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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

Gotham Review – “Arkham” S1E4

It’s really hard for me to realize that Gotham is so pre-Batman that what I expect/want/need out of it isn’t going to happen yet.  So when the episode was titled “Arkham” I was hoping for something closer to the video games.  But instead, we got an abandoned land that caused a turf war.  And why, other than the size of the land did that happen?  I’m not quite sure, but I do know that the only plot point driving this story forward at the moment is Oswald Cobblepot.

Even with that, it seemed very odd that the dishwasher, who was always being admonished, was promoted to the restaurant manager for keeping the money?  It seems that for a crime lord like Maroni, the money that Cobblepot saved would be a drop in the bucket compared to everything he had.  But, for a guy like Cobblepot, who has some smarts and some evil in him, its a good thing.  Honestly, I’m happy for him.  Is that weird?

Gotham - "Arkham"
Jim Gordon looks on wondering if the crime lords of Gotham have anything better to worry about than low income housing vs. a dump.

The “bad guy of the week” was the real star of this episode.  How could you not love Richard Gladwell?  He was acted well and did sinister so well. And his weapon was SO cool!  His weapon, although maybe in police custody right now, could be the addition to the umbrella that Penguin will eventually have. Richard Gladwell reminded me a lot of Jubal Early in Firefly.  What sucks about him is that he had to die in the dumbest way.  Getting shot from both sides seems really excessive police force.  But think of the possibilities of a guy like that running around Gotham?  He could have been a really good addition to the story line, but c’est la vie.

This week’s theme was all about war.  But what war?  A turf war over the Arkham land?  A war over who the real crime boss of Gotham was?  And the biggest thing that happened was a couple of politicians and a restaurant managers getting killed?  Yeah, I guess that could make national news, but I don’t care about any of it; the writers have given me no reason to care.  They didn’t even show Falcone in this episode.  I just don’t feel invested in what is going on in Gotham.  I have said earlier that this show could do well to take some advice from The Wire.  The world they have created is too large for the audience to really connect.  If they had started small and then gone bigger over time, I feel the story would be more successful.  Oh, and Sam Maroni’s victory steak that he ate in celebration over a compromise was pulled out of thin air.  And who eats steak like that?

Barbara Kean: manipulator, accuser, and all around bad girlfriend.
Barbara Kean: manipulator, accuser, and all around bad girlfriend.

“Arkham” solidified for me that none of the women in this show are likable.  Mooney is still way over the top. The “seduction” scene seemed like something only for fanboys who fap to women kissing.  And the girl fight scene near the end was proof that this was not a moment for story, but quite possible the start of The Fappening part 4.  Also, Mooney telling the singer Liza if she wants power and money, she has to seduce is basically saying that women can’t have both unless they use sex to get there.  The whole thing was just icky.  Then there is Barbara.  This is the most screen time we have gotten from Gordon’s wife/lover/girlfriend, but she is manipulative.  At the beginning she lets in a stranger.  Being a cop’s girlfriend would make her question that decision in actuality.  And then she used their relationship as an ultimatum for police business?  She doesn’t need to know police business.

And now for my rapid fire thoughts:

  • Bruce is in it because he has to be.  The motivational speech at the end was good, but unless we see Bruce grow into a real detective, it was worthless.
  • Nygma really likes his job.
  • Bullock is the worst cop ever.  He raided Gladwell’s desk without a warrant and used that as “evidence?”  Yeah, that’s totally illegal.
  • Jim finally called some shots to Bullock this episode.  It was fresh.
  • Does anyone else want a cannoli?

Hush Comics give “Arkham” a C for lack of development in characters, in story line, and for shoving promiscuous and badly written down our throats.  Ugh.

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

Gotham Review – “The Balloonman” S1E3

Here is the problem with Gotham: It is trying too hard to be a lead-in to Batman’s story instead of just being Jim Gordon’s story.  I could go into the fact that the beauty of the relationship between vigilante Batman and police detective Gordon is that they both emerged in Gotham at the same time, trying to do the same thing: save Gotham from itself.  Unfortunately, it is hard to watch the show rewrite history by making Bruce Wayne a little boy.  I have tried to not nitpick because I hate when hipsters say, “Well, actually the original says blah blah blah.” But in this case, Bruce Wayne being a little boy is ruining Jim Gordon’s growth.  Instead of focusing on the police department, and the mob, and the crookedness of it all, the writers are trying to cram in way too many Batman villains from the get go.

Case in point: The Balloonman.  So The Balloonman was a villain introduced in the late 60’s, but disappeared after the Infinite Earth Crisis in the mid 80’s.  Disappeared.  Until last night when his presence dropped on us like he was a dead guy and we were an old lady just trying to walk our dog.  And the point of it all? The Balloonman being a “vigilante” for Gotham in this episode is the lead in for Bruce Wayne also wanting to be a vigilante.  What a let down.  For a little background, a man with a cart and a pig mask was attaching famously corrupt men in Gotham to weather balloons and sending them up to the sky.  It was 40 minutes of trying to track him by the police department, who was up in arms over the whole thing, because they were next on the list.  And then he was caught (I’ll get to that later), and the sum of it all was that Bruce Wayne is now inspired… or something.

