This week’s Gotham was one of the strongest of the series. As the kids say, sh*t got real. Fish uses some, uh, unorthodox methods to guarantee her safety while Bruce and Alfred unknowingly walk right into a trap. A big, stinking corporate trap. Oh and, no big deal, but the show also introduces the Red Hood Gang. I guess they weren’t kidding about that Joker backstory after all, huh? As more “Masks” make their way onto the streets of Gotham, the show becomes a little more comic-bookish, but also a little bit more fun.
Alfred’s story isn’t the most gruesome of the week, but it’s definitely the most upsetting. When the doorbell rings and he’s met with an old war buddy who’s down on his luck, he and Bruce invite the guest – Reggie – to stay at Wayne Manor. We get some small glimpses into Alfred’s past – and the memories of war that haunt him – but we also get a lot of fun guy-bonding. Bruce’s adorable smile as they drink wine and tell war stories is enough to light up the entire Manor. Unfortunately, Reggie isn’t quite as loyal to his old friend as it seems – in the end, he stabs Alfred in the back (figuratively) and in the gut (literally). He’s actually a mercenary hired by Wayne Enterprises to see how much Bruce knows. Even though Reggie says that Bruce doesn’t have any concrete evidence against him, the Board of Directors seems pretty intent on killing Bruce just the same.
Allow me to reiterate my tweet posted while watching the show live: OH. MY. GOD. FISH. MOONEY. I mean, holy crap. I knew that Fish was willing to do pretty much anything to survive, but I didn’t really expect, well, that. But let’s back up – this week, Fish gets her face-to-face with the man in charge. Unfortunately, he’s not the actual man in charge, he only manages the “hospital” where they’re keeping Fish and the other captives. The real head honcho is Dr. Dulmacher – The Dollmaker. He’s the one harvesting organs and selling them on the black market – as well as keeping some for his own personal experiments. Yikes. You might remember The Dollmaker as the dude who was kidnapping homeless children earlier in the season. So Fish and the manager have a little power play. She makes some demands. He threateningly mentions her pretty eyes. She pops one eye out with a spoon and squishes it on the floor. You know, just a regular day or whatever.
Barbara update: I still don’t care. She’s now resorted to playing dress-up with Ivy and Selina, something that Child Protective Services should probably look into. Barb is really keen (ha, get it?) on Selina’s striking beauty. She’s like, “Ooh, you look so hot in my grown-up clothes.” It’s hella weird. Then this happens:
Barbara: “Your appearance can be a weapon, better than any knife or gun.”
Selina: “Yeah? What good’s it done you?”
BURN. But it is interesting that Barbara plants the idea of using sexuality as a weapon – something Catwoman certainly learns how to do quite well.
Penguin’s club is the worst, you guys. He now features nervous stand-up comedians (horrid) and I find myself wishing for his mother to come back and sing some old standards. It’s painful to watch. It’s not really that I want Penguin to succeed at becoming a mob boss. But this whole story arc is not unlike watching someone leave the bathroom with toilet paper stuck to their shoe, you know? In addition to having like, no patrons, Cobblepot has a new problem: he also has no booze. Apparently the club’s liquor supplier is Sal Maroni, who’s not so into helping Cobblepot – and none of the other liquor suppliers like him enough to piss off Maroni. In comes Butch, newly brainwashed and ready to help! Except it turns out he’s not as brainwashed as we were told. Why is he helping Penguin? Hmmm.
Other than some slick detective work (“You have unpaid bills! You hate banks!” he says to the bank robber) Jim doesn’t make much of an impact this week. We don’t even get any smooching scenes between him and Doctor Thompkins. I imagine he’ll be back to his dominant, growly self next week, now that Alfred is out of commission and young Bruce is in trouble. Hey, maybe he’ll even do something about it.