Gotham Review – “The Fearsome Dr. Crane” S1E14

Pros:

Edward Nygma is indeed crazy: So he put cut up body parts in the Medical Examiner’s locker. What’s the big deal? —Um, actually that is crazy! Nygma is finally showing signs of being evil, but by the same token, was M.E. was not innocent by any means. This is decent character progression for the nerdy forensics investigator, and even though he Frankensteined the locker, I can’t help but like the goofy guy.

Bullock likes redheads: Bullock was pretty funny this episode. He is still toeing the line between crooked cop and good guy, though. This week, he wanted to bang the redhead who hosts the phobia groups. And then he said this to Jim, “Unless she’s the killer, I think I’m in there.” The man has priorities.

Bruce gets bossy: Gordon comes to Bruce’s house to inquire about Selina’s admission that she did not see the Wayne’s killer. Bruce could have said, “Yeah, that’s ok Jim. You are still a nice man.” But no. Instead he took Gordon off the case, and told him that he did a crappy job of investigating in the first place. Then Alfred saw Gordon to the door like a BOSS.

Roadtrips can be full of surprises: At first, I thought it was corny that Maroni suggested a roadtrip for Oswald and himself in order to meet the guy with the thing. I thought Oswald was a nitwit for not knowing what was really going on. Turns out he did! There was the hilarious exchange about secrets (FYI, no oatmeal or coffee for Cobblepot), and we found out neither party is as dumb as they seem. Oswald took the gun, Maroni filled it with blanks, and everyone knows the truth about everything.

Gotham - The Fearsome Dr. Crane
I refuse to be canned meat!

 

Cobblepot uses the power of his cell phone: Maroni and Cobblepot’s struggle ends with Cobblepot in a car ready to be scrap at the junkyard. Cobblepot, for unknown reasons, still has his cell phone, and calls Maroni. This part is hilarious, because he calls their killer as they are doing the killing? But then he uses his brain and calls the junkyard guy, who ends up running because Cobblepot warns of the wrath of Falcone. He’s a liar, but at least he’s smarter than the guys who want him dead.

The menacing walk of a man with…: A baby pig! I didn’t know whether I should put this scene as a pro or a con, but because I played the scene over again three times, and laughed my ass off every time, I decided it was a pro. The second victim of Dr. Crane is a man with a phobia for pigs, or swinophobia. While that seems giggle worthy at best, the fact that Dr. Crane walks toward his victim menacingly, wearing all black, petting the cutest baby pig in television, and low “bum… bum bum bum, bum bum bum” music plays, all on a sunny day in Gotham, had me in stitches.

Cons:

Captain Essen is still the worst Captain: This woman has no clue. She insinuates that Gordon is solely to blame for Arnold Flass being in jail. And that Flass and his crew are hurting people in the city because of what Gordon did. This could be foreshadowing, but couldn’t she, as someone in a position of power, put a stop to that? Also, she tells Gordon that the Medical Examiner will be the only one working on his case because that’s how it is. Actually, it’s that way because she suspended Nygma. Why didn’t she just say that instead?

Cut the ropes, then save the girl: Bullock’s lady love gets kidnapped by Dr. Crane (didn’t see that coming) and thrown in a pool because she is afraid of drowning. Bullock and Gordon show up to save the day, and Bullock dives in for the girl. But instead of taking her out of the pool immediately to do CPR, he first cuts the ropes off her, and then takes her out of the water. Apparently, she can’t breathe with ropes on her wrists.

Fish is on a boat: Fish’s scenes were pretty much useless. But what took the cake was the final scene. Whoever shot up the boat enters her doorway. She is dressed like Catwoman, he is dressed like a Black Panther (not the comic character) and they both raise their arms like cats and lunge at each other, all the roaring sound effects. This whole thing was ridiculously cheesy. But it looked fun enough that my husband and I tried to reenact the scene and carry out what could happen from there. In case you wondered, we ended up sliding because we were wearing socks on our tile floor.

Gotham - The Fearsome Dr. Crane
Come at me, bro.

 

Easter Eggs:

Dr. Crane and Dr. Crane: The man who was the “baddie of the week” was Dr. Jonathon Crane’s daddy-o. The young man who needed change for the meter was the future Scarecrow.

Professor Pyg: There was a slight reference (although it doesn’t seem intentional) to Professor Pyg, a character created by Grant Morrison in 2007. The man in the pig sty wearing a pig mask resembled the Gotham villain.

Adrenal Glands: Nygma and Thompkins both realized that the victims were missing their adrenal glands. Thompkins suggests that the fear chemical is going to be used for something. This is a possible nod to Scarecrow’s fear toxin to be used in the future.

Predictions:

Nygma’s job: Was Nygma even reinstated? It seemed kind of strange that he was the one who said it, not the Captain. It’s possible that he will just hang around without Captain Essen even knowing, considering she has no control of her department.

Flass will return: There were too many references to Flass in this episode to not include him in the near future.

Gordon and Leslie Thompkins will be known: Jim and Leslie kissed in front of everyone. We won’t be getting too many shots of Barbara’s sweet apartment for awhile, but Leslie is better looking than that apartment anyhow. On a serious note, Jim and Leslie have more in common. He can actually tell her and trust her about his job. It will be hard to defend him getting back with Barbara if that even happens.

Hush Comics gives “The Fearsome Dr. Crane” a C+ for incorporating story lines from past episodes, some character development, but still taking itself too seriously.

All images belong to FOX and DC Entertainment. They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

Gotham Review – “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon” S1E13

Pros:

Edward Nygma is reminiscent of Spike in BtVS, before he became a vampire: He’s so adorkable! This week, Nygma writes Kringle a poetic greeting card, a la William the Bloody, and is made fun of, a la William the Bloody. You’d have to be a Buffy fan to get why I liked this aspect. Now if only Nygma turned into a vampire and killed them all. Gotham would be much better.

Some subtlety: At one point Bullock talks about Flass, narcotics cop, having nice things, insinuating that Flass deals the same drugs he finds. It was a nice the writers finally decided to hint at the fact rather than practically break the 4th wall and tell us that Flass was a bad guy.

