Gotham: Worse Than a Crime

"You want to attack the mayor with the help of a depraved sociopath?"

When Galavan's plans come to a head, Bruce is abducted by the reinstated Mayor and a bunch of monks, Gordon heads the GCPD in a desperate attempt to rescue his friend while the Penguin goes completely kamikaze.

A Possible Conversation Between Tabitha and Silver, As They Parachute Patiently Down to the Ground After Leaving Galavan:

SILVER: “...so basically I just told Bruce the truth and he was willing to protect me but he wasn’t willing to love me. Then he kissed me and he left me.”

TABITHA: “It’s a guy thing. Look at Theo. He was willing to use me to get what he wanted. But he wasn’t willing to really share power. It’s always about power.”

SILVER: “It looked like the priest had power, when he forced Bruce to dress up like a drunken fraternity boy.”

TABITHA: “That wasn’t power. That was pathetic. Any time people need ritual and words to dress up something, it isn’t power. Bruce noticed that, right? Power dresses itself. That little man was called the Penguin, and he turned it into a weapon. Now, he’s arguably the most powerful criminal left in the city, and my brother’s got an umbrella shoved down his throat.”

SILVER: “Did Uncle Theo ever really have power, or was it all a show?”

TABITHA: “What do you think? I mean, after all that, after months of planning, it’s wiped out in one minute by bunch of cops and a psycho with an umbrella. And I mean, I do all the planning, I do lots of the torture and death. What happens? They focus on the guy. Always on the guy.”

SILVER: “But you still have power. You saved me. You hurt him.”

TABITHA: “Because I still keep telling myself I have a choice. Not like Barbara. She’d abdicated choice. Her only power was in abdication. At least I get away alive.”

SILVER: “Is the Penguin back on top now that Galavan is dead again? Who’s going to be mayor?”

TABITHA: “Hold on. I see… over there... on a bench… is that Jim Gordon proposing to that woman? Is she actually going to marry him?”

SILVER: “Well, she’s pregnant. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do if you get someone pregnant? Propose?”

TABITHA: “Think she’ll say yes? Marry a killer?”

SILVER: “Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you’re pregnant? Say yes to proposals? Not like I have any. What am I going to do now? I don’t even have friends.”

TABITHA: “You have me.”

SILVER: “You just hit my uncle over the head and left him to be imprisoned. I love you, but I’m not entirely sure ‘safe’ is the word for you.”

TABITHA: “Fair enough.”

SILVER: “The only guy I feel safe around right now is the one who just told me he pities me.”

TABITHA: “You know, girls are less complicated.”

SILVER: “Aunt Tabitha?”

TABITHA: “Yes?”

SILVER: “There’s something different about Bruce. At first I thought he was a stupid, annoying boy. Then I saw it was an act. Then I saw what else was an act. Finally I thought I saw a glimmer of reality behind the mask. I guess if I had to say, I would say his power comes from keeping a part of himself away from everything else.”

TABITHA: “And the girl?”

SILVER: “She scorns power, so she has power.”

TABITHA: “What do you want to do next, Silver? We’re almost down.”

I was interested in the idea of a conversation between Tabitha and Silver in the fall from the Gotham tower with parachutes. What would they talk about? Tabitha obviously feels like an older sister of sorts to Silver, and is Silver’s only true guardian now. I think the notion of these two together, with a Tabitha finally realizing her own power and presence, could be very cool.

I’m happy to see the end of Galavan (I hope it’s his end, honestly, although this Professor Strange character has now come into the picture, and bodies in test tubes rarely bode well for the end of anything.) He wasn’t an effective villain in this cast. Revenge for something that happened four generations ago? Taken out on a prepubescent boy while monks moan behind?

Galavan gone leaves the Penguin in charge of Gotham, set against Barnes. Who else loved the thrill in Penguin’s face? The excitement at seeing the monster he’d made in Jim? There was something almost mythical there, and if the news about what Penguin did to Galavan’s body gets out, the Penguin himself is going to become a villain of mythical proportions. Robin Lord Taylor has done what I never thought he could when I started reviewing this show last year. He elevated a bit villain with a monocle and a cigarette holder into a multilayered character, someone who’s continually an underdog and continually fueled by this inner power at the same time. Jim has the same power. This is the thing Penguin recognized: Jim could just as easily have been holding that bat and bashing Galavan’s ribs in.

