Gotham Review: These Delicate and Dark Obsessions (Season 3 Episode 16)

Gotham, Reviews

There is no longer any question about it, we are definitely back in a storyline that focuses on our main characters again. Gotham Season 3 Episode 16 “These Delicate and Dark Obsessions” takes us around the city once while progressing with some plot threads from much earlier in the season.

Let’s start with the Court of Owls. I am a little disappointed we are no closer to finding out what The Court is doing and how they control Gotham than we were back at the start of the season.

The entire purpose of this episode is to set Jim up to take a seat on The Court, but it does so by having him chase answers about his father’s death. While I can understand that the revelation that something you believed as a child no longer holds water, I kept desperately wanting to say: “Okay…but what the heck is The Court really up to?”

GOTHAM – Guest star Leslie Hendrix – FOX. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX

It does make me ask a few questions though, including: if they’re a secret society and I assume they members know each other, why are they wearing masks to a vote?

I am searching for some symbolic reasoning for it, but in the end, what I get from these masks is a feeling of utter ridiculousness. It looks like they were designed for conversation, but they do little else to cover their wearers identity, and in the process make them look a little bit like a nutcracker. (Yes, I mean the toy from the ballet!) So what’s the point of them?

Keep in mind, we’ve also seen many of these characters without their masks already, so there’s no big mystique as to who the woman leading the meeting is.

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The other question I have regarding the Court of Owls is, are they really villains?

The Court of Owls is a secret society that controls Gotham, and so far the series has painted them in a sinister light. So, why exactly would they deliver Bruce Wayne to temple where the Shaman wants him to become Gotham’s protector?

So how do you justify hiding away Bruce Wayne, replacing him with a doppelganger, and grooming him to become Gotham’s protector? How is this a bad thing?

Of course, the Shaman says that The Court is just “a tool.” So I have to wonder who is really calling the shots if The Court isn’t the highest law in the land.

GOTHAM – L-R: Guest star Raymond J. Barry and David Mazouz – FOX. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX

While Bruce is being held in the Temple, and Jim is looking for answers to who ordered the hit on his father, Penguin is still with Poison Ivy, who is trying to be a good nurse, despite Penguin’s very rude and dismissive behavior.

Yet, despite that, a brand new team is born.

Penguin and Ivy are the most unlikely of teams and yet somehow they work in the most dysfunctional way. The two characters seem to be in a state of arrested development: they’re grown up, and in control, but they have no idea how to best direct their power and ambition.

Penguin, to me, always gives off the appearance that he’s really a boy in his dad’s suit. He has ambition, and he’s been clawing away at his goals, but in reality it doesn’t feel threatening.

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Ivy is also in a state of arrested development. She’s formed some feminine wiles, and she’s gotten a little more cunning, but she’s still not sure what to do with her power either.

And oddly enough, they compliment each other in their shortcomings.

I love this partnership, and I can’t wait to see how they set forth and build the army of freaks that will come back and rule Gotham.

Stray Thoughts:

  • For all of my points about the storylines this episode, I have to say that Ben McKenzie’s directorial debut is visually stunning and I hope we get to see more episodes directed by him in the future.
  • Does anyone else feel a bit like Albert’s role as Bruce’s mentor is being a little usurped by this Shaman with magical accupuncture needles?
  • Now that everyone thinks Penguin’s dead, the former Mayor is back in charge. Does this prove that Gotham really has a short memory? Or just that all politicans are crooks?
  • I don’t want to judge Lee’s grief, but can she please just forgive Jim, or at least get off her cross? He did try to warn her! When is she going to realize that?
  • Sad to see Uncle Frank go. It is one very subdued exit, considering the way random citizens get killed off on this show, but it works for the moment considering Frank’s brief unification with Jim. I would have liked to see him and Jim work together a little more or a bit about their relationship. Flashback sequences, maybe?
  • Let it be known that when you really need a job done, you call Barbara and Tabitha. Who’s really in charge of Gotham now?
  • Has Harvey really not tried to find a new Captain? Because I do not want to see this guy end up dead!
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What did you think of this episode of Gotham? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX

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Lauren Busser is a senior writer at Tell-Tale TV. Her work has also appeared on Bitch Media and The Hartford Courant. She has also been a dog sitter, worked front end at a bakery, and helped out in a kindergarten classroom. She learned to knit when she was five-years-old and thus, can now complete sweaters at a superhuman speed. She’s currently nursing a novel she’s been making slow progress on for the last six years.