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.
Max: Gotham continues to ride a fucking crazy train into Hell and “Unleashed” was a pretty wild episode even by this show’s standards.
GORDON ISN’T A COP BUT HE CAN STILL HANG OUT WITH BULLOCK AND POINT A GUN
Max: The episode opens on Bullock, Gordon, and an Untouchables squad of Gotham cops rolling up to Strange’s office with a search warrant only to be foiled by a paper shredder! Broken record, but god do I love B.D. Wong’s version of Hugo Strange. I’ll miss him when he inevitably dies at the hands of one of his monster babies.
Sarah: I love that this Hugo Strange is the kind of guy who stays up all night sewing costumes for his patients.
Kayleigh: B.D. Wong is the rare actor who makes every word he says sound delicious. As soon as Harvey and Ms. Peabody (and her skull brooch!) squared off, I shipped it.
HARVEY BULLOCK, LEADER OF MEN
Max: Gordon encouraging Bullock to step up and take command of the GCPD with Barnes
dead apparently in intensive care was a pretty solid beat for Donal Logue, who hasn’t really gotten much to do this season besides drop some killer one-liners.
Sarah: Harvey giving the men a rousing speech while holding a bloody prop sword was pretty great. Do you think Gotham would consider giving Harvey a stint as Captain?
Kayleigh: I wouldn’t be surprised if the season ends with Harvey getting promoted to Captain. You can get all the chocolate milkshakes and sexually voracious women you want when you’re the boss, Harvey!
Sarah: When he realizes that, he’ll put Jim back on the force and hand over the mantle so he can go back to his hoagies.
TABITHA IS GETTING THE HELL OUT OF HERE
Max: Tabitha realizes her brother is back and all Jesus-ed up as Azrael and tries to skip town, only to be pulled into the plot by a literal magic sword.
Kayleigh: I’m glad Tabitha’s still alive, but less glad that she’s in the same “put her back on the shelf till the plot needs her again” coma Barbara fell into earlier this season.
Max: It’s good that Tabitha isn’t dead from her case of Getting Stabbed By Her Brother, dug that we got to see a little of what her childhood with Theo was like. Butch being like legitimately in love with Tabitha—for like, pretty solid reasons!—was a surprising cherry on top of this super weird episode. So many people are or were in comas on this show.
Sarah: Azrael is just really bad at stabbing people in general, I think.
Max: “IT MUST HAVE BEEN WEIRD SEEING YOUR BROTHER DRESSED LIKE A NINJA FROM MEDIEVAL TIMES”
Sarah: WHO IS WATCHING BARBARA?
Kayleigh: Barbara’s still out looking for limes.
AT SOME POINT THIS JUST BECAME A BUFFY EPISODE, HUH?
Sarah: Let’s see: raiding a weirdly city-adjacent crypt for artifacts, literal sword fights, delightful banter between heroes and villains, and, OH YEAH, blowing up evil undead guys with a ROCKET LAUNCHER.
Kayleigh: Gotham City has ancient crypts dedicated to medieval saints, because of course it does.
Max: Really delighted that this episode hinges on Gordon & Co. racing to stop Azrael from acquiring a magic sword from his grandfather’s enormous tomb.
BRUCE BASICALLY NEGS SELINA INTO SNEAKING INTO ARKHAM
BRUCE: I need you to help me break into Arkham Asylum
BRUCE: Well if you’re chicken…
SELINA: UGH FINE
Kayleigh: Nygma bumping into Selina in the ducts—one trying to escape Arkham, the other trying to break in—felt very Batman ‘66 to me. (Hey, how long till we see Bruce scaling a wall with a bat-grappling hook?) I love that all these future super villains are casual acquaintances now.
Max: On any other show, Selina and Nygma running into each other in the A/C ducts would’ve been contrived, but here it’s just really funny.
Sarah: What’s especially great is that Nygma harbors no hard feelings toward Selina and even helps her. Her “are you kidding me” look to him asking if she can pick a lock was pretty perfect.
Max: We also got brief appearances from Killer Croc (I totally called it) and Firefly (who is now just a full-on super villain apparently). More on her next week, I guess??
BETTER CLOSE ALL THE CURTAINS SO AZRAEL DOESN’T KILL US
Max: So once Azrael/Galavan remembers who he is and sword-shanks his sister, he heads out to finish his unrealized plot to murder Bruce Wayne. Alfred and Bruce’s solution is to go lock all the doors and windows rather than, I dunno, use the secret fireplace Batcave to hide in.
Kayleigh: Azrael is basically Jason Vorhees in this episode—a relentless undead killing machine stalking
Camp Crystal Lake Gotham City to kill a teenager.
Max: Holy shit this episode had an Azrael/Alfred sword fight and that’s still not even close to the craziest thing that happened. Bruce straight up running over Azrael with one of his family’s extremely nice cars was also an extremely fun bit.
Sarah: I was really hoping the fight would go longer and Bruce would just keep tossing Alfred antique weapons that he pulled off the walls.
AZRAEL GETS OWNED TO DEATH BY A ROCKET LAUNCHER
Max: This is the best thing that has EVER happened on Gotham. Butch and Penguin explode Azrael and then walk off to cool music like it’s not even a thing.
Kayleigh: Every time Robin Lord Taylor saunters on screen you know shit is about to blow up—very literally, this time. The only thing that could have topped Penguin and Butch blowing up Azreal would be if the bazooka was also Butch’s hand.
Max: Azrael got rocked…to death.
MY NAME IS FISH MOONEY, BITCH
Max: Technically this is happening next week but hoooooly shit the triumphant return of Fish Mooney.
Sarah: Who will swoon the hardest, Butch or Harvey? (or me?)
Kayleigh: Can the world even handle a Hugo Strange/Fish Mooney sass-off?
Gotham airs Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on FOX.