?
*CHECKS WATCH* AH THIS EPISODE’S STILL GOING HUH?
Max: The Riddler is so committed to his personal brand that he only drinks green goo in a martini glass.
Kayleigh: Lee’s just going to take his money and stick an ice pick in his skull, right? She’s not actually going to fix the supervillain who killed her friend and tried to blackmail her, right? We’re done with bad Lee subplots, aren’t we? Guys? I’m cold and scared.
Sarah: Everyone’s bad in Gotham, baby.
AH… THE ORPHANAGE GAMBIT
Max: “The Sophia Falcone Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too”
Sarah: These kids are either definitely hired actors or will definitely end up stabbing someone to death a la Maester Pycelle in Game of Thrones.
Kayleigh: “Hey kid, how’d you lose your parents?” “They were electrocuted by a roving gang of bondage mimes.” “Mine too!”
OH YEAH HARVEY’S THROAT GOT SLIT BY PROFESSOR PYG
Sarah: This was traumatic for me and I’m suing.
Kayleigh: Jim: “Harvey, how could you do this? After all the montages we shared.”
Max: He’s fine tho. Hey, real talk, the scene where Gordon calls out Harvey for being on the take from Penguin is extremely good? As much as Harvey’s the show’s comic relief, Donal Logue really nails that kind of broken up shame when he has to admit to it.
Kayleigh: Over four seasons the show has gradually moved away from its initial depiction of Harvey as a corrupt give-no-fucks guy, so Harvey fucking up like this at the peak of his career is a particularly painful fall from grace.
ROLL THAT BEAUTIFUL PIG FOOTAGE
Max: I like that Pyg is going to be a multiple-episode threat. He definitely deserves better than the done-in-one episode deal they sometimes give these bad guys.
Sarah: The show was so into Professor Pyg that it didn’t feel the need to check in on Bruce Wayne and the episode was better for it.
Kayleigh: Hey guys, wasn’t Poison Ivy a character on this show?
Gotham airs Thursdays at 8 PM on FOX.