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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Gotham goes Gothic in an episode that improves on the season premiere

Illustration for article titled iGotham/i goes Gothic in an episode that improves on the season premiere
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Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • Never Mind The Bullocks: “You killed his son! Italians don’t forget that crap.”
  • Gotham boasts a pretty cool cold open this week. Despite Harvey’s dive into exposition—“Look here, an asylum uniform. 1109. That’s Crane’s number, right?”—it has a Gothic vibe to it that’s pretty fun; all creaking floorboards, blown leaves, and one endlessly screaming man.
  • When Gordon lets Bruce out of prison, Lucius Fox approaches the boy and Alfred. They barely manage to conceal their lie, which, as the episode progresses, turns out to be a good thing. No need for Gotham to be playing with secrets at this point. Having Bruce’s new vigilante intentions out in the open with those closest to him is a good choice. Plus, he gets a cool new military-grade suit out of it.
  • Speaking of horror vibes, the scene where Crane goes back to Arkham and gasses everyone has plenty of them. The Warden sees one seriously terrifying clown, and then when Gordon shows up later to try and take down Crane, figures that shouldn’t bend the way they do lurk in the background.
  • As inspired as the set design and atmosphere might be, I’m not sure how invested I am in yet another “army of Arkham patients” storyline. When Crane starts to amass his army and tells Gordon that he’s going to reckon with what he’s truly afraid of—which is himself, of course—I had some serious flashbacks to just about every other villain on this show.
  • Also, how many times does Gotham have to relitigate Gordon’s morality? Especially when he’s the lone cop trying to battle Penguin’s plan to legalize crime.
  • One thing about Gotham the city is that everyone can ostensibly come back from the dead, which is a boon for Gotham the show because it can just bring Barbara back! That’s a welcome surprise. Now she sees a massive opportunity in the city: if crime will be legalized, then those criminals will want weapons. Barbara has a fancy storefront and a cache of weapons ready to sell. All she needs is for Tabitha and Selina to get on board, but that’s easier said than done.
  • Eventually, Tabitha comes around (for now), but one big question remains: who paid for Barbara’s setup? As Penguin points out, there’s no way she set it up on her own.
  • When did the Warden have time, or the tools, to paint his face like a clown?
  • “Hot damn! It’s like Christmas.” As always, Victor Zsasz is delightful.
  • I’m liking this more confident, vicious Penguin. Here he threatens Barbara after she resists setting up shop under his banner. He feels like a more dynamic character now that he’s had success and come out on top of the underworld. Of course, that’s just further to fall when someone eventually challenges him
  • That somebody might just be former Gotham kingpin Carmine Falcone. When Bullock says he misses the old guy because at least there was order and honor to the criminal underworld when he was in charge, that gets Gordon thinking. That’s a reunion I’m excited to see, because there’s no way it goes smoothly.
  • So water fights off the effects of the Crane virus? I don’t remember knowing that. Seems like quite the contrivance to get Gordon out of a tough spot. Also, why would water work?
  • Bullock telling Gordon, “you don’t have to say nothing, but I’m buying you a drink” was really sweet, in a “you’ll always be my partner” kind of way.
  • I have a feeling some of you have thoughts on Bruce’s pre-Batman costume that appears at the end of the episode. Let me know what you think below!

Kyle Fowle is a freelance writer based out of Canada. He writes about TV and wrestling for The A.V. Club, Real Sport, EW, and Paste Magazine.

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