Gotham Episode 109 Recap: Holy Lesbosexy Scissoring, Batman!

Welcome, once again, to Gotham, a made-for-TV movie about the forbidden love between a penguin and a fish. Just kidding, the fish and the penguin hate each other. This movie is about murder.


It feels like it has been one thousand years since my last recap, probably because Gotham still is not giving us enough Renee Montoya, which, to be honest, would be my main feeling even if the show was one full hour of Renee Montoya doing Renee Montoya things, presented without commercials by Sally Hansen, maker of Ultra-Fine Scissoring Products.

When last we met beneath the light of the autumnal moon, Renee Montoya and Jim Gordon had put aside their differences — or, similarities, really, in the boob-touching department — for the sake of the “good” people of Gotham City. She saved his life, he forgave her for arresting him, everybody hung out with Bruce Wanye. It was all good in the Bathood. But while things were getting better with Jim and Renee, they were getting way worse with Jim and Barbara, due to the fact that he kept lying to her, patronizing her, and not understanding why she might be just a little bit jumpy after getting kidnapped by a crime lord’s favorite sociopath.

And that is where our story begins this week.

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So you’re as terrible at being a boyfriend as you are at being a cop?

Gordon drags Catgirl to Barbara’s apartment, presumably to ask her to babysit, but she is not there. Instead she has left a note apologizing for being needy and saying she felt unsafe, which is obviously code for “I’m going to get my emotional needs filled somewhere else and by someone who will protect me instead of judge me.” But Godron doesn’t know that yet. Catgirl does, because she’s not an idiot, but she keeps that information to herself. So Jim hits up literally his only other friend in town, a prepubescent billionaire genius orphan. Alfred is like, “Absolutely not!” But Bruce is like, “Absolutely yes!” Especially once he finds out Catgirl is the one who saw his parents get murdered. And so they take in the stray Selina Kyle right off the streets.

Gordon has a lot on his plate this week.

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It smells like Barbara’s perfume. Why does it smell like Barbara’s perfume?

Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya have been scouring the city for good guys and have found a young attorney named Harvey Dent who seems eager to keep kids out of juvie while also helping them turn their lives around. Harvey has his eyes on one of Gotham City’s dozens of crooked billionaires, a guy named Lovecraft, and he wants to shake some truth out of him by telling him that Detective Gordon has a witness who can finger him for the Wayne murders. Gordon thinks it’s a dumb idea, but he goes along with it. Lovecraft also thinks it’s a dumb idea, but when he laughs in Harvey Dent’s face, Dent flips the fuck out like a two-headed coin. A good guy but also a lunatic; whatever will become of him?

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Tails, you win; Heads, I become a psycho.

Another thing Gordon’s got going on is, a mad bomber named Ian Hargrove gets busted out of police custody on his way to Blackgate Penitentiary. Some thugs chain him up and force him to make grenades all day long. The first place that gets exploded is a munitions factory, so the thugs can steal even more things that blow up. Bullock — who seems super eager to work these days, bless him — and Gordon tag-team with Edward Nygma and Hargrove’s brother to find out what  he’s going to blow up next, and also to realize that he’s legitimately nuts and doesn’t want to do bad stuff. He thinks he’s helping by destroying the places that make killing machines.

Gordon and Bullock spend half their time talking about why Barbara left Jim and half their time tracking down Hargrove and the thugs to one of the vaults of cash Falcone keeps around the city. Guns are pulled, shots are fired, another bomb goes off; this time it’s a tractor trailer that gets exploded, and it’s full to the brim with Falcone’s dollars.

The thugs die. Gordon saves Hargrove. And Butch watches from atop a nearby hill.

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99 problems and an old white man is every single one.

Butch, you say? Butch, I say. You know him. He works for Fish Mooney. She was behind the whole thing, of course. She’s happy everyone died in the bombing. Loose ends make her nervous. And she’s happy Falcone lost a gazillion dollars. She hates his old gross guts.

One loose end Fish is not minding properly is Liza, Falcone’s girlfriend/cook/bedtime story reader. Penguin spends the day literally sniffing around until he finally discovers that Fish Mooney’s perfume is all over Liza’s clothes (?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!) and so he knows they’re working together. He confronts Liza and tells her she’ll have to be a triple agent now, unless she wants to die, and she can tell that he’s not kidding around. And he is not. He has thus far happily murdered for sandwiches and shoes. Liza says she’ll work for Penguin while pretending to work for Fish while pretending to work for Falcone.

Maybe she wasn’t so prepared for The Hunger Games, after all.

But all of that is garbage-nonsense compared to the two most important things that happen in this episode named “Harvey Dent.”

Number two important: Bruce Wayne is in love with Selina Kyle.

