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S04.E02: A Dark Knight: The Fear Reaper

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Under pressure to prove that the GCPD is still powerful, Gordon attempts to bring in Jonathan Crane. However, Gordon puts himself in a dangerous situation at Arkham when he is forced to fight off lunatics and the demon within himself. Meanwhile, with Barbara's unexpected return, Selina and Tabitha must consider risks that come with joining her in the weapon business.

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Episode Grade:

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The visuals of this episode were really stunning. Fantastic. Better than most Hollywood movies, even. It was a trip, a real bizarre trip...real fun to look at.

To take in? That was a different story.

This really felt like some run-of-the-mill horror film that belives cackling baddies is enough to set the tone. It was so rote, all of it, and the story direction failed multiple times too.

At the heart of it was the failed drama of Crane vs. Gordon. Jonathan Crane is a Batman villain, so he lives, and James Gordon...well, we know who he is. So their fight really lacked any kind of suspense.

The scene with Lee was good though, and nice to see Gordon actually using his brain. Doesn't count for much.

Then there was that business with Cat and Tabby. While I appreciate Selina's apprehension wondering what she's gotten into, Tabitha seemed to way too easily stomp all over her, and Selina's tougher than that. Most galling was that Selina hardly stood up for Ivy when Tabitha went after her- and Ivy is supposed to be her best friend. Some friendship that seems now.

The Bullock Meter

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Harvey was one of the episode's highlights. After a bit of a slow start, it was refreshing to see Harvey- finally- stand up to Jim and not go on one of his misadventures. It was also great seeing that Harvey standing up to Jim was part of his plan to talk some sense into Jim. It, of course, led to Jim contacting Falcone- which, if you know the spoilers, you'll know where that's headed- but at least Harvey can truly say he "won" here, and maybe might have won more if he thought a bit more outside of the box. Still, for all the episode's faults, Harvey Bullock was very refreshing.

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Somewhat serious question:  Can we change the series to be about Barbara, Tabitha and Selina setting up a criminal enterprise in the age of Penguin?  Because they are far more entertaining the Jim Gordon.  I was hoping one of the loonies would kill him.  I did like his "Now or Never" scene with Bullock though.  I thought it was very well done and true to both characters.

Also liked the Ivy stuff.   Poor Ivy no one wants to be your friend.  But hey now you can be Poison Ivy.

So here we start with Lucious Fox bringing Bruce gadgets for his "rock climbing".   

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3 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

Can we change the series to be about Barbara, Tabitha and Selina setting up a criminal enterprise in the age of Penguin?

I think Penguin should have been the central character right from the start. He's arguably the show's most compelling character, and this show would benefit a whole lot more if it had a central character that all the others reacted to. The show loses so much trying to juggle 15 different stories at once.

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This episode would have been good for halloween

  • Gotham could only go one episode without lee and the jimlee relationship crap
  • And guess what the weakest part of the episode was? The part where jim overcomes his relationship drama fear in 2 minutes. Simple. Jim gordon does it again
  • Harvey finally standing up to jim. At least the break-up wasn't too bad. Proud of you, harv!
  • Jonathan's scarecrow costume was pretty creepy
  • Batman begins homage with the rock climbing (similar to the cave diving bit)
  • they didn't even bother explaining how queen babs is still alive, but it sounds like they're keeping it secret until later
  • Wished tabs sliced bab's hand off. She kinda deserves it
  • Babs is now creepily calm and it freaks me out a bit
  • Also, is the mop on bab's head supposed to be her hair after she was electrocuted or is it a wig like in-verse to help kinda stay undercover or just a bad fashion choice?
  • The penguin/ivy rift just feels so forced to me. Like, literally two episodes ago (so the season 3 finally) they had opened up a club together and had a brother/sister/friend thing going on and now ivy apparently hates his guts. Yes, i realize ivy is still mentally pre-teenish, but still. Penguin making jerkish comments to her in a couple of scenes doesn't quite cut it for me
  • And ivy just got upgraded to poison ivy!
  • Zsasz continues to delight and has already had more screentime than he did in the entirety of season 3. Or at least it feels that way.
Edited by HoodlumSheep

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Holy balls, the setting and atmosphere for everything Scarecrow was incredible.  It's probably the best the show's done, and that's saying something.  They dropped you right into a horror movie or Silent Hill.

Babs was brought back by Ra's, no doubt about it.  He's got the money, and he can use her as a weapon against Gotham.

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Pretty good episode, I think Scarecrow is a good villain who is appropriately creepy and threatening, but remains sympathetic. Jonathan needs serious mental help, not to be stuck in the Jokers favorite summer home. I know he has to stay a bad guy be the Scarecrow, and he clearly needs to be stopped, but I still feel more sorry for him than anything. The kid is clearly deeply sick, and has been victimized by his father, by the Arkham guys, and by those criminals from last week. The atmosphere in all his scenes were amazing, the directing and costuming and set design was top notch. And the actor playing Jonathan/Scarecrow is killing it. 

