Gotham Presents a Musical MixUp and Batmans Whiny Teen Years

first_imgStay on target NYCC 18: The Cast of Gotham On Bane, Batman and Saying GoodbyeDC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC News The Professor Pyg arc had so much promise. The TV ads leading up to the villain’s first episode promised a terrifying new threat on the streets of Gotham. Those ads turned out to be scarier than anything on the show. Pyg’s design was still unsettling. How can a man wearing a pig head not be? But the show never tried to flex its horror muscles with the character. It did a much better job of that with Scarecrow at the beginning of the season. Instead, Pyg was the catalyst for all the drama at the GCPD and now the downfall of the Pax Penguina. That’s not to say it didn’t lead to some good episodes. The one where Pyg set a trap that Bullock and Penguin walked into was fantastic, and probably one of the most important of the season. This one… wasn’t so much.Everything built up to a spectacular and disgusting finale, but the build-up wasn’t that interesting to watch. We don’t even get any scenes of Lee, Nygma, and Grundy at the fight club, or the now-independent Gotham City Sirens. Those were the stories that made last week’s episode so enjoyable and we don’t even get a check-in scene here. Instead, it’s all about the Pyg, who has expanded his targets beyond dirty cops. The opening scene sees him dressed as a rabbi, leading homeless people to a soup kitchen. The goofy nature of his performance is actually kind of chilling, especially when the people all die from poison. Why is he killing homeless people now? To punish Gotham’s wealthy, corrupt elite at Penguin’s gala for the orphanage.Robin Lord Taylor and Crystal Reed (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)The episode tries to make his ultimate plan a mystery, and it doesn’t really work. If you haven’t figured out what he’s planning to do by the opening title card, you will once Gordon finds the bodies of Pyg’s victims and sees that they’re being cooked. There’s a sense that this is Gordon’s first true test as captain of the GCPD, but it really doesn’t feel like a big deal. Compared to the trap that caused Bullock’s downfall, this episode’s story feels so much smaller. Gordon figured out that insanely convoluted trap, and saved most of the captured cops’ lives. After that, this almost feels like another day at the office, even if the details are particularly gruesome. He catches up with Pyg, who complains that he’s figuring out the mystery too fast. (Hey TV shows, pointing out your own story flaws doesn’t make them go away, it just accentuates them.) So he has to be held back by Pyg capturing one of his detectives. Again, we just saw him save a bunch of cops two episodes ago. We’re pretty sure this one will be OK. Especially since Pyg took great care to miss any vital organs when he stabbed her.Despite the dull, forced mystery, it all leads to an exciting, deliciously disgusting conclusion. After Lucius Fox reads a passage from Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” he and Gordon figure out that Pyg plans to take that bit of satire literally. He killed homeless people, cooked them and now he’s going to force the rich to eat them. You probably caught onto this plan a couple of scenes ago, but hey at least Gordon got there eventually. At the dinner, the episode goes completely bonkers and becomes the Gotham we love so much. It’s theatrical, it’s just a little campy, it’s insane and it’s gruesome. Pyg presents each of Penguin’s benefactors with a meat pie accompanied by a photo of the person inside. He then uses their names to sing a twisted parody of “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago. See, this is what I come to Gotham for. Although, great as Pyg’s performance is, Sweeney Todd is the musical with the human meat pies. “God, That’s Good” might have been more appropriate.Guest star Michael Cerveris (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)The episode keeps Gordon locked in the kitchen just long enough for nearly everyone to get a bite of human. I don’t know if it’s the most disgusting thing Gotham has ever shown us, but it’s up there. Pyg threatens to kill Martin, the boy who became Penguin’s friend and conspirator. One of the rich old men suggests that an orphan’s life isn’t worth eating long pig and Penguin stabs him in the head. Just to make sure we get a good look at everyone choking down and gagging on people. The only person who doesn’t end up eating is Sofia. Before she can take a bite, Gordon rushes in and fight’s Pyg one on one. It’s a great fight scene. Even with the last few episodes centering on a fight club, this is the best we’ve seen in a while. It’s fast, dynamic and so well-choreographed. It’s been a while since we got to see Gordon’s scrappy hand to hand fighting style, and I’m glad we got to before Gotham goes on a two-week break.The most interesting development is more set-up for the coming Penguin vs. Sofia battle. She’s been a great addition to the season, complicating the story in some really cool ways. Gordon is now leading the GCPD and doing an admirable job of it, but he’s only there because of her. Meanwhile, Penguin runs the city, and she is manipulating him as well. She’s playing all sides and her rise to power is fascinating to watch. This week’s episode introduced one element she hadn’t counted on: Martin. For all her promises that she won’t betray Penguin again, Martin sees Sofia kissing Gordon at the end of the episode. Thanks to that kid, he knows a fight with Sofia’s coming. It may not make for immediately exciting TV, but it’s fun to see how they’re setting up the battle for Gotham between the two villains.David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)Then there was the Bruce Wayne story which, while super annoying and the last thing I want to see from Gotham right now, at least gives us an interesting new character dynamic for the rest of the season. Bruce continues to go all in on partying to mask his pain after killing Ra’s Al Ghul. This storyline is a lot of Alfred trying to reach out and be a good father figure and Bruce spitting in his face. I’ve wanted to see a lot of rich kids punched over the years, but never so much as in this episode. Alfred tries to honor Bruce Wayne’s father by taking the kid on a hiking trip that became a father-son tradition. Bruce steals the car, leaves Alfred in the woods and trashes his own house partying with his awful friends. Alfred continues to be the coolest character, letting one of Bruce’s friends know just what a mistake it would be to get in his face. This just makes it hurt all the more when Bruce starts talking to Alfred like a butler instead of a friend. As painful as it is to watch, the growing divide between Bruce and Alfred is an engaging bit of drama for the rest of the season to explore. It makes the Bruce Wayne story matter in a way it hasn’t since Ra’s Al Ghul’s death.Overall, Gotham didn’t have a ton of interesting stories to tell this week. The Pyg’s finale plan was a step down compared to what he’d done before, and I’d much rather have seen what was going on with Lee, the fight club and the Sirens. In last week’s break from Pyg, those stories became the most exciting parts of the show. At least it ended with a bang. I appreciate any show that sends us into Thanksgiving weekend with images of forced cannibalism. 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