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S04.E08: A Dark Knight: Stop Hitting Yourself

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Grundy and Nygma become main attractions at Cherry's Place in The Narrows. Penguin wants revenge when he hears Nygma is mocking him on stage and enlists The Sirens for help. Meanwhile, Gordon is offered the position of GCPD Captain, putting him at odds with Bullock.

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Well, that was definitely better than last week.

I like The Penguin's new outside interest: mentoring a child into becoming a super-villain. It's like he found his Robin.

Also, I'm constantly surprised that this show is on at 8:00 considering how violent it is.

Edited by WritinMan · Reason: Typo
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I want a whole episode following Penguins bow-tied lackey around. The most nervous man in Gotham! 

Harvey and Gordon had BETTER make up soon damn it! 

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Can I just say i'm loving this season? Defintiely a step up from season 3 imo.

  • Well, it's official. Jim and Harvey are officially divorced. The papers were signed and everything. Dang. Their scenes hurt my heart. Oh, Harvey, why couldn't you show up to the bullet club? :'(
  • Butch and Tabs being reunited also hurt my soul. Tabs loved Butch so much and Grundy can barely remember her :'(
  • Lee this season continues to be my favorite lee since her introduction. You go, girl! She's the head honcho of the club now!
  • Firefly! Wasn't expecting to see her.
  • RIP Cherry; i enjoyed you while you lasted
  • Ed's become quite the showman
  • Oswald sure loves to stab people in the throat. That's the second episode in a row. Him adopting a bby murder birb is awesome though. Now i'm just wondering who the kid is gonna try to murder. Sofia maybe? Ozzy in some plot twist? Hmmmm
  • At least Ozzy's finally realized Sofia's been playing him
  • Proud of jim for seemingly breaking ties with sofia. 
  • Speaking of jim; can't remember the last time i've enjoyed him so much. It feels like he's put on his big boy pants this season. i feel like the writing for his character is so much better this season for some reason.
Edited by HoodlumSheep
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And this brings the end to the Jim and Harvey bromance.  It was fun while it lasted but Jim is like Bruce Wayne in a lot of ways.  Isolated from everyone else.

Penguin giving that mute boy “villain” lessons was actually kinda sweet in a weird Gotham way.

Is it weird that Lee and Barbara have more chemistry together then they ever did with Jim.  Good for both of them making it in the big bad Gotham Underworld.  Hey looks like Lee is running fight club now.  This itself has a lot of potential if allowed to grow.

This felt like a filler episode it in all the good ways.  Plus lots of females that interact  with each other and well....”Jim who?”

I like this Lee.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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Just now, Danielg342 said:

I didn't watch this because I feared the worst. Seems to have come to fruition.

Is Harvey fired?

It seems just demoted for now.

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@Danielg342, they also made it really clear that Jim made a devil's bargain to end up with the captain position. He's not the white knight riding to Gotham's rescue here. Harvey told him he'd better be prepared to pay the price when it comes due because "nothing in Gotham is free". And at the end, Jim flat out confesses that he stabbed his partner in the back.

Edited by Miss Dee
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I really liked this episode, it was dark and weird and very Gotham. I missed Bruce and Alfred, but it looks like we will get lots of them next week. I love that Jim has more purpose this season, and the GCPD is getting more of a focus. Ideally, the show would be Jim and Harvey solving weird Gotham style cases every week, but I guess we need some momentum. 

Ed has become quite the showman! Lee and Ed becoming...maybe not friends but co-workers (?) is surprising, but I am enjoying the plot at the fight club. Gotham fight clubs are NUTS, I love it. I am really liking this version of Lee. She`s darker, but still basically a good person. I also thought it was interesting that Lee and Jim both took on leadership roles somewhat reluctantly this week after being told that if they didn't take the role, someone worse would. 

Oh Tabby! She loved Butch so much, and now he can hardly remember her! I do hope he can get some of his memories back of her, I was rooting for those crazy, murderous kids!

Penguin mentoring a kid into being a super villain was weirdly heartwarming. REALLY weirdly. 

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18 minutes ago, Miss Dee said:

@Danielg342, they also made it really clear that Jim made a devil's bargain to end up with the captain position. He's not the white knight riding to Gotham's rescje here. Harvey told him he'd better be prepared to pay the price when it comes due because "nothing in Gotham is free". And at the end, Jim flat out confesses that he stabbed his partner in the back.

I see. I should give this episode a chance.

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Their scenes this episode were very well acted by McKenzie and Logue, as usual

Also, is Victor Zsasz still out of town?  Thought he'd be the better option for Oswald to use in the Narrows instead of Firefly.  I'm starting to wonder if Sofia secretly got to him and gave him a raise.  He might still have loyalty to Falcone.

Also, this is the most significant screentime the Sirens group have gotten by far, though we still don't get much hints as to what Ra's did with Barbara.

Edited by DR14
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"Alfred? It's Bruce. Yes, I'm still rebelling. Hey, I'm new at this. Anyway, have you been to the Narrows? Right, probably not. Anyway, there's a Fight Club going on, and Nygma is there. Yes, the Riddler. He's doing bits where he's dressed as Cobblepot, and it's amazing. He's got the waddle down and everything. Oh, and then Butch comes out, but he's called 'Grundy' and he's whiter than a ghost after chugging bleach. He's really strong now . . . we got to see him tear off arms and club his opponents with them. So awesome! Oh, and Leslie's there as the chief medic, and she's all punk rock now. You have to get here! What? No, I'm not coming home. You wouldn't want me . . . I've had so much liquor, I would have used my breath against Ra's instead of the dagger."

