March 3, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Gotham “The Ball Of Mud And Meanness”

Season Two, Episode Fourteen

I am a Batman fan.  I would imagine most people would tune into Gotham for that reason, and I doubt anyone who isn’t would.  I mean, there are so many references to Batman lore that, well, I am not sure why people who aren’t Batman fans would watch this show.

Then again, I am not sure why someone who isn’t a Batman fan would read this article, so here we are.

Yeah, there’s a bit here about the Penguin and Hugo Strange over in Arkham, all while Nygma decides to do something about Gordon who asked a few too many questions about the “missing” Miss Kringle (i.e. Gordon asked at least one question), but most of this episode is about Bruce Wayne finally finding the man who pulled the trigger and killed his parents, one Matches Malone.

Really, this is one of the groundbreaking sort of stories where, even if the ongoing plot involving Hugo and his growing collection of potential supervillains is only off to the side, is a big step in Bruce becoming Batman.

Bruce is, for the most part, along for the ride.  Selina did get him a gun, but Alfred is running things.  That means first to go see a Mr. Cupcake (not, I am thinking, his real name) where Bruce, though told to be quiet in the fight pit while Alfred tries to get a tip, instead offers the man money almost immediately.

Rich kids think they can buy their way out of everything apparently.

Cupcake will do it if Alfred can win in a fight.  Alfred does, but he then passes out from the beating he took, leading Bruce to find Matches on his own.  First stop:  to see Jeri (Lori Petty!), a punk musician and club owner who dresses a lot like a certain Joker.  Or maybe a certain Harley.  Could be either.  She, on the other hand, doesn’t want Bruce’s money.  She wants a good reason to give up Matches’s location.  Bruce gives one:  he has a gun and wants to kill Matches.  Jeri is amused enough to give up an address and slow down Gordon.

But then we get to Matches, and Bruce is going to kill him.  Matches even more or less asks him to.  He’s killed a lot of people and seems to be daring the kid.

Now, Batman famously doesn’t kill, but Bruce isn’t Batman yet.  So, did Bruce do it?

No, of course not.  Both Alfred and Selina said it would change him in a bad way, but what really stops Bruce is a realization that, well, Matches wants to die.  Bruce isn’t going to give this guy what he wants, and he leaves the man there.  Of course, Gordon finds the boy just in time to hear the gun go off as Matches kills himself.

I still don’t know who hired Matches.

Now, that was a well-done moment, and young David Mazouz has really grown into the role.  His Bruce is, by turns, naive and intense, showing growth into the character that Bruce will eventually be.  It’s moments like this that make me enjoy Gotham as more than just campy weirdness.  And I dig the campy weirdness.

Next stop for Bruce:  living on the streets with Selina.  He asks Alfred not to go looking for him.  This should be fun.