You know Babs, if you want Tabitha back on your side, maybe a "I`m sorry I beheaded your boyfriend" chocolate box is in order. If a Gotham criminal asks if you "need a hand" you should probably watch your back. Or hands. I kind of wish Tabitha had cut her hand off. She deserves some kind of comeuppance. Of course, so do a LOT of people. 

I can see where the other GCPD cops are coming from in wanting to work with Penguin, after they've been shot up about 400 times in just the past year and a half, but I do question them being totally cool with this. Isn't getting shot at and dealing with criminals kind of their job? Getting shot at sucks, but this is Gotham, they had to know what they were getting into when they signed on. I know Jim can be bullheaded, and Penguin and his licenses seem good now, but Jim isn't wrong about the laws being there for a reason, and Penguins organization can easily escalate to making up licenses to kill or abuse people. I really liked all the stuff between Harvey and Jim though, it was all very in character and understandable. I like that, while Jim is basically a bull in a china shop, Harvey is basically the only person who can kind of get through to him and get him to chill out, and can convince him that Harvey sticking with GCPD is a good thing. 

I knew Jim's greatest fear would be something with his ex girlfriends. It was a really well done scene, but did it HAVE to be connected to Lee/Jim? We know Jim has some death seeker tendencies, we dont need to wrap it in with Lee. 

Oh Bruce, what would you do without Alfred? And Ivy buys a Gremlin! 

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Another week, another batshit episode. We got one more week of reruns before the CW unleashes their hounds, so Gotham is the only show going now.

I was so focused on Bruce and the other character that was mentioned tonight (better safe than sorry), I didn't think Ivy would up her game. Nice than the old man had the "good stuff" nearby . ..  and transmutative to boot! I mean, it's one thing to age-progress her, but now she's going further into canon? And yes, I thought she would knock over Gizmo's cage looking for the power-up.

Bruce is still a putz. And now we have Lucius enabling him, because another Lucius enabled Bruce in another universe. Of course, Alfred would provide the mask. Symbolism!!

Gordon is still stubborn as hell, though the cops suck for not lifting a finger. I get that they're overworked, the station goes under siege every three months, and Oswald made valid points (albeit in the most dick way possible). And I get Harvey wanting to keep his crew. But nobody joined him? Why bother with pretense. "Okay, there's a riot going on at Arkham. Could be a situation where they run riot on Gotham and make things even worse. But I am the main character. Well, my name is the first listed, so I'm going in alone. No, really, Jimbo's got this."

First fear gas hallucination: "Hey, I didn't know Pennywise and Ryuk had a kid." Of course Jim's fear is Leslie-based. What would her fear have been if she got gassed? "It's me! Val! Listen, I found sanctuary on The Gifted! You could totally be running a part of the bad guys' operation! Say the word and you're in .  . . I don't think there would be a conflict with your Deadpool movies." Also: the gas is neutralized by water. Something for Jonathan to think about when he inevitably busts out.

I like Barbara. I mean, I dug the manic drama crime queen, but the new look is good. Let Tabitha and Selina monopolize the tight leather. @Jediknight, I didn't think that Ra's al Guhl might be behind her return, but it would explain the hair. Also, last season's Barbara would've chopped her own hand off, laughing like a loon until she passed out from blood loss. As for Selina . . . is this what she wants? To be the junior member of the company that supplies Gotham's worst with artillery, all the while hoping that her seniors can get the better of Penguin while he's distracted? Oh, and that would also hinge on Tabitha and Barbara not killing each other.

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

I knew Jim's greatest fear would be something with his ex girlfriends. It was a really well done scene, but did it HAVE to be connected to Lee/Jim? We know Jim has some death seeker tendencies, we dont need to wrap it in with Lee.

 

50 minutes ago, Lantern7 said:

Of course Jim's fear is Leslie-based.

So predictable that fear, let's get something more nuanced as Jim Gordon's greatest fear like Gotham going up in flames or something. Something he's ALWAYS been afraid of, rather than just like the last year.

2 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I think Penguin should have been the central character right from the start. He's arguably the show's most compelling character, and this show would benefit a whole lot more if it had a central character that all the others reacted to. The show loses so much trying to juggle 15 different stories at once.

Or Harvey, or Bruce, or Nygma, or literally anybody else other than Jim Gordon would have worked better as the lead. I've said it before but the character just is NOT built to take a leading role, Jim Gordon has always been a supporting character and that's what his history and personality are based around. Trying to make Gordon into a main character was always doomed to failure, Gordon simply doesn't have the quirks and nuance of character to work as one and trying to give him that in the show was always going to either fall flat or outright defy his history with Batman.

