Gotham: This Ball of Mud and Meanness
March 16, 2016 7:09 AM - Season 2, Episode 14 - Subscribe

Alfred and Selina help Bruce search for his parents' killer, Matches Malone; Gordon goes to Edward Nygma with Kristen Kringle's whereabouts; Hugo Strange continues working to reduce the Penguin's aggression.
posted by DirtyOldTown (8 comments total)
Lori Petty!

I'm going to get some tomatoes thrown at me here, because this is still inherently silly melodrama. But I thought this week's ep was terrific. And I even thought, Petty, the guy playing Matches Malone, and the boy who plays Bruce were all fantastic in it.

I could have done without the checkins in on the Riddler storyline.

And it really seems like if the Penguin is declared sane weeks after copping to a murder, he should go to prison, not get a certificate and his release. But the Bruce/Matches storyline was terrific. And virtually everything out of Bullock's mouth this week was gold.

"AGAIN, we are THE POLICE. Do NOT tell us stuff like this."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:12 AM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, man. The preview for next week's episode...Penguin's father! Perfect casting.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:13 AM on March 16, 2016

Yeah, that is spot on. He's played the role before, actually, in the first Burton bat-sequel.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:21 AM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Has Lori Petty basically become the female Christopher Walken? I feel like at this point in her career, she runs every line through her odd cadence and peculiar points of emphasis and something special and compelling comes out. I imagine the writing room probably thought they were writing another cagey, tough Fish Malone-type character, but what Petty gave them was altogether more slippery and complicated.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:29 AM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

This was the first episode in a while where I didn't get bored and start playing on my phone. More like this please!
posted by Requiax at 8:12 PM on March 16, 2016

The season continues to be good. I was nervous about young Bruce carrying an episode, but I thought he actually did a pretty good job. I'm sticking with my prediction that some sort of league of shadows surrogate is essentially grooming him to be a vigilante, and to righten Gotham. Maybe even the same people who are funding Strange to create a league of super villains.

I also liked the female Joker. Lori Petty did a good job of playing a different version of the character, which I think the writers said is what they were going for by killing off Jerome relatively early, and having the Joker's madness disperse throughout Gotham's underworld.

I'm caring less and less about the Galavan subplot as the show goes on, specifically whether or not Jim will be on the hook for murdering him (I suspect: he will, but then he will escape through dumb plot necessitated luck). Unfortunately it looks like that's where we're headed for the next few episodes. Eh.

The other side of that is that The Riddler is finally taking full shape! He's my favorite part of Batman's rogues gallery, so I'm very happy to see how that plays out.
posted by codacorolla at 7:41 AM on March 17, 2016

On the fence about this show, growing bored. I was about to tune out entirely when Bruce went to the Awesome Nightclub (Celestial Gardens) and Lori Petty did her thing and then I was hooked again. Much scenery-chewing fun. I also thought Michael Bowen was pretty good as Matches, given that Dennis Hopper and Robert Knepper were both unavailable. And the set and costumes and extras were great. (Is there like one Underground Club in TV Land where they film two scenes like this a year? It was great.)

The strongest part of the show is the rogue's gallery. Gordon is unredeemable as a character and what a shame he's turned out to be the main character. Batboy is OK but too constrained by his character setup. But Dr. Strange, Penguin, Joker, Jokeress, Riddler, Fish, more like this please.

Weird moment played for a laugh this episode, Alfred passing out after the Fight Club Fight. I swear I hear a slide whistle play. Stylistically inconsistent.
posted by Nelson at 8:54 PM on March 20, 2016

What a great episode. Is it my imagination or was that the crucial moment where we see the true birth of two of Gotham's fixture characters - Batman and the Riddler.

Given the Batman mythology, I find it hard to believe that we could get any closer to seeing Batman's quest take root in Bruce's mind. Although we've seen a recent turn towards evil in Nygma, I feel like that question mark is the key moment we begin to see his character's super-villain identity solidify.
posted by ComicsSleepRepeat at 11:43 PM on March 20, 2016

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