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Nicole Haught and The Terrible, Horrible, Actually Pretty Good Day

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Wynonna Earp Season 2, Episode 3 Review, “Gonna Getcha Good”

In which every queer woman spontaneously combusts from cheerleader Waverly. Oh, and some guy with maggots and a feed sack on his face forces people to kill themselves. Great combo, right? Only in Purgatory.

OMG, what?

About that cheerleader Waverly thing…it starts the episode. Once I Nicole Haught recovers, things get frisky. Once again, Wynonna interrupts, and just in time to see a knicker-less Waverly demonstrate her high kick. That’s right, that cheer routine was commando. (Where are Doc’s vapors when you need them?) Nicole leaves for work, Wynonna works out her sexual frustration polishes her gun. At the high school gym, a guy rips out his own liver while the lovechild of Scare Crow and Rorschach with the voice of Nolan’s Batman stares at him from the trophy case. At the crime scene, Nedley tells Nicole to kick the case to BBD, and she don’t look happy.

“You’ve polished the shaft hard enough.”—Waverly

Doc, meanwhile, gets cranky about Rosita being behind on her ‘cocktail’ and Wynonna gets jealous of Rosita. Wynonna and Mercedes do shots, and Mercedes tries to set Wynonna up with Perry. She can tell Wynonna needs to get laid. Perry thinks she as hot as Mercedes does, but Wynonna’s not into it…yet. At BBD, Jeremy doesn’t have anything final about the symbol in the school. Oh, and the self-evisceration doesn’t seem connected. Perry calls to ask Wynonna out, and she agrees. For sex the investigation. When he hangs up, he drains blood out of a skinned rabbit into a bowl. As you do.

“Snitches get stitches.”—Wynonna

Waverly helps Wynonna pick out lipstick for her not!date, then turns into Gooverly and eats the lipstick once Wynonna leaves. (Hey, it’s better than spiders.) At the high school, Mercedes gives a pep talk. Wynonna and Perry discuss letting go of the past but are interrupted by a drunk Skip Morgan raving about Bryce being dead. Perry drags him away very suspiciously. Lucky for him, Wynonna thinks this is hot. She tries to recruit Waverly to help out, but Waverly has plans with Nicole. Wynonna doesn’t want her to forget she’s an Earp and has priorities; Waverly doesn’t take kindly to her sister’s concern. What with the whole “maybe not actually an Earp thing” going on in her head.

“When you stop dating psychos then you can start giving me relationship advice.”—Waverly

Inside the gym, WayHaught flirting suddenly becomes, as Nedley puts it, “a public display of gal pal-it is” (a make-out sesh) when Waverly sees the trophy and becomes Gooverly. Nicole takes out her annoyance on your not-so-friendly neighborhood pervert Tucker Gardner (Mercedes’ brother), who she catches taking upskirt photos of the cheerleaders on his phone. Wynonna finds still drunk Skip with blood on his door and forehead he says Perry put there. Creepy McSackface shows up to force Skip to pull out his own entrails, but he doesn’t finish the job. Down at the station, Nicole watches Tucker get off scot free because his parents were wealthy good people.

“I’m sorry, did I hit my head and wake up in patriarchal bullsh*t land?”—Nicole

Wynonna arrives to pick up books for Waves. Perfect time for Nicole to confide that she’s noticed Waverly is acting, well, not exactly like herself. Wynonna brings up BBD, which was exactly the right (and wrong) button to push. Poor Nicole, it all went downhill from the cheerleading. Perry shows up at the homestead; Doc takes a little too much pleasure knocking him out, just in case he’s the bad guy. Only he’s not. Waverly explains the symbols and blood he made were protective. They wake him up, and he explains that 10 years ago, the hockey team summoned a marzaniok. It’s basically a genie-like creature that can grant wishes, but exacts a price. And it’s harvest time

“It’s true, you are some kind of paranormal warrior.”—Perry

Doc suggests using the demon to help Dolls. See, he needs demon blood for the serum he’s been cooking for Dolls (told you so!). Wynonna agrees not to kill the demon. In town, Doc and Perry find another dead hockey player. Waverly runs into Tucker on the way back from seeing Skip’s wife, and he’s all kinds of gross. Gooverly doesn’t take kindly to his casual sexism and homophobia. But a call from Doc interrupts her choking him, and she leaves to find Skip. Wynonna gets the trophy from the school after beating up a couple of jerky teenagers.

