Welcome back to our recap of Fox’s hit TV series, Gotham. As the one person who watches this show, it’s been decided that I should be the one to chronicle its existence so history could never forget. Kind of like The Giver, I think. As always, I refuse to look up anything that happened in the previous two seasons of Gotham because I only started watching two weeks ago. Also, look out for spoilers from here on out.
Last time on Gotham, The Penguin became the mayor of Gotham and The Riddler helped out Butch’s coup against him. Jim Gordon, nobody noticed that fully fleshed out Poison Ivy was hanging out four feet away from them, and Michael Chiklis is now able to walk without a cane because he accidentally ate a dead girl’s blood. Also, that dead girl’s brother is now on a homicidal rampage to get revenge against Jim Gordon who spent last week sitting in his apartment, drinking scotch, and watching paint dry.
1. Peddler is Real
The most important part of this episode in big honking capital letters is that Penguin straight up said he’s in love with The Riddler and spends all episode trying to figure out how to tell him. I know that’s the type of thing that should’ve been obvious based on everything they’ve been doing for each other this season (especially that whole “I’d do anything for you” moment from last episode) but years of bad TV like Sherlock and Supernatural have programmed me to not be able to recognize actually gay characters, especially lanky white dudes, in genre TV unless they straight up profess their love. It’s really cool to see Gotham actually move forward with The Penguin/Riddler and turn them into a story rather than just give Penguin some egregious longing glances and then never pay it off. And this whole crush on Nygma gives a lot of humanity to Penguin who’s now definitely the most interesting part of the show. Unfortunately, this is a Mad Hatter episode.
2. Mad as a Mad Hatter
Mad Hatter’s back, having upgraded in power now that his sister died. He blames it all on Gordon and blah blah blah. I keep riffing on the fact that Azrael’s already come and gone on this show but why am I supposed to be cool with the straight up Mad Hatter showing up fully formed? He’s got his henchmen and he’s got the creepy dude from Jessica Jones who wasn’t Doctor Who to dress up as the White Rabbit and leave creepy cues. Hatter’s even got that rig Riddler had set up in the Arkham games where he has multiple TVs piled on top of each other so they’d show his face split up between all the monitors. But Tetch doesn’t really feel like he’s doing much besides terrorizing Jim Gordon? And that’s something but it’s not The Penguin trying to muster up the courage to tell a close friend he wants to be more than friends so it just doesn’t mean as much to me.
3. Penguin Madison
What does mean a lot to me is Penguin and Riddler going to an elementary school as part of Cobblepot’s mayoral duties. The teachers tell the Penguin that Mayor Richard Kind would always read to the children and Penguin coldly reminds everyone that Richard Kind was illiterate. Savage. He also whines when Riddler reminds him they’re in a K-12 school and must visit every class. Forget Batman, I want a whole show that’s Penguin’s war on children. I’m bringing up this whole scene because Penguin gives a motivational speech to a child sitting by himself. The kid’s afraid no one will like him and Cobblepot says he won’t know that until he tries to make friends. And if they make fun of him, he should push them down the stairs. That kid? He grows up to become Bane.
4. Jim Gordon’s Sad Penis Hostage Crisis
Mad Hatter’s big plan for this episode is to get at James Gordon by targeting the two women left on this show he has sexual tension with, Valerie Vale and Leslie Tompkins. He makes Gordon choose who will live between certain groups of people (a newlywed couple and a kid, a doctor and a reporter) until he finally has to choose between Leslie and Valerie. Jervis keeps bugging Gordon, asking who he loves but Gordon is noncommittal as hell. After psyching out Hatter doesn’t work, Gordon is asked to choose who should get got. Gordon chooses Tompkins which prompts Tetch to shoot Valerie. That sounds like a cruel twist, but it reads a lot more like Gordon getting Hatter to shoot Vale with no blame. “How could I have known he would kill the person I didn’t want him to! The dude dressed like a theatre major who just discovered how edgy Alice in Wonderland could had been so straightforward before!”Continued below
5. My Crazy Dead Ex-Girlfriend
Somehow, Hatter’s murder tea party isn’t the weirdest part of this episode. Instead, Penguin invites Riddler to dinner at the mansion where he’ll confess his feelings to Nygma-senpai. Cobblepot rehearses his confession in his dining room while Nygma’s out purchasing wine. Somehow, a woman who looks exactly like the ex-girlfriend he murdered shows up to flirt with him and they exchange names. Her name’s Isabella, she has no idea he’s into her because she looks like a woman he murdered, and she awkward mutters a riddle out of nowhere. The Penguin had no chance. Next episode should open with him still in his dining room, Carly Rae Jepsen’s
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