Gotham "Mad Grey Dawn" Review: Riddle Me This

Gotham S02E15: "Mad Grey Dawn"

YES. Everything about “Mad Grey Dawn” was just a yes forever and ever. Amen. Gordon landed in Blackgate for his role in Galavan’s death and the murder that our budding Riddler so lovingly framed him for, and Penguin’s proud papa was none other than Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) himself. Meanwhile, Bruce went full freak and got his face punched in while Selina and Ivy stole some magic mushroom profits—and the future Poison Ivy growing shrooms for gangsters is too perfect for words. She’s so happy! They’re her babies… babies that happen to make her trip balls. Even Butch and Tabby got to be precious adorable psychos for five minutes, and the fact that Tabby believed that tarring and feathering Penguin was adequate punishment for killing her megalomaniac brother is just further proof that she is our queen. Long live the queen.

“Mad Grey Dawn” was dark in the way Gotham’s darkness can be all-encompassing at times. Even its flashes of humor were tainted. On the one hand, model citizen Penguin crashing Nygma’s murder-party was as amusingly awkward as their first glorious meeting had been. On the other hand, Nygma’s quick rejection of this new Penguin and his vocal distrust of his former friend solidified how alone Penguin truly was. It’s no wonder that, even in his brainwashed state, Penguin latched on to this random stranger claiming to be his father. The old Penguin would have at least had a healthy dose of suspicion, especially considering the holes in Papa Pee-wee’s story: either he didn’t know he had a son or his parents exiled Mommabird Cobblepot when her delicate condition came to light? Which one is it?

Something’s rotten in the state of Gotham—you know, other than the piles of corpses probably dumped in the river by the mob over the years.

Penguin’s family reunion was overshadowed this week by the more pressing matter of Jim Gordon’s freedom (or lack thereof). Someone—my money is on the newly reformed Penguin or newly nefarious Riddler—made an anonymous call to the internal affairs people at the GCPD, dropping details that only someone who was there, or someone who was intimately involved in the investigation, could have known. From there, it was just a hop, skip, and a dead internal affairs cop to lock Gordon in the slammer. Not one to be deterred from playing the martyr card with all he’s got, however, Gordon refused to let Lee visit him and implored her to run away and raise his baby away from Gotham. Meanwhile, in Arkham, news of Jim Gordon’s incarceration magically woke Sleeping Barbara from her coma. Hello, gorgeous!

Gordon’s fall from grace didn’t feel as organic and inevitable as I would have liked—it was certainly a casualty of Nygma’s meddling—but it was still satisfying to watch the system work against Teflon Jim for once. This is the type of experience I would hope brings this version of Jim Gordon closer to the beloved figure in the comics—flawed, but generally likable. Conversely, Gotham's version of Edward Nygma has evolved into a suitable—if not superior—incarnation of the man with the green question marks. Gotham’s Riddler is terrifying and tragic, ill as much as he is evil. I’ve always been a fan of the idea that Batman’s rogues aren’t so much monsters as they’re damaged humans who just can’t help themselves. Batman’s world is gritty, violent, and above all, human. Gotham’s Nygma is brilliant and dangerous, but also, occasionally, mediocre. I mean, a crowbar? Even Nygma knew it was corny. The Riddler is a character who can too easily slip into the realm of corny, but as we explore more and more of Ed Nygma’s inner darkness, it’s obvious that even his corny moments are colored with malice.

While the adults played with crowbars, Bruce and Selina crashed Ivy’s shroom showroom and Bruce got the crap kicked out of him for being a defiant little shit. Thank god David Mazouz is starting to look less like that precious baby angel from Touch, otherwise these antics might be disturbing.



NOTES FROM THE BATCAVE


– So was Barbara programmed to wake up when Jim landed in the pokey or was it just coincidence?

– Are you excited? Say yes.

– I’m only excited if she’s still a crazy person.

– Is Pee-wee and his brood going to eat Penguin? I felt like they were going to eat him. Idk. Just a feeling.


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Apr 04, 2016
Of course it was Riddler who made the anonymous call. It's all part of his plan to get rid of Gordon, and the written statement he got the cop to sign was word for word with the call, apparently. Also, he knew about the umbrella because he's in forensics.
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Mar 27, 2016
"If i'll never guess why not just tell me jackass?"
Oh snap! Pee-wee Herman!
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Mar 25, 2016
I thought Lee was pregnant, what was she doing drinking wine this episode? Or maybe she just doesn't care, it struck me as odd.
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Mar 23, 2016
Very much a highlight episode for Gotham this season. Nygma beginning his career as The Riddler was fun to watch and his plan to expose Gordon was brilliant. I thought Penguin was faking it but apparently he really has been brainwashed by Strange. Whatever happens with his "new" family I'm sure will push him over the edge and bring back the real Penguin that we love to watch. Great to see Pee Wee back in his place as Penguins Dad. I doubt he'll be any better of a father this time around as he was in Batman Returns. Watching Bruce come to realize his own nature was very cool and seeing him beat to a pulp was the most Batman-like he's been since the show started. Ivy's mushroom farm was awesome as well! And we might have said goodbye to the beautiful, good girlfriend Lee and be returning to the gorgeous, crazy girlfriend Barbara. Will she escape Arkham and break Jim outta jail? Will Strange make her a good girl like he fixed Penguin? And Tigress and Butch.....a weird couple. I prefer her on the loose creating havoc then snuggled up with Butch in their lair. They've got me wanting more Gotham. Good job guys.
Hearing bad things about Batman vs Supe. I hope their wrong. I mean how can you screw that up??
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Mar 23, 2016
you got a few things wrong. Gordon went to jail for the murder of the cop. It had nothing to do with Galivan. Also that cop was not IA, he was on the spec ops team Barnes put together
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Mar 23, 2016
Cat warns Bruce that no one is unbreakable...

