Gordon Rises a Dark Knight Parties and Gotham City Gets its Sirens

first_img Even though Professor Pyg isn’t turning out to be as scary as early ads led us to believe, Gotham has still managed to get a pretty great villain out of him. All the truly horrific stuff he does happens off screen. We see the aftermath; we hear his taunting voice when he contacts Gordon. We only get a good look at his face right at the end of the episode when he takes off the prosthetics he used to fool the future commissioner. In last night’s episode, it became clear that Pyg isn’t on the show to shock and horrify us (although that’s almost certainly coming). He’s here to set Gordon on the path to becoming the police commissioner we all know from the comics. He’s been playing the one decent cop for a few episodes now. This is how he gets the rest of the GCPD behind him.It all starts with every cop in the GCPD getting a pig’s head delivered to them. Every cop except Gordon. The explanation that the delivery guy couldn’t smell what he was delivering because he has a cold is a little silly, but hey, I laughed. Worse yet, three cops soon go missing. Right away, the stakes are clear for Gordon. Pyg is turning his fellow officers against him. He needs to catch Pyg or cede the city completely to Penguin. That might be happening already. Despite Gordon insisting that Bullock quit taking Penguin’s money, Bullock pretty much turns the investigation over to Penguin entirely. As far as the writing and pacing go, this episode might be one of the best Gotham has ever had. Every scene drives the story forward. Nothing feels like filler, leading to an exciting hour of television that’s over way too soon.Robin Lord Taylor (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)Penguin has his own reasons for getting involved with the cops. He wants to show Sofia Falcone that his methods are working. Now that she’s taking care of kids in her orphanage, she has completely inserted herself into his mind as a mother figure. He is so desperate to gain her approval, he brags about his genius idea when it shows up on the news. She tells him her father would never have aligned with the GCPD. They’re going to fail big and take Penguin down with them. And with that lovely bit of foreshadowing, we have something to look forward to at the end of the episode. Of course, Penguin wants to prove he’s right, so he extends his partnership with the cops even farther. Sofia isn’t putting herself in this motherly role for no reason. It’s already clear she’s doing it to manipulate Penguin, and we’re starting to see her do just that. She had to know that criticizing his decision would only strengthen his resolve to make a mistake. And now she’s proven to be right, he trusts her even more. Whatever Sofia’s planning, it’s working.All this made sure that when the Gordon tracked Pyg to an abandoned courthouse and Penguin showed up to take over, we knew what was coming. Penguin’s grandstanding in front of the press guaranteed that things were about to go very bad for him. Even so, I have to say this episode pulled off its twist remarkably well. The revelation that the cop in the ambulance was actually Pyg delivered a satisfying shock. We also finally got to see Gordon play the hero for the first time in way too long. Bullock charges in, accidentally shoots a fellow cop and activates an automatic turret. A surprising amount of police die in this sequence, but at least Gordon gets to look like a badass, charging in and taking down turrets with a grenade launcher. The show is obviously preparing him to be a commissioner now. His actions have inspired a few of his fellow cops to stand up to Penguin. Meanwhile, Bullock is drinking in his office. The episode began with Gordon sitting in the Commissioner’s chair. The season will almost certainly end that way.Jessica Lucas and Erin Richards (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)The other major development of the episode saw the birth of this show’s version of the Gotham City Sirens. Now that Ra’s Al Ghul is out of the picture, Barbara is shutting her operation down. As this is the closest thing Selina’s ever had to a family, she’s not too thrilled with that decision. After failing to convince both Barbara and Tabitha to keep the gang together, she decides to rob a biker gang by herself to prove they can keep the weapons operation going. It doesn’t work out too well for her. She gets trapped in the gang’s hideout and watches them use a motorcycle tire to sandpaper off a guard’s face for failing to protect their money. It wouldn’t be Gotham if it didn’t show us something supremely messed up right after dinner.Fortunately, Tabitha and Barbara come to the rescue. That entails Barbara murdering everyone with a small pistol and impeccable aim, then demanding that Tabitha and Selina grab the money. They have a shipment coming in the next day. This all serves to set up the absolute coolest shot in the entire episode. Barbara, Tabitha and Selina walking toward the camera through the dark streets of Gotham. The show has had some great female villains before, but none have felt quite as important or as cool as this group. Between them and Sofia Falcone, the women are taking over Gotham City and I am so here for it. I can’t wait to see what the show does with them from here.Camren Bicondova (Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX)Even the weakest storyline of the episode was at least fun. Bruce is still dealing with the fact that he killed Ra’s Al Ghul, and it’s not going well. He snaps at a waiter during a fundraiser and yells at Alfred for trying to calm him down. It’s not until he sees an old friend from school that he discovers a way to vent, or at least dull, his anger. Underage binge drinking: the favorite pastime of angry teens everywhere. This season, we really get to see Bruce embrace his billionaire playboy persona. Whether he uses it as a mask, like he did in Penguin’s auction, or as an escape like tonight. He buys a club specifically to get his friends in and exclude the one guy he doesn’t like. Even in our dark dystopian present, it’s still fun to watch rich people have money fights. Even when those money fights are masking deep trauma with the popping of champagne bottles.Even with three concurrent storylines, Gotham managed a surprisingly focused and fun episode this week. Usually, it tries to do too much and ends up dropping at least one ball. That’s not what happened last night. It kept Bruce’s story simple, not allowing it to distract from the bigger, more interesting developments. Even with Pyg escaping at the end, the show still moved the story forward in a meaningful way. That’s a serious accomplishment for a show that can sometimes spin its wheels for too long. I only hope they keep this going next week.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target NYCC 18: The Cast of Gotham On Bane, Batman and Saying GoodbyeDC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC News last_img