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I can buy early Scarecrow's first rendition of the fear toxin to be able to get neutralized by water, but I don't think Jim should just be able to "snap out of it" since he got a huge dose.

Edited by DR14
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I don’t think this episode was as strong as the previous episode, but still enjoyable.

I agree that a big part of the issue is that Jim is not compelling enough to be the center of this show or the episode. Because of that, the Scarecrow stuff almost felt like a waste. Jim fought it off too quickly, and when he was on it it sucked because I couldn’t care less about Jim and Lee if you paid me. Watching him deal with the fear toxin wasn’t nearly as compelling as watching Oswald or any of the other one-off characters (like the warden) deal with it. 

Also, it’s totally obvious that if he could just figure out a way to butter Oswald up he’d have far more success than anything else. Oswald just wants love and respect. If Jim could figure out how to be Oswald’s BFF he could probably talk him out of the crime licenses. But Jim is a bonehead so he has to pair up with the crime boss whose son he killed.

Speaking of Oswald, RLT is doing a fantastic job of portraying Oswald as a powder keg that’s about to blow. Oswald’s trying to kill his emotions and it is effing him up. Being a dick to Ivy is part of it, though I suspect that comes a little too naturally to him. But RLT is really selling it with Oswald’s physicality. The way he kicked Barbara’s chair away was part of it, but it is really apparent in the scene when he makes his deal with Jim to catch Crane within 24 hours. In that scene he’s pissed and humiliated over getting gassed and the press coverage, and then Harvey rubbing it in, but he doesn’t outwardly lose his temper over it like he has in the past over such things. He tries to control it,  but then he offers his hand to Jim to shake on the deal and Jim just stands there, so Oswald makes this odd lunge toward him that kinda starts as a hug but it’s also kinda threatening yet kinda desperate, and then he pulls back and grabs Jim’s hand in a super-aggressive handshake. That one movement said so much. I saw that and I just thought, “Damn. He is simmering with rage and yet he’s desperately lonely and it is fucking. Him. Up.” Penguin is gonna blow sooner or later, and it won’t be pretty. Bring it on, RLT.

 

In other areas -  not sure how I like new Babs. I miss crazy Babs because she was fun. Oswald immediately picked up that someone must be bankrolling her (oh, hi, Ra’s), but I wonder if Tabs and Selina also picked up on that and realize they ain’t just working for Babs. I’m glad Bruce is still screwing up. Makes his journey much more believable. And that guy threatening him looked like Conan O’Brien and it was weird. 

 

The guy playing  the warden did a lot in a little role and he was enjoyable. Harvey is a gem who is too good for Jim. And Zsasz is a perfect diamond too good for this world. We don’t deserve him.

Edited by Kostgard
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Solid episode but I did feel like they dealt with the Scarecrow plot a little quickly though. Gordon's "fears" weren't anything new but at least he overcame though and outsmarted Oswald for a little bit too.

Oswald needs to learn not to antagonise everyone who supports him. No wonder Ivy went off and got herself some magic potions to become stronger given that both Oswald and Tabitha were so dismissive of her. I guess Poison Ivy and the Sirens are imminent now.

Barbara's return was nicely done and I liked her scenes with Selina/Tabitha and Oswald. Safe to assume though that it's Ras who might be bankrolling her new business venture though.

Bit disappointed we didn't see Ras in this one but I guess he can't be in every episode and we've still got to properly reintroduce Nygma, Leslie and Butch as well as Sofia as well.

Bruce's scenes were good this week and I liked the Alfred snark and Lucius giving him the proto suit at the end too, 7/10

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Random crap, because that is just what I do.

I feel really bad for Ivy.  She got crapped on by everyone and then made a very impulsive move. 

Having Lee back on the show, even if she was only in Jim's head, was my nightmare.

Barbara's hair looked like a haystack.  Very scarecrowish.

Bruce has got some new activewear.  Hope he learns how to use it to its fullest potential before he falls off a building.

Edited by icemiser69

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I like the Scarecrow outfit. I was at a panel featuring Taylor, Mazouz, Geha and Powell, and a few of them were taken with it, even noting it smelled bad. But that turned out to be a dead rat in the closet.

Also, I'm glad Oliver Queen found a buyer for all that leftover eye makeup.

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It's Gotham, no one's dead forever! The song that echos from the rooftops in the city.

I enjoy how Penguin wins over nearly the entire GCPD with "How often has this very building been turned into a War Zone!" *Nodding in agreement all around the room....
Yeah! No kidding, dude! In fact I think you've been behind at least 30% of those attacks.

Even though she's working with Tabitha, I'm glad Selina finally seems to have some agency to her story. She's more or less floated in the background and been this odd foil/friend for the Bruce character. It looks like she may have some plot to herself.

