A Look at Masters of Sex- Season 4, Episode 6: “Family Only”

For a show that’s mostly about human sexual response, Masters of Sex makes sure to remind us about the importance of bonds between partners, coworkers, friends, lovers, and so on.  With “Family Only,” those bonds are tested as characters grapple with seeking what they truly want and rejecting what they shouldn’t want because it will just bring them trouble.  Let’s dive right in.


The episode begins with Virginia paying Bill an unexpected visit, as she has good news and wine.  Good news is that Arnold Ketterman wants to move ahead with publishing, so maybe Virginia’s trip to New York made all the difference.  As for the drinks, it’s lost its appeal for Bill after Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, he’s headed to a meeting. Sobriety, Bill says, is a journey, not a destination.


And yet, Bill has a drink at House Masters, where Libby did not expect him to arrive.  He just wants to watch The Tonight Show, which the two haven’t done since before the two filed for divorce.  Bill’s claim for leaving his home is that he felt claustrophobic, or rather, he feels alone. Bill plans to ask Barton to return to the clinic since he’s like family.

But Libby suggests that Bill start dating. After all, she’s dating Bram Keller after asking him out. It’s a healthy next step for Libby, and she feels it will for Bill.


So Virginia shares her drinks and company with Art instead. She’s glad that Art apparently cleared things up with Nancy, but Art switches gears to Bill instead, calling him inscrutable.  Virginia always understood him up until now.  Divorce doesn’t excuse the behavior.

But even unfulfilling marriages can provide stability.  Art has found that women can establish new routines, but men are used to having certain things done for them.  In Virginia’s mind, she was Bill’s work wife.  That was the true marriage.  Nancy’s dinner date friend, Bruce, by the way, apparently wants Nancy to be involved with him.


Bill finds an intoxicated Bob Drag waiting for him at his apartment.  He wants to talk about Bill’s court house speech, as he wants to use it for the forward of the book.  Bob tells Bill that he’s lost.  At almost 40 years old, he’s about to lose his one good shot at a family if his fiance leaves him.  She’s the reason he is here and Bob needs Bill to see both him and his fiance.


The next day, Betty and Helen talk about their upcoming baby. Helen dreamt that her family came to visit, but it wasn’t a sad visit. No one cried, though. The family still rejected her, but when they left, Helen waved goodbye and her parents blew her a kiss. After that, she wasn’t sad because she turned around and saw Betty with their kid. And that makes Helen happy. Oh, and the baby is on the way very soon.


Art asks Nancy about Bruce, who made tenure.  That was most of their conversation. He even got Art the perfect gift: a tie.  He wants to take Art and Nancy out to dinner so they can catch up.


While Virginia receives some case files from Guy, Nancy informs Barton that she and Art feel out.  Barton knows that the sessions have been taped, but not that conversations are being recorded.  Nancy feels that something strange has been going on between Bill and Virginia.  Even still, Barton wants Nancy to give it some time.  Just then, Guy alerts Barton that Betty and Helen are on their way to the hospital.


Bram Keller pays Libby a visit and needs to reschedule, as he has a last second work dinner.  Luckily, Libby is familiar with last second work dinner.  This case in particular involves a client and his wife, who both happen to be nudists.

Like most people, Bram wants a first date to go well, so he doesn’t want it to be potentially ruined by nudists.  Not that Libby is a prude.  In fact, she’s in.  Though if she’s never spent time around nudists, Bram suggests that she bring smelling salts.


Virginia asks Guy why the initial interview for the Clavermore couple has already been completed by Art and Nancy.  But hey, it was Nancy’s idea, so Virginia wants to find out if Nancy has snatched up any other dates.


But Nancy is in the middle of a session with Bill, as the two talk with Bob Drag and his fiance, Cherlyn Green, played by Joanna Canton.  Virginia spots this, thinking that it’s a book meeting.  Bob Drag does most of the talking, but Cherlyn says that the two hadn’t made love in months due to Bob’s impotence. But luckily, Bob knows experts in this field. This renewed Bram’s commitment.

Bill is glad that Bob is more hopeful than their last encounter, prompting Cherlyn to wonder where Bob was if he wasn’t at a Little Brown function, as she believed.  Yup.  That’s what happened.


Barton, meanwhile, is the doctor for Helen and Betty.  The baby is still breach, so there’s a 50/50 chance that doctors will need to perform a C-section.  Routine surgery, but Helen would undergo a longer recovery period.  Betty refuses to leave Helen’s side, but it’s hospital policy, as not even husbands can remain with their wives.  Helen assures Betty that she and the baby have everything under control.

If I were a betting man, I would wager that Helen is going to die giving birth.


Back at the clinic, Virginia speaks with Bill and Nancy about why she wasn’t present in the meeting with Bob Drag, who Virginia thinks is here because of her New York trip. Rumors are flying in New York that Bob is a homosexual, though Nancy didn’t sense any indication.  Virginia says that’s because Nancy is still learning how to pay attention to details, but that’s what the intake process is all about.

And while Virginia would prefer to do that with Bill, he assures her that Nancy is perfectly capable of running an intake, prompting Virginia to bring up Art and Nancy taking on the Clavermore couple.  But all Bill says in regard to this is that Nancy should have consulted him and Virginia.  Bill needs to think about how to handle the Clavermore couple going forward.

When Nancy leaves, Virginia tells Bill that she wants to double team Bob Drag, but Bill doesn’t want her yanking Nancy off of cases.  After all, she and Art are here to help.  Bob Drag, though, was open with both Bill and Virginia, and she feels that together, the two can coax the truth out of him. Bill agrees, but it’s clear that she disagrees.


Following this, Nancy has a private conversation with Virginia in the most appropriate location: the ladies’ room.  She wants to know her role if Virginia is going to reassign her. Virginia asks if Nancy ever run her business, but then, there are some technicalities, as Bill is the one who secured the clinic’s current space, not him and Virginia.  But hey, semantics.

Then Nancy plays the gender card: Virginia feels that Nancy is competition.  It’s not an unfair assumption.  Nancy respects Virginia for what she’s done, but apparently, she only stands wherever Bill and Virginia tell her.


So indeed, Bill and Virginia speak with Bob on their own about when the impotence first began.  It was only in the last few weeks, maybe due to stress.  Never with previous partners, all five of the women. Virginia asks how many men, though, he’s had sexual encounters with in his past.  Boys, even, but when he was a boy as well.  It helps to clarify.

Bob takes offense to this and has nothing to hide, but that one boy was when Bob was 16 at boarding school.  It wasn’t a sexual encounter, just games.  But Bob didn’t have feelings.  He was 16, after all.  Virginia presses the issue, asking if Bob still thinks about this one boy and if doing so helps him achieve an erection.

It does, but Bob finds it nauseating and shameful.  The two recommend that Bob speaks to a psychiatrist. Bob insists that he’s not gay. Impotence is due to many reasons, as per Bill and Virginia’s book.  But homosexuality is wrong and Bob wants the thoughts out of his head.  He asks the two if they’ve ever wanted to stop wanting what they want because they know it will cause them misery.


Meanwhile, Bram and Libby arrive at Shangri-Lawn, which is full of naked people galore. Full frontal and all.  Well, for all you people who felt that Game of Thrones didn’t have enough full frontal male nudity, here you go.


Back at the clinic, Nancy tells Art about Virginia learning of the two taking on the Clavermore couple.  She figures that the interview was on tape, and since one’s heard it or the two would be fired, she wants Art to retrieve and destroy the tape, which is in Lester’s office.  Nancy wants to leave the clinic on her terms, not Bill or Virginia’s.


Meanwhile, Betty worries about Helen’s 50/50 chances of this C-section.  It’s supposedly the best outcome for mother and child, but Betty is still worried and needs to see Helen again.  She ends up instead calling Bill, who tells her that C-sections are routine.

But a fearful Betty frets that nothing is going the way it should for Helen, though.  Despite Bill’s assurance that this is normal, Betty is still worried.  Bill offers to come down, but Betty tells him that she’s fine.  She plans to call Helen’s parents.


Art listens to and pockets the Clavermore interview when Lester enters the room.  As Art tries to leave, he knocks over some of Lester’s new pictures: this time of Jane in order to prove evidence of an affair.

Lester asks Art how he lets Nancy be with other men and that not eat away at him. Though that’s a private matter, Art tells Lester that it’s an agreed-upon arrangement.  But then Art calls Lester a watcher, as he’s spent 18 months watching Jane. True enough.


Virginia and Bill discuss whether to take on Bob Drag’s case.  Bill isn’t certain that Bob is a homosexual.  Hell, Bill went to boarding school and knows that it’s common for boys to sexually experiment with other boys.  Most of the boys go on to be normal, heterosexual men.

Virginia doesn’t want to broach the subject of conversion therapy, but Bill fixates on the word desire. Desire means that it brings satisfaction, but in Bob’s case, this has just brought him suffering.

When Nancy finds the door to the ladies’ room locked- because that’s a thing- she interrupts Bill and Virginia’s conversation to apologize for damn near everything, including Art picking Virginia’s coat.  Because ever since the two apparently had sex, Virginia has turned on Nancy.  Rather than own up to anything, Virginia has Nancy fetch Art.  Bill, to put it kindly, is livid.


Okay, so Art enters and explains that the two went to bed together, but there was no sex or physical contact.  When the two leave, Bill goes to inform Bob of his decision.  He isn’t angry at Virginia since she may have enough guilt on her head right now, but the problem is that she spent the night in a coworker’s bed, regardless of whether anything happened.

She put both her and the clinic’s reputation at risk.  Virginia knows this, and she admits to making some questionable choices.  She lied about Dan not to keep Bill at bay, but because she was just ashamed and had gotten distracted by Dan.  This proved her inability to choose the right thing, even when it’s staring her in the face.

What happened with Art was clarity- the one man who has seen all of her and still loves her despite her flaws is Bill. Bill leaves, still needing to talk with Bob.


We return to the nudist colony in all its birthday suit glory, with Bram and Libby being the only clothed people.  Bram explains that he’s helping Richard and Kitty due to neighbors bringing suit, claiming a violation of zoning laws based on the sale of food and wine.  Or it’s a case against obscenity due to outdated community standards.  Standard First Amendment case.

But Libby wonders what kind of statement is being made by not wearing clothes. Kitty counters that people are defined by clothing, whereas communal nudity is a declaration of self-respect. Libby brings up her experiences working with CORE and how Negro nightclubs got around being shut down with by implementing a voucher system.

It’s crazy enough idea to work and if the colony institutes such a policy, Bram can get a judgment in the group’s favor.  In return, Richard and Kitty insist that Bram and Libby stay the night.


Nancy has finally arrived at home, as she disappeared after the meeting at the office.  She tells Art that she had dinner plans with Bruce. Well, they skipped dinner and went straight to Bruce’s hotel room.  Art apologizes, but Nancy is being honest and says that an open marriage can’t work if the two can’t be open with each other.  Nancy wants the truth from Art about Virginia.

So Art tells the truth: the two had sex and Virginia is denying it in front of Bill to save her own ass.  After all, you don’t go to a coat party just to sleep on a bed. Nancy, then, wants to know what happened.  Art tells Nancy that Virginia was uncomfortable at first, so Art got her relaxed by saying that Virginia was the boss.  She then took control and didn’t even let Art touch her.  She was just interested in pleasure.

And so Nancy begins to take control, mimicking everything that Virginia apparently did, even going as far as going down on Art.


Back at the nudist colony, Libby sees a similarity between Bram and Bill’s pajamas.  Well, he doesn’t have another pair, but there’s a solution.  Libby begins to undress him, but Bram wants to slow down.  He likes her and doesn’t wan to rush this, but Libby doesn’t want to wait until their wedding night to see if the sex between them will be any good.  However, now Libby doesn’t want to have sex. Ha!


She later awakens and, like anyone would do at a nudist colony, strips down and walks the grounds in nothing but her birthday suit.  And she’s loving every minute of it.  As am I. She later returns from her stroll, with Bram telling her that she always finds a way to surprise him.

Libby doesn’t know what she’s looking for, but she does want it to be passionate and for there to be real sexual chemistry. So Bram strips down and the fun begins.


Bill tells Virginia that he’s cancelled the rest of the day’s appointments, as he’s about to go check on Betty and Helen.  He opens Virginia’s surprise letter, which contains a key to their old room at the Chancery Park Plaza Hotel.  She hoped that Bill would meet her there, as it was at a time when they were at their best. But Bill can’t because he doesn’t believe that Virginia loves him.

She just wants him today. Maybe because it’s easier with Bill or he’s the only option right now, but what happens tomorrow when Virginia wakes up and wants someone else? Virginia assures Bill that this won’t happen, but Bill doesn’t trust her.  And he doesn’t know if he ever will again.


Bill joins Betty at the hospital.  She senses that something is off with Bill, but she then tells him that the last update from Barton was an hour ago.  She called Helen’s parents, who think that Betty lured Helen into a life of sin and debauchery.  Betty is willing to take the blame, but Helen shouldn’t take any blame.  Bill says that it’s hard for people to see what Betty and Helen have done by making a family together.


