Previously on Gotham, ‘This Ball Mud and Meanness’
Gordon and Bullock investigate a trail of clues left by the Riddler in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Gordon’s past comes back to haunt him when an anonymous tip threatens to expose his involvement in Galavan’s murder. Meanwhile, Penguin makes the rounds and visits some old friends which leads him to meet his father, Elijah Van Dahl (Paul Reuben).
Riddle me this, GCPD? Looks like Nygma is going all out alter ego on us. Not sure how I feel about Nygma going Riddler already with Bruce being so young, but the characters have to do something, I guess. After last episode, we know Nygma feels that Gordon is trying to match wits with him, so Nygma is now engaging in a game of wits. He steals a painting and leaves his mark. Your move, Gordon. But stealing works of art is not all he is doing. He’s also setting bombs at train stations, and leaving clues. His ultimate goal is to get rid of Gordon.
Unfortunately for Gordon, he has other things to worry about with internal affairs reopening the Galavan murder. Someone placed Gordon at the scene of the crime with Penguin. Nygma proves that he is the smarter of the two and Gordon is found guilty of murder and sentenced to 40 years. What is going on here? This is Jim Gordon we are talking about!
Anyway, “New” Penguin goes to see “old” Penguin’s old friends, Butch and Tabitha, to let them know he is alright and sane. Thanks to Professor Strange’s treatments, he only remembers the good times with Butch. What is a little brainwashing and severed hands between friends? And let’s not even get into Penguin beating Tabitha’s brother to death, well almost to death, if it wasn’t for Gordon. And although Butch is ready to forgive and forget, Tabitha is not.
Penguin goes to see another old friend, Nygma, and he attempts to convert Nygma into the “Church of Strange.” Nygma graciously declines, but he thanks Penguin for all the degenerative lessons he taught him before this “new” persona took over.
He next visits his mother’s grave to let her know all is well with him, and he finds a “new” Penguin daddy, Elijah Van Dahl (Paul “Pee-Wee” Reuben)! (They do favor each other.) And now all is right with Penguin’s world as he now has his own Daddy Warbucks.
Bruce wants to learn what it is like being a pauper. And Selina has the perfect way to lead Bruce into delinquency: robbery. Bruce is a quick study, but if it were that easy anyone could do it and Selina and Bruce get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, so to speak. They have a confrontation with Butch’s nephew who proceeds to beat Bruce to a pulp as he attempts to “rescue” Selina. This whole scene was for Bruce to have his Steve Rogers moment. I liked some parts of Bruce’s storyline this episode, but not others.
Best Scene: More for its humor than anything else, Penguin goes to see Butch and tells him that he is out of Arkham and that he is sane. “I have a certificate,” he says.
Honorable Mention: Bruce describes the clarity he felt when he was getting his butt handed to him by Butch’s nephew, Sonny Gilzean (Paul Pilcz). He knew he would not be “broken.” It was his “I can do this all day” moment.
Most Questionable Scene: Bruce and Selina get caught attempting to steal from Butch.
As they wait for Butch to reply to the slight, Selina gets a little roughed up by Sonny. Bruce does not like his future love interest getting pushed around so he butts in. If Rey from The Force Awakens taught us anything, it’s that women can be just as badass as men – and often times even more. Look at other examples like Michonne, Carol, Hit-girl or even Tabitha on this show. All strong women who don’t need saving or hand holding by men. Come on, Gotham.
Honorable Mention: Dr. Thompkins having a glass of wine with her unborn baby! And she is a doctor! Really?
Most Ridiculous Scene: Nygma’s bomb is in a locker and the “professionals” decide to open the locker with a crowbar. Now I was never an EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) guy, but come on. We have all seen The Hurt Locker.
Honorable Mention: Penguin meets his father and it was almost Jada-bad acting when he tells Penguin who he is. The scene just did not work.
Most Geeked Scene: Ivy is back and watering her plants. (Weak, I know, but that is all I got this week. Sorry!)
This was a ridiculous, but somewhat entertaining episode. I don’t really know what to think. We have Gordon going to jail for a crime he did commit, so not the Jim Gordon we know from the comics or the movies. We had Penguin turn over a new leaf and gain a brand new family. Bruce trying to be street smart and a criminal, but he is not doing a very good job. He does move closer to finding his way to the Bat though. Oh, and Barbara woke up and Professor Strange has a new patient to play with. All in all this episode was confusing, and I am not sure where the writers are going with all of this. I will say I enjoyed the Gordon and the Riddler going head to head; that was something.