'Gotham' recap: The Waynes and the Dumas backstory

This? This is why Theo wants to take over Gotham?

The Galavan versus Wayne grudge is petty and boring. While I like that the "Gotham" writers dig deep to use characters that your average "Batman" fan wouldn't know, it's risky for the them to hinge so much of this second season on a storyline without much potential reward. Because so far this season, there doesn't seem to be much instant gratification.


It's been 200 years since Theo says his ancestors, the Dumas clan, "laid the foundation for this city," and he's still bitter that their name only appears on street signs. Oh, boo hoo. Try telling that to someone who's name doesn't even appear on gift shops tchotchkes.

But notice how the other three famous Gotham families Edwige mentioned aren't slaughtering the innocent because we don't hear their names anymore. That's because they've wisely moved on with their lives.


The Dumas family, however, was banished to France (again, boo hoo) to stew in their hatred of the Wayne family. And the place of hate, oddly enough, was a monastery.

Rather than devote their lives to reading scriptures, finding inner peace or making beer (now that's a calling), they have been plotting for "Gotham [to] be redeemed in blood."

But the dozens of lives that Theo has already tallied under his name isn't enough. Father Creel, the Hooded Creeper we saw in last week's sneak peek, wants Bruce Wayne dead.

That's a lot of ill-will for a kid who hasn't even reached high school yet. It all goes back two centuries ago when both families were at the top of the social ladder.

The bad blood stems from a scandal between Celestine "the crown jewel of Gotham" Wayne (who's giving me serious pre-party days Lindsay Lohan vibes) and Caleb Dumas. The two were caught in an "illicit embrace." Interpret that how you will.

He said they were in love; she said he threw himself on her. Either way, she was promised to someone else, so this could only be resolved in the most rational way possible: by cutting off his hand and exiling him.

Considering Caleb's family founded a religious sect in which the patron saint was someone "who nobody else has ever accused of being a Saint," I wouldn't be surprised if there's another side to this story, and Celestine really was telling the truth.

Will we find out more about the Wayne family history from Alfred or another Wayne Enterprise employee? Or will Bruce go to the cave to answer more questions about his family's past?

More highlights from the episode, 'Scarification'

Best Harvey one-liner (featuring a Jim zinger): "Half of good police work is the ability to sit on one's ass when it's called for." – Harvey

"If that were true, you'd be commissioner." – Jim

Funniest line: "As you may have heard, I've recently been seeing Miss Kringle. Kristen." – Ed Nygma to Jim and Leigh. I think it's absolutely adorable — and hilarious — how he paused after saying that like he was expecting a round of applause.


Best corny line: "Anyone who doesn't want to get shot, raise your hand." – Captain Barnes

Worst corny line: "You're in deep water, Mr. Penguin." – Edwige

"That is where Penguins thrive." – Penguin

Scariest line to hear from a significant other: "I could psychoanalyze the heck out of you… but I'm going to resist the urge." – Leigh to Jim. Please, you know she already does, and it's not like she needed a degree to do that.

Grossest line: "Does he love his sister as much as I love my mother? I don't think so!" – Penguin to Butch on his plot to take Tabitha hostage to find his mother. Ugh, we know, nobody's ever loved anybody as much as Penguin has loved his mother. Blegh.

Worst judgment in character: Jim giving Theo his endorsement for his run in mayor. Jim's a smart guy. Doesn't he find it the least bit suspicious that Theo's always in the wrong place at the right time then magically becomes hero?

Mayor pain: Why is Theo keeping the mayor hostage if he's running for mayor? If he lets him go, he'll just tell the press what happened. He doesn't need anything else from him, so why doesn't he let Tabitha execute him once and for all?

Weirdest job uniform: Just your undershirt and your underwear. Why were Penguin's minions at the count house dressed as modestly as Hooters waitresses?

Glory and gore: Was anyone else slightly let down when Brigit opened the silver box to find Bunderslaw's eye? Yawn. Seen it before. Last season Fish Mooney did that with a spoon — to herself! But if that bored you, don't worry; there's still plenty more gore this episode.

First, the Waynes cut off Caleb's hand after making a move on their sister. Then Penguin chops off Butch's hand to make it seem like he's gone crazy. Yeah, "seem." (But that was awful nice of Penguin to get Butch drunk to numb the pain a bit.)

Then there was arsonist who exploded after Gordon and Captain Barnes shot him, triggering the explosive he had shoplifted. We end with the cop engulfed in flames, but that was mild compared to the close-ups of Caleb and Butch's arm stumps.

Set the night on fire: The "Batman" mythos gets its first female Firefly. It's fun to watch the timid Brigit rise from the shadow of her abusive brothers' into a badass pyrotechnic. Though she was initially hesitant on her first night on the job, now she's hooked.

Sure, she might have burned her leg escaping from the blast (all thanks to her jerk of a brother intentionally delaying his orders for her just to scare her when he knew she had already detonated the bomb. Ugh, siblings.) But still, she feels the rush, gets a pat on the back from her brother and sews herself a fireproof costume for the next job. She's fully embraced the family business.

While I'm glad "Gotham" has ditched its one-and-done method of introducing villains, I wonder how long she'll last. Her first victim was a cop. I can't imagine Captain Barnes or Jim will take too long to find her and lock her up.

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