In the operating room, Helen has given birth to a baby girl.  Barton tells Helen that the baby will be taken to the nursery, and Betty can go there, but Helen wants, nay, pleads that Betty be there to sit with her in the room first.


Soon, Betty indeed joins Helen, but the joyous moment is replaced with fear when Barton tells the doctors to increase the sedation.  Helen’s pressure is dropping.  Barton instructs Bill to scrub up, as he’s to help with the procedure.  Betty continues to talk with Helen and assures her that nothing is wrong, though Helen worries that she is sick.  Helen’s final words to Betty are a call for her mother.


With the procedure over, a doctor tells Betty that it’s time to take away Helen’s body. Virginia soon arrives as a somber Bill tells her of D.I.C., which means that the blood would not clot.  They went through 16 bags. No matter how much they transfused, Helen kept bleeding until there was no more blood.


And just to pour salt in the wound, before Betty can enter the nursery, a nurse informs her that Helen’s parents, who have arrived, only want family inside the nursery.  The episode comes to a close as Betty watches from a distance Helen’s parents embrace her daughter.  Oh, that’s just unfair.

“Family Only” focuses a lot on the importance of stable relationships, more so within the family, whether by blood or close relations.  By episode’s end, we end up with mixed results for some of the pairs, but let’s start with the tragedy of the hour.

Helen’s presence helped show how important it is for Betty to raise a family because, them being a lesbian couple, few, if any people in the 1960s would see them as a legitimate pair.  But despite that, they vowed to make this work not just for themselves, but for their baby.


Character deaths can provide for great drama when handled well, and while it’s a somber moment for Betty to lose her partner, I don’t think that Helen’s death was handled with the same grace as Libby’s miscarriage in Season One or Lillian DePaul’s death in Season Two.


Helen’s happy dream about her parents and new family with Betty was one thing, but the moment that Barton mentioned the possibility of performing a C-section, it was clear that Helen was not going to survive this episode.  The longing looks she and Betty share in their final moment and Helen insisting that she’s okay were fine, but didn’t feel as strong as I feel they could have been.


Part of it is because it’s all so telegraphed, so the moment loses some of its tragedy because we as an audience can gather how this will all end.  That doesn’t make it bad, mind you, as I feel this is one of Annaleigh Ashford’s best performances of the series. There’s nothing but sorrow and loss in Betty’s eyes from her final moments with Helen to watching Helen’s parents hold her daughter.


So Betty doesn’t get to have that stable family that she’s always wanted, and it’s upsetting because she’s wanted this since the first season.  I’m guessing she’ll fight for custody next, if the system in the 1960s would even allow a single, homosexual woman that right.


For Betty to call Bill for advice had to be out of desperation, since he’s not the most warming person and the two have had friction in the past.  But we’ve seen Betty reach out to him before when she’s been desperate, and each time, despite his hesitation, Bill has been there for Betty.


For him to be there at a low moment for Betty showed the lasting strength of their bond, but also the lengths Bill will go, professional or personal, to be there for his friends or coworkers, especially when Barton requires him to suit up and help operate on Helen.

It helps that Bill’s mind is clearer this week that it has been in a long time.  He knows that he and Libby can never be- though I’m glad that they’re at least just friends and on speaking terms- and he’s trying to put Virginia behind him.


Good for him to point out that Virginia may just want him now, though it’s hypocritical to accuse her of jeopardizing the clinic’s reputation by going to a coat and key party when he’s already hindered the clinic’s name.  Hell, did we not just go through a trial on this? Seems unfair for Bill to take the moral high ground on Virginia when he’s made just as many errors.


And I wasn’t a fan of Bob Drag spelling out the notion of wanting to stop desiring what you want because we already know that Bill is trying to wean himself off of Virginia.


As for Virginia, who now has clarity and wants some stability through Bill, some of her decisions still rub me the wrong way.  Yes, she has been in this business much longer than Art and Nancy, but she does come off as if Nancy is competition instead of a coworker.  And as Bill mentioned, Art and Nancy are here to help, so Virginia shouldn’t try to stand in Nancy’s way just because she’s decided that she wants to be with Bill.


Plus, only when pressured by Bill does she own up to her faults, but rather than just tell Bill that she didn’t sleep with Art, she has Art do it for her, thus putting him on the spot. She calls herself Bill’s work wife when he’s pushing her away, and rather than work with or advise Nancy, she comes off as condescending.

It’s telling that we don’t see much of Virginia’s home life, as she’s poured everything into her work.  We at least see Bill conversing with Libby, but Virginia is trying to guide Bill into every facet of her life, including work.  But that’s hard to do when she’s making moves that call her character into question.

I wouldn’t hold going to the coat party against her because she was invited, but at least just be honest.  She has to know by now, given Bill knowing about Dan, that hiding the truth will just make it worse when it finally comes out.  And trying to be involved in every aspect of Bill’s life is futile when he’s trying to move past her.


Plus, there are parts of Bill’s life where Virginia just would not fit.  Remember that we haven’t seen Virginia perform on patients.  She’s an observer during the sex sessions and is great at evaluations, but Bill is a practiced doctor.  Virginia isn’t.  Had she been called to help with Helen, I doubt she would be of much good since she doesn’t have the on-hands experience that Bill and Barton have.


I’m not sure what’s going on with Art and Nancy.  Is Art really trying to save face in front of his wife?  Seems like it, when he shifts the blame to Virginia, but only once he’s at home and not facing Bill and Virginia.


And if he didn’t sleep with Virginia, is he just creating that scenario for Nancy to mimic in retaliation for her sleeping around with other men?  It’s possible, given how we’ve seen that the arrangements of this open marriage do bother him at times.

I think Nancy might have overplayed her hand when she told off Virginia about possibly sleeping with Art.  It put her in hot water and while she’s got every right to be angry at Virginia cutting into her work, bringing up the coat and key party just adds more drama to an already tense relationship.  I’m curious why the two haven’t told Bill and Virginia that they know about the recordings, though, but maybe they’re saving that card for later.


I’m glad Libby remains as outgoing and open as possible, and in a nice nod to her past employment, her work at the CORE office proved useful to the nudist colony and helped bring her closer to Bram.  Their relationship is inching at a slow pace now, and I’m fine with that because they’re still getting to know each other and neither of them seems 100 percent sure on what they want.


Right now, I just appreciate that Libby is with someone who appreciates her on a physical level and that Bram isn’t just going in headfirst with this relationship.  He likes Libby, but he won’t jeopardize things by going all out when they’re still feeling out one another.  And feeling out one another, too.  And side-note, I can do without the swelling music accompanying Libby’s nude walk.  We get the point of the scene without that.

With so much focus on the importance of family and bonds, “Family Only” ended on a tragic note with Helen’s death and Betty having her family ripped away from her.  I would wager that this isn’t the last we will see her clash with Helen’s parents, though.  Tensions are high not just there, but at work between Bill, Virginia, Art, and Nancy.  Virginia knows that she wants Bill, but he’s put her behind him.  The question, though, is for how long?

A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 5: “Mad City: Anything for You”

So with the Mad Hatter out of the picture, Gotham puts its focus on our established characters dealing with trust issues.  But then, it’s Gotham City, so who can you really trust?


The episode begins with Penguin’s getting to work as mayor.  He works at a soup kitchen, commemorating a school bus, and shakes lots of hands. Later, Penguin introduces Nygma to a statue of his mother, who was his entire world.  She would be proud of him.

After all, Nygma reminds Penguin that the people love him and gangs fear him.  Tomorrow night, the people of Gotham will celebrate him.  All he wants now is to share it with someone.


So the next day, Penguin addresses the public. With Gertrude as his witness, Oswald promises that the people of Gotham will be safe, but then the Red Hood gang arrives to break up the speech.  They knock off Gertrude’s head, prompting Penguin to vow revenge.  That’s a pretty random act of violence.


Valerie tells Jim that she can’t come over tonight because that would make it a thing.  She asks what happened to Alice, as she heard a rumor about Alice’s blood and wants to know the truth. She’s having dinner the hematologist in charge of analyzing Alice Tetch’s blood, so that’s at least a start.


As Barnes looks over Alice’s death certificate, Bullock informs him that a team found the truck ditched in the Narrows.  Before the two can go out to contend with this new Red Hood gang, in enters Nygma, who tells his old friends that, as Oswald’s Chief of Staff, he will be the liaison on the Red Hood investigation.  And Nygma won’t take no for an answer.  If Barnes refuses, Penguin will hire a police commissioner who will just fire him.


As for Penguin, he’s off meeting with constituents, which includes a group of mobsters and Barbara.  Gertrude’s memory is being defiled, even in death, but more than that, the Red Hood gang has challenged Penguin’s authority.  Tonight, as Penguin celebrates his victory at the Sirens, he tells the group that he wants the Red Hood leader’s head brought to him on a spike.

We then cut to this new Red Hood gang as they wait for the arrival of their leader, who turns out to be Butch.  He tells the men that it’s time to get to work.


Bruce pays Gordon a surprise visit to request him as a private investigator for locating Ivy Pepper, as Bruce has put aside his investigation into Wayne Enterprises for now.  While Bruce didn’t have a close relationship with Ivy, she’s still a friend of Selina’s.


Nygma stops by the M.E. lab to speak with Lucius Fox, who is still less than pleased with Ed gassing him last season.  Nygma examines evidence from the crime scene as Fox explains that the carpet fibers of the gang’s getaway vehicle have elements of dirt, oil, and potassium chloride.  A halide salt, for some reason.


Bullock tells Bruce and Jim about a construction worker knocked out by a redheaded woman in her 20s, which Bruce thinks is a cover for the man being with an underage girl.

Then Leslie pulls Jim aside for a second to talk about her engagement announcement that will be in the newspaper tomorrow- it will feature Mario’s family name, which Jim knows is Falcone. Jim maintains that it’s none of Jim’s business. He meant what he said about being happy for Leslie.


Then as Leslie heads to the lab, she spots and slugs a waiting Nygma in retaliation for Kristen Kringle’s murder.  Leslie isn’t afraid of Nygma because, remember, she’s dating Mario Falcone.


Tabitha isn’t a fan of throwing this party for Penguin, but Barbara is more optimistic.  If they find the Red Hood gang, Penguin will owe them.  They open one of their freezers to reveal a bound man who calls himself the Ballistic Bomber.  Turns out that last week, he bought smoke grenades like the ones used when the Red Hood gang attacked Penguin.


We cut to some members of the Red Hood gang setting fire to the previously seen school bus and killing a priest, but they grow tired of this violence.  To be direct, they tell Butch that they would rather take out Penguin.  Butch has gotten the men suits so they will blend in at tonight’s party, but no one is to kill Penguin. That’s when Tabitha and Barbara arrive to have a little chat.  Well, they got there fast.


Bruce and Jim have lunch, with Bruce asking Jim if he misses being a cop and having a sense of mission. Jim will keep asking around about Ivy, but in the meantime, he advises Bruce to tell Selina how he feels.

Sometimes that works, but it’s better than being silent because you’ll look up and the moment passes. Bruce wonders if that works for Jim and the new woman that he’s seeing, as he noticed lipstick on Jim’s coffee mug.  Keen eye.  Bruce just wishes that he had a sign, but life doesn’t work that way. Maybe a signal that shines in the sky.


As Penguin examines the records from GCPD, Nygma wonders whether this is about the statue and not Penguin.  He advises a frazzled Penguin to calm down and just as he applies salt to Penguin’s suit to get out a stain, he remembers Lucius Fox’s words about salt and now realizes that the Red Hood gang is located at a detergent factory in the Narrows.


At said factory, Barbara and Tabitha tell Butch that they want Oswald and ask why Butch is turning on him.  His plan was to take down the Red Hoods at the party and get back in Oswald’s good graces.  But if Tabitha and Barbara figured out that Butch is leading the Red Hood gang, it won’t take long for Penguin and Nygma to do the same.

Butch promises that once he’s back next to Penguin, he’ll protect Tabitha, but he will owe her as well.  Just then, Penguin calls to tell Butch that he is on his way to the hideout.  Butch then tries to hurry the gang out, but they want payment.  With Penguin arriving fast, Butch mows down the entire group with a machine gun.  He dispatches of the group just in time to claim credit of eliminating the group when Penguin arrives.

Later, Penguin tells the press that, thanks to Butch’s efforts, the Red Hood gang is no more.  Nygma is skeptical, to say the least.  GCPD investigates the crime scene, with Bullock wanting to get this over as fast as possible.  However, Nygma focuses on how the bodies fell, as if they were standing around and waiting to be killed.  Looking further at the scene, Nygma finds some fancy new suits.


Barnes finds Leslie working late at night.  He’s here to talk not about Leslie striking Nygma, but to ask about Alice Tetch’s blood.  She has received preliminary results from the lab, which injected the samples into a group of rats.

