6:01pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Gotham' Central: Five Questions About "Lovecraft"
You have to give Gotham credit for playing with its status quo. For its fall finale, Selina and Bruce parted ways just a couple of weeks into their odd couple pairing, Oswald suddenly seemed to stumble in his master plan (and that’s without Falcone knowing that he’s messing with his girl), and Detective Jim Gordon got pushed out of the department. It kind of makes you wonder what they’re planning for the season finale, doesn’t it?
Along with all of the above, we also got a quiet reminder that your Thanksgiving dinner could be worse — no-one’s going to be shot dead and left on the table with their face in the soup, I hope — and the sight of Eddie Nygma getting all verklempt at the sight of Gordon packing up his belongings. The sooner as someone realizes that that character deserves a sitcom spin-off of his own, the better. But until then, here are five questions about our last episode for awhile, “Lovecraft.”
Wait: Arkham Asylum?!?
With Gordon re-assigned to Arkham for the foreseeable future, the groundwork laid around the less-than-august institution earlier this season begins to make a bit more sense. It’s not just that the show was paying a lot of attention to the future home of a bunch of Batman’s future bad guys; it was setting up the new home for one of the series’ leads, where — presumably — he’ll get more involved in finding out why Arkham is seemingly central to the murder of the Waynes. Although, putting Gordon closer to the one thing that those in power don’t want him to think about doesn’t seem to be a particularly smart thing to do, Mr. Mayor…
Who Is Bullock’s New Partner?
When Gordon made a reference to his replacement as he prepared to say goodbye, it made me wonder who is going to partner up with Bullock now? He’s found himself accidentally back on the straight-and-narrow thanks to Gordon’s influence over the last few weeks, but is that something he’ll continue with now that Gordon’s elsewhere? Will a new partner lead him back down a path of disrepute, or is Bullock likely to pass on the inspiration as he did a few weeks ago? (Personally, I’m really hoping for Montoya to move over from Major Crimes to step up as Bullock’s new partner, but I couldn’t be that lucky, could I?)
What Was With That Assassin, Anyway?
Although she was never named, the acrobatic tactics and snake sounds of the assassin after Selina this episode would suggest that she was a variation on the long-lived, if somewhat obscure Batman villain called “Copperhead”. Admittedly, she’s a different gender than almost every version of the character to date (Only the version in the Batman: Arkham video games was female prior to this), but squeezing people to death with her legs? Yeah, that’s been a Copperhead thing waaaaaaay before anyone even thought of the name “Xenia Onatopp.” Given that she survived the episode this week, here’s hoping we see more of her in future.
Who’s Behind It All?
Dick Lovecraft, of course, was a patsy. This shouldn’t come as a surprise: as soon as he was introduced last week, he seemed more of a middle manager than a big boss. But that doesn’t answer who he worked for before his untimely death. Fish? She did say that helping Alfred went against her interests, which might suggest her involvement, but what would she actually gain from the Waynes’ deaths? Falcone? That pre-meal speech (and his kidnapping of Oswald) underscored his inherent menace in a way that we’ve not seen so far in the series — he’s tended to play the benevolent gangster role so far, explaining things and playing nice in comparison to his heavies in earlier appearances — but, again, what’s his motive? There’s almost no way that it’ll turn out to be Oswald Cobblepot, is there? That would be ridiculous. And yet… if anyone has shown themselves to be adept at causing, and then taking advantage of, chaos, it's certainly Oswald.
So, Alfred’s The Best, Right?
If there’s one thing we should take away from this week’s Gotham, it’s that Alfred-channelling-Liam-Neeson-in-Taken is far more fun than he’s generally allowed to be otherwise. He’s bad-ass! He’s charming! He’s wonderfully sentimental and funny when finally reunited with Bruce! It took us a few weeks, but Sean Pertwee finally made good with this episode. Of course, it was also the episode that sold me on little Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle being parts of the series, so perhaps Mr. Pennyworth wasn’t the only one getting sentimental this week. Well, it is almost the holidays…