Gotham: Scarification features a gender changed Firefly, taking a page from Marvel’s decisions to change up the guys and gals with a female Thor…Of course the televised version of the DC verse sans a grown up Bruce Wayne and a Jim Gordon who is considerably younger than, say, Gary Oldman’s police commissioner has given viewers a number of origin scenarios.
That said, not all origin tales are true or meant to be taken literally. Just as The Joker was introduced via Jerome Valeska and Heller just yanked the future jokester with the big grin right out of the equation. Granted, it was an effective way to show just how far new character, in the television verse of Gotham, Theo Galavan was prepared to go in his quest for revenge.
Now seems a good moment to discuss Theo and sister Tabitha (Jessica Lucas as sis just kills it, that great combination of sexy sultry vixen with deadly psychopathic killer tendencies is an epic win.) These two had some brilliant interactions in this episode.
Tabitha complaining that she was bored, and brother dear retorting that she has plenty to do. A parent chiding a child who complains that they have nothing to do. In the same scene, after she complains that Kean sleeps too long is is “crazy” Theo takes off his “daddy” hat and protests that the crazy bit is what makes Kean so much fun.
Most telling is when the audience is spared the sight of Tabitha taking Bunderslaw’s eye but Theo watches it all and the “master criminal” looks decidedly ill.
Thus far, all of the good guys are boring, most probably because they are not Batman; with his long list of issues including the murder of his parents that will not reach fruition till the young “Master Bruce” grows up. Alfred is there to provide a bit of color and break a few heads (and slap a young Cat Woman, aka Selina Kyle).
Back to the Scarification episode, the Penguin is losing his grip on whatever passes for normal in his “I’m the King of Gotham” brain. After meeting the expository antique queen, Edwige the “bird man” (great line from Tabitha) decides that the Dumas tale of Wayne ancestors chopping off the hand of a transgressing Dumas relative, Penguin opts to chop off Butch’s hand.
*Sidenote* The punishment of removing the hand of Caleb does make one wonder what sort of “illicit” embrace the two were caught in? Where was Caleb’s hand? Celestine was not telling anyone but…the fact that she died an “old maid” spinster speaks volumes…
One note of complaint has to be played here. The flashback was odd to say the least. With all the participants in the sepia memory having some pretty “punk” version of old fashioned hairstyles. Considering that these “mod” do’s needed styling wax, someone made a boo-boo here. Just saying.
Still, this is Gotham. The only place in the world where one can buy weapons and all things connected to murder and mayhem in a giant Home Depot type of store, The Merc. While this was amusing, the gag about the Firefly “brother” exploding when Gordon shoots him was funnier, albeit a cinematic joke that has been almost, pardon the pun, done to death.
The newly formed GCPD Strike Force suffers its first fatality, Luke Garrett, much to the consternation of Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) who vows to make the “cop killer” who killed his man pay.
Jim Gordon proves that his ability to read people is way off when he offers to support Theo Galavan for mayor. The mayoral candidate and former Dumas gets a visit from Father Creel, a robed figure who is obviously from the punishment cult that the old Dumas transgressor, aka that young man who could not keep his hand to himself (Boom Boom), Caleb, was banished to.
It now appears that the old chap in the robe is promising a legion of more old chaps in robes who are about to lay waste to Gotham. (Fair enough, these traveling monks may not all be old, but that was the vision that sprang to mind when watching the end of Scarification.)
The change of Firefly to domestically abused gal pal of Selina Kyle is interesting as a sort of skewed Cinderella tale sans mice and the further Cat Woman as Fairy Godmother. The main difference being that Bridgit Pike (Michelle Veintimilla) makes ashes and does not sweep them.
Still, as those who take Gotham far too seriously would point out, in this Batman-less verse this is Bruno Heller’s vision and not necessarily a mirror image of DC’s Gotham. In Bruno’s world, if you are a good guy, it essentially “sucks to be you.” The villains all have a lot of fun, get the best lines and have access to the prettiest women…except for Ben McKenzie’s gal on, and off, the show Morena Baccarin.
Thinking about it, Jim Gordon had access to Barbara Kean as well, and crazy or not, this sleeping beauty is lovely to look at but, after the evil Jason Lennon got done with her, dangerous to hold. After the “death” of Jerome, whom I am still hoping pops up like an evil “clown” from a kid’s crank toy, it seems the best way to take Gotham is with a huge grain of salt. Blood pressure be damned.
This verse is all pre-pre-Batman. With origins to be played with and varied up until Heller’s verse only faintly resembles the real DC tales of this darker than dark city called Gotham. The series airs Mondays on FOX. Tune in and enjoy the alternative version of a DC favorite.