Journal of a Day Spent Watching Gotham for (Almost) 9 Straight Hours


Before this past weekend, I had never watched an episode of Gotham from start to finish. How could I? It aired opposite WWE Monday Night Raw, and until recently my DVR couldn’t record two things at once. As for On Demand, well, that requires finding another time to watch, and time is precious. Not to mention my wife can be very picky about what she is and isn’t in the mood to see, even if it’s something she might otherwise like (and any Batman thing that isn’t Adam West is a tough sell indeed).

So when I got sent the Blu-ray set of season 1, there was only one way to handle it – the same way I handled Arrow season 2 when I was sent that. Persuade Julia to agree to one designated full day of me doing nothing but watching TV, because “it’s for work.” Twelve hours weren’t possible – I overslept A LOT after two days of the long weekend involved household chores – but I made it to nine with reasonably few interruptions, and documented the entire thing.

As before, I had some ground rules:

1. Hit “Play All.” DO NOT PAUSE for anything except wife demands, phone ringing, door knocks, switching discs, or getting food. Bathroom breaks must be taken, movie theater-style, during anticipated boring parts.

2. Absolutely no alcohol while the sun is still up.

At 3:22 p.m. I hit start

3:23 I like this Gotham skyline better than Christopher Nolan’s already. And its Chinatown makes me think Batman Year One.

3:24 Selina’s never actually going to wear those night-vision goggles, is she? This is going to annoy me. Thieves shouldn’t be about anime fashion accessories.

3:25 Those pearls always fall to the ground, don’t they? But why does masked mugger – who I’m guessing is not named Joe Chill this time around – leave li’l Bruce as a witness? I ask rhetorical questions, don’t I? Speculation: many, many episodes from now, I might get an answer.

3:27 World’s dumbest addict criminal can’t tell that an aspirin from an obvious aspirin bottle is not his meds.

3:28 Jim Gordon – much younger than we usually see him. Harvey Bullock – exact same middle-aged fat fuck.

3:29 Ooh, the old “your partner is talking to the witness; that makes it your case” routine! Harvey Bullock is as easily tricked as kids on the first day of school whose parents tell them first that if they don’t like it, they don’t have to go back, then that they have to go now because they stayed a whole day.

3:31 Were they coming from a Zorro movie in this version? Because who makes their kid wear a dress shirt and tie to a Zorro movie?

3:32 Sean Pertwee is awesome, but how come no Alfred in live-action has ever been bald? Is it that hard? Can Patrick Stewart be Alfred next?

3:33 Well, Montoya’s appropriately young anyway.

3:34 Richard Kind is the mayor! I like to think his old character from Spin City got promoted.

3:36 “Don’t ask, just tell.” Is that a gay joke about Ed Nygma? And, um, does the regular police station just have jail cells on the ground floor, and a crime lab up the stairs?

3:38 Oswald can hold an umbrella and wield a baseball bat at once. That’s talent.

3:40 “Take it easy, PENGUIN!” “You know I don’t like to be called that!” So I guess somebody watched Altman’s Popeye, and thought the bit about him not liking spinach most of the movie was the best part.

3:42 Wait, so Gordon’s not married yet? And how does he have such a huge apartment with a great view? Property values that low in a crime-riddled city?

3:44 Mario Pepper? So I guess he’ll become a supervillain named Chiliman? Oh wait – he’s Poison Ivy’s Dad. Never mind.

3:45 CRANK-cam as Gordon runs through kitchens for some reason. Is cool but strange. Is also never used again the rest of my viewing time.

3:47 Gotham City – modern satellite dishes, but people still read print newspapers.

3:49 Gotham’s graveyard looks as big as the rest of the city in its entirety. Fitting.

3:50 Ah, Barbara’s apartment is the big one! On her salary as…owner of an art gallery? Oooh…guessing Barbara is bisexual and has a past with Renee here.

3:54 Wait, you lose your jobs if Pepper later turns out to be innocent? Even though the killing was done entirely in keeping with procedure, to save Gordon’s life, and Pepper fired first? Not sure that works like that.

3:57 “Who told you we’d be here?” Well, your name’s Butch, and it’s a butcher’s shop, so.

