Welcome back all you Gotham fans to the wackiest show on Earth . . . or at least the FOX network.
After having come off of the CW’s big ol’ crossover, I thought I’d take a break from the melodrama and instead just watch some good ol’ batshit insanity. It had been a few weeks since I’d seen an episode so I binge caught up and boy howdy have I missed a lot, most of it good (by Gotham standards), some of it pretty awful.
So, let’s dig in and find out just what it takes to make this Pyggy squeal. And, as always, some spoilers are ahead.
1. He Ran into My Knife Ten Times
Last week on horribly misunderstanding old literature, Jim Gordon arrested Pyg after he fed Gotham’s elite the poor inside of meat pies while singing a variation on the Cell Block Tango from Chicago. This week, in the safety of his own Arkham cell block, he murders one of his fellow inmate to Ave Maria, with a broken record.
Welcome to Gotham y’all.
Unfortunately, Pyg doesn’t have much to do this week, besides having a chat with Jim and hanging a guard at the end of the episode and escaping. And I say unfortunately because, aside from Fish Mooney and Don Falcone, we really haven’t had a good, long-term villain on the show until Pyg. He’s menacing — well, as menacing as a man with a pig’s head strapped to his face can be — psychotic and has just the right amount of restraint so as not to go full Penguin or Nygma but is still crazy entertaining to watch.
He is the strongest antagonist we’ve had and a lot of that has to do with the way he interacts with Jim Gordon. He treats him like he’s perfect, a saint, instead of the way every other villain has, as a corruptible man, and as “just like them.” But we, as viewers, know Jim is pretty terrible at being a righteous cop, and this has allowed for the rest of the characters to admit as much and allowed him to confront it. He’s starting to live up to the Jim Gordon name and, oddly enough, it’s because of Pyg.
2. Some Guys Just Can’t Hold Their Arsenic
Can we talk about how great Lee is this season? Since her re-introduction, she’s become this mix of the comics’ version and a new Fish Mooney. She has set up a clinic in the narrows and has become a sort of guardian angel, offering medical services for nothing to the people who need it, while also starting to poise herself as possible rival to the rising Sophia Falcone and Penguin.
This is a far cry from her being the Jim Gordon Obsession Machine and the show is all the better for it. This episode we finally get to see the full force of Lee’s cunning and caring, navigating her clinic, Nygma’s awful advice as well as a power struggle with Sampson.
Her interactions with Sampson start off presenting Lee as cunning but not very effective at it, showing just how new she is in the world of crime. She gets a bad deal and then has her clinic raided by Sampson’s men but, by the end, she holds all the cards and takes Sampson down with a well-placed bit of medicine (which could very well have been a bluff).
She also has a nice scene with Nygma, telling him his problems are all psychosomatic which is a shame because this might spell the end for stupid Nygma and that really was the best Nygma.
3. I Betcha You Would’ve Done the Same
Penguin, don’t lose your only true friend! Martin was one of the only characters left who wasn’t scared off by your intensity or using you for an ulterior motive…at least I hope not. Sending him away, though, is the best move for the show and for Penguin. Although, blowing him up as a way of removing him as a bargaining chip was an amazing touch and exactly the kind of move Gotham would make, even if it turns out Martin didn’t actually die.
Martin really wasn’t more than a plot device and, as such, has outlived his usefulness now that Sophia’s plans are pretty well out in the open and Penguin AND Jim have broken ties with her. Although, based on her control of all things everything, how much of that was planned and how much wasn’t is still up in the air. I’ll miss you Martin but you went out on a high note.Continued below
4. How Could You Tell Me That I Was Wrong?
Speaking of manipulations, Sophia Falcone is the best crime boss on the show since, well, her father. She’s always playing an angle, always maneuvering and making sure she has a way out. Hell, this episode sees her seem to lose to both Jim and Penguin while actually getting them both to play into her hands…mostly. Was it Jim’s idea to send her away? Probably. Did she want it to happen? Possibly. Did she plan on that? Oh, most definitely.
She’s a force to be reckoned with and I’ve loved seeing her manipulate Jim. He’s fighting her ideas, true, but because of the way she plays every angle, it’s hard to tell what her end goal is at any given moment. It’s great but it also opens up the storytelling problem of making shit up to get her out of situations and then playing it off like she had it planned out that way.
While this episode doesn’t quite go there, it gets close. Her machinations with kidnapping Martin feel planned, at least as a contingency, and I can’t wait for the full on war between her and Penguin (and maybe Lee). Oh, and Jim & the GCPD I guess but they’ve got Pyg to deal with. Although, he may or may not be working for Sophia (I refer you to Dany Roth at SYFY Wire’s theory).
5. He Had It Coming
Conspicuously absent this week is Bruce and Alfred and thank God for that. Bruce’s actions these last couple episodes were some of the worst I have seen from a character on this show in a while. I get he’s supposed to be angsty for killing Ra’s (I guess) but man, Bruce is turning into a worse Oliver Queen and that road only ends in gravely voices and at least three different costume changes.
And while I love Sean Pertwee’s Alfred, he’s been pretty wasted so giving them this time off should, hopefully, do the characters some good. It could also be they couldn’t fit another plotline into this already jam packed episode.
So, what did y’all think? Has Gotham gotten better these last few episodes or is it still an unintelligible mess that cannot for the life of it write Jim Gordon as good and any of their female characters with depth separate from Jim fucking Gordon? Let us know and be sure to check back in later this week for Kate’s review.
Until then, this is Elias signing off and wondering how he ended up surviving 4 seasons of this show.