“There, there, compadre. At this rate you’ll be broken enough for her in no time.”—Doc

At the station, Skip is in jail for drunk driving. Unfortunately for Nicole, the marzaniok shows up, making her already bad day even worse. Doc, Wynonna, and Perry show up to contain it. The marzaniok tempts Wynonna with whatever she wants. So she wishes the monster back into his trophy, saving Perry and Dolls in the process. She and Perry share a kiss, but it’s not to be. Wynonna believes she’s too broken for him (cue ugly crying). Nedley lets Nicole in on the Purgatory secret: everyone just wants a normal life. He tells her he’s grooming her to be sheriff after him, as she’s the perfect person to watch out for the normals. He then hands her a file on Tucker Gardner, explaining that he’s playing a long game.

“Trying to save the others, sometimes that’s all we can do right?”—Wynonna

At the Gardner homestead, Mercedes cuts Tucker off from his money, protection, and privilege. Wynonna inspired her. But before she can enjoy her life change, the Women in Black grab her. At the bar, Waverly translates the incantation for the Marzaniok. Doc explains to Wynonna that he promised Dolls he wouldn’t tell her about the serum, as he’s expendable. Just as he’s explaining that Dolls would be a fool to come back to Purgatory, Dolls crawls into the shed in the homestead. Too bad Gooverly is being a magpie and ignores him.

His head does look naked. Poor Doc.

Favorite One Liner: “The people that choose to live here, they want a simple life in a small town with a sh*tty hockey team with a view of the Rockies, and some of us feel that that’s worth ignoring the occasional mermaid poltergeist.”—Nedley

I Gotta Say…

Brendan Yorke wrote a doozy! This season is relentless. With the pacing thus far, we truly are on the Fury Road, and it looks like that’s not letting up any time soon. I love it. And for all the body horror this episode, the gore levels were fairly low. Nothing’s fake looking, but the violence lacks the voyeurism cloaked in ‘realism’ that so pervades the Dark and Gritty™ narratives on TV these days. It’s a fine line, and like Johnny Cash, Wynonna Earp walks it with dignity.

Tucker is the real villain. He’s all of the worst things every woman has had to experience at the hands of entitled men. The demands for smiles, the casual misogyny, sexism, and gross male gaze. Then you have the flagrant dismissal and disgust toward her being queer. Plus, he’s a white, wealthy, trust fund kid. He’s the Dolores Umbridge to the marzaniok’s Voldemort. Creepier and more frightening because he’s a known evil, a villain we’ve faced every day of our lives.

The continued balance of action and emotion continues to impress, as does the writing. If I hadn’t known that three different writers wrote each of the last three episodes, I wouldn’t have been able to tell. The writing is honestly so seamless, and the tone and characters so consistent, you’d think it all fell out of the same head. Though maybe Andras is actually the queen of a hive-mind-like collective brain. You never can tell with Andras. I’d join that hive-mind, ngl.

Back to dialogue. The rapid fire snark hides a surprising amount of depth in its quippiness. Characters like Wynonna and Doc hide their feelings under glibness, so if you scratch the surface, their words will break you apart. Melanie Scrofano (an acting queen) may deliver lines like “Sometimes that’s all we can do, right?” and “No, I’m the one who’s broken”, with a wry raise of her eyebrows, but her voice tells a different story. That slight hitch in her throat that she does conveys a world of hurt hiding not so far below the surface. At least she didn’t cry this episode. I die a little inside when Wynonna cries. Seriously, when Wynonna Earp breaks down enough to show her feelings, it’s a wonder all of Purgatory doesn’t drown with tears.

As far as Doc is concerned, this episode proves a point made in the comments from last week. That Doc wants to be Wynonna’s choice, but also doesn’t want to be her default choice. I also have to wonder if Dolls’ mortal danger reminds him of his own immortality. Which reminds Doc that he will eventually outlive Wynonna, hence his comments about making deals you regret. Just punch me in the face. It would hurt less.

Speaking of my feelings, Nicole and Nedley stole the whole episode. I mean, I loved that opening scene (as Nicole said, “that’s everybody’s thing”), but Nicole and Nedley managed to top it. One, my girl Nicole really did have such a terrible day. And no one noticed. She’s been suffering quietly, onscreen but still behind the scenes, since this season began. Wynonna was the only one to see the truth (not Waverly), and then used it against her. By the time Nicole yells at the marzaniok at the end, I’m right there with her.

