(THE FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE GOTHAM EPISODE "A LEGION OF HORRIBLES")
Previously on Gotham ... the entire cast tried to fill the campy void Fish Mooney left last season when she got tossed off the side of a building/Jada Pinkett Smith wanted more money.
Now on Gotham ... all bow before the overlord of overacting, the mistress of munching scenery, and the goddess of Gotham City. Fish Mooney is back, bitch.
So, yes, as you may have heard following her season-long absence, Fish Mooney is back in Gotham City for the moment. Also, some other things happen this episode. Under normal circumstances I'd be excited to talk about that stuff, but all I want to do is talk about Fish Mooney because she was literally the #1 reason to watch Gotham last season. Sadly, she's barely in this episode, so I guess we'll have to make do. Sigh...
Okay, okay. Yes, this is another fun episode of Gotham where everyone is too busy licking the walls crazy to consider the consequences of their actions. And that's a good thing. There's nary a Gotham resident bo-hooing themselves into a CW-style puddle of regret.
But what actually happened? Well...
- Oh, yeah... Selina's old pal, Bridget, is flame-throwing all over her. And that is basically Selina's plot this episode. Get flame-throwed, avoid flame-throwage, knock-out crazy flame-thrower lady, unsuccessfully escape coo-coo basement until flame-thrower lady wakes up to flame-throw some more. Did I forget to mention Bridget is now impervious to fire somehow? She is. Could be the fancy suit, could be she has flame-retarding super powers. Who can say! But, either way, it's Daenerys city for her. Fortunately, as I may have mentioned, everyone on the show is nuts and so, when Selina finds out that Strange brainwashed Bridget into believing she is Firefly, goddess of fire, Selina counters that Bridget needs a servant. So Bridget's all "Cool, cool, I would like to be worshipped". I wish Selina had deadpanned, "I can't believe that actually worked" but, then again, I kind of think almost every scene on Gotham could end with someone saying that line.
- Meanwhile... Hugo Strange is bringing people back from the dead, as you do, including one Basil Karlo aka Clayface. Apparently, Strange incorporated octopod DNA into Basil's human DNA and now his face is all stretchy??? Sure. But, wait --- there's more! Strange also brings Fish Mooney back from the dead courtesy of extra electrcity and cuttlefish DNA. And, lo and behold, unlike everyone else whose memories are wiped, Fish remembers EVERYTHING. Which is important because what would be the point of having Fish back if Jada couldn't Pinkett-Smith all over the place? It's also important to Strange because the people behind his experiments, the Court of Owls (AH! EXCITEMENT!), were ready to cancel his work until this latest resurrection included memory cohesion. Now, they'll settle for the destruction of all evidence of Indian Hill. Oh, and also the Court wants Gordon and Wayne dead. Priorities!
- Speaking of which... Bruce and Alfred are arguing over whether or not Bruce will continue actively pursuing Strange. With a little help from Jim Gordon and some surprise pinch-hitting from Lucius Fox, Bruce and co. put together a stupid, terrible, sure-to-get-them-all-killed plan. Lucius and Bruce demand to inspect Arkham since they have a controlling share in it. While Bruce distracts Strange and Lucius checks for radioactive signals to hint the location of Strange's experiments, Gordon sneaks in dressed as an Arkham guard. Guess how it all works out? If you said "Bruce and Lucius are at the clutches of Nygma and Gordon's face has been copied by Clayface" then I would say, wow, you are a very good guesser! Anyway. Yeah. That's what happens.
- And then there's Fish Mooney. Fish has a new costume that makes her look like a drag queen Little Mermaid. It's a big difference from her regular type drag look. She also now has the super power to control the minds of people whom she comes into physical contact with. From the cuttlefish, I guess??? Whatever. She hasn't made anyone literally bow down yet, but I assume that's only because she knows most people will do that sans manipulative cuttle grip. She's still imprisoned, but not for long!
And that's the episode. There's a faux Gordon in the mix, Bruce and Lucius are about to get gassed by Nygma, and Fish is soon to be on the lamb like the weirdest surf and turf ever put on a menu. Gotham -- it's a weird bistro, but the yelp reviews are surprisingly positive.
Speaking of reviews, let's do that!
- I have waited SO LONG for BD Wong and Jada Pinket-Smith to share screen time together and I was not disappointed. It lasts about five seconds, but they were five of my favorite seconds this season. And while there are narrative reasons for why Strange's other patients have no memory of their prior lives, I prefer to believe the actual reason is so Jada could say "My name is Fish Mooney, bitch".
- My hat continues to be off to the hair and wardrobe team on Gotham. The combination of colorful men's suits matched with garish super-villain insanity is Gotham City perfection. It's like they distilled the very best of Tim Burton's Batman while still adding flavor all their own. Of all the superhero shows on TV right now, Gotham's aesthetic is the most unmistakable.
- I didn't mention this in the plot, but Harvey Bullock is the current GCPD captain and he is terrible at it. Which is great! After Barnes was so put-together it's infinitely more entertaining to see Bullock all but completely fall apart in front of the press. I wish Harvey would be captain forever.
- To begin, I am very excited about the Court of Owls showing up on Gotham. Scott Snyder's run on Batman wil largely be defined by his creation of this older-than-Gotham-itself team of baddies. That being said, I am very wary of shadowy organizations on TV. They're usually interesting at first, but the more you know about them the less interesting they tend to become. I'm not saying they're bad already, but I am saying I'm not confident Gotham as a show knows how to handle something like the Court of Owls. Time will tell.
- I'm also a little iffy on this whole opposite Island of Doctor Moreau thing that's happening with Strange. I readily accept that part of the fun of Gotham is how little sense it makes half the time, but I just wish they'd find a better way of defining their villains other than "we made 'em half squid, see!"
- Not enough Fish Mooney.
- "My name is Fish Mooney, bitch." No other network superhero show has ever or will ever break bad this way. You're goddamn right. Oh, Gotham...
- I know Strange is building an army of supervillains and all, but isn't it kind of ridiculous that he just trusts Nygma without any mental tampering? After two escape attempts, Edward's like, "Yo, I could help you kill James Gordon" and Strange is just like "Okay, shrug emoji". Oh, Gotham...
- Bridget is a horrible burn victim whose only goal is to burn everything to the ground, but don't worry because her eye makeup game is still on point, gurl. Oh, Gotham...
And, now, here we are at the doorstep of the Gotham season 2 finale. Who could have known that this ultra-violent clown shoe of a show could have turned all its weaknesses into strengths? But that's basically what it's done. Will this madcap mess of a town manage to pull itself together for a killer finale worthy of its lead-up? Only one way to find out! And remember, I'll be doing that Gotham live-tweet thing one last time.