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Gotham 3.18 Review – ‘Light the Wick’

May 15, 2017 | Posted by Wednesday Lee Friday
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Gotham 3.18 Review – ‘Light the Wick’  

Depending on who your favorite villains are, this week was either awesome or sucktacular.  In “Light the Wick,” we were reminded that for someone who lies pretty often, Jim is not very good at it.  In TV parlance, that means he’s of strong moral stock.  Because good liars are almost never good people in fiction, and especially in comics.  * cue throng of comments pointing out rare occasions when this was not the case. * As always, expect spoilers for Gotham S3E18: Light the Wick to follow.

We begin at Arkham, where Jervis Tetch has not lost his penchant for poetry.  How much do you love the comic convention of asylum inmates fashioning whimsical striped uniforms that directly suit their alter-egos?  Like when Barbara had the ’50s housewife dress in prison stripes when she was in Arkham?  Mad Hatter’s new asylum hat is a delight!  More delightful is the carnage that ensues when they try to move Barnes (now fully embracing his place as The Executioner) to a new location.  In fact, they’re giving him to Kathryn and the Court of Owls.  Seems that they both want the same thing: for Gotham to be judged, and the guilty punished.  Nothing ominous about that…  Hugo Strange is on hand as well.  The plan?  Weaponize Alice Tetch’s blood, then later, disperse it all over the city.  Strange does his part in short order.  Also, Fish Mooney is alive.  Man, that chick utterly refuses to cash in.  Nice!

Back at the GCPD, Lee gives Bullock her final thoughts on Frank Gordon’s death.  She’s listed it as a homicide, which has to mean that her rage toward Jim is clouding her medical judgement.  No, she isn’t crazy.  Yes, Jim and Harvey are keeping things from her.  But no, Frank was not murdered…and certainly not by Jim.  We can’t blame Lee for wanting to see Jim punished for something.  But come on, this is not the way.  At Siren’s Club, we’re treated to a killer cover of Get it On.  Tabby tells Ivy about Selina getting pushed out a window.  She’s at Gotham General.  The other takeaway here is that Tabby is not pleased for anyone to think she works FOR Barbara.  No, they work together.  Except lately, they really don’t.  They’re sure to implode before the finale, and methinks Butch will get the worst of it.  Poor guy.

The Court of Owls wants to make sure everyone gets their lists in.  For what?  Their list of loved ones they’d like to spare from the coming justice.  Jim uses this time to extract prints and/or DNA from Kathryn’s mask.  Not really sure how knowing her identity will help much.  Turns out, she’s a Monroe.  I wonder how the Monroes might be affiliated with the family that eventually came to be known as Galavan.  In an undisclosed location, Bruce continues his training with the Shaman.  He’s learning that rage and pain come from the same place, and that it is possible to conquer both.

Nobody should be surprised that Penguin is going to any lengths to find Nygma.  Oswald knows that Jim had him last, and he wants an introduction to the Court.  When Jim breaks into Kathryn’s home, he finds that she has a Wayne Enterprises ID that’s almost from a movie by George Lucas (1139).  Jim tells Kath that Penguin is alive and after them, and that he wants to know what the judgement entails.  When she explains what the weapon is—a way of “showing the people of Gotham their darkest selves,” he immediately calls Harvey to tell him everything.  You’d think a seasoned detective wouldn’t do this directly under Kathryn’s window—but you’d be wrong.  I’m not sure whether that’s clumsy writing, or if they really don’t care that we’re screaming at Jim through the screen.  Also note that Kathryn’s hairstyle is identical to that of Miss Peabody—who I also called was a member of the Court of Owls.  With Strange back and people being revived all over the place, I’m not counting out the possibility of a Peabody return.

Once Bruce works out a little rage with his Shaman, he feels so much different that he decides to stay and keep working.  Good on him.  The Shaman is delighted—saying that the two of them will “Make Gotham pay.”  We don’t know what the Shaman’s whole deal is, but he clearly feels wronged.  At the hospital, Ivy shows up at Selina’s room with bunches of specialized plants.  We know that’s good news.  They really ought to market that mind-control perfume.  I’d buy the hell out of that.