Meanwhile, in a dark prison on Santa Prisca (or in a remote ancient part of the world) ...
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Mar 23, 2016
Strong episode. I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't so annoyed by the Riddler's character (Really, the new media trend of "skinny white guys as lovable murderers" is not up my alley, and there's TWO of them on this show), but that can't be helped. Wish we could have gotten more of Bruce and Selina (or really just Selina in general), but tbh I always think that. They're basically my favorite part of the show.
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Apr 13, 2016
Riddler/Nygma has always been the skinny white geeky guy... Fail to see your logic there.
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Mar 23, 2016
Nygma, how could you? Give me back, Jim! LOL... Great episode, the characters are becoming each day more and more interesting to watch, even the always unsufferable "Batboy". I mean, I still don't like him at all, but at least now I kinda can stand listening to him speak. Just missed seeing Alfred, but, still, great episode.
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Mar 23, 2016
Oops, insufferable.
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Mar 22, 2016
How many times is Gordon gonna be suspended, demoted fired or arrested? I am already tired of this plot device.
Grade for this episode=C+
(1) Paul Rubens great casting
(2) Bruce showing Batman qualities, not bad
(3) Penguin gotta be faking?? right???
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Mar 22, 2016
Paul Reubens was great! Loved this episode.
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Mar 22, 2016
What happened to the second half of this season what with Penguin fall from grace I miss his manic turns and no real scene chewery villian. Then we have Cat and Bruce doing a goonies taking over a mushroom racket really. No Alfred and he was missed I do like Riddler storyline messing about with Jim. But where is the thrill from a villian like Joker or even a maunlative Theo.
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Mar 22, 2016
This was.. a f'ing great episode! Just amazing! You can easily see where things are leading and it's just amazing! :)
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Mar 22, 2016
Definitely a winner!!! The best episode so far!

Unlike other villain introduction, Riddler's introduction was masterful and artistic! It was simply spectacular.

Cobblepot's arc takes an interesting turn now that he's out of the Asylum. Fun and interesting!

Bruce and Cat... this time master Bruce was the weak link. I don't understand what was the purpose of his scenes in this episode!

  • @sleasmar
  • – So was Barbara programmed to wake up when Jim landed in the pokey or was it just coincidence?
What a weird coincidence... just yesterday I was reading an article about how coma patients can hear everything and that it takes only a sound, a word, a name, a tune to wake them up!

Very good episode!!!
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Mar 23, 2016
Bruce's scenes were to set up his future ninja training and relentless beyond-the-point-of-exhaustion nights as Batman, establishing that, instead of bothering him, the physical beating is almost therapeutic for him--the only time he feels like things make sense. Of course, nice dual references to Knightfall and The Dark Knight Rises with Cat's foreshadowing of Bane breaking him.
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Mar 22, 2016
#Looneyversity!

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Mar 23, 2016
Dear old Acme Loo, where "the teaching staff's been getting laughs since 1933."
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Mar 22, 2016
Cory Smith deserves the same love this year that Robin Taylor got last year. His take on Nygma is creeptacular.
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Mar 23, 2016
And Pengy was creeping him out, lol.
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Mar 22, 2016
Well over the many fighting and complaining lately, over what to watch or not to watch... Yes, my media entertainment did change since the 90's...

1 - Since people on earth are going to believe their believing about the Book of God... And thinking God forbids same sex over people's choice to be with the ones they love, and want to get married to some day... Which it's bull crap lie about people on earth, keep changing the book of god with several fake information for many years.. Just keep the same sex away from getting married inside a chruch of their power playing god...

And God and his son loves any kind of form relationship on earth, from Man/Woman to Woman/Woman as along as they are happy with ones they love.... And I believe God is turning over in Heaven, saying forget about the chruch all together... I created this world, planet and universe into 7 days... And the church isn't the only one spot place for people to believe into him... They always can believe into me, with the whole entire planet everywhere they go...

And since they made same sex legal over all the states, I refuse watch any Family Sitcoms now all together at once... Why should i put up with people always want things to be like The Brady Bunch? Only on clean fun entertainment and opposite sex, not same sex! And this is why Kick Cameron from Growing Pains isn't popular anymore after the 90's...
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Mar 23, 2016
And the price of rice in China is...?
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Mar 22, 2016
2 - I refuse to be any part to DC Comics and Marvel Comics now all together at once...

