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: SEASON FINALE, BABY! It’s finally here and it didn’t disappoint. THE GAME HAS CHANGED.
NOT-GORDON’S OUT AND ABOUT AND EVERYONE’S BUYING THIS I GUESS?
Max: Ben McKenzie playing Clayface as Gordon is so much fun to watch. Such a horny little freak.
Sarah: I was really hoping Harvey would look into Clayjim’s eyes and just know but instead he’s like, “Don’t worry, Alfred, Jim has this flu thing that makes him pervy and crave soda.”
Kayleigh: GIVE BEN MCKENZIE AN EMMY FOR THIS PERFORMANCE. Clayface actually being really shitty at impersonating people was a great gag.
Max: Bullock being like “I’m gettin’ laid this weekend, fingers crossed!” was also ah so good.
JUST GOT WORD FROM THE COURT OF OWLS: ARKHAM’S TOAST
Max: Gotham is the kind of show where a shadowy cabal orders Hugo Strange to blow up Arkham Asylum with a large novelty bomb. I think bombs are secretly central to Batman as a character.
Sarah: Is that not literally the same bomb that Chris O’Donnell tossed out of the circus in Batman Forever?
SOFT FOCUS THERAPY SESH WITH HUGO AND GORDON
Max: I liked how this whole sequence was shot. Hugo Strange interrogates Gordon about what he knows about The Court of Owls and inadvertently gives him some free therapy! Bonus: “Seeeeeecret Couuuuncil” is my new favorite Hugo Strange-ism.
Kayleigh: Strange being all, “Dude, your fiance had a miscarriage and you didn’t go look for her? What the hell, man?” was the one time he and I have been in agreement.
Sarah: Can’t wait for Jim to explain all this to Lee next season as she casually pushes her Secret Baby under a table with her foot.
DEAL OR NO DEAL WITH E. NYGMA
Max: I think I played this mini-game in Arkham City. Nygma asking Bruce and Lucius a question they have no possible way of knowing the answer to is classic Riddler shit.
Kayleigh: As is well-documented here on Aw C’Mon Gotham, I was not a fan of Riddler’s arc this season. I don’t think the character really clicked until they got him into Arkham. Nygma as a cackling game show host is pretty brilliant.
Sarah: I love that the end of Nygma’s arc this season is that everyone just forgets he exists.
Max: Strange walking him right back into his cell like “Ah but you will never be one of the cool kids, Edward”
FIREFLY VS. MR. FREEZE
Max: Ohhhhhhhh. I get it.
Sarah: Strange gets caught in the middle of their blasts and is like perfectly fine afterwards because I guess their powers just cancel each other out??
Kayleigh: The biggest surprise of the episode for me is that no one dies? Strange, Fish, Freeze (“Strange Fish Freeze,” now there’s a band name), and Firefly are all potentially back next season, which is amazing.
Sarah: The episode opening with Barbara helping Penguin interior decorate with his stepmother’s severed head is SO what I come here for.
Kayleigh: Penguin, Butch, and Barbara all being friends and hanging out in Penguin’s Gothic Nightmare House is so nonsensical, but they all play off each other wonderfully.
Max: This scene at the GCPD is a GEM. Clayface-Gordon sucking down a fast food soda and calling Lee “a ho,” Barbara being the one who figures out Clayface isn’t Gordon, the LITERAL SLAPSTICK of Clayface’s gross face.
Kayleigh: “Jim Gordon has been replaced by an undead doppelganger” is so absurd that of COURSE it’s Barbara of all people who realizes Clayface’s ruse.
JIM GORDON, YOU’RE AN IDIOT
Max: Gordon and Lucius are presented with a nuclear bomb and have NO IDEA what to do with it. Gordon thinking Ms. Peabody’s desperate plea for water was her telling him how to disarm the bomb is like Curb Your Enthusiasm-level farce.
Sarah: This scene was extremely stupid. I loved it.
Max: “Screw this, *I’m* going to go get laid this weekend” – Jim Gordon
Kayleigh: Some days you can get rid of a bomb.
ESCAPE FROM THE ARKHAM FREAK BUS
Max: FISH! MOONEY! FREAK! BUS!
Sarah: BUTCH FIRING A MINIGUN! WITH HIS ROBOT(?) HAND!
Kayleigh: Jerome’s back! Or it’s another laughing Joker red herring! I don’t know what’s happening!
Max: As if Fish Mooney showing up long enough to freak out Pengiun, Butch and Butch’s army of big fat guys wasn’t enough, we get the WTF surprise reveal of A BRUCE WAYNE DOPPLEGANGER. Is he a clone? Thomas Wayne Jr.? Another, third thing??
Kayleigh: This episode had not one, but TWO mysterious evil doppelgangers, guys.
Sarah: I hope this is Gotham’s twisted take on Hush and next season we’re getting a bitter 12 year old ex-bff who tries to destroy Bruce’s life by being him.
Max: He seems nice!
FINAL THOUGHTS ON GOTHAM SEASON 2
Max: This was a really good sophomore season of Gotham. I’m not totally satisfied with how the Gordon stuff shook out and the expanding cast definitely borders on unwieldy but they went real wild with this season and I had a blast. Between the way they pulled off the proto-Joker angle and Bruce’s encounter with Matches Malone, season 2 really cemented Gotham for me as a legitimately vital take on the Batman mythos. God bless The Maniax, Theo Galavan’s ninja army and Butch’s many interchangeable hands and god bless America.
Sarah: When you stop and think about just how many villains this season churned out (and killed), it’s kind of crazy. I don’t want to see ALL of Batman’s rogues gallery before he ever dons the cowl, and introducing Court of Owls, which has everything to do with Bruce’s past, might be a good way to pump the breaks a little. I love this batshit show though and can’t wait to experience season 3 insanity. But I’m still forever waiting for Harvey to finally kiss Jim on the mouth.
Kayleigh: Overall, the second season of Gotham was a much more rewarding experience than its predecessor. Discarding the uneven police procedural format for more serialized storytelling gave us two delicious new villains in Theo Galavan and Hugo Strange, and the show wisely recalibrated itself so that some of its weakest elements (Bruce, Barbara) became its greatest strengths. What I will miss most about Gotham is its remarkable ability to out “what the fuck” itself week after week. We’ll always have the army of Penguin cosplayers. And the ninja monks. And the multiple scenes of cannibalism. And Butch blowing up a man with a bazooka. Oh, and Fish Mooney, bitch.
SEE YOU NEXT FALL, GANG!