3:58 Is that Matt Damon doing stand-up? (I know it’s not; you don’t need to correct me in comments)

3:59 “Would you be a sweet boy and rub my feet?” Fish does not know what “sweet boy” means in Appalachia, methinks.


4:00 He snitched to the MCU? Is that why their movies are better?

4:01 OH SHIT – full on executioner dude! Aaaand he’s dead. Never mind.

4:05 Gotham’s skyline goes on and on forever. I kinda love that. The production design on this show is awesome – hope it lasts beyond the pilot.

4:07 Penguin “waddles” because Fish broke his legs. Nice. Ironically, Gordon would be doing Gotham a huge favor if he killed him now. Clever fakeout, but obviously it can’t last.

4:09 Bruce practicing his best future Batman-walk. Alfred reacts by yelling a bunch of cockney at him. “Oi! Getdobaufallbdgy ucki’, roight!” He will obviously learn refinement later.

4:11 Oswald emerges from the river just like DeVito arose from the sewer one last time in Batman Returns. Nice tribute.

4:13 On Blu-ray you can kinda see the makeup. Gordon has base on his face but not neck. Oswald’s ears are a noticeably different shade than his face.

4:14 In real life, some boys get caught masturbating. Bruce gets caught putting his hand on a candle. And yelled at the same way.

4:15 Creepy charity people are too creepy.

4:16 “I got you one but I dropped it” Bullock with awesome passive-aggression.

4:17 And of course Bullock now has to drop his, because karma. Karma that only affects Bullock, and no other jerk in Gotham.

4:19 And to think I remember when Donal Logue was that irritating-as-fuck cab driver on MTV. He middle-aged into awesome.

4:21 Not very nice to stab guys who gave you free beer, Penguin. Or smart when they’re still driving.

4:22 “The old Arkham Asylum.” Something tells me it won’t stay “old.” Nygma looks like a ventriloquist dummy had a kid with Beaker from the Muppets.


4:30 And we’re back. Can tell I’ll need to break later to buy more soda.

4:32 Oh Jeebus! Is that Carol Kane as Oswald’s momma? LOL at “Kabulput” as real family name. Are we in an Addams Family movie suddenly? I feel any notions of “realism” slipping away…

4:34 Gotham surrounded by massive green fields, and Southern-accented farmers. Who don’t bat an eye at renting a trailer to creepy, fancy-talkin’ schlubs of the sort this fellow probably beat up in school?

4:37 GORDON HAS A BEER. How long before he CHEETS ON HIS WIFE-to-be? Ooh, she just name-checked Essen, so probably soon.

4:40 The front page of the Gotham Gazette has no pictures above the fold. Can’t remember that ever happening in a major newspaper in reality.

4:41 The Dollmaker? He was a villain on Arrow too, right?

4:42 It just clicked with me that creepy charity girl is Lili Taylor. Wow.

4:43 Gunfight erupts, and my kitten Toby is fascinated by it, running towards the TV. Haven’t seen him that excited by a show since John Oliver.

4:44 So the Waynes were wanting to reopen Arkham, and this appears to be the start of our big conspiracy angle.

4:46 “L’chaim”? Bullock’s Jewish now?

4:47 Li’l Batman likes awesome fuckin’ metal.

4:49 “Yer killin’ me!” If this mayor ever gets impeached he can work for Sit and Sleep mattress-salesman guy, Larry. (I suspect only Southern California residents will know what the hell I’m talking about, but we sure as hell know.)

4:51 That was a really slapdash way to check the bus, Lili Taylor. You are immediately less scary as a villain.

4:53 So Selina can literally scoop the eyes out of grown men’s heads. They don’t trim the nails of kids going to juvi?

4:54 “No psychiatrists” is a rule Thomas Wayne left Alfred with. And that, Bruce, is why you grow up to be a fucked-up adult. On the other hand, every psychiatrist in Gotham turns into a demented nutjob supervillain at some point, so it might have been good advice.

4:58 Ah, the obligatory wall-montage of newspapers clips, red string and psycho handwriting that every movie serial killer is required to create.

4:59 I love how words like “scamp” and “worry-wart” are part of the everyday vocabulary in this Gotham.


5:02 Cobblepot rolling off the bus like Axl Rose in “Welcome to the Jungle.”

