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Harley Quinn #26

Single and Ready to Kick Some Ass: Harley Quinn #26

No one likes ending a relationship.  For Harley Quinn, she had to end two at the same time: her blossoming relationship with Mason and her previous relationship with Mason’s neighbor at Arkham, the Joker.  The strings have been cut, and Harley is finally free of the Joker.  (Something tells me he’s not going to let go so easily, though)

Now that Harley has returned home to New York, she surrounds herself with her friends as life gets back to normal.  Queenie, however, thinks that the best way to start fresh is with a new look.  When Harley awakens from her nap, she has a brand-new hairdo.  If the style looks a little familiar, it’s because we’ve seen this Harley hair on Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn.  Gone is the vibrant black and red in favor of Margot Robbie’s blonde hair with red and blue accents.  “It’s so…cinematic,” Harley breathes in delight.  Queenie also presents her with a custom made body armor jacket that features a defeated Joker behind bars with “Owned” written across the top.  It’s perfect.

Meanwhile, despite her best efforts, the mayor has been cleared of all charges.  Add to that a mysterious nemesis, and it’s another day at the office for our girl.

Harley Quinn #26, in comic shops now!

Conner and Palmiotti Talk Harley Quinn at Wonder Con 2016

You know an interview is going to be epic when the DC Comics people warn you beforehand: “Don’t talk about the after birth…”

In any other situation it might seem strange, but it’s par for the course when you’re meeting up with Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti after the DC Rebirth panel at Wonder Con 2016.  I was lucky enough to meet up with this dynamic duo to find out what makes Harley Quinn so darn appealing, and to get an exclusive look at one of Harley’s upcoming adventures.  (Spoilers for the Loot Crate issue of Harley Quinn)


Sarabeth Pollock:  First of all, congratulations on so much exciting stuff going on right now.  In [Harley Quinn] Issue 26 we get the hair!

Jimmy Palmiotti: We’re acknowledging it, the movie, and we thought because of Issue 25 she had the blow out with the Joker. It’s sort of like starting a new day, and a new day for Harley means new clothing, a new hairdo, like any woman or anybody that’s been through something.  They want to go and clean it up and change.  Like now I have the chance to be this person because that person is not my life anymore and that’s what she does in 26.  So we thought Margot Robbie looks awesome with that haircut so why not throw it at Harley.  I mean, we change her costume every issue so what’s the difference?

Amanda Conner: So she might have a new hairstyle next winter!

JP: We’re always changing it.  She’s one of the iconic characters that as long as you keep to the red and black theme and the diamonds you can actually manipulate any kind of clothing.

AC: Like most girls with a closet full of stuff.

SP: Right, and she does it so well.  No matter what, even bowling.

JP: Bowling, yes, bowling!  Chad and John Timms—whatever we throw at them they create an outfit for her and we’re like “Yeah!  That’s awesome!”

SP: And I have to say, the Loot Crate issue—how much fun did you have coming up with anything that can happen happens?

JP: Anything can happen.  The Genie is the best thing to throw into a comic and we were laughing because we’re also big I Dream of Jeannie fans from way back when.  And so we had the genie and then we were like “Ooh, we can do anything.”  What was your favorite part?

SP: I’d say when she’s wishing she was more “well endowed” and then as soon as her wish is granted she falls on her face.  You watch the women on The Housewives of Orange County and wonder how they stay upright.  For Harley, it’s asking for the wrong thing or the right thing in the wrong way.  Like a million bucks, literally, or in that episode of The Twilight Zone when the guy asks for a million dollars and then the IRS shows up.  You have to ask for the right thing and she’s always one step behind.

JP: Yes, except with the JLA.  She went up there and of course we had to pull on Superman’s cape and pants Green Lantern.

AC:  Someone was saying Harley was sexually harassing the JLA.  Oh my God!

JP: I didn’t think of that when we were doing it.  I just thought what’s the fun you could have?

AC:  She’s just pestering them, yeah.

JP: And actually I don’t know if you caught it but she presses the button for them to come out of orbit and if you look on the last page they’re like “Oh, a shooting star.”  That’s actually the JLA Tower going by.

AC:  It’s really subtle.

JP: It’s real subtle but it’s the JLA coming out of orbit and burning up.

SP: So let me switch gears a little bit.  Harley does so many things.  She’s probably the most complex character, more so than even Batman.  It’s probably harder to write her than a guy like Batman.

AC: It’s more fun to write it because she is so complex, you know.

SP: Is there ever a point when you have to stop and say that something is too good or two bad for her?  Or how do you figure out what she wants to fight for, like the animals early on.  That’s such an unusual cause.

JP: Oh, and she has a thousand parakeets that show up once in a while and they like her and they come in at weird times.  I actually have them in a new issue.

AC: We’ve taken what has always been with Harley and just sort of ran with it.  Because back in the day she had the hyenas, right, so she’s an animal lover.

JP: She loves animals.

AC: So we just took that and ran with it.

JP: I would almost say she tried to be a vet at some point.

AC: Yeah!

JP: Before going into psychology she probably tried to be a vet at some point, probably messed that up, but you know we don’t harm pets, we don’t harm animals.  Except between two pieces of bread when we’re hungry.

SP: Bernie has it bad, though.

AC: Bernie is her common sense.

SP: Like Jiminy Cricket.

JP: Yes, and we want to show she’s got a good soul, you know, it’s in there.  She wants to do right but there’s a point where the switch goes off and it’s not like she becomes this massive killer or anything.  She just looks at the shortest distance between her and the problem and just goes for it.  Sometimes it’s with a mallet, sometimes it’s driving a car off a cliff, whatever it may be.  So although it’s an intricate character, she’s also a wish fulfillment character for writers because whatever we come up with we can kind of work into her personality as long as we stay true to her.  There’s a fine line even with her relationships with Ivy and her friendship with Tony.  These are friends.  These are people who have each other’s backs.

AC: She’s a loyal, loving person who happens to be a psychopath, you know.  We sort of keep to Wile E. Coyote rules with her.  We do have a certain amount of rules with her.

JP: Although the Loot Crate one we just sort of went crazy.

AC: But the rules are still there.

JP: We just figured this was our opportunity to get 500k people to try it out for the first time so we better make this the craziest thing.  That’s why she (Conner) wanted to draw it.  She was like “I have to draw this!”

AC: I love drawing and I don’t get to do it as often as I used to so I was like I’m doing this!

SP: It was such a great “gateway drug.”

JP: We hope so.  We hope they get it and think “Let’s see what else they got” or “let’s walk into a comic store.”  So we saw the opportunity and thought this was our chance, better than advertising to get people to try something new while they’re putting on their wool hate and t-shirt and button from the box.  So we hope that works.

SP: Speaking of people wearing things, you see all of the people walking around the con and all of the different iterations of Harley going back 20 years.

AC: It’s awesome!

SP: What do you think the appeal is for young girls, women, men, even pets…. Out of all of the members of the Rogue’s Gallery, why her?

AC: Here’s my theory.  I don’t know if I’m right about it.

JP: You’re always right.  It’s a husband thing.

AC: Good answer.  It’s like when you see her and she is so perfect and she’s so iconic, she’s so hard to identify with.  We all want to be her but it’s impossible to be her.    But Harley is full of flaws and she’s messed up and she eats a lot of food and she goes to the bathroom and she has to clean up after her animals, and she’s easy to identify with.  And then there’s that wish fulfillment thing that we talked about where if you’ve ever been in traffic and some jerk cuts you off and you fantasize about having a rocket launcher on the hood of your car just like her.  You know, she’s the kind of person who would have a rocket launcher and she does things we wish we could do.

JP: And I also think she brings out the designer in people because we have her in different outfits.  A lot of people who are saying I’m going to come as Harley but I’m going to do my own thing where I do this or I’m going to do that to my hair but it’s still Harley and I think to cosplayers the most exciting thing is they don’t have to stick to exactly every single thing.  They can build on it and own it and I think that’s the appeal that no other character has.  There’s no other character that has so many different versions as Harley.  There’s really no other character I thin.  You could do Vampire Harley, you could do Transformer Harley.

AC: We’ve seen Zombie Harley, we have seen Bride Harleys.

JP: Brides.  A lot of Bride Harleys.

AC: And little tiny Harleys that are adorable.

SP: Lastly, if you guys could do one thing that’s maybe not even canon, possible somewhere in time or in history, if you could plug her in somewhere, where would you want to see her?

JP: Ooh.

