Every Insane Thing That’s Happened On ‘Gotham’: Edward Nygma

In the beginning of the series, back when the writers still thought they were making a slow prequel that hints at the futures of various characters without having them actually descend into full on villainy, Nygma was just a kind of weird forensics guy that was closer to adorable than he was to intimidating. Now? He’s a supervillain that’s part of the reason Gotham has so much backstabbing and overlapping plans and revenge attempts. Love it.

  • Gave the woman he was into a cupcake with a live bullet in it. He thought it was a riddle, she thought it was weird and menacing. Tomato, tomahto.
  • Got kicked out of the morgue when the medical examiner showed up.
  • Got rid of the medical examiner by stuffing his locker full of body parts, which I guess is weird even in Gotham. Or then again, maybe not, that was season one before all the supervillains took over.
  • Told Gordon that Lee was much nicer than the previous ME and that she smelled nice. Damn, season one Ed was creepy.
  • Killed Kristen’s boyfriend, which in most cases would be a major no-no, but seeing as the boyfriend was an abuser, I’ll let it slide.
  • Cut said boyfriend to pieces.
  • Killed Kristen. Not cool, Ed.
  • His alter ego gave him a series of riddles to find the pieces of Kristen’s corpse.
  • Somehow ended up befriending Oswald who ended up living in his apartment. Oswald rolled his eyes at Ed’s low kill count, which isn’t really relevant, but I thought it was funny.
  • Framed Jim for the murders he committed.
  • Got sent to Arkham for murder, tried and failed to escape, and ended up challenging Bruce and Lucius to answer his questions then gassing them with a sleeping agent once they failed.
  • Became Oswald’s campaign manager after Oswald got him declared sane. After Oswald won the race for mayor, he got promoted to chief of staff.
  • Got punched in the face by Lee.
  • Started dating the doppelganger of the girlfriend he strangled.
  • Kidnapped Butch and Tabitha under the assumption that Butch had killed his Isabella.
  • Chopped off Tabitha’s hand, only realizing as it was happening that Butch had not, in fact, killed Isabella.
  • Was informed by Barbara who actually killed Isabella. “Did you just fake cough Penguin?”
  • Had a whole crazy plot to get revenge on Penguin for killing Isabella involving getting Clayface to impersonate Penguin’s father.
  • Shot Penguin. These two need to calm down. I’m pretty sure they would have a better time if they stopped
  • Started taking some weird hallucinogens to imagine Oswald talking to him and making fun of his Riddler persona? I don’t know, that was weird.
  • Started looking for a life coach to replace Oswald.
  • Decided he needed a nemesis and that Jim would be perfect.
  • Sends a guy dressed as fruit to sing a riddle in the GCPD.
  • Teams up with Barbara against the Court of Owls.
  • Teams up with Penguin to get out of the cage the Court Of Owls put them in.
  • Spent a few months frozen in a block of ice as the centerpiece of Penguin’s club.
  • Got set free by some random chick that admired his riddles, then killed her. That’s gratitude for you.
  • Met up with an amnesiac Butch who forgot about why he hated him.
  • Sent Oswald a guy to rap really terrible riddles at him.
  • Fell for Lee, checked himself into Arkham.
  • Teamed up with Penguin against Sofia, going full Riddler again.
  • THE RIDDLE FACTORY.
  • Made out with Lee and teamed up with her to rob some banks to help the people of the Narrows. Aww,  that’s kind of sweet. The two of them were gone from a few episodes, during which they missed a lot.
  • Started arguing with himself again.
  • Pretended to double cross Lee, but really betrayed Oswald again. Apparently, he no longer has hard feelings about any of the stuff they did to each other in the past, but is not cool with him trying to go after Lee. Which, you know, fair. Seeing as Oswald did murder his last girlfriend. Sure.

Well! This list is shorter than most of the others I’ve made so far because Ed isn’t quite as major of a character. And I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting some stuff, but this is the main gist of it (sorry about the inaccurate title, if I forgot something major, but I have a theme going with these now, too late to change it). Man, he is a terrible person, but he is so much fun to watch!