Gotham - "The Balloonman"
Wanna take a balloon ride from this guy?  Me either.

That was the crux of the episode, but that would make all the other notes I took worthless, so let’s just jump right into all the other stuff that didn’t matter.  So why don’t we start with Selina Kyle?  She is annoying as hell.  And not in a cute teenager way, but in the Dawn in season 5 of Buffy kind of way.  I think a kid who steals a pen from a cop may think she’s being rebellious, but in fact would be eaten alive on the streets of Gotham.  Her attitude is not charismatic, but rather stunningly off-putting.  It will be a challenge to change my opinion of Selina, but it could be done.  A little less mean-girl, fake street-rat attitude, and a little more of an air of knowledge and superiority.

Bad-Ass over here.
Selina Kyle: Pen Thief. As if insurance agents don’t get away with this crime everyday.

While I am still not a fan of Fish Mooney, I didn’t find her as terrible this week. Perhaps it was because her screen time was not such an influence.  I just have to ask, does anyone else think it’s weird that her cabaret dancers in the background are always on stage and wear a lifetime’s supply of sequins all the time?  I do.  Alfred is starting to get kinda cool.  Since the show is choosing to focus a large part of their plot on Bruce, I would like more about Alfred.  He had his fencing scene with Bruce, but what struck me was his comment about how The Balloonman was killing people: “I can think of an easier way to kill someone.”  Wow!  Alfred thinks about killing people?  If this show lasts, it will be amazing to see what their take on his backstory is.

And I want to take a second and comment on the Barbara/Montoya relationship.  What is the purpose?  To get fan-boys to ogle at two pretty girls kissing?  It seems totally weird that Barbara is bisexual, not because I think being bisexual is weird, but Barbara’s sexuality doesn’t have a point to it.  Perhaps it’s not even that there is no point, I mean there doesn’t need to a point for a person’s sexual choices.  My biggest gripe is that these two have NO chemistry.  I can’t believe for one second that these two were ever an item.  Put some passion into it ladies!

Is Barbara destined to be Batwoman, or is she just a prop?
Is Barbara destined to be Batwoman, or is she just a prop?

The best parts of this episode all involved the “crime bosses.”  Not only is Carmine Falcone intimidating, yet likable, but the introduction of Sal Maroni (played by David Zayas of Dexter) was spot on.  He is equally as intimidating, but also a very good actor.  Which is kind of rare in this show, honestly.  I loved that Oswald overhears Maroni’s conversation and knows how to take advantage of the situation.  But so far, Oswald is my favorite character and the reason I will keep coming back every week.  If you are going to be bad in Gotham, Oswald Cobblepot is the guy to envy.  He is doing it right.  Robin Lord Taylor is by far the best actor on the series, never going over the top, and making me question whether or not its O.K. to kill people in the alley way (kidding!) I even laughed when he ordered a tuna sandwich.  Clever or corny?  I don’t know but I liked it.  And the ending with Cobblepot!  Without revealing too much of a spoiler, it was the only redeeming scene of the episode.

Gotham - The Balloonman"
I’m crazy, and I know it.

But what I want to end on is a bad note.  It’s very Debbie Downer of me, I know.  But Gordon and Bullock pissed me off this week.  How dense are they?  Here is my laundry list:

  • It is obvious that even though MCU (Montoya and Allen)is a pain in the ass, they are good people. Why would Gordon make them even more suspicious of his supposed murderous act by acting so strangely?
  • Isn’t Bullock “finding” The Balloonman in corrupt ways making him a target of The Balloonman seeing that Bullock is a public corrupt figure?
  • How is a stoner with a hawaiian t-shirt smarter than the cops that they don’t understand that balloons freaking pop and the bodies don’t just “disappear”?
  • Gordon’s declaration of who The Balloonman is with no explanation to the audience.  This is one the times I could have used a little coddling.
  • I’m tired of Bullock saying “I’ll beat it out of you.”  This isn’t The Big Bang Theory; we don’t need a catchphrase.
  • How did Gordon and Bullock not see a GIANT weather balloon just hanging the alley by the old orphanage when the were chatting?!?!

While there are aspects of the show that are keeping me intrigued (Oswald Cobblepot, Sam Maroni and Carmine Falcone), I felt that this week’s episode of Gotham may have taken two steps backward with the development of the majority of the characters.  While the overall storyline isn’t moving forward either, Cobblepot’s bold move did give the plot a push.  Hush Comics gives “The Balloonman” a C- for general lack of direction, a bad purpose for this week’s baddie, and really bad detective work.

All photos belong to DC Entertainment.