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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A Gotham jailbreak sees the worst of the town busting out dead or alive

Illustration for article titled A Gotham jailbreak sees the worst of the town busting out dead or alive
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Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • This week’s cold open is a fun “villains assemble and break out or Arkham” scene. Tetch hypnotizes a guard, who slits the throat of another guard, allowing his escape before he rounds up Crane and Jerome. “There’ll be plenty of time to stab each other in the back later,” says Jerome as they try to focus on breaking out and not immediately turning on each other, like good villains do.
  • When Bullock and Gordon get a call from Tetch to meet in a dark alley, they agree, which doesn’t seem like a great plan. Gordon even says as much: “we’re either idiots or hypnotized.”
  • Gotham has been especially gory as of late, yes? The wrecking ball crushing the married couple, Sofia using a hammer on Lee’s hand. I don’t remember the show being this visually disgusting in previous seasons.
  • As if this show doesn’t have enough characters to worry about, the League of Shadows is here now. With Barbara as the new Demon’s Head, she has them in her control. The first order of business? Kill all the weak men in the League.
  • Remember how unbearable the Selina-Bruce scenes were in the early seasons of Gotham? I’m so glad the show’s figured out their dynamic now. “Your ego, Bruce. It’s huge.”
  • While it wouldn’t be good to totally humanize Jerome and turn him into a sympathetic villains, I appreciate the show gaving us a peak into his past. It turns out that he has an insane uncle who loves to pour hot soup down his throat as a form of punishment.
  • Jerome’s response to his uncle after Bruce, of all people, saves his life: “You really brought back the utter helplessness of childhood.”
  • The overarching plot of this episode isn’t all that compelling, because the idea that Tetch is going to force a mass suicide of Gotham’s citizens is just too large scale to really amp up the tension, but it does lead to the episode’s best beat, where Gordon saves the day at the last second (obviously), and a radio producer in the station, coming out of his hypnotized daze, gives him a thumbs up. It’s hilarious.
  • I’m still not sure what we’re supposed to be getting from Bullock and Gordon’s relationship. I guess the show is finally just allowing Gordon to admit that he’s flawed, like everyone in Gotham, but I’m not sure what storytelling purpose that really serves. Hopefully it just means that Gotham doesn’t go back to the story of Gordon “crossing the line,” which has been done numerous times across four seasons.
  • The latter half of this season has struggled so far, but the way everything comes together at the end of “A Dark Knight: One Of My Three Soups” is interesting. The whole elaborate mass suicide plan is nothing but a distraction meant to keep the GCPD occupied while Jerome and Crane make their own plans. Now, the three villains are united again, and considering that Penguin and Riddler are a duo once more, and Barbara in control of the League of Shadows, Gotham is about to be flooded with criminal plans. With any luck that will give the last few episodes of this season some sense of direction.

Kyle Fowle is a freelance writer based out of Canada. He writes about TV and wrestling for The A.V. Club, Real Sport, EW, and Paste Magazine.