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Every Insane Thing That’s Happened On ‘Gotham’: Bruce Wayne

Gotham was promoted as the story of city before Batman, and yes, I suppose it’s mostly been that. It’s not a prequel to the usual canon, more of a, “Make it up as we go along, throw in everything we can think of and blend it together” type thing. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. One of the times it does is with Bruce. He’s arguably the third most important character. If the show is primarily about Gordon and his rise to prominence (to the point that some random kid that Tetch once threatened to hit with a truck knew who he was – what was with that?), and secondarily about Penguin and everything that goes down in the underworld (why the hell is everyone so obsessed with controlling the underworld, anyway?), it’s tertiarily  (is that a word?) about Bruce and how he got to the point where he felt the need to become Batman.

Somehow, season one Bruce whose parents just died was a happier, more emotionally stable person than season four Bruce. This show has not been very nice to him.

  • Watched his parents be murdered. Duh, he’s Bruce Wayne, that was a foregone conclusion.
  • Decided that he needed to teach himself to conquer fear. This involved jumping into the pool and seeing how long he could hold his breath, holding his hand to fire and burning himself, and learning how to fight. Alfred, you’re a terrible guardian. Get this kid some therapy, damn.
  • Beat up Tommy Elliot for making fun of his mother.
  • Demonstrated his terrible aim by throwing things at the hired killers that came after Selina.
  • Invited Selina to a fundraiser and got her to steal Bunderslaw’s key. It managed to be both super awkward and really cute.
  • In a spectacular shot, found out that the fireplace in his father’s study slides back to reveal the Batcave. Very Flashpoint, Thomas Wayne Batman, I like it.

Season one Bruce didn’t get all that much to do, mainly because his storyline revolved around looking into the murder of his parents, which got tossed aside somewhere midseason. It got picked up again in season two, and he got much more involved in the show and all the nonsense that happens in it.

  • Freaked out Alfred by building a bomb when he couldn’t figure out the password Thomas had set. Spoiler alert: it was his name.
  • Met Silver St Cloud, Theo and Tabitha Galavan’s niece, who I don’t think ever came back after Tabitha shoved her out a window with a parachute that one time.
  • Turned down Theo’s offer to buy his shares in Wayne Enterprises and give him information as to who killed his parents.
  • Tried to con Silver into giving him the information Theo claimed to have on his parents’ killer.
  • Successfully pulled off the trope named after his future self for the first time, along with Selina, and gets Silver to tell them that it was an M Malone that killed Thomas and Martha.
  • Galavan attempts to sacrifice him.
  • Claimed he had everything under control when he got rescued. Wow, Bruce, way to  be ungrateful.
  • Tracked down Matches Malone and held him at gunpoint, intending to kill him, but realized Malone wanted him to do that, so didn’t. Malone ended up killing himself.
  • Left to live with Selina on the streets because apparently, that’s the way to better understand Gotham. Eh, seems reasonable.
  • Decided he doesn’t have a problem with stealing from criminals, and helped Selina rob some people.
  • Went home because he was worried the whole investigation into who ordered the hit on his parents would be dangerous for Selina.
  • Fought crime with money – provided a bag of cash to distract a prisoner transport driver.
  • Started investigating Hugo Strange’s experiments.
  • Recruited Selina to sneak into Arkham and figure out  what was going on.
  • Hit Azrael with a car. Not as amazing as Butch blowing him up a few minutes later, but still, pretty good!
  • Went off with Gordon and Lucius Fox to rescue Selina.
  • Wound up locked in a room with Lucius with Nygma taunting them with riddles over a loudspeaker.

…Look, I love Gotham, and seasons three and four have a lot of weird, fun stuff happening, but let’s be real – season two? That might well be my favourite.

