Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Gotham 3x03 Recap: “Look into My Eyes” (#PenguinforMayor2k16) [Contributor: Jon]

“Look into My Eyes” 
Original Airdate: October 3, 2016

The Mad Hatter was always one of the more fascinating Batman villains to me. Rather than make him straight from the pages of Carroll’s novel, they instead created a villain that was driven insane, and was only inspired by the character. And yet, it’s that kind of nuttiness that fits into the world of Gotham. This episode introduced us to their version of the Hatter, as he’s nothing more than a simple con man who’s got a sister with... unusual abilities.

We also got some hints toward Nega-Bruce becoming the comic book villain Hush, as he definitely took the first steps. Oh, and Penguin went full Batman Returns on us viewers this week, in absolute glorious fashion.


We are immediately introduced to Jervis Tetch, here played by The Walking Dead’s Benedict Samuel, as a hypnotist performing in Barbara’s club. The scene serves as nothing much more than an introduction to the character, but it’s certainly an effective one. Samuel — who looks strikingly similar to Adam Driver physically and in dialect — plays Tetch as an amusing con man, who might have something deeper than just that within him.

Tetch invades the house of a man he had hypnotized earlier, causing the man to violently kill his wife and then himself, while Tetch takes over the home. Tetch uses the home to find his missing sister, named — are you ready for this? — Alice. Cue the sitcom laugh track.

Alice, as it turns out, has a bit of a secret of her own: she has a virus in her mouth that can kill people (I guess brushing twice a day won’t keep the dentist away from this one). This is shown when her landlord tries to kiss her on the mouth. Tetch realizes he’ll need some assistance in locating Alice and so turns to the only man who’s dealt with unusual cases in Gotham.

A man who is just about to run into his ex-girlfriend...


Speaking of which, Gordon, having just slept with Valerie (keep the awkwardness coming), goes to the GCPD to collect his bounty from the last episode when he happens to run into Lee. Lee is back in town to work at her old job, while living with her new fiancé, Mario, a doctor (and no he does not work in the Mushroom Kingdom).

After that awkward encounter, Gordon runs into Tetch, who asks for his assistance in tracking down Alice. Tetch explains that he took care of her when they were younger after they lost their parents. Alice began to experience her rare disease, and to help her, Tetch took her to the one man who may be able to help: Dr. Hugo Strange.

However, Tetch never saw Alice again after that, due to the poison in her blood and Strange’s need for “supervision.” Gordon then agrees to help with Tetch.

Gordon later finds Selina and asks her for any whereabouts regarding Alice. Selina shows him the location of where she was last, in exchange for Gordon’s word to keep an eye out for Ivy. After Gordon enters the house and gets attacked by some thugs. Gordon wins, but has to go into the hospital for stitches, where he runs into Dr. Mario.

Mario tells Gordon that he will never hurt Lee, but Gordon threatens him by saying if he ever did, Gordon would come after him.


Later on, Gordon locates Alice but is attacked by the landlord, who has gone mad. Alice then kills the landlord and burns his corpse, claiming the body is infected. Alice also states that she wants nothing to do with Tetch. This is rather interesting, and we begin to wonder if Tetch is telling the truth. In the comics, he was obsessed with kidnapping victims and forcing them to be characters from Alice in Wonderland. So this could mean that maybe this is the show’s way of showing Tetch’s obsession?

After Gordon goes to confront Tetch, Tetch begins to hypnotize Gordon, telling him to jump to his death. Just as Gordon is about to take the plunge, Alice arrives, shoots Tetch in the shoulder, and saves Gordon from falling to his death. Gordon, in classic Gordon fashion, immediately handcuffs Alice.

So where does this leave Tetch? We know he’ll have a bigger part to play in this first half, but the only question is what? Clearly something will happen with Barbara too, after Tetch hypnotizes her to kiss her, surprising Tabitha.

But let’s check on our other characters, starting with our favorite child billionaire and future superhero.


If this episode didn’t fully confirm “WE HAVE HUSH ON THIS SHOW,” then I don’t know what will.

After the arrival of Nega-Bruce, the clone reveals himself to be a product of Indian Hill, simply going by the number “5.” He doesn’t remember much, only knowing that tests were performed on him. Bruce allows him to stay at the Manor, though Alfred is strongly against this.

Nega-Bruce the Fifth begins to display some unusual prowess, such as quick agility and reflexes in a fight, as well as the ability to not feel pain.

Selena later visits Bruce for help in locating Ivy, but Bruce refuses. Selina states he’s selfish and leaves. Nega-Bruce the Fifth overhears this and begins to imitate Bruce’s voice. Later, Nega cuts his hair in the style of Bruce and leaves, taking clothes and a car. He then approaches Selina, offering her to take her for food. Even though Selina notes he seems different, she still goes with him anyway. A+ deduction there, Selina. A+.

And finally, we get to hands down my favorite subplot of the episode:


One of my favorite movies growing up was 1992’s Batman Returns. Danny DeVito did a phenomenal job as the Penguin. One of the best aspects of Penguin in the film was how involved he got in Gotham politics, going so far as to run for mayor. It was an aspect that was at times darkly funny and bittersweet.

The writers of Gotham decide to revisit that plot point to almost hilarious fashion. Penguin’s rise to mayoral candidate is so humorous in its delivery, as Penguin’s methods are rather... unconventional. After announcing his candidacy, he immediately goes to see Mayor James. After a tense exchange, both parties’ guards train guns on the other, and Penguin leaves a small pin behind for James.

We then get to my favorite part of the episode: Penguin, realizing he needs help. He heads to Arkham Asylum to bribe/threaten the warden to claim a certain prisoner is declared sane and released in Penguin’s custody. Who is this mystery patient?

Why, it’s our old pal Nygma of course! After Nygma is released, this leads to one of the greatest GIF moments in history.


Before we leave for this episode, one final bombshell was dropped. Lee and Mario got meet to have dinner with Mario’s father, who just so happens to be notorious crime boss Carmine Falcone. Whether this is going to cause some tension between Lee and Jim down the line remains to be seen, but this certainly is an interesting wrinkle.


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