After three days, the rats showed an increase in strength and stamina.  The study ended when one of the rats chewed through a dozen wire cages to kill the others.  Maybe the other rats were immune or didn’t have a chance to show changes.  As Barnes leaves, he cautions Leslie about staying late at night, as her fiancé will want to see her soon.


At Penguin’s celebration party, while Tabitha reminds Butch of him owing her, Bruce and Alfred arrive and prepare to put on fake smiles and mingle for the festivities.  Penguin goes over to greet the two, who thank him and his bazooka for saving them from Galavan.  And wouldn’t you know who else is at this party? Bruce’s sign, as he goes off to catch up with Selina, who has a run in with a redheaded woman who knows her, but Selina does not.


Nygma presents Butch with a black tie and evidence from the Red Hood crime scene, as all six suits were made by the same tailor and purchased by a large man with a metal hand.

This enrages Butch, who is ready to kill, but Nygma proposes that they kill Penguin together and run Gotham City together.  Nygma was not made to be someone’s number two, so he’s just keeping up the act until he can later turn on Penguin.  He presents Butch with a red hood.  Butch refuses, so Nygma reveals that Tabitha is being held hostage by Zsasz.  So now Butch really doesn’t have much of a choice.


Bruce catches up to Selina, who is still distracted by the woman formerly who she doesn’t know.  He wants to go somewhere private so the two can talk, but Selina needs this over quick since she’s working.


Zsasz hands Butch a gun and orders him to work or Tabitha dies. As Penguin prepares to go up for a few words, Nygma briefly wishes him good luck. Penguin tells the crowd that tonight is a celebration of Gotham.


Butch, now wearing a red hood, fires, but the bullet turns out to be a blank.  He’s apprehended and unmasked, but is defiant, telling Penguin that he used to be someone.  Penguin is shocked that one of his dearest friends has betrayed him and tells the audience that he will prosecute anyone who threatens Gotham.’

But when Tabitha storms in, having taken out her captors, Butch breaks free and begins to choke the life out of Nygma. However, Penguin knocks out Butch, saving Nygma’s life.


On the roof, Bruce tells Selina that a redheaded woman had Ivy’s sweater, but it wasn’t her. Hardly newsworthy.  However, he tells Selina that they’ve been friends for a long time and he likes her as more than a friend.  Selina asks how many girls he’s dated.  Zero.  So Selina figures that Bruce likes her because she’s the only girl that he knows.  Well, there’s always Silver St. Cloud.

Anyway, Bruce maintains that he feels something between them because they’re the same.  Selina has to see that.  Selina then introduces Bruce to rule one: don’t tell Selina Kyle what to do.  And with that, she kisses him.  Hey, she didn’t have to ask if he wanted it this time.  Bruce is still confused because he’s an idiot.


Valerie meets with her doctor friend from before to talk about tests on Alice Tetch’s blood.  He’ll talk, but wants something in return from Valerie.  Just then, Jim arrives and demands that the doctor leave.

Though Valerie maintains that she could have gotten what she needed without compromising her honor, Jim wants to keep the woman and reporter separate by providing what she needs.  But there’s no separation, Valerie will have to buy Jim dinner instead.


Penguin provides Nygma with some ginger tea and asks why Nygma didn’t tell him what he was doing.  It’s because Oswald’s shock when seeing Butch had to be genuine.  The people had to see it, and once again, Oswald is the city’s hero, even if Nygma almost died.  But Nygma would do anything for Penguin.  Oswald embraces Nygma in a deep hug.


Tabitha, meanwhile, drives off in pursuit of the ambulance carrying Butch.  At the same time, at GCPD, Alvarez tells Barnes that the ambulance with Butch was hijacked.  Before Barnes can leave the office, he finds himself overcome with power and walking without his crutch.


Meanwhile, Jervis Tetch has abducted a young woman and dressed her in a blonde wig and blue dress, even going as far as calling her Alice.  Jervis is upset that his sister was taken away from him.  The woman tells Jervis that she’s not dead, and that’s true until Jervis slits her throat.  He then pens a letter in her blood and leaves a message for James Gordon.  The people who hurt Alice shall feel the pain of the Mad Hatter.

Okay, after two pretty good episodes centered around the Mad Hatter, “Anything for You” scaled things back to focus mostly on the characters we already have to progress their storylines, most of which centered around trust and loyalty.  In a city as corrupt as Gotham City, that’s hard to come by, even among those considered trustworthy.

But while Gotham is often blatant with its messages, I didn’t find that to be the case this week.  Though among the pairings working out their trust issues, I again found the Penguin and Nygma dynamic to be the most well-handled, but more on that in a second.


Let’s talk about the return of the Red Hood gang.  Or rather, just the usage of the Red Hood because unlike last time, they didn’t factor into the plot all that much.  While I didn’t like the idea of the Season One episode “Red Hood” revolving around the red hood being some sort of good luck charm, that at least had more reason for the presence of the gang than this time.

Butch’s men could have just been everyday gangsters, so I don’t see why Gotham chose the Red Hood Gang specifically.  At the very least, have some link between this gang and the previous one, because otherwise, it just seems like expendable men in red hoods. That was the case in Season One, but again, the story worked around the group.  Less so here.


But that’s a minor nitpick since Butch dispatches of this new Red Hood gang with ease to save his own ass.  Butch’s loyalty to Penguin has been challenged in light of Nygma’s release, and between that and his feelings for Tabitha, he’s looking to reclaim his former glory.  I like that this all revolves around trying to regain whatever bond he had with Tabitha. An odd motivation, given what she did to him, but motivation nonetheless.


And while Tabitha still requires a favor from Butch, she does end up springing him at the end of the episode when she didn’t have to do that.  I am interested to see whether Butch and Tabitha trying to rekindle their connection will drive a wedge between Tabitha and Barbara.


Also, I’m curious whether there will be any wedges driven between Nygma and Penguin. As odd of a job Gotham has had with its couples, it somehow nailed the friendship between Oswald and Nygma.  And the show keeps teetering on the verge of having them kiss or something, which would probably create tons of fan art from the folks at DeviantArt.


But while they work excellent as a platonic pair, is there any truth to Nygma’s words? Could it be possible that, since being sprung from Arkham, he doesn’t want to be another second-in-command and he’s just biding his time?  I could see it.  He’s more confident than before, such as when he struts into the GCPD as a different man than the medical examiner the officers knew him as in a former life.

At the same time, I can’t deny that it’s fun watching Nygma play off of Oswald.  There’s such natural chemistry between Cory Michael Smith and Robin Lord Taylor that I buy Oswald and Nygma’s friendship and bond more than just about any other couple on this show.  Right now, Nygma has Oswald’s trust, so I am very curious whether it’s all genuine or if Nygma is waiting for the right moment to make a move.


But at least Bruce has made his move as far as telling Selina how he feels.  And while I’m iffy on how the show handles these two, I will credit Gotham for having this progression feel natural.  Two seasons ago, Bruce liked the idea of kissing Selina, but chose not to because he didn’t consider her a nice person.  He may feel similar now, but he’s more open about his feelings now compared to then.

He’s had time to grow and realize that he has a connection with Selina, and he is going out of his way to help find Ivy when, as he tells Jim, he doesn’t have a connection with her. Whether Selina feels the same about Bruce now as he does for her is something I don’t know since Selina is good at wearing a mask and putting up barriers.


But this being Selina Kyle, maybe she’ll just toy with him.  This Bruce Wayne isn’t as savvy or street-wise as other incarnations, after all, but then he’s just a kid and settling into that role of wearing a fake smile when out in public.  Even if I’m still not a fan of some of the dialogue exchanges between Bruce and Selina, their bond has been a building development that I’m coming around to appreciate more.


Whereas Jim and Valerie’s connection appears to be genuine, but they’re also using each other for information.  And Jim does, for now, commit to his words about putting the past behind him, as he doesn’t mind Leslie’s engagement or that she’s marrying a member of the Falcone family.  It would be easy for the show to put them back together again, but I hope Valerie and Jim have time to develop and grow closer as a pair.


As for the final scene, I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t my favorite part of the episode. Benedict Samuel has been so good as Jervis Tetch and from this scene, Tetch feels more like the insane Mad Hatter we know him as from previous versions.  Now we wait for his upcoming attack.

So all in all, a good episode.  Though the Red Hood gang felt expendable, most of the other storylines centering around bonds and friendship were well-handled.  Meanwhile, Ivy made a quiet return, the Mad Hatter has plans for Jim Gordon, and Alice’s blood is starting to affect Barnes.  Now to see where it all leads.

A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 4: “Mad City: New Day Rising”

Now, to follow up where we left off with Jim pursuing Jervis Tetch’s sister, all while he deals with inner turmoil made all the worse when Leslie Thompkins returns.  “New Day Rising” follows up on “Look Into My Eyes” and gives us another look at the madness of the Mad Hatter.


The episode begins with Alice in GCPD custody with Bullock questioning her on Jervis.  She ran as far away from him as she could and somehow ended up in Gotham, which was fine until Hugo Strange found her.  Alice maintains that she’s not a monster, and then warns Bullock to be mindful of Jervis, as he can be his own kind of monster.


Speaking of, Jervis is with a brainwashed minion at an abandoned theme park.  The only thing that kept him sane when Alice left was the hope that he would reunite with her.  If all goes well, that day is today.  But a reunion like this needs to be a private affair.  So Jervis has the man lay his head down on a game so Jervis can smash his head with a mallet.


Nygma is brought on board with Penguin’s campaign and cannot thank Oswald enough for getting him out of Arkham.  Nygma believes that Arkham has made them both stronger.  Oswald agrees, which is why the release certificates have been framed.  Nygma asks Butch about the men he was speaking with, but Butch doesn’t answer.  Instead, Butch warns Nygma to keep his nose out of his business.


At GCPD, Jim explains how Jervis came to him about finding Alice.  Leslie is to draw some samples and Jim wants to find Jervis so he can be brought in for questioning.  Barnes doesn’t want Jim’s interference with the investigation unless he wants to get arrested, but Jim will pursue Jervis anyway.


Alice tells Leslie about her condition- if someone comes into contact with her blood, it changes them.  Jervis believes it brings out a person’s true nature.  Jervis himself isn’t infected, though.  He believes that the two of them are connected.  Alice’s way is the blood, but Jervis, the mind.  It goes beyond hypnosis- he preys on anger, fear, and regret.  Once he’s in your mind, you’re doomed.


Jim goes to cross the street, but he hears the sound of Jervis’ voice.  The world around him becomes distorted and he starts walking blindly into the street, right into the path of an oncoming truck.  A citizen manages to pull him back to the curb.


At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred learn that the Rolls Royce has been totaled.  Bruce wonders if the clone went into the city to look like him, but there’s no telling where he would go.  Bruce then figures that the clone is going to see Selina.


On that, we cut to Bruce 2 and Selina walking the streets and talking about Ivy, as well as Sunny Gilzean.  They arrive at a restaurant that Selina frequents in order to rob people.  She enters and instigates a fight because people in Gotham City are idiots.  As the fight continues, she slips into the back and taking money when two men enter and stop her.


Penguin holds a campaign event and speaks of his dear mother, who believed him when he didn’t even believe in himself.  Seeing the people of Gotham reminds him that there’s nothing people can’t do when they put their mind to it.  Together, Penguin and the people will Make Gotham Safe Again.

Nygma spots a man speaking with Butch.  Turns out the man was given an envelope of money.  From a distance, Butch tells a man to keep an eye on Nygma.


Jim stops by Barbara’s club to ask about Jervis Tetch, as his number has been disconnected.  Barbara doesn’t like Jim barging in anytime he needs something, but this time, Jim needs a favor.  This gets Barbara’s attention.  She tells Jim that Jervis came in earlier to hire some muscle for a performance.  Well, it’s Gotham.  Everyone has flair.  Barbara’s words, not mine, but she’s not wrong.


As night falls, we cut to Jervis interrupting a wrestling match.  The wrestlers, turns out, are the Tweedle Brothers.  He has a job that suits their particular skills in order to rescue his sister.  In exchange, Jervis shows the brothers his watch.


Rather than just kill Selina, the men tie her up instead.  Selina offers to be useful, but before the men can get to work taking off her fingers, Bruce 2 enters and dispatches of one of the men.  Did no one notice the kid just walking into the restaurant and into the back?  Anyway, he frees Selina, who is shocked by what she’s seen and scurries off.


Back at GCPD, Jim tells Barnes that he needs to speak with Alice Tetch for five minutes.  She’s being moved to a facility upstate, though, but Jim can’t wait.  He tells Barnes that Jervis might have done something to him, as he’s having thoughts.

Barnes wants Jim to make peace with the decisions that he’s made, but Jim doesn’t know if he can.  Barnes doesn’t want Jim to wake up and realize that 20 years have passed. He agrees to give Jim five minutes.


Selina asks Bruce 2 about what the hell happened at the restaurant.  But the clone is feeling light-headed, so Selina checks his stomach and notices the scars and bleeding.  Selina demands to know who the hell she’s dealing with right now.