Honestly, I was so mad when Nedley brushed her off and let Tucker go but then…he turned right around and became the best damn Cop Dad ever. Did you catch how well this was done? Nedley didn’t just offer her a future and then tell her to earn it or wait for it. He told her his plans for her, then gave her the space to start making that reality true for herself. She immediately wanted to make changes, and he stepped aside. Good Lord. This is so well done.

Nicole is so well done. She feels useless and overqualified for her job and wants something where her her work will be recognized. But Nedley pegs her perfectly. She isn’t the hotshot that solves the big flashy stuff; she’s the cop who cares about everyone, the person who keeps the ‘normal people’ safe. She’s the Steve Trevor to the Earp Sisters’ Wonder Woman, saving the day so that they can save the world. And god if this doesn’t mess me all up inside. Nicole has such a huge heart and cares so much about everyone. She’s intuitive, insightful, and nurturing. She leads with her empathy and intuition and knows people better than they know themselves. Oh my god, she’s my favorite character type (I have a piece on that coming up, so stay tuned).

I mean, how choked up she gets after Nedley’s “Just be a good cop it matters” kills me. She matters. Her work matters. It’s what she’s always wanted, to do work that matters and keeps people safe. And now she’s getting it as the new sheriff in training (*sniff* my precious baby). I think this might make up a little bit for the bs she had to deal with today.

I’m grateful to see the tension between Waverly and Nicole isn’t going away after the makeup sex, a hope I voiced last week. Not that I have any reason to be surprised. Emily Andras did describe WayHaught this season as “sexy, sexy drama”, so… Honestly, their relationship tension is written and acted so well. The stakes are neither infantilizing nor Shockingly Dramatic™. They’re real. WayHaught is proof that you can write an arc with real consequences for a romantic relationship between queer women and have the relationship itself still feel safe. High stakes ≠ death or breakup.

Sexy, sexy drama Exhibit 12 (and counting).

We got some interesting tidbits about Waverly’s character this week, too. We learned she’s always been prone to being more invested in other people’s accomplishments than her own, used to playing second fiddle. Despite being prom queen, head cheerleader and valedictorian, she watched Champ play video games rather than give her own valedictorian speech. She likely missed her own graduation for him. The metaphor is pretty clear when you think about it. The episode started with her in her old cheer uniform, then we find out she was the head cheerleader. Get it? It’s a metaphor for her life. Always the head of the cheer squad rather than the one in the middle of the action.

It only makes Nicole’s remark about Waverly losing her sweetness that much more poignant. On the one hand, yes Waverly for being her own person and not sitting on the sidelines! As Wynonna said, she’s come a long way. On the other, we don’t want to see Waverly lose the warm heart and supportiveness that makes her such a great sister, girlfriend, and person. Somewhere in there, she needs to find balance between orbiting around someone and pushing everyone away like Wynonna does.

Gee, it’s like Wynonna being in touch with her emotions and more vulnerable and Waverly finding assertiveness and making her own way in the world are a foil for each other or something. It’s almost like sisters are a great way to explore two sides of the same coin. I wish other shows would realize this.

I see you, Andras Yorke

  • Good job with the nasty woman reference.
  • I’ve been waiting for that Breaking Bad reverence, ofc Wynonna wouldn’t let me down
  • Can I say how much I love Dani Kind as Mercedes?
  • Jealous Nicole at the beginning is so cute. She doesn’t want those cross-eyed hooligans checking out her girl.
  • Love how Waverly throws out the “flaming ladybug” line thinking she and Wynonna are doing a bit, then Wynonna actually calls herself one.
  • Also, “calm down flaming ladybug” is my new motto.
  • The look of pain on Waverly’s face when Wynonna mentioned forgetting being an Earp. My heart.
  • That little snort Melanie Scrofano does is adorable.
  • We know now for a fact that Waverly doesn’t remember what Gooverly does.
  • I used to watch my older brother play video games for hours. I really am Waverly in so many ways.

Don’t forget to enter the Wynonna Earp giveaway!

And come back next week for a good ol’ fashioned bar shoot up scene and Dolls giving away Gooverly’s secret!