No Bruce, no Alfred, no Pyg prodding his penis periodically (shut up, I'm alliterating), but still enough fun to be had all around. Yeah, a lot of it is depressing, and Harvey probably wants to die, but at least Jim is captain. Which would've been the case had he not been in rebel mode for the past season.

Once again: Fight Club? Awesome. Bill Hader could have channeled Steffen and talked about the details, and it still wouldn't have been as batshit as what we had. Gotta love Butch coming out an instant before Tabitha knocked him out. Selina is awesome for nabbing Ed. Barbara is still great to watch, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Oh, and the first asshole Grundy maimed was Mr. Murderface. Are there any Metalocalypse fans out there? "Wow. Look, I'd really love to kick your ass, but you're blinding me with your skin. I gotta work on my bass now."

Penguin has a new friend! protege!! With the notepad and the muteness, I immediately thought of Strix from Gail Simone's "New52" run on Secret Six. Probably a coincidence. Gotta love Oswald teaching a kid to properly stab. And Sofia didn't scream at either of them, so you know she's got some evil in her.

2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I want a whole episode following Penguins bow-tied lackey around. The most nervous man in Gotham!

I kinda want him to break character away from Oswald at some point. "What do you people want from me? He pays me well and he doesn't tend to murder the messenger. What am I supposed to say? 'Yes, I know your old best friend is mocking you, but you did have him flash-frozen and displayed at your club, so maybe you should let him have this one.' I like breathing, damn it."

ETA: Forgot to mention that I went to Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in New Jersey a few months ago. I attended a Gotham panel that ended with a waddle-off between David Mazouz, Drew Powell and Maggie Geha, with Robin Lord Taylor judging. David won.

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Not a bad episode considering it was mostly the B-team with the main plot. I enjoyed the Sirens and Ed and Grundy, but I’m not sure how I feel about Lee running the club. Like...whatever. I’d rather watch her in her clinic.

It was oddly endearing to watch Oswald mold the little kid in his own image, but also very, very wrong. I hope Sofia’s orphanage offers mental health counseling.

So Oswald is finally on to Sofia. The question now becomes if she anticipated this and already has a plan in place to account for it. Same goes for what happened with Jim. I wouldn’t be surprised if she did indeed already anticipate this development. I think even the little kid could be part of it (Oswald may sour on Sofia, but will he abandon his Mini-Me?). I also noticed she told Oswald that she had to meet with the caterer for the dinner we clearly see in the promo for the next episode, and we also see Pyg there. Adds fuel to my theory that Sofia is working with Pyg.

Poor Harvey. And Jim? You still suck. You know this was set up by Sofia, yet you still go through with it. Telling Sofia to piss off doesn’t have the same impact when you take the promotion she gave you. Yes, Harvey is a mess right now, but instead of being a dick about it, you could be all, “Harvey, you know how I’m working with Sofia Falcone? Well, she set my promotion and your demotion up. I don’t want to take it because you’re my friend and I’m starting to realize working with Sofia might be a mistake, but you are a total mess right now and I kinda feel obligated to take it so there’s some leadership around here. Let’s talk about how to handle this.” But...nope. Hey, Jim - remember when Harvey broke you out of prison? You are a shitty friend in comparison.

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Gah, I hate Grundy/Butch and the forced love story of him and Tabitha so much. This show continues to screw over Barbara/Tabitha shippers. I think I'm done. Gotham will never stop pushing Butch and Butch/Tabitha.

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They basically took a subplot made it into the main plot of the episode and it actually worked, surprising considering that these Fight Club type of plots on genre are usually tedious.

I did laugh at Edward's impression of Oswald but I also laughed at him nearly being done over by the Sirens and Firefly as well. Good physical comedy from Cory Michael Smith as well.

I don't know what the dynamic is with Nygma and Leslie but it works so well, love their snarkiness together. Leslie had some great scenes with Barbara in this episode too.

Cherry was taken out too quickly and I found Firefly a little annoying in this one but the Sirens work as a team pretty well so far.

Oswald getting that kid to become a future menace was very him. 

Sofia seems to be losing both Oswald and Gordon this week and Bullock got demoted, damn, 8/10

Edited by darkestboy
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4 hours ago, Proteus said:

Gah, I hate Grundy/Butch and the forced love story of him and Tabitha so much. This show continues to screw over Barbara/Tabitha shippers. I think I'm done. Gotham will never stop Butch and Butch/Tabitha.

They've made it clear that Tabby had a thing with both Barbara and Butch, and that it blew up because they're unstable murderous criminals. Same with Oswald and Ed. I'm pretty sure we can include Jim/Lee in that category too.

Bruce and Selina don't have smooth sailing ahead of them either.

Every shipper gets screwed over on this show. Pick a shipper, and they've had their heart stomped on.

Edited by Lokiberry
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5 hours ago, Proteus said:

Gah, I hate Grundy/Butch and the forced love story of him and Tabitha so much. This show continues to screw over Barbara/Tabitha shippers. I think I'm done. Gotham will never stop pushing Butch and Butch/Tabitha.

 

30 minutes ago, Lokiberry said:

They've made it clear that Tabby had a thing with both Barbara and Butch, and that it blew up because they're unstable murderous criminals. Same with Oswald and Ed. I'm pretty sure we can include Jim/Lee in that category too.

Bruce and Selina don't have smooth sailing ahead of them either.

Every shipper gets screwed over on this show. Pick a shipper, and they've had their heart stomped on.

