Spoilers below for elements from Gotham's first three seasons, so if you aren't caught up, get caught up first.
Oh, Gotham, dear Gotham. From the perspective of someone looking solely for a faithful and canon-adhering slice of Batman's history, the Fox drama hasn't exactly made a lot of friends in its first three seasons. But for everyone else looking for a one-of-a-kind roller coaster of camp, violence and a cornucopia of comic book characters, then Gotham is double-fried gold. But somehow, even as we're watching some of the weirdest and wildest storylines ever put to network TV, there are somehow still a whole host of other under-the-surface eccentricities worth our attention.
Just...not too much of our attention. Below, you'll find 15 elements of Gotham that fans really shouldn't overthink, even though logic practically begs us to. Since we're all our own judges of what "overthinking" constitutes, let's infer the Honor Rule and dive in, shall we? (Into the list and not, you know, Gotham City's corpse-contaminated river.)
1. How The GCPD Keeps Getting Rebuilt And Restaffed
One can almost set a calendar year by the individual times that the main Gotham City Police Department building gets blasted to smithereens by one of Gotham's biggest criminals. Or one of Gotham's biggest criminal's biggest henchmen. Or one of Gotham's newest criminal gangs. Or someone who mistook the GCPD for a bank. Or by stray animals. It's easy to understand how people infiltrate the place, but who keeps rebuilding things to the exact specifications of the interior's former existence? And who keeps filling the officer positions after all the dead folks go away? Why, civil service employees, why?
2. Why Alfred Doesn't Have Brain Trauma By Now
Since he's not quite as aged as many other versions of Alfred in Batman's history, Gotham's iteration is able to get a lot more physical. But rarely do villains attempt to take Sean Pertwee's military-trained butler down by smashing up his legs or pummeling his midsection. No, most of the time, Alfred gets cold-cocked across the head, sometimes by fist, but usually with a trophy or vase or crowbar or a selection of other weapons that would certainly cause permanent damage after just one or two strikes. Alfred's skull must be made of stronger things.
3. Why Anyone Would Eventually Consider Batman Weird When Everyone In Gotham City Is Weird
As it was most recently showcased in Batman v Superman, there are times when the Caped Crusader is not exactly on good terms with Gotham City, and its citizens are often shown to be fearful or disapproving of Batman's efforts. But Gotham's central location is already populated by some of the weirdest characters in the world, so by the time Bruce actually does take on the Dark Knight mantle, a man running around dressed like a bat won't be worth a second glance in a city used to dealing with The Executioner and Mr. Freeze.
4. How Selina Is Homeless, Yet Keeps Immaculate Curls
For three seasons now, Selina Kyle has gone without finding a permanent place to call her home, sometimes staying with Bruce or other "friends," and sometimes kicking it out alone on the streets. But for someone without consistent access to a shower and hair care products, Selina is never seen in a state where her 'do is anything less than magnificent, and her curls often seem to be the product of science and mysticism. And given some of the leather suits that she's worn so far, it's clear she's not carrying a brush around, either.
5. If Indian Hills Had A Cleaning Crew, And What Became Of Them
Of all Gotham's secret organizations and villainous outposts, perhaps the most interesting is the Indian Hills facility, considering so much that went on there was left vague and unexplained. But we're not quite as interested in how Dr. Hugo Strange resurrected criminals as we are in learning if a cleaning crew was hired to mop up all the gross shit that undoubtedly got all over the floors and equipment during Strange's time there. And after others learned of Indian Hills, did that cleaning crew get killed off, or did they happily get transferred elsewhere?
6. Why Arkham Hasn't Been Taken Over By State Or Federal Government
Honestly, you could take "Arkham" and replace it with any other government building within Gotham City, but Arkham feels the most important, considering it's housing some of the most dangerous criminals that ever existed. And it's not exactly the most stable of all prisons, as we've already seen revolts and escapes occur, and Theo Galavan's ability to start-up a villainous superteam should have caused a few panicked waves in Congress or whatever legislative body that would eventually step in and take a firmer hold on Gotham's underworld. Could be everyone else is scared of it.
7. If Poison Ivy's First Boyfriend Will Be Considered A Pedophile
We won't be getting too gross here, so don't worry, but we're definitely not the only viewers who thought it was strange and potentially troublesome that Gotham made the baffling decision to physically age Ivy Pepper while still keeping her teenage mental state the same. And considering this is a character whose feminine wiles are all the rage in the comics, one has to wonder how Poison Ivy can possibly have any romantic entanglements in the future without any extremely uncomfortable issues about age and consent coming up.