AC: I would like to see Harley at my New Year’s Eve party…oh, wait.

JP: What does that mean?  I don’t know what that means.

AC: Well, if a genie put her anywhere, that’s where I would put her.

JP: Oh, okay.  We have, in Harley’s Little Black Book, we have an issue coming up with the Bombshells.  Is that announced?

DC Comics Powers That Be: Announce it!

JP: All right, anyway she’s with the Bombshells.  Something happens where she goes back in time and it’s sort of bizarre wish fulfillment but she kind of goes after Hitler at one point.  I don’t want to ruin it too much but let’s just say she’s with him in his final hour.  And, you know, she’s maybe responsible for some things that happen.  But since it’s an alternate kind of issue we’re having some fun with it.  So that’s when I got to put her back in time.

AC: We’re gonna get in so much trouble!

JP: I mean, I’d love to have her back with dinosaurs as the only woman on earth and only dinosaurs, but I also think the future with Mandy and Harley as the only people left and Mandy would be running away from her the whole time.  There are a million stories!


And it’s so true.  With the advent of DC Rebirth (not afterbirth, as Conner suggested during the panel) there is a whole new world to discover with Harley Quinn and all of her friends.  Check out the next issue of Harley Quinn at a comic book store near you!

What’s Inside: March 2016 Loot Crate

Looking Inside the March Loot Crate

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t opened or received your March Loot Crate yet, turn back now!

I’ve waited long as I could to share my March Loot Crate.  Of all of my Loot Crates, I think this one is my favorite.  In fact, I know it’s my favorite.

The March Loot Crate theme is Versus, which is perfect timing with the March 25th release of the highly anticipated Batman vs Superman movie.  That being said, the good folks at Loot Crate did not disappoint.

This month’s t-shirt celebrates the famous classic Star Trek episode “Mirror, Mirror” that pits Good Spock vs Evil Spock.  Juan Ortiz, the artist who designed the shirt, is an avid Star Trek fan and created posters depicting every episode of the original series.  The “Mirror, Mirror” poster, he says, is based on boxing posters with their striking but limited use of color.

When you think of rivalries, no rivalry comes to mind more than Alien vs Predator, and not only is AvP represented on the March 2016 Loot Pin, but there is also a blind box featuring either an Alien or Predator 4.5 inch figure.  I got the Alien figure.  (Yes, I open my blind boxes.  I’m also the kind of person who will open Christmas presents several days early if someone leaves them within reach.  I have crazy amounts of patience for many other things…but not for blind boxes.  I need to know!!!)

Given that we’re still in the last days of winter, the March Loot Crate also features a reversible Daredevil vs Punisher beanie.  The red side features an embroidered DD while the black side features the Punisher symbol.  I see this beanie coming in handy during those chilly nights outside the San Diego Convention Center during SDCC.  It does get chilly down by the water at night.  I know this because I live here.

While everything in the Loot Crate box is near and dear to my heart, this month we receive a Loot Crate Exclusive edition of the Harley Quinn comic.  If you’re not reading Harley Quinn, this is a great chance to get to know one of DC Comic’s most complex—and perpetually entertaining—characters.  When Harley find herself her very own Genie in a bottle, the sky is the limit (as you’ll see when she takes a little trip into orbit).

Lastly, in honor of Batman vs Superman, there is a Mighty Wallet made from Tyvek.  I’m not exactly sure what Tyvek is, but it’s so strong that I doubt Superman himself could tear it.  It’s also 100% green, which is awesome.

Are you a Loot Crate subscriber?  What did you think of this month’s Loot?

Gotham Season 2 E1 Season Premiere: Damned if You Do

Gotham S2E1: Rise of the Villains: Damned if You Do

Original Airdate: September 21, 2015

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Welcome back to Gotham, ladies and gentlemen!

Tonight’s season premiere started off with a bang as Bruce and Alfred explore the secret room behind the fireplace.  Alfred is visibly stunned at this revelation, and he tells Bruce that there could be any number of combinations to the keypad that unlocks the door.  But we know better, don’t we?  This won’t slow Bruce down.  Bruce is just getting started.

One month later….  The music is rather uplifting for this next montage of updates on all of our Gotham friends.  “It’s such a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you….”

Leslie helps Gordon get dressed as they look at each other in the mirror.  They’re very much in love.

Bullock wipes down the bar in the middle of the day.  Wait…Bullock is a bartender now?

Penguin presides over a meeting of Gotham families.  He grasps a man’s head as if in benediction, and then he turns and walks away with a huge grin on his face.  Mr. Zsasz steps forward and aims his gun at the man’s head and puts a bullet through it.  The smile on Penguin’s face becomes a scowl.

Barbara walks through the jail hallway, all dressed up with a guard behind her carrying her suitcase.  She stops to look in at the group of men sitting in a holding cell.  She stops and pulls her sunglasses down.  Red-headed Jerome turns around and smiles at her in return.

Up in a high rise building, a man hands an elixir to a man who kneels at his feet.  The man grins, but his vision is fuzzy.

The next day, Traffic Cop Gordon (what!?) is busy directing traffic when Elixir Man, now clad in body armor with two guns and an arsenal of swords that would make Michonne envious, jumps into the street and fires his guns.  He says he is Zaardon, the Soul Reaper.  Gordon pulls his gun and Zaardon is unfazed by his presence.  “I don’t want to shoot you, man,” Gordon says.  “Too much paperwork.”  He grabs a hostage, then he and Gordon scuffle.  Gordon subdues him in time for his portly partner to show up wielding a hoagie.  He shoves the other officer for being late.  Gordon whips around and points his gun at some people attempting to loot the table behind him, telling them it’s a bad idea.

Zaardon can’t believe Gordon has taken him into custody after he drank the dragon’s blood.  “Dark days are coming,” he tells Gordon.  Gordon runs into Nygma in the locker room.  When Gordon walks away, Nygma continues his conversation with his own reflection.  His reflection suggests that they need more fun and some romance.  Reflection Nygma tries to convince Real Nygma, but Real Nygma begs him to leave Miss Kringle alone.  He storms out, leaving the reflection to smirk at him.

Gordon is rewarded for his brave action by being stripped of his gun and badge by Commissioner Loeb.   He had hoped demotion would keep Gordon in line, but shoving a fellow officer is a major offense. Captain Essen is furious, demanding that Gordon be commended, but the Commish is resolute.  Gordon vows revenge on him.  Meanwhile, Zaardon is asleep in the holding cell, and as he sleeps he spews a noxious vapor.

Gordon explains what happened at work to Leslie while they’re in bed.  He hates that he is walking away, but she points out he was fired.  He says he still has an option remaining, and while it isn’t legal, it will still help to fight the good fight.  He has to keep fighting.  He’s a cop.

At Arkham, Jerome pulls up a chair and introduces himself to Barbara, who flips through her magazine without looking up.  “Keep moving, Ginger,” she says.  He wants to know why she’s there and it turns out they both killed one or more of their parents.  What a coincidence!  And what a rush!  Jerome tries to give her the lay of the land, telling her that a girl needs to have a friend in a place like that.  To prove him wrong, Barbara calls a giant bald man over and asks him to be her friend.  He pledges his allegiance to her with no hesitation.  “Now I have a friend,” she says.  Jerome says his friend is powerful and can get her things.  She needs a phone.  Jerome grins.

Penguin listens as his men give him a rundown of his assets and his outstanding accounts.  Gordon shows up and Penguin welcomes him warmly.  Selina is perched at the end of the table, and Penguin jokes that having her around is like having a cat.  Gordon needs a favor and Penguin knows that he wants Loeb fired and he wants his job back.  Penguin wonders why he wants to be a cop in Gotham.  Penguin also asks about Lee, which tells Gordon just how good Penguin’s surveillance is.  Penguin also wants Gordon to collect a debt for him to prove his loyalty, but Gordon refuses.  He tells Selina to be good (“always,” she replies) and leaves.

Bullock pours Gordon a drink and tells Gordon to walk away.  He says Gordon could never work for Penguin.  Bullock says he has been sober 32 days.  Leaving the job allowed him to get sober, get a woman who actually likes him, and it lets him sleep at night.  These two are close, clearly.