Gordon stating the obvious: At first, when the witness is murdered in the precinct, I thought, “Oh my god, they seriously just killed someone in the station. How dumb.” But the plot revealed why this was plausible. The best part though, was when Jim said “How the hell did this happen?!” because we were all thinking it.

The depth of corruption is … deep: This episode featured more of the police department and how bad things really are in Gotham. From different officers involved in the drug trade, to the fact that they use warrants from the Commissioner to move their stash houses. It’s pretty scary, but good they are finally showing this more.

Victor Zsasz and his Angels are insane: I’m calling them his Angels because it’s kinda like he’s Charlie and they are demented crime… doers. Anyway, even though the girls are over the top, I cannot get enough of Victor. He is a man who knows his mission, and carries it out oh-so-well. And thank god someone is trying to kill Fish and Butch.

Gotham - Welcome Back, Jim Gordon
Looks like someone is getting ready to DISCO!

 

Penguin’s Moral Compass: Gordon final uses the “Bullock Method” and asks Cobblepot to get info on Arnold Flass. When he asks about how to repay Cobblepot, Oswald replies, “friends don’t owe friends.” Oswald Cobblepot may be a lot of things, but his loyal to those he regards highly.

No good deed goes unpunished: Gordon feels pretty high and mighty when he arrests Flass in front of the department, but when he finds out that Delaware, one of the detectives in the ring who was involved, was tortured by one of Cobblepot’s cronies (which was one of the best scenes of the episode), Gordon because to realize the error of his ways. Gordon wrestling between right vs. wrong in this crooked town could be a great plot point moving forward.

Cons:

Fish Mooney erotica: Was the point of the torture nothing more than telling the audience that Fish Mooney is ultra sexy in a 50 Shades of Gray way? Because…ew. Otherwise, there seemed to be no point to it. We already know Carmine Falcone is ruthless. We didn’t need to see her orgasm through suffocation.

Puppy Love disguised as Grown-Up Love: Bruce and Alfred return from Switzerland and immediately look for Selena. While this isn’t surprising, because Bruce still thought that Selena knows the man who murdered his parents, he also really does like her. The thing that makes this a con is that once Bruce gives her the snowglobe and asks her to move in with him, she freaks out. Perhaps I would freak out, too. Especially because this is happening with someone who is like 10 YEARS OLD. Too weird.

Captain Essen is the worst Captain ever: How does she not know that practically all the cops under her are really bad guys? How does nothing get approved by her? How is it that Jim got the evidence that Flass was the killer, but Captain Essen didn’t know? Why would she approve the death of the witness as a suicide instead of a homicide? Whyyyyy?!

Bad guitar music: TWO different scenes featured guitar riffs from 1985. O.K., that isn’t proven, but they were bad anyhow. Between Gordon’s interrogations (two of those in the last three weeks) and Penguin’s bender in his club, I feel like guitar riffs should be banned. Straight up. And Gotham needs to higher a new music supervisor.

Penguin’s Club: The whole thing was strange. First of all, why was there an old man orchestra playing? Why was his mom so obsessed with it all? Are all club owner’s moms so proud of their accomplishments? I have too many questions. Also, the fact that Fish walked in when Penguin was drunkenly announcing the club opening to no one was very predictable.

Gotham - Welcome Back, Jim Gordon
I’m old, but still think I am hot.

 

Easter Eggs:

Arnold Flass is an ass: Arnold Flass, created by Frank Miller, is a very crooked cop. First appearing in Batman: Year One, as Jim Gordon’s partner. He is close to Carmine Falcone, beats people up for fun, and even beating up Jim Gordon and threatening his family. That does not end up well for Flass in the end. We shall see if Gordon retaliates on Flass more than just “locking him up.”

The Dark Knight: When Bruce is playing chess by himself, the last move we see him make is moving the black knight, or the “Dark Knight” in a king’s knight play. It was a cute little nod to the future of the young man.

Predictions:

Flass and Gordon will have beef: Gordon may have the support of the Captain, but that doesn’t mean he has the support of Flass’s crew within and outside the department. If he ever is out of jail, he will gather a crew to beat up Gordon, and possibly take Barbara hostage, since she still has to matter to the show. The season will end with Gordon doing something really bad to Flass, like taking him out in the woods and gagging him. But this is only in the hopes that the show follows the comics.

Bruce and Selena gonna be enemies: Now that Bruce knows the truth about Selena’s lie, it is unlikely they will continue their romance, if you can even call it that. Looks like Selena is destined to be bad.

Fish Mooney will not leave town: Maybe she will jump out of the river, kill a homeless man, and eat his sandwich! I was hoping that she was wouldn’t come back, but since there has been no major news about Jada Pinkett Smith exited the series, there is no way Mooney will be gone for long.

Butch will turn: Now that Zsasz is more than likely torturing the Butch, he will turn on Mooney. I have no reason to think this other than I really just don’t like her and want her gone.

Poison Ivy will begin to use Oil of Olay: Is it just me, or did that chick age like 30 years in the face? And never get taller?

Hush Comics gives “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon” a D+, because even there seemed to be more pros than cons, those cons really outweighed the pros. Gotham is shooting itself in the foot (or stabbing itself in the back with an ice pick) with the same story, different day outline. Also, there was no Morena Baccarin this week, and that sucks.

All pictures belong to FOX and The CW.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

Gotham Review – “What the Little Bird Told Him” S1E12

Pros:

Dr. Leslie Thompkins is hot… and hotter than Barbara Keane: Morena Baccarin is a beautiful woman. Why is this a plus? Because pretty much everything else about this episode sucked. Also, she can act better than the rest of the cast. And now that she and Jim Gordon have hooked up, it looks like she is here to stay… for a while at least.

Bringing back characters from the past: Other than the mob families, bad guys of the week usually stick to their week. It was nice to see Victor Zsasz and The Electrocutioner make a return. Not to mention, Zsasz is scary as hell.

Edward Nygma is needs to move: Poor Nygma. He likes the girl. He knows it. And even though she dresses kind of nerdy, she is so not into him. I feel bad for the guy… I do. If I didn’t know his fate as The Riddler, I would say he should move to Central City with The Flash. He would fare better in a group of nerds like himself.

Gotham - What the Little Bird Told Him
Poor little nerd. He just wants love!

