This Week on TV, Apr. 27, 2019

Spoiler Alert!

It’s done. Gotham is over.

It’s been a part of this blog for exactly as long as this blog as has been. It’s a bit strange to think that it, like so many other shows I’ve followed, is done. Just… done.

But, done it is, and while I had some criticisms for the finale, and the show overall, it was, in its way… magical. And now we say goodbye.

As for Cloak and Dagger, Tyrone had an emotional gauntlet to run, and Tandy tried to do something good, but it has gone oh so very wrong for her now.

But now that this is done… I am off to see Avengers: Endgame! Ooooh, I am excited! You may expect my review, as free of spoilers as possible, to be up very soon! 😀

Gotham

5.12 “The Beginning…”

You know that thing where these origin-story shows go on for a bit, and then, in concluding the season finale, they jump forward a number of years so you can see how everyone’s doing, and what everyone has become? There’s a reason they only spend a few minutes on that. So, when I heard that the entire episode was leaping ten years forward, I groaned, because that was, like, the worst idea ever, ya know?

I may have been a little mistaken.

Now, I do rather hate how the two young leads of the show, portraying Bruce and Selina, are not seen at all in this episode. Their characters have grown up completely now, but they’re the ones whose future the show was about. It stung, not seeing them at all.

And, make no mistake, they did not aim too high for the series finale. All the same, it wasn’t so bad as I thought it would be. The show is about how Bruce Wayne became Batman, and so the final episode features Batman’s premiere adventure.

It begins with Bruce in a remote town, promising to return to Gotham when he is needed.

Ten years later…

The city is rebuilt, Wayne Tower is rebuilt, and Bruce is returning to Gotham, though he remains continuously busy.

Barbara has become a redhead, and queen of the city, but legitimately this time, with lots of real estate and a soon-to-be finished building that’s even taller than Wayne Tower. So,she did indeed become strong without being a deranged criminal.

Gordon is resigning as commissioner. He had hoped that the city which relied on him so heavily would outgrow him, but it hasn’t. So he means to step down, make room for other to step up, for the good of the city. He’s been living peacefully with Lee, and raising young Barbara Lee with Barbara, handing her back and forth as they might. And he’s been a good commissioner.

On what is ostensibly his last day, the day that Bruce returns and Penguin is released from Blackgate, Riddler is sprung from Arkham. Bullock investigates one of the guards, who shoots himself after making Bullock talk to someone on the phone. Bullock, horrified and terrified, says he shot the man, telling Gordon to let it go. Gordon isn’t about to let it go, and the GCPD follows behind him.

Gordon has his first encounter with a mysterious bat-like figure while investigating a gang. He and Harper arrive to find everyone dead, and the bat tells them not to touch the bodies. As said bodies were rigged with C-4, this saves their lives. Someone is obviously tying up loose ends.

Riddler, meanwhile, wakes up with a box and a note, indicating that Penguin is behind his release and assisting him in making a comeback. But Penguin, grabbing Gordon and taking him to the docks to kill him for locking him up even after they fought side by side, knows nothing of any of this. He is, however, ready to help Riddler when things go south. After Gordon gets away, that is.

At the big event of the evening, the one which Riddler is crashing, Alfred sees Selina. Selina has become quite successful, and quite a cat burglar. She knows Bruce is spying on her, however, and wants him to stop. He left for ten years, and she’s very upset, and quite rightfully so, I’d say. But Alfred doesn’t think her presence is so simply as wanting Bruce to stay away.

Selina notices Riddler (who is hardly inconspicuous) and drags Barbara with her to investigate. Barbara distracts, Selina clobbers. Gordon arrives to evacuate the building, and they figure out that Riddler and Penguin are just patsies for another mastermind. They also realize there’s another bomb, and it’s so big that it’ll bring down the tower, damaging the entire neighborhood and killing a lot of people. Between Gordon, Lee, and Fox, however, they manage to disarm it and save the day.