Alfred shows Gordon into the study.  Gordon walked to Wayne Manor to apologize to Bruce for not being able to keep his promise.  Gordon explains what has happened to him, and goes on to tell them about the only way of getting his badge back—doing a job for Penguin.  Bruce muses over this and considers that Gordon may be acting selfishly.  “Surely sometimes the right way is also the ugly way,” he reasons.  Alfred praises the young master, but he tells him there are things he can’t understand.  Alfred shows Gordon out and Bruce rushes to open the fireplace and try the combination again.  When it doesn’t work, he grabs a hammer.  “Screw it,” he says, taking a swing.

By the way, has anyone noticed how much taller and filled in Bruce is this season?  Who knows…maybe he’ll be playing teenage and young adult Bruce later on….

We return to Arkham to see Barbara approach Jerome’s friend.  She wants to know what she’d need to do in order to get a telephone.

Gordon enters a nightclub to talk to the owner.  The owner recognizes Gordon as a cop and blows him off.  He won’t pay Penguin a dime.  Gordon suggests they try to work things out.  The owner pulls a gun on Gordon, and Gordon says he’ll count to three.  By one, he has knocked the goons out and has the money.  As he flees, the police chase after him.  The owner corners him in a parking garage, and Gordon shoots him.  Now Gordon has blood on his hands.

Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce carries in bags of fertilizer to build a bomb to open the door.  Alfred says that Bruce doesn’t know the first thing about building a bomb, but Bruce says he read a book.  The duo have a great little argument about being old enough to discover Thomas Wayne’s secrets, but Alfred eventually ends up relenting and giving Bruce advice about building the bomb, which he will help with after making some tea.

Gordon presents the bag of money to Penguin. Butch looks impressed by his work.  Penguin apologizes that things got messy, and he promises to make sure the GCPD doesn’t interfere.

Later that night, Gordon sips his drink while Lee cooks dinner.  His phone rings.  It’s Barbara.  She tries to tell him that Lee is insane and is the one who attacked her.  He hangs up, so she calls Lee’s phone and leaves a message says she hopes Lee dies screaming.  Lee wants to go away and never come back to Gotham, but Gordon says he can’t leave.  He confesses to doing a bad thing.

Commissioner Loeb wakes up to the sound of glass breaking in his apartment.  It’s Victor Zsasz and Penguin.  Penguin asks if he has any peanut butter.  Smooth, of course.  Loeb calls for his guards, but Zsasz has already severed their heads.  Loeb panics while Penguin and Zsasz share a laugh.  Penguin makes a sandwich and shares a dilemma with Loeb.  He says that he can’t find any vices to threaten him with.  The only option Penguin has is to kill Loeb and reason with his replacement instead.  Loeb wants to know what Penguin wants, but Loeb doesn’t want to do it.  Zsasz is eager to kill Loeb, but Penguin manages to twist his arm enough to get his way.

The next time we see Loeb, he’s being serenaded at his retirement party.  Businessman Theo Gallavan is there to bid him farewell.  Loeb still seems to be in shock.

Barbara is lounging against Richard’s chest as he tells a story while she’s having her toenails painted by her acolytes when Zaardon walks in.  He announces who he is, and everyone pauses momentarily and resumes their business.

Gallavan finishes his speak and Loeb gets up to announce his replacement, Commissioner Essen.

Zaardon doesn’t like being ignored.  Jerome watches in amusement as he passes out on the table, but then everyone stares when the purple gas floats out of Zaardon’s mouth.  The prisoners jump up and promptly pass out.  Suddenly a group breaks into Arkham wearing gas masks.  They shoot the guards and approach the day room.  A very attractive woman looks inside and smiles.

Essen doesn’t know how Gordon pulled this all off, but she’s happy to welcome him back to the job.  Lee says that Gordon is very resourceful.  She has a very strange, almost wistful look on her face.  Essen is looking forward to all of the good work they can do together.  Essen gets pulled away and Gordon promises Lee that it’s a new day, and that it was worth it.  Essen returns and says that there has been an incident at Arkham.  Six inmates have escaped, including Barbara.

Gallavan has the six inmates tied up in a room.  He tells the group he sees charisma and brilliance in this room, not crazed inmates.  Jerome says Gallavan is singing his song, but Richard tells him to be quiet.  Gallavan suggests that if this group worked together they could bring Gotham to its knees.  Richard says he doesn’t take orders from anyone.  Gallavan doesn’t like the idea of sexual jealousy, so Richard has to go.  His female accomplice kills him, and Jerome gasps with glee.

Alfred rigs the explosive and makes sure that Bruce is sure about the decision to blow the door.  Bruce pushes the button and the door blows up.  They exchange high fives and then hurry downstairs.  Inside the cave is a desk with an envelope addressed to Bruce.  He opens it.  Thomas has written a letter to Bruce knowing that something bad has happened to them.  He says you can’t have both happiness and the truth.  He begs Bruce to choose happiness, unless he feels a “true calling.”

While Bruce reads the letter, Gordon stares at his reflection in the mirror and prepares himself for what lies ahead.

GOTHAM IS BACK, PEOPLE!  And so far it kicks major ass!!

Gotham Recap S1E16: The Blind Fortune Teller

Gotham S1E16: The Blind Fortune Teller

Original Airdate: February 16, 2015

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Gotham Fans, I apologize for my absence.  I blame my DVR and the delay in getting shows up on demand.  That said, let’s get to tonight’s episode!

(By the way, did you catch Robin Lord Taylor on last night’s Talking Dead?)

Bruce is sleeping on the couch, surrounded by notebooks and files.  He has been taking notes, clearly.

Penguin is at his club listening to his mother singing on stage.  No one else thinks she’s as good as he does.

Fish is sleeping in her new world.  She hears someone crying and wakes her people to provide water to the prisoners whose limbs have been amputated.

Barbara returns to her apartment to find Selina and Ivy in her apartment.  Selina lets her know that Gordon dropped off his keys the week before.  “So screw him, anyway,” Barbara says, plopping down on the couch with Ivy’s cereal.

Gordon and Leslie are at the circus together.  They’re eating popcorn in a scene that reminds me of Val Kilmer and Nicole Kidman in Batman Forever.  There’s a trapeze act onstage at Haly’s Circus, and while they canoodle, the Flying Graysons are introduced.  But the MC is interrupted by a clown car full of…clowns.  These clowns don’t seem to be clowning around, though.  They have beef with the Graysons, and a fight breaks out in the center ring.  Gordon springs into action, breaking it up.

Back at Penguin’s club, Penguin’s mother finishes her song to a rousing round of applause from her son.  When someone boos, Penguin storms over and bashes his head in with a bottle.

Gordon proceeds to interview the suspects but no one is talking.  Meanwhile, Leslie tends to John Grayson while his rival, Mary, is tended to on a stretcher across from him.  He reveals that the Graysons and Lloyds have always been rivals, and this particular fight was over a woman named Lilah, who is also a snake dancer.  Mary snaps at John for being so forthcoming.  It doesn’t look like they’re married yet, or even dating.  (Aside: Ahhh!  It’s Dick Grayson’s parents!!!)  Gordon meets back up with Leslie and apologizes for the date, but she’s thrilled.  He’s stunned at how much information she was able to find out, and she begs him to allow her to go with him to see the snake dancer.  But when Gordon gets a “look” from the MC at the mention of the snake dancer, we know that there is much more going on.

A young man exits Lilah’s trailer.  Her red-headed son, Jerome, hasn’t seen his mother in a day. The MC tells Gordon that Lilah is a party-girl, but given that she left without her purse or coat, there is cause for concern.  Gordon notices that the snake is agitated and tells Jerome to let it out.  It isn’t long before the snake goes off toward a truck.  It disappears under a tarp, and that’s where they find Lilah’s bloody body.  Jerome falls to his knees while the snake cuddles up to its owner.  Leslie comforts the boy.  Gordon knows that the MC knew her body was there.  He admits that they found her body there that morning.

Fish addresses her people, telling them that they are nothing more than transplant donors.  She can get some of them out of there, but some of them will die on the way.  She says they’re all family now, and they have to fight together to get out.  The crowd loves her.

The MC says that some rigging people found the body that morning, and then they moved her to the truck.  He says that only the heads of the families know about it, but they have their own justice and justice will be served.  Gordon arrests him.

When Gordon and Leslie arrive at the station, he recruits Bullock’s help.  Bullock thinks that the group of performers being led into the station is part of a joke until he realizes that it isn’t. Gordon interviews Jerome, who says that him mom was perfect, aside from her bad cooking.  She didn’t have any enemies, and she didn’t have boyfriends.  Just lovers, apparently, including a Grayson and Lloyd.  Jerome isn’t embarrassed about the number of sexual partners his mother had.