Despite the rest of the mob, Carmine Falcone is a BAMF: And I don’t mean that in a great way. I mean, he choked his mommy doppelgänger Liza to death. Without any qualms. That is so bad-ass, but in the most terrifying way possible.

Cons:

The Barbara Keane story line is BORING: And in fact she is boring. I have made fun of #Gaytham mercilessly because I thought it was a way for FOX to be “cutting edge.” Now I realize that without Barbara having a female lover on the side, she is utterly yawn-worthy. Why should I care that she is now staying with her parents? They clearly don’t care about her. Who would believe that she is “happy” with Jim if she needs to stay with her mommy and daddy for a few days? And talk about some pretentious white people. Even their house was too white. In the words of Jimmy Fallon, “Ew.”

The Electrocutioner was pointless: Yeah, it’s cool he came back, but his ONLY worth was to electrocute The Penguin (which he did unintentionally) which lead to The Penguin having a moment of amnesia and admitting to Maroni he was working for Falcone. All of this seems highly unlikely and very, very silly.

The Electrocutioner’s Demise: Did the baddie of the week just get taken down by Jim Gordon and a glass of water? Yes. And while I have seen that work in other shows (Buffy did it), they weren’t asinine. This was so anti-climactic; the whole thing was a giant let down, especially after The Electrocutioner was taking people down in an awesome Magneto style.

Gotham - What the Little Bird Told Him
Always saving the day… and it’s so predictable.

 

Jim Gordon, Civilian vs. Jim Gordon, Detective: Ok. Let’s get this straight. ANYONE in Gotham can walk in on a police meeting discussing sensitive evidence regarding a high-profile case. Including Jim Gordon, who is technically a civilian. Then, he extorts the Commissioner, with no repercussions. Then he BARELY solves the case (and by barely, I mean not at all) and gets LUCKY by having The Electrocutioner showing up at the station. He also got lucky that someone had a glass of water on their desk. Then at the end, he gets his job back. Easy as pie… or just throwing a cup of water. Can you tell I’m bitter about the water?

The entire god damn plot: The whole “he’s working for you, but also for you” and “she’s working for you, but also for you” and “I’m going to take over!” thing hit the fan this week, and it was God awful. Fish Mooney with her finger twitch and thinking that she could just arrange for Falcone to move was proof that she is a dim wit. And Falcone second guessing that he should go was dumb. And Maroni carrying Oswald into the police station was dumb. And… it was all dumb.

Gotham - What the Little Bird Told Him
You work for who? Is anyone even keeping track anymore?!

 

Also: The music! It’s soooo bad. Get rid of the music and I can take you more seriously Gotham.

Easter Eggs:

Commissioner Loeb: The man who comes in to take on the Arkham Asylum case is Commissioner Loeb. He was created by Frank Miller in 1987 for the Batman: Year One arc starting in issue #404. He is the Commissioner of Gotham when Batman begins his war on crime. Eventually, he falls to Carmine Falcone’s corruption and sees Jim Gordon as a threat. In Gotham, he is played by Peter Scolari, who has been a character actor in just about everything ever.

“What the Little Bird Told Him”: The title of the episode is a not-so-subtle reference to Oswald Cobblepot’s nickname, The Penguin, and his way of being a snitch. Which is a thing the show likes to say a lot.

Penguin gets a club!: At the end of the episode, Oswald is rewarded for being a snitch by getting Fish’s nightclub. Maybe now people will actually show up… I digress. In the comics, Oswald is known for his business dealings, particularly by using a nightclub as a legitimate business to cover his illegal dealings.

Predictions:

Jim, Leslie, and Barbara love triangle: Ugh, but true. Considering Barbara Keane is supposedly Barbara Gordon’s mom, the three may end up in some sort of an affair. Fan boys can only hope this will end in a ménage.

Bruce and Alfred: Where the heck are they?! I predict that Alfred is really in the MI-6 and is training Bruce to be an agent. Just kidding. But really, where are they?

Fish Mooney or Jada Pinkett Smith: The preview for next week shows Mooney getting tortured. But who will enjoy it more? My bet is on Smith.

 

Hush Comics gives “What the Little Bird Told Him” a D for a bad plot line, under using characters, and silly, silly antics.

 

All pictures belong to FOX and The CW.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio and Jeff Neumann.

 

Gotham Review – “Rogues’ Gallery” S1E11

Oh thank you, Jesus; TV season is back. Right out of the gates, Gotham is back with a variety of new things going on. Jim Gordon has been demoted by the mayor himself to work security at Arkham Asylum, where he will meet Doctor Leslie Thompkins and all hell will surely break loose. While we were very welcome to have Gotham come back, the show is still plagued by the same issues that have done it a disservice all season long.

Pros:

The Freak Show: Gotham can be laughable at times, but there is absolutely nothing fun about a looney bin. There are a few scenes here that set the tone for a darker and scarier rest of the season. Just like it should be.

Leslie Thompkins: There’s really no stopping me from turning into a drooling fanboy when I see Morena Baccarin on screen, but I will attempt to stay level-headed. The newest addition to the show has big shoes to fill in from comic book lore, and has been solid so far.

By himself but not alone: I jumped for joy when Gordon’s former partner Harvey Bullock showed up. Their once-awkward partnership has gained quite a bit of chemistry, and will be one of my favorite components of the show going forward.

Butch starts earning his nickname: In what could have been a very lame twist, Fish Mooney’s fight-hand man ends up getting a lot of brownie points for being a soldier.

Speaking of Fish Mooney: It could be the off-season drought of TV, or it could be the lack of screen time she got, but I found Fish’s character to be much more palatable (haaaa….) this episode. Let’s hope the trend continues.

gotham rogues gallery 2

Cons:

Penguin is not a peacock:  After Robin Lord Taylor’s Oswald Cobblepot became our hand-down favorite of the show, it was a little disappointing to see him put in his place so abruptly.

Spoil the mood tunes: Every time that a legitimate threat is formulating, Gotham feels the need to let us know just how dark and suspenseful it is – with some Danny Elfman-esque effects. Severely corny and outdated 25yrs later.

Barbara is a FLOOZY: This episode broke whatever attachment I had to Barbara. Not only is she slummin’ it up with Montoya, but she’s added zero value to the show and was dumb enough to believe that a little girl who answered the phone is sleeping with Gordon. What a winner, Jimbo.