5:03 Antenna TV sets with a dial. And a cell phone in the next scene. Let’s just go all-out weird with time and tech and get the Paul Dini airships.

5:03 Professor Pyg? Using a giant balloon as a weapon? We’re getting weird quickly. And now a cop is beating up criminals with his fake Oscar.

5:08 “I can see in the dark.” So what are the decorative goggles for, Selina?

5:09 “Son of a bitch. She was telling the truth,” says Gordon very loudly, to nobody except really slow viewers.

5:12 Guy who looks like a human penguin thinks a fake Russian accent will disguise him.

5:14 Alfred wonders how Bruce got hold of crime scene photos. Does Gotham not have an Internet?

5:16 The owner of a weather balloon factory might have a tip about a weather-balloon killer? Knock me down with a feather.

5:17 Let it go! Let it go! Don’t follow the Wayne case any more! Let it go! Let it go! You’re too nice and I’m a boor!

5:19 Now Balloon Man dresses like the Shadow, and fake Oscar cop goes for a ride.

5:21 Apparent rule of DC TV shows: all love interests must live inside a clock tower

5:24 Enjoy your burrito, Bullock.

5:26 The references to the MCU are just funny. They should go all out and have a Boss Feige to compete with Maroni and Falcone.

5:29 Yep, Montoya is a scorned ex-girlfriend all right.

5:31 “Do you guys not know how weather balloons work?” Good point. Or ANY balloons?

5:35 I would pop that last balloon right away, geniuses. You know he uses them as murder weapons.

5:38 “Let It Go” just became a literalized metaphor.

5:39 I do enjoy the Carmine/Fish conversations. Classic “what isn’t being said” 101.

5:40 “Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot. I must become something they fear. I must become…A BALOONMAN!”

5:41 Young Bruce already figuring out killing is wrong; is way ahead of every movie version of his adult self save Adam West.

5:45 Guess who’s back…back uh-gain. Oswald’s back…sez “Old friend.”

5:48 Cobblepot reminds me of Pee-wee Herman in the rain outside of Madame Ruby’s. Fitting, since Pee-wee played his dad in the movie.

5:49 So, when a totally strange person says “Stick your eye up to this thing I made myself that looks like a weapon,” you just…do it?

5:51 Club Silencio in the house.

5:53 Arkham is forty acres. Where’s the mule?

5:55 Dueling plans over the Asylum, eh? Might you call one a blockbuster and the other a mockbuster?

5:58 Adam West Batman would have just knocked that oil drum on its side and rolled away.

6:00 Actually, Ed, in Gotham, the idea that more than one killer might use a spike through the eye is entirely plausible.

6:02 “Gladwell” is a nicely ironic name for a killer, especially in comics that are usually so on the nose they’ll call somebody “Harleen Quinzell” or “Ed Nygma.”

6:06 Oswald survived in the freezer. BECAUSE HE’S A PENGUIN. I get it.

6:07 Long hours and late nights, Barbara, are standard these days. I’m not a cop and I have them.

6:08 “What is it between you and her?” To quote Max Shreck, unlimited poontang.

6:12 Fish really is looking for a David Lynch vibe with her singers.

6:13 Montoya and Barbara’s drug history, now Fish and her seductions – girl on girl action has kind of a creepy undertone every time here. Where’s Kathy Kane to balance it out?


6:15 So Fish auditions blackmailing hookers by…seeing how well they sing? Or is that just a technical hoop to jump through?

6:18 In hindsight, the mayor should have been an obvious target.

6:20 It’s golden hour a lot in Gotham.

6:21 “I can’t live without you sharing your sensitive cop information that endangers my life with me! Either tell me stuff that puts me at risk, or I’m dumping you! Meanwhile I shall tell you nothing about the drugs I once did!”

6:23 Girlfight! Wait, it’s over already?

6:24 “I shall take mystery food from our creepy, unreliable boss who probably wants no loose ends in the crime he hired us for. Nothing could go wrong, right?”

6:25 Low-cost housing side by side with waste disposal! I bet people can’t wait to move in! Oh, and you’re reopening the asylum next door? Who wouldn’t want to live there?


