So this was an eye-opening episode of Gotham. Sorry, this was an eye-gouging episode of Gotham. Last week, I wrote about how ridiculous this whole prison setup is. I stand by that, but this week takes it to a whole new level, as we see Fish Mooney literally gouge out her own eyeball, in an effort to take a stand. This moment is not even part of the main storyline of the episode, but why bury the lead? FISH MOONEY GOUGED HER OWN EYE OUT AND STEPPED ON IT. I have tried to stay fairly level with Gotham. It has no real clue how to keep itself balanced, but the actors are mostly strong enough to work with what they are given and this is a show set in the Batman universe, which appeals to me quite easily. At this point though, with only so many episodes left in the season, it may just be time to call it on its continual ridiculousness.
Before we get to all of the eye-gouging, “Red Hood” begins with a group of bank robbers that have to be one of the more dysfunctional criminal groups out there that still manage to get the job done. A lack of leadership, personality types of all kinds, and a red hood announced as being ‘lucky’, this is a silly lead story that really just references the comic inspiration, rather than actually doing something that matches up. I suppose that is a good thing, as this show would be better off not directly calling in every Batman villain/reference it can. But, the tone involving this entire storyline seems so lighthearted, even in the midst of several people being killed. With all of that in mind, there is not even a punchline of sorts to this jokey storyline, as we merely see the red hood get killed once and for all, despite a lack of evidence clean-up (which I’ll mention in the show notes).
Because of this haphazardly accomplished storyline, there is nothing to really say about Jimmy & the Bulls this week, as they merely find whatever leads they need, investigate, and solve the crime. There are a number of fun scenes involving an Asian man with a heavy east coast accent, because why not, but really, our lead good guys had nothing to do, aside from chit-chat about Jim’s new girlfriend and setup a criminal for his untimely death (he wanted to open a baker shop). However, given the amount of focus on this week’s set of villains and the other characters, it does make some sense.
Penguin had Butch brought back into his life last week, but this week is where we start to see some of that pay off. With Maroni blocking Penguin from receiving more booze for his club, the simple solution for Penguin was to rob Maroni. Butch, being better at this sort of thing, had a clever way of robbing Maroni. It is simple stuff, but the kicker comes to the discussion of Fish. While we don’t know what Butch went through, it is clear he has been tortured quite a bit in an effort to have him go against the woman he shot one of his oldest friends for. This is the same Butch who magically escaped being bound in the back of a van a few weeks back, but I guess Victor Zsasz has more effective methods. Still, given that I have been straightforward with my appreciation for the small development of Butch, the looks and little actions taken, as he and Penguin take a celebratory drink, did plenty to get across a confused state of mind.
But nothing is more confusing than Fish Mooney’s current scenario. After last week’s setup, we find Fish walking through an abandoned medical facility of some kind, arriving at the office of the man speaking for Dr. Dollmaker. Casting Jeffrey Combs (The Reanimator) as a man representing the office of an illegal organ donor clinic is a nice and welcome touch, but this plot is just too wacky. The worst is how Combs’ character completely acknowledges how easy it would be for his team to simply kill all the ‘donors’ rising against what is happening and start fresh, but there is still supposed to be drama in the ultimatum given to Fish, before she makes her truly ultimate decision. Why even give her the chance? These people do not matter to these evil doctors! Restrain her right away and be done with it! Regardless, we now have one-eyed Fish to deal with, so we’ll see what happens.
At this point, we may as well just change the name of the series to Gotham: The Lil’ Bruce Chronicles, as we once again see the best portions of the episode devoted to Bruce and Alfred. This week, David O’Hara guests as Reggie Payne, one of Alfred’s war buddies. He comes to Wayne manor for shelter and ends up teaching Bruce a few tricks. Reggie is a trickster himself, as he was really only around to gather info for the evil board at Wayne Enterprises. This results in Alfred getting stabbed (No!) and Bruce’s life now being in possible jeopardy. We know nothing can happen to either of these characters, but Gotham still makes the most of this storyline, as the writers seem to know how to do this stuff best.
So is this a better episode than last week? Is it better than “Balloonman”? I do not know how to answer that question. I can say I was entertained. Gotham was up to a lot of silliness, but I was intrigued and excited in many instances. As this season winds down, I can only hope things go somewhere that feel more significant (save for a missing eye, of course), but right now, I am not sure whether I can keep criticizing this show or putting on the red hood myself and going crazy with it.
From Det. Jim Gordon’s Police Files:
- Barbara gets hilariously dissed by Cat this week.
- Seriously, David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee are so good as Bruce and Alfred. I didn’t even mind the ultra-melodramatic scene of Bruce finding Alfred on the floor and yelling for help.
- My lovely girlfriend pointed out something obvious during the episode: Why wouldn’t any of these bank robbers just make their own red hood?
- Speaking of which, so GCPD just left the red hood lying in the street? So there’s your second Joker setup for fans of the Red Hood comic origin. We needed that…
- “I need a Danish” – At least Bullock had something to say.
- So is Fish going to become a well-known Batman character? Thoughts?
- This week’s Classic Gordon Clip