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I knew Barbara wasn't dead!  Totally think it was Ra's that resurrected her and she is a front for him to get weapons into the city and fuck Gotham off.  But I'm already getting a kick out of the return of more hostility between her and Tabitha.  I did think her hair seemed a bit odd though.  But then there was her wearing a business jacket with no shirt underneath.  Yeah, Erin Richards was rocking that particular look.

Totally knew Jim's "fear" was going to be losing Lee and that he will somehow overcome it.  Not surprised Jonathan/Scarecrow got away either, although at least he discovered an easy fix to the fear gas thing by just dousing everyone with water.  Of course, he doesn't have any support from GCPD and even Bullock now (it really is almost hard to blame them at this point), but his next big plan is to try and reunite with Falcone?  That should be fun!  I do love that Falcone has gone from one of the main antagonists in the first season to pretty much a necessary ally now, because, sure, he's a bad guy, but he's really the only sane one left.

Bruce basically fucks up the whole crime fighting thing despite Alfred's protests, but thankfully Lucious is here and he presents the prototype that will clearly be a version of the Batsuit season(s) from now....

Ivy has had enough of Oswald's shit and has now just drank a whole bunch of dangerous potions that will likely make her Poison Ivy.

Zsasz continues to be the scene stealer.

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Zsasz continues to delight and has already had more screentime than he did in the entirety of season 3. Or at least it feels that way.

Is it wrong that I squee everytime he comes on! He has to be 1 of my favorites on this show. Him and Penguin

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I mainly watch these days for Erin Richards' hotness and she did not disappoint. So glad Babs is back.

That said, I'll never be on Tabs' side in regards to the current rift between them. Babs may have joined forces with Nygma and was being mean to Tabs, but she never plotted to kill Tabs. Butch got what he deserved as far as I'm concerned. He was plotting to kill Barbara. She just got him before he got her. Then when Barbara confronted Tabitha and wanted to start over, it was Tabitha who went into kill mode and did kill Barbara.

I just want Babs & Tabs to make up so I hope Tabs gets over this Butch mess.

Im so glad Selina & Babs are getting a story together.

I hate how Ivy is being treated. Once again this show spits on a relationship viewers like by ruining her & Penguin.

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5 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

 But then there was her wearing a business jacket with no shirt underneath.  Yeah, Erin Richards was rocking that particular look.

The guns blew the budget...nothing left for blouses...

Is stupidity protection against fear toxin? No wonder Gordon beat it so easily....

Edited by paigow
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On 9/28/2017 at 9:37 PM, tennisgurl said:

I can see where the other GCPD cops are coming from in wanting to work with Penguin, after they've been shot up about 400 times in just the past year and a half, but I do question them being totally cool with this. Isn't getting shot at and dealing with criminals kind of their job? Getting shot at sucks, but this is Gotham, they had to know what they were getting into when they signed on.

No, it's not their job or any other cop's job.  It's a risk, just as a cab driver risks car crashes, or someone who works in a gas station risks a robbery, but it isn't their job to be crashed into or robbed and just shrug it off.  Although we've had the character cops killed (and that says something itself about the state of morale at GCPD)), it's easy to see that they are scared and stressed and at the end of their reserves.  I don't think they are even saying they like the new system, but they can survive it, or so they think, and they are all just in survival mode now, not idealism mode.

On 9/28/2017 at 11:36 PM, immortalfrieza said:

Or Harvey, or Bruce, or Nygma, or literally anybody else other than Jim Gordon would have worked better as the lead. I've said it before but the character just is NOT built to take a leading role, Jim Gordon has always been a supporting character and that's what his history and personality are based around. Trying to make Gordon into a main character was always doomed to failure, Gordon simply doesn't have the quirks and nuance of character to work as one and trying to give him that in the show was always going to either fall flat or outright defy his history with Batman.

 

On 9/29/2017 at 1:44 AM, Kostgard said:

I agree that a big part of the issue is that Jim is not compelling enough to be the center of this show or the episode. Because of that, the Scarecrow stuff almost felt like a waste. Jim fought it off too quickly, and when he was on it it sucked because I couldn’t care less about Jim and Lee if you paid me. Watching him deal with the fear toxin wasn’t nearly as compelling as watching Oswald or any of the other one-off characters (like the warden) deal with it. 

Also, it’s totally obvious that if he could just figure out a way to butter Oswald up he’d have far more success than anything else. Oswald just wants love and respect. If Jim could figure out how to be Oswald’s BFF he could probably talk him out of the crime licenses. But Jim is a bonehead so he has to pair up with the crime boss whose son he killed.

I have always liked Jim, and that he is the main character, and I still do.  And a lot of the stories have always had a nexus around Jim, and he's the connective tissue of the show.  I don't think he has to be "quirky" or anything like that to be compelling.  I think the fact that he is a guy trying to do the right thing--and not always succeeding, is what makes him relatable and compelling.