Part of why Jim is so eager to kill Galavan, of course, is because he sees Bruce as a symbol of what’s innocent about Gotham. When Bruce is threatened, so too, symbolically, is the heart of the city: and the killer inside Gordon growls. Barnes is desperately trying to keep the man out and the killer, in. Whether he succeeds in the rest of this season, I think, depends entirely on Lee, who is much more than just Gordon’s Jiminy Cricket. She’s his moral center and, in the type of dark work he must do in Gotham, the only lighthouse he might have left. (I can’t see Harvey as a lighthouse of any sort.) And he will need that lighthouse, because the Penguin’s power isn’t really his madness, or his inner killer. It’s the fluent glibness with which he manipulates reality and rationality. When he starts speaking frankly and directly, be afraid. And now, Penguin hasn’t even got a mother to force him under that veneer of civilization. Truly, as Nygma said a few episodes ago, the Penguin is now free. And I find that potentially very exciting, but I fear the power he now has over Gordon.

Of course, there’s also Bruce. I keep feeling like I do back and forths on David Mazouz. Some episodes he doesn’t impress me at all. For this, and the past two episodes, the character has been seriously built up. Up till now, Bruce has been almost annoyingly earnest. Now, we’re starting to see Bruce develop duplicity. We’re seeing pain force him to grow up. Oh, the death of his parents hurt: certainly. But it was maybe the first serious pain in his life, and it’s as if he’s spent the last several years sheltered by Alfred and crying about the unfairness of it. Now he sees unfairness, and realizes he, himself, can play that game. I see some parallels here between what’s happening with Bruce and Gordon. Both of them are playing more and more with darkness, and all their good intentions won’t be able to save them. (Selina might though. Maybe Bruce is just this much better when Selina’s around.)

The last point I want to discuss: will Lee marry Jim? I love them as a couple, to be honest, and I love Lee Tompkins as a character and Morena Baccarin has become one of my favorite actresses. I don’t think she should say Yes yet, despite the little wrinkle in the oven. Jim needs to work through the darkness threatening to possess him. Can you imagine this dude as a dad?

Bits and Pieces

When Barnes and Gordon were arguing, just before Penguin showed up and conked Barnes unconscious, I kept wanting Jim to have the damn argument. He never throws back the obvious in Barnes’ face: that Parks is dead, that other cops have died, that Galavan was responsible for the manipulation and killing of half the police department (remember Jerome?) and by extension any of the subsequent crimes which became possible due to their lack of staff. He’s even got police officers on his side. I get the no killing rule – and even support it. But the fact that Barnes just attacked Gordon without worrying about Galavan’s behavior troubled me. Maybe he just didn’t worry about anything Galavan could do?

Selina’s banter with Alfred at the end. I love the energy between these two characters. This is the kind of thing where I see great potential for Gotham: not just telling untold stories about the villains, but elevating the side characters of the Gotham mythos and exploring who they are in new ways.

What happened to all of Alfred's wounds? Wasn't he escaping Tabitha in a garbage truck and getting cut and shot not too long ago? It must be ButlerHeal! Yes, ButlerHeal, your one-stop salve for servant serration.

I loved the Penguin seemingly becoming more and more iconic, episode by episode. The umbrella, of course, but he was wearing a feather-like coat today. Can a monocle and a cigar be far behind? I feel like Taylor's taken everything great about Burgess Meredith's performance and figured out how to make that an end goal.

Quotables

Alfred: How do we know you haven't stitched us up? I mean, you've switched sides often enough. How do we know that you're not working with Galavan now?
Selina: How do I know you're not a Martian in a rubber suit?

Fox: People, surely we should have a backup strategy, given the strong possibilities of failure.
Penguin: Au contraire, Mr. Fox. Failure is not an option! 

Overall

Aside from everything Galavan, which I loathe, we finally got some real progression in the Jim-as-bad-guy part of this story, some more movement on the Bruce front, and the introduction of a new character (villain?) named Professor Strange. Four out of five umbrellas down the throat.

1 comment:

mazephoenix said...

Yeah I hope Galavan is gone. Sweet lord Jim is a villain now..
Run for your life, Lee.
Loved Fox meeting Cat.
We'll see about Strange. Heh. Thanks for the fun reviews.