If you ship any pairing at all you are eventually going to get your heart broken.  When it comes to almost any relationship on the show you would have better luck buying a ticket on the Titanic.  The whole point of most of these relationships is watching them blow up.  Penguin and Nygma were never going to work out.  I don’t understand why anyone thought they would.  Bruce and Selina will spend their entire lives circling each other but with polar opposite world views they will never really be a thing.  Butch/Tabitha/Barbara’s whole point was watching a love triangle implode.  Jim and Harvey were bound to fall apart eventually because of different views of Gotham.  The ONLY pairing that has the long haul is Bruce and Alfred but even that is going through growing pains as Bruce tries to decide the Bruce he wants to be.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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Butch and Tabs being reunited also hurt my soul. Tabs loved Butch so much and Grundy can barely remember her :'(

She hit him one more time than she needed to.  She unscrambled his brain and then scrambled it again.

Gordon is more tolerable when he has fewer lines.  His tone of voice rarely changes, and it gets to me after awhile.  It sounds incredibly forced.

I am hoping Penguin's little orphan pal turns on him.  That said, Penguin was right.  Get two bullies to go after each other with out the little orphan kid having any fingerprints on it.  If that kid had burned their stuff, he would have two bullies even more pissed off at him.

The new Lee keeps getting better.  Barbara's trio is great as well.

I like Nygma mocking Penguin as well.

Edited by icemiser69
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3 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

 

If you ship any pairing at all you are eventually going to get your heart broken.  When it comes to almost any relationship on the show you would have better luck buying a ticket on the Titanic.  The whole point of most of these relationships is watching them blow up.  Penguin and Nygma were never going to work out.  I don’t understand why anyone thought they would.  Bruce and Selina will spend their entire lives circling each other but with polar opposite world views they will never really be a thing.  Butch/Tabitha/Barbara’s whole point was watching a love triangle implode.  Jim and Harvey were bound to fall apart eventually because of different views of Gotham.  The ONLY pairing that has the long haul is Bruce and Alfred but even that is going through growing pains as Bruce tries to decide the Bruce he wants to be.

Yep. The underlying theme of Gotham is "Everyone ends up miserable and alone." And it's made even more tragic because most of these people ache for a connection and end up effing it up themselves. 

Looking back over the episode, I really enjoyed Barbara this time out because we got a touch more of season three Barbara, who was my favorite Barbara. She had the best lines - "We'll get in, get Ed, deliver him to his doom, then go get a martini." Upon seeing Lee's stupid comic book villain outfit: "I have got to know what is up with that outfit." And finally, after Tabs sees Butch is alive and is all, "Do you know what this means?!" and Babs responds with, "Yeah. You owe me an apology for electrocuting me."

I also appreciated that while Babs and Tabs dinked around with their personal dramas with Lee and Butch, Selina was all, "Guys, we have a job here" and just went and got it done herself. It was Babs who screwed it up for Selina by tipping off Lee. Which is while although I'm enjoying this Babs in general and mostly enjoying the Sirens, I feel like Selina needs to break away from them sooner rather than later.

Firefly is kinda lame. I hope she's down for the count for a while. Cherry looked great, but I never found her compelling.

 

15 hours ago, Lantern7 said:

Once again: Fight Club? Awesome. Bill Hader could have channeled Steffen and talked about the details, and it still wouldn't have been as batshit as what we had. 

 

Heh - I was just thinking the other day that I would love to hear Stefan describe the various night spots in Gotham. "This place has everything! Stabbings, dumb cops, Cookie Crisp, dismemberment, bog water zombies, Dan Cortese, bull whips, my son..."

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19 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I want a whole episode following Penguins bow-tied lackey around. The most nervous man in Gotham! 

Harvey and Gordon had BETTER make up soon damn it! 

Penguin and the kid totally reminds me of Foghorn Leghorn and Eggbert.

Harvey will make up with Gordon after he sleeps it off and realizes that drunks who are on the take and shoot their own cops should go back to detective work.

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The campy cheese this show produces is delicious! Rip their arm off and beat them over the head with it. I also love Babs and the rest of the Sirens. When did Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, join the show? I was right there with Babs wanting to know what was up with Lee's outfit. Otherwise, they continue to trample all over my heart with Harvey's "development".

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Rip their arm off and beat them over the head with it

I wish Babs hadn't shot Cherry; not because I liked her particularly but because I must know what inducements she used to get opponents for Grundy into the ring. Even the Narrows cannot have that many actively, floridly suicidal members who hang out at Fight Club every night--Cherry clearly had the kind of mind control powers any supervillain would kill to posess!

But other than that I really enjoyed this one! Mainly because all of Jim Gordon, the dummy's terrible choices are coming home to roost. And kick him repeatedly in the balls. Sophia getting exasperated as she reminds him, AGAIN, that he came looking for her and she's been totally up front about her goals from the get go was well played and totally deserved. Plus I guess they just wrote off the whole romance angle, because somehow the writers finally got the message that we aren't tuning in to watch a soap opera called The Many Loves of James Gordon. Jim operates much better as a character either solidly single or solidly married. We don't need endless repetitions of the courtship phase.

But honestly, Jim,  while I understand you feel bad about how you got the gig, this needed to happen. Harvey not only was never really Captain material he's actively falling apart--I really started to panic that Jim was going to find him swinging from the rafters in his office. I hope he doesn't go full dark side or anything; both because it would not serve the character and frankly would be kind of boring.

Poor Butch, never getting the right number of blows to the head--because repeated brain trauma is how you cure amnesia, right? Lee should start kickboxing Ed's noggin for a while and see if that does anything. I always wondered how much Tabs really cared for Butch and I guess this answers that.

