‘Gotham’ 4×09 Review: ‘Let Them Eat Pie’

Pyg
‘Gotham’ 4×09 “Let Them Eat Pie”

I love ham. But Gotham served up far too much Pyg in “Let Them Eat Pie,” and nowhere near enough Bruce Wayne.

At least we got a little bit of Harvey Bullock, in a scene that broke my heart. But this episode focused much more on action and gore than on character moments.

The recipe just didn’t work.

“Hell of a first day”

Jim Gordon’s now in charge of the GCPD, but before he can move into the Captain’s office, Harvey has to move out – but not before trying to send Jim on a guilt trip by recalling their very first case. Remember way back then, when Jim walked Penguin out to the end of a pier and faked shooting him in the head? Harvey believes if Jim had done it, a lot of people would still be alive today and Don Falcone would still be running the crime world. “Gotham doesn’t need heroes,” he says.

Of course, we all know he’s wrong about that, but it’s hard to share Jim’s hope that people will follow if you show them the way. And the rest of his first day as Captain seems to prove it.

After laying low for an episode, Professor Pyg makes his presence known again, killing homeless people and cooking them into meat pies that he serves to some of Gotham’s elite at a fundraiser at the Falcone orphanage, threatening to kill an orphan if they don’t eat.

The beginning of this morbid meal reminded me of Frank Miller’s Batman graphic novel once again. That was a dark portrayal, but this episode goes almost dead black, including one of  the most disturbing killings I’ve seen on Gotham. I’d thought the show was done with its Game of Thrones imitation. Apparently not.

Admittedly, Penguin was the killer here… but Pyg was definitely the instigator. And why in the world didn’t Pyg just kill Penguin himself, since it was Penguin and his crime licensing program that set him off in the first place? Pyg had promised to take care of every cop on Penguin’s payroll; why not eliminate the paymaster?

Pyg is finally captured, but from the previews for the next episode, we haven’t seen the last of him.

I can’t say I’m eager for more at this point.

“It made no difference”

I have always adored the dynamic between young Bruce and Alfred. David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee just play these roles so well, and I missed them in last week’s episode.

I missed them in this week’s episode, too.

Oh, we got a bit. Five scenes, to be precise, one of them just establishing that they’ve arrived in the woods for an annual nature hike. The screen time in the other four scenes was excellent, including the story of how Alfred and Thomas Wayne first met.

Alfred is trying to get Bruce to open up about his feelings after killing Ra’s, accurately stating that Bruce has lived with vengeance for so long that he doesn’t know what to do without it. Through most of the episode, Bruce refuses to talk about it, but finally admits, “I avenged my parents’ death and guess what? Nothing changed.”

Bruce is feeling empty, and is trying to fill that emptiness with parties and alcohol and casual cruelty to the man who is his best friend. We can only hope it won’t last too long, and that soon he will put the proto-Batsuit back on.

The best of conspirators

The most interesting part of Penguin’s story tonight was his relationship with Martin, the mute orphan. Penguin still isn’t trusting Sofia Falcone, and he recruits Martin as a spy. His concern for Martin is possibly the only thing that saves Sofia’s life when she admits to paying the mayor off to get Jim promoted. She’d been willing to follow Pyg’s orders to keep Martin from being killed. But she’s not off the hook; Martin is still spying for Penguin and when he reports seeing Sofia kissing Jim, Penguin promises she will answer for what she’s done.

The best part of all of this, though,  is when Penguin gets Martin ready for Sofia’s big party, turning the boy into a mini-Me. It’s a light moment in an otherwise horrifically dark episode.

Random thoughts

  • Gotham will always need heroes.
  • I hope Harvey will reconsider that offer of a desk waiting for him, biut I suspect he’ll go back to tending bar instead.
  • Bruce is 16! Way too young for the shenanigans he’s getting into. But maybe he can walk into Harvey’s bar and Harvey can talk some sense into him.
  • I needed way more character moments like Harvey and Jim, Bruce and Alfred.
  • I also needed more self-rescuing women in this episode. We got Det. Harper, who was kidnapped by Pyg and rescued by Jim. And we got Sofia, who was wounded by Pyg and… again… rescued by Jim.
  • I didn’t need that killing scene. (Hubby was watching with me and pronounced it “gross.” He is officially done with Gotham, so I’ll have to watch in the spare room in the future!)
  • I needed far less of Pyg’s dinner party. And perhaps it’s just as well the show won’t be on next Thursday, Thanksgiving here in the States.

Gotham airs Thursdays at 8/7 Central on FOX.

 

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