Gotham: These Delicate and Dark Obsessions review S3, Ep16

It’s starting to look like Gotham’s recent hot streak isn’t a fad, but the new status quo. These Delicate and Dark Obsessions was another very strong episode with some very intriguing developments.

The Frank Gordon subplot had to have been the most shocking. Throughout the episode Frank’s loyalties seemed completely up in the air. There was genuine uncertainty if he was working Gordon or The Court of Owls. Frank told Gordon the Court was bringing in a super weapon to destroy the city, but he seemed to be tipping the Court off just as much to Gordon’s actions.

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Things got even more complicated when Marconi revealed Frank was the one who arranged to make the hit on Gordon’s father look like a drunk driving accident. Frank didn’t deny it, but he was focused on stopping The Court or go to extremes to get Gordon to join them. Either way, I definitely didn’t see Frank killing himself. Now Gordon has an entry into The Court. But was that what Frank wanted all along? This has proven a more complex storyline than Gotham usually attempts and it’s paying off.

Small note: I’m still enjoying that Lee still resents Gordon for killing Mario. This keeps Gordon out of Content Relationship-ville and gives Lee a reason for payback at some point.

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The only aspect of the episode that didn’t work was Gordon having Barbara and Tabitha track down information for him. I’m all for sensible ways to work Barbara into an episode, but this time felt forced. At least we got the arrival of a new Talon slicing and dicing fools.

While I’m still not in love with the idea of the Bruce clone storyline, it did lead to some interesting moments here. The Shaman (Raymond J. Berry, Training Day) takes real Bruce on a mind trip to his most defining moment — the murder of his parents. Maybe The Shaman is just another Court stooge, but I’m smelling what he’s cooking by encouraging Bruce to be a symbol. Gotham has done a lot better job of creating these minor foundation blocks for Bruce. Ultimately, they’re going to frame his mindset on becoming Batman. Now the show is committing to a building process instead of creating so many shortcuts.

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Finally, Penguin has his strength back and he’s ready for payback. On Nygma, on Barbara and everyone else who’s wronged him. This is The Penguin that’s best for Gotham. That crazy revenge-fueled character looking to settle scores. I’m intrigued by his alliance with Ivy. She immediately proves her worth as his new lieutenant by saving them with her mind control perfume. This alliance has possibilities and I’m glad Ivy finally gets a good storyline.

These Dark and Delicate Obsessions clearly established Gotham’s Big 3 storylines for the rest of the season. Gordon will attempt to tear down The Court from the inside; Bruce will continue his hero’s journey and Penguin prepares for the war of the underworld. I like that everyone has a purpose instead of just waiting on something to do. Keep doing your thing Gotham. It’s working.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/FOX

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