I am definitely liking Lee 3.0 and hope they don't screw her up--this storyline is like what they seem to want to do with Jim but it works much better because Lee's just getting circumstances dumped in her lap rather than being hypocritically self-righteous about her choices. Her nervous face while trying to come up with some way to placate her new horde was great, as was Ed's cackling advice.  

Ed's really quite the showman! I honestly didn't realize it was him doing the Penguin mockup at first. Plus he very rightly channeled the rage and frustration of the crowd--they don't like Penguin's rule any more than Jim does, which makes perfect sense when you think about it. 

Penguin is also finally getting his featherhead back in the game--it was getting frustrating watching Sophia work him over, even though she was good at it. And his mentorship of young Stabby McArson was delightful in a sick way.

Hey, Lucious! Bye, Lucious! Say hi to Ivy in the hoary netherworld for me!

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22 hours ago, Snookums said:

But honestly, Jim,  while I understand you feel bad about how you got the gig, this needed to happen. Harvey not only was never really Captain material he's actively falling apart--

Yeah, which is why I don't get the whole "I stabbed my partner in the back" lament from Gordon. Harvey was all but BEGGING someone, anyone, to take the job of captain away from him, and Harvey clearly believed he didn't deserve to still have it. If anything, Gordon just lifted a massive weight off the guy's shoulders and saved his life, because it was obvious he was going down the whole "self destructive drunk" phase or even suicide.

22 hours ago, Snookums said:

Penguin is also finally getting his featherhead back in the game--it was getting frustrating watching Sophia work him over, even though she was good at it.

Took him long enough, though it's easy to guess that Sophia had this whole thing planned out from the start, though how Oswald finally realizing that she's manipulating him benefits her we'll just have to see.

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And his mentorship of young Stabby McArson was delightful in a sick way.

Yep, and the kid works well as a mini-Penguin, I just hope Oswald realizes he's turning the kid into someone who will probably be a future rival, and that's if he's not going to screw him over somehow soon.

Edited by immortalfrieza
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On 11/9/2017 at 7:09 PM, tennisgurl said:

I was rooting for those crazy, murderous kids!

Me too!  Butch and Tabitha was one of my favorite pairings.  I really think that had they and Barbara sat down and talked it over like adults, they could have worked out a poly arrangement.  But then it wouldn't be Gotham!

On 11/9/2017 at 7:46 PM, Lantern7 said:

 I attended a Gotham panel that ended with a waddle-off between David Mazouz, Drew Powell and Maggie Geha, with Robin Lord Taylor judging. David won.

I wouldn't expect anything else.

On 11/9/2017 at 9:54 PM, Kostgard said:

So Oswald is finally on to Sofia. The question now becomes if she anticipated this and already has a plan in place to account for it.

As soon as she said "Friendship", I thought "Oh,no, you just screwed yourself."  And she was doing so good!  The question is whether she's smart enough to see how Oswald views friends...

On 11/10/2017 at 11:05 AM, Kostgard said:

Firefly is kinda lame. I hope she's down for the count for a while.

I think "the most nervous man in Gotham" (copyright @tennisgurl) said that they had killed her.

On 11/10/2017 at 1:39 PM, Dobian said:

Penguin and the kid totally reminds me of Foghorn Leghorn and Eggbert.

"Sahn, Ah say sahn, yahh gots tah stahb up, Ah say upwarrds.."

11 hours ago, Kathemy said:
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Eddie acting the showman mocking the Penguin in "a crude commedia dell'arte"

I loved Mr Penn's first version, then a literal translation for the rest of the crowd.  (commedia dell'arte was the first use of clowns, including Pantalone and, yes, Harlequin,)

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Lee going "Jim who?" makes no sense,

I thought it was her way of saying that she's done with him, and he's pretty much forgotten.  She's moved on.

Edited by jhlipton
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xsoft-a-sound.jpg.pagespeed.ic.UoWhSBDFC

"Friendship blinds you to what is directly in front you."

So Harvey and Jim are on the outs, and I had my doubts about how it would all work...but well done show. It played all the right beats and was wonderfully acted by both Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue.

What truly makes it is that final scene where Harvey Bullock chews Jim Gordon out. I get the sense that the whole "Bullethole Club" (which, to my knowledge, we've never heard of before) and the Mayor offering Gordon the captaincy was a setup by Bullock to test if his "friend" really would stab him in the back.

...and Bullock was right.

I've often criticized the writers for their portrayal of Gordon, and rightly so in many cases.

I'll give them credit that, for once, they've actually written a good story for Gordon and one that's true to his character.

See, this episode spelled very clearly that Gordon wants to be the hero and regarded as the city's moral savant. He likes that attention and he likes the boost to his ego that it brings. He wants to believe he's cleaning the city up and that the public will be cheering him on for everything he is doing.

What he doesn't realize is that his focus is so narrow-minded that he often leaves his friends behind, and he proved tonight there's no one- not even Harvey- who he'll step on in order to get what he wants.

The public may see him as a hero, but his friends know him differently. Gordon is no hero- he's really just a narcissist who's out to impose his own worldview on others, and those who get in his way, he dispatches of them.

If there ever was an episode that shows you the real downsides to being a superhero, it's this. Superheroes may sound like they're fighting for the greater good- but, like all humans, who they really fight for is themselves.

Just like Jim Gordon.

Friends? Gordon has no friends- he just has people he uses...and it's going to bite him in the rear sooner rather than later.