But the clock tower which held the bomb’s timer is the old one, the one that Jeremiah blew up. Gordon figures it out instantly, and confronts Bullock, whose guard is one of Jeremiah’s, and wearing a wire. The man is not only alive, but he’s been a drooling idiot in Arkham for ten years… except, he’s not a drooling idiot. Insane, yes. Idiot, no.

With his cover blown, the man who will be known as the Joker breaks free again with Echo’s assistance. They stop by Barbara’s club, and though Echo is killed, Barbara, who was only there for her gun, is badly injured, and little Barbara Lee is taken. Gordon goes after them, back to Ace Chemicals. There, he barely saves his daughter, and with the assistance of Batman.

Penguin and Riddler were about to go on a tear together, but they, too, were stopped by the Batman and tied up. They break out of custody, bent on taking the city back… but then they see him leaping rooftops, and think it won’t hurt to wait until tomorrow.

Selina has a conversation with Bruce, the shadow behind her. She tells him that she didn’t want him to protect her… she wanted him. She loved him, and still loves him. But for Bruce, he did what he did because it was the only way. He doesn’t know what happens now, the way forward for them. But he’s back, and he’ll never leave again. So, she should return the diamond she stole earlier.

…ha! No way!

And thus the long ballet in the shadows between these two begins again, in earnest. 🙂

The episode ends with Gordon, Bullock, and the ever-faithful Alfred (who is assisting Bruce alongside Fox), turning on the famous spotlight, marking the occasion of ten years of peace. Gordon isn’t retiring just yet. And the light illuminates a figure high above, a dark knight, a protector… a friend.

Batman.

…ok, that wasn’t the worst ending ever. It, and this entire show, might not have been what I would have imagined, but it wasn’t half bad.

Cloak and Dagger

2.05 “Alignment Chart”

One day, Tandy and Ty are going to work together for five minutes without nearly taking each others’ heads off, and it will be glorious. But today is not that day!

Connors is out instead of Mayhem, and both of the teenagers in this equation are mad about this. Though, for all that Connors is older, has no powers, and just barely got a ten second head start, they meltdown over how he’s gone and could be anywhere and now they need to search to find him. But Ty sends Tandy home to her mother, who has been panicking at her disappearance, until he has a lead.

Ty goes to Brigid, but without her more aggressive part, she’s next to useless in this matter. She can’t shoot straight, she’s afraid, she’s… docile. Like a whipped pup at the approach of its master.

They really do need to figure out how to put her back together, so they have someone with useful aggression tempered by rational thinking. I have an idea there, involving sending her into the dark place to get Mayhem back and rejoin, that sort of thing, but that will have to wait.

Ty prays to his patron loa, looking to find Connors, and he teleports straight to him. But Connors has been busy, and he’s been waiting. He’s right where he was when he shot Ty’s brother, and he does something most unexpected: he surrenders himself. He offers all the evidence needed to condemn himself and clear Ty’s name, including his own confession. He even cuffs himself.

Why? Because all those months alone in the darkness have had a profound impact on him. He has been made to see himself, the things he’s done, the misery he’s spread. That is Hell itself, to be left alone with one’s sins, stripped of any excuse. He certainly deserves his misery, but there is something that happens when one is stripped bare like that and brought low: change.

People are not static objects. We change, whether we want to or not. None of us is who we were before, and we must take care in choosing who we become.

The unadulterated truth is painful to anyone on the wrong side of it, and that immense pressure can change a man. Evil men can repent, though whether they will ever find forgiveness is between them and a power far higher than myself.

Shocking, to say the least, and Ty is understandably skeptical. I mean, to have everything he wants handed to him by his worst enemy, who has suddenly turned a new leaf? Now that is just too good to be true, which is usually pretty dangerous on this show. Even more, what is Ty to do with all that anger, where is to put that righteous anger he’s carried around all these years, once the bogeyman of his youth just fades away?