Nygma asks Penguin if he knows about Butch paying campaign officials.  Oswald knows, and Ed figures that Penguin can win this election fairly.  Nygma insists that Jim call off Butch.  Just then, a young girl thanks Penguin for getting rid of all of Gotham’s monsters.  Penguin uses this as proof that the people love him, but turns out that Nygma paid her.  Even still, Oswald wants to be mayor and warns Nygma to stay out of this.


Jim asks Alice how to find Jervis.  When the trance is broken, Jim should be fine, but it’s still happening to Jim.  There’s usually a trigger that brings on the hypnotic state.  Jim remembers the last thing being Jervis’ clock, so anything resembling a tick will trigger the hypnosis.

When the two were young, Jervis did it to Alice.  At first, he did it to control her, but then he put other thoughts in Alice’s mind.  Thought a brother shouldn’t have.  This is why Alice wants him dead.


The wrestlers somehow enter GCPD and play a carnival announcement.  Why is no one stopping them?  I don’t know.  The wrestlers get to work battling the officers.  Before Jim and Alice can leave, Jervis enters and tells Jim that he can’t be killed until that trigger is out of his head.  Jim implores Alice to leave.  However, Jervis pulls out his watch and the familiar ticking gets to Jim, who finds himself pointing his gun at his own temple.

Jervis bids Jim farewell as he leaves with Alice in tow.  Before Jim can blow his brains out, Barnes knocks him out.


The Bruce clone tells Selina that he didn’t even know he looked like Bruce until he went to Wayne Manor.  As for why he’s pretending, the clone saw the way that Selina looked at Bruce when she came by the manor.

Selina denies looking at him a particular way.  The clone just says that he didn’t have a friend.  Selina says he’s better off without friends since people are overrated.  After all, she never had a friend.  One is at the bottom of a river and other burned.

She tells the clone that he’s more normal than he thinks.  And with that, the clone goes in for a kiss.  For whatever reason, Selina isn’t enthralled, despite the many times in Season One that she asked Bruce to kiss her.


Jim finds himself handcuffed to a chair.  He asks Leslie to un-cuff him, but she refuses, saying she doesn’t know what she’d do if anything happened to him.  Yes, Leslie moved on, but she didn’t have a choice.

She went through a painful period of her life alone.  Like an idiot, she hoped that Jim would show up, but he never did.  Mario was there when Leslie needed someone.  After everything that’s happened, all Jim has to say is that the past is the past.  Barnes has put Jim on a 48 hour suicide watch.  Leslie knows the past can’t be changed, but there’s a difference between moving on and letting go.


Butch holds a meeting with some followers and tells them that when Penguin is mayor, these men will run the city.  Then Butch gets a call and assembles the group into action.


Bullock asks one of the remaining brothers where Jervis is taking Alice.  He plays the sympathy card, saying how the brother lost two, but Jervis gained a sister.  Hardly fair.  Bullock knows all about the wrestling team and threatens to burn the luchador masks.  The brother finally agrees to tell Bullock about the location.


Back at the abandoned carnival, Jervis has Alice looking more like…well, Alice from Alice in Wonderland.  He forgives Alice for everything, but needs her to understand the consequences if she leaves again.  He reveals several syringes and injects one into Alice.


Jim is transported not home, but into Bullock’s hands instead, thanks to Leslie.  Looks like the boys are back in action.


Bruce and Alfred confront the clone, who tells them that Selina is safe.  The clone tells Bruce that he has no idea what he actually wants, managing to get under Bruce’s skin.  He then tells Bruce that he won’t be seeing him again.  He doesn’t know why he was created, but he doesn’t belong in Gotham, so he steps onto the railing and jumps off…then landing on a truck.  He flees further into the city.


Having drawn enough blood, Jervis plans to create a few monsters with Alice’s blood.  Jim and Bullock arrive and demand that Jervis free Alice.  Jervis offers to free Jim if he lets him and Alice leave.  Then, Jim can live a long life.  Jervis asks one question: does Jim hear the ticking?  He does, as he begins to lower his gun.


Jim finds himself frozen in fear as Jervis’ ears echo throughout his mind.  He tells Jim to stop fightina and just let go.  But then Jim remembers saying that the past is the past, as well as Leslie’s words about letting go.  With that, Jim shoots the machine and stops the ticking.  Alice still won’t go with Jervis, but she doesn’t have to, as she falls off the ledge and ends up impaled.  Well, that sucks.

Alice’s body is sealed in a body bag as Bullock tells Barnes that he followed Leslie’s lead.  Barnes warns Bullock that Jim may get him killed, but until that day, Bullock will never turn his back on Gordon.  Well, at least someone’s loyal.


Meanwhile, it’s time for the election results.  Butch tells Penguin that Nygma took back the money from election officials, and Penguin isn’t pleased with this betrayal.  Before Butch can kill Nygma, it turns out that Oswald Cobblepot has won the mayor’s election by a landslide.  Yes, Penguin still won and the people really want him as mayor.

Then Penguin figures out the answer to Nygma’s previous riddle- I can’t be bought, but I can be stolen with one glance. I’m worthless to one, but priceless to two.  The answer? love.  The people love him.  If Penguin would have bought the election, he never would have known.

As for how Nygma knew, he believed in Penguin.  Oswald turns on Butch, saying that he never believed in him from the start.  Butch isn’t going away, though, as Oswald needs some muscle.


Bruce asks Alfred if they’ll ever see the clone again, but that’s unlikely.  And still no telling why Hugo Strange created him.  Bruce does ask Alfred if Selina really kissed the clone, but Alfred, like any sensible person, doesn’t even entertain this question.


As the GCPD is being cleaned up, Jim thanks Leslie for telling Bullock where to find him.  And whatever Jervis did to Jim has passed.  Then Jim tells Leslie that everything she said was true.  And after today, this is harder than he thought.  He’s happy for her.  Well, he’s trying to be, so that’s at least a starting point.


Let’s wrap things up: the Bruce clone walks the streets, but soon finds himself kidnapped by the Court of Owls.  He’s soon kidnapped.  Penguin gives a victory speech and announces his first act is to introduce everyone to his Chief of Staff: Edward Nygma. And back at the crime scene, Barnes spots a trail of blood and looks up when a drop of it splashes onto his face.  Now he’s infected.  Well, that sucks.

Trust Gotham to think up ways to send mild-mannered, proto versions of villains over the deep end.  Whether Jerome, Barbara, and now Jervis, the show loves to turn these villains upside down, and it ends up involving a close relative.


We didn’t spend that much time with Alice, so I think the show could have stood to keep her around much longer.  Or just have her either in custody or away from Jervis.  But at then again, how much time would Gotham have devoted to the Mad Hatter here before moving back onto another storyline?


So though Alice is now gone, this does set up sending Jervis down a darker path and turning the Mad Hatter into something more sinister.  I like him now, but the death of his sister would be enough to drive him into madness.  I hope that’s the case and he returns later in the show’s run since, as far as I could tell, he wasn’t apprehended by GCPD.


But at least he’s out of Jim’s head, and this was a good way not just to have Jervis tormenting Jim, but also have Gordon confront some of his inner turmoil.  His romantic relationship with Leslie is done and that’s been eating away at him to the point that Jervis just needed a little push to send him over the edge.

So after seeing Jim work as a vigilante, it’s nice to see him deal with all the bottled-up emotions that he’s had since last season.  And I hope, for now, that he and Leslie can work on reconciling instead of trying to rekindle old feelings for each other.  As they said, the past is the past, so my hope is they move forward with their lives and Gotham doesn’t give us some love triangle involving either Mario or Valerie.


As for Barnes getting infected with Alice’s blood, why?  I would ask why that area wasn’t sectioned off or what Barnes hoped to gain from examining Alice’s blood since he’s not a doctor, but this is Gotham, where anyone can enter the GCPD at will and Jim Gordon can discard a red hood instead of logging it as evidence. But maybe this will give Barnes more to do instead of having him rant at Gordon for interfering with police investigations.


I’m all for Nygma and Penguin having more screen-time as I like their chemistry, and good on Ed for realizing early on that Oswald could win this mayoral race without cutting any corners.  Again, have you seen the crowds that Penguin can summon at a moment’s notice?

No way would he have to cheat to win, so I’m glad that Nygma gave Oswald the confidence in himself to win a clean race, even though this was a quick election.  This only furthers the bond the two have and harms Butch’s relationship with Penguin.  I’m interested to see how, if at all, Butch may retaliate, if only because this gives Butch something to do other than stand at Oswald’s side.


And it creates quite the dynamic for this trio.  Now that Oswald knows that he has Gotham’s support, will he try to play by the rules and avoid becoming a corrupt politician, or still bend the rules when necessary?  And would Butch remain loyal to Penguin despite getting chewed out by him, or will he revolt?  Who knows?  Either way, as long as Butch gets more to do this season.


I thought the Bruce clone would keep up the charade for a good episode or two before Selina caught on, but he put himself out there to save Selina, got to bond with her a bit as he considered the possibility of having friends, and even told off Bruce when he said that Bruce didn’t know what he wanted.

Now the clone has been captured by the Court of Owls, so I’m sure we’ll see him again very soon.  And did I detect a hint of jealousy when Bruce wondered if Selina thought the clone was him when she kissed him?  I know the Bruce and Selina romantic stuff hasn’t been at the forefront, and for good reason, but with this, I wonder if Bruce will be more forward with how he feels.

Well, how he feels now, given that he wasn’t enticed by the idea of kissing her not too long ago.


“New Day Rising” was a good continuation of the Mad Hatter storyline that kept the door open for him to return later.  It allowed Jim to confront his demons and hopefully put them behind him as he tries to pursue a bond with Leslie, if that’s possible.  And now that Penguin is mayor, I’m anxious to see how he’ll keep his promise to Make Gotham Safe Again.  Here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of the Mad Hatter.

A Look at Masters of Sex- Season 4, Episode 5: “Outliers”

What is it that people say?  Honesty is the best policy?  Well, not all of the time, but even when it may get you into trouble, whether at work, at home, or with your partner, does it help to be honest?  Let’s find out in “Outliers.”


The episode begins with Virginia listening to recorded footage of Art and Nancy talking about her, with Nancy wanting to learn a thing or two.  She heads right to Art’s office and, without mentioning the recording equipment, asks why Nancy thinks that Virginia is an attentive lover, based on Nancy seeing Virginia and Art go into a room together.  Nancy just assumed, but apparently Art confirmed it, though Nancy would think no less of her.

So Virginia tells Art to deal with this problem, but then Art turns it and asks if this has anything to do with Bill, based on the intimate truths Virginia shared.  Something happened with Bill and Virginia.  But Virginia just calls them assumptions, and she doesn’t want to tell the facts that she does know about Art to Nancy.  Virginia, could you be any more of an asshole right now?  Anyway, Virginia goes back to her office and cuts the footage.


We revisit Alcoholics Anonymous, where Jerry finishes sharing.  Louise then announces that tonight is Bill’s final meeting, as he’s completed 90 meetings in 90 days- no small feat.  Traditionally, before someone leaves, a person shares something that they’ve learned or would like to share.  Bill merely bids the group good luck.  Beautifully said, Bill.

After the meeting, Bill tells Louise that he never really belonged in the group anyway.  He has bigger problems, like his trial that starts tomorrow.  He’s fighting to preserve his reputation and clinic, that way he can start fresh with his life.  Louise gets to signing his form.


Next day at the trial, Bram Keller asks a potential juror if she and her husband ever received any sort of counseling.  All the juror knows is that Bill and Virginia have written a smutty book.  In fact, both the prosecution and defense burn through jurors, but most settle on a hypothetical guilty verdict.

Following this, Virginia asks Bram why they aren’t talking about settling, since that makes the most sense, but that would mean pleading guilty to sexual deviance.  The prosecution will stop nothing short of that, and this could scare away potential clients.  A loss would only be a temporary setback, followed by an appeal to a higher court, even to the national stage where the team could defend the cause of scientific inquiry.

This isn’t about some indiscretion, but the right of scientists to pursue knowledge.  Bill wants to review Bram’s opening statement to at least get the precise nature of Bill and Virginia’s work.  He then heads off to speak with Libby.  Virginia learns from Bram that apparently Bill and Libby have put their divorce on hold, as there’s been a thaw.


Art tells Nancy that he feels someone is listening in on their conversations, since some things Art said behind closed doors have been repeated by Virginia.  They should be aware of what’s going on, but Nancy wants to get to the bottom of this.


A very pregnant Helen hurries her parents along and out of the home, but then Betty arrives at an all-too convenient moment.  Helen tells her folks that Betty lives down the hall.  This awkward encounter ends when Betty excuses herself out.  Can’t Helen just have Austin pretend that he’s her husband?


Back at the clinic, apparently Guy got a new job, as he’s answering Betty’s calls.  He hands Virginia some massages and files, but then tells her that, based on his experience reading Bill and Virginia’s book, there’s a revolution afoot.  The problems that Bill and Virginia treat without mocking or judgment is admirable.  Guy could not be prouder to work here, even though he just got there, but whatever.  He’s good at his job.