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“Cat.” “Bat. Nice to meet you.”

The thing is, neither of them has ever had a real friend and neither of them have parents anymore and neither of them are interested in whatever lame-ass small talk makes the world go round. They talk about the only thing either of them care about, really: How to survive on the mean streets of Gotham. And also kissing. They talk a lot about kissing. Catgirl laughs at Bruce for learning to box like some English boarding school kid from the ’50s and also for playing a game where he jumps in the pool fully clothed and times himself holding his breath. He says he’s learning discipline; she says a gun’s a gun, and that’s the lesson he needs to know the most.

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Verbatim: “You are the weirdest kid I have ever met.”

She does more to assuage his guilt about his parents getting murdered than anyone else has done, and then she invites him to have an adorable food fight, the prize of which is smooching. Bruce is into it. Hardcore into it. Even Alfred has to admit that having Selina around is pretty rad. (Too bad Harvey Dent’s plan to use her to take down the person who didn’t actually murder the Waynes is going to backfire and send her skedaddling away with young Master Bruce’s heart.)

Number one important: Barbara and Renee are doin’ it, lesbo-style!

At the end of the day, Jim calls Barbara and leaves a message asking her to come home. He says he loves her. But, y’all, Barbara is so busy right now because Renee Montoya is crawling on top of her, kissing her on them lips, smiling right down at her without a worry in the world.

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The lighting is almost as beautiful as Lost Girl’s lesbian sex lighting, huh?

I know this shouldn’t make me as happy as it does, BUT I DON’T CARE. Do you know how long I’ve been reading comic books? 100 years probably. And do you know how much straight white male bullshit I have to put up with on the regular, even just browsing in a comic book shop? SO MUCH BULLSHIT. I read a bunch of reviews of this week’s episode a few minutes ago and it is basically all these fanboys having the biggest, loudest fits you have ever seen in your life, like they are so sure a beautiful woman would leave the embrace of future Commissioner Jim Gordon of the Gotham City Police Department to have sex with another woman. So sure someone would choose V on V over P in the V. Can you even imagine what a nightmare that must seem like to these dudes? It’s the opposite of nearly every thing that ever happens to bisexual women on television and in comic books, and I don’t even care if it’s not here to stay; it’s here for now.

Just think about this for a second: The only love triangle on the only live-action TV show about Batman is between a man and a women and a woman. The only sex scene we’ve ever seen on a Batman TV show is between two women. And one of them is Renee Motherfucking Montoya, a Latina lesbian badass angel created on evolution’s very best day.

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Yes, but this is 8:00pm on broadcast TV, so no tongue.

It’s good for me to see this. It’s good for all these straight fanboys to see this.

It’s good for my heart.

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Okay, a little tongue.

And it is hella good for my eyeballs.

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 855 articles for us.

17 Comments

  1. I look forward to seeing this in two weeks time here in the UK and thus have not read the recap, just ogled the picture. When I know there’s none of the gay stuff happening I read ahead but now I’m saving it so I can be overjoyed/disappointed in real time. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. I feel slightly ambivalent about the show playing into the ‘bisexual lady will inevitably cheat with someone who is a different gender from their current partner’ trope, but I feel positive about Montoya being on screen and not clothed and being obviously queer. Crossing my fingers that the show will eventually give Montoya a love interest who isn’t engaged to the hero dude!

  3. Great recap Heather. Something confuses me though. When you have in emphasis “so sure” (I still don’t know how to write italics online sorry), do you mean the fanboys were displeased with the Barbara/Renee bedroom match up? Because “so sure” makes it sound like the totally could believe “a beautiful woman would leave the embrace of future Commissioner Jim Gordon of the Gotham City Police Department to have sex with another woman,” rather they denying it could happen.

  4. Yes, that was a breathtaking scene — so beautifully blocked and lit and eye contact and hands and everything was perfect. Let’s just watch that all day.

    But have you read this?

    http://tvline.com/2014/11/24/gotham-season-1-preview-jim-arkham-bruce-selina-dark-barbara/

    “It was the idea of however much Barbara tried to win Jim back, her failure to do so jettisoned her back into her past — a past where she basically was out of control, and numb to the pains, where she’d blocked out whatever turned her into that animal. Now she has opened those floodgates again and reverted back to…

    TVLINE | Oh, is this a first step in a greater regression?
    It’s about to get very dark for Barbara.”

    Regression.

    It’s the same tedious old cinematic cliche of the woman’s journey from infantile homosociality/homosexuality to hetero maturity. From the very start, they set up with Montoya standing as a reminder and symbol of Barbara’s Bad Dark past, full of drugs and decadence and crazy, whereas White Guy has clearly represented her future and inevitable redemption.

    Ick.

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