Even so, he takes Connors to his father, who has been living with the Red Hawks and making a new cloak. Ty is in way over his head here and needs help and guidance, and who better to run to than his father?

Connors’ repentance seems entirely genuine, and not only does he come offering himself on a platter, but he tells them how they need even more. See, he only got off the hook because of his uncle, and his uncle is a very powerful man, amongst a very old and powerful social circle called the Promenade Society. They’re the elite, and the puppeteers of local society. And Connors’ uncle has all of them under his thumb because he has dirt on every single one of them. It’s all on one file, which he calls the Monopoly File, as it’s his Get Out of Jail Free card.

To truly exonerate Ty and condemn Connors, they need to remove his uncle’s interference, which they can do with the Monopoly File. Personally, I’d use it to take down all of them all at once, but eye on the ball here. Ty’s goal is to see justice done, so he follows Connors’ instructions, with the understanding that if it doesn’t work out, then Ty and his father and the Red Hawks will at least have the justice of ending Connors’ life.

Step One: slip into a resort house and snag the key from a bathrobe pocket while its wearer isn’t wearing it, in the steam room.

Step Two: ask Brigid to evacuate a building with a bomb threat and turn off the cameras so he can slip into a private wine collection, find a fake bottle, and get the file.

It goes pretty smoothly, right up to that last bit. The bottle is empty. The file was moved sometime since Connors last knew of it.

Ty is enraged, and quite nearly kills Connors for his betrayal, but then he sees what Connors fears the most. He’s in the dark, trying to cuff himself, but the cuffs keep falling apart. He fears not being able to turn himself in.

Ty is surprised, and his wrath is cooled in the face of Connors’ yearning to face judgment and justice. He wants to be judged. So Ty takes him to the only person left whom he knows can judge him properly: his mother, Adina.

Episode ends on that note. But that’s only Ty’s side of the story.

Tandy has a little argument with her mother. It starts out well enough, they’re on the same level, but then she mention how she went to a bar with a coworker and drank a little. Tandy doesn’t like that, knowing what happens when her mother and booze are mixed together. Then comes the part where she met a handsome doctor who bought them another round. That really doesn’t go over well with Tandy, and she accuses her mother of having stayed with her abusive father because he kept them comfortable. Her mother defends herself, accepting responsibility but explaining that it was a bit more complicated than that. Tandy doesn’t buy it, believing in the simplicity of, “He hits you, you leave.”

It’s one of those things that is simple and complicated and simple again. What Tandy doesn’t realize is that while the principle is simple, people are more complex. There are a multitude of psychological factors and practical considerations, and all of these intertwine to hold one’s fear and dependency in place. It is as simple as just leaving, but arriving at that decision, with enough resolve to act on it, and hold to it, is not a simple process. Just as getting into a bad situation itself is not so simple as stepping into it. It doesn’t just happen overnight, but gradually. So, coming the point where you can step out of it is also a gradual process.

There is no shame in simply being in such a situation, but the longer it goes on, the easier it is to feel that one should be ashamed. And that’s what Tandy’s harsh, clear judgment does: it inspires little more than shame for something that is already long over and done.

Tandy’s carries light within her, and light is great and powerful, but it can also be overly harsh and unforgiving. She needs to work on gentling it a bit.

While Ty is looking for Connors, Tandy gets back to looking for the missing girls. Without Mayhem, she has to follow her own trail. She goes to Andre, who reports, to her, that some of the rescued girls are talking about a girl like an angel and a boy like a shadow saving them. I’m guessing he suspects Tandy’s the angel girl, but, moving on.

Tandy wants to talk to the girls, see if she can get some answer, but Andre heads that off. Then, when she wants to talk to someone else who might know something, he just looks at Leah. Tandy runs a quick little con on her, involving an unwitting Ty who gets mad when he realizes what’s happening, so she can get some info, leading her to a grow house (where they grow plants to make illegal drugs), and she kicks some butt, but walks away with nothing for her trouble.