  • Got stalked by, and eventually met, his clone.
  • Agreed to stop his investigation into the Court of Owls, provided they leave him and his loved ones alone.
  • Got jealous that Selina kissed his clone, irritated Alfred by obsessing over it, then concluded she must have thought it was him.
  • After however many episodes of being present at an absurd number of the weird events that happen in the city, managed to miss all the chaos Nygma and Butch were wreaking by hanging out on the roof with Selina. He confessed his feelings for her and got a kiss out of it, so that’s probably better than being around for all the people shooting at each other.
  • Made Selina dinner, then spent hours waiting for her.
  • Helps Ivy who got in way over her head when she stole a necklace containing a key.
  • Went  on a heist with Selina, demonstrating that he’s progressed enough that he can hold a rope tightly enough for Selina to walk across and break into a safe belonging to the Court of Owls. Well done, Bruce.
  • Met Selina’s mom!
  • Lied to Selina by avoiding telling her that her mother didn’t actually want to get to know her, resulting in Selina getting mad and storming out. Ouch.
  • Beat in Jerome’s stapled on face (Jim got the final punch). On the one hand, gross. On the other, he really had it coming.
  • Gets stabbed with a syringe by his clone, after which the clone takes his place while he’s kidnapped and taken…somewhere with mountains.
  • Trained with the Shaman who told him he’s been manipulating the Court to control Gotham. So…we’re talking the man behind the man behind the man? I don’t even remember how many layers to the whole “person giving orders to the other person” this thing has. And this is before the reveal that Ra’s al Ghul is the one behind the Shaman.
  • Met Ra’s! Stabbed Alfred! Brainwashed Bruce does not have a nice time.
  • Got offered the position as head of the League of Shadows. Hey, Barbara, how does it feel to be second choice when the first one is a sixteen year old?
  • Saved a family from being mugged in a proto-Batsuit for his first attempt at crime fighting. Have I said before that season three’s finale could have been a series finale? Yeah? Good. (It really could have been, while I love getting more episodes, I have to admit that the fact that it wasn’t meant season four had to do some backtracking.)

Season three could be where I started losing track of the plots that lasted more than an episode…

  • Went to an auction to buy the knife Ra’s wanted, and outbid Barbara – who is, just as a reminder, a known killer – twice by a dollar and once by a penny. Apparently, annoying villains is a lifelong trait.
  • Refused to give Ra’s said knife, resulting in Ra’s killing Alex.
  • Killed Ra’s, making him half disintegrate. Huh? That can’t be right.
  • Decided to embrace life as a billionaire brat. Can’t blame him for that. Gotham is a cesspool, bad things happen every time he tries to do something constructive, and  he has a lot of money – might as well enjoy his life.
  • Abandoned Alfred in the woods and threw a party.
  • Fired Alfred. Well, that wasn’t very nice.
  • Spent an episode not actually doing anything plot relevant, but hanging around at the Sirens club, leaning into the spoiled brat thing, and making mildly annoying comments everyone ignores because they’re actually doing stuff.
  • Hallucinated meeting Batman while wandering around without a face after being poisoned by Ivy. So…this universe’s Bruce Wayne decides he needs to become Batman because he was majorly tripping? You do you, Bruce.
  • Had Selina break into an office in the police station to steal Jerome’s file and burst into fake tears to keep Detective what’s her name from catching her. Buddy, if you want to be Batman, you’re going to have to become a better actor than that.
  • Stopped both Jerome’s uncle and Selina from killing Jerome. Uh, Bruce, you know I appreciate your code and sense of honour and all, but damn, you dumb.

David Mazouz started off good and has only gotten better throughout the seasons. Colour me impressed. And Bruce’s character arc? A+. Gotham may be a mess that’s filled with villains and people that are kind of unlikable, and it may treat its female characters really poorly, but the way they handle Bruce is so good, I’m sticking around.

Every Insane Thing That’s Happened On ‘Gotham’: Jim Gordon

Oh, Jim. Jim Gordon, Gotham’s protagonist, is one of the most recognizable characters in the Batman mythos – supposedly, he’s the one good man in the GCPD that will go on to become the famed Commissioner Gordon, but Gotham being what it is…well, no one really has the protection of canon. Here is a partial list of the stuff he’s done and that’s happened around him:

