Synopsis of 2×10: Gordon and Bullock race to stop a group of monks on a killing spree before Galavan’s trial. Bruce and Selina try to get the name of the Wayne killer from Silver. Galavan is exonerated and attacks Gordon and kidnaps Bruce.
One of my favorite things to do when I think about TV, movies, comics and other media is to think about the process writers and artists went through when they put the things we consume together. I did this a lot during this episode of Gotham. Why would you do this, Jackson, you might, but probably wouldn’t ask, other than a severe sense of self-loathing and some probably mildly masochistic tendencies?
Why, I’ll tell you, theoretical reader, it’s because I love to picture a room full of 40-something dudes repeatedly writing dialogue calling a fictional 12-year-old alternatively a bitch or a slut. Do you think they were eating or do you think they were very serious as they decided whether to call Silver a bitch, a slut, or a whore and decided instead to go with all three? Did they go home and see their families after coming up with several not-particularly-ready-for-primetime phrases to describe an Asian brothel? Did they high-five after they wrote several scenes of child torture? These are the things that haunt me.
I guess I’ll fill in the blanks as to what actually happens in “The Son of Gotham” probably because I would no longer be allowed to write here anymore if I just rattled off all the obscenities I yelled at the TV during the episode. In the days before Galavan is scheduled to go to trial, Gordon is worried the GCPD hasn’t gathered enough evidence to put Theo away.
This is one of those things that really bothered me as someone who’s spent a lot of his professional life observing and reporting on criminal trials but basically everything in this subplot ignores even the basic laws or the basic ideas that laws exists. People just shout nonsense, there’s perjury on the stand, there’s a fistfight, it’s basically the least funny, second most-Batman related episode of Night Court.
Of course, it goes without saying that Theo has a play that mostly revolves around the Sons of Dumas, a cult he’s either a part of or his family is apart of, the show can’t make up its goddamn mind about this, who are performing a blood sacrifice for oh god who the fuck cares. I mean, I’d love to give the appropriate amount of dignity to another instance of “What Dumb Bullshit is Happening in the Galavan Subplot” but even the show doesn’t seem to care about this.
It’s a lot of nonsense. The Sons of Dumas just murder an absolute shitload of people, including a bunch of guys and gals at the aforementioned brothel. Honestly, I spent a lot of time during these parts drinking, shouting, and trying to figure out if the Sons of Dumas was a reference to the Fists of Cain.
There’s other stuff in this episode. My god is there other stuff in this episode. So ever since Bruce has started to wear really high-necked turtlenecks, it’s seemed like the show has wanted him to start acting like an even more unhinged version of Michael Keaton’s Batman. He plays that style in spades here as he and Selina hatch a plan to reveal the identity of his parent’s killer.
This is a fairly straightforward fake torture and kidnapping that feels like something you’ve seen before. I know 24 once used this exact same set-up and I feel like I’ve seen it in a host of other shows and movies as well. Either way, it involves a torturer pumping a kidnapped Silver for information while heavily implying he’s left Bruce for dead. She eventually cracks and reveals her evil-core and that a man named M. Malone killed the Waynes.
And that’s where I yelled, “ugh, fuck this show” to no one in particular.
See, M. Malone is a reference to Matches Malone, one of the weirdest, most fun bits of the Batman universe that basically only people like me, people who could name the last three generations of the Wayne family before they could remember the name of that dude their cousin married, really enjoy.
Matches is introduced in Batman #242, a small time crook and voice of reason in the Gotham criminal community, Most importantly, he’s a source of information for Batman. Unfortunately, he also takes a bullet in that issue. That isn’t the end of Matches’ story though, as Batman for years afterward would assume the disguise of Matches Malone and essentially continue to claim that Matches was still alive. Much like his identity as a socialite and playboy, Bruce built up a life as a criminal.
Matches has love interests, connections, drug dealers, bosses and subordinates. He has a whole life that Bruce is running when he’s got the time. As if being a industrialist by day and superhero by night wasn’t enough, the existence of Matches Malone suggests that at some point in the day, Bruce Wayne affects a Jersey accent, chews on matchsticks and claims to be a smalltime hood. It’s fucking bananas and one of those crazy silly, unnecessary things that makes comics so much fun.
So Gotham had to figure out a way to ruin it. Fuck this show.
I guess we can get to shit that happens in this episode instead of things that are eventually going to give me a rage stroke. Theo takes Gordon out of the courtroom and to the place he’ll be sacrificed, only to beat him up and leave his goons to finish him. Gordon is then saved by Penguin because, I don’t know, I guess something has to happen.
Theo then heads to Bruce’s house to kidnap him because he’s also a sacrifice, I guess. Honestly, it’s not clear who “The Son of Gotham” is supposed to be. Symbolically, Gordon, the well-liked champion of justice should be the son but because this is a show ostensibly about Batman, I guess it’s probably supposed to be Bruce Wayne. Once again, who really cares?
Look, next week’s episode is the fall finale, which I guess every show has to have now, so there’s maybe a small chance that Gotham could right itself by wrapping up some of the more ridiculous plot elements next week but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m about out of patient and hope for this show, which continues to be one of the worst on TV.