When Gordon talks to Owen Lloyd, he says that Grayson killed Lilah.  He explains that the feud between the two families started ”before the Great War” after a Lloyd was accused of stealing a horse.  Bullock talks to the Grayson brother, who corroborates the horse story but says that Lloyd killed Lilah.  In the outer office, Mary and John bicker while they’re being interviewed.  Mary can’t believe she ever thought she loved pigheaded John.

Fish meditates when she hears the men coming.  She rallies her troops so that when the lead guard calls for the desired inmate, no one moves.  Inmate 57A finally raises his hand, and Fish steps forward.  “We need to talk,” she drawls.  He tells her to back up.  She introduces herself and says that she’s in charge now.  She demands water, blankets and supplies, and when he says no, she has her men kill 57A.  The guards are stunned.  Fish repeats her demands, and she’s told that she has to go speak to the manager.  The manager doesn’t go down to the cells, but Fish isn’t going anywhere.  They have a standoff.  Eventually the guards leave, and Fish’s men cheer.  She kisses 57A’s forehead in appreciation for his sacrifice.

The Captain can’t believe that Gordon let the snake out to find the body.  And their prime suspects are an acrobat and a clown.  She laughs.  Leslie and Nygma have identified the cause of death, but the timing makes it unlikely that either Lloyd or Grayson could have done it, as both were performing.  They will be kept in custody while the others are released.  Gordon tells the group they’re free to go, but he says that the feud must end, as it has gotten their families nowhere.

Leslie meets Gordon back at his desk.  She teases him about his stern voice and then asks him over for dinner to finish their date.  They’re interrupted by a man named Cicero, who is a blind psychic. He is accompanied by a boy in a coonskin hat.  He tells Gordon that Lilah sent a message from beyond the grave, that the killer can be found by the iron sisters.  Gordon dismisses him, but Leslie wonders why Gordon is so closed-minded.  It creates a rift between them.

At Wayne Manor, Bruce pours over documents while Alfred enters and says that the meeting with the board of Wayne Enterprises has been confirmed.  Apparently they didn’t cancel or postpone again.  Alfred still thinks the meeting is a bad idea and voices his concern, but Bruce wont’ hear it.  Alfred says it won’t be his fault if they end up in a ditch.  This catches Bruce’s attention…momentarily.

Penguin is playing Greensleeves on the piano while a group of men at a table play cards.

Barbara twirls in front of her new friends, showing off her outfit.  Selina thinks she’s trying too hard to get Gordon’s attention, while Ivy rolls her eyes.

Leslie and Gordon clink glasses and start dinner.  Gordon loves the food.  Leslie has a realization that the psychic’s message related to the iron gates at Arkham.  She wants to go with him.  They go off in search of “clues” but Gordon doesn’t think it’s a place for a nice lady.  Leslie points out that he’s contradicting himself in his choice of women.  He finds a hatchet on the ground from a member of the Hellfire Club, a group of Satanists who have been inactive for some time.  He calls for backup, urging caution.

The duo return to the police station, where Leslie knows that she’s being dismissed.  He quickly says that he wanted to stay at home to finish their date.  Eventually he acquiesces and lets Leslie interview the suspects with him.  Mr. Cicero is in a room by himself.  He greets the duo, and he appears frustrated when Gordon tries to pin him for the crime.  He’s trying to cover for someone.  Cicero looks uncomfortable.  He brings in Jerome, and as soon as the boy sits down, Gordon says that Jerome killed his mother and cleaned up in Cicero’s trailer.  Gordon suspects that Cicero was Jerome’s father.  Jerome denies it, saying that his mother said his father died at sea, but Cicero cracks and says that it’s true.  Jerome starts to cry…but he’s really laughing.  He laughs and admits that he killed his whore of a mother for nagging at him, and pushing him to do the dishes while she was banging a clown in the next room.  He laughs maniacally.

Are we witnessing the birth of the most notorious Gotham criminal of all time?

Leslie sits in the locker room and gathers her thoughts.  Gordon knows she’s emotionally drained.  It was ugly, she says, but thrilling.  And scary.  She thanks Gordon for letting her be there.  He’s blown away by her.  “Can we go home now?” she asks.  He kisses her passionately, and of course Barbara walks in at that moment and sees them.  She storms off in a fury.

A violinist plays a sad song at Penguin’s club.  Victor Zsasz shows up and says that Falcone thinks he doesn’t know how to run a club.  He whistles, and Butch is standing near the stage.  Penguin backs away in terror.  Victor says Butch is harmless now, after working him over in his basement for a few weeks.  Victor says that Butch is there to help him run the club, and that he will do exactly what Penguin says.  Penguin asks him to dance, and he dances.  “I do good work,” Victor sighs.

Alfred preps Bruce for the big meeting.  Bruce salutes him.  In the boardroom, Bruce takes his place at the head of the table, and Alfred stands at his side.  The board is nice to Bruce, thinking him harmless, until he says he has two areas of concern: underworld involvement at Arkham, and chemical weapons manufacturing.  The board doesn’t see him as harmless anymore.

Gordon congratulates Mary and John on their engagement.  Since Gordon put the feud to rest they can be together.  They leave, but not before Mary pecks him on the cheek.  Bullock walks up and notes that Gordon must have gotten laid because he smells like ladies soap and he didn’t shave.  Gordon can’t deny it.

Bruce is relentless with the board.  He assures them that he plans to take this information to the shareholders meeting.  The board is mostly silent, but they try to placate him.  He says he knows much more than he’s letting on, and he plans to pursue legal action.  And if he was a grown man, he’d be the Chairman of his company.

The guards return and tell Fish she has a deal. She tells Thomas Schmidt, the guard, to relax while she meets the manager.  Her family surrounds him as she leaves.

Can you believe there are only 5 episodes left of this amazing season?

Up next: Red Hood!

Gotham Recap S1E11: Rogues’ Gallery

Gotham S1E11: Rogues’ Gallery

Original Airdate: January 5, 2015

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Welcome to 2015, Gothamites, and welcome to the midseason premiere of Gotham!

We start out tonight at Arkham Asylum.  The inmates are staging a play.  The inmates are taking their parts seriously while Jim Gordon and the other inmates watch from the audience.  The nurse turns on music so that a mousy inmate wearing feathered wings can sing a song.  While he sings, Jim reflects.  We see Selina crawl out from under a building.  Bullock is sitting at his desk taking a nip from his flask.  Barbara is in bed with Montoya, and there are pills on the nightstand.  Meanwhile, back at Arkham, the Frogman has decided that the song needs to end as the notes get higher and higher.  He rushes the stage and pulls the singing angel off, punching him repeatedly.  Jim pries him away from the other man and a riot breaks out.

The broken angel is taken to the infirmary and Gordon is chewed out by his new boss, Director Lang.  The nurse tries to stand up for Gordon, suggesting a return to comedies from now on, but Lang insists that Gordon failed in his duty to maintain order.  Clearly, Lang is out to get Gordon.  Lang tells Gordon that if there are any more incidents, he’ll pull him from duty and Gordon will sink even farther.

Gordon dozes as he waits for the doctor to arrive.  When she does, she gets to work on the inmate.  Gordon snaps to attention when he sees how attractive the doctor it.  She insists that the inmate is fine, and she asks how Gordon is doing.  She recognizes him as the “famous” detective, and introduces herself as Dr. Leslie Tomkins.  She’s assigned to the female ward but helps out on occasion.  Leslie says the female inmates think he’s handsome and brave.  She commends him for not quitting when he’s facing so much adversity.  Gordon is taken aback by her openness, and she apologizes.  The inmate tells them to get a room because he’s trying to sleep.

Back in the alley, Selina crawls out from her hiding place. She hears someone coughing and finds Ivy tucked away in a box.  Ivy is really sick.  Selina insists that Ivy come with her, but Ivy says she’s fine.  She refuses to see a doctor.  As she stands up, Ivy starts to collapse.  Selina gathers her up and takes her to Gordon’s apartment.  Selina climbs in through the balcony and lets Ivy inside.  From the amount of dust on everything, no one has been there in a while.  She tells Ivy to rest on the couch while she finds a blanket.

At the docks, Penguin and his men approach the laborers and ask if they have considered his proposition.  Penguin wants to raise prices, but the men say that Maroni already raised the rates.  “Inflation is a bitch,” Penguin shrugs.  A police car pulls up and Penguin laughs, saying that they own the wharf patrols.  The cops approach Penguin and one of them knocks Penguin out cold.