  • Pretended to kill Penguin, launching an arc of a pair of detectives from the Major Crimes Unit (Including Renee Montoya!) thinking he’s a murderer and trying to find the evidence.
  • Jumped on a rising balloon with the Balloonman to force Bullock to shoot it down.
  • Got arrested for killing Penguin. When he insisted he didn’t do it, Bullock backed him up, only to be surprised and angry when a very much alive Penguin walks in.
  • Bullock threatened to shoot him.
  • Found Butch holding Barbara hostage, rescued Barbara, and told her to get out of Gotham for a while. That’s just common sense, Gotham is a horror movie, no one should live there.
  • Tried to get an arrest warrant for Falcone and the mayor (Mayor James, the first mayor, Gotham goes through mayors disturbingly quickly.)
  • Had a shootout with Victor Zsasz right in the middle of the police station. In a city like this, is it really any wonder that someone decides, ah, yes, I should make this better by dressing up as a giant bat and fighting crime?
  • Got rescued by Allen and Montoya! I miss those guys, remember when they were actually around? And their department  did stuff?
  • Used Major James as a hostage to get into Falcone’s estate, but Falcone had Barbara. Nobody dies!
  • Got reassigned to guard duty at Arkham Asylum, where he met Leslie Thompkins. That only lasted a couple episodes before he wound up back at the GCPD.
  • Broke up a fight between Dick Grayson’s future parents when he went to the circus with Lee.
  • Blah, blah, solved some crimes, did some stuff, dated Lee, found out his former fiancée had started killing people, the season ended.

Okay, here’s the thing about season two: an absurd amount happened. What may be considered either a strength or a flaw about Gotham is the number of subplots. That’s been the case in all the seasons. There’s always a huge amount going on, which can make the show feel overstuffed, but also means that there’ll probably be at least one storyline that interests you. Season two…well, it’s a ride. To keep this a reasonable length, I limited this list to t he weirdest events.

  • Started the season as a patrol officer and not a detective, does a favour for Penguin to get his old job back.
  • A bunch of Arkham escapees killed a bunch of people in the police station. I’m starting to think this is the least safe place in the worst city in the world.
  • Complained about Lee saying yes when Ed asks them to go on a double date with him and Kristen.
  • Decided to support Theo Galavan’s mayoral candidacy, demonstrating why he’s a terrible judge of character.
  • Got taken hostage by Barbara, along with a bunch of other people, a priest, and Lee. Oh, a wedding! And a further demonstration of how Jim is a terrible judge of character. He nearly married this woman.
  • Got arrested once or twice for the whole Galavan subplot, I don’t even know.
  • Got framed by Nygma for killing what’s-his-face the police officer and sent to Blackgate.
  • Shot Galavan-resurrected-as-Azrael a couple of times. Didn’t work.
  • Got replaced by Clayface impersonating him.
  • Bullock accepted it when he said he was acting strange because he had the flu. It took Barbara realizing he wasn’t Jim and hitting him in the face, causing it to deform, that made it register for everyone else. The GCPD, everyone: the most incompetent group of people imaginable. No wonder this city needs Batman.
  • Interpreted Ethyl Peabody’s plea for water as her suggesting he use water to defuse a bomb. He’s not that bright, but he does his best.
  • Quits his job and uses Bullock’s car to leave town and find Lee, who had a miscarriage and left Gotham a few episodes before.

Yeah. This show is weird.

  • Spent some time as a bounty hunter.
  • Started dating Valerie Vale.
  • Jervis Tetch tried to hypnotize him into killing himself.
  • Got Valerie shot. Wow, Jim. That’s a dick move.
  • Got infected by some kind of hallucinogen, and guided through all his guilts and fears by Barbara.
  • Got punched by Mario.
  • Shot Mario, who was infected with the Alice Tetch virus. Just to reiterate, that’s his ex-fiancée’s new husband. (The ex-fiancée being Lee, not Barbara.)
  • Zsasz warned him that Carmine was going to order him to kill him, but that it wasn’t personal. After all, he didn’t even like Mario.
  • Carmine called off the hit that he himself had ordered. Make up your damn mind, dude.
  • Saved Alfred from Jerome’s goons, then later punched off Jerome’s face.
  • Joined the Court of Owls for the brief period of about two days.
  • Lee thought he killed his uncle and made it look like a suicide. It was the other way around.
  • Got buried alive and injected himself with the Tetch virus to get  out.
  • Shoots off Barnes’s hand when Barnes gets sent to kill him. Stabbed Fish while under the influence. Jeez, Jim.
  • Ends the series determined to be a good cop.

Okay, so season three could well have been a series finale. It wasn’t, but it left everyone in a place where we could see them getting to where we know they’ll be in the future, including Jim. Season four? It kind of threw that out the window and got weirder.