Also, for those, like me, who are not big comic fans, and who have never even heard of some of these villains before, and accept that Gotham has it's own canon which may not match every everything that has ever been written or drawn about Batman--I don't assume that "X character has to live because he's alive in some other story later" is what these writers are counting on.  I think there are a lot of people watching this show who aren't Batman experts, and the writers can have tension based upon that, and if others feel there's no tension because they "know" where this is going, I'm not sure that applies to everyone.  Everyone trying to figure out who becomes Joker, in the first season, for example, and they kept killing off the contenders.  Maybe certain villains will last out the show, but maybe they won't.

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5 hours ago, Ailianna said:

I have always liked Jim, and that he is the main character, and I still do.  And a lot of the stories have always had a nexus around Jim, and he's the connective tissue of the show.  I don't think he has to be "quirky" or anything like that to be compelling.  I think the fact that he is a guy trying to do the right thing--and not always succeeding, is what makes him relatable and compelling.

Also, for those, like me, who are not big comic fans, and who have never even heard of some of these villains before, and accept that Gotham has it's own canon which may not match every everything that has ever been written or drawn about Batman--I don't assume that "X character has to live because he's alive in some other story later" is what these writers are counting on.  I think there are a lot of people watching this show who aren't Batman experts, and the writers can have tension based upon that, and if others feel there's no tension because they "know" where this is going, I'm not sure that applies to everyone.  Everyone trying to figure out who becomes Joker, in the first season, for example, and they kept killing off the contenders.  Maybe certain villains will last out the show, but maybe they won't.

I liked Jim Gordon in S1 and still felt for the character in S2 as- despite how annoying Teflon Galavan was- his struggles and his inevitable descent was very real. In S1, Gordon succeeded every now and then with his "good cop" approach and still kept his morals intact. He even seemed to learn "the game" while still keeping his moral core (see how he played Commissioner Peter Loeb in S01E18, "Everyone's Got A Cobblepott").

When Theo Galavan came around and tested Gordon's resolve, it was perfect, since it illustrated to Gordon that there was going to be a point where he just can't stick to his morals.

Since then, instead of Gordon learning and fighting to do better, we've got a Gordon who shows no qualms about doing anything bad to achieve his ends, short of committing rape. He claims to have the moral high ground but it's quite clear he doesn't. When he does try to make a difference and actually play the hero, Gordon fails spectacularly.

Maybe it's just me, but there's just no way I can root for Gordon now.

Which is why I think Oswald works better as the main protagonist. Since the underlying premise of this show is the failure of "good", a criminal at its centre makes more sense. The criminals of this show are supposed to be the ones succeeding, so having a hero that fails all the time gets boring rather quickly.

Jim thus would have worked better as the "Hero Antagonist", the one who occasionally foils Oswald's plots but isn't the one we "care" about. Oswald could also train the eventually Joker to take over his empire when the time comes, leading to Gordon training Bruce as "Gotham's last hope."

As for character survival- maybe you are right about Scarecrow, because Sal Maroni bit the dust at the end of S1. However, there is absolutely no way that Gordon ever dies, because he's ingrained as Batman's police sidekick and is essential for the Batman story to work. The same is true for Bruce and many of the other "major" characters like Oswald- they are too essential for the eventual story so the writers off them at their peril.

Which is why putting them in peril rings very false in these stories.

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Another thought about Babara:  It looks like the show is bringing back Falcone.   There is no way Penguin would let Falcone anywhere near him.  Barbara could be his way in.  Plus they have a history.  Falcone and Barbara AND Penguin and Barbara.  

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On Adam West Batman, Catwoman actually died and came back played by a different actress. Stallone copied that scene in CliffhangerBatman was trying to save her but only managed to keep her glove...which he used to wipe away his tears.....

6 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I love how no one is even that surprised when a supposedly dead person shows up again. 

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On 9/28/2017 at 6:37 PM, tennisgurl said:

Penguins organization can easily escalate to making up licenses to kill or abuse people.

The license already allows for homicide, but not for abuse.

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3 hours ago, paigow said:

On Adam West Batman, Catwoman actually died and came back played by a different actress. Stallone copied that scene in CliffhangerBatman was trying to save her but only managed to keep her glove...which he used to wipe away his tears.....

I do think there are ways for Gotham to get away with killing even major canon characters, right up to and including Bruce Wayne himself (as @Kathemy pointed out, Thomas could have "became" Bruce), but the writers would have to be very careful in their execution of it and have a plan for a replacement, since there would be the inevitable fan backlash against such a move. In this context, there's really only character who cannot be offed and that's Gordon. Since the show is supposed to be about how Gordon became commissioner, he has to survive the series- there's really no way around it. Everyone else are supposed to be "support" characters that are ultimately replaceable.

