Revenge makes for some strange bedfellows, and of course, on Gotham, strange is the status quo.
Ben McKenzie's directorial debut saw Jim Gordon (McKenzie) join up with the Court of Owls for the sole purpose of destroying them, while Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) and Ivy (Maggie Geha) bonded over a shared hostage situation. And speaking of hostages, our dear Brucie (David Mazouz) got to spend some trippy time trapped in his brain — with his own personal Yoda/white guy samurai — and it was all very Ra's al Ghul except not because Ra's hasn't shown up in this universe yet. Womp womp.
In short, Brucie can't become Batman until he learns how to mentally leave the alley where his parents were killed. I'm waiting for the mugger's mask to fall and reveal Bruce's own face because of course it will. OF COURSE it will.
Unfortunately for literally all of us, Bruce's Jedi training consisted mainly of running in circles and getting mind-whammied every time he made a dumb move — which was just about every move Bruce made. I'm sure this will be interesting when it gets to the part that is supposed to be interesting, but right now I think I know how miserable Mark Hamill must have been sharing a set with a swamp and a puppet while Han and Leia got to run around Cloud City with Lando and Vader. The story will get there, hopefully sooner than later.
Back in Gotham, Gordon spent a lot of time looking windswept and broodingly handsome in front of his dead daddy's headstone. In a twist that shocked no one, it turned out that AWOL Uncle Frank ordered the hit on Saintly Peter Gordon back in the day because it was the only way to get the Court of Owls to stop assuming he wanted to destroy them, which he did and still does, theoretically, even from beyond the grave.
That's right, Uncle Frank is no more, clearing the way for Jim to take his newly vacated seat with the Court. You have to start to wonder at what point the Owls took a hard look at the Gordon family craziness and decided they just might not be worth the hassle. There has to be an easier way to infiltrate the GCPD or whatever it is they're trying to do. I've stopped pretending it makes sense. Doomsday weapon from Indian Hill? OK. They've done this twice before in the city's history? Fine.
Why Gotham though? Why does Gotham, specifically, keep getting destroyed and rebuilt at the whims of this shadowy group? Does Metropolis have to deal with this sh-t? And why are the masks so goofy? Do we have any right to criticize goofy owl masks in a universe where we know that a grown-ass man is going to dress like a giant bat and save the day? Comics are not exclusively in the realm of kid's stuff, but man, sometimes when you break it down like that, it all seems kind of silly, doesn't it?
Strange alliances were also forged this week — between Bruce and his captor, between Gordon and his father's killers, and between Penguin and the up-and-coming Poison Ivy, who nursed him back to life, saved the day with her mind-control perfume, and finally got freaky little Penguin to embrace the weird all around him. As usual, everyone but Gordon and Bruce had interesting stuff to work with, and while I have so many issues with the new direction Gotham pushed Ivy in this season, the unlikely friendship between plant-girl and bird-boy shows promise. I just wish we could get brainy Ivy over ditzy Ivy. The sexy Ivy stuff can wait, though, because remember folks, deep down inside that teenage bod is an awkward 12-year-old who got comic-booked into her current form and that is always going to be the most uncomfortable thing Gotham has ever done.
The ickiness and issues surrounding Ivy's evolution have been documented. We don't have to rehash them until Gotham gets weird and cranks the sexpot factor up to like, 11, and then we have to scream about how SHE IS MENTALLY A CHILD. SHE IS A CHILD. SHE IS A SUPER-HOT, UNSTABLE CHILD. Everything gross in this storyline could find an amenable place in this partnership with Penguin though. Children — and insecure man-child presidents — get really bent about loyalty. Ivy's earnestness to prove her worth to Penguin and make him understand what real friends and allies look like is a very child-like approach to the usual Gotham City revenge plot and it kinda works. At the very least I don't hate it, and on Gotham, sometimes that's the best we can hope for.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.