The Best and Worst of Gotham: Episode 3

Worst: I get to mention rock riffs every episode

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AND I DON’T CARE HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE TO DO IT UNTIL THEY END. Tonight’s worst rock riff was in a sewer scene when a CSI like riff kicked in, and I was almost positive “Whooooooooooooooo are we, who who, who who” was going to start up at any moment. I was one Ted Danson away from drop kicking my TV (though to be fair, if Grissom had shown up, I would have lost my shit. Grissom would have solved every crime in Gotham City in a week flat AND would have become best friends with Ed Nigma, after recognizing him for the genius that he is.)

Worst: The kids continue to be smarter than the adults

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It becomes pretty clear as the show moves on that the adults in Gotham City are not the brightest group of people ever assembled. In tonight’s episode, Future Cat Woman is in a police station and idles up to Harvey (Jim’s partner) and stands there for a minute until Harvey realizes his personal space has been invaded by creepy Pfeifer look a like, and tells her to back the eff off. As soon as she leaves, he realizes his pen is missing, but thinks nothing of the fact a cat burglar was standing beside him a moment ago.

Teen Kitty then goes ahead and picks the lock of her handcuffs and bamboozles Gordon, who went into a sewer after locking her up.

At this rate, Penguin is going to run Gotham City in about a month.

Best: Penguin feels murder is the solution to everything

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Penguin is really growing on me, and I can’t quite explain it. I think it’s because his logic is so random that I can’t wait to see what happens next. On one hand, he is scrounging together enough money to buy a hot dog, the next minute he is stabbing someone to death because he thinks he needs their shoes to get a job working in a restaurant. The fact that Penguin doesn’t bother trying to buy shoes, but instead thinks “Killing is probably easier here” is amusing to me, and kind of fits with him being an insane bad guy.

Best: Penguin popping collars

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Double poppin’ Penguin means business.

Best: Fish Mooney finally does something bad ass

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The last couple of weeks I have complained that Fish Mooney relies on emotional outbursts and grand gestures far too often. She’s either beating someone to death with an old couch she had up in her attic, or she’s throwing a tantrum in her own club.

Well credit where credit is due, this week Fish Mooney not only killed off her lover from last week that got beat up by Falcone, but she also made sure Falcone’s latest love interest had an “accident” and took her out as well. So not only does she take out a weak link that was used against her, she takes out Falcone’s mistress in revenge. That my friends, is bad ass.

To top it off, Falcone even did the Larry David stare down technique as he tried to  see if he could break Mooney, but she didn’t budge an inch.

Worst: Alfred is officially a dick

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Alfred’s first scene in this episode starts with Mini-Batman stating “I don’t want to” before Alfred starts fencing him with a cane. Mini B defends himself as they race around the room, pausing every once in a while for Bruce to once again ask Alfred to stop, only for Alfred to fight even harder. This finally ends when Bruce gets so angry that he fights back violently until Alfred has to give up.

Alfred’s moral of the story? Violence is the answer.

On top of this, Alfred finds out Bruce has been looking over the case file of his parents murder. Alfred demands to know why and Bruce says he’s looking for clues. Alfred grills poor Bruce and, and I quote:

Alfred: What, so you’re a detective now are you?

Bruce: If I find a clue I am!

Alfred: Have you found a clue?

Bruce: No…

*eternal sadness*

Alfred’s Moral of the Story: Never apply yourself.

In yet another scene, Alfred gets his feelings hurt when he finds out Bruce hasn’t been eating the meals he’s been preparing for him. Alfred then turns into distraught house butler mode and begins teaching Young Bats in the ways of passive aggressive living.

*Alfred walks in to see Bruce reading the paper in front of an uneaten meal*

Alfred: Right. So no breakfast then? And no dinner last night? What’s the new program, trying to see how long you can go without eating? If that’s the case, I should save myself the trouble of making….it….

At this point I am convinced Bruce becomes Batman if only because it means he can get away from Alfred for a few precious hours.

Worst: Balloon Man was a terrible bad guy

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Last week we had two awesome quirky bad guys full of character, kidnapping children while remaining ever so perky. This week we had a guy tying giant balloons to people and letting them float away to their deaths.

See, Gotham is still fighting with what it wants to be. Sometimes it’s super dark (at one point tonight the cops bring out snow shovels to clean up some guts off the sidewalk), at other times it decides to go to Mr. Freeze levels of cheese. So it’s bouncing between us not taking it seriously, and then it wanting us to take it very seriously, which is confusing.