I see the cats walked across the keyboard in my absence. Selina would approve.

6:50 We’re back. I get that it’s more visual to have people stick newspaper clips to the wall, but how does Bruce not have THE BEST COMPUTER MONEY CAN BUY to do this for him?

6:52 It just hit me – Cobblepot has the same bangs as Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows. Fashion faux pas.

6:53 “Yeah I’ll just inhale the mysterious gas a stranger left me in lieu of a tip, solely because the bottle says ‘breathe me’ on it.” Well, it improved his vocabulary and his diet. Maybe a good idea?

6:55 “You can’t just pop up and jump every time you hear a bell.” Tell that to Pavlov’s dogs.

6:56 Okay, we have our first super powers. Sort of. “Don’t vex me, mortal.”

6:58 Cassette-playing boom boxes? Decent audio quality, at least.


7:02 Crushed by the heavy thing he was gonna throw? That is a Wile E. Coyote death right there

7:05 Bone-crumbling drug! Got milk?

7:07 “Fascinating.” Thank you, Spock.

7:11 When you plan to be the van Gogh of crime, usually you don’t start with the ear-cutting.

7:12 Ben McKenzie for lead in The Russell Crowe Story.

7:17 Okay, you have the fake “I love you baby” down. Next, try, “I, I love you like a love song baby.”

7:19 First they call it Viper, next phase is Venom. Before you know it, Tom Hardy will be talking muffle nonsense under a metal mask.

7:21 “What’s altruism?” – Bullock, sincerely, briefly sounding like Peter Griffin.

7:23 “How awesome is that?” Way to talk down to li’l Batman.

7:25 You know “WellZyn” is a subsidiary of “Wayne” because it begins and ends with the same consonant sounds.

7:26 Wait, just putting your coat over your face protects you from a massive cloud of evil gas a foot in front of you?

7:27 “You really can have to much of a good thing” Next time you say that, put sunglasses on, Caruso-style.


7:28 “What did you expect. It’s Gotham.” I know Chinatown, and Mr. TV Show, sir, you are not Chinatown. And that’s okay.

7:30 Okay, finally a heterosexual sex scene with bad people.

7:32 She’s sharing her walkman with him – but she didn’t actually touch it to cue the song, which plays perfectly from the beginning. Continuity!

7:34 “I AM THE SPIRIT OF THE GOAT!” I’m not going to argue with creepy mask dude.

7:35 A serial killer with a van. Unsubtle of him.

7:36 If McFarlane Toys were doing the Gotham action figures rather than Diamond, Strung-Up Shelly with Spirit of the Goat would be in series 1. Maybe he can get the Lego rights.

7:38 His dead partner is named Dix? It sux to be Dix.

7:40 We skip directly to the part of the argument where Barbara tells Jim about her past, apparently.

7:45 Here is where Bullock hints at the SECRET PAIN IN HIS PAST

7:46 Ed Nygma displaying amazing flirting skills for Bizarro-World

7:48 “Hi mom. I’m alive!” is Oswald’s best line yet.

7:50 “We easter-egged it” That’s official cop-speak now? Gonna have to ask the mom-in-law about that.

7:51 They use the tern “one percent” in this Gotham. A city where the biggest hero ever will be one of said percent.

7:52 Logical thinking, Li’l Batman! The Goat won’t take you because there’s nobody to take you from.

7:53 Nygma’s stepping verrrry close to Sheldon Cooper territory.


7:54 Dix isn’t dead! It’s great to see Dix with staying power. A real hard guy.

7:56 Bullock makes sure Dix gets porn magazines in the care facility. That’s an awesome pal.

7:59 “Who he knows will kill you!” I wonder if that’s foreshadowing for Barbara. But they have to marry and have a kid first, right?

8:00 Question mark on Nygma’s coffee cup is blatant.

8:01 The sad thing is if this Spirit of the Goat were a real guy killing, like, the Hilton and Kardashian heirs, people wouldn’t feel any urgency to catch him.

8:03 Feels like there are only two rooms in all of Wayne Manor. And one of them is not a bedroom for Bruce, who sleeps on the couch.

8:06 That’s pretty blatantly a smoke machine creating the steam behind Oswald’s bathtub.