Images Courtesy of SyFy

Bi, she/her. Gretchen is a Managing Editor for the Fandomentals. An unabashed nerdy fangirl and aspiring sci/fi and fantasy author, she has opinions about things like media, representation, and ethics in storytelling.

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Homophobia Shouldn't Be the Default – The RaconteurHomophobia Shouldn't Be the Default - The FandomentalsThat Which DreamsErin KaneSuou no Nioi Recent comment authors
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Suou no Nioi
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Suou no Nioi

Doc, your inner Pearl is showing. Please stop, my heart can’t take it. I love Mercedes and I had literally just said that I wanted nothing but nice things for her when she got grabbed and I am just dreading the future for her now. Her brother isn’t just gross and creepy; his deadpan delivery is worrisome for more aupernatural reasons. I just really don’t want Mercedes to end up like that or to basically be pressed into becoming a villain. She deserves so much better. Wayhaught continues to fascinate me because I keep wondering how much of their dynamic… Read more »

ErinKane
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ErinKane

This season has been so awesome! Better than the first in my opinion. Can’t wait to see Nicole’s new outfit! I’m so happy Nicole is getting screentime and her own storyline rather than just being the girlfriend. That’s an area where Supergirl really failed with Maggie Sawyer.

That Which Dreams
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That Which Dreams

Theory: the Stone Witch’s demon husband, the one who originally cursed the Earps, is who was under the seal.

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[…] in our society. That our media reflects both of these trends is therefore not at all surprising. Well written queer characters and thoughtful storylines exploring non-heterosexual orientations exist alongside narratives that […]

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[…] in our society. That our media reflects both of these trends is therefore not at all surprising. Well written queer characters and thoughtful storylines exploring non-heterosexual orientations exist alongside narratives that […]

Television

Star Wars Resistance: Episode 11, “Bibo”

Angelina

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Star Wars: Resistance

So…Star Wars: Resistance is back from its winter hiatus! Should we celebrate? Not yet, I’d say, because “Bibo” is more like a filler/breather episode meant to tune the audience in after holiday break. It has nothing substantial to add to series’ lore or to its overarching plot, yet it still manages to entertain and to help us dive back into familiar Colossus atmosphere.

Spoilers ahead!

Recap: Neeku Finds a Pet

So, we’re back at The Colossus, where Synara presents Kaz with a chance to loot a salvaged Clone Wars-era fighter for repair parts. All nice and good, until they find a small, cute but awfully stinky creature stowed away inside the rusty husk. And until Neeku decides this small critter would be his pet from now on.

Actually, Bibo is really cute

A bit of slapstick ensues, as Neeku tries (without any success) to teach his pet some obedience. It turns out the newly christened Bibo can (and actually will, if no one stops him) eat literally anything. Especially if it has something to do with starships.

By the by, Synara has a call from her pirate leader, who informs her about Kaz and Poe’s Resistance affiliation. The call is of course interrupted by Kaz appearing to ask for another repair part…or, rather, to spend some time around Synara. Who masterfully pretends not to see his advances, and I can’t really blame her for that.

They go on a salvage dive together, hoping to find other fighters from the same squadron as the first.

As Bibo continues to wreak small-scale havoc in Yeager’s garage, it turns out Neeku really loves his new pet dearly—so much so he’s ready to leave Yeager’s service if he insists on his “no pets”rule. Neeku’s devotion is so strong, Tam asks to cut Bibo some slack. And even goes on to support Neeku after he loses Bibo in the station’s maze of corridors.

And while Kaz is busy fighting sea sickness and Synara’s too pointed questions about his real identity, a big tentacled monster is leading its way to The Colossus, and of course it’s looking for Neeku’s pet. And, well, we learn the aptly named children from Tehar might be Force-sensitive, as the girl, Eila, turns out to have profetic dreams.

Meaning, she dreamt something like this, poor soul!

All that results in Neeku having to choose between his pet and station’s safety, and of course he makes the right choice. however hard it is for him.

Review: On Caring for Each Other

While the episode doesn’t advance the story in any way, it managed to checklist/remind the viewer of all the plot-relevant details, while telling a cohesive self-contained story.