Shiiiiiiiiit: Isiah Whitlock, Jr., known to most as The Wire‘s Clay Davis, makes a cameo here as the Director of Arkham Asylum. He must have not learned a damn thing from those federal inditements, because his quick exit was a major let-down for me.

No Waynes: While the Bruce Wayne and Alfred angle had a lot of progression before the break, they were noticeably absent from “Rogues’ Gallery.” I could do without Bruce, honestly; I just want to see Alfred crack heads.

gotham rogues gallery 3

Easter Eggs:

Tempest: The beginning scene has the inmates performing Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the plot of misdirection and deceit is quite relatable to the events in “Rogues’ Gallery.”

Jack Gruber: The mastermind being all the different ECT experiments is, thanks to next episode’s preview, the Electrocutioner, most recently an Arkham Origins villain. He sure doesn’t look the part, but whatever.

Aaron Helzinger: Poor guy – ya try to do the right thing and what happens? Bam, lobotomy. Helzinger is a very minot character from the  early 90’s, a man with spontaneous fits of rage after having his amygdala removed.

 

Hugo Strange: Quite… strange… how this Gruber is so much like Hugo. From the electro-compulsive therapy to the need to want to play with the inmates’ minds, even down to the black gloves and the way his face looks, everything about this Gruber guy screams Hugo Strange.

Leslie Thompkins: Every TV Asylum needs a sexy doctor, and Leslie Thompkins fills, no… floods, that position. Seriously though, Dr. Thompkins is one of Batman’s most trusted civilian allies. In the comics, an aged Thompkins offers asylum to all those in need of help, good or bad. She’s the poster-child of the Hippocratic Oath, and with any luck, the best damn rebound that Jim Gordon could ever hope for.

gotham rogues gallery 5

Predictions:

Don’t be a (Hugo) Strange(r): Gruber’s escape from Arkham will have serious repercussions, from Gordon’s position at the joint to the series of murders Gruber will surely commit before being apprehended.

Sparks fly between Thompkins and Gordon: If you are not rooting for them to hook up, then I don’t know what are you doing.

Bye, Bye Barbara: After her latest outburst of stupid, I have every reason to think that she will be stuffed in the metaphorical refrigerator sooner than later.

Butcher’s block: After Butch’s latest show of loyalty, and emergence as kind of a badass, Fish Mooney will eventually thank him in kind with cement shoes. That’s just what bosses do.

Selina doesn’t actually know a damn thing: This future Catwoman is an absolute USER. Like the kind the Eurythmics used to sing about. There’s no way she actually has anything relevant to say about the Wayne killer.

gotham rogues gallery 6

Hush Comics gives “Rogues’ Gallery” a C+ for being unable to rid itself of the laughably implausible plot devices when there is a perfectly good drama waiting to be fleshed out.

All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

Gotham Review – “Lovecraft” S1E10

Pros:

Alfred “James Bond” Pennyworth: Holy Crap! He looks old, but the man can fight. He whipped bad guys with a cane and got shot. He also went in guns-a-blazin’ to get Bruce back from the kidnappers and assassins (and he had unlimited ammo). Not too shabby.

The Alfred/Harvey Bullock Team-up: Harvey Bullock has been getting better and better. With Gordon on a one-man manhunt for Lovecraft, the Alfred/ Harvey team-up worked perfectly. Mysterious Brit paired with the slightly silly American? Yeah, that’s a plotline I can get down with.

Copperhead: She’s like Zoë Saldana’s sexy assassin sister! A new take on the character (who has been a male in the past), her acrobatic moves and no nonsense attitude was welcome this week. I’m hoping she’ll not be forgotten in the future.

Setting up Gordon: I don’t know why, but I really liked this. Perhaps it’s because I feel the cops could use a few brains, and setting one of them up is a quick way to do it. Sorry Gordon, but getting played was good for the show, even if it led to your demotion.

Selina Kyle, girl who can get out of a bind: Bruce and Selina get trapped in a warehouse with a skylight (how convenient), but the street kid figures out how to get to the skylight, and uses her surroundings to help them out. It was one of the best scenes of the series thus far.

Cons:

Selina Kyle, girl with major Daddy issues:  Ok, so she tells Bruce to get over his dead parents, then immediately follows up that uncouth statement with something even worse: “Do you want to kiss me?” Um, let’s think… no. Also saying she’s nice and following up that with, “Screw you, Orphan!” isn’t making her anymore likeable. Is she supposed to be?

Penguin/Maroni/Falcone/Fish: This was interesting, but with bad guys of the week, it seems inconsequential. All of it is convoluted. And honestly, none of them are that scary (ok, maybe Falcone). They are mostly talk, and it’s boring at that.

Other ridiculous things:  – Bruce being able to jump the buildings. – A street kids mall. –Selina having to give her stolen items to a “stuff pimp” (patent pending on that phrase). – Falcone killing the guy at the dinner party… “It was Falcone in the dining room with a gun!” – Selena and Bruce walk to Gotham. – Fish being convinced with flirtation from a man with an accent. –Lovecraft literally dropping the gun when told to. He was lucky it didn’t go off. – Bruce and Selina actually kiss. Ugh.

Easter Eggs:

Copperhead: Copperhead made his debut in the comics in 1968 as a theif who wore a snake costume. Over time, he became an assassin and contortionist. In the New52, instead of a snake costume, he is actually part snake. While the Gotham version seems to be based on the reboot in the Arkham Origins video game, it is nice know the bad guys beginnings.

“Take him with you.”: When Gordon is given the transfer to Arkham, Edward E. Nygma has a hard time coping. Harvey suggests he go with Gordon, a hint at Nygma’s future home.

Predictions:

Arkham Asylum: The show does a great job of ambiance as far as Gotham is concerned. It will work particularly well with the feel Arkham Asylum should have. Gordon’s transfer there (assuming he is still the main character) should give us an avenue to meet more “rogues.”

Hush Comics gives “Lovecraft” a B+ for creating more interesting scenes, proving there are consequences, but still carrying on some story lines that seem to be going nowhere.