Gordon is patrolling the halls when he comes upon Frogman’s cell.  The Frogman is unresponsive, so he goes inside and sees that someone has burned his temples, as if from an electroshock therapy session.   He’s a vegetable.  He taps Frogman’s shoulder, and the man falls to the ground.

Leslie explains to Gordon that the wounds are caused by electrodes.  Someone put metal needles into his head and fried his brain.  Lang hurries in and observes that another inmate has been injured under his watch.  Gordon says that they rushed the opening of Arkham and don’t have the staff to keep watch over everything.  Lang says they’re making do with what they have.  So long as Frogman is breathing on his own, he’s fine.  He tells Leslie to keep him comfortable while he tells Gordon to find out how this happened. Gordon asks Leslie what they’re looking for.  Someone needs to know what they’re doing, and they also need door keys.

Gordon questions Steven because he’s the most defensive of the five guards.  Eventually Steven admits that he lost his keys in the inmate fight, and that he doesn’t know where his set went.  This gives Gordon a start, at least.

Fish Mooney talks to the other members of Falcone’s syndicate and wonders, hypothetically, what would happen if Falcone was out of the picture.  He would love something to get Falcone out of the way.  The man says that he’d be in charge, clearly, because of the pecking order.  Of course, Fish plans to be the last one standing.  She thinks the family needs fresh thinking.  The men exchange looks with Butch, who looks on uncomfortably.

Gordon conducts interviews inmates.  Gruber, the director of the play, is channeling his inner-Hannibal Lector and he tells “Jim” that he didn’t take the keys.  Gordon goes through interview after interview, meeting most of the wing’s finest inmates.  They range from psychotic to violent and everywhere in between.  Poor soul Aaron doesn’t know how to lie, and the nurse defends him even though he killed his whole family with an ax.  “I said I was sorry,” Aaron says.

Selina sits atop the building, balancing on the railing.  A fire is burning.  She has made herself at home.

Fish tells Butch that Saviano is the problem.  Butch says that he and Saviano go way back, and that inwardly he knows Fish will be the best candidate.  He just won’t admit it to her face.  She asks if Butch is turning on her, and he insists that he isn’t.  “A girl gets insecure every once in a while.”

Back at Arkham, the winged angel is getting a dose of shock therapy.  He screams as the voltage is turned way up.  Gordon dozes in the lounge when he hears a noise. He goes into the hallway to find the angel hitting his head against the gate.  Gordon spins him around to see that he’s been shocked.  The angel recites his lines over again.

Leslie examines the angel, Royston.  Somehow he can walk and talk and recite his lines.  He received the same treatment as Frogman but he isn’t as damaged.  Gordon advises her to stay in the female ward for a while, because things are going to get tense.  He thinks the missing keys are a misdirection, and that they need to focus on the staff.  She asks why she isn’t considered a suspect, and he says she isn’t the type.  Later, Gordon tells Lang that he thinks the culprit is a staff member.  Lang scoffs, not surprisingly, and tells Gordon he isn’t authorized to conduct an investigation.  Lang thinks that Gordon is trying to force Lang to call the police, but Gordon already called them.

Montoya arrives with coffee as Barbara hides her phone.  She has Barbara’s favorite coffee for her.  Montoya thinks they have made a mistake.  They’re toxic together; Barbara has been drinking and doing drugs.  Montoya wants her to call Jim but she won’t.

Bullock arrives in the hospital ward and studies the burn marks on Frogman.  Royston quotes some more Shakespeare and Bullock digs it.  Gordon and Lang arrive, and Bullock breezes past Lang and plants a kiss on Gordon’s head, taking a good look at him.  He has words for Director-Doctor Lang, who is furious at the police intrusion.  Bullock says that Frogman’s condition is the result of an assault, and from Lang’s actions he suspects that Lang wants to keep it quiet. In fact, Lang is a doctor, so he could be the culprit.  He decides that Lang needs to go downtown for a chat, and that this is now a GCPD investigation.  Bullock orders Gordon to search staff records while they’re gone.  The duo exchange salutes.

Butch meets Saviano at the docks.  They lean against the hood of the car and they reminisce about their childhoods.  Butch says that he told Fish that he should talk to him to change his mind.  Saviano trusts Butch and he tells him that Fish has a good plan but it won’t work.  He makes Butch an offer to come over to his side.  Butch wants some time to consider it.

When Bullock returns to the station, Penguin sees him from his holding cell and calls him over.  Bullock leaves Lang momentarily and goes to talk to him.  Penguin says there has been a misunderstanding, and that a simple call to Maroni will fix everything.  Bullock smiles and says that he likes sitting at his desk watching Penguin in the cell.  It’s like a bonsai tree.  Penguin’s henchman asks what a bonsai tree is.  Penguin hits his head against the bars.  Poor Penguin.

Fish approaches Butch back at her club and asks about the meeting.  Butch says that Saviano is stubborn, but he’s working on it.  Give it time.  Fish agrees to give him time.  “I’m optimistic,” Butch says.

Bullock tells Lang to explain the electroshock therapy procedure. Lang says that it’s like mind control, but they haven’t been able to run tests on it.  It would take a skilled surgeon to do it, and Lang is no surgeon.  Bullock knows that Lang is hiding something, which Lang admits, but he is too afraid of authority to tell him.  Lang tells Bullock that it has nothing to do with the case, though.

The nurse brings Gordon some coffee as he pours over Arkham blueprints. He asks her about the basement, but she says that it’s been closed off for years due to unsafe chemicals.  Gordon asks her to take him there.

Bullock is still pressing Lang for information.  He asks which of the staff Lang would be a culprit.  Lang says that his staff has been together for years.  A troubled look passes over him.  Bullock doesn’t miss it.

As Gordon and Nurse Dorothy head to the basement, they run into Leslie.  Dorothy positions herself next to Leslie as Gordon explains that they’re going to the basement and that she should go home.  Leslie hesitates, which gives Dorothy time to push her into Gordon and run away.  Gordon tells Leslie to find a guard and then he gets a call from Bullock saying that Dorothy Duncan is another inmate.

Dorothy runs down the hall with her set of keys and enters the restricted area.  She unlocks the doors and releases all of the inmates.  Gruber, however, stays in his cell.  She sees Leslie in the hall and calls out to her, and then she and a herd of inmates give chase.

Gordon hears Leslie scream and he runs after her.  Dorothy is leading the herd when she trips.  The herd tramples her, leaving her dead on the floor.  Leslie runs into a locked gate, but Gordon catches up to her and holds off the herd while she unlocks the gate.  Gordon orders the men to stop, and for a moment his firm command works, but when the gate opens, they charge at him.  Gordon and Leslie make it past the gate in the nick of time.

Ivy reminds Selina that she’s vegan.  The phone rings and it’s Barbara.  Ivy pretends to be a friend of Jim’s, which sends Barbara into a rage.  She throws the phone against the wall while Ivy laughs impishly.

Gordon, Bullock and Essen dissect the case.  Dorothy Duncan was sent to the original Arkham for poisoning five kids when she was young.  They suspect that she stayed in the basement when Arkham closed and she was hiding there ever since.  Essen congratulates Gordon on another win, but Gordon knows his boss won’t see it that way.  Bullock says that they have to get him back, but Essen’s hands are tied.  She offers them a drink instead.

Maroni arrives at the station and Penguin hurries to greet him.  As it turns out, Maroni put Penguin there on purpose.  It’s hubris, Maroni says.  He’s upset that Penguin tried to raise taxes on the fishermen without asking permission.  The fishermen risk their lives for them.  You don’t attack the fishermen.  Maroni wanted to teach Penguin a lesson.  Penguin, he says, is a good monkey, but he’s still a monkey.  And Maroni is the zookeeper.

While Essen and company celebrate, the coroner comes in and says that Dorothy had the same burns on her head.  Clearly she didn’t perform the procedure on herself, so that means the culprit is still out there.

Back at Arkham, Aaron approaches the guard station where Steven is reading a magazine.  He takes out a set of keys and opens the door while Steven tries to keep the door closed.  Gentle Aaron holds Steven to the wall by the throat and snaps his neck. Gruber approaches and studies Aaron’s handiwork.  Aaron has the same burn marks, but Gruber says that he’s his best creation yet.  Lang walks out of his office and sees the men standing there with Steven’s body crumpled on the ground.  Uh oh.

