“Gotham” recap (2.6): Female Cannon Fodder

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Hey Gotham-ites! We skipped last week’s episode as nothing queer happened, but this week gives us a minute of Barbara, a half-baked female revenge story, and another female character sacrificed to serve some dude’s journey. Blerg.

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This week’s Moment of Barbara once again relegates her to kooky henchwoman duty. When the freshly handless Butch goes to beg Theo Galavan for a gig (at Penguin’s command) Barbara and Tabitha hang over Theo’s shoulders and whisper plans to replace Butch’s hand with a mallet or a chainsaw. And that’s all, folks! We also get a glimpse of Barbara in next week’s trailer, where she (again) asks for a bigger role in the evil plan. I assume it’ll look something like this:

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Theo dresses as Santa Claus to terrorize the Gotham elite. Barbara wears a slutty Rudolph costume and tries to electrocute Dr. Lee with her red nose. Tabitha whips a group of old white men dressed as reindeers.

OR

Theo, disguised as an “evil doctor,” tries to give the Gotham elite a taste of their own medicine (Muahahaha). Barbara, dressed as a slutty nurse, tries to stab a syringe in Lee’s eye. Tabitha wears a skintight leather candy striper uniform.

OR

Theo masquerades as Murderous John McCain in at an elite costume gala were everyone must dress as politicians from the 2012 election. Barbara is a crazed Sarah Palin who tries to run over Lee on a snowmobile. Tabitha is Paul Ryan with a whip.

Le sigh.

We also discover that Gotham runs a human trafficking auction (bc of course they do), which is used to frame a somewhat effective female empowerment tale. Selina’s childhood friend Bridget is abused and tortured by her evil brothers, the Pike brothers. When they force Bridget (aka Firefly) to join their arson squad, she becomes empowered by wielding a flame thrower. This leads to Bridget accidentally torching a cop, torching her brothers in revenge, and then torching the traffickers and freeing the abducted women. She then accidentally torches herself and ends up in a creepy medical testing facility with her fireproof suit burned into her skin.

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Okay, Gotham, that was sort of a female empowerment tale. I see what you did there. But I can’t really concentrate on that because you killed Kristen Kringle! Granted, as soon as Kristen showed interested in Ed, her days were numbered. After consummating their relationship, Nigma finally feels comfortable enough to tell Kristen he murdered her ex-boyfriend Tommy. Horrified, Kristen rejects Nigma, and he “accidentally” chokes the life out of her.

It’s interesting how Gotham frames this murder; we’ve seen glimpses of Nigma’s aggressive alter-ego/inner voice, but it’s not that guy who kills her. It’s nerdy, goofy Nigma, desperately begging her to stay as he chokes her and tells her he loves her. When he realizes Kristen is dead, Nigma is overwhelmed with grief and regret. It’s a tragic moment….for him. But what about Kristen? She took a chance on the wrong guy and was murdered for it. It feels like Gotham is soliciting more sympathy for Nigma than sorrow for Kristen. Once again, another woman on this show has to die to service a man’s storyline. Second verse, same as the first. RIP Miss Kringle. You deserved better.

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Next up, on Gotham: That nameless lady on the strike force gets brutally murdered/teaches Gordon a lesson about appreciating Dr. Lee. Essen and Kristen drink martinis in Heaven.