Several things go “boom” in this episode of “Gotham:” The Sirens’ gun shop, Penguin’s car, and most importantly, the relationships Sofia Falcone had built with Penguin and with Jim Gordon. It’s all a prelude to war in the underworld.
Oh, and Professor Pyg is unmasked – just in time to make a break for it.
And just as Lee Tompkins says she doesn’t have to fix Ed, because he’s become the man who was her friend – the Riddler starts peeking through the mirror again.
A lot of things happen in this episode, enough to almost give you whiplash. But it does all work to set up the mid-season finale next week.
Let’s talk about bad(ass) girls
Sofia is done playing nice with Penguin. She lets him know she’s been manipulating him, and we learn she’s been planting her own moles throughout his organization. As far as she’s concerned, Penguin is primed to be taken down by Jim.
Jim, though, has other ideas – mainly, sending her home to her father. He is done with her.
But nothing in Gotham is ever that easy. Neither is this storyline – Sofia is one busy lady in this episode, between her conversations with Jim, the fighting with Penguin, being kidnapped by the Sirens and then becoming their ally – I think…
It seemed to make sense as it was happening, but as I go through my notes now, my head is spinning.
The big takeaways here: The gun shop is rubble and Penguin has declared war on Sofia and the Sirens.
And Jim is – finally, wisely – done with her.
The new boss in The Narrows
Remember the Code of the Narrows: Problems are settled in the ring at Cherry’s Place?
Not any more. Lee is in charge now, and she does things differently, with a sort of court to settle disputes without violence. But not everyone agrees with this kinder, gentler method of conflict resolution.
That puts Lee at odds with Sampson, a crime lord who wants to move in on her turf. Ed, who has become Lee’s aide-de-camp while waiting for her to make him smart again, advises that she needs to match Sampson’s violence with violence. Lee is a lot more subtle than that, however; instead of sending Grundy to rip the man’s arm off, she poisons Sampson and then blackmails him to agree to leave her alone in exchange for the antidote.
It’s a solution that seems too simple. This crime lord has already made a fool out of Lee once; whats to stop it from happening again?
With her control of The Narrows seemingly assured, Lee admits to Ed that she can’t help him be “smart” again, because there’s nothing physically wrong with him. He may think he’s a moron, but that’s all in his head. She says she likes who he’s become: Ed Nygma. Her friend.
It’s a warm, fuzzy moment, but Gotham is not a place for fuzziness and warmth. The Riddler is still lurking in Ed’s mind, ready to take center stage again.
Can a psychopath have a heart?
One of the more interesting storylines of the past few episodes has been the relationship between Penguin and the mute orphan boy Martin. Penguin has acted as a teacher and a protector, but in this episode I was worried he’d become a threat to Martin after learning about Sofia’s manipulations.
Those worries almost come true – Penguin blows up his own car right after Martin has gotten in it, so that Sofia and the Sirens have one less pawn to use against him.
But as usual, nothing is ever as it seems in Gotham. Penguin had set up an escape route for Martin, and ends the episode by sending the boy away to safety.
— Gotham (@Gotham) December 1, 2017
I generally don’t like children being killed or threatened in TV shows. One of the things that struck me was that the women wound up being a greater threat to Martin than Penguin – the known psychopath. We don’t usually expect a woman to threaten to cut off an innocent child’s head.
It makes me wonder what lengths Sofia is willing to go to.
The Pyg’s identity revealed
Comic book fans probably knew this already, because Professor Pyg is part of the Batman roster of villains. I didn’t know him, so my husband and I (yes, he deigned to watch again even after last week’s over-the-top violence) tried to guess Pyg’s identity. We thought he was a villain from an earlier season.
Turns out, the Pyg is a serial killer we haven’t met on the show before. Real name: Lazlo Valentin. Not only is he a serial killer, he’s also an escape artist who is on the loose once again.
But why is he so obsessed with Jim?
- It always delights me to see Anthony Carrigan’s name in the credits. I love his Victor Zsasz (even if I have trouble spelling it).
- Not much for Grundy to do this show except stand around and look threatening. Is he getting any more memories back?
- I miss Harvey working with Jim. I think I’m going to keep saying it until he returns.
- No Bruce or Alfred this episode – and just as well. There was too much to follow as it was. But we’ll see them next week, in the midseason finale.
Gotham airs Thursday nights at 8/7 Central on FOX.