8:08 “Holy Ghost on a Bicycle!” Now THAT’S a line worthy of a Batman TV show.

8:12 Oh, the old Magic Evil Hypnotist!

8:13 Damn, she is like a real-life Kardashian-hater! And she’s not wrong about the city needing a symbol, of course.

8:15 And we end with Bullock and Gordon arrested, then Oswald showing up? I’m guessing this was the first midseason break cliffhanger. Disc one is done.

Disc two goes in. Beer #1 opens.

8:19 Oswald has an umbrella, and is looking good. A top hat would totally kill his fauxhawk.

8:20 We just spent a whole episode getting sympathetic to Bullock, so of course now we revert him to crooked asshole.

8:22 Gordon not fucking around! Nice.

8:26 “I’ll send Victor.” Zsasz, I presume?

8:27 Gordon no longer giving a fuck, going for broke with arrest warrants. Why not, right? And here comes Zsasz, like a blue man group member without the paint.


8:32 Thank you, random policewoman extra, for showing up just to get shot in the legs. Oh wait – now in the chest too. Just so Zsasz can cut scar #28 into his flesh.

8:36 Penguin’s “sincere” apology is a thing of beauty.

8:37 Group of nuns walking down the street looking like…penguins. And reminding me of those days Batman just can’t get rid of a bomb.

8:39 “Honk honk. It’s what geese say.”


8:41 Allen’s first name is Christmas? Or did I mishear?

8:46 This is how you play a psychopath – pay attention, Bray Wyatt.

8:48 Falcone and Maroni hugging and making chummy deals is like the perfect metaphor for U.S. politics.

8:49 “I figure I’m doomed anyhow, I might as well join the good guys” – Bullock.

8:55 Well gee, Barbara, that’s why you don’t demand to know more about Jim’s work.

8:56 Carmine – “The enemy is anarchy.” Hmmm, so the embodiment of that would be bad? Sure hope that never happens….And yeah, he’s kinda making the case for a two-party system, not realizing that someday, the two parties will be Batman and the Joker, not the mob bosses.

9:00 Nice long con by Oswald. Damn. But who’d trust him after that?

9:03 Two masked guys beating each other with office equipment. WTF?

9:05 Severed digit in a corpse’s mouth. Finger food, even.

9:07 Ewww, Fish, don’t lick his blood! You don’t know where it’s been! I think the lesson here is never to give somebody a peace offering they can stab you with.

9:10 And now he regifts the brooch he got stabbed with to his mom? Brass balls.

9:15 Barbara, you are now a hard-drinking gun nut. Aren’t you so happy Jim’s now telling you what he does?

9:16 Bad guy of the week has a mask that’s like half Saw puppet, half Bane, with an Asian flair.

9:19 Bruce’s douchey classmates make me want to root for the Spirit of the Goat again.

9:21 Bad guy with a mask collection. So, Norman Osborn redux?

9:23 More obvious “Batman is a mirror of the villains” talk about masks. Since the show will never have Batman on it, this gets pretty heavy handed sometimes.

9:24 So we have a literal “business is war” thing going on. Or Fight Club.

9:27 Killing people with office supplies! It should be revenge for stealing extras, but somehow I think there’ll be something bigger at work.

9:29 “I’m not very good at fighting” – Bruce Wayne, for what had better be the last time.

9:31 Office drones in cages, as the allegory becomes a tad more overbearingly obvious.

9:33 Damn, Alfred is the coolest guardian ever, just letting Bruce kick that kid’s ass.


9:35 Bullock just said “asshat.”

9:37 Fist beats sword, and the dull villain is dispatched. Been waiting to get back to Fish.

9:41 “No one can find the body. We are at peace, after all.” – Oswald’s super-clever strategy.

9:42 Since Bullock declared himself a good guy, his hair has started looking more styled.

9:45 Alfred’s going to train Bruce how to fight! Seeing as he’s the first Alfred ever who looks like he could, that makes sense. I dunno, though – maybe Michael Gough could have downed Michael Keaton with a good punch.

9:47 Shorter Barbara “Dear Jim” letter: “Hi, I have undiagnosed PTSD, so I’m gonna run from the guy who can keep me safest. This condition makes me irrational; go figure!”