When Jim and Harvey attempt to locate Barnes, they find nearly everyone dead at the lab.  Strange is of limited help, but watch for Bullock’s annoyed line: “You logical bastard!”  We totally expected Kathryn to attempt murder on Jim when she calls him for a meeting.  No, it’s another test.  People on Gotham do enjoy elaborate tests.  Will Jim stand by and watch the Daughters of Gotham tear each other apart via Tetch virus?  Of course not.  But he will fight a Talon until a little girl with a flamethrower gives him an assist.  Actually, Jim’s call to Penguin was brilliant.  Of course, there was no widespread murder.

In a last ditch effort to learn the truth from someone, Lee asks Lucius what’s going on.  He also refuses to tell her what she wants to know—which is pretty much the last straw for her.  Again, I get where she’s coming from.  But she’s not a detective, she’s the medical examiner.  It isn’t really in her job description to be demanding information on cases.  Interestingly, when Shaman and Kathryn talk on the phone—she calls him “Sir” and is super respectful.  So as tough and decisive as she sounds, she’s not calling the shots.  Who is this Temple Shaman, and what is his deal?

Penguin is so proud of his progress that he fails to notice a Talon in his house.  Oops.  Selina wakes up, at long last.  Ivy is shocked to see her unhooking herself from the machines and preparing to leave.  Not us though.  We’re presuming that Ivy’s herbs have done their job, and that Selina will waste no time telling Alfred what she knows about Five.  Because seriously, Five can go to hell.  Was anyone bummed when Selina announced her plan to kill him?

The scene where Bruce talks about his parent’s funeral is telling in an amazing way.  Bruce wasn’t so much sad as angry.  When no one else seemed as angry as he—that made him feel worse.  I get that, as a person who is far more comfortable feeling anger than sadness.  Maybe most people are that way, but most of us don’t talk about it.  What Shaman has in mind for Bruce is similar to what the modern practice EMDR does.  He can retain his memories, but lose their visceral hold over him.  Bruce can remember without activating his fight-or-flight response, without feeling the pain over and over again.

Gotham loves to cram a ton of stuff into the last segment of the show, and Light that Fuse is no exception.  We see that Dr. Thompkins is leaving the GCPD.  We can’t blame her, because it’s clear she’s not in the inner circle.  She feels disrespected, and it must have stung for Harvey to tell her that all this suspicion is coming from her hurt feelings.  That must feel like sexism at its finest.  Jim attempts to talk her out of it, but as he’s still unwilling/unable to tell the whole truth, she is unconvinced.  Watch for a long, Godfather-esque shot of Jim down an elongating hallway.  But you know what you don’t see?  The door closing as it does in The Godfather.  I’m calling that as a sign that we haven’t seen the last of Jim and Leslie.

Penguin wakes, presumably after being captured by Talon.  He’s in a cage, almost a bird cage.  Wow!  Even more amazingly…Ed is in the next cage over.  Kids, this was a moment to end all moments, and they really should have ended the episode on it.  Ed seeing that Oswald is alive.  Penguin in such close quarters with the subject of his most difficult F_ck, marry, kill of all time.  The long look, the reach, the swirl of what must be unfathomably mixed emotions.  S3E18 ends with The Executioner being extoled by Kathryn to murder Jim Gordon.  No surprises there.

Lots of progress in various storylines this week.  Still, this ep falls a bit short of what we’d been getting.  With two episodes remaining this season, we can expect some serious brawling to come.  Selina V Five V Alfred will be a major scrap, as will Jim V the Executioner and the rest of the Court of Owls.  Bruce may end up having to fight Five, which will probably be a nightmare to film.  And of course, the battle between Penguin and his freaks versus Nygma and his mob is bound to boil over deliciously.  I cannot wait!

See you’s next week!

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
As rogues gallery players begin to get comfortable around each other, Penguin wastes no time putting plans in motion.  In Light the Wick, Lee's suspicions about the death of Uncle Frank lead to increasing animosity, Selina gets a hospital visitor, and Bruce learns to let go…of a pair of cufflinks.