“Queen Takes Knight” brings ‘Gotham’ to its fourth midseason break in breakneck style, clearing some pieces from the board and setting others up for what’s promising to be an excellent second half. The title “Queen” is Sofia Falcone, who consolidates her hold on the underworld… and on Jim Gordon… in bloody fashion, while collecting at least one surprising supporter.
Hail to the Queen
Sofia has been playing a long game, which seems to be coming to an end as her father, Don Falcone, comes to take her out of Gotham. Daddy Falcone is not pleased with what his daughter has done by instigating a war with Penguin, considering her actions to be a disgrace to the family name.
But she never leaves. Daddy Falcone is gunned down in front of the Falcone mansion, Sofia is injured, and all suspicion falls on Penguin. She urges Jim to take action, but Jim cannot do anything without solid evidence because Penguin still has Gotham’s judges in his pocket.
King in Check
Penguin may have the judges, but things are spinning out of control and the Pax Penguina is crumbling, just as the Pax Romana did. (I told you Penguin needed to do a better job studying his history.) He starts losing henchmen to the Sirens, who have become Sofia’s pawns. He loses any hold he had over the GCPD to Jim Gordon.
And then he loses Victor Zsasz.
Victor’s betrayal was the first true surprise of the episode. He tells the police that Penguin killed the orphan boy Martin, even though it’s a lie. It’s solid enough to get Penguin thrown into a jail cell amid all the other thugs he’s been bossing around for months. I’d half-expected that he wouldn’t make it out of that holding cell – but by episode’s end we see him back in Arkham, making a new alliance. More on that in a little bit.
Victor swears allegiance to Sofia. I hope it means we will get to see more of him in the rest of Season 4.
The Pawns Who Could Be Queens
Barbara, Selina and Tabitha spend a good part of this episode doing Sofia’s bidding or being tied up by Penguin’s henchmen. One of the best, funniest scenes of the episode is their escape from Penguin’s men, as Tabby shoots them down with her hands tied behind her back. Literally.
Tabby spends most of the rest of the episode literally trying to beat Butch’s memories back into Solomon Grundy, remembering that he’d called her “Tabby” during their fight a few episodes ago. Unbeknownst to her, it seems to have worked. It will be interesting to see what happens between Grundy/Butch and Ed Nygma in 4B. Ed is also returning to the man he used to be; the Riddler is becoming a stronger presence in his mind (a presence who says Ed is in love with Lee Tompkins – who is only mentioned in this episode and never seen).
By the end of the episode, the Sirens have their club back as a base of operations, a sort of thank-you from Sofia for being her pawns. But remember – pawns that make it all the way across the chess board can become queens, and we know that someday Selina Kyle will be the queen of Gotham’s underworld. Look for some cat fights in 4B.
Donal Logue, how I have missed you the past few episodes! Harvey Bullock makes a few appearances in this episode, first at Falcone’s funeral where he lays some guilt on Jim Gordon for Falcone’s death. “This is all on you for going after Penguin,” he tells Jim, “so finish what you started.”
Jim does finish it, but it’s not enough to keep Harvey around. I hope his resignation is temporary.
Jim also gets a guilt trip from Sofia, who says it’s his fault so many officers died during the Pyg’s reign of terror – one Sofia herself instigated.
This long game goes all the way back to last season, when Jim killed Sofia’s brother Mario. Sofia has served up a bitter dish of revenge; Jim cannot turn her in without having the GCPD fall apart under him.
Over at Wayne Manor, things are already falling apart for Bruce and Alfred. Bruce continues to rebel, the conflict climaxing with an actual fist fight which Alfred instantly regrets.
Regret is not enough, however. Bruce gets himself emancipated and fires Alfred. Of course, we know that’s a temporary situation, but it’s still heartbreaking to see these two battling it out like this. Alfred has been Bruce’s rock for so long. At some point, Bruce will come up from his alcoholic haze and come to his senses.
I’ve been going along with the chessboard analogy prompted by this episode’s title, but there is no chess piece that matches Jerome, the proto-Joker.
Remember Penguin’s new alliance in Arkham? It is indeed Jerome, who only gets a few seconds of screen time – but enough to make me say, “Oh crap.”
The chess board that is Gotham is a royal mess by the end of the episode, and there’s no word yet on how long we will have to wait to see things resolved. FOX has yet to announce a return date for the rest of the season.
Things I’m looking forward to in 4B:
- Lee and Jim meeting up finally. They still haven’t seen each other since Lee started working for Cherry and later took over Cherry’s Place.
- The return of Cherry. Actress Marina Benedict has indicated on social media that we haven’t seen the last of her yet.
- The return of Poison Ivy. We got a glimpse in the teaser reel, and I can’t wait to see what Peyton List does with the role.
- Selina becoming her own boss. She’s young, but she’s tough and she’s smarter than the other Sirens.
- Alfred and Bruce reconciling.
- The unholy trinity of Penguin, Riddler and Joker.
- More Victor Zsasz shenanigans.
Gotham returns to FOX in the spring.