When Gordon and Bullock arrive, Lang is on the ground.  He’s not dead, though.  He manages to tell Gordon that Gruber was the perpetrator.  He has a note in his hand from Gruber.  The letter is addressed to Gordon.  He says he had to run, but he hopes to see him around in the future.

Gordon returns home and calls out for Barbara.  He sees the dirty dishes next to the couch and thinks that she has returned home to him.

Butch sits in the car listening to the music of his childhood.  Saviano pulls up next to him and Butch gets into the car with him.  Butch agrees to the terms but he wants to apologize for not equally distributing the meat they stole when they were fourteen.  Saviano accepts the apology, and Butch shoots him in the head.

That’s all part of the game.

It looks like we have to wait two weeks for the next episode of Gotham, but that will be two weeks’ worth the wait.  This show keeps getting better and better!

Gotham Midseason Finale S1E10: Lovecraft

Gotham S1E10: LoveCraft

Original Airdate: November 24, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Has it been 10 episodes already?  Let the midseason finale begin!

At Wayne Manor, a woman stands in the bushes.  The gardener finds her and offers help, but she says she is where she needs to be.  She chokes him to death and then orders her men to “open him.”  Once he’s open, she spreads his blood on her face.

Inside Wayne Manor, Bruce practices his balancing act on the banister.  Selina gets on in front of him and advises him to tighten his core.  She says that she could take him to the Midtown Bridge to climb it.  That’s where the kids go to make out.  She asks why he’s doing all of the homework on his parents.  Bruce says that he’s trying to understand why it happened, but she says those things happen all the time.  Selina switches subjects again and asks if he wants to kiss her, but Bruce doesn’t suspect that she sees him as a “suitable romantic partner.”  In fact, he doesn’t think she’s a nice person.  She’s good, but not nice.  “Screw you,” she says.

The doorbell rings and Alfred sees that it’s the assassin, but she claims that she was in an accident (hence the blood).  He escorts her inside.  Bruce and Selina come down the stairs as the woman asks for an ambulance.  That’s when she sees Selina.  Alfred sees Selina’s expression and tells them to run.  Alfred fights the woman, and then her accomplices, while Bruce and Selina make their way through the servants’ corridor to the roof.  Selina jumps down, and Bruce follows.  Alfred is holding his own against the assassins.  The woman and one of the men chase after Bruce, and Alfred manages to get one of their guns and shoots the other man, but not before getting shot in the arm.  Of course, Alfred doesn’t even flinch.  He gives chase and calls out for Bruce.

Gordon and the medics are in the study.  Alfred shakes off the medics, saying he has work to do.  Gordon says they have a perimeter set up but Alfred is upset that Selina is the one who drew the assassins to Wayne Manor.  That’s when Bullock shows up with a picture of Selina that was found on the dead man’s body.  He demands to know the truth, given that he knows Selina’s reputation and knew she had been one of the street kids that was kidnapped.  Gordon tells Bullock about the ties to Lovecraft, that Selina was a witness to the Wayne murders, and that she had been staying there for protection. Bullock flies off the rails at being deceived once again, but Alfred silences them and says they need to find Bruce.  Gordon leaves, telling Bullock to scour the streets.  Alfred wants to go with Bullock, who easily accepts the offer, saying he’s a pretty useful valet.  “Butler, mate,” Alfred replies.

Bruce and Selina wander through a field.  Bruce wants to call Alfred, but there’s no phone.  She says that the police are no help to them.  He wonders who wanted to kill her.  She points out that no one knew she was there, so they were after Bruce.  She promises to hide Bruce and then find him a phone.  He thanks her, and she tells him she’s just trying to be nice.

Falcone’s house.  His thugs drop the Penguin off and pull off the bag on his head.  Falcone wants to know how Maroni knew about the location of his money.  Penguin says that it wasn’t Maroni, and that it was someone who wants to hurt him.  Falcone is still protective of Fish because of the money she makes him, but he is willing to consider proof.  That’s when Liza comes in with his tea.  Liza and Penguin see each other and she quickly leaves.  Clearly, Penguin says, there is a mole operating, and moles are not something Maroni is good at.  Falcone asks for proof.  Penguin promises to get it.

Later, in the car, Penguin tells Gabriel that he isn’t going to tell Falcone about Liza just yet.  He wants to wait til the perfect moment.  He says Liza is a ticking time bomb who will eventually crack on her own.

Gordon charges into Dent’s office and says that Lovecraft hasn’t been home, and Dent says he wasn’t in his office.  Gordon wants to know how they knew where the witness was.  And now Bruce and Selina are on the streets running from assassins.  Dent admits that he leaked Gordon’s name to a select few sources for credibility.  This sends Gordon into a deeper rage.  Now this is on Dent’s head.  Dent tells Gordon that Lovecraft keeps a few apartments around town for his mistresses.  They split up to search for him.

Bullock and Alfred interrogate one of Selina’s friends.  He doesn’t want to talk, so Alfred pulls out his wallet and starts making it rain.  The guy starts to sing.  Her new fence will know where she is.  He names Fish Mooney.

Falcone kills one of his guys at the lunch table.  He says that Bannion slipped up and leaked the location of the armory.  Now he has paid for it.  Everything Falcone does is based on trust, so if you trust him, he trusts you.  And in light of the situation, he is requiring more tariffs from each location.  He asks Fish if this is fair.  Fish, who had been looking a bit uneasy at the thought of being caught, agrees that it’s fair.  They’re family, after all.  Falcone calls for their food, and they proceed to eat while Bannion is dead, his face planted in his pasta at the table.

Selina and Bruce are in the city, and Bruce finds a phone.  He doesn’t have any change.  Selina wants to know why Alfred matters so much.  Alfred is family, Bruce explains.  She hands him a quarter and as he makes a call, she says she’s leaving.  She only stuck around to play with him, and she made it up when she said he was the target.  He says she needs to testify at the trial, but she says that was never going to happen.  She bolts, climbing up the fire escape.  He follows.  She leaps across the top of a building, and she’s shocked when she sees Bruce start to follow.  He jumps, and she pulls him to safety.  “Please don’t run off again.  I’m out of breath,” he says.  She says this is her world, so it’s her rules.  “Yes, ma’am,” he agrees.

Bruce and Selina show up at The Flea, a mall for street kids.  They’re hiding out there until later.

Butch is nervous that Falcone will find them out.  Fish says that there are other bosses who are hurting and he needs to go put some pressure on them.  Of course, Butch is working with Penguin, so he’s in a tight spot.  He’s about to leave when Bullock and Alfred walk in.  He tells them it’s a busy day, but Alfred steps in and talks about a guy he knew in England named Butch.  Butch picks up a threat, but not in time to stop Alfred from taking him to the ground and pressing the point of a knife to his neck.  Fish appears, and Bullock asks about Selina.  She knows all about the Wayne witness and doesn’t want to be involved.  Bullock realizes that there was a leak, and she agrees, saying that streets talk.  Alfred steps in when he sees that she’s not interested in doing something that is outside of her interests.  He charms her and plays on her compassion and intelligence to do the right thing.  She acquiesces, but says that she will remind him of this favor someday.

At the Flea, Bruce changes into suitable street clothes.  She says he looks “badass.”  A little girl walks up.  It’s Ivy Pepper.  She has run away from her new foster home because they’re trying to make her cut her hair.  She asks who Bruce is, and when he says her name she rolls her eyes and wonders if he had anything to do with her father’s death or her mother’s suicide.  She switches from topic to topic.  She asks if Bruce is okay.  Selina asks about Clyde the Fence, and then she grabs Bruce and leaves. Ivy is too strange for her.

Gordon bursts into one of the apartments and finds Lovecraft hiding.  To Gordon’s surprise, Lovecraft has been chased by the same assassins after Selina Kyle.  He didn’t kill anyone, but he knows too much.  He has proof in his briefcase.  Someone was buying up Wayne stock before their deaths like they knew something.  The door creaks, and Gordon sees the assassins coming in.  They don’t want Gordon, though.  He raises his hands, but he takes out one of the men instead.  Lovecraft runs as Gordon fights with the woman, who knocks him out.  The assassins pursue Lovecraft while Gordon is out cold.

When Gordon wakes, his phone is ringing.  It’s Bullock, and Fish found Selina’s fence, Clyde.  He’s in the Narrows at The Factory.  They’re heading there now.  Bullock thanks Fish, who reminds him that he owes her.  Gordon gets up and looks for Lovecraft, but he’s in his bathtub, dead.  He’s been shot with Gordon’s gun.