  • Went to Carmine Falcone for help dealing with Penguin and his licensed crime. You know, Jim, it’s really not that smart to ask the father of the guy you shot for help.
  • Met Ra’s al Ghul, and later arrests, Ra’s al Ghul. Wait, what?
  • Slept with Sofia Falcone, his ex-fiancée’s sister in law. You know, the sister of the guy he shot. Jim. Jim, please. Make better choices.
  • Warned Alfred that Ra’s is going to be released because he has diplomatic immunity.
  • Didn’t report Bruce for killing Ra’s, which, fair enough, Ra’s is an assassin, but you know, that’s probably taking Gordon a step further away from being the token good guy he’s supposed to be.
  • Started investigating a serial killer that’s hunting down corrupt cops. Hi, Professor Pyg!
  • Found out Bullock is on Penguin’s payroll. Oh, come on! Wasn’t his “become a better person and start caring about helping people again” arc way back in season one?
  • Got offered the captain job.
  • Got framed by Sofia for shooting Pyg, which apparently forced him to lie about it to prevent Gotham from descending into chaos, but I don’t exactly buy that as plausible – Gotham is always in chaos.
  • Shot a masked Bruce. Well, that’s just rude.
  • Got shot repeatedly by Sofia before Lee showed up and shot her. So dramatic.

I’m starting to think this series of posts was a terrible idea. There’s too much nonsense that happens in this show.

Every Insane Thing That’s Happened On ‘Gotham’: Oswald Cobblepot Edition

I love Gotham. It’s a great show. But so much ridiculous stuff has happened over the course of the three and a half seasons, I had honestly forgotten about some of it, so I started making a reference post trying to keep track of all of it, because on Gotham, the crazy incidents combine to compose the plot. I started writing this post, and then I realized, hey, I can’t fit it all in one post, so this is going to be a series of several posts, sorted by character – just the mains, of course, if I tried to do every character, I’d never be done. So without further ado, let’s start with the most insane things that have happened to or because of Oswald Cobblepot AKA the Penguin, who began the series holding Fish Mooney’s umbrella while she beat up a man in an alley.

  • In the very first episode, Fish wants him dead for being a snitch to the Major Crimes Unit, which I don’t think has even existed since season one. Harvey Bullock wants the then-new to Gotham Jim Gordon to do it. Jim pretends to go along with it, but instead shoots in the air, pushes Oswald into the water, and warns him not to come back to Gotham. Oswald emerges on the other side of the river and kills a fisherman. Not so crazy yet! It starts off slow, we’re getting there.
  • Gets picked up while hitchhiking, then gets mad at the people giving him a ride once one says he looks like a penguin when he walks. He proceeds to kill that one and kidnap the other, who he kills after not his ransom demand is mistaken for a prank. Lesson: Don’t pick up hitchhikers.
  • Kills a few people, whatever, only notable because one of those people was a dishwasher at Maroni’s restaurant whose job he wanted to take.
  • Stages an armed robbery of the restaurant so the manager dies and he gets the job. Gotham City is a terrible place to live and work.
  • Surprise, Oswald’s really working for Falcone, all the other stuff was planned from the pilot.
  • Takes over Fish’s club and brings his mom to come see. Awww, that’s sweet.
  • Maroni locks him in a car about to be crushed, he escapes, and gets a ride with a bunch of ladies on a church bus.
  • Meets Nygma and threatens him when Nygma gives him a penguin fact. Okay, so not really relevant, but look how far we’ve come from then!
  • Kills a guy for heckling his mom, the entertainment at his club. He’s very temperamental, Oswald is.
  • Vows vengeance on Maroni for telling his mom that he’s a killer, not a club owner. Or at least, not only a club owner.
  • Declares himself king of Gotham.

And thus ends season one! Season one wasn’t great. Nor filled with much lunacy for Oswald, beyond the “locked in a car about to be crushed” thing. It picks up in season two, thankfully.

