Gotham's latest features glorious Penguin/Riddler team up and Michael Chiklis with an ax hand

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May 22, 2017

The short version: Barnes comes for Gordon and the GCPD, Selina comes from Bruce 2, Ed and Oswald have a temporary team-up, Bruce returns to Gotham as a puppet, and Lee goes Tetch.

The good: Ed and Oswald together again, Alfred plays bad cop, and Lee seems to prove I was right all along

Okay. Other than a drug hallucination, Ed and Oswald haven't actually been on screen together for a while. And having them trapped together in to giant bird cages bickering is everything I dreamed it would be. They're petulant toward each other, Ed poisons Oswald, Oswald gets Ed beat up by the Court, and then, after all that, they team up to escape! It's glorious. They're so violent with each other, it's hard to accept that the love thing is never going to come to fruition. But, if nothing else, we get them trading barbs while covered in other people's blood. I can't wait for their respective armies to go to war in the next three episodes.

And I think I only just now realized how far out of the main plot Alfred has been all season. That's a shame, since Sean Pertwee is such an adaptive performer. We've seen him be calmly protective of Bruce most of this season, and having him completely off the rails once he knows Bruce has been abducted (again) is refreshing. When Kathryn gets brought into the GCPD, it seems like she'll face little in the way of consequence until Alfred rolls in and stabs her in the @#$ing hand! It's amazing. Alfred is like, "I'm not a cop! I'm a butler!" I did not know hand stabbing was part of the butler's code, but I think I like it!

You know, I suspect that many other viewers will not be happy about Lee's fate. But I'm over the moon. I have no idea why, after blaming Gordon all season for Mario's death (Jim did shoot Mario) that she would suddenly take all the responsibility on Jervis Tetch's say so. And I don't know why her punishment is giving herself the virus, either.

However ... I've been saying that Lee would become Harley Quinn for ages now, and y'all said I was being ridiculous. If I were a mean person, I'd take screen grabs of every commenter who called me a fool. But I'm only a little mean, so instead I'll just say, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I mean, Lee might not end up being Harley, but I'm preeeetty sure Lee is going to wind up being Harley, and I'm giddy.

The bad: Barnes gonna Barnes, Bruce is a puppet, and poor Kathryn

I just don't have anything good to say about the over-the-topness of Nathaniel Barnes. So many other characters work great when they're chewing the scenery, but I just don't think it suits Michael Chiklis. He's got this Arrow season one face paint over his eyes, and an ax for a hand. You'd think he'd be killing everyone, but he's really slow to act for a guy with an ax for a hand. In fact, the only person he succeeds in decapitating with his hand ax is Kathryn, the woman who is supposed to be his boss.

Never trust a guy with a condition that makes him homicidal, I guess? Go figure. I liked Kathryn because she was basically the only woman who wasn't officially psycho and actually had control of herself and Gotham. She was evil, sure, but I liked her.

And the Bruce situation continues to be the very height of "I dunno about all this, hoss." He's back in Gotham, he's given up his pain over his parents' death, and now he's being completely controlled by the Court. So Bruce 2 existed solely to keep Bruce's abduction hidden and then die? Feels like a real bummer storyline to me. Also, I don't know how this goes any other way than Alfred saves Bruce's innocence at the last second. I'm sure that'll be very sweet when it happens, but right now Bruce's plot feels a little paint-by-numbers. But maybe I'm wrong. Only time will tell.

Line of the night

"There's a nutjob running around in a leather jumpsuit, with an ax for an arm! Now, I know this is Gotham, but come on, people, do something!" - Harvey Bullock

Lingering Questions

How long before we see Lee as Harley Quinn? Next episode? Will she be Harley by next week? That would be exciting, right?

I guess I also care about finding out if the guy controlling Bruce is Ra's al Ghul. And, yes, it will be thrilling to see Ed and Barbara's gangster vs. Oswald's army of freaks. Although, personally, I hope that fight just turns into a giant make-out sesh. Just me?