All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

Gotham Review – “Harvey Dent” S1E9

Last week’s Gotham introduced a few new characters, and it continued to lay on the soap opera plot of Barbara and Renee. While this week’s bad guy of the week was a blast to watch (pun intended), and Alfred continues to be the best mainstay character on the show, the rest felt lacking in development.

Harvey Dent, professional coin flipper.
Harvey Dent, professional coin flipper.

Pros:

Finally addressing that sweet crib: When Gordon brings Selina home with him, she comments on his apartment, saying he must be “one rich cop.” Turns out it’s Barbara’s place, which doesn’t clear anything up. But at least we know that it didn’t come from Gordon’s money.

Ian Hargrove, crazy bomb maker and best character in the show to date: This week we were introduced to insane bomb maker, Ian Hargrove. He is a brand new character, just for the show, and to date, he is the best character yet. A bomb maker using his own sense of justice in Gotham to take out companies who make guns? Pretty cool. Plus he is smart. Putting an indicator in the bomb he was forced to make by the Russians was a brilliant move, knowing it would lead police to him.

Nygma the Nerd:  Forensics specialist Edward Nygma did add a lot this week’s episode, but his nerd out about video games and trivia made me smile.

Alfred Pennyworth, butler by day, badass by night:  Alfred is quickly shaping up to be the only character with balls on this show. He is unafraid to question authority, teach youngsters how to be Batman, and telling others exactly what he thinks of them. And all that happened just in this episode! My favorite Alfred moment this week was saying that Selina is a tricky little minx. You tell ‘em!

The Ringtone:  When Butch called the Russian’s truck to blow it up, the ringtone was “The Final Countdown.” It’s just funny.

Cons:

The Title:  Gotham really needs to work on its titles. This episode, titled “Harvey Dent” had a total of three scenes with the newly introduced character, and poorly introduced at that. He seems conniving, contradictory to him being a good lawyer according to Gordon. I was confused about if we were supposed to like him or not. Between his fake charisma and his anger outburst, it seems Dent will be a bad guy sooner than later.

“Cat” and her teenage romance:  Selina Kyle, who is going by Cat (ugh) gives James Gordon’s sketch guy a description of the man who killed the Wayne’s There is only one problem with that: he was wearing a mask. How could she have seen his face? I wonder if the audience is supposed to go with this or if she will be revealed to be a liar. Also, the teenage romance between Bruce and Selina is supposed to be sweet, but I think it’s (Jimmy Fallon voice) “ew.”

James Gordon, the detective who is still learning the ropes:  James Gordon is still a better cop than Bullock, (although arguably not this week), but he did a few questionable things. I understand he wants/needs Selina’s help in the Wayne case, so he needs to keep her in close vicinity, but putting her up with the son of the Wayne’s seems like a conflict of interest. Also, when the Russians and Gordon were about to have a shootout in the street over Hargrove, he tells Hargrove his brother and family are in protective custody. Not a good idea to say when the gangs run the town and the police work for them. They can easily find Hargrove’s family and use them for leverage.

Other ridiculous things:  -The “Penguin” music.  -The line by a guard that goes, “Sounds like ticking” and then he leans into the ticking as if it couldn’t be a bomb.  -Jada Pinkett Smith.  -And the fact that she is up for a People’s Choice award for best actress when she is terrible.  -The weird strippers who are always at Mooney’s club, but no one ever goes there, so they must be poor strippers.  – Using the only two women on the show as a lesbian trope to gain viewers.

Put 'em up, Wayne!
Put ’em up, Wayne!

Easter Eggs:

Harvey Dent and his coin:  Harvey Dent was introduced in this episode. We know he is a lawyer, he has a two-headed coin, and that he has an anger problem. This all seems to be pretty spot on with the Harvey Dent of the comic lore. He will eventually be Two-Face, but before that, he’s on the side of the good guys. I don’t’ get that feeling from him quite yet, but time will tell.

Blackgate Penitentiary:  Blackgate Penitentiary has been the prison on Gotham Bay since the early 90’s. Before that, the main prison in Gotham was… Gotham Prison. Blackgate has been the predominant prison used in the lore for years now.

Lovecraft?:  Dick Lovecraft made his first appearance as Gotham City billionaire. Was he in the comics? In short, no. It could be a reference to Justice League villain Dr. Lovecraft; however this character has none of the same characteristics other than just being bad. And really, who in Gotham isn’t?

“You move quiet.”:  Selina tells Bruce that he moves “quiet” when he sneaks up on her as she about to sneak out of Wayne Manor. It was a nice little nod to the grown-up versions of themselves.

Predictions:

Gaytham: Babs didn’t really leave to get away from Gotham, but instead to indulge in Gaytham.

The future of the betting man: Will Dent be instantly bad? Will Maroni throw acid in his face? This season? I think so. His character is young, but introduced as shady from the start. I don’t think we will have much time to like the attorney before he becomes Two-Face.

Hargrove in the bigger picture:  Will Ian Hargrove return? A lot of time was spent on him this episode. Granted, he is locked up in Arkham now, I feel like he was so well written, it would be really cool to bring him back.

Hush Comics gives “Harvey Dent” a B for the introduction of Ian Hargrove, exploring the depths of Alfred Pennyworth, but not spending enough time on the title guy himself, Harvey Dent.

All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

Gotham Review – “The Mask” S1E8

After Oswalt Cobblepot took center stage in last week’s “The Penguin’s Umbrella,” this week’s “The Mask” continues to impress with Black Mask being our villain of the week. Black Mask is another one of those ideal Gotham City villains that exist just on the right side of supernatural themed bad guys that operate through fear, force and numbers. While Black Mask does get a sizable amount of attention in this episode, the comic book lore spills over several different scenes in the episode that excite us for future events.