We have Synara playing an important role in the story, which reminds us she’s the primary Chekhov’s gunwoman of this show. Seeing her really care for the station and really enjoying her new work as a salvager, it’s obvious she will be made to choose between her allegiances very soon. On the one hand she has people who actually care–be it about each other or about common causes–and on the other hand she has her (high enough) place in pirate crew and a lifestyle she’s accustomed to…

I just hope Kaz with his inept wooing wouldn’t do anything with her decision.

Speaking about Kaz, this episode also reminds us both of his strengths and weaknesses. He’s still not good in either social interactions or actually not tripping on things, while still brilliant in flying and able to think and act quickly in a stress situation. Also it’s kinda sweet that he doesn’t really bother Synara with his feelings, trying to do something good for her instead. Well, “trying” is a key word here, but still: seeing a guy not forcing his niceguying down a lady’s throat is always a treat.

Also this episode went a long way to show us Tam Ryvora’s caring and friendly side. Which I really liked, and especially I liked that it was not treated as something special or unusual. She just is really a caring person who would look after her co-workers and help them any way she can. But when those co-workers act as jerks…well, she will call them out on it.

All the plot lines, in the end, converge on the main idea of the episode, which is: to love is to care for those we love. Which is actually quite close to being the idea of the whole series.

Neeku being ready to protect his “smallest friend” even at the whole station’s cost is equally ready to give it back to its mom even though his heart(s) is/are really breaking. Because he sees the critter really is better with his mom, not with him. All the while whole Team Fireball is ready to set aside their discomfort if their friend—Neeku—needs his pet so much. Even Yeager, the one most annoyed at Bibo’s existence, is ready to help Neeku find it.

Because he cares. Because they all care.

Thoughts, Moments, Theory Fuel

  • Neeku harboring so strong feelings for his just-found pet makes sense if we remember he has no close friends and is mostly isolated because of his quirky behaviour.
  • Tam Ryvora calling Yeager out for making such a fuss about Neeku’s pet while never really reacting with due severity on Kaz’s (much more destructive) mistakes was great.
  • The girl from Tehar, Eila, having profetic dreams must be a Chekhov’s gun. I look forward to see how it goes off!
  • Will the tentacled creature return in the series finale, like the wolves and the space whales did? We’ll see!
  • Synara now knows how to set the alarm on.
  • The Are you trying to incite panic? – Yes! Exactly! Everyone needs to panic right now! moment was really funny.

Images courtesy of Disney

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Game of Thrones Season 8 Teaser Really Wants to be Meaningful

Kylie

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2018 was a magical, Throne-less year, even if it officially won its Season 7 Emmy for Outstanding Drama in September. I’ll admit—I may have taken it for granted. Because here we are, less than a fortnight into 2019, and HBO has decided to grace us with the news that the biggest critical darling (for reasons still unexplained) is going to be back on our screens April 14th. April 14th. That’s basically 4 minutes from now.

Of course, HBO didn’t simply tell us the date; no no, we needed a Teaser Trailer of Extreme Significance to accompany it. And this one is…special. Look, I may not have been amazed at the three-second exchange between Dany and Sansa from the Golden Globes teaser, but at least that involved what was obviously an actual clip from the new season! In fairness, it’s not exactly unheard of for season release dates to be dropped in some kind of weird CGI ice and fire video featuring old dialogue. But this one was clearly planned and staged, it features three main actors, and the budget is certainly better than that of “people sit in chairs” from last year. Here, just check it out for yourself:

There’s a little here we can talk about, though I’m guaranteeing you the millions of hot takes that are currently clogging up Twitter will place far too much significance on this. “Oh my god, does that mean the Starks are all going to die?!” Probably not. There’s a reason I picked the Hall of Faces promotional picture for this piece—sometimes showrunners Benioff and Weiss just like to play up the idea that anyone can die, before shrouding Jon in plot armor so thick that he can survive plunging into freezing cold waters in full furs whilst surrounded by the army of the dead without an eye-blink.

They’ll probably be fine.

I do feel like I’m being uncharitable. In concept, this is not a bad teaser. Jon walks by the statue of Lyanna, and we hear a Lyanna quote. Good stuff, seeing as that’s his mom, which I’m assuming Bran will get around to telling him at some point (even if he never passed that on to his sisters). Jon also gets the last walk-by quote when looking at the Sean Bean statue, about how he’s still a Stark since he has the blood. Relevant, I think.