It sure sounds like another guy who's almost always stuck in Jim's orbit, the one guy who I believe should have been this show's central character right from the start.

You know...the guy who put Ed on ice?

Let's face it- Penguin's manipulations have been laid out in plain sight for most of this series because there's really supposed to be no gray area- Penguin's a villain, after all, and villains don't have friends- they have lackeys.

Oswald so expertly played that in this episode, teaching the villainous kid that friends don't matter- having people who will do your bidding does.

I think the greater point in this episode is that it shows just how similar Penguin and Jim really are. They may have different motivations, but both are the same kind of people, the kind of person who sees others as simply means to an end and nothing more. Jim seeks to be nothing more than a hero, while Oswald simply seeks adulation, and, as we've seen time and again, both Jim and Oswald have reached out and discarded many people, and that there's no one they're unwilling to sacrifice if it means reaching their personal goals.

Perhaps Jim thinks he believes in friendship and values and respects others...but as Harvey clearly showed in this episode, he truly does neither, employing a nice guy facade to trick himself into believing that he's somehow different than the villains he claims he's putting away.

Maybe this is why Sofia Falcone, who's just been wonderfully played by Crystal Reed, so easily plays Jim and Oswald. I have a gut feeling she won't be long for this series, but I truly hope not- watching her play everyone like a fiddle has just been a joy to watch and she'd make a great addition long-term for Gotham.

Hollywood craves a villainous mastermind and Sofia is it. Heck, Sofia personifies it.

Makes me think she should be this show's centre. Heck, why not make her this show's centre for the entire season? It's been working so far.

Truth is, Sofia- like Harvey- understands that sometimes you have to work with how things are before you get what you want.

Bullock knew he could never get rid of all the crime by himself, so he enlisted mobsters to help him.

Sofia knows that if she's going to truly regain a foothold in the city, she's got to make nice with the people who really hold the power- at least until she can weaken them to the point where they can no longer prevent her ascent.

The question for her, though, will be what she does now knowing both Jim and Oswald are on to her. My money's still on her, though- she's always been a step ahead, and she knows both Jim and Oswald are too reckless not to trip themselves up in trying to pursue her. Heck, Jim already showed this by declining to celebrate with Sofia, which practically begged Sofia to put a target on his back.

In closing, if there's any drawback to this episode, I would say that it should have been a S1 episode (maybe S2) instead of a S4 episode. This really does feel like it's "a little too late" and this episode has a feel that says "setup for future events". It's along the line of much of my criticism of S4- the Harvey vs. Jim story should have been done much earlier in the series, as should "Oswald on top".

Still, maybe "better late than never" can apply. We'll see.

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The first rule about Gotham fight club is have ridiculous costumes.   And yet there is something so bizarre about the underground that it's perfect for this show.  Maybe because the show is shot in drab colours for many scenes but so bright and flashy for others.  Style wise, it's probably one of my favourite shows on broadcast TV. 

 

Characters like Babs and Butch who've had resets on their characterization have made the show better. I'm even liking Lee a lot more this year. 

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19 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

See, this episode spelled very clearly that Gordon wants to be the hero and regarded as the city's moral savant. He likes that attention and he likes the boost to his ego that it brings. He wants to believe he's cleaning the city up and that the public will be cheering him on for everything he is doing.

What he doesn't realize is that his focus is so narrow-minded that he often leaves his friends behind, and he proved tonight there's no one- not even Harvey- who he'll step on in order to get what he wants.

The public may see him as a hero, but his friends know him differently. Gordon is no hero- he's really just a narcissist who's out to impose his own worldview on others, and those who get in his way, he dispatches of them.

If there ever was an episode that shows you the real downsides to being a superhero, it's this. Superheroes may sound like they're fighting for the greater good- but, like all humans, who they really fight for is themselves.

Just like Jim Gordon.

Friends? Gordon has no friends- he just has people he uses...and it's going to bite him in the rear sooner rather than later.

 

True confession up front: every time I see “bullethole club” I initially read it as “butthole club” which is not the same thing.

 

Good observations all about the Jim/Harvey moments and that they’ve largely been writing Jim’s story better lately. The show does better when they acknowledge that Jim is kind of the worst, even if he is right about stuff instead of acting like he’s the city’s sole white knight. Like in this episode, he was right about Harvey. He should have been there for the rest of the cops and just taken the abuse. He’s right that Harvey probably shouldn’t be captain right now - a role that never really fit him (though he improved in it) and he’s in middle of a massive downward spiral. But he went about it in the shittiest way possible, and cannot even admit to Harvey that his promotion was not clean. He didn’t get there just because “he did the work.” He got there through Sofia’s machinations (and on that point Kathemy had a good point in the episode review that Jim has a bad habit of striking deals with people and then peacing out as soon as he gets what he wants without holding up his end of the bargain or considering payment). He tells himself it’s all for the greater good, but it’s really about what he wants, and the form of power he wants.

And yes - Jim has no one and it’s due to his own actions (Lee was right last season when she told Jim he was the worst and basically ruins everyone’s life. The mistake the show made was they had Lee continue to obsess over Jim even after she realized he sucked. Lee should have been all “Jim who?” last season). Oswald is the same, but with him we at least understand why. The bullying and ostracization he got as a kid left him callous and without the tools to be an actual friend. We heard it in his history, we see it when he empathizes with kids he sees who are bullied and ostracized and we see it when he desperately tries to make a friend and ends up screwing it up and we see it when he was such an easy target for Sofia. But why does Jim suck so hard at relationships? I know there’s some stuff with his father, but I don’t feel like I know why Jim is the way he is as well as I do other characters like Bruce or Oswald. 