Virginia asks Betty if she’s done a background check on Guy, even though all of his references gave good remarks on him.  She wants Betty to do more digging.  In the meantime, Betty gives Virginia an update from Little Brown: they’ve passed on publishing.  Virginia wants an appointment made for her, Bill, and Bob Drag in New York today.


She then updates Bill on Little Brown passing on the book, though Bill doesn’t seem too worried.  Virginia is more interested in recapturing their interest before waiting for the trial verdict, especially if it’s unfavorable.  Bill agrees, though he’s thrown when Virginia mentions that she wants both of them to make a case to Bob Drag.

Bill can’t go, though- he has to review this statement.  A win will mean a fresh start, though Virginia feels that Bill is backsliding.  Bill goes a step further and confirms that he and Libby are considering reconciling.

Virginia wants to know why, but Bill just says that they’re going to work to make things different.  In a callback to her attempt at getting back together with George, Virginia asks why anyone would want to make the same mistake twice.

She then cautions Bill against falling into old patterns and insists that he come to New York, where they can reinvest in what’s given them the most satisfaction: the work.  Instead, Bill puts his focus on the court case, but he does agree that they should also put their efforts in the book as well.  And he’s confident that Virginia can handle that without him.


Over food, Libby tells Bram Keller that she won’t testify or say anything that would put Bill in jail and jeopardize the reconciliation.  The press may accost Libby on the courthouse steps, but Libby has no intention of running.

Fine, so hypothetical scenario: let’s say a reporter asks Libby about the pandering and prostitution charges.  What does Libby say?  Libby will respond that the charge was trumped up by an overzealous prosecution bent on destroying Bill’s years of work.  Libby shoots down Bram’s offer for drinks.


Back upstairs, Nancy tells Art that she suspects Lester of being the spy, given that he took the photo of them kissing, but Lester isn’t in his office.  And then the two stumble upon the recording room, where they hear Guy speaking on the phone to a client, even though they’re nowhere near him.  Nancy is beyond livid and wants to leave, but Art wonders how it will look if they jump ship not only two months into the job.

Art, trying to imagine things from Bill and Virginia’s point of view, wants to play this out, but if things don’t get better, they will leave.


In New York, Virginia meets with Bob Drag, who maintains that he had no intention of meeting with her.  Drag tries every way to get out of this impromptu meeting, but Virginia will not let him leave without getting in her say.


At House Masters, Bill finds Libby smoking a joint, which a woman in her group gives away in exchange for frozen casseroles.  Okay, this is officially the coolest women’s group ever.  Bill also learns that Libby has been doing some housework around the home- she’s not as helpless as one would think.

As for the two of them, Bill asks if there are any more wishes Libby has.  Neither of them knows how a separation works- they’re just in uncharted waters.

Bill asks if what happened the other night could happen again, but Libby would prefer to experiment.  She figures there’s a way the two of them could do that to each other at the same time.  Libby believes that there’s even a number for it.  I have the giddiest smile on my face right now.


So Bob takes Virginia as his guest to a party, with Virginia telling him about the trial’s progress.  Bob introduces Virginia to Arnold Ketterman- the man who runs things around these parts.  As Bob gets handy with Virginia, he tells Arnold that he goes way back with Virginia.


We then cut to the aftermath of the 69-ing, with an exhausted and satisfied Bill and Libby turning the conversation to the trial.  Libby begins reciting legal code while getting high, which is just astounding.  Libby asks Bill to stop being a narc and take a hit.  He does, and like any rookie, he messes up, but he is a fan of the new bed that Libby bought.  It’s bouncy.

Libby then tells Bill that she wishes the two of them had friends, dinner parties, and maybe even played charades.  So Bill then gives her three words: he hates charades.  He does admit that he should have tried harder to meet new people.  He’s always afraid that people won’t like him because people don’t like men.

Libby just wanted more fun and travel.  Maybe even take the kids to Disneyland.  The two settle under the covers when Howie, now played by Caiden Milick, interrupts the fun.


Back at the party, Virginia tells Bob that she won’t sleep with him the book published, but he has no intention of sleeping with her.  Virginia wanted to talk about sexual inadequacies, but Bob tells her that Arnold doesn’t think a man like Bob can pass muster.

He’s been demoted.  It’s no coincidence that this happened after his fiancé called off their wedding.  Bob knows what the others think of him, but it’s not true.  Virginia just doesn’t want Bob groping him.  Quid pro quo.  Virginia needs to take this book deal back to Bill, and a lot depends on it.  That’s the quid, so what’s the quo?


Helen watches Betty eat, as she’s having contractions and doesn’t want to have any food.  This worries Betty, but Helen got confirmation from both her mother and Barton that this is nothing to worry about.  Helen would’ve told Betty, but she’s never around.  Helen’s parents have helped out around the house, but Helen hasn’t found the way to ask them to leave before the baby arrives.  Helen just wants them to stay until the baby comes home.

She wants Betty to understand, but Betty will not allow herself to be shuffled on the sidelines.  But Helen can’t tell her parents that she’s in love with a woman.  Betty doesn’t get why, since Helen’s parents seem like nice people, but Helen knows how this story ends: with her never seeing her parents anymore, and Betty can’t ask Helen to never see her parents again.


Virginia speaks with Arnold about her situation with Bob Drag and how Hugh Hefner has come on board, but this isn’t a sales pitch.  Virginia feels that Bob may have poisoned the well, but Arnold thinks that Bill and Virginia did that to themselves due to the lawsuit.  Virginia counters that the suit will have no negative impact on the suit, and with Bram Keller’s help, this case could go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Arnold tells Virginia that Bob is barely hanging on and wouldn’t tank a potential winner on purpose, but Virginia thinks otherwise.  She tells Arnold that Bob participated in the first round of sexual research- a huge conflict of interest, but Bob was eager and couldn’t say no.  His data couldn’t be included because his sexual stamina is off the charts.  Bob Drag has a long, large erection.  Libby’s words.


Over at House Masters, it doesn’t look like Howie saw Bill, who thinks that the kids will be happy if Bill and Libby are back together.  Back to uncharted waters, Libby for years has been afraid to tell Bill about the thinks that she’s known because she feared Bill leaving her.  But she’s not afraid anymore.  Bill has left and she’s fine on her own.

While Bill is glad that Libby has made it on her own, she doesn’t necessarily have to be on her own.  True, but there are other reasons why they shouldn’t be together- reasons Libby isn’t afraid to say anymore.

Libby goes back to the first spring when Bill was in medical school.  Libby made flash cards for his exam, something a wife would do.  Bill apparently asked Libby’s roommate for her ring size, but then Bill left for the summer to be with another girl.

And Libby has seen the photographs of Bill with that woman, who later broke his heart.  Bill came back because, in Libby’s mind, Libby wouldn’t hurt him like that.  Bill maintains that he loved Libby, but not in the way that makes you want to take off on a plan with that person.  Not in the same way that Bill loved Virginia.  Bill and Virginia hurt each other, but they also made each other happy.

Libby asks why she and Bill have endured this pain if not for the two of them to end up together.  She feels that Bill belong with Virginia and Libby belongs with someone who makes her feel that way.


Next day at the clinic, Bill finds Guy making the bed, as he’s been living at the clinic for awhile.  Bill reminds Guy that the clinic is a place of business and he can’t stay there, as they’ve had this problem in the past.  So Bill fires him, just like that.  Guy won’t find this kind of work anywhere else.  Guy asks if this is about the background check, but Bill is unfamiliar with that.  So Guy figured that Bill knew what happened in Vietnam.

After four months of great service, Guy was dishonorably discharged six weeks ago for giving another private a blowjob, but Bill tells Guy that homosexuality is not a dysfunction.  Guy’s father isn’t on board with Guy being gay.  Bill changes his mind: he won’t let Guy live at the clinic, but instead ask Betty to advance some money from his first paycheck so he can find a place to live.


Later, Bill runs into Bram Keller to tell him that the prosecution has found a surprise witness in Elliot Laskin, who works at the Shawnee Country Club.  Nothing relevant, except that he used to be a bellhop at the Chancery Park Plaza Hotel.  Yup, that Elliot.  And this gets Bill’s attention, but he says that Elliot has nothing to do with the case.  He thinks the prosecution is attacking Bill’s personal life and credibility.

Bill then admits to Bram that he and Virginia had been meeting at the Park Plaza Hotel.  Adultery is on the law, but who would prosecute for that?  This will be worse for Virginia, as adultery sticks more to a woman than a man.  No one would blame him, but this could taint the name Masters and Johnson.  They’ll be seen as cheaters and could tarnish their reputations.

While Bill can’t to distance himself from Virginia on a professional level, the partnership has yielded good work, but the affair was a mistake.  He can’t allow that evidence to surface and follow him the rest of the life.  As such, Bill wants to take the plea, but Bram reminds Bill that a plea leads to certain defeat.  Even if Bram did do this, he doesn’t think Virginia would be on board, given how she’s now for staying the course.


Nancy overhears Guy speaking with the Clavermore couple, played by Lisa Barnes and Charles Shaughnessy.  Mr. Clavermore runs the largest asbestos manufacturing plant in North America.  Luckily, Nancy can take the couple’s intake.


Betty arrives at home to find Helen in tears.  She told her parents the truth, and the parents said nothing in response.  They just packed their things and left.  Helen has been calling since, but got no response.  Helen’s been thinking about a dollhouse that her father made for her when she was 10.

She knew she would never live in a home like this one with a mother, father, and child.  Now, Helen has no family except for Betty and this baby.  But Betty promises that she’ll care for Helen.


Time for the trial.  Virginia arrives and tells Bill that Bob Drag is back on board with the book, but Bill has no time for that.  He tells the judge that he’s willing to discuss a plea if the prosecution is willing to drop the charges against Virginia.

Outside, Bill tells Virginia about Elliot is going to testify, which could have damaging effects for Virginia.  Does Virginia want her work to be thrown into question?  After all, the surrogacy program was Bill’s idea, and now he will make it right.


In the judge’s chambers, the prosecution agrees to dismiss Virginia’s charges if Bill pleads guilty to sexual deviance and pay a $500 fine.  The judge points out that if Bill accepts this plea, he will have to admit to the court and public that he’s a sexual deviant.  Bill counters that he’s a scientist.  How can something deviate when there is no norm?  No two humans do the same thing, so why should two humans express their sexuality in the same way?

There’s no shape for sexual response.  It’s as particular as a kiss.  Far too much variety.  Bill will plead guilty to sexual deviance because he and everyone around him is a sexual deviant.  Bram tells Bill that if he says that, they can still win in the court of public opinion.

However, before Bill can make his case to the court, the judge cuts off his oration.  After a long pause, Bill pleads guilty to sexual deviance.


After the trial, Bram tells Libby that the plea was Bill’s idea, which goes against Bill’s nature to fight.  True, but Bram reveals that a witness would have revealed damaging things that would have been embarrassing for Libby.  Well, Libby does want to put this behind her, so does Bill, Libby’s now ex-husband.

Then Libby switches gears and asks Bram his position on marijuana.  He’s all for legalization of the plant.  Same for oral sex.  As for marriage, after three attempts, Bram has no intention of standing at the altar again.  As for dinner?  Yes, Bram agrees to that.


Virginia thanks Bill for his sacrifice, but Bill didn’t do this for her, Libby, or anyone else except himself.  He does apologize if this hurts the book, and while Virginia cares about the book, she cares about Bill more.  After all, Bill has sacrificed his reputation so Virginia wouldn’t get any of the blame.  They’ve been through a lot, but now, finally, they are back where they belong- together.

She takes Bill’s hand and says that she wants to be with him.  The two head out to speak with the press.


Bill then returns to Alcoholics Anonymous and admits that while he’s not an alcoholic, he is an addict of sorts.  For him, it’s not a neon sign for cocktails that gets his attention, but something like an odor or perfume, Virginia’s hand in his, or a passing glance.  After that, he’s willing to give up everything, including his self-respect.  He’s here to ask for the group’s help.

Pretty sure that’s not why you go to Alcoholics Anonymous, but sure.  That’s an ending.

“Outliers” is another good episode full of good, dramatic moments and revelations with our characters, while still advancing them to a promising place by episode’s end.  The road to get there, though, proved tricky, as the characters dealt with being honest to themselves and each other.

I think about what Betty has been saying to Virginia all this time about being honest.  It can make things better, but it has the potential to damage a relationship as well, based on the reveal.  Is honesty always the best policy?  I would think so, and as this show has proven, massaging or bending the truth can lead to a problem down the line when the two parties aren’t honest with one another.


And sticking with Betty, I get why she wants Helen to be honest about them being in a relationship.  For as long as Helen’s parents are in town, Betty is just on the sidelines, watching from a distance while Helen lives out a lie  Not the best option, given where Helen is by episode’s end, but it helped her maintain the image of having a perfect family.