Selina shows up at Factory and gives Clyde the stuff she stole from Wayne Manor.  He wants to short her, and Bruce steps in and tells him how much the items are worth.  She grabs her stuff when Clyde won’t budge on the price, so his thugs grab her and says that some people are coming to meet them.  The assassins pull up. Selina and Bruce rig a ladder to the skylight while Clyde does business with the assassins.

A man comes up the stairs for them, just as Selina manages to open the skylight.  He comes in and sees the open window, which is when Selina jumps out and hits him.  They hide.  Alfred runs inside, shooting as he goes.  Bruce hears him and runs, leaving Selina.  Bruce starts throwing things to distract them.  The female assassin catches him and points a gun at him, asking about Selina. She says Bruce isn’t on the contract and gives him some advice about mistaking bravery and stupidity.  She takes off after Selina.  Alfred sees Bruce and approaches him.  “Fancy seeing you here,” Bruce says.  Alfred looks at him, dressed in street clothes.  Bruce jumps into his arms, and Alfred holds him tight.  Downstairs, Gordon cuffs the assassins they managed to capture.  He sees Bruce with Alfred. “Thank God,” he breathes.

The Mayor is furious that Lovecraft is dead.  He asks Dent and Gordon what he should tell the media.  Gordon reminds him that he was a crook, but the Mayor reminds him that he was killed with Gordon’s gun.  Therefore it was suicide.  Dent says he’s at the Mayor’s disposal, but the Mayor says they are chipping away at the foundations of the city.  He says that one of them has to take the fall.  Dent knows how to walk the line, knowing where the edge is.  Gordon doesn’t.  “Mayor James, kiss my ass,” Gordon growls.  Outside, the Mayor tells the media that he is dealing with the cop who pushed Lovecraft to kill himself.

Gordon packs up his desk, telling Bullock he’s being reassigned to Arkham.  Bullock can’t believe this.  Nygma comes up and says that he protests this change, and that he wants to write a letter on Gordon’s behalf.  He just doesn’t know who to write to.  He hugs Gordon, and then leaves quickly.  Bullock laughs and says that Gordon should take Nygma with him.  He wants to take Gordon for a drink some time.  “Soon,” Gordon says, shaking his hand.

Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce is interrupted when Selina sneaks in, telling him the security still sucks.  She never got to say goodbye.  She hands him all the things she stole from the house.  She says she’s keeping one thing, a little box, and when Bruce takes a closer look, she kisses him.  Alfred knocks on the door and Selina leaves.  Alfred asks if Bruce was having a chat, but Bruce tries to cover it up by saying that he was talking to himself.  Alfred sees the bag from Selina and comments that the house is quiet without her around.

Gordon approaches the gates at Arkham.  This is his new future.  The guard opens the gates and Gordon steps inside.  The music tells us that this is a scary place.

Ah, January can’t come soon enough.  This was an awesome episode that gives us canon along with a fresh perspective on the stories we all know and love.

See you in January!

Gotham Midseason Finale Tonight

The downfall to living on the West Coast (aside from the occasional earthquake) is that we have to wait to see television shows while our East Coast counterparts are already watching them.  This means no Twitter for me until 9pm Pacific Time.  Waiting for Gotham tonight is going to be rough.  Of the shows I watch (and recap), Gotham is the one that I look forward to the most.  It has captured my attention in ways that The Walking Dead does, and how American Horror Story kinda does. (I’m on the fence about AHS, only because Twisty was such a powerful character)

For now we know that Fox has ordered a full season of Gotham but still no word on a second season renewal.  Of course, stopping the show midseason always helps to build ratings…or does it?

In this case, I think fans will tune in next year for the second half of the season given that the show has seen such strong ratings so far.  The writing is solid and the cast is superb, so it stands to reason that Fox executives will do the right thing and renew the show.  That said, they don’t always do reasonable things.

With Gotham, a star has been born with Robin Lord Taylor, aka Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin.  He has brought such vitality to a character that we all know…but he has done it in a way that makes The Penguin more interesting than ever before.

Are you looking forward to Gotham’s midseason finale?  Will you watch it when it returns in the spring?

Gotham Recap S1E9: Harvey Dent

Gotham S1E9: Harvey Dent

Original Airdate: November 17, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


After one of the best episodes of the season last week, Gotham had a big challenge in front of it.  And you know what?  They did it.  This show keeps getting better and better.

Gordon arrives home to find that Barbara is gone.  He has Selina with him, who is impressed that he lives there.  As Selina goes off to the kitchen, Gordon finds the note from Barbara saying that she his nervous, needy and screwed up.  She needs some time to get back together.  He gets a call, and in the meantime Selina finds the note.  She asks where she’s going to stay.  Gordon tells her that he knows she’ll break out of juvenile hall or jail, so he has a sketch artist coming over first, and then she’s going to Wayne Manor.  Her green eyes get even bigger.  She has been there before, hasn’t she…?

At Blackgate Penitentiary, the GCPD is about to unload one of their worst criminals, a bomb maker named Ian Hargrove.  The officers instruct the junior officers to not speak to him.  He has a nasty reputation for building bombs out of random items.  Hargrove is led to the van, and he has something in his hand when he is cuffed for the ride.

At Wayne Manor, Gordon asks Bruce if he recognizes the man who killed his parents.  He doesn’t.  Bruce wants to know who she is.  Gordon says her name is Selina Kyle and he wants her to stay there for her own safety.  Alfred is totally opposed to housing a criminal, but Bruce puts his foot down and says she can stay.  Bruce walks out of the study and Alfred asks what the plan is.  Gordon says that he is meeting with Allen and Montoya, and they have a reputable DA waiting to prosecute the case.  Alfred can’t believe that an honest lawyer exists in Gotham, but he’s willing to do what it takes to solve the crime.

Bruce wanders down the hall and finds Selina playing with a vase.  He tells her it’s from the Ming Dynasty, and he barely gets out that it’s 500 years old when he realizes that he has seen this girl before.  He’s totally smitten.  She laughs and says that you can buy one just like it for five bucks in Chinatown.  He extends his hand and formally introduces himself.  She tells him that people call her Cat.  He smiles.

The van carrying Hargrove is driving along.  The officer in the back sees Hargrove fidgeting with something in his gloved hand.  He uncuffs him and sees that he was holding an origami flower.  Suddenly a car cuts the van off and it crashes.  Men jump out of another car and quickly shoot the driver and guard.  The back of the van opens and that guard is shot, and then a heavily accented voice calls out for Hargrove.

Now we meet Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto) on the steps of the courthouse.  He’s admonishing a kid for screwing up.  He tells him that he’ll flip a coin as to whether or not he will go to jail, but if he goes free he has to promise to God that he will go back to school.  The kid wins and Dent sends him on his way.  Gordon, Montoya and Allen are waiting for him.  Dent laughs and says teens almost always pick heads, but he has a two-headed coin.  Gordon laughs.  He likes him.  In Dent’s office, Dent thinks that the sketch is a good first step.  While an eye-witness won’t necessarily help on the stand, it will help the case overall.  He shows Gordon a guy named Lovecraft who has dealings with Falcone, Maroni, and the Wayne Family.  He’s willing to bet his career that Lovecraft is involved, so he wants to set up a story to ferret out the killer.  They decide to give it a go.

When Gordon returns to the office, Bullock tells him about Hargrove’s escape.  Four men broke him out.  It’s odd given that Hargrove has never had any visitors aside from his brother John, and he never worked with accomplices, so who busted him out?  Bullock teases that he thought he was on his own today, and naturally Gordon can’t tell him about the meeting with Dent, so Gordon says it was girl trouble.  Bullock nods sagely.  Those uptown women are wound too tight.

Alfred is making good on his promise to teach Bruce to fight.  When Selina steps out onto the patio, Bruce looks away and Alfred hits him.  She laughs and asks what he’s doing.  Bruce tells her that he’s learning to fight.  This makes Selina laugh; it’s not like he lives in a bad neighborhood.  He says he’s learning in case something happens in Gotham, but Selina points out that they don’t fight with gloves there.  She’s hungry, but staunch Alfred says that she slept through breakfast and that lunch is at noon.  Selina says she’ll figure out what to eat, but Bruce graciously offers to have Alfred make her food.  He says this isn’t a hotel, but Bruce insists.  Selina walks away, and Alfred calls her a minx.  If he only knew….  One thing he does know, though, is that Bruce likes her.  He says it’s totally fine for him to like her, but she’s sneaky.  They get into a sparring match, with Bruce teasing the older man about his experience with women.