For example, we are supposed to believe that some dude is hiding giant helium balloons and is walking around outside and nobody is noticing this? Sure, maybe not before the first death, but if you hear on TV that some dude is tying people to giant balloons and sending them to their deaths, you would think people might be on edge when seeing a guy walk down the street with a giant balloon floating above him.

On top of that, they handle the balloons like they are nuclear missiles. They eventually narrow down the fact four giant balloons were stolen in Gotham, and that the killer has two left. They then get super worried because that means there are “two more out there.”

They are giant balloons. How hard are they to find? How much damage can they do?

Worst: The adults are really really stupid

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See Balloon Man? He gets hooked up to his own death trap. Oh the irony. So he has a couple of options. One, grab the winch RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM, and stop the balloon from flying away. Two, look about stupidly and wait for the balloon to take him into the sky. He chooses option two.

Worst: No, seriously, really  really stupid.

That is the level of police investigation we are dealing with here folks. Two cops, just absolutely blown away by the fact that balloons eventually fall from the sky. And not even kind of blown away, no, they shared glances of pure fucking amazement at the fact a balloon doesn’t just float into space and into the sun. Maybe if they weren’t such dicks to Ed Nigma, he could have helped them solves this case hours ago, due to the simple fact he knows how balloons, gravity and helium work.

This is just another example of the show not really choosing a path, and kind of giving us some cheese, then immediately following it up with something really dark. Seriously, they had shovels to clean up the guts, I wasn’t kidding.

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Worst: Why not just shoot the balloon?

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It’s just, he still had his gun. I re-watched the clip many a time and he didn’t appear to drop his gun. But for some reason Gordon felt the need to jump on Balloon Man instead of trying to just shoot the balloon down. Then he calls for his partner to shoot the balloon, only to have Harvey scream at him to just jump.

Really really dumb adults.

Best: Set the theme of vigilante justice

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Again, subtly is not Gotham’s strong suit, but at least it set the tone for Gotham City getting behind a vigilante fighting on behalf of justice in a corrupt city, while at the same time, having Jim Gordon struggle with the whole vigilante idea. It’s neat to see him view a vigilante as a symbol of him failing his job, when we all know how his future with Batman turns out.

Of course, Gotham wants you to REALLY get it, so they have a scene where Bruce is watching the news unfold and remarks how a vigilante who kills is just another word for a criminal, so yeah, in case you didn’t remember, Bruce Wayne turns into Batman eventually.

I’d also like to point out that the lady in the scene asks for the Balloon Man vigilante to murder her landlord, so part of me wonders if Gotham City as a whole is the problem, not just the criminals. “High rent? Fucking kill that guy already!”

Worst: Random lesbian angle confuses me

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Apparently Jim’s girlfriend/fiance/whatever was dating the woman from the Major Crimes Unit, and she hates Jim because she wants Jim’s girl back and….I just don’t care. I have no interest in this back story, so I am wondering if they are taking it somewhere beyond “we had two women kiss on TV, look at us!” levels of storytelling. As it stands now, they are just setting up some tones of distrust between Jim and his lady friend (I’ll remember her name one day) which I am sure they will deepen later and, yeah, see, I’m already getting bored again.

Worst: Ben McKenzie’s “Gordon Voice”

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Ben has two modes of talking on this show. When he’s relaxed and at home, he talks like Ryan from the OC. When he’s talking to criminals and partners he hates, he purses his lips a lot, and talks with a nasal twang to his voice. He basically sounds like one of those old school gangsters who would go “We hid the body, see” but without the “see” part. It drives me nuts.

Final Thoughts:

This recap probably comes across as more negative than I actually intend it to be, but it did feel like the show dropped off from what it started to do last week. Next week looks like the gang wars escalate (a storyline I enjoy) and Penguin finally comes back to Gotham, showing up on Gordon’s doorstep at the end of this episode. That should hopefully provide for some interesting plot developments.

I am starting to realize that the crime of the day plays a huge part of my enjoyment on the show. Last weeks evil duo made that episode work for me, but this weeks Balloon Man fell flat for me. I did enjoy the storyline continuity of Balloon Man’s motives (he saw the Mayor try and basically shove the orphaned kids into a jail last episode, so he took matters into his own hands this episode), but the way he took people out was too over the top.

Add in more cheesy dialogue and acting than usual this episode (they had a montage where Harvey was doing a bunch of stuff to find a lead, and at one point he grabs a gyro and a confused Gordon asks what he’s up to, and he responds “I was just hungry.” I actually had to pause the show at this point so I could stare at the wall in disgust for a few moments.) and it wasn’t my favorite of the three episodes so far, that’s for sure.

Anyways, hopefully you’re enjoying reading these and I will see you back here next week!

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