“The Mask” starts out with a Fight Club meets Hunger Games office brawl – and why shouldn’t it? If you’ve worked for a corporation, then you know that this is just another day in the life of somebody looking for a promotion. The scene is extremely brutal, and the crime scene that it results in demonstrates that quite well. It’s not every day you find a dismembered thumb in some dead guy’s mouth. There isn’t a lot of detective work that goes into finding the person responsible for the office brawls. I mean – black ink, ski-masks, SUSPENDERS?? It had to be Black Mask. The mystery surrounding Richard Sionis is enough to make the episode engaging. Obsessed with the warrior spirit and encouraging his employees to literally kill each other for promotions, this is as much social commentary as it is good writing; none of these selfish a-holes are forced to into “applying” for this high risk job.

gotham the mask sionis

The elements of this episode that we really enjoyed were the side stories. When judging the success of the show, it all comes down to show & tell. Gotham is doing an exponentially better job of showing the growth of James Gordon, Harvey Bullock and the eventually come-around of the GCPD. Harvey’s speech early on in the episode to Essex about how ashamed the rest of the police department is of Gordon’s heroics really resonated with us, and humanized the police department that we had been resenting this whole season. Harvey Bullock is a much more lovable person when he’s the jerk that’s on the right side of the argument.

Fish Mooney, on the other hand, continues to become the worst part of the show, and I am counting down the days before Penguin pushes her off the end of the pier. Her plan to put an impressionable sheep of a mole in bed with Falcone is completely dumb, and will undoubtedly backfire right in her face. And what was up with that old lady on stage? And why is nobody ever at Fish Mooney’s club? Fish isn’t the only annoying character in this episode. After quite possibly the worst attempt at “saving” her man (which led to her being kidnapped and ruining any leverage Gordon had on Falcone), Barbara has finally decided that Jim not answering his phone was the final straw. Barbara’s character could have been so much more, but was really reduced to a bi-sexual token and pretty face. We’ll see how this plays out – if she’s gone for good, or just long enough for Gordon to find another love interest.

gotham_108__emptylot_12310_hires1

Speaking of love interest, thank goodness we get to dive deeper into the infinitely creepy relationship between Oswalt and his mother. It could be the most disturbing element of Gotham, and that’s saying a lot if guys like Victor Zsasz are carving tally marks into their arm for each kill. Mommy issues aside, Penguin is shaping up to be quite the crime boss. His precise strikes and power moves are very clever, and it’s only a matter of time before he arises from the rubble of the Falcone-Maroni feud in control of the underworld.

The outliers were have in Gotham so far are Edward Nygma and Bruce Wayne (weird, huh?). Nygma is struggling to find himself a meaningful member of the Crime Scene Unit, and although his methods are grating, he has proven time again that he is the smartest person in the room, especially when the other people in the room are corpses. Word to GCPD, they better give him something more productive to do before he decides to entertain himself. Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, is trying to move on after the murder of his parents, but is having issues with cruel kids picking on him for it. Alfred handles the situation like any parent figure would; he will teach Bruce to beat the snot out of everybody, which is strongly reminiscent of Batman: Earth One. Who is Bruce’s first victim? Tommy Elliott, none other than Bruce’s close childhood friend turned arch nemesis Hush. Yes! HUSH! We don’t know if Tommy will show up again or become friends with Bruce after Bruce tried to “kill” him (wuss), but it’s anybody’s guess.

gotham the mask bruce

A couple of subtle things I’ve noticed:

  • While the black mask that Black Mask wears is definitely more of a skeleton in the comics, the one the show uses is decidedly more Japanese-influenced. In fact, it looks a lot like the Mask of Tengu from Knightfall that Bruce Wayne used while training with Lady Shiva.
  • Bruce was quoted as saying to Alfred things like “I enjoyed hurting him” and “I’m so angry all the time.” It looks like this might be a recurring theme for somebody destined to beat the crap out of bad guys for years to come.

Hush Comics gives “The Mask” a B+ for finally giving us the portrayal of Gotham City that we wanted. We’re finally on the police’s side, and while we know they are still a bunch of cowards, at least they know it, too. The Bruce Wayne story is continuing to build from what began as a weak attempt to draw in familiarity. And while Fish Mooney continues to disappoint, there are no hard laughs made at her expense like there were at the beginning of the season. It looks like Gotham has been realigned itself with our original expectations. All it needed was a swashbuckling session with a paper cutter.

All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

Gotham Review – “Penguin’s Umbrella” S1E7

Finally!  Jim Gordon grew some balls, The Penguin is worth something as a character, and it looks like Fish Mooney may die.  It’s taken six weeks to get somewhere with Gotham, but I think “Penguin’s Umbrella” started to take a turn in the right direction of storytelling.

The cat was let out of the bag last week when Cobblepot made his return to Gotham public. The very annoying plot line of Jim Gordon trying to hide the fact that he did not kill Cobblepot was finally “resolved” this week, and while Jim will probably be dealing with the repercussions of this via the Falcones, the Maronis, and Fish Mooney, at least the “woah is me” act is over, and maybe Barbara and Jim’s relationship will be less irritating.

There are so many pictures of me drawing my gun... but this one means something!
There are so many pictures of me drawing my gun… but this one means something!

The majority of the episode revolved around the three crime lords looking for Jim Gordon, and two of the three looking for Cobblepot.  The order was to kill them both.  But for once, it felt like the two characters who were underused in the first part of the season proved their worth – not only to the crime families Cobblepot and Gordon are trying to undermine (albeit in much different ways) but to their audience as well.  Not ten minutes in and we get to see Gordon take control of his situation, which has been a rarity, particularly with Harvey Bullock aka Worst Cop Ever as his partner.  Gordon enters his own apartment, where Barbara has been taken hostage, and shoots a guy in the abdomen, no questions asked.  While the legalities of that move are up for debate, it was great to see Gordon finally unleash what we all knew was hiding.

In the meantime, Fish Mooney continued to be utterly ridiculous and overacted.  She demands Cobblepot and Gordon, waving her arms about the whole time.  Her portrayal is laughable, particularly when she does finally meet up with Cobblepot.  Her use of the word “bitch” made me spit out my drink.  It was not frightening in the least.  But because of the revelation at the end of the episode (spoilers on that to come in the review), it seems likely that Mooney will meet her demise at some point in the show.  I will be waiting for that moment, and hoping that the severe acting will die along with her.

If my acting didn't prove I am absurd, my crop top made of crow's feathers sure does.
If my acting didn’t prove I am absurd, my crop top made of crow’s feathers sure does.