And then thing really get bad.

You know that feeling, somewhere in your gut, that warns you when something is amiss? That something is just wrong? And then the pieces start falling into place, and you begin to realize the horrible truth, but there’s nothing you can do about it? That was what I felt when I saw Tandy with Leah.

She said that it tore her up, seeing one of her girls shot up with heroin. The usual explanation for that, because Leah cares, is automatic. It’s expected. It’s assumed. But that just means she could skate by without actually explaining anything. So, she was upset, but we didn’t really know why. That was the first thing that struck me. And it struck me exactly when Andre directed Tandy towards her. It just suddenly occurred me: who is better positioned to prey on the helpless, and do so in such a precise, selective manner, than those whom they trust to help them?

Then there was just how well Tandy’s little con, with Tyrone playing an unwitting part, went with her. It somehow just pushed the right buttons automatically, and Tandy got what she needed, easy as that? No, no, something was up. Something was off. It was literally too easy. The story Leah told her rang somewhat true, but it was like watching one of Tandy’s own cons in motion.

And, what, this guy who grew plants for illegal drugs would know everything about how those drugs were used? Nah, that’s not how it works. Things are compartmentalized even, and perhaps most especially, in the criminal underworld.

So, Tandy went, kicked butt, though she came away a little winded and weary and maced in the eyes for it. But it was when she came out that the trap was truly sprung. At no other time is one more vulnerable than right after a victory. Leah just shows up, and Tandy, having already let her get close, is caught off guard. She’s tased, drugged, and strapped into the back of an ambulance.

They got her.

How much you wanna bet that Andre is Leah’s real boyfriend, and the two of them work this scheme together? I mean, Leah was ready to redirect Tandy into a trap after Andre directed Tandy to her, having himself frustrated Tandy’s hope of questioning the rescued girls. What a remarkable coincidence it would be for him to be innocent. More likely, he’s guilty as sin.

The episode is framed by Tandy telling a story. It’s like something out of a wedding reception, and the story is about a farmer who saves a viper and dies for it. The point being that the farmer is a hero, doing what’s right and helping even when it can hurt him. That’s what Tyrone is like in her eyes: a hero who helps even at risk of himself. He’s her best friend.

It turns out, this is part of a hallucination because of the drugs. Her ideal world, it seems, is to have her and Ty’s entire families whole and happy, including his brother and her father, as he, an officer of the law, gets married to Evita, and she gives a speech in his honor.

So, Connors is trying to repent but is failing because his uncle’s file is missing, Brigid is trying to do good but also next to helpless, Ty has the monster of his childhood voluntarily at his mercy and goes to his parents in turn for help, while Tandy just shouted at her mother and got herself caught by the wolf in sheep’s clothing, who probably isn’t alone, and now she’s being shipped off into a living nightmare.

Not good. Really not good.

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3 Responses to This Week on TV, Apr. 27, 2019

  1. swanpride says:

    I am not sure…I suspected Andre last week or so but Leah flew right under my radar. It is possible that he doesn’t know either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merlin says:

      True, it is possible. It would be quite a coincidence, though, and… well, it’s a combination of that with Andre’s behavior, how Leah seems to regard him, how this scheme works, and how Leah, for all her nefariousness, doesn’t strike me as nearly so much of an alpha as Andre does. All of that together makes me strongly suspect him. I could be wrong (and would not mind it). Heck, I didn’t suspect either of them until this week. What made you suspect Andre first?

      Like

      • swanpride says:

        Watching too much Agents of Shield. It has made me so weary of Cloak and Dagger I first wasn’t even sure if Mayham really was the one who killed all those people. And by looking for alternatives, Andre was the only one around. While it turned out the Mayham was indeed the killer, I kept an eye on Andre.

        Liked by 1 person

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