But, of course, no family is perfect, and while Betty and Helen may not what someone in the 1960s thinks of when they imagine a couple, they both know that they’re all each other needs in order to raise a child.  And it sucks that Helen’s parents leave her, but at least she’s not hiding from the truth anymore.


Same with Libby, who I can’t love enough this season.  I appreciate that, unlike Bill, Libby is looking at the big picture and knows that she and Bill can never get back together.  It would be unhealthy for both of them and Virginia is still what keeps Bill from fully loving Libby, based on Bill’s history with other women who later left him.


At the very least, I do hope that Bill and Libby remain friends or casual acquaintances, because their scenes together are warm, feel earned, and represent just how far they’ve come since the start.  Back in Season One, they were just the typical, dull husband and wife.  Now, while they’re separated, they’re enjoying each other’s company, having casual sex, and even smoking marijuana together.


This is the sort of free, unburdened life that Libby has wanted all along.  Now that she’s on her own, she can do things like have friends, host parties, or find a man who loves her the way that Bill loves Virginia.  And I like that unlike Bill, Libby isn’t trying to force a full reconciliation.  The two still have still hurt each other and shouldn’t endure any more pain from another attempt.


And even if Libby wants to reconcile, she’s found a new potential partner in Bram, and I like how this friendship has changed as well.  While starting off as antagonistic, given Bram’s role in Bill’s case, the two developed good chemistry and it’s clear by episode’s end that Bram can fill that void in Libby’s left by Bill.

Not that Libby needs that void filled because, as she said, she can handle herself, but if she had to pursue another man, I think Bram is a good choice and can’t wait to see how this relationship develops.


Bill goes through an interesting arc this episode.  He starts off by telling Louise that he’s not like the people at Alcoholics Anonymous.  But by episode’s end, after Libby turns him down and he learns of Elliot’s potential involvement, Bill accepts his addiction to Virginia.


Sure, it’s a selfless move on his part to sacrifice his integrity and reputation to save Virginia’s and I liked his speech to the judge, but would he have done this if Elliot wasn’t going to testify?  This move looks to have driven Virginia back into Bill’s arms, so Bill does end up with the partner he’s truly desired.  But I don’t know if Bill would have done this, had both his and Virginia’s secret affair not almost been exposed.

After all, Bill was ready to fight this and Virginia accepted the idea of this battle going to the Supreme Court, so while selfless, I see a bit of self-preservation as well, because why have both himself and the woman he loves go down?  Bill has already been ostracized by society since the first season.  He can take a bit of criticism.  I’m sure Virginia could as well, but right now, he wants to shield her from that.

So while Bill isn’t tempted by alcohol, he admits that he’s powerless when it comes to Virginia.  It’s an interesting way to try and rid himself of his addiction by going to an A.A. meeting, so I’m curious to see what becomes of this.


And, on a side-note, I do appreciate that Bill decides against firing Guy.  Both know what it’s like to be an outlier, and I’m glad that Bill sympathizes with Guy, rather than throw him out to prevent another scandal involving someone sleeping at the clinic.


Meanwhile, Virginia’s actions are a bit iffy this time around.  She’s moved by the ambition of the case going all the way to the Supreme Court, even if it could open up her private and professional life to other people.  She focuses her efforts on getting Little Brown back behind the book, which she does by fabricating a tale about Bob Drag’s sexual prowess.


I get it- it’s for the good of the study, but some of Virginia’s decisions make me question her motivation.  If she saw that Bill and Libby were reconciling their differences, would Bill sacrificing himself be enough to win her heart?  After all, she’s been down this path before and even brings up a past instance of Bill making a bold move on her behalf.  Why should this be any different?


After all, she reminded Bill about the dangers of making the same mistake.  Isn’t getting back together the same thing?  Virginia seems confident that she’s making the right move this time, and even though she and Bill are embracing their love for another, things won’t just be business as usual for them.

“Outliers” showed the ugly side of telling the truth, but helped advance the characters and bring them to relatively good places by the end.  Libby may find happiness with Bram, Betty and Helen will do their best with their relationship, and Bill and Virginia have found each other again, but now that Art and Nancy have learned about the recordings, life at the clinic isn’t going to get easier anytime soon.  The trials and tribulations are far from over.

A Look at The Walking Dead #159- “The Whisperer War: Part 3 of 6”


You can always count on Robert Kirkman to find a way to surprise or shock you when reading The Walking Dead.  And that’s the case here with the third installment of The Whisperer War.  It’s a great read with plenty of good character moments, with Dwight in particular stepping up as a leader in this war.


But before getting there, Negan versus Beta.  Unlike Alpha, I would expect Beta to stay around much longer than her, but there’s no question that Beta lost this battle to Negan.  It helps that Negan was more than ready to kill and even if there are some who still hate Negan for the terrible things that he’s done, he’s proving himself a useful ally here.


And seeing Dwight toss Lucille to Negan was a great sight that made it feel like a true reunion.  And let’s be honest, it is.  Given how long Negan has been without her, and how he did tell Dwight that he’d get her back, this was the reunion we wanted and got as Negan laid waste to Beta.


But then, she breaks.  You know, let’s take a step backwards, because this is a pretty clever move.  As the ongoing story progresses, we’re also getting Negan’s backstory in the “Here’s Negan” mini-series.  As of recent, we learned about the origin of Lucille’s name, and just when Negan reclaims her, she’s gone.

Now I’m wondering just how damn sturdy Lucille is.  Negan had her for quite awhile and we know she’s been used to smack across roamers and humans alike.  That she survived for this long is proof of her durability.  And yes, Negan’s rage may be exaggerated because at the end of the day, we’re talking about a bat wrapped in barbed wire, but damn it if it doesn’t sting nonetheless.

Hell, Lucille isn’t even technically a character, but I feel like I lost something with her breaking.  Now Negan could always make a similar weapon or a new one altogether, but whatever he does, it’s the end of an era here with Lucille’s death.  Godspeed, Lucille.  Yes, you took Glenn from us, but you remained in our hearts.


Okay, moving on, so the team manages to keep the Whisperers at bay for awhile, but once more roamers arrive, Dwight steps up and decides to divide and conquer.  I’ve said it before and will no doubt say it again, but Dwight has ended up proving Rick right.  He didn’t want the leadership position, but Rick gave it anyway.  Now that he has it, he’s proving to be an effective strategist.


And it’s a good plan as well.  No way should this small band be expected to take on that many roamers and potential Whisperers, so why not divide them up?  This gives them more time to weed out as many roamers as possible, but also formulate a plan to keep the oncoming herd from reaching one of the communities.


Like the Hilltop, which is how I’ll segue over there.  Oh, Carl.  Poor, young Carl.  Lydia comes along and takes his virginity, and sometime after that, she says that she doesn’t love him, despite appreciating all he’s done- not to mention defending her.  So after all that, Lydia puts Carl right in the friend zone.

But, to be fair, Lydia has a good point about the difference between Carl’s group and the Whisperers.  The Whisperers just exist for nothing more than to survive and kill for their leader.  Carl and company, though, they want to rebuild society.  They want to make civilization what it was before the world went to hell.  To the Whisperers, they’re already in hell.

So, in a way, those emotions make Carl’s group seem weak.  And I gotta give Carl credit for making a stand, thinking that Lydia was talking to him out of fear.  He really is his father’s son, refusing to be swayed by a scary premonition.  But even a badass like Carl can’t be with Lydia forever, so she breaks it off.  Of course, they can probably still fuck, but Lydia tells Carl that he shouldn’t think that it’s love.

Zoned!  But at the very least, this could open the door for Sophia to make a move.


Okay, I’m finished.  Moving onto the Kingdom for a second, damn this was a great scene.  So much got across in so little panel time, but William showed some serious fortitude here.  Zachary questioned his leadership and strength, but William is more than capable of leading.  Plus, despite his loyalty to Rick, he’s looking at the bigger picture.

If the Whisperers overwhelm and kill those sent out to fight them, of course they’ll start heading for the communities.  And William will be damned if he puts his people in danger or sit on the sidelines while other people risk their lives.  So as we see here, anyone who questions William’s leadership better be prepared to defend themselves.


We get snippets of life at Alexandria, with Rick still taking a backseat approach while Dwight leads the team in the field.  It is unfortunate and inconvenient that there’s no way to be in contact with them because now Rick has no way of what’s going on with the others. And that could end up being a huge problem with where we end up by the of the issue.



And that’s with Dwight’s group dressing up as the Whisperers.  It’s a good idea that could draw away some of the herds and kill Whisperers at the same time, but there’s a problem. Again, with Rick unaware of what’s happening, suppose Dwight’s group runs into someone from one of the communities that isn’t aware of his plan.  They could just see an approaching Whisperer and open fire, like on the show when Andrea shot Daryl.

So now we just wait and see what becomes of this plan, but all in all, a great issue.  We bid farewell to Lucille, Carl gets zoned by Lydia, and Dwight puts his plan into action to take down the Whisperers from within.  Meanwhile, keep an eye on the Saviors, who are trying to still stop Vincent.  They could still prove to be a thorn in Rick’s side if they don’t cooperate.

Still, though, great read.

A Look at Masters of Sex- Season 4, Episode 4: “Coats or Keys”

By one definition, a key party involves the men putting their car keys into either a bag or bowl at a party.  Then, the women select a set of keys at random and then go home with one of those men for some indiscriminate fucking.  Swingers really knew how to entertain, didn’t they?


The episode begins with Lester awakening in a car with his pants down and the windows fogged.  Someone wants him to call.  Who?  We don’t know yet.  Then Virginia attempts to call a cab, but her bed mate had the keys all along.  As she heads out, she grabs a coat.  Bill, meanwhile, didn’t see the night ending like this.  He hopes that his companion can change their ways or this arrangement won’t last.


We then cut to 24 hours earlier.  Art and Nancy are in the middle of preparation for a gathering, though Nancy is more worried about Bill’s potential arrival.  Art assures her that Virginia says Bill doesn’t show up unless he’s being honored for something.  Virginia is also bringing someone with her, but no idea that person is.


At the clinic, Virginia informs Bill about the aforementioned party, though Bill had no intention of going.  Besides, he has to take care of the kids.  Virginia invites Lester, as Dan is apparently stuck in Florida.  Virginia wants Lester to bring Jane, but she’s too busy courting her male lover.  Jane has a male lover.  I can see it.


Bill, as we soon learn from Libby, bought the kids a dog, Baxter, and that’s a problem because this dog got into a bit of mischief, including shitting in Barbie’s dream house.  Well, maybe Barbie shouldn’t have a dream house!  Bill tells Libby that the dog is the kids’ responsibility.  Libby chews out Bill for not being in the trenches with the kids like she is, so he’ll talk to the kids soon.


To my surprise, we return to the misadventures of Gary and Fran.  Things have not been going well since the last session.  They barely speak.  Fran wanted Gary to act like a man, and tells Virginia that wives should be more demure, even though she wanted to be dominated.  Virginia asks if there’s anything in Fran’s background that would make her think this way.


Gary, meanwhile, tells Bill about his father, who could find fault in anything and even gave Mom a black eye.  It never occurred to Gary that a woman would want to be treated like that.  Fran’s heart skipped a beat once when Gary asked to order food for her.

Electrifying stuff, this couple.  Fran’s parents are a different case.  Her father wasn’t the demanding type.  Gary just wanted a traditional relationship and to show Fran the love his father never did.  Fran, meanwhile, just didn’t want to be her mother.


Later, Bill and Virginia discuss the couple, Bill thinking that Fran and Gary couldn’t be more wrong for each other.  Each one wants something that the other can’t provide.  Or they couldn’t drop their guard.  It takes time to develop that kind of insight.  Virginia asks what it took for Bill, and he says that it just took a while, and not her asking the right questions so he could reveal his secrets and feel safe.

Sensate therapy would be too traumatic for Gary, so are he and Fran capable of change?  Can they let go and forgive each other for the hurt and disappointment that’s brought them to this point?  Who knows?


That evening, Lester and Betty booze up as they arrive at the party, though Lester reminds Betty all about Jane’s boyfriend.  Lyle and Kyle, played respectively by Yan Feldman and Rafael Feldman, greet the two.  One is circumcised.  That’s how you tell the difference.  They had to say that, didn’t they?


While Art and Nancy decide on coats instead of keys, Virginia and Libby arrive at the party, with Libby ready to flirt with any single men.  Virginia introduces Nancy to Libby, and if I didn’t know any better, I would think that Nancy guessed Libby and Virginia were an item instead of just friends.


Either way, she introduces the two to Michael, who knows Virginia because the two of them, along with Dan Logan, are supposed to have dinner in New York soon.  Oh, how about that?  Almost caught in a hard place, Virginia wanders off to distract herself.


Nancy tells Art how Michael knows Virginia.  Good thing, because Art and Nancy would love to meet Dan.  As the two leave, Betty asks what Virginia plans to do when others find out that Virginia isn’t married.