As for Sofia, I agree that she could easily be a long-term villain on the show. She’s going to be around for the whole season, but I’m not sure beyond that (the comics certainly leave room for more). Jim is a dummy if he thinks he can just send her away like he’s her dad after he accepted her “gift”. Like Harvey said, there will be a bill to pay, and it’s going to be Sofia demanding payment. As for Oswald, it will be interesting to see if he can pull a long con back on Sofia. But he’s generally too impulsive for that and I suspect even if he tries Sofia will have an ace up her sleeve. In fact there is speculation that (spoilered just in case)

 

Oswald ends up back in Arkham. They are shooting about episode 13 or 14 now, and we’ve seen from on-set pics shared by extras and cast members that they are shooting with Arkham inmates, that Jerome is back, and the other day a fan saw them shooting and got a pic with RLT - the vertical hair is gone and the bangs are back, but they look disheveled and not styled, and he was holding his coat closed like was trying to to conceal his costume - something that wouldn’t be necessary if he was just wearing one of Oswald’s suits. So it all kinda fits - the producers said a while ago that Jerome and Oswald would team up. We know after his appearance in season three Jerome got sent back to Arkham. If he shared his experiences there with Sofia, then she would know that sending Oswald back there would be just about the cruelest thing she could do and that would make an excellent trump card. So if all of this speculation is true, then it would seem that the “team up” would probably be to get out of Arkham and if Oswald is in Arkham, I have no doubt Sofia put him there (maybe with an assist from Jim).

Edited by Kostgard
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57 minutes ago, Kostgard said:

True confession up front: every time I see “bullethole club” I initially read it as “butthole club” which is not the same thing.

LOL. Well, if this wasn't a network show, I bet the GCPD might actually have the butthole club, where officers who screw over other officers get themselves screwed.

(It's times like this where I appreciate it's a network show!)

57 minutes ago, Kostgard said:

Good observations all about the Jim/Harvey moments and that they’ve largely been writing Jim’s story better lately. The show does better when they acknowledge that Jim is kind of the worst, even if he is right about stuff instead of acting like he’s the city’s sole white knight. Like in this episode, he was right about Harvey. He shouldn’t have been there for the rest of the cops and just taken the abuse. He’s right that Harvey probably shouldn’t be captain right now - a role that never really fit him (though he improved in it) and he’s in middle of a massive downward spiral. But he went about it in the shittiest way possible, and cannot even admit to Harvey that his promotion was not clean. He didn’t get there just because “he did the work.” He got there through Sofia’s machinations (and Kathemy had a good point in the episode review that Jim has a bad habit of striking deals with people and then peacing out as soon as he gets what he wants without holding up his end of the bargain or considering payment). He tells himself it’s all for the greater good, but it’s really about what he wants, and the form of power he wants.

And yes - Jim has no one and it’s due to his own actions (Lee was right last season when she told Jim he was the worst and basically ruins everyone’s life. The mistake the show made was they had Lee continue to obsess over Jim even after she realized he sucked. Lee should have been all “Jim who?” last season). Oswald is the same, but with him we at least understand why. The bullying and ostracization he got as a kid left him callous and without the tools to be an actual friend. We heard it in his history, we see it when he empathizes with kids he sees who are bullied and ostracized and we see it when he desperately tries to make a friend and ends up screwing it up and we see it when he was such an easy target for Sofia. But why does Jim suck so hard at relationships? I know there’s some stuff with his father, but I don’t feel like I know why Jim is the way he isn’t as well as other characters like Bruce or Oswald. 

As for Sofia, I agree that she could easily be a long-term villain on the show. She’s going to be around for the whole season, but I’m not sure beyond that (the comics certainly leave room for more). Jim is a dummy if he thinks he can just send her away like he’s her dad after he accepted her “gift”. Like Harvey said, there’s will be a bill to pay, and it’s going to be Sofia demanding payment. As for Oswald, it will be interesting to see if he can pull a long con back on Sofia. But he’s generally too impulsive for that and I suspect even if he tries Sofia will have an ace up her sleeve. In fact there is speculation that(spoilered just in case )

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Oswald ends up back in Arkham. They are shooting about episode 13 or 14 now, and we’ve seen from on-set pics shared by extras and cast members that they are shooting with Arkham inmates, that Jerome is back, and the other day a fan saw them shooting and got a pic with RLT - the vertical hair is gone and the bangs are back, but they look disheveled and not styled, and he was holding his coat closed like was trying to to conceal his costume - something that wouldn’t be necessary if he wasn’t just wearing one of Oswald’s suits. So it all kinda fits - the producers said a while ago that Jerome and Oswald would team up. We know after his appearance in season three Jerome got sent back to Arkham. If he shared his experiences there with Sofia, then she would know that sending Oswald back there would be just about the cruelest thing she could do and that would make an excellent trump card. So if all of this speculation is true, then it would seem that the “team up” would probably be to get out of Arkham and if Oswald is in Arkham, I have no doubt Sofia put him there (maybe with an assist from Jim).

I believe what always keeps me coming back to this show is its richness, or rather its perceived richness. I debate in my head about whether or not my investment in these characters is owed to the show's own development of them or if I'm in solely because I recognize them from the comics.

I think, ultimately, that answer is mixed.

As it relates to Oswald and Jim, I'm not sure if the writers ever set out to suggest they're really "mirror images" of the same character. As you say, @Kostgard, we know why Oswald does what he does because we've seen it all. We met his mother, we've met his dad, we've seen him get picked on and bullied by Maroni, Falcone and each of their minions (especially Fish), we've seen him face challenges and rise above them, we've seen him get hurt and betrayed and we've seen how his lust for power and adulation can be both a driving force and a debilitating one.