Sansa and Arya, meanwhile, are both shown walking past Cat’s statue with her voice-over, and here’s where my eyes began rolling to the ceiling. For one, it’s a little odd that Cat has a place in the Winterfell crypts at all, but you know…small potatoes. Then, the one Cat quote they picked was her awful, self-flagellating monologue she gave to the walking anachronism. There was a bit more to her character than not being instantly welcoming of the child that bore a significant political risk to her own children! A thing that bothers me too is that Sansa and Arya are shown in association with this quote. I guess they’re both girls, so manly, slow-clapping Ned couldn’t possibly have said something that stuck to them. But Cat’s quote had diddly squat to do with them (these are actually all about Jon), and it’s only going to further push the ridiculous notion that Sansa is somehow struggling with her loyalty and support of Jon. Hopefully Arya’s presence neutralizes that reading a bit, but I know this fandom pretty well.

Finally, the Starks meet up together in the crypts—which is nice and reminds me of that time Sansa, Bran, and Arya had happy bonding and trial-planning times together completely off-screen—only to see statues of themselves! Lost twist ending confirmed! This is purgatory!

Or, I don’t know, something about danger and stakes and “no one is safe on this show” (except everyone who clearly is).

Then the trailer just gets unabashedly Weathertop-esque as what’s likely to be the Army of the Dead approach. Maybe Uncle Benjen can be a last-minute Strider for the third time in a row. But you know, it’s more or less the same thing as Cheryl‘s minty-fresh breath from that trailer for Season 7. There’s a bigger threat, and every teaser is going to end with it.

All in all, I’m not particularly over or under-whelmed. This was a very expected trailer, and probably a long day for Sophie Turner, Kit Harrington, and Maisie Williams. I love that Bran was excluded for ~reasons~ that I’m sure are as difficult to explain as his three-eyed crow nature. But frankly, can we take that alone as proof that Season 8 is not, in any way, going to have the “same ending” as A Song of Ice and Fire? This show is going to do what it wants, as it sees creatively fit to do so. Which is why any “meaning” to be found in it falls flat. It’s conceptually fine and technically lovely. But as has been the case, if a plot point needs to happen, even for something like a Stark death, it just will. If they need to randomly prosper instead, then they will.

And now we have only three months to prepare ourselves for the millions of articles on why that makes for the most compelling TV possible.


Media courtesy of HBO

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It’s the Beginning of the End for Gotham

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Gotham’s final season is here. The city connections to the outside world have been sundered. The land carved up by gangs. The first moments of episode one open more than a year after the city has been turned into ‘No Man’s Land’. The Riddler and Penguin putting on their best threads join Jim, Harvey and the rest of the GCPD in an all-out gun battle.

This is a just glimpse into the future, as we’re taken back to day 81. The government is offering no help to Jim.  When the bridges to the city blew, not everyone had been evacuated. The GCPD took in any civilians who didn’t escape. With people to protect and not enough food or ammo to do that they’re running out of options quickly.

Meanwhile, everyone else has been adjusting to life in the new Gotham. Penguin has made City Hall his seat of power and with a factory in his area is the only person producing more bullets. The Siren’s Club has become a safe haven for women, with men only allowed in if they bring information of worth to Barbara. Scarecrow, Firefly, Mr. Freeze, Zsasz and some other gangs have all claimed their own territories. The Riddler is alive and has been suffering from blackouts in his memory.  He’s sure it’s the softer Ed who’s been taking control again. Still unaccounted for are Hugo Strange, Lee Thompkins and the enigma that is Jeremiah Valeska.

Selina wasn’t evacuated because of the bombs. Instead, she’s been at a clinic in the zone protected by the GCPD, paralyzed after her gunshot.  Bruce and Alfred have been at her side. Even with surgery, Selina has no chance to walk again. For someone like her, defined by her independence and mobility, its soul-crushing. So much so she’s willing to kill herself. One nurse whispers to Bruce that doctors aren’t going to help Selina, but ‘the Witch’ can.

Scarecrow and his gang raid the GCPD and clinic for food and medicine, drastically cutting down their rations. With supplies in desperate need, Bruce makes his own arrangements for a drop. But the helicopter is a huge signal flare for everyone in the city. Within moments of entering the city limits, it’s shot down by an RPG. Penguin and his gang try to claim the supplies, but Tabitha still devastated over Oswald killing Butch shows up, looking for revenge. Oswald, however, turns her own blade back on her, stabbing her in the heart.

