It's the penultimate Gotham episode this season and everyone's going Tetch

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May 30, 2017

(Warning: This is a recap of the Gotham episode "Pretty Hate Machine," and people who complain about spoilers in recaps are annoying.)

The short version: Jim Gordon is supposed to be helping Alfred and Harvey find Bruce Wayne, but he's a little busy getting buried alive by Lee, who is crazy violent now and wants Jim to take the Tetch virus and be violent too. Tetch virus related: Bruce is unable to help his sensei murder the Court of Owls (they die anyway), but he's looking to be redeemed by being the one who presses the button that releases the virus into the city. On a completely different tangent, Penguin is in deep penguin doo-doo because his army of freaks has ditched him. Ed is about to blow him away, when Fish Mooney shows up to drag Penguin away for her own nefarious purposes. She looks great. Oh, and the episode ends with Gordon willingly taking the virus Lee gives him and violent rushing (he's got an angry run now) to stop anyone else from getting infected. Too late! The virus is airborne, Alfred kills Bruce's sensei, and Bruce is real mad about it.

The good: Lee is fun for once, Fish Mooney is back, and the end of the world is nigh

As I have said many, many times before: Gotham as a show is at its best when it is in a state of utter chaos. Everyone responsible for the major goings-on this season is dead now. The Court (other than Bruce and the forthcoming Ra's al Ghul) are gone, Gordon has a virus that makes him crazy, Bruce has been hypnotized to be crazy, Alfred got violent, and the entire city of Gotham is about to tear itself apart. It's a fun time.

And nothing says fun like Fish Mooney. "Fun" and "Fish" both start with the letter "f" which is how you know I'm right. That's how being right works. What I love about her, though, is how she's always showing up in the middle of the mess and not feeling remotely out of step. Much like Gotham, the show, Fish thrives when it's two minutes to midnight. And I always love how afraid Oswald is of her. This, too, is a fun time.

Best of all, though, is Lee Thompkins. How long I have waited for her inevitable turn to heel. How exhausting her season's of being a wailing, crying, doting girlfriend has been. What a waste of Morena Baccarin that was. Not anymore! Now her hair looks fabulous, she's got a smoky eye, the wardrobe department is throwing her in some fierce slinky outfits, and she's just having a ball @#$%ing with everyone. Even if she doesn't wind up being Harley Quinn by season's end (still pretty sure she will, though) this moment is a revelation. Gotham ain't good at writing good girls, but it sure knows how to write a villain. In old Hollywood it was blondes that had more fun, but in Gotham it's the bad girls who have the most fun of all.

The bad: Where are the freaks, why is Ed such a rube, and ... that's about all?

It's kind of weird that Penguin's army just up and split, right? I'm sure it's a budget thing or an availability thing, but the way it stalled his plot felt unnatural. Instead of a good fight, instead there's just a lot of running away. And Ed kind of lets it happen? For a guy who's been so into murdering Oswald, he is not very good at executing that plan. The only way this makes sense is if Ed is in love with Oswald after all. If Ed loves Oswald then all is forgiven and carry on, show. Otherwise, though, this is boring.

Otherwise, though... this was pretty solid? I wish we got more Fish Mooney? Mostly, though, the only real criticism is that this episode is mostly just put all the pieces on the board into place before the two hour season finale. But, even then, it's not like nothing happened.

Oh, also I didn't like Bruce's camel coat or his turtleneck. This is the kind of outfit Obama used to get yelled at for on Fox News because that's literally all they had on him. Anyway, it's just not your color, Bruce. Stick with dark tones.

Lines of the night

"No. No way, Selina would never do that. Well, unless they offered her money." - Ivy Pepper, Dingus Supreme

"Woman always knew how to make an entrance." - Butch referring to Queen Fish Mooney

Lingering Questions

How is the Tetch virus going to resolve itself? Obviously there's going to be a cure, but how much havoc will be wreaked on the city before all is said and done? And what will Ra's al Ghul be like on Gotham? We know things are about to change for Barbara, but how exactly? And will Lee be cured? Is there really a cure for Lee at all since she took the virus willingly, or is she destined to be a slinky, evil bad, no good lady forever? And what's Fish up to, other than being a damned delight?