Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Americans! Let’s celebrate by gathering around the table, stuffing ourselves with food, and reminding ourselves why we refuse to discuss politics with anyone who isn’t hidden behind a computer screen.
My review is late for a variety of reasons, none of which are interesting enough to go into here. Instead, enjoy this amazing picture of whatever the fuck this thing is that I found today at a Goodwill.
I’m so sad I didn’t buy it.
Jimmy G and the Monks
We start this episode out with Jim having a RageSadAngerAngst at the funeral of the Only Good Cop in Gotham. Since this is Gotham, and the cop body count for this show is in the hundreds, this must be part of Jim’s daily routine. What isn’t a part of his routine is getting all wet and parading around in front of Galavan.
Pictured: Jim feeling sad rain-induced feelings prior to visiting Galavan.
Jim is all “YOU KILLED A GOOD COP WELL NOT YOU BUT YOUR CRAZY SISTER BUT YOU AND I AM MAD AT YOU BECAUSE I AM EXPERIENCING MAN PAIN OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. NOW I NEED TO TELL LESLIE THAT I HAVE DRAWN THE WRONG CONCLUSION FROM PARKS’ DEATH. WHY DIDN’T I KILL MORE PEOPLE LAST EPISODE?”
Jim’s RageAngst has motivated him to do actual detective work with his partner. They discover that the mayor’s office tried to buy the old headquarters of the Order of St. Dumas, but the owners wouldn’t sell because it is the perfect home for a, and I quote, “slap-slap joint.” God bless Harvey Bullock for that gem. Go get a danish, Harvey.
They bust up the place only to discover that some guy had been killed in the middle of a hand job. There’s a monk on the scene who cannot feel pain because he’s a meta human who has accidentally shown up for work on the set of Gotham instead of the set of Flash. He says something about “the nine” and washing away the sins of Gotham before stepping in front of an oncoming semi truck.
Currently my list of “Gotham Citizen Jobs” consists of:
– Police Cannon Fodder
– Assassin or Other Brand of Bad Guy (including, but not limited to: Muscle, The Brains, Low Level Thief, etc.)
– Shady Bartender
– Future Batman Villain/Ally
– Truck driver
When Gordon tells Ben Grimm about the riddle from the monk, the immediately figure this is a ritual and that a few bodies they’ve found over the last few days are related to blood ritual.
After more detectiving, Jim deduces that the monks move from place to place by using the sewers. They find a wounded monk, Jim tries to get info and learns about “The Son of Gotham.”
Later, hopefully after a long shower, Jim goes to Galavan’s trial. The former mayor testifies that Galavan never tortured him. The Penguin did. I hope this is explained by brainwashing, because then Sister Galavan’s ability to break Butch of his brainwashing will actually make sense in the larger story.
When Galavan tries to make nice in the courtroom, Jim punches him in the face in front of practically everyone who lives in Gotham City. (add to Gotham jobs list – judge, lawyer.)
This is supposed to be the moment Jim finally crosses The Line. As the A.V. Club so perfectly put it:
The problem is that Gordon has arguably crossed the line in the past, as it’s a beat that the show has hit again and again. The writers have explored this storyline before, and that robs tonight’s climactic moment of its potential power. Gotham continues to undercut any character work it’s done in the past, making it hard to craft a consistent and engaging narrative each and every week.
This is spot on commentary. Gotham continues to tell its viewers that Jim Gordon is a Good Cop who is Struggling against the Darkness Within. But we’ve never really seen this struggle. If the punch in the courtroom was the first time we’d seen Jim step outside the narrow lane he lives in, it would have been a Holy Shit moment and a great moment from the show. Instead, this punch reads as an out-of-control Gordon resorting to abusive tactics with no regard for its impact on the suspect or the people around him.
Jim is removed from the courtroom only to be tased by cops who are in Galavan’s pocket. They take Jim to a warehouse where Galavan monologues and then orders Jim released…so he can beat the everloving fuck out of Gordon. I can’t say I felt bad for Gordon, he’s been acting the fool this whole god damned season.
Galavan leaves because that’s what villains do when the hero might actually die, and Penguin busts in to kill goons and scream into Jim’s face.
Bruce & Selina & Silver Make Three
Selina and Bruce have a plan to catch Silver being terrible. This involves Selina sitting in a tree (with great hair) while Bruce whispers shit in Silver’s ear and kisses her. Because Silver believes she has Bruce under her spell, she tells him that she has the name of the man who killed his parents. But she’s abducted by Chibs from Sons of Anarchy before she can tell Bruce anything. He also gets abducted, which means they have some form of intel for Clay and the rest of SAMCRO.
That’s right, Chibs. You got this slapping a child for money shit down pat. (Lots of child slapping in this show. The only positives – This slap(ping) at least made sense in the context of when it occurred and it wasn’t committed by one of the most beloved characters in the entire DCU? I guess?)
Chibs decides to torture Bruce to see if he can get information about who killed Thomas and Martha Wayne. When he’s done, he goes to torture Silver, who drops her “I’m SCARED!!” act and starts threatening a man with a knife while her hands are tied around her back. Only when the threat of losing a finger enters the equasion , the truth comes out. Including the name of the man who killed Bruce’s parents “M. Malone.” M couldn’t possibly stand for matches, could it?
Once Silver spills the name, Bruce reveals that this was all an elaborate ruse to get the name out of Silver. With this rather cruel maneuvoer, Bruce finally displays what I’ve been asking for – a hint of the potential to become Batman. Batman has done some underhanded and fucked up shit in the name of getting answers/justice, so this actually makes sense. Developing contengincy plans to bring down his fellow Justice Leaguers? Helping Superman track down and destroy all the Kryptonite on earth only for it to be revealed that he’s kept at least one piece of each kind “just in case”? This is cold and calculated, and, if questioned, Bruce would declare that the end justified the means. That’s very Batman and it’s a good character moment for him.
Also good – Bruce and Selina working together. Selina is more vindictive than Bruce (she wanted Silver to lose more fingers), but they’re both in agreement that this was the correct course of action.
Back at Wayne Room, Selina asks what he said to Silver to get her to go along with his plans. He told Silver that he was drawn to her in a way he’d never expected. But he doesn’t feel that way about Silver. He feels that way about Selina.
DID THIS FUCKING SHOW JUST GET THE BATMAN/CATWOMAN RELATIONSHIP PITCH FUCKING PERFECT IN LESS THAN 2 MINUTES, WHICH IS SOMETHING DC COMICS HAS BEEN UNABLE (OR UNWILLING) TO DO SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW52????
After Selina leaves, Galavan arrives. He’s like, “BRUCE I WILL STAB YOU.”
Other Things That Happened in This Episode:
– Alfred/Sister Galavan fighting but looking like they were going to fuck. Then Alfred got stabbed and fell into a garbage truck. He did not slap any children, which is sad. Him and Chibs could be the best of slappy friends!
– Penguin/Riddler odd couple fighting over mustard and the toilet is great.