With Jim, I believe the writers took what they've done with the character and said "well, we've established that he does act in this way...so why not etch it in stone?" I agree that we haven't seen much in the way of a backstory that suggests Jim is a user, probably because for most of this story, the show has tried to sell Jim as truly a hero.

Now, it seems, they've wised up and decided that Jim thinks he's a hero only for those who know him to know otherwise. Jim's a lot like that guy who you used to be friends with because you believed he had a good character and decided he was worth sticking up for, until you realized you never did see that "good character" in action, and especially when you needed it most.

That's the lesson Harvey learned- he believed he had a friend, one he stuck up for multiple times because Harvey deluded himself into thinking Jim would have his back...only to find out that he doesn't.

It's really a sad story, but now it's fascinating to watch. Now we can at least say Jim has something to do.

As for why Jim is like this- well, we know his uncle disowned him and killed his father, and, as of yet, we don't know anything about his mother. Jim was once in the army, so I could probably fanwank that he was once involved in a battle where everyone in his company was slaughtered, leaving only him to come out of it and to tell the others of his friends' misfortunes.

Perhaps, going further, it was his own decision that cost his friends their lives, and the army held him accountable for his decision. Perhaps unfairly so.

Perhaps this is why he's a user- he felt "used" by the army, compounded by the fact that he's lost many of those who were dear to him, so subconsciously he knows not to get "too close" to people lest he gets hurt again.

Yet it's his army mentality that tells him to "fight for the greater good" and to keep up that fight even when the going gets rough. Arguably, Jim's young enough that he doesn't have the long list of mistakes that would come with a reckless life, so he engages in reckless behaviour because he doesn't have those list of failures that would make him be more cautious.

It's the same kind of transformation that Harvey went though- "The Spirit of the Goat" showed that Harvey too was once "a hero" but that his recklessness cost his partner his ability to walk, and Harvey's been down on that ever since.

It's probably why Harvey took a liking to Jim, because he saw himself in him and didn't want him to make the same mistakes. Unfortunately for Harvey, Jim did, and at Harvey's own expense too.

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14 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I believe what always keeps me coming back to this show is its richness, or rather its perceived richness. I debate in my head about whether or not my investment in these characters is owed to the show's own development of them or if I'm in solely because I recognize them from the comics.

Since I'm not into the comics, it's all this show.  And I am invested in the characters (mostly the not-Jim characters!).  I'm hoping against hope that Oswald and Ed find some way to reconcile and become BFFs (Best Fiendish Friends)!

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14 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I believe what always keeps me coming back to this show is its richness, or rather its perceived richness. I debate in my head about whether or not my investment in these characters is owed to the show's own development of them or if I'm in solely because I recognize them from the comics.

 

Although not a fan of the comics I have seen all the Batman movies and even the old tv show so I at least understand the back drop.    It is most definitely the richness of the show.  There is nothing perceived about it especially for a network show.   Of course everyone is going to get invested in pairings and the fact that there are so many pairings to get invested in says a great deal about the show.  What makes the show come together is the emotional fallout when everything falls apart because everything is going to fall apart eventually.   Like I said upthread no pairing is going to last forever except Bruce and Alfred but even that has the occasional rocky moments like Bruce trying to be the rich kid everyone expects him to be.    Ultimately though most if not all other pairings are doomed which at least for me is part of the attraction of the show.  I know for some they like a good happy ending but this was never the show for that.   

Edited by Chaos Theory
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A filler in some ways, but I honestly loved it due to how crazy everything is and how they are using the majority of their ensemble.

Glad Tabitha has already found out about Butch/Grundy and I suspect she'll try again, even if I doubt it will work.  Ironically, I suspect that one final shot she gave him might have taken out "Butch" for good.  That said, I loved that Barbara's first reaction was "You owe me an apology for electrocuting me!"  Never change, Barbara.  That include you deliberately needling Lee for the hell of it.  I so hope we get more Barbara/Lee, because those two at each others' throats, never fails to entertain.

So, now Lee is in charge of the fight clubs?  Awesome!

Meanwhile, Sofia suggests that Oswald finds a hobby of some kind, so, naturally, he decides to mentor a kid and clearly groom him to be a future budding killer.  Classic Oswald!  But it looks like he is finally getting suspicious of Sofia, so I'm curious to see how this will change the game. 

It's not all fun and games though, as Gordon is promoted to captain and he gets the "honor" of relieving Bullock.  Watching them more or less break-up was rough. I hope they work it out, but I really wonder if they can come back from this.  Then again, Jim's first unofficial act as captain is to try and back out of his deal with Sofia, so at this rate, I'm wondering how long he'll actually last (yes, yes, I know that he is clearly destined for even bigger things in the comic book land...)

Nygma may not be brilliant anymore, but he's a hell of a hype man.  If Gotham/DC as their own version of WWE, he would be golden.

Fun seeing Firefly again, but I really hope Zsasz gets back from his vacation soon.

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19 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

Glad Tabitha has already found out about Butch/Grundy and I suspect she'll try again, even if I doubt it will work.  Ironically, I suspect that one final shot she gave him might have taken out "Butch" for good.

Grundy is a fun but limited role, and I liked Butch.  I hope he comes back and he and Tabitha work out some kind of arrangement with Barbara.  Neither Butch nor Barbara are the same person the other had a problem with.