That said, the care needed in order to kill off a major character is likely too much work for the writing staff, so I can understand why they're loathe to do it. The upshot is, though, the writers seem to want an "Anyone Can Die" vibe, which falls flat because no one of importance ever actually bites it.

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10 hours ago, jhlipton said:

The license already allows for homicide, but not for abuse.

These are adult licenses...juvenile ones would be the reverse....kids gotta earn 007 status...

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Hey, Kathemy! Love your reviews!

Man this was the circus on a Tuesday night--three rings of story but nobody really bringing their A Game (except Zsasz.)

Jim Gordon, the dummy, deserved to get murdered for going into Arkham alone, but for once I will cut him some slack because A) it IS his job and B) despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, the inmates are still citizens with rights and don't deserve to be Johnathan Crane's puppet therapy dolls. And while I get the realpolitik game Harvey's playing and all, the whole "Gotham willingly hands itself over to Penguin" storyline is not sitting right, and I think I know why.

I bitched at length about the whole license thing last week, and I maintain that said licensing is ridiculous, and it's because we aren't seeing any real reason why people should believe Penguin, no matter how many reporters apparently just follow him around all day. Yes, everybody's saying that crime is down and the city's safer but all we're shown is tons of criminals committing all sorts of nefarious deeds! How is the citizenry one iota safer under this new setup? What are they getting out of this? Is anybody still paying taxes? 

And since the GCPD has been corrupt from the get-go, why the FUCK is Jim so shocked that they aren't running off to confront lunatics with knives who've been blasted in the face with Fear Gas? And if the cops are so willing to join Penguin's private army shouldn't the rest of the civic system be falling apart? Shouldn't the fire department be demanding bribes and the judges just walking off the job and the teachers refusing to bother even  coming to classes? THAT'S the kind of "things fall apart, the center cannot hold" kind of collapse that would support Penguin's rise to power; Gotham is such a nutbar place on any given day that only a full scale level civilization buckling level of chaos should be shaking people up. 

Anyhow...

Quote

I feel really bad for Ivy.  She got crapped on by everyone and then made a very impulsive move. 

I do too, and again, the writers are supporting the entire "tween in a grown up body" thing really, really well. Because of course Ivy wants to be taken seriously, and of course the way she acts guarantees she won't be, and of course that leads to her doing extremely dumb, shortsighted things to "prove" that she should be listened to. She says she hates Penguin and means it in the way a little sister says she hates her older brother when he's mean to her, and her "revenge" is the kind of thing a kid would do--it's the equivalent of "running away" and hanging out at the mall, only with potions and DNA scrambling.

Nice to see Babs again; the resurrection pool seems to have functioned as shock therapy for her (and her hair); leaving her much calmer and more focused. Plus, pants! Loved Selena's "shit, WHAT?" expression when Tabitha was getting all handsy-demandy. All she wants is some nice things and some security! It must be hard being the sanest one in the room all the time.

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19 hours ago, Kathemy said:

Well, this was trash.

7.jpg

Doux: The Fear Reaper

A lot of good points about how a lot of this was nonsensical. 

I'm guessing more will be revealed about Barbara as we go on and we'll learn what she's really doing and why. But I was bothered by Tabitha just joining up with her without asking questions (the biggest one was the one Oswald asked - obviously Babs doesn't have the money for this setup, so who is bankrolling her? A very important question because if you go to work for Barbara in this situation, you are clearly also working for whoever is supplying the money). I think it would have gone down a lot easier if Tabitha was clearly just agreeing to work with Babs in order to protect Selina after Selina made it clear that she was going to work with Babs no matter what in order to get ahead in the crime world. Although, for me, I don't know why Selina wouldn't just want to work directly with Oswald as that seems to be the best bet at this point in time to move up. I mean, while Selina has no particular reason to like Oswald, she doesn't have any particular reason to hate him, either, other than maybe the threat he poses to Tabitha (but Zsasz indicated that Oswald was willing to let that pass - at least for the time-being). But I guess this is more like "We gotta make the Sirens happen!"

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2 hours ago, Kostgard said:

I guess this is more like "We gotta make the Sirens happen!"

Stuff like this makes me think "this show should have stayed a procedural". Quite clearly the writers are more interested in showing off the newest rogue they've introduced than crafting actually meaningful stories and character arcs- so why not keep it episodic with Gordon and Bullock hunting down the latest baddie of the week?

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10 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

Stuff like this makes me think "this show should have stayed a procedural". Quite clearly the writers are more interested in showing off the newest rogue they've introduced than crafting actually meaningful stories and character arcs- so why not keep it episodic with Gordon and Bullock hunting down the latest baddie of the week?