9:48 Selina’s gonna stay at Wayne Manor? Lucky Bruce.

9:51 Wait wait wait…Selina’s storyline is bizarrely close to the plot of the musical Annie right now. And she has the hair for it. The Catwoman will come out, tomorrow…

9:53 A guy flipping a coin? I WONDER WHO THIS IS.

9:55 Jeebus, they light half the screen when Harvey Dent’s on, and keep the other half of the frame in darkness. WE GET IT. They could at least make his suit purple or orange.


9:59 I am starting to love every moment Robin Lord Taylor is onscreen. He’s hammy but entertaining as hell. Am wondering what makes him fat later in life, though. By the final season, will he develop a food addiction as some kind of chemical by-product?

10:01 I know he said “lilacs,” but it’s amusing to briefly imagine that Oswald is a fan of conservative commentator and humorist James Lileks. Because it would totally make sense.

10:03 Bomb in a cheese and sausage basket? I would soooo fall for that. “Wait a second. Sounds like ticking.” – dumbest cops ever.

10:06 “Using explosives to steal explosives. What’s THAT about?” Police captains don’t usually talk like this, right? I suspect a youngish dialogue writer.

10:09 Ed Nygma plays video games? MIND BLOWN. Not.

10:11 I’ve figured it out – get food, take bathroom breaks during bits that strictly deal with villain-of-the-week. Bomber guy is boring.

10:13 Alfred with the cock-block on li’l Batman and Cat-girl!

10:14 So the problem is prisoners being outsourced to separate mental health facilities. If only there were some sort of insane asylum.

10:18 Bruce practicing drowning, in Gotham, in cold-looking weather. Selina rightfully telling him diving boards won’t attack on the streets.

10:22 “The Final Countdown” as bomb ring tone. Nice.

10:23 “Hit me and I’ll let you kiss me.” That’s a constructive relationship off to a good start. No wonder Batman and Catwoman end up how they do.

10:27 All the criminals from Blackgate prison who are insane are being moved to Arkham? WHAT AN IDEA.

10:28 Hey, I actually saw a gargoyle in the cityscape this time!

10:29 OOOOH! Barbara and Renee, lying in a bed! C-O-P-U-L-A-T-ed!

10:31 So, new villains of the week? Guy getting cut open, woman smearing his blood on her face?

10:33 Oh, I get it. They’re here to kill the witness. Wayne Manor still seems like a reverse-TARDIS, smaller on the inside.

10:37 “Dick Lovecraft” is a great villain name. And “Ya plank!” is a great insult by Alfred.

10:39 Did we really need that onscreen title “Falcone Mansion”? Falcone being inside it pretty well makes that point.

10:45 Most awkward dinner party ever at Falcone Mansion.

10:46 Hey, a pay phone in a major modern city! And it’s ten cents to make a call? The mixing of period details to confuse the year is weird and slightly pointless.

10:49 A little junior parkour, and Bruce is out of breath. Time for a little city mouse, country mouse. And there’s Ivy Pepper again. She should join the military and become a Sergeant.

10:51 Like Butch, I am confused. Is ” ‘orrible little toerag” a threat?

10:54 Ivy’s “How ya doin’, ya doin’ okay?” is wonderfully sarcastic. You’d think she and Bruce could bond over killed parents.

10:57 If you’re hiding from hitmen, do it in a place with really large windows.

11:01 Okay, this part where they’re stacking objects to get out of a room is very much like a video game. Reminds me of pushing stuff around in Resident Evil.

11:04 Alfred’s shoulder wound has healed very quickly. “BREWCE!”

11:06 “If you die, who employs butlers any more?” I don’t know , because this show keeps fudging the details on what year it is!

11:09 Passionate “Kiss my ass” from Gordon. Leading to…reassignment as Arkham security!

11:12 First kiss!



11:42 Alfred says the house seems quiet without Selina. As Michael Gough thought in ’89 with Vicki.

11:43 Gordon walks through the gates of Arkham and FUCK MY VIEWING FOR THE NIGHT ENDS THERE. DAMMIT


Beer #3. I have been moderate.

11:46 “Previously on Gotham”? They didn’t need a dumb voice-over for these before.