Penguin arrives at Liza’s apartment and scouts around.  He knows she is up to something, courtesy of Fish’s man.  He looks at her bed and finds a blouse there.  He inhales deeply and smells lilacs.  He walks out just as she arrives home.  She immediately notices that the blouse is missing, but Penguin is already gone.

John Hargrove has no idea where is brother is.  He says that Ian is innocent, but he was blowing up places that made weapons and thought he was doing a good deed.  He felt bad about the crimes but didn’t know better.  As John talks about his brother being ill and their parents not having enough to get help for him, we see Ian assembling a basket bomb.  Some henchmen place treats inside, and then it is delivered to a guard tower.  The guards hastily eat the treats, but then they hear ticking.  Ian Hargrove watches as the building explodes.

Bruce reads about the explosion when Selina comes in and grabs some breakfast.  She says she slept well but the house makes noise.  Bruce offers for Alfred to buy her some clothes.  He knows she lived on the streets and wants to know what it’s like.  She doesn’t know why he wants to know given that he’s a billionaire.  She asks why he isn’t in school.  Bruce is “developing” his own curriculum.  He asks about her parents, and she gets defensive.  She isn’t an orphan, she says.  She has family everywhere.  She rushes from the room, bumping into Alfred, who has a troubled look on his face.

Essen says that now they have a bigger problem than just an escape now that a building has blown up.  The press is calling Hargrove an urban terrorist.  Bullock reports that Hargrove stole some HMX before the explosion.  They need to do some more work to figure out what is going on.  That’s when Gordon’s phone rings.  It’s Alfred, and he tells Gordon that things aren’t working on.  Selina is a “tough nut” and she can’t stay there.  Gordon says there is nowhere for her to go and promises to check on them soon.  Alfred relents, albeit begrudgingly.  Sean Pertwee is awesome.  Just plain awesome.

Butch brings two cell phones to Mooney and says that everything is ready.  He asks if she still wants to go through with it.  Penguin walks in and says he was just passing by.  He inhales her scent.  Lilacs.  She says he should go, so he leaves.  She tells Butch to forget about him because “he’s nothing.”  She is so long.

Bullock pulls all of Hargrove’s files.  Gordon tells him that Barbara left him.  Bullock says that it’s a common ploy for him to set a date.  That’s when Nygma comes up and asks if they play video games.  He likes them a lot.  When prompted, Nygma says he found a nameplate from an old warehouse.  Bullock and Gordon go to investigate and they find Hargrove chained to a table.  Hargrove tells them that he was broken out by some Russians to pull a job on Falcone.  He is about to say more when the men return and start shooting.  Gordon and Bullock manage to chase them off.

Selina is about to go exploring.  She sneaks out of a window when Bruce finds her and says they can call her a taxi.  He says that he’s sorry for bringing up her family.  She says she wasn’t upset.  She picks up a picture of Martha Wayne and says she looks nice. Bruce asks about the night they were killed.  He says he didn’t do anything and she tells him that a gun is a gun, and that he couldn’t do anything.  She tells him that her mom is a millionaire celebrity covering for her job as a secret agent.  Bruce seems to buy this story that she has clearly concocted to hide her pain.  Selina changes the subject and asks if he has ever kissed a girl.  Of course, Alfred interrupts and announces that it’s time for his studies.  Selina bails, smiling.

Mayor James is upset at the media coverage on the “terrorist” situation.  Gordon says this is all the mayor’s fault because they kept a mentally ill man at Blackgate and then he was broken out of jail on his way to treatment.  James storms out of the office and Essen tells the duo that Hargrove’s brother has been placed in protective custody just in case.

Dent has a meeting with Lovecraft and his band of lawyers.  He tells Lovecraft that he has him going down for the murder of the Waynes.  When Lovecraft laughs, Dent growls at him and grabs the man’s shoulder, telling him that he will rip him apart.  Lovecraft is shocked at the turn in Dent’s personality.  It’s almost like he’s two people.  Dent composes himself in the blink of an eye and tells him that it’s good to see him.

Bullock has found the Russian man and he has a long rap sheep.  He worked for Nikolai.  But who could be financing Gregor now?

Fish Mooney arrives in the alley and tells Gregor that everything is set for him.  If he wants revenge for Nikolai, this is the chance.  She tells him to break a leg.

Bruce is training himself to hold his breath.  He’s fully dressed, which is odd.  He checks the time and finds that Selina has been watching.  She says he’s the weirdest kid ever.  He explains that he’s developing “self-discipline and will power.”  She tells him that it’s not enough.  He needs to be mean and ruthless.  She says all of his work, including holding his breath, won’t do a damn thing.

Nygma is listening to a radio program and he’s getting every question right on the trivia competition.  He’s testing the compound that Hargrove stole.  He reports back to Bullock and Gordon that the compound is specifically made to blow up iron.  Banks don’t use iron in their safes anymore, so they figure out that there was iron in the old safe at the Gotham Armory.

Gregor and his men are at the Armory and Hargrove is finishing up the bomb to blow the door.  Once the door is open, the men see millions of dollars behind the door.  Hargrove tells Gregor to promise him not to kill anyone else.  They load the money into the truck, and that’s when Gordon and Bullock appear and tell Gregor that they’re surrounded.  The demand Hargrove’s return, and as he backs away, a cell phone goes off.  It’s attached to a bomb.  The truck explodes, sending the money flying.  Butch stands up and walks away from the scene.  The deed is done.

Bruce and Selina have lunch together.  She smiles and throws a bagel at him.  She says he probably can’t hit her.  Hit her and she’ll let him kiss her.  A food fight ensues, and Bruce starts laughing as they throw bagels and muffins at each other.  Alfred walks in and sees the change in Bruce, and he looks relieved.  Gordon calls and apologizes for the delay.  Alfred tells him that Selina is a breath of fresh air.

Liza returns home and finds the Penguin sitting at the foot of her bed.  She knows who he is.  He says that he knows she is spying for Fish Mooney.  While he doesn’t have any proof, the reality is that if he mentioned it, it would create doubt for him.  He says they can call Falcone and ask if he minds, but she stops him.  He tells her that she will keep working for Fish and she won’t tell anyone about Penguin or she’ll die.  Poor Liza really looks upset at her predicament.

Dent catches up to Gordon at the station.  He tells Gordon that Lovecraft was scared at their meeting.  He got people talking.  Gordon tells Dent that they need to move together on the next steps as soon as something happens.  He sees Bullock approaching and parts ways with Dent.  Bullock reports that Hargrove is being moved to Arkham as part of Mayor James’ plan to move the mentally ill inmates at Blackgate into Arkham for rehabilitation.  Gordon can’t believe it, given that the building is 200 years old.  “That’s Gotham,” Bullock replies.

Mayor James holds a news conference and announces that there have been several tragedies the past few days.  They have happened as a result of the criminally insane not being rehabilitated.  But now they will all go to Arkham for treatment.  It’s a brand new day for Gotham.

Later, Gordon calls Barbara.  He understands that she needs time away from Gotham and him.  We see her in a hotel room in front of a big fire.  And there is another woman with her.  They kiss.

Well.  I don’t think she’s coming home any time soon.

We’re one week away from the fall finale, and next week’s episode looks amazing.  What did you think of tonight’s episode?

Penguin as the Standout Character of Fall 2014

Sorry, Twisty.  You are a great character with an emotionally gut-wrenching story.  But this Fall TV season belongs to the Penguin.

Robin Lord Taylor has done a brilliant job bringing this character to life.  You can see traces of the  Burgess Meredith and Danny DeVito incarnations of the character.  He evokes sympathy while demonstrating his uncanny knack for manipulation.

(Spoilers for S1E7 Penguin’s Umbrella)

It all made perfect sense when Fish commented that Falcone seemed too composed with the chickens in the warehouse.  Birds of a feather and all that.  Looking back, I’m sure Penguin and Falcone orchestrated the Arkham Indian Hill deal together.  What a beautiful manipulation it was.  At the end of the episode, we see Falcone embrace Penguin.  Falcone respects him and will most likely go to great lengths to keep him safe. 

Penguin wouldn’t be nearly as interesting had he not been played by such a charismatic actor. There are not many characters on television right now that are as captivating as Penguin is. This could make casting the Joker even more of a challenge.