  • Theo and Tabitha kidnap his mom.
  • Cuts off Butch’s hand.
  • Tabitha kills his mom.
  • Looks unimpressed at Nygma’s low kill count, then gets a pep talk from Nygma about how Tabitha killing his mom resulted in him being freed from his biggest weakness. Holy foreshadowing, Batman!
  • Teams up with Gordon, Alfred, Selina, and Bullock to save Bruce, because apparently, the enemy of your enemy is your friend.
  • Beats up Galavan with a baseball bat, then shoves his umbrella down his throat.
  • Claims insanity and is sent to Arkham for the first, but not the last, time.
  • Undergoes “therapy” at the hands of Hugo Strange, gets declared cured, and is released.
  • Meets his father and bonds with him while his stepmother and step siblings plot against him.
  • Survives an attempted poisoning! But watches his father die instead.
  • Kills his step siblings and serves them to his stepmother. Gross, Titus Andronicus, much?
  • Kills his stepmother and mounts her head on a stand.
  • Convinces Butch that they need to get rid of Galavan, brings him to Wayne Manor where Azrael is attempting to kill the good guys, and steps aside so he can blow him up with a rocket launcher – also known as my favourite scene in the show.

So, onto season three!

  • Visits Nygma in Arkham with gifts.
  • Calls out the GCPD for being useless and not doing much to deal with Fish. Villain’s got a point!
  • Rallies a mob to hunt down Fish. At the end of the episode, said mob carries him on their shoulders and chants his name.
  • Announces his candidacy for mayor and arranges for Nygma to be released from Gotham to help him with his campaign.
  • Wins the mayoral election. Gothamites, make better choices. (Actually, please don’t, the show wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if you did.)
  • Butch reforms the Red Hood Gang so he can kill them all to regain Penguin’s favour. Said gang destroys the statue of Penguin’s mom.
  • Nygma forces Butch to attempt to assassinate Penguin in a gambit to solidify his own position as Penguin’s right hand man.
  • Realizes he’s in love with Nygma.
  • Tries to sabotage Nygma’s relationship with Isabella, a lookalike of Kristen Kringle, the sort of girlfriend he killed way back in season one.
  • Cuts the brakelines on Isabella’s car.
  • Barbara finds out out about his feelings for Nygma, tells Nygma, and the two of them team up to take him down.
  • Clayface pretends to be his father’s ghost as part of Nygma’s plan to gaslight and discredit him.
  • In a throwback to the pilot, Nygma shoots Penguin and throws him into the Gotham Bay.
  • Nygma spends most of an episode hallucinating a dead Penguin talking to him. This involves mocking the name “The Riddler” and breaking into song.
  • Ivy finds him and nurses him back to health.
  • Plots his revenge against Nygma and teams up with Ivy, who helps recruit some of Hugo Strange’s freaks.
  • Ends up locked up with Nygma in the Court of Owls’s prison. They’re not happy about it.
  • Works with Nygma to escape. They agree to not try to kill each other for the night.
  • Freezes Nygma alive and uses him as the centerpiece of his new club.

…this show just gets weirder and weirder, doesn’t it? Onto season four!

  • Issues “crime licenses” to bring the city to order. Gordon doesn’t like it, but you gotta admit, Penguin’s doing a better job than the GCPD ever did.
  • Tells Ivy to shut up too many
  • times, resulting in her turning off the lights and letting the Merton gang to get the drop on him.
  • Gordon teams up with the Falcones to take him down.
  • Nygma wants revenge on Penguin, this time because of the whole “he froze me and put me on display” thing, so he sends him riddles. Being frozen caused him brain damage, so the riddles are terrible. Penguin doesn’t kill him, because he finds it amusing to see how far he’s fallen.
  • Becomes an evil mentor to Martin, a random kid at Sofia’s orphanage.
  • Stabs a party goer for being willing to let Professor Pyg murder said kid rather than comply with his demand to eat the pies containing homeless people flesh (Ewwwww, why does this show have so much cannibalism?!).
  • Fakes Martin’s death so Sofia can’t use him as leverage anymore.
  • Winds up in Arkham again after being arrested for the one murder he didn’t commit and that didn’t even happen, an angry Victor Zsasz lying to Gordon and saying Penguin really blew the kid up.
  • Finds out Jerome is in the next cell.
  • Learns Nygma is back to being the Riddler.
  • Gets put through hell by Jerome, who is attempting to snap him out of his depression.

And that wraps up what has been released so far!

…who writes this stuff? I want to send them a fruit basket.