I think they do some things extremely well - the development for characters like Nygma, Oswald and Bruce (and his relationship with Alfred) have been done incredibly well. On other things they just take a shortcut without really showing us the journey from A to B. They just want to make B happen so they just sort of go there. 

A lot of shows take these shortcuts, it's hardly a problem unique to this show. I think the issue largely with this episode is that too much happened - to paraphrase the review above - for...reasons. There was Babs in general (though I think we will get answers there in later episodes) and Tabs joining her without really asking the right questions. The stuff with Ivy happened largely...for reasons. They just kinda waved their hand all, "people are being mean to her and like Selina she wants power." But so much of it didn't make a whole lot of sense, like the fact that she seemed to be disgusted by what Oswald is doing when none of it should be news to her. I mean, right after meeting him she watched him shoot one dude in the head and then watched him kill his long-time lackey with a gardening tool, all while she practically giggled throughout. She watched him freeze his best friend in a block of ice and put it on public display. What he's doing now is rather controlled and bloodless in comparison. But it seems they decided she should more reason to leave other than Oswald telling her to go away or shut up, but didn't put in the time to develop it. And the stuff with Jim and the Scarecrow was largely unsatisfying to me, because it revolved around the tiresome Jim/Lee bullshit and the resolution was too quick and simple. If just one of these things had happened in the episode, it probably wouldn't have been as glaring. But they all piled on at one and it was just like...meh?

I actually think all this is an argument against the "procedural" model because that is what they are actually the worst at. They do a decent-to-excellent job of developing their regular villains. And there is some surprising depth there - I saw another reviewer say that you can practically chart the state of the city of Gotham through Oswald, and that is pretty true. His emotional state is often a reflection of what is going on with Gotham itself. Right now, things look pretty great on the surface (Oswald is probably more powerful than he's ever been with no one to challenge his position, the city is experiencing historical low crime rates and things probably feel calmer/better/safer), but if you scratch the surface you'll see that things are actually far more broken than they ever have been, and the "peace" they are both experiencing (Oswald's "peace" from turning off his emotions and the city's peace of the lower crime rates) is really dangling from a very thin thread that could break at any moment, and both states of "peace" are based on some pretty serious denial.

So they are capable of stuff like that, but then they kinda take shortcuts with the villain of the week or villain-of-the-three-episode-arc and I usually find them unsatisfying (with the exception of Jerome). Obviously Scarecrow is still out there, so maybe if he comes back they'll go deeper and make him harder to defeat. I hope they do well with Professor Pyg. But in general, they seem to do better with the long-term villains, and I hope that as they start to return to the fold (Nygma getting out of the ice, Butch/Grundy making his appearance) things will start to click more into place and will follow a logical flow instead of them just shifting characters into certain positions because they need to get them there and didn't really bother to explore how they got there. 

Edited by Kostgard
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As far as them putting the Sirens together, I said this before but it would've been more natural if Selina joined up with Tabitha and Barbara after her mom's con job, I think.

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We've got six regular female characters this season, including Sofia, so how will the show write the Sirens?

Just Barbara and Tabitha with Selina or does Ivy get an invite into the gang too?

Or do Leslie and Sofia cross paths at some point?

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On 9/28/2017 at 9:15 PM, HoodlumSheep said:

Also, is the mop on bab's head supposed to be her hair after she was electrocuted or is it a wig like in-verse to help kinda stay undercover or just a bad fashion choice?

Well, if Barbara's gun store doesn't work out she can always go on tour with Sia.

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On 10/1/2017 at 6:15 AM, Danielg342 said:

I do think there are ways for Gotham to get away with killing even major canon characters, right up to and including Bruce Wayne himself (as @Kathemy pointed out, Thomas could have "became" Bruce), but the writers would have to be very careful in their execution of it and have a plan for a replacement, since there would be the inevitable fan backlash against such a move. In this context, there's really only character who cannot be offed and that's Gordon. Since the show is supposed to be about how Gordon became commissioner, he has to survive the series- there's really no way around it.

Well...

I think they could kill Jim. The show's original concept was "what if Jim Gordon was the detective to investigate the Wayne murders?" Of course it would be a massive canon deviation, but it doesn't break the concept. The original mystery is more or less solved anyway.

I used Bruce as an example because in my eyes that would be the most shocking development, and it could be solved by Thomas taking his place. Reason I thought it most shocking was that I think everyone identifies the show as "a prequel to Batman"... so it would be pretty weird if there never was a Batman.

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[Interior: GCPD Basement]

Fox: Detective Gordon, now that Bruce Wayne is dead, you must become Batman....Here is the Kevlar suit.

Gordon: Looks great Fox...Hmmm...Does it come in wife-beater white?

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On 02/10/2017 at 5:15 PM, Kostgard said:

I think they do some things extremely well - the development for characters like Nygma, Oswald and Bruce (and his relationship with Alfred) have been done incredibly well. On other things they just take a shortcut without really showing us the journey from A to B. They just want to make B happen so they just sort of go there. 