8. Everything Hugo Strange Does In His Spare Time
Just about everything Hugo Strange did on Gotham, from his Indian Hills work to his various times as a hostage, was for the sake of the plot, and viewers never really got an inkling of what the character would be like away from resurrecting dangerous weirdos. Does he have a swanky apartment with a stunning vinyl collection? Or, more likely, does he have some kind of a house/laboratory where he stores all of his creations and experiments that went on BEFORE he hit the big time working with the Court of Owls? I bet he has jars on shelves with body parts from animals I've ever heard of.
9. What You Would Do With Bruce's Money
Given how wild and crazy Gotham gets with its plotting and pacing, it's sometimes easy to sit back and let the brain wander while the eyes and ears are taking everything else in. And the brain likes to consider concpets like, "All the amazing things I would buy and do with the Wayne fortune that would definitely make sadness and feelings of revenge take a backseat." That list would include, but is not limited to, "designing my own water park" and "turning what would be the future Batcave into a bourbon museum." That kind of thought pattern just isn't healthy, though.
10. Where Any Of These Villains Are Buying Their Clothes
While Bruce's thick-as-a-cushion sweater in late Season 3 caused a lot of incidental curiosity, Gotham's most fashion-centric question involves where all these villains find their unconventional and signature clothing and costume choices. I'll take a leap on someone actually designing Mr. Freeze's contraption, but how does the financially independent Selina afford one or more gorgeous leather body-suits and where'd she buy them? And where is Ed getting his all-green get-up? Firefly? Ra's al Ghul and his soldiers? And I'm pretty sure the Court of Owls could have been discovered through that purchase order of "3 dozen detailed owl masks" from what I assume is a single company that makes them.
11. Anything Involving Penguin's Position As Mayor
It's mind-boggling that Gotham City has a seemingly endless supply of ready and able citizens willing to sign on for the GCPD, even in the face of mortal danger on a daily basis, but there wasn't anyone to step up and defeat Penguin to become Gotham City's mayor. And how did he get form point Inspiration to point Elected Official without a host of past crimes and other illicit incidents standing in his way? Of all of Gotham's questionable choices, Penguin's city government run defies logic in an infuriating way, and so we'll just chalk it up to legal loopholes.
12. How A Lazarus Pit Just Happens To Be In Gotham City
With the introduction of Ra's al Ghul in Season 3, Gotham fans with some Batman knowledge likely banked on the restorative waters of a Lazarus Pit or two appearing. But I don't know that everyone was ready to buy into the fact that Gotham City just happens to have a local Lazarus Pit along with all of its other anomalies. Was Nanda Parbat too complicated or too Arrow-ish? In one version of the comics, Batman creates his own Pit inside the Batcave, but having one already inside the city is a little ridiculous, even for this show.
13. Why Alfred Doesn't Have A Booming Social Life
We know that Alfred's bond to young Bruce is as unbreakable as the flow of a river, but that doesn't change the fact that Alfred is a smooth, handsome and extremely wealthy gentleman with an accent that would woo the carpet off a floor. And yet, we basically only see him inside Wayne Manor, or outside trying to save Bruce in order to bring him back to Wayne Manor. Alfred should be one of the most popular people in Gotham's nightlife, though, and it's a shame that so many of his quality years have gone to fetching Master Bruce's snack cakes. Maybe it's all those head shots.
14. How Tabitha's Hand Is Perfectly Fine Now
One of Gotham's craziest moments from earlier this season involved Nygma's hostage situation with Tabitha and Butch, which ended in Tabitha getting her hand lopped off as a sacrifice for Butch's safety. It was wild and unexpected...and it took very little time for the show to basically pretend like it didn't happen. I know a world where Jerome Valeska literally got his sewn-on face punched off leaves a lot open by way of suspension of disbelief, but how was there no physical therapy or rehabilitation for that injury? And are we really meant to assume the image-conscious Barbara would let her work at Sirens while it was healing?
15. Why Martha Wayne Wasn't Wearing A Better Pearl Necklace
Truth be told, this one has been bothering us ever since the early scenes of the series premiere. And given its importance to Bruce Wayne's existence, Gotham has shown it to fans time and again, particularly in the latter part of Season 3 when Bruce was getting his Shaman training. So yeah, we've been wondering for a long time why Martha Wayne's pearl necklace wasn't of the just-barely-more-expensive variety, which would be knotted in a way that keeps all the pearls from flying willy nilly all over Murder Alley every single time. (Not the string's specific purpose, to be sure.)
Unfortunately, we have a whole summer to wait until Gotham comes back for Season 4 to usher in its new-ish villains and its returning villains and whatever other forms of madness will rise up for the explicit purposes of causing a cheeky ruckus. Until then, head to our summer TV premiere schedule to see what you'll be able to watch in the coming months.