It’s time to say goodbye to Gotham. I cannot think of a better way than with Bobby Darin’s mournful ballad, “The Curtain Falls.”
I have done everything possible to avoid writing this review, up to and including cleaning my apartment. There is no joy in this show. The rare bright spots are so rare that I can practically count the entire season’s decent moments on one hand. I really do think I’m done reviewing the show, if not done watching it entirely.
Let’s start by discussing the beginning, when ClayJim confronts a battalion of heavily armed officers with a direct communication link to Harvey Bullock. Jim walks out by himself and says “everything’s good” AND EVERYONE BELIEVES HIM. Harvey doesn’t even ask where the other two people they’ve gone in to save are. And then they leave. Because that’s how the cops work – one dude’s word, one dude who ISN’T EVEN A COP ANYMORE, can call off an entire raid.
ClayJim goes back to headquarters making quite possibly the worst face anyone has ever made on film, and Harvey’s like “You’ve never made that face before or talked like that ever, but I believe it’s flu because I am incapable of detective-ing per the script. Stay back, my weird-faced bro! Imma get LAID this weekend!”
Meanwhile, Real Jim is talking to Strange and having FEELINGS about IMPORTANT THINGS but it’s hollow. He’s not coming to the decision to go find Leslie out of any sort of actual soul-searching or character growth, it’s happening because TRUTH SERUM.
Bruce and Lucius are still trapped in that weird room where Riddler questions them about who actually runs Wayne Enterprises. They don’t know that it’s the Court of Owls (the “Secret Council” according to the show) so Riddler gasses them. Now, we were specifically told last episode that this is NERVE GAS. We are specifically told that they are in MORTAL DANGER. The Riddler even says losers get “death by poison gas!” So, them getting gassed should have some actual consequences. NOPE! No fucking consequences at all! They just get knocked out. Their unconscious bodies are then dragged over to whatever hole they have Jim tied up in and left. Untied.
While Jim, Bruce, and Lucius are just hanging out in their torture room, guess who walks in? Selina. You know, the girl they went into Arkham to save? The only reason they’re there? She’s in no danger at all, meaning the reason they went into Arkham in the first place no longer holds any dramatic weight. Though, admittedly, I do like the Bruce/Selina scene where Bruce apologizes for being a selfish, arrogant dickface who used Selina for his own gain. Then Selina tells him he couldn’t manipulate her if he tried, she’s doing the manipulating. In reality, she did this for him and he came after her because he knew that. This is the most accurate portrayal of these characters this show has ever produced, and I think it was by accident.
ClayJim, who has been drinking all the smoothies and eating all the food, is still flying under the radar as an imposter, even after Alfred’s panicked questioning. It takes a visit from Barbara, who shouldn’t have any reason to be in the police station at all, to recognize that ClayJim isn’t the real Jim Gordon. The weird facial tics and the voice that sounds like he gargled glass wasn’t a good enough clue for the detectives of Gotham. Barbara slaps ClayJim and fucks up his face, meaning the cops are coming to Arkham. What happens to Clayface? Great question! We never see him again.
Selina saves the boys, Hugo Strange runs directly in between twin jets of fire and ice from Firefly and Mr. Freeze, respectively, and freeze burns. Through the magical powers of Jim Gordon’s slapping, he lives. His beard and eyebrows don’t burn off, which…. Jim and Lucius defuse the bomb using water that Miss Peabody wanted to drink.
Instead of that being the end of the episode, we still have to deal with Fish Mooney stealing a bus full of monsters and driving it all over Gotham. The police send only one or two cop cars after the bus because they are completely useless morons who do the city more harm than good. Thank God for Penguin and his crew! That crew includes Butch firing another large weapon while guitars scream in the background. Penguin thinks Strange is in the bus, but it’s Fish. When she reveals herself, everyone runs away and Penguin faints, because that’s what a guy unstable enough to use a severed head as a centerpiece would do.
Apparently those cop cars that crashed into the bus never reported where they were or have any form of GPS in them because no one knows where the bus is. (Even though there is literally a still-working police light sitting RIGHT BESIDE THE BUS no one knows where it is.) Jim takes this opportunity to be all, “I know this is the most terrible thing this city has ever face, but I’m going to leave. BYE!” Ok? Our main character, the protagonist of the show, cuts and runs right when the worst thing to happen to this city so far occurs? Whatever, Gotham. Bruce takes this opportunity to step into the spotlight as protagonist with his “THERE IS A SECRET COUNCIL! TO JO-ANN’S FABRIC! I HAVE A COSTUME TO CREATE! HASHTAG BAT, HASHTAG HERO, HASHTAG JUSTICE!”
Finally, we get to see a poor homeless woman unlock the door to the monster bus. Do we get to see monsters? Nope, just blurry shapes walking in the distance. This is the kind of bullshit thing independent films with no money pull because they have NO MONEY. Gotham is nothing if not a visually beautiful show with decent production value. If you’re going to do this “monsters are here!” thing, GIVE ME AN EYEFUL OF A FUCKING OCTOPUS MONSTER, YOU DICKS.
But we do get an eyeful of one monster. It’s Bruce in a Tommy Wiseau wig.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who this person could be. It’s not Hush, because he was the kid Alfred told Bruce to punch in the face using a watch as brass knuckles. I don’t think it’s a clone because the only real clones of Batman are the ones he created himself or the one Darkseid created and I can’t imagine this show can get the ability to show Darkseid when he’s slated for the movie universe. With the help of a friend, we landed on Thomas Wayne Jr. Maybe? Here’s my theory:
As we all know, Thomas Wayne really loved dinosaur hand jobs. He loved them so much that he kept that poor girl with the dino hand in a secluded cabin for a decade and was the only person who knew where she was or that came to visit her. Sometime during this decade, she gave birth to a son who she named after his father. But the experiments she’d been subjected to prior to her pregnancy mutated her DNA and her child was born “abnormal.” Unable to look at the horrible creature he created, Thomas took the baby to his old friend, Hugo Strange, to see if anything could be done to make his son “normal.” Strange just made things worse, which is why we didn’t see the BruceMonster from the neck down – he has the body of a dinosaur.
He will one day track down his half-brother in hopes of laying claim to the Wayne family fortune. There, in Wayne Cave, Bruce and his brother will get into an argument over money. Thomas Wayne Jr. will mutate into his final form – a full-grown Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Wayne boys will fight, with Bruce using a suspended animation serum to render his brother no more than a stuffed toy. Bruce will never talk about it and Alfred will dutifully dust it, but no member of the Gotham-verse Bat Family will ever truly know how or why a giant dinosaur ended up in the cave. But we will know. We will know.
RIP, Dino Thomas Wayne Jr.