11:47 Arkham is shitty and run down but they have a budget for a theater program?


11:49 Barbara HAS SOME PILLS AND CHEETS ON GORDON – due to having same-sex relations, apparently – and we learn that terrible singing by lunatics makes people violent.

11:51 Damn, young Leslie Thompkins is smokin’. She’s usually older than this. Unless she’s Leslie Junior.

11:53 I expect Ivy to start singing “Castle on a Cloud” any time now.

11:54 my kitten is back up on the TV, staring at Selina and Ivy in Barbara’s place.

11:55 Oswald now proud of being called Penguin as long as there’s a “The.” So finicky.

11:57 “An unsafe and unsecure 200 year-old maze” – Gordon describes Arkham.

11:58 “This is rather unusual and sinister, isn’t it?” – Leslie. Um, in Arkham, in Gotham? Not really.

12:01 This Gruber guy is doing his very best Michael Emerson in Lost.

12:02 The nurse is Miss Dipesto from Moonlighting! I wondered what had happened to her.

12:06 The director of Arkham is like the black chief of police from Last Action Hero and every ’80s movie who yells at the heroes for damaging property.

12:09 Calling the cops? Hey, good excuse to get Bullock back into the show. But can he do that every episode while he’s at Arkham?

12:13 “Examine your soul, Penguin.” Bullock just casually drops that, then compares him to a bonsai tree. Awesome dick move.

12:17 A basement nobody’s been into in ten years – nahh, not suspicious. Wait, is Miss Dipesto the villain? If they make Leslie the villain that is a pretty major character change. Nope, Miss Dipesto – the old inmate-pretending-to-be-staff trick.


12:24 Inmates Unleashed!

12:26 Ivy’s a vegan? But when she’s older, she grows killer plants as her pals! It’d make more sense for her to only eat meat.

12:27 Gordon comes back to the station to visit, and the boss immediately busts out the secret booze stash.

12:30 Love how Bullock downs his whole shot before going on a mission.

12:31 Obvious evil genius was evil? I thought they’d be trickier than that.

12:34 Any time the phrase “Hey, fuhgeddaboutit” is said twice in a row, a mob hit is about to happen. And this is how my final episode ends, weakly. Though I should be glad it’s not a cliffhanger.

So, how do I feel about Gotham now?

I reckon I got about halfway through the season, and I liked it a lot more than Arrow. Firstly, the production values really stand out. CW shows look filmed on sets, while Gotham looks like a real city, or a movie version of one. Second, while Arrow felt a lot like a soap opera, with recurring elements of dead characters returning and different people coupling up, Gotham (which has an admitted advantage, what with all the actors probably knowing the characters better) feels like one big, long movie with a long game in mind. Some of the villains of the week are distracting and annoying when they aren’t tied to Falcone, Maroni, or Fish, but I have less of a problem with all the embryonic major characters than I thought I would. Viewed as one big story, they feel like puzzle pieces coming into place – and the show’s major paradigm shift is that what causes the escalation of villains is not the emergence of Batman, but the killing of his parents, and the way that shatters the mob truce.

And Penguin…wow. I always used to feel as Tim Burton did – that realistically, a fat guy in a tux couldn’t be a serious threat to Batman, and works best as Burgess Meredith quacking at Adam West. So while many of my comic fan friends decried the Danny DeVito bird man, I was all for it. Now, though, I finally get how this funny-looking gangster can be a threat – complete with some visual allusions to the DeVito version – and I’m all onboard. Robin Lord Taylor rules every scene he’s in.

As for Bullock, I hope he gets a bit more jerky again. It’s cool he and Gordon are friends now, but I feel like he may have gotten good too fast. He still needs his strings pulled, and his skepticism on high.

Gordon’s fine enough as a straight-arrow lead, while Falcone and Maroni are way more interesting than Fish Mooney. But from what I’ve gathered, she doesn’t last into next season anyhow.

Now that I know how On Demand works, I just might follow this Gotham show. Although I’m kind of sad, honestly, that we’ll never get the version of Batman this is all building to. But I’ve made my peace with the fact that this is an alternate reality.

Unlike with Arrow, I may even finish the set.

GOTHAM SEASON 1 is available on Blu-ray as of yesterday.