July 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Gotham “Pax Penguina”

Season Four, Episode One

Once again, I gotta give it up to Gotham‘s casting.  I’m watching this fourth season premier–no more silly virus plots!  woo hoo!–and I think, “Hey, that guy looks like Steve Buscemi!”  I don’t think Gotham would get an actor like Buscemi for one episode if at all, so it wasn’t him.  No, it was his brother Michael, and there is a certain Buscemi-ness to the character he’s playing.

Besides, there’s yet another random guy in there as the mayor because, well, I guess there was an election?

Apparently, it’s a few months after the virus was defeated, and the city is a mess, but violent crime is way, way down.  It seems the Penguin is selling licenses to commit crimes in an effort to unionize the city’s criminal efforts.  That keeps crime down, allows him to make a lot of money as he controls it all, and he can use it to bribe the new mayor and police commissioner to look the other way in case someone with a license commits a crime.  So, the orders go out, and even Jim Gordon is forced to look the other way when a criminal with a license blatantly breaks the law.  About the only person who can and does attack crooks is this new vigilante in a ski mask and a long coat…oh wait, that’s Bruce.  He’s trying to get ready for Ra’s al-Ghul’s eventual return, but if he looked at the right balconies, he’d know Ra’s was already there.

This license thing means the unlicensed Buscemi gang–yeah, not their names, but that’s what I am calling them–may attempt to rob a wedding only to be stopped by Victor Zsasz, who in turn will then allow a group of fully licensed thieves in to finish the job.  And, in a nice moment, both Michael Buscemi and Victor Zsasz will criticize the groom’s tastes and overall cheapness over the bride’s ring.

So, yeah, licensing going on while the Penguin more or less brags about it without confirming it at a press conference for his new Iceberg Lounge, complete with a frozen Riddler in the center of the room.  But something like this isn’t going to sit well with a lot of people.  Gordon doesn’t like the way it makes the police look useless, and the Buscemi gang, well, they don’t like having to get a license.  When even Selina and Tabitha go for a license, that means something considering Tabitha hates the Penguin with the fire of a thousand suns.

Now, if you are an unlicensed gang who can’t possibly stand up to a guy like Victor Zsasz, what can you do?  Move your crime business to Metropolis or something?  Nah!  That won’t work.  Instead, they decide to find a new weapon.  One member of the gang was an orderly at Arkham, so one quick bribe means they can smuggle Jonathan Crane out to make his father’s fear spray.  That kid is still suffering from the effects of the gas, so the gang opts to put a scarecrow in the room with young Crane to keep him working.

I can’t see where that can go wrong.

Wait, yes I can.  Gordon’s efforts to get the gang to attack the Iceberg Lounge and make the Penguin look bad doesn’t quite work as planned, but it does get Oswold bad press when he gets a faceful of fear toxin.  That may have something to do with Ivy cutting the lights for some reason.  And when some of the Buscemi gang gets arrested, one guy goes back to demand Crane make more fear fluids.

Only now, he’s calling himself the Scarecrow.

Yeah, that can be bad.

Well, at least the cops arrest someone at the end of the episode for breaking and entering…and it’s Bruce with the Penguin’s list of licensed crooks.


This license thing better not drive me nuts like the virus stuff in season three…