A lot of shows take these shortcuts, it's hardly a problem unique to this show. I think the issue largely with this episode is that too much happened - to paraphrase the review above - for...reasons. 

In S1 into S2, I would agree that the show's strengths were its characters, because then the writers paid attention to them and did all they could to craft wonderful narratives and great relationships- Oswald and his ambitions, Jim/Harvey, Bruce/Alfred, Selina and her quest for companionship, Ed and Kristin, even the Galavans and Lee early on.

The problem, it appears to me, is when the writers are confronted with a "what do we do now?" situation when a character's arc is "finished". Since they can't kill the character they had to find a way to use them and weave them into the stories they want to tell- and that's where things fell apart. Once Oswald got to the top, he fell back to the bottom. Jim fell from grace and has since yo-yoed his way from vigilante to dark cop, rarely ever succeeding. Bruce and Selina trade soliloquies in what passes as a "will they or won't they?" Maybe most egregious is Ed, since after he finally displayed his psychopathic side he's done little except be a random bad guy who does what the plot needs him to do.

I know the show had its problems with the police procedural format in S1, since the cases were way too straightforward...but this was never going to be a show about how Harvey and Jim solved the crimes. At least if things were episodic it might have allowed the writers to be more patient with the characters. At the very least, it seems obvious there are just too many characters, and several of them- maybe most prominently Ed- could have been made into recurring characters instead of main characters.

11 hours ago, Kathemy said:

Well...

I think they could kill Jim. The show's original concept was "what if Jim Gordon was the detective to investigate the Wayne murders?" Of course it would be a massive canon deviation, but it doesn't break the concept. The original mystery is more or less solved anyway.

I used Bruce as an example because in my eyes that would be the most shocking development, and it could be solved by Thomas taking his place. Reason I thought it most shocking was that I think everyone identifies the show as "a prequel to Batman"... so it would be pretty weird if there never was a Batman.

Or a different Batman.

Good point on Gordon. I guess this means there truly isn't anyone who has unlimited Plot Armour...though I still think if the writers wanted to use that effectively, they could have killed off a more major character other than Sal Maroni.

Like maybe Jim? Not sure there's many of us who will miss him.

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12 hours ago, Horsesrunwild said:

I guess if alot of people felt the way you did the ratings are going to plummet next episode. Great show while it lasted.

If a lot of people felt the way I did, Gotham would have sky-high ratings. :)

Edited by Kathemy
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Not sure what I think of Babs 3.0 yet.  I still miss Babs 2.0 and I don't think she can ever be topped.  Babs 1.0 was of course a complete mess, which is why we got Babs 2.0.

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20 minutes ago, Dobian said:

 I don't think she can ever be topped.  Babs 1.0 was of course a complete mess, 

Babs 7 of 9 is the endgame....

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8 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

She does bear an uncanny resemblance to Jerri Ryan now, doesn't she?

Hmm...

Does that mean she has to bone Ken Woodruff, or is that an optional extra?

Edited by Kathemy

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Ras al Bashir has carte blanche to kill Bruce...and throw him into the Lazarus Pit....Or he can apply the "enemy of my friend is his own enemy" and work with Falcone / Gordon against Oswald while manipulating Bruce.

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On 10/3/2017 at 10:00 PM, Danielg342 said:

Like maybe Jim? Not sure there's many of us who will miss him.

I'm not sure that's true of the larger audience, who isn't limited to comic fans and people who are obsessed with the mythology of the Batman history.  I love Jim Gordon, and the people I know in real life who like the show but aren't going to go on message boards and talk about it, like him too.  Ben MacKenzie wouldn't stay so prominent if they felt that he wasn't helping keep eyeballs on the screen.

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I can only go by what I see, and I know Jim isn't popular on this forum. I'm aware it's not necessarily the views of the wider fandom, but failing a poll of the fandom, I can't make any other judgements.

In any case, mileage will vary but I believe Jim's relevance on this show has run its course. I don't believe he's been an effective character for over a year and a half, so if I was writing this show, I'd cut the dead weight.

Of course, if I was writing it, I would do things far differently than what these writers have done. Who knows if it would work better, though.

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2 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I can only go by what I see, and I know Jim isn't popular on this forum. I'm aware it's not necessarily the views of the wider fandom, but failing a poll of the fandom, I can't make any other judgements.

Thing is, Jim Gordon isn't a popular character on any Gotham messaging board I have frequented. But yes, of course. It's bad to base your decision on the whining from a couple loudmouths. Best example would be the two sides in the Nygmobblepot controversy. But we don't really have that when it comes to Jim Gordon, we have no "kill Jim Gordon" fandom death squads. The criticism of his character is rather well founded and reasoned.

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