Jim and the GCPD are also trying to take the supplies. Bruce, having made his own way there, steals bullets from Penguin’s men giving the GCPD the extra firepower they need to turn the fight in their favour. They claim the supplies, buying themselves a few more weeks’ worth of time.

Fresh from the victory, Jim gets some more good news, in the form of a mysterious radio message from the mainland. They don’t say much beyond they are allies and help will be coming soon. The moment is uncut when he finds graffiti, a message from Jeremiah, on his desk.

Jim is still arguing with the government on the mainland as the second episode begins. He doesn’t have time to listen to their bureaucracy because he has to save kids from enslavement. After learning about a gang using kids for free labour, he goes to Barbara for transport. She’s raw after losing Tabitha, but she still gives Jim the vehicles he needs.

Their rescue goes well, until one of the vehicles gets a flat tire in the crossfire, forcing Jim, Harvey and three kids to escape on foot. They find refuge in an abandoned hotel. Their rest doesn’t last long when Jim and Harvey encounter a child and a strange masked woman, (aka Mother and Orphan who were teased in the season four finale). The streets aren’t safer since there’s a bounty on Jim’s head. Just when it seems like Jim and Harvey are outgunned, Barbara rides in on a four-wheeler like a vicious angle of death. Her good deeds aren’t out of the goodness of her heart. She’ll need allies if she’s going to take Penguin down. She wants Jim to be one of those allies.

The Riddler hasn’t figured out to stop his other half from taking over. His nightly escapades this time included kidnapping a biker. The Riddler beats the information his alter ego wanted from the biker the night before. The information, the location of the gang’s headquarters, leads Ed to find the gang leader slaughtered with the blame pointing to Penguin. He’s not sure what his alter ego end goal is yet, but it seems like he’s trying to start a gang war.

Meanwhile, Bruce, following the lead on ‘the witch’ finds her being guarded by men who are waiting on backup to kill this witch. The Witch is actually Ivy, who’s been residing in a park since the city was cut off from the world. Bruce convinces the men to let him talk to ‘the Witch’ with a lie about a missing brother.

He lets Ivy out and she kills the men, threatening to do the same to Bruce. He reveals he needs help for Selina. She’s reluctant to help at first. The last time she’d seen Selina, she’s destroyed the Lazarus water Ivy was using to enhance her plants. But Bruce convinces her to help. She gives him a seed that should heal Selina, but, she warns that taking it could change Selina.

He returns to the clinic. The seed sends Selina into a shock, but hours later she’s walking again. But, as Bruce hugs her, her eyes shift colour and shape to become more catlike.

Review

Two episodes in, the final season is gearing up for an explosive ending. Gotham turned into this empty war zone takes the city to new lows. Gotham, both setting and show have always been defined by the criminals. ‘No Man’s Land’ creates the perfect opportunity for those criminals to wreak havoc to the full. But also creates the ideal conditions to give birth to the hero the city needs. Be that Bruce, or Jim, both men have grown into their roles as the city’s protectors. For Jim, that means being the face the people trust and respect. For Bruce, it’s being the one who works in the shadows without need or want for praise.

As for the criminals, the tease of the Riddler and Penguin months down the line is tantalizing. What draws them all together again? Jeremiah’s tease, though not as substantial still leaves one wanting more. Losing Tabitha was a devastating blow to establish to the stakes for the season. Gotham does have a tendency to bring characters back to life so I hope that tradition carries on at least one more time. Her death has pushed Barbara into action. Who’s to say where her character will stand when the smoke finally clears. She’s the one character I’m most curious to see since she’s the one major player in Gotham who doesn’t have a major legacy in the comics. I’m glad Selina’s recovery wasn’t drawn out. It was heart-breaking to see her so depressed and broken. But now she can join the final fight, as a fully realized Catwoman.

Mother and Orphan, on the other hand, didn’t have much of a presence. They were there and then the plot moved on. It seemed like it was going to be a compelling start to the characters, with a flash of Mother in the background of a shot that would make most horror movies jealous. It turned out to be underwhelming as Jim and Harvey escape before the pair could truly feel threatening.

But, there are still many things lurking the depths of Gotham, waiting for their moment to strike. These final episodes promise to be filling with new faces and old favourites as the series moves to its final curtain call.


Images courtesy of Fox

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