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Jim, you really do suck as a friend. But his break up with Harvey was done in such a ridiculously soapy way: if Jim had just told Harvey the Mayor had approached him about replacing Harvey, he'd have been upset but probably been OK with it. Using it as the clincher in an argument just makes you look a jerk and it's no surprise Harvey took offence. Sofia was absolutely right to call him on it - and I'm glad she reminded him that she was there to take over and not scuttle off at Jim's bidding.

On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 2:05 AM, WritinMan said:

I like The Penguin's new outside interest: mentoring a child into becoming a super-villain.

Only in Gotham could you see somebody mentoring an orphan on the best way to murder somebody in front of the head of the orphanage and have it not be commented on!

On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 2:18 AM, HoodlumSheep said:

Ed's become quite the showman

Looks like he's been watching WWE. It's not just about the fights, you need all the buildup and SHOWMANSHIP to sell it, otherwise folk will lose interest - it can't just be about the murder and ridiculous outfits. If he could get away with it, I could totally see Vince McMahon having a wrestler rip off a guy's arm while the crowd chanted "Stop hitting yourself!"

On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 7:05 PM, Kostgard said:

I also appreciated that while Babs and Tabs dinked around with their personal dramas with Lee and Butch, Selina was all, "Guys, we have a job here" and just went and got it done herself.

Not only that, but even Firefly was stupid there. If you want somebody killed, you wait until you've got them in your clutches before telling your lackeys they've passed the deadline you set and flambe them. Nobody appreciates a premature eruption of victory.

On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 2:24 AM, Chaos Theory said:

Is it weird that Lee and Barbara have more chemistry together then they ever did with Jim?

It helps that they're both in outfits split down to the navel (also a comic book trope)!

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On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 2:09 AM, tennisgurl said:

I want a whole episode following Penguins bow-tied lackey around. The most nervous man in Gotham! 

Harvey and Gordon had BETTER make up soon damn it! 

That would be great, a sort of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern for the Batverse. I think Babylon 5 did something similar as did Buffy with The Zeppo.  

 

On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 9:56 AM, Proteus said:

Gah, I hate Grundy/Butch and the forced love story of him and Tabitha so much. This show continues to screw over Barbara/Tabitha shippers. I think I'm done. Gotham will never stop pushing Butch and Butch/Tabitha.

Don't give up hope, Barbara still calls Tabby babe and they've shared Butch before. As for shipping maybe the show is written by middle aged fat guys who like the idea of some mixed race glamazon having the hots for someone like them? Frankly the Babs/Tabby/Selina triangle is what I find people rooting for.

1. Interesting dynamic between Ed and Lee now, going from enemies to 'partners'? Also the Lee/Barbara face off is epic! "Jim who?" a line which shows how far they've come in terms of character development. Lee admits she is melodramatic under pressure but this is Gotham where criminals try to stand out rather than blend in.  

2. Okay so Grundy is tough but is he immune from bullets? Or fire? Knowing he's pyrophobic probably spells an end to his fighting career, his opponents just need to strike up a match and he's history.

3, Jeez! The arm! Ironic as Butch lost his own hand.

4. I miss Mayor James, Richard Kind was so funny and oddly loveable. The current one is quite bland.

5. Nice to see Firefly back but rather disappointed she's seems a lot nastier than before, I thought she was Selina's friend?

6. The girls are great, you really get a family dynamic from them, like when Selina giggles before Penguin and Tabby grins but nudges her as if to say 'Yeah, I know it's funny but stop it'. Also like the real concern they show when she gets in the ring with Grundy. Love Babs reaction when she sees 'Butch' alive 'Well I think you owe me an apology for electrocuting me'. Note Ed refers to her as 'tigress'?    

7. Ah, the end of the Bromance. Very well done, you ache for both of them. 

8. Oswald and the mute kid speaks volumes, could he be The Ventriloquist? You see how lonely Oswald is.  

9. No Bruce or Alfred? But we have Lucius back although only for a moment to act as exposition for the Bullet-hole club. That this is a tradition shows how dangerous life is in the GCPD. 

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Here's a question, how does the rank system work in the GCPD? How can Jim go straight from Detective to Captain? Shouldn't he be a Sergeant and Lieutenant first?

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14 hours ago, Joe Hellandback said:

Here's a question, how does the rank system work in the GCPD?

Hey! I know this one (even though I'm not American) - Captain is a political appointment rather than a rank per se. I only know this from following discussions about Gordon doing the same thing in The Dark Knight.

ETA: D'Oh! I was thinking of Commissioner, not Captain. But hasn't Gordon been promoted to Captain before (in S2, I think)? It's probably easier to appoint him to the rank if they're officially "restoring" him to a rank he'd previously held. Though he's been up and down in rank so much, it's hard to keep track!

Edited by John Potts

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15 hours ago, Joe Hellandback said:

Here's a question, how does the rank system work in the GCPD? How can Jim go straight from Detective to Captain? Shouldn't he be a Sergeant and Lieutenant first?

“Detective” is a job title rather than a rank, so it is possible that Jim’s rank was Lieutenant when he got the promotion.

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Seems to me that in the GCPD "Detective" is right below "Captain"- it's been consistent lately. Then again, the stock answer of "it's Gotham, they do things their way" always applies.

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This episode was alright.  Parts of it dragged.  Jim was being an idiot and I didn't enjoy that subplot.  

Oswald having a tantrum every few seconds was grating as well.

The three women at the club interacting with Grundy, Ed and Lee was sort of interesting to watch, so that broke the tedium somewhat at the halfway point. 

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