While Lester tries to chat up a woman about Jane because he hasn’t told enough people, Libby makes small talk with Michael about rebounding after divorce.  He and his wife renewed their vows, but only to love each other as best friends.

There was even a ceremony.  Libby claims to be close with her ex-husband, since they just need to talk about how much they love each other.  Everything after is easy.  And then Bram Keller arrives.


Nancy and an attendee sort the coats, with the attendee saying that he likes Nancy.  Based on statistics, he thinks that he has a shot with her.


Bram Keller is surprised to see Libby and apologizes for misjudging her.  Inside, Libby is a roaring cauldron of rage.  Bram goes on about representing Libby’s ex-husband and how Libby would love to throw Bill to the wolves instead of helping.  This manages to scare off Michael and allows Bran to explain to Libby just what kind of party she’s attending, as she has no idea.


Back to Virginia and Betty, who doesn’t see any shame in things falling apart between Virginia and Dan.  There’s an honor, she says, in seeing that a marriage is ending, but remember that Virginia never got married in the first place.  See, Betty thinks people should just tell the truth, like Helen ought to do with her parents in regards to Betty.  Virginia will come clean.  Tomorrow.


Bill arrives at the party, where Libby tells him that the kids are with their friends, even though he’s supposed to have time with them tonight.  Yeah, Bill is inconvenienced without any regard.  Sound familiar?


Nancy and Art halt the festivities and bring the coats so they can explain the rules of the key and coat party: tonight it’s gentleman’s choice.  If Kyle and Lyle pick you, be careful because they do everything together.  As host’s choice, Art picks first and ends up with Virginia’s coat.  Well, this should be fun.


A coat-less and intoxicated Libby makes her way to her coat, so Bill opts to drive instead.  No dice, Libby says, but she doesn’t have much of a say right now.


Lester picks out a coat that belongs to a Miss Adele Davenport, played by Eileen O’Connell, the woman that he spoke to before and who wants to pass.  Well, that’s unfortunate.  Betty talks with piano player Guy, played by Nick Clifford, who isn’t here to participate in the festivities.  Betty isn’t interested in sexual roulette, she just wants moral support from the only other homosexual in the room.  Well, he is the piano player.


Virginia isn’t into screwing with Art, even though she’s a guest in his house and was already spotted with a man in a bar.  They’re not coworkers at this hour.  Art tells Virginia, who is instead searching for her keys, that the damage is done, regardless of the two screw.  People will come to their own conclusion.  Virginia hopes that Art disavows that notion, but then she hears Nancy moaning through the wall.

It helps that she’s pretending for a purely sexual experience.  She doesn’t care- she’ll learn something to bring to their bed.  Art closes his eyes and pretends, too- he pretends to enjoy it.


Libby and Bill arrive at home, with the two arguing about blaming each other.  Bill doesn’t feel that he’s making decisions to deliberately hurt Libby, including the dog, though she feels otherwise.  Taking care of a dog gets easier, but Bill and Libby started easy.  Now, unlike some exes, they aren’t even friends.

So Bill asks Libby what he can fix.  She wants him to promise not to make her the bad guy with the kids or undermine her authority.  Don’t treat her like a piece of business, either.  And third, Libby wants Bill to go down on her.  She wants to know what it feels like and so Bill can do something for the sole purpose of giving Libby pleasure.  As in right now in the living room.

Hey, when a woman wants you to eat her out, you obey.


The server, Cleo, played by Enuka Okuma, joins Lester outside on the curb as he sits in his sadness.  And because Lester has a big mouth, the server knows all about Lester’s life and advises that he just punches Jane’s lover.

Be better than the people randomly fucking because they matched coats.  The server thinks Lester is better than them, even if no one wanted him.  This sex isn’t an act of rebellion.  Radical, the server says, is marching through the streets.

She hasn’t been arrested, though.  The point is nothing radical was ever catered.  Though Lester isn’t a risk taker and the server isn’t a radical, but they can change this.  Lester can be her worthwhile cause.  Tempting, Lester.


While the couples fuck, Guy offers to take Betty home after they finish on the piano.  However, Betty needs to be dropped at the office because Helen’s parents are in town.  Guy feels that Helen will tell the truth when she’s ready.


Back to Art and Virginia, who wonders why Art isn’t a willing participant in this.  Nancy likes Art being with other women, as it makes her feel less guilty that she’s with other men.  Art was the one who wanted to get married- the two give other people their bodies, but keep their feelings for each other.  Separating sex and love.  Interesting.  Virginia has separated the two before, but now she’s taking care of herself.

Virginia knows there are infinite ways that sex can happen without love.  Or you can get laid because it feels good and there’s nothing else on television.  As Nancy’s moans intensify, Art then pleads with Virginia to talk to him about anything.


At the same time, Bill goes down on Libby, who thanks him for the service.  That’s one thing to check off his list.  And yet Libby is still upset because that felt good, but that never happened over 20 years.  Libby was a virgin and only knew what Bill showed him, which was the most polite sex in the world.

But Libby wasn’t disappointed because she didn’t know enough to be disappointed.  Bill wasn’t, though, because he saw other couples having sex and found someone else to fuck.  As did she.  Libby reveals herself to be a carnal woman.  She wants sex in the shower and wants to be felt up under a table.  Bill would have obliged during their boring dinners.

The only thing Libby saw Bill be passionate about was his work.  Libby didn’t demand passion, she only wanted Bill home for dinner.  It’s not tragic.  Bill believes that he and Libby did their best.  After all, they did produce three kids.  Bill did love Libby, even if not enough or in the right way, but he knows that he loved her.  Libby loved him, too.  The two kiss until it evolves into something more.


While Lester and Cleo make sweet, interracial love in the car, Virginia notes how quiet it is in the next room.  Apparently, Nancy gets stuffed up when she sleeps to the point that she has a whistle in her nose.  Art knows what he signed up with Nancy and asks Virginia when it’s ever equal between partners.  Why can’t Art love Nancy more than she loves him?

Virginia asks Art if Nancy isn’t all that and maybe she’s just pretending.  Even if that’s the case, Art doesn’t care.  After all, what makes Dan love Virginia?

Maybe it’s not her body or work personality, but the person she is and rarely acknowledges: a fucked-up woman that Dan loves anyway.  Isn’t that true love?  A man who stands by your side when it’s not easy, but when it’s damn near impossible when you don’t think you deserve it?


Libby and Bill eat up.  Bill’s ready to leave and do some thinking about this evening, but before he does, Libby wants him to take Baxter outside.


So Virginia and Art are finally in a bed together, but he knew her coat because she wears it to the office every day.  Not because he wanted to go to bed with her, but because he knew she wouldn’t.  After all, she’s his boss and bosses shouldn’t sleep with employers.  Virginia admits that it happens.  Art tries to pry open Virginia’s mind through role play, but Virginia just calls him awkward, nervous, and doesn’t make eye contact.

Virginia waits until she feels a shared passion for the work.  The boss may call the shots, but the boss also wants Virginia to be her equal with the same opportunities and success.  That could be a ruse to keep it going, but the boss believes in Virginia.  He thinks that Virginia is smart and defers to her.  The ugly parts of Virginia don’t scare him away.  She falls in and out of bed with other men, but still, the boss loves her.

So when Virginia goes to find her own happiness, without him, life continues.  The boss is left a broken, afraid, insecure man, but he has shown Virginia these broken places.

So Bill takes Baxter for a walk, Lester is left in his car with a phone number on his window, and Guy takes a message at the clinic.  Virginia, meanwhile, learns that Art had her keys all along.  As she heads out for the day, she grabs a coat.


Bill, meanwhile, asks Baxter to change his ways or this arrangement can’t last.  He then gets a visit from Virginia, who returns Libby’s coat.  Virginia then admits that she and Dan never got married, but the reasons were complicated.  Bill admits that he’s known for a while and doesn’t know why Virginia would be sorry.  He then tells her that he’ll see her at the office as the episode comes to a close.

Another great episode this was.  And a nice change of pace by having it all unravel after seeing how it ended.  Having the majority of this take place within the context of the key party was a great way, I feel, to develop the characters and progress their stories, even if the dialogue was a tad blatant at times.

At the same time, it makes sense in this episode that the characters are grappling with how to accept the others around them and whether that’s taking them on the surface level or loving them for what’s beneath as well.  This episode asks whether you can take someone at face value or if it’s possible to love them so much that their flaws are immaterial.


When you’re able to accept that significant other, body, soul, issues and all, you’re showing your devotion to them in every way because you don’t mind being with them at their worst.  Even if they don’t show you that same level of love, as is the case with Art and Nancy, it shouldn’t be a contest of who loves who more.  It’s just about being true to yourself and to them by accepting their true self, not the imitation.


Take Betty, for example.  She can see right through anyone’s bullshit and isn’t afraid to call others out on it.  She’s already called out the likes of Bill, Barton, and Virginia not because she can, but because she values honesty.  Despite how fucked up Bill and Virginia are, Betty would prefer if they stopped pretending and just put everything out in the open.  Although why Helen hasn’t come clean about her and Betty is something I don’t get.


But not everyone is as honest or forward as Betty.  At this party, she exists on an island and finds solace in the only other gay person there.  And even though Guy is a homosexual, Betty doesn’t care.  She’s been there.  Hell, she’s still there.  And while society may not be as openly accepting of gays in the 1960s, Betty accepts Guy in spite of society seeing the two of them as pariahs.

Plus, while I enjoy Betty and Lester’s interactions, there’s something a bit more meaningful in seeing Betty befriend someone just like her.  And from the way Betty eyes Guy at the clinic the next morning, I wonder if she’ll try to bring Guy on to be her secretary.  After all, Betty could use the extra hands around the office.


While most characters keep their truer selves hidden, Lester sees no need to hide who he is.  While he’s not a radical like Cleo, he already made a gutsy life decision by being involved with Bill and Virginia’s research.  But his home life isn’t going well and he’s made a habit of ranting about it.  Since Lester has done this in the past, it doesn’t come out of nowhere or feel like he’s bitter about Jane’s absence.

As we saw back in the first season, Lester loves Jane more than she does, the same way Art does with Nancy, but unlike Art seemingly having no problem with Nancy sleeping with other men, Jane having sex with another man feels like an endurance test for Lester.  It’s almost as if, I think, he just tolerates her behavior rather than accept her flaws.

Two other things: first, if Jane is going to be name-dropped as often as she has, I hope she appears at some point, even if brief or to explain why she’s no longer working at the clinic.  Second, I hope we get some follow-up between Lester and Cleo because it’d be unfortunate if they lost that connection.  And it would give Lester a suitable and likable partner in Jane’s absence.


Art and Virginia’s conversation, while spelled-out at times, was one of the better scenes of the episode.  While Virginia thinks highly of herself, Art is one of the few people that doesn’t find her desirable because of their work relationship.  Plus, have you seen Nancy?


But as strange as an open relationship is to some, Art knows who Nancy is, inside and out, and is able to separate sex from love.  That’s hard to do, given the level of Nancy’s moans.  There’s got to be something there beyond sex, even if Art doesn’t want to admit it. And if there is, he still loves Nancy, despite how bothered he looks upon hearing Nancy having sex.  He’s there for her at her lowest moments.  That, I believe, is commitment.

And Art does get Virginia thinking about how much each partner puts into a relationship. He rightly asks when it’s ever equal between partners, and even in this setting, that’s very uncommon.  Whether Art and Nancy, Bill and Libby, Barton and Margaret, or even Bill and Virginia, you don’t have both sides contributing the same amount.  It shouldn’t be a problem if one side puts in more than the other if the relationship is stable.


That’s how Art sees it, but not Virginia, who believes that there should be equal output in a partnership.  Bill doesn’t see her as a subordinate and she doesn’t carry herself as one. But unlike men who value Virginia for her body, Bill values Virginia for her intellect and willingness to challenge him, whether at work or in the bedroom.


I wasn’t a fan of how much Virginia spelled out Bill as the man in the hypothetical scenario, but I think it drives home just how much someone like Bill instead of Dan really gets her, even if their personal relationship is over at the moment.  But based on that realization, there’s a good chance that the two of them could recapture what made their bond so strong.


Before that happens, though, we’d have to see what becomes of Bill’s relationship with Libby.  I’ll say it again: I love single Libby.  She’s brash, confident, and everything you’d want now that she’s on her own.  Of all the things I expected Libby to demand of Bill, I never imagined she would want him to go down on her.  But in this instance, she’s in control.

And this gives Libby an opportunity to live out what she’s been denied for years, but also what she’s seen in other couples.  Michael and his ex-wife are, at the very least, friends, and Nancy gets her rocks off with other men, even though she’s married to Art.  Libby had to get her rocks off through Paul and Robert because, like Gary, Bill didn’t desire Libby- he just respected her.


Their marriage was about as typical as you’d expect a nuclear family, but that was the problem.  Libby didn’t want typical.  She wanted to be felt up under the table or fucked in the shower.  Certainly any man would accept such a proposal if it came from someone as pretty as Caitlin Fitzgerald.  But Libby’s progression this season has felt very cathartic and this was her chance to have Bill pleased her in ways he never did before.


