New guest writer Lucía Carrillo fondly remembers Fish Mooney, a.k.a. Jada Pinkett Smith’s character in Gotham.
Some TV characters you never forget. We all remember Spike, the vampire villain from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or the amazing Wade Unique Adams, from Glee. Some of us even remember every single girl who dated Ted Mosby. Some of them really inspired us and we learned a lot from them, but it’s been a few months since one of the most powerful TV characters left us and no-one seems to be sad about it. Well, I am devastated. I’m talking about Fish Mooney, of course, a mob boss from Gotham. Maria Mercedes “Fish” Mooney was a member of the Falcone crime family and she was the owner of Mooney’s Nightclub. She knew how to run a business successfully and I like picturing her as a Gotham version of a big company’s CEO.
Brave, smart, and determined, Fish Mooney was one of the most underrated TV characters ever, even though she consistently stole the show. We don’t have the chance to watch a powerful female character on TV very often but she definitely gave one of the most brilliant performances I have ever seen. She was a feminist and a fierce woman who didn’t let us down. She also was played by the extremely talented Jada Pinkett Smith, so we couldn’t ask for more. OK, I know she was a mob boss, but at least she acted ethically (kind of). Unfortunately, we had her just for one season (at least it seems so), but still, it was enough time to learn everything I need to know about life. And here’s what I learned:
- Be patient. Finding a way out needs time and you need to be patient. Not always you get what you want at your first try, maybe because there’s a penguin trying to steal your job or maybe because it’s not easy to be a badass. But if you are patient enough you will figure it out. Actually one of the reasons she finds a way out is because she is patient enough to wait and plan the great escape. Big events need to be planned and you are going to need patience and a little bit of cold blood, but just a bit.
- There is always a way out. Sometimes in life everything seems to be lost. For some reason you might end up living in a desert island, working in a creepy place where your boss is a psychopath, and it feels like there’s no way out. I mean, who hasn’t felt that way? Who hasn’t been in a place where they know they don’t belong but cannot escape? Well, don’t worry, Fish Mooney really knows how to make a great escape. The first thing you need to know is that even when it seems you can’t leave the place, there is always a way out, even from creepy desert islands.
- Team work! Things are harder when you’re on your own, that’s a fact. Fish Mooney teaches us not to be afraid of asking for help, or helping others. It doesn’t make you weak, it just means that you are clever enough to realize that a little help is sometimes good and necessary. Having friends and a team to work with is not just good but practical. You don’t want to be alone when you achieve your goals, and you want to make sure no one is going to betray you. And let’s face it, it’s always good to know someone who can fly a helicopter. You never know when you are going to need it!
- Be grateful, even with your enemies. Who hasn’t felt like killing the mafia chieftain who is bothering us? Be honest, everyone has! But when your enemies were friends before they were enemies, you have to show them some mercy. Don’t forget the good times even if you don’t like that person much anymore. Maybe they helped you out at some point? It doesn’t mean you have to let them get away with their crimes, but offering them a way out is sometimes better than trying to kill them, and might be the smarter choice if you want them out of your way.
- Be brave. Bravery is my favourite thing about Fish Mooney. She is part of a white male dominated society and still she manages to stay in control and rule the business. She is confident and not afraid of being the boss: that’s just who she is. I truly believe her bravery encourages girls to lead. We need more female roles like this one as, traditionally, powerful roles are often played by white men. Fish Mooney even reflects on the struggle of being a woman in a business dominated by white men. She is not bossy, she is the boss and don’t you dare to call her babes.
Thank you Fish, you left us too soon but you will be remembered.
Lucía Carrillo is writer and blogger, originally from Granada in Spain, who has written for sites and magazines like MOGUL and Cultura Colectiva. Lucía writes in English and Spanish about TV, feminism, and philosophy, and is also interested in space, time, and Artificial Intelligence. Her blog, You can find her blog, Thinking About Causation, here. Lucía’s a feminist ukulele player who truly loves pizza, sweet potatoes, and chestnuts. Follow her on Instagram.