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.
“Burn the Witch” finds Bruce Wayne finally face to face with the mysterious head of the Court of Owls, while Fish Mooney and her army of super-freaks face down the beleaguered GCPD. Oh yeah and there’s a really dumb thing with Adult Baby Poison Ivy. Gotham!
BRUCE PLAYS DEAL OR NO DEAL WITH THE COURT OF OWLS
Max: Lil Bruce probably has brain damage from all the repeated ether-ings he’s suffered the last two episodes.
Kayleigh: Fun fact: I’ve never read any of the comics featuring the Court of Owls, so it’s interesting going into Season 3 with no preconceived notions about the group or their motivations. We’ll see how well Bruce does trading in his Batcave and Murder Board for dance lessons with Alfred, though. (How long until our first musical episode?)
Sarah: I’m impressed with Bruce’s ability to negotiate with evil adults, but his naivete about those same evil adults keeping their word is going to come full circle. I still think Gotham could survive without him, but it’s pretty fun watching bb Bruce straddle that line between childhood innocence and the shadow of the Bat.
WOAH IS THIS JIM GORDON’S APARTMENT??
Max: Jim and Valerie Vale keep saying “a million dollars” and I love it.
Kayleigh: How much does being a “Mutant Bounty Hunter” pay in Gotham City, anyway?
Sarah: I love that Vale flirts with Jim by shitting on his life. Her “I like your ex” quip after meeting Barbara officially won me over for her character.
Max: Valerie’s entire deal seems to be “I love it tho;” she brings some nice levity to a show where people are constantly swearing revenge.
Kayleigh: Valerie’s a welcome addition to the show, but—*gazes ominously at the darkening horizon, chews piece of straw* A love triangle’s a brewin’.
Max: That’s right, Lee rolls up at the end of the episode fresh off the 7:10 Art Deco Amtrak while Jim and Valerie are making out like teenagers!
“JIM I HAD THE AMPUTEE BABY DREAM AGAIN”
Kayleigh: Barbara just walked out of a David Lynch film and I am here for it. “Blonde bisexual nightclub owner who dreams of her mutilated lover in a baby carriage” is my favorite Mulholland Drive deleted scene.
Max: There’s a couple of great brief character scenes in this episode but in particular Jim rolling up to Barbara’s club looking for Selina and trying to deal with Barbara’s crazy supervillain schtick was a delight.
Sarah: Remember when Barbara was the worst part of the show? Now Erin Richards chews up every single line and feeds it to her costars momma bird style.
ADULT POISON IVY EMERGED FROM THE SEA, FREDDY KRUEGER SWEATER MADE FROM SEAFOAM
Sarah: I hate this.
Max: Ivy 2.0’s sweater grew with her adult body?? Is it a natural extension of her body now? Did anyone think about this for a second?
Sarah: Hate. It.
Kayleigh: Can I substitute a series of fart noises made by a Spencer’s Gifts novelty keychain for my review of this subplot? It’s no fault of the actress’s, but Christ, “Child Ivy is now a HOT MURDER BABE” is so fucking insulting.
Sarah: Glaring problematic plot twist aside, we don’t even get a real explanation as to how she grew (“inside and out” the writers point out in an attempt to make it OK that we’re sexualizing a twelve-year-old. Because now she feels older). Her plant schtick doesn’t makes sense either as she leaves it loose from its soil on the floor to die next to the one and only not-creepy schmuck in the city.
Max: I’m sort of worried this Poison Ivy thing is going to stink up the show? This entire B-plot was unnecessary and felt really pointless. PULL UP, GOTHAM!
THEY’RE KEEPING HUGO STRANGE IN A BIG HANNIBAL LECTER CUBE
Sarah: I’m glad that Gotham was able to snag Magneto’s plastic prison for its upcycled X-Men eps.
Max: I have missed BD Wong’s smooth ass voice so bad, you guys. “A NEW EEEEEEEVE.”
Kayleigh: Fish calls Hugo Strange “Daddy.” There’s no joke I could crack that would make that more incredible than it already is.
Max: Jada Pinkett-Smith’s tough talk threat devolving into her starting to cry was a really nice moment. Poor Fish didn’t ask to be a dying super-villain but damn if she isn’t making the most of it.
PENGUIN’S THROWIN’ A BEER AND CORPSE BONFIRE KEGGER AT THE PRISON MANSION, YOU SHOULD COME BY
Sarah: At one point did the cops just, like, up and leave the scene of a hostage situation?
Max: This episode felt like kind of a mirror to the pilot, where Jim and (Fish Mooney mind-whammied) Harvey are once again held hostage at the mercy of Fish Mooney’s goons. Here Jim Gordon got a bunch of people killed, but on the other hand, Penguin and Fish come to a nice little understanding about the nature of their relationship.
Sarah: How do you think Jim and Penguin have each other saved in their phones?
Kayleigh: Penguin leading an actual lynch mob against Fish is a big “uhhhhhhhh” on the List of Things Gotham Writers Probably Did Not Think About, especially since that mob, like, beats two women to death? That shit’s just ugly. Robin Lord Taylor and Jada Pinkett Smith fucking slay every time they share the screen—Fish and Penguin letting each other live because they finally acknowledge their Freudian mother/son bond is one of the show’s best moments.
Sarah: Gotham’s villains are all one, big incestuous family who all take credit for creating each other and Batman isn’t even in the picture yet.
DOUBLE BRUCES, RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES
Max: Now Alfred’s making grilled cheese sandwiches with the crusts cut off for two.
Kayleigh: How easy is it to break into Wayne Manor, anyway? Putting twist-ties on the doors would be more effective.
Sarah: This was basically the Owls’ contingency plan, yes? To murder the child majority shareholder of Wayne Enterprise and replace him with a lab-grown doppleganger? This show, you guys. I hope this is Gotham’s origin for Hush.
Gotham airs Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on FOX.