Also, the two do end up on good terms by episode’s end when they’re having a casual conversation.  Bill accepts that he’s wronged Libby and denied her satisfaction he would have been able to provide, but he also doesn’t deny that their children are evidence that, for all their faults, their marriage did have its successes.


But this relationship didn’t have the success that Bill had with Virginia.  With Libby, Bill only saw a wife.  Hell, they slept in separate beds.  He didn’t see the horny housewife who just wanted to get fucked instead of just make dinner and be on display for guests.  The two were never equals the way Bill and Virginia always fought for domination.


This was as much a good episode for dramatic moments as it was comedic.  Whether the main characters realizing they were at a sex party, Lester bonding with Cleo, or Libby asserting control over Bill, this was a very funny episode that came full circle by the end. After “The Pleasure Protocol,” “Coats or Keys” is a damn good follow-up with great character development in a fun setting.

But what happens now going forward?  Will Lester ever see Cleo again?  Are Bill and Libby back on good terms, despite being separated?  And now that the truth is out on Virginia lying about her not-marriage, where does her relationship with Bill go from here? We’ll see next time.

A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 3: “Mad City: Look Into My Eyes”

And now, Gotham introduces us to a man who could be crazy, or maybe even mad.  And he wears a hat.  Because he’s the-okay, skipping the allusions.  It’s the Mad Hatter.


The episode begins with hypnotist Jervis Tetch, played by Benedict Samuel, entertaining a crowd at Barbara’s club.  He then asks for a volunteer for something more arcane.  One man ends up as his participant.  Tetch tells the man to listen to his ticking pocket watch and to also look into his eyes.  The man is now ready to do something impossible.

Tetch has the man to stand on the back end of a chair, as he’s weightless.  Unburdened by fear, he says, means people can accomplish anything.  This gets Barbara’s attention.  After whispering something to him, Tetch awakens the man from his trance.

Barbara asks Tetch if he can get people to do anything, and he can, but it has to be a wish.  Tetch, as luck would have it, is new to Gotham.  He doesn’t have a place to stay, but something always pops up for him.


Bruce and Alfred watch the Bruce clone eat and acknowledge how weird this is for him.  The clone has a number for a name- apparently someone’s been watching Stranger Things– but he doesn’t remember much before Indian Hill.  He woke up in the lab over a year ago and was given books and tests.  He only saw other roommates when Fish Mooney freed him.  Bruce welcomes the clone to stay for at least the night.

Alfred isn’t a fan of that idea since, you know, this is a copy of Bruce Wayne.  At the very least, they should give Lucius Fox a call tomorrow.


Having had their fun, Valerie and Jim get dressed and flirt.  Jim is collecting his bounty from the GCPD, but he can spruce things up in case Valerie stops by later.  She leaves.


At GCPD, Barnes tells Leslie that the department has missed her and advises her not to worry about Jim since he’s not affiliated with the GCPD.  As if on cue, Jim arrives just as Leslie exits the captain’s office.  Convenient.  Leslie tells Jim that she’s moving to Gotham permanently with her fiancé, as he’s been offered a position at Gotham General.  Small city Gotham City is.


That evening, the volunteer from before receives a call from Jervis Tetch, who repeats the phrase from before and then tells the man to head to his door.  He answers it and finds Tech and his watch waiting for him.

The lady of the house awakens and heads downstairs to find Tetch approaching her.  He tells her that he haunts her dreams like a ghost, so there’s no escape from the Magic Man.  Then the man knocks her out from behind.  Tetch then tells the man to bury the woman and then kill himself.  As he gets to work, Tetch takes a seat and looks at a photo of his sister, Alice, as he’s been searching for her.


Then we cut to Alice herself, played by Naian González Norvind, being chewed out by her landlord over money.  Alice has lost her job as of recent, so the landlord, so the wants another form of payment.  He goes in for a kiss, but his body reacts harshly to Alice’s touch.


Mayor James tells the press that he’ll be resuming his duties as mayor, but you know who isn’t a fan of that?  Oswald Cobblepot.  Penguin arrives with yet another mob- where is he finding these people?- and finds it dishonorable that James announce himself Mayor, despite his shady business in the past.

Valerie asks Penguin if he’s challenging James for office, and Penguin is doing just that.  One should be legally elected, so Oswald Cobblepot announces his mayoral run and declares that an emergency election be held forthwith.


At Wayne Manor, Alfred trains Bruce when the clone arrives.  After being offered to practice, the clone laces up and squares off with Alfred.  The clone gets in some pretty damn good punches.  The clone is unsure who taught him.

Alfred gets in a punch of his own that causes a nosebleed, but the clone doesn’t even register the pain.  Then Bruce notices a scar on the clone’s neck and asks just what the hell happened to him at Indian Hill.


Tetch visits Jim Gordon and asks him to find his sister.  Tetch became Alice’s guardian, but her condition proved too much, so Tetch sought out Hugo Strange.  Alice had some sort of poisonous ability.

Of course Tetch didn’t go to the police because this is Gotham.  After the breakout, Tetch hoped his sister escaped.  The GCPD offers five grand for any Indian Hill escapees, so Tetch offers double.  He leaves Jim a photo of Alice and contact information.


Oswald’s mayoral campaign is somehow already up and running, but Butch fears politicians above everything else in Gotham City.  Penguin feels this is his opportunity to make a legacy.  Then Oswald learns that Mayor James wants to meet him alone.


As the clone looks at some photos, Bruce tries to find a reference about the scars.  He then hides the clone when Selina makes a surprise arrival to tell him about Ivy’s disappearance.  This time, Selina feels that Ivy won’t return.  She has a bad feeling, though Bruce finds it odd that Selina even gives a damn.  But it’s more than that- no one would even talk to Ivy.

That much is true, yeah.  Selina doesn’t give up, though, and wants Bruce’s help, but obviously he’s occupied.  It’s not a good time.  For this, Selina calls him a selfish son of a bitch.  Whoever wrote that line didn’t have a kid in mind, because it sounds awkward hearing it from Selina.


To further prove how small Gotham City is, Jim spots Selina scaling a building and asks for help and offers payment, even though he couldn’t possibly know if Selina is even familiar with Alice, but whatever.  Selina explains Ivy’s disappearance and asks if Jim can keep an eye out for her.  After seeing the photo of Alice, Selina confirms that she’s from Indian Hill and tells Jim her current job.


Jim does some snooping at a burned out room when three men enter.  When they hear about Alice, they tell Jim that she started the fire in this building.  Just as the three attempt to teach Jim some manners, a fight breaks out with Jim, despite taking a baseball bat to the skull, overpowering the men.


So Jim then gets an examination from a doctor who I’m gonna assume now is the man that Leslie is dating.  As the doctor gets to work, he tells Jim that Leslie speaks very highly of him.  The man’s name is Mario, played by James Carpinello, and he is, indeed, Leslie’s fiancé.

Called it.  He tells Jim that he’ll take good care of Leslie.  Jim, in response, wishes the best to both of them since he and Leslie are old news.  However, if Mario hurts Leslie, Jim will hunt down and kill him.  And only after does Jim ask for information on Alice.


Meanwhile, Penguin sits with Mayor James at a restaurant.  Penguin feels that the public is behind him, but James calls Oswald an unstable maniac.  James has Gotham’s elite behind him.  Before Penguin can lash out, James’ reinforcements arrive.  Unfortunately, Penguin has even more reinforcements.  He tells James that he’ll need help and knows the person in mind.


I’m not gonna question this.  Jim arrives at another home when the landlord from before rushes out and attacks him.  Alice fires from behind and kills the landlord, telling Jim that she infected the landlord.  Jim tells Alice that Tetch is looking for her.  But since Alice doesn’t want to be found, she sets fire to the body and flees.


As Bruce sleeps, clone Bruce gets to work cutting his hair.  That’s how it starts.  The haircut.  That morning, Bruce and Alfred find that the clone has escaped with some clothes in order to look more like Bruce.


At Arkham Asylum, Penguin tells a warden that he’ll grant him any request once he becomes mayor.  In exchange, Penguin needs his friend to be released.  If not, Oswald can leave the man with nothing and have him stay in Arkham forever.


Back at Barbara’s club, Jervis performs on Barbara herself and asks the crowd what they’d like to see her do.  So he orders Barbara to find him irresistible.  Indeed, when Barbara awakens, she finds herself deeply in love with him, but what if Barbara loves another?  That throws Barbara into a rage, as she’s sensitive to rejection.  Go figure. Tech snaps her out of it.


Jim arrives at the club and tells Tetch that Alice wants nothing to do with him.  It’s a complicated matter.  The two take their conversation to the rooftop.  Tetch draws Jim to the sound of his watch and puts him under his control.  To demonstrate this, Tech orders Jim to take out his gun and put it on the ground.  He then tells Jim to climb to the edge of the roof because suspense.  Deep down, Jim wants to end this miserable, loveless life.


So Tetch wants to help Jim by having him step off the ledge and find everlasting peace.  Before Tetch can finish counting to 10, Alice arrives with a gun at the ready.  She tells Tetch to leave her alone or she’ll kill him.  She fires her gun, snapping Jim out of his daze, but causes him to fall over for a bit.  Alice rescues him, but still gets cuffed.


Edward Nygma, meanwhile, gets a certificate of sanity.  The murders were all committed when Nygma was insane, so he’s a free man now.  Before Nygma can question this, a car pulls up to Arkham and Nygma receives a visit from an old friend.


Mario and Leslie discuss Jim, as Mario wants to make sure that nothing’s left unsaid.  He tells her about his encounter, but their talk is interrupted by the arrival of Mario’s father, Carmine Falcone.


You see, Carmine promised his wife that Mario would never be a part of the criminal life.  He’d lead a good life and won’t use the Falcone name.  However, one thing would have worried Carmine’s wife: Leslie is too beautiful and all tragedies start with a pretty face.  And that beauty makes men like Jim Gordon do crazy things.  Leslie assures Carmine that she’s moved past Jim.  And with that, the three toast.


Bruce clone somehow knows how to drive a car and spots Selina in a random-ass location.  He apologizes for his behavior and offers to take Selina for a ride.  Selina notices something off, but accepts Bruce’s offer for dinner.  So no one in the city noticed a child driving a car?

Oh, forget it.

Okay, so “Look Into My Eyes” gives us Gotham’s take on The Mad Hatter and he’s fine so far.  For as over the top as some villains have been on Gotham, Samuel’s take on Mad Hatter felt pretty grounded, even a bit more so than Penguin back in the pilot.  Granted, this is just his introduction, so he could easily turn on a dime, but right now, it’s solid for this show’s standards.


And we do see shades of a darker side through his hypnotism.  Between that and his sister’s condition, there’s a more sinister side to these siblings that I hope we’ll learn more about as the episodes progress.  And hey, it’s a way to tie Tetch to Hugo Strange and all the experiments going on at Indian Hill.  Though, if I wanted to stretch, Alice’s poison abilities feel similar to what I expect from Poison Ivy.


Then you’ve got Jim and Leslie’s reunion, which is just chock full of conveniences. Whether it’s Jim showing up at the precinct just as Leslie is or the three men attacking Jim when he offered to pay them, sending him to the hospital where Leslie’s fiancé works, it was predictable.  After all, there’d be no point in Leslie mentioning that her fiancé worked at Gotham General if there wouldn’t be a payoff in the same episode.


So Mario is Falcone’s son.  It’s nice to see Carmine return and he does know what honor means, so it will be interesting to see whether Mario really does stay away from a crime life and just pursue Leslie.  And even then, would Jim be a thorn in his side?  Obviously not since both Jim and Leslie claim that they are over, but from their facial expressions when they talk, you can tell there’s still lingering interest between them.


And there’s definitely still some chemistry between Bruce and Selina.  I’m glad the show is taking its time with them instead of shoving the two of them in our faces, as was the case in Season One.  While Bruce cares for Selina, he’s got bigger problems to attend to with his clone.  But what does the clone want?  To just take over Bruce’s life?  Maybe learn how to feel since he doesn’t register pain.


As for Penguin, a mayoral run for him makes sense now that he’s got the people of Gotham on his side and sees someone like Mayor James as old hat.  Hopefully we don’t get a repeat of what happened when Galavan ran for office.  Why Oswald needs Nygma on his campaign, I don’t know, but hey, hopefully this will give us some more Penguin and Nygma interactions.


By the way, the scene of Penguin one-upping James with his armed followers gave me a big “Almost Got ‘Im” vibe from Batman: the Animated Series.  Could just be me looking for a Batman reference.

“Look Into My Eyes” was pretty good.  Mad Hatter made a good introduction so far and with him still out there, I’m certain he’s about to cause some mayhem in the city. Meanwhile, Jim gets another love triangle with Leslie’s return, which could be complicated by her connection to Falcone.  And is Selina smart enough to see that she’s going out with a Bruce Wayne clone?  We’ll see.