Gotham Is Just Crazy Now… In The Best Way Possible

This article contains spoilers for the Gotham episode – Pretty Hate Machine.

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Gotham was pitched as a prequel to Batman starring Jim Gordon and we’d get to see the early days of some of the classic Batman villains. It’s not and we have to stop thinking of it that way. What Gotham really is would be an Elseworlds story of what happens if all of the crazy costumed criminals came to Gotham before Bruce Wayne grew up into being Batman and it was up to Jim Gordon to protect the city. And I do mean ALL of the villains. Suddenly Gotham becomes a mosaic of insanity that is fun to watch.

I fell behind this season because of the show airing at the same time as Supergirl and no access to a recorder. But I got caught up yesterday with the last few episodes and then watching the new episode when it aired. We’re building towards a two-hour finale that includes The Riddler, The Penguin, the Executioner, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Firefly, Tigress, Talon, Mad Hatter, Catwoman, the Court of Owls, Hugo Strange and they just name dropped Ra’s al Ghul. Throw in the series created Fish Mooney along with the new insane Barbara Kean and the infected Lesley Thompkins and you have more villains than you can shake a batarang at.

And our heroes? Jim Gordon is infected by the Tetch Virus and Bruce Wayne has been brainwashed. The fate of the city, which now has been infected by the virus too, may end up in the hands of Harvey Bullock, Lucius Fox and Alfred Pennyworth. And this type of thing happens so often that in the latest episode Bullock tells Alfred that they’re going to need to give him a badge at some point.

The first season of the show felt like a police procedural with hints of the DCU. We saw the beginning stages of Oswald Cobblepot and Edward Nygma, but overall it was a police story. We are a long way from the big threats being Carmine Falcone and Sal Maroni. You currently have the Court trying to destroy Gotham while turning Bruce into a weapon, even thought the man training Bruce has the Court eliminated. Penguin and Riddler trying to kill each other and take over the underworld. The Executioner on the lose. And Lee being so obsessed with the death of her finacee that she injects herself with the virus. Just about everything is on the table and everyone involved except for the Joker… but there are 2 hours left so who knows.

But the best thing about the show is that even thought he plots are completely Bat Ship Crazy, the actors are playing them straight with sincerity and strength. The bond between Oswald and Ed is still fun to watch. Harvey is way over his head, trying to do the right thing. Alfred is the only person that can say, “I’m a butler” and have it sound like a bad-ass. And all of it evolves around a classic noir detective character that will choose to do the worst thing he can every time because he believes that only he can fix things… Gotham is what happens when you take almost 80 years of stories, toss them in a blender and then realize later your forgot to add Batman himself. And I can’t wait to see how they end the season.

https://youtu.be/R2FvCLcLlIk

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.

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