The introduction of the newest rogue, Victor Zsasz, was very well executed.  In the comics, Zsasz is a man of wealth whose parents die in an accident.  After spiraling into depression and gambling much of his money, he decides to commit suicide, but is stopped by homeless man begging for money. Zsasz thinks the man, and pretty much everyone, leads a useless life and takes it upon himself to liberate them from this existence.  The Zsasz in the comics also uses a creepy tally system to keep track of the ones he has “liberated.” In this episode, he works for Falcone, and is recruited to find Jim Gordon.  While this changes his origin, Anthony Carrigan’s (also The Mist in The Flash) is downright creepy.  He used a little bit of humor and a lot of insanity to get his point across: Zsasz is a terrifying nemesis to have because he has absolutely no regard for human life.

Gotham - "Penguin's Umbrella"
I’m bald and scary.

The defining moment of the episode was The Penguin’s revelation, and finally some sort of sense of what “Penguin’s Umbrella” meant.  Even more lethal that the actual weapon that Cobblepot will more than likely acquire (I mean he does already have the umbrella, just not the pointy thing to go with it) is Cobblepot’s ability to play both sides.

This is where the SPOILERS come in.  Cobblepot apparently met Falcone in an off camera scene in the first episode where they struck a deal  Cobblepot convinced Falcone to make Gordon “kill” him, knowing full well that Gordon would never do that.  He could come back, fake his identity and work for Falcone to bring down Maroni.  In addition, he tells Falcone that Fish has been sleeping with Nikolai and has plans to take Falcone down.  Then Cobblepot tells Falcone that when the plan goes through, he will be Falcone’s “snitch” forever.  For-eva-eva.

It is now becoming clear that Mooney is on her way out of the scene, with her lover being dead and her cover blown to her boss.  She still does have her “weapon”, but I don’t see that plot going very far.  In addition, Cobblepot is a smart guy.  He is playing both the Maroni and Falcone crime families against each other, putting Cobblepot in line to be the ruler of the underworld in Gotham.  If that is the case, bravo writers.  Well played.

And this:

  • Maroni’s guys used the oldest bomb in history to blow up Nikolai’s headquarters.  Was that a prop from the 60’s Batman series?
  • Maroni tells Falcone “There’s nothing more dangerous than an honest man.”  It’s an odd statement because it’s not true…
  • What the hell is up with the chickens?
  • Alfred is finally showing his badass side… but on the MCU???
  • Is Barbara supposed to be a strong female character?  I’m confused about what the message regarding her is.  Either way, I don’t like her, which shouldn’t be the case.
  • Jim Gordon just pawned off the Wayne murders on the MCU.  Lol.
  • Cobblepot walked up to a door and turned dramatically to his cronies saying “this way” to the campiest music ever.  Yeah, I’m pretty sure they figured they were heading through the door once the came to it.
  • Is there a tally on how many times they said “snitch” this episode?

Hush Comics gives “Penguin’s Umbrella” a B+ for finally showing this story is going somewhere, giving Jim Gordon balls, and using Zsasz as a tease rather than a plot point.

All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

Gotham Review – “Spirit of the Goat” S1E6

After what we’ve seen thus far in Gotham (three consecutive C grades), you can imagine the considerable eye-rolling that took place when we saw that this week’s episode was titled “Spirit of the Goat.” We immediately counted the episode out as being cheesy, ridiculous, and any other adjectives you’ve read in our last three reviews. I am happy to admit that we were sorely wrong; “Spirit of the Goat,” although still containing traces of the superfluous nature of episodes past, was exactly what we were expecting from a show like this (ya know, when expectations were high).

This episode is a complete overhaul in terms of character development and storyline. Sure, The Spirit of the Goat is kinda lame, and Satanic sacrifices have been quite overdone in supernatural-type shows, but the way Harvey Bullock store the show here has undeniably been the missing link. I was honestly as confused as Gordon was when Bullocks’ old partner “Bag-O” Dix explained to Gordon how Bullock tried to be Gotham’s “white knight” (a term the Joker used to describe Harvey Dent in Nolan’s The Dark Knight). we have always been under the impression that Bullock doesn’t care about his job or the people of Gotham, a characteristic that really deviated from the way he has been portrayed since his first appearance in the 1970’s (Detective Comics #441). After this episode, it would seem that he at least cares very much about this case. Whether this would translate into an ongoing personality change, we have no idea, but it sure would be great to see this transform into a Starsky and Hutch-like relationship.

gotham_106_railroadbridge_8355_hires1
One day, I’m going to regret not listening to your stupid riddles…

The way the series has been playing out, with Gordon unable to keep himself from tripping over Bullock’s inadequacies, is severely hampering to any relative police work being done. When it comes to inadequacies, though, nobody has the Gotham City Major Crimes Unit beat. These two bumbling morons have assumedly spent the better part of the series thus far chasing around James Gordon to pin him for the murder of Oswald Cobblepot based off solely the words of criminals and drunkards. Even if they were catching the right guy, and the city wasn’t full of officials that were in Falcone’s pocket, there is no way that would ever do anything more than detain him for a few days. Idiots. It could be poor writing, but I’m more convinced that the entire Justice Department of Gotham is really that ill-equipped to deal with the corruption that has befallen it. Or maybe they’re just too afraid to act competently.

You didn't really expect me to do a COMPLETE biopsy, did you?
You didn’t really expect me to do a COMPLETE biopsy, did you?

When Bullock suppresses the evidence that The Goat plants pennies under the victims’ scalps as a trademark, Gordon immediately jumps to the conclusion that this was does as a shady way to keep officials from knowing that evidence was obtained immediately. However, Harvey’s retort, that the evidence was kept quiet to determine whether or not any would-be copy-cats would be recognized immediately, is nothing short of brilliance. In fact, in this new spirit of crime-solving that Harvey has just found, he needs very little help from Gordon to complete the case. There was something very vintage murder mystery-esque that I loved about the episode. The clues were laid out and it took the work of a real gumshoe in Harvey Bullock to solve it. We’re even treated to the Bond villain-like confession and a final struggle, all before Bullock goes Wild Wild West on the bad guy, shooting her without probable cause and getting her goat (Ha!) in the nicest part of town. Now that’s the Harvey Bullock I know!

Now I'm standing uncomfortably close. Your move.
Now I’m standing uncomfortably close. Your move.

