Gotham Returns, as Delightfully Insane as Ever

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In these uncertain times, it’s nice to have constants in our lives, whether they be friends, family, or Gotham. It’s genuinely comforting to me to know that the show, which is ostensibly about the eventual rise of Batman, is still hard at work making sure it is getting the Batman mythos as relentlessly wrong as possible.

That sounds like a dig, but I actually don’t mean it to be. I do enjoy Gotham, much as I enjoy Frank Miller’s equally inaccurate, even more bonkers All-Star Batman. I like that Gotham doesn’t just not care about comic book accuracy, it’s actually going out of its way to thwart any expectation a Bat-fan might have. Case in point, last night’s third season, in which the young, future-Commissioner Jim Gordon has abandoned the GCPD to become a bounty hunter, which seems to be a valid profession of which he is the only member. Gordon, traditionally represented in the comics as the noblest of men, who believes in the law above all else, now only cares about getting paid and drinking. He has basically become Harvey Bullock, which is pretty audacious when you remember Gotham already stars Harvey Bullock.

That’s not the weirdest moment of the premiere, nor is the fact that the resurrected Fish Mooney has a small army of low-budget X-Men under her control, including Man-Bat. (No, not the longtime Batman villain Man-Bat; this is a totally different Man is who also partially a Bat.) Nor is it Penguin’s decision to not kill Tabitha Galavan, the woman who murdered his mother, solely because his underling Butch would be really sad if he did (this is especially bizarre when you remember that Butch betrayed Penguin about 40 times over the last two seasons, even if Penguin cared about his employee’s feelings at all).


The weirdest thing in the episode also isn’t the discovery that the young Ivy Pepper, who is famously being transformed from a young teen to a 20-something sexpot this season, will undergo this transformation by being groped by a creepy old man who has the ability to make people age. (This partially happened in last night’s premiere, but Ivy and Creepy Old Dude toppled off something apparently to their deaths, but obviously Ivy will survive, having only been aged to sexpot status.) This is certainly weird, but mostly it’s just all kinds of wrong.

Nope, the weirdest thing—and the Gotham-iest thing—is the scene where young Bruce Wayne visits young Selina Kyle, the future Catwoman on a rooftop. Now, any normal show would choose to telegraph Selina’s future by placing her with a cat. It’s not subtle, of course, but Gotham has never been a subtle show.


But it’s also not a show interested in doing things the sensibly, either. Because when Bruce meets up with Selina, she is… uh… well, she’s tending a pigeon coop. A pigeon coop. The girl who will become Catwoman is taking care of birds—birds that, it should go without saying, that have never been mentioned in any form or at any point on the show. It appears that these pigeons exist solely for this one scene, just so Selina could interact with an animal that was absolutely, positively not a cat.

Oh, it should probably go without saying, but the long-haired, possibly superpowered Anti-Bruce Wayne clone that escaped from Dr. Hugo Strange’s laboratory last year was also hanging around the pigeon coop on the exposed rooftop for apparently hours, but was never noticed.


Gotham, never change.