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.
Great episode for sequin jackets, bad episode for fans of arms being attached to bodies! Plus: Is this the end of the Jim/Harvey bromance??
THE RIDDLER IS EMBRACING KAYFABE
Max: Nygma’s wrestling ring personas of uh The Penguin and also a kind of Cabaret version of himself are both very good. I’d love to know more about human triceratops “Mister Murderface,” who Grundy BEATS TO DEATH WITH HIS OWN SEVERED ARM.
Sarah: Surely Grundy’s signature move has nothing to do with Butch’s latent resentment over losing his hand.
Kayleigh: Nygma was so worried that he lost his Tumblr audience during his deep freeze, he turned himself into the fucking Onceler.
JIM FAILS UPWARD
Max: The corrupt commish offers Gordon Harvey’s job as captain but only because he has to cover his ass.
Sarah: The standards for being captain are astonishingly low for the GCPD – somewhere around “has murdered…fewer people than most bad guys he arrests.”
Kayleigh: Jim: “This just says ‘CAPTAIN NOW’ in red crayon.”
THE VILLAINS ARE CATCHING UP ON THE SIDE PLOTS OF THE SHOW
Max: Penguin’s dweeby accountant lackey telling Oswald that The Riddler is mocking him in “a crude commedia dell’arte” is an insane dialogue exchange, even for this show.
Sarah: Selina’s little titter at Penguin’s absolute meltdown over this was pretty cute.
OSWALD’S ANGELS HAVE A NEW MISSION
Max: Gotham City’s newest girl gang is gonna go kidnap The Riddler because his impression of The Penguin is problematically camp. Oh yeah also Tabitha discovers her dead boyfriend is alive and ripping off dude’s limbs.
Kayleigh: Butch has gone from losing hands to collecting them.
Sarah: That you can jog Butch’s memories by hitting him really hard in the head is a completely unoriginal yet enjoyable shtick.
HARVEY IS DOING SOME WEIRD BLUE LIVES MATTER DEAL
Max: Love to examine my mahogany case containing bullets pulled from cops wounded by a masked pigman, including one I fired in error.
Kayleigh: Not even a hoagie and a bottle of bottom-shelf brandy can mend this big man’s broken heart.
Max: Pathetic Harvey makes me really sad! Dude’s having a rough time!
THE PENGUIN BEFRIENDS A DERANGED ORPHAN
Max: Robin Lord Taylor’s interactions with moppets on this show are like mesmerizingly weird. Now he’s mentoring this murderous mute pictogram child!
Kayleigh: Somewhere, a Conjuring sequel is missing its silent ghost boy.
Max: “Minions are so much better than friends.” Never pegged Oswald for a Despicable Me fan.
Sarah: A movie about an evil villain adopting orphan children has no relevance here, Max.
A CONSORTIUM OF THE JIM GORDON EXES
Sarah: “I have to know what’s up with that outfit.” Honestly I would love nothing more than a conversation between Barbara and Lee about Rebranding Their Lewks.
Max: “Lee pistol whips Barbara and Barbara’s definitely into it” is very on-brand for Gotham.
Kayleigh: What are we meant to read into Lee’s “Jim who?” when the last time we saw her she pulled that classic “If you love me, you’ll dig yourself out of the grave I put you in and infect the city with rage virus” clingy girlfriend move.
WE’RE SETTLING THIS IN THE RING
Sarah: I love that this wacky, convoluted situation with Tabitha and Barbara investigating various exes has forced Selina to be the adult of the group.
Max: Consolidated Gotham Crime is gonna mediate the Riddler/Penguin dispute with a fight to the death between Grundy and Penguin’s best fighter, Tabitha. LOTTA PATHOS GOING IN HERE. SOME REAL STAKES TO THIS FIGHT.
Kayleigh: Nygma’s live interpretation of his favorite Nygobblepot fanfiction (complete with choking) getting rave reviews here.
Max: UPDATE: Nobody died, it was kind of a draw.
HARVEY GHOSTED ON HIS OWN NOT-WAKE
Max: Damn Harvey making your friend go through your weird bullet ceremony because you’re too much of a coward to face the woman you put in a wheelchair is low!
Kayleigh: Imagine that bartender’s face when Harvey handed her that box of bullets. “At least he didn’t put them in the tip jar.”
CHERRY IS OVER PARTY
Max: Firefly’s been around all season, but this is the first thing she’s really had to do, so naturally Lee puts a bullet in her propane tank before she can light up this underground wrestling warehouse. Speaking of bullets, Barbara shot Cherry (the lady who runs the underground fighting club) in the face with her Scaramanga gun!
Kayleigh: “The CGI fire budget ran out, sorry guys.”
Sarah: Is Zsasz still on vacay or what? Penguin’s going to run out of lackeys at this rate.
DRUNK HARVEY SHAME SPIRAL
Max: For real, I really love this extremely bleak storyline where Bullock’s just washing out after making one too many huge fuckups. This is a level of gravitas that Gotham rarely dips into, and Gordon relieving his buddy of his duty at the cost of their friendship was devastating!
Sarah: Harvey asking Jim to take over an important responsibility and then acting miffed when he takes over all of them was kind of disappointing. I just want the Harvey back who kisses Jim on the face when he hasn’t seen him for more than 12 hours.
MORE DERANGED MISTER ROGERS TIPS FROM PENGUIN
Max: Oswald’s having a bad day (Lost Ed, girl gang betrayal, Firefly taken out, Gordon’s the captain now), so he asks a mute orphan to draw him a picture.
Sarah: There are going to be so many scenes of an emotional Penguin hurriedly stuffing that friendship note into his pocket when someone else walks into the room.
LEE THOMPKINS RUNS BARTERTOWN
Max: Out of necessity, Lee must lead this army of Narrows ghouls and goons. Here’s hoping she puts them to work enriching the community!
Sarah: This is actually a great way to atone for almost murdering everyone with a rage virus.
JAMES GORDON, UNWITTING SIDEPIECE
Sarah: Jim bravely tells Sophia he doesn’t need her help anymore after she gives him everything he wanted.
Max: “Listen, idiot, I got you a promotion, and I’m taking over all crime, you wanna bone down or what?” – Sophia Falcone
Kayleigh: Literally getting in bed with the mafia to get rid of a crime lord had completely unforeseen, soul-tarnishing consequences. How could Jim have possibly known?
Gotham airs Thursdays at 8 PM on Fox.