Hush Comics gives Gotham‘s “The Spirit of the Goat” an A- for it’s return to the roots that made it so special in the first place. Instead of a crazy meta-human mish-mash, we actually get a crime drama with a Batman-twist; Ed Brubaker proved it could work on paper with Gotham Central, and with more episodes like this, the producers of Gotham can make it work for television, too. With the skeleton (Penguin) finally out of the closet, this should make things plenty more interesting. There are some kinks that need to be worked out, such as: Selina Kyle’s useless cameos, Penguin’s mom and her demon purse, and Nygma’s obvious scream for attention (he needs himself an Amy Farrah Fowler). When you get right down to it, though, this week’s Gotham was very enjoyable, and it made me want to watch it again and review it, a feeling I haven’t had since the pilot.

No Fish Mooney = Best Gotham episode yet… Coincidence?

All photos belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

Gotham Review – “Viper”

I think I finally get it; Gotham was not intended to be the story of James Gordon, but rather the city of Gotham itself.  Gotham is the main character, and all the other characters are effected greatly by it.  Does that make it a better show?  Not in the least.  It just makes me less angry than it did before.  It has come to the point now that I find it completely laughable.  The LOL articles by Mike Ryan at ScreenCrush may help with that.  You can read his LOL article for last night’s episode here.

As for last night’s episode, “Viper”, I found many parts of it laughable.  I mean, how does a 10 year old Bruce Wayne know so much about shareholding, board members, offshore accounts, and irregularities in any project, much less the Arkham Asylum project?  I’ll give it to him; he’s smart.  But I’m not fully buying the detective thing at this age, at least about the asylum.  However, for a show that loves cheesy lines, when Alfred talks to Bruce about “reeking revenge” THIS would have been the perfect time for him to say “Justice.”  But nope, he’s just trying “understand” things. I think I would have had more respect for the dialogue had he said Justice.  I may be griping, but I actually found Bruce’s story the most compelling out of all them this week.  He’s one of the more intelligent characters, and he finally got Alfred on his side.  Let the research commence!

That's right little Wayne, you had the best plot line this week!
That’s right little Wayne, you had the best plot line this week!

This week’s baddie, Stan Potolsky, or “The Man with the Mangled Ear” (cue spooky sound effect here) is basically going postal, except on the whole city, instead of his former employer, WellZyn.  He goes around handing out vials of a lime green mixture that read’s “Breath Me.”  And people actually do!  Like it’s frickin’ Wonderland! I would like to think that in a crime ridden city, people would not be so obedient or gullible to what is going on around them.  And this drug, Viper (which later becomes Venom), makes people really strong and then their bones break.  But instead of spending their time killing, maiming, or entering arm-wrestling competitions, they commit a really heinous crime: dairy thievery.  All the milk in Gotham is gone!  What will growing girls and boys do?  Besides the eye-rolling moments of seeing empty milk jugs strewn through alley ways, I thought that the possible commentary on drug use could be good for a show aimed at teenagers (it is aimed at teenagers, right?). Stan decides to take his lethal drug to a benefit put on by Wayne Enterprises and sneaks in a whole barrel of it with it’s logo embossed right on the side. But no one noticed!  And no one cared when he said he was going to poison them.  If I have learned anything, it is that the people of Gotham are deeply stupid.  It makes me like Heath Ledger’s Joker even more.  The only possibility for this part of the storyline to mean anything was for the dramatic shooting of the barrel to release the drug into Potolsky’s lungs.  Could Jim Gordon’s bullet have inadvertently created Bane? If so, I will gain a tiny amount of respect for the show.

But that mangled ear, though.
But that mangled ear, though.

As for Jim Gordon, his story is getting richer in some ways.  I was particularly intrigued now that Maroni’s crew knows that Jim didn’t kill Penguin.  For a guy who is trying to take Gotham apart from the inside, he sure is under the thumb of A LOT of crime bosses.  I am very interested to see how he can undo them both.  However, Gordon’s relationship with Bullock is a little murky.  They are getting along now?  When? Why?  It doesn’t make too much sense.  But Bullock did pull out one of my favorites lines this week.  When interrogating an elderly professor who helped Potolsky create Viper and claims to be dying, Bullock got in his face and yelled, “I hope you die faster you terrorist!”  How could you not burst out laughing at this point?

And lastly, there is Fish Mooney.  If you’ve been keeping up with my Gotham reviews, you know that I honestly believe she is single-handedly ruining the show.  Not only is she badly written, but she is badly acted.  There was a scene when she meets up with Falcone’s men and she keeps her arm in a perfect L-shape with her fingers pinched like she was sewing for a good minute.  Now I have a theory that if she didn’t have arms, she would be slightly more likable.  And truthfully, I don’t think that is as crazy as how Jada Pinkett-Smith won her role as Fish Mooney. But what was more terrifying than her arms was her grooming of Liza, the girl from the weird chick-fight last week. It was so overly uncomfortable to watch, that it almost made me feel better about last week’s Scandal.  It felt as though Liza was a regular Patty Hearst, but we were all supposed to feel like it was very sexy.  Let’s be clear.  Priming a young girl to be a sexual temptress via Stockholm Syndrome is NOT sexy.

Is anyone else offended by her arms and that hole in her shirt?
Is anyone else offended by her arms and that hole in her shirt?

And this:

  • Let’s put Catwoman in the show for five seconds because let’s not forget about her and how stealthy she is in broad daylight!
  • Cue the dramatic music as Penguin rubs water marks off a clean glass!  He still is a dishwasher!
  • Do people actually eat in the restaurant Penguin manages?
  • Do all drug addicts on TV eventually get crushed by ATMs?
  • Fish Mooney told a “Yo Momma” joke.  Reason 52 to dislike her.
  • Nygma is kinda adorable.
  • Even Maroni’s lackey says that the Penguin is a dishwasher in a suit.
  • Falcone’s mom used to sing him Opera as a lullaby.  I am suddenly feeling gypped by “Rockabye baby.”
  • Penguin giving up his identity wasn’t a smart move.  Other than this, his role was small this week.  I miss him already.

Hush Comics gives “Viper” a C+ for finally making Gordon’s story a little juicier, but still resorting to Mooney’s sex appeal to carry a good portion of the plot, making the bad guy of the week a little too obvious, and for not enough Penguin.

All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.