Because I don't like how they show Superheroes with bad signs and messages, saying if you are a hero saving the world... That's the only thing you will be doing saving the world... And you are forbidden to fall in love, get married and start a family...

And I think that is insulting to the heroes do bring 50/50 of both world into their lives... Like Police Officers, Firefighters, Doctors, Soldiers, Agents, Warriors, Bounty Hunters, Guardians, Gladiators and Cowboys & Indians..
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Mar 22, 2016
Since Gotham has police officers, not super heroes, it's not clear what your comments are about...
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Mar 22, 2016
Since James Gordon is big part of the Superheroes universe... Not Tv Universe!!! He doesn't really count as person his wife has passed away and been divorce... And I can see why his daughter Barbara Gordon isn't much successful, into relationships because of her father... Like Father and Daughter!!!
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Mar 22, 2016
So... you're complaining about the comic books? Because what he does in the comic books has very little to do with Gotham.
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Mar 22, 2016
"Is Pee-wee and his brood going to eat Penguin? I felt like they were going to eat him. Idk. Just a feeling."= I was thinking it is definitely not a coincidence that Penguin's supposed father just happened to run into him at his mother's grave on the day he was released from Arkham. I mean seriously what are the odds? All of them seem very suspicious, and not just in a weird Gotham-esque way...
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Mar 22, 2016
They may try to eat him, or some other nasty, but he'll end up inheriting the estate.
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Mar 23, 2016
and rise back to power...? lol
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Mar 22, 2016
– Are you excited? Say yes.
Yes. :-D

Paul Reubens was excellent at the grave site, and a welcome addition to the show. Contrast that to Barbara's waking. I was hoping she would have visibly noticed the news and reacted with an insane laugh. Oh well, I guess the show has different plans.

Ivy is back! Not quite shining as brightly in comparison now that Selina and Bruce have grown as characters, but I still enjoy this understated character that was featured so prominently in early cast photos.

Nice that the show answered the question, "What's that crowbar doing there?" :-) Nygma's turn was rather sudden. Not a bad thing, though. It was just written that way. ;-)

Oh, I think the show confirmed it was Nygma who made the anonymous report to IA. First in thanking Penguin for having told him all the details, and then getting the wording on the faked signed statement exactly the same as the anonymous one.
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Mar 23, 2016
I was hoping Babzilla would slowly grin and say "Darling," especially the way Michael Emerson did the line in the animated version of The Dark Knight Returns.
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Mar 22, 2016
"Papa" Cobblepot has a very owl-like appearance, no?
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Mar 22, 2016
Paul Reubens will always be Penguin's papa--his cameo in Batman Returns still creeps and slays me at the same time.

Frank Miller nod there with Babzilla waking up.

Still waiting for Gordon's fsther's knife to show--probably in the climactic moment of the S2 finale.
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Mar 22, 2016
MaryAnn, don't forget that Hugo Strange knows Gordon's secret too. (Although an actual Hugo Strange move would be to use the info to gain control of Jimbo--maybe by even producing *evidence* of his innocence.) Will Gordon be moved to Arkham soon? ;-)
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Mar 22, 2016
Gordon's not really in prison. I get the impression he's undercover there.
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Mar 22, 2016
wow you really don't pay attention do you.... lol...... you have been watching an entirely different show to the rest of us it would seem.
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Mar 22, 2016
The 'Gordon was undercover' is how the GPD will allow Jim back into the fold.
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Mar 22, 2016
“Batman Without Batman”.
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Mar 22, 2016
It was only a matter of time before Gordon had to pay for some of the more shady things he has done. It is interesting that his downfall comes at the hands of Nygma who is at the start of his own downward spiral into insanity,
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Mar 22, 2016
The text recap is up, as soon as it clears the cache.
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Mar 22, 2016
is it me or did Rubens and Penguin had real resemblance? I am really loving the new nygma. someone finally figured out how to get Gordon out of the way
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Mar 22, 2016
His birdlike features are one of the major reasons why Tim Burton cast him in the same role 24 years ago in Batman Returns.
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Mar 23, 2016
I thought Danny devito played the Penguin in Batman Returns
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Mar 23, 2016
He did. I was referring to Reubens having played Papa Cobblepot both in that film and now on Gotham.
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Mar 24, 2016
oh ok
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Mar 22, 2016
I may be alone in thinking this, but Paul Reubens' acting was horrendous. This show has never had the greatest acting, but that scene in the graveyard made me sick to my stomach. Wondering if it was intentional, or if Paul should just stick to playing pee-wee from now on.
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Mar 22, 2016
I thought it was perfect for Gotham. That melodramatic face at the grave? The only way it could be more perfect is if it ends up that he is playing Penguin.
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Mar 22, 2016
The actresses on Gotham are great.
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Mar 22, 2016
I though the casting, and the acting, was perfect.
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