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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The bodies begin to pile up as Gotham sets up its endgame

Illustration for article titled The bodies begin to pile up as Gotham sets up its endgame
Photo: FOX
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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.

  • Jerome may be dead, but that doesn’t mean Gotham is free of his villainous machinations. He’s apparently set up an elaborate post-death plan to try and kill his brother Jeremiah and Bruce Wayne. That plan involves getting all of his maniacal followers to show up at GCPD for a “wake” in order to keep the cops busy while his true target is under siege.
  • Before those circus freaks get there, Gordon is stuck with a moral dilemma. He wants to help Lee, who’s been arrested after the bank incident, but he doesn’t want to take Harvey’s advice and just let her go. “We’ve gotten away with worse,” says Bullock, which sets Jim off. He’s still upholding the law to the best of his ability, and his numerous past compromises apparently hasn’t changed that.
  • One of the more interesting aspects of this Gordon storyline is the fact that Lee isn’t really a villain. Sure, she’s broken the law, but every instance she’s done that has been in order to help out the poor of the Narrows. She’s going full Jeremy Corbyn, and Jim kind of likes it.
  • Anybody else bummed about what’s happened to Bullock this season? His character feels so far removed from everything that made him such a joy in those first three seasons. His dark turn was simply a way to complicate Gordon’s season-long arc, and the character has never recovered.
  • Near the beginning of the episode Jeremiah reveals his clean generator to Bruce. The two marvel over its ability, along with the other generators Wayne Enterprises has been helping produce, to provide Gotham with stable, clean energy. It just sits there, humming, like Chekhov’s generator.
  • Speaking of characters that feel rather listless at the moment, Penguin is in a similar spot to Bullock. Butch even points it out, as he’s frustrated with his partner’s complete lack of a plan to get to the top of Gotham’s criminal underworld, and also find Hugo Strange and a cure for Butch’s condition.
  • Where’s Alfred? Who jumped him? I need to know that he’s okay!
  • Good little bit of comedy with both Penguin and Riddler passing on freeing the prisoners being stored in the GCPD truck while Jerome’s minions party in the precinct.
  • I was initially unsure about an extended story featuring Riddler and Lee as a team, but their romance and commitment to doing good for the people of the Narrows is rather charming. Morena Baccarin and Cory Michael Smith have good chemistry, which adds a lot to their scenes.
  • I’m not sure Gotham totally earns its “twist,” with Jeremiah taking over for Jerome and planning to blow up Gotham with the generators. It feels a little sloppy, the cards hidden for too long, resulting in something contrived rather than surprising. Jerome’s body is barely in the ground and suddenly Jeremiah has an elaborate plan to stick it to Gotham, Gordon, and Bruce? It all feels to strange, so forced, despite it making a lot of sense as far as Gotham’s endgame, where all the villains will (presumably) converge.
  • It’s also strange to get no update on what Barbara’s up to after the last few weeks built around her and Ra’s al Ghul. More focused storytelling can certainly benefit Gotham, but I think it actively works against “A Dark Knight: That Old Corpse” simply because it’s so close to the end of the season. We should be seeing everyone in action, and yet this is an episode where just about everybody is left treading water.

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.