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 Gotham is a whirlwind of culinary delights! Human meat pies! Alfred’s mountain top stew! All this and Penguin’s further adventures in babysitting.
PYG’S BACK ON HIS WINDOM EARLE SHIT
Max: WE OPEN on Professor Pyg disguised as Father Guido Sarducci honeypotting homeless people with baked goods. He gives an Occupy Wall Street speech then murders them for some Body Worlds art.
Sarah: There’s absolutely no need for Pyg to wear a disguise amongst a group of homeless, but he can’t help himself.
Kayleigh: I would risk being poisoned and cannibalized by man in a pig mask if it meant free Sugar Shack donuts, not gonna lie.
Max: Hard Times Harvey Bullock gives Jim his office but not before…scolding him for not executing the Penguin in the very first episode of Gotham???
Kayleigh: Jim was hoping they’d have a “Remember the good times” talk that didn’t mention pretending to shoot a future supervillain to gain a mob boss’s favor.
Sarah: The office supplies that Harvey is packing up are just a bunch of velcro-backed flasks that were hidden under the desk.
DRAMATIC FLIP-PHONE CONVERSATIONS
Max: The mayor’s disappeared, following in the fine tradition of the last three mayors who were either kidnapped or literal super-villains. The Penguin is going to use his mute child-servant to spy on Sofia, who calls Jim up on her atemporal Motorola cell phone to give him a heads up that Oswald’s on a mayor hunt.
Kayleigh: In these dark and uncertain times, Gotham City needs a hero. A leader. It needs…Mayor Bing Bong.
“THAT PIG’S EATING THAT GUY”
Max: Pyg’s new pop up art installation is deeply troubling to Gordon.
Sarah: How normal is this theatrical shit in Gotham that no one seems to care that a guy is setting up a striped circus tent in the middle of the street?
Kayleigh: “Heyyy, the Crazy Clown Murder Circus isn’t supposed to roll into town until NEXT week!”
HUNGOVER TEEN BRUCE WAYNE
Max: Alfred is so pissed off that Bruce Wayne’s forsaken his teen vengeance quest in favor of ideal richboy partying that he isn’t even making him breakfast. “Get your shoes on, we’re putting some rocks with initials on them on top of a mountain to honor your dead dad!!!”
Sarah: Bruce seems like he’s trying too hard to play a role here. Like he’s seen too many TV dramas with troubled teenagers.
Kayleigh: I think we’re so used to sulky tv teens being played by chiseled twenty-somethings, that when Bruce—played by an actual teenager—acts like a petulant dipshit I still want to pat him on the head and buy him a pony.
PYG’S PLAN: HUMAN BRISKET
Max: Pyg’s holed up in an abandoned paper mill (sure!) and apparently working on becoming the Guy Fieri of smokehouse style human organ BBQ. Oh and Detective Harper gets stabbed and kidnapped for some cheap pathos.
Sarah: Mmyeah called that schtick. Would love to see a female member of the GCPD go a full season without getting murdered or stabbed or shot by the captain.
Kayleigh: If they’d given Harper a single personality trait I’m sure I’d be very distressed right now.
PENGUIN EXPLAINS THE CONCEPT OF FAKE FRIENDS TO A CHILD
Max: Oswald taking a sinister mute orphan under his wing remains the best non-wrestling subplot on the show. Gotham is great because The Penguin has zero compunction about manipulating a small child into becoming his literal mini-me.
Sarah: I love that Penguin seems fully aware that Sofia put this child in his path as a tool, but, like, he’s so cute though, so it’s fine.
Kayleigh: Also, Oswald now has purple highlights in his hair, making his ascendancy into an early-00s anime character complete.
PYG, TRULY THE BANKSY OF CRIME
Max: Pyg’s disguised as a ridiculous French chef and he’s going to serve some Sweeney Todd pies at Sofia’s fancy gala.
Sarah: Nothing screams “black tie fundraiser” like “meat pies”.
Kayleigh: Pyg is wearing the curly mustache of a cartoon chef on a can of spaghetti and no one sees through the disguise.
Sarah: Is it really camping if you’re 20 feet from your limo?
Max: Alfred met Bruce’s dad at a London police station after turning himself in for possibly murdering someone while blackout drunk. Say what you will but Gotham Alfred has a brand that’s been consistent for decades. Oh yeah, and Bruce punctured this nice moment by leaving Alfred in the middle of the damn woods without a car.
Kayleigh: Flash-forward to Bruce telling Tommy Elliott that he dropped off Alfred at a butler farm where he’ll be happier.
SOFIA’S DINNER PARTY IS A BUST
Max: I would have never in a million years predicted that this show would deliver “Professor Pyg covers the prison inmate song from Chicago before making a room full of millionaires eat human meat pies.”
Kayleigh: There’s so much happening in this scene: the “Meat Pie Tango,” Penguin’s “bitch I cooked my stepmother’s children for breakfast” attitude, some Preston Northwest motherfucker calling Martin “just an urchin” before he gets a fork in the brain…and oh, the cannibalism! This might be the most insane six minutes of Gotham ever.
Max: Does anyone else feel like Pyg’s speech here is deliberately evoking Batman’s “You have dined on this city” monologue from Batman: Year One? Am I overthinking this?
Sarah: There are a lot of moments throughout this show run that feel like nods to certain comic arcs, but less in a way that feels deliberate and more like a guy throwing darts at his graphic novel collection.
Max: Considering the teenage version of Hush is just hanging out this season, that’s probably about right.
GORDON JUST MATRIX-DODGED A KNIFE
Max: The Gordon/Pyg tabletop knife fight—god, what a beautifully weird sentence that is to type—is maybe the best bit of action choreography on the show to date? Good stuff!
Sarah: Sofia seemed FULLY into watching this fight. Or maybe I’m projecting. But damn, Jim.
Kayleigh: She was so excited she was about to bust out of that “suspicious widow in a 1940s Alfred Hitchcock movie” gown.
SOFIA AND OSWALD REACH AN UNDERSTANDING
Max: Penguin’s like “You definitely betrayed me but also you were willing to eat human remains to save my ward so we’re going to call this a wash”.
Sarah: Gotham is making an interesting effort to draw lines in the sand between villains here. Penguin has slit his fair share of throats, but he’ll go the distance for people he considers to be true friends.
Kayleigh: “But I know you, the creepy stone-faced orphan I have molded in my anime-haired, people-eating image, will never betray me.”
ALFRED WILL FIGHT FORTY TEENS IF NECESSARY
Max: On one hand, Bruce throwing a spite-fueled kegger at Wayne Manor to hurt Alfred is hard to watch. On the other hand, Alfred threatening to kick Teen Hush’s ass is very satisfying.
Sarah: It’s really hard for me to believe that a bunch of rebellious, rich teens are at a giant mansion full of private bedchambers and are just…chillin in the sitting room?
Kayleigh: Any hopes for awkward teen heavy petting are foiled by the fact that the library is the only Wayne Manor set.
*CLOSE UP ON SINISTER CHILD*
Sarah: Inb4 Penguin’s relationship with this child implodes because he teaches him…too well.
Max: Oh 100%. Hey Gotham we just saw Sofia kiss Jim like seconds ago, you don’t need to give us a flashback with weird film grain over it too. Oswald’s pissed that somebody’s kissing Jim and it ain’t him!
Kayleigh: And thanks to Martin’s innate artistic ability, we now know who designed those movie posters for The Snowman.
Gotham airs Thursdays at 8 PM on Fox.