A Recap of Gotham's Best Episode Yet

Gotham Renewed Season 2

Fox’s Gotham this Monday delivered an hour that if it were a book, you couldn’t put it down, as the plot propelled each scene into the next, illuminating characters in new ways and swelling to a climactic (if slightly predictable) twist.

It even made the heretofore-clunky mob war subplot compelling, which, if you’ve been following my coverage, you know has been a sticking point for me. Also, the dialogue, penned by show boss Bruno Heller, crackled throughout, from a seething Fish getting up in the face of her “bitch” Penguin to a bemused Bullock chiming in on Gordon’s not-so-grand plan. (Yes, the bromance has officially begun.)

‎When last we tuned in, Oswald Cobblepot saved his “friend” Detective Jim Gordon’s bacon by “returning from the dead,” thus rendering his arrest for murder moot. This week’s episode thankfully glossed over the oohs, aahs and paperwork resulting from this reveal and instead catapulted straight into the citywide reverberations — starting with a livid Fish Mooney. She is hungry for several pounds of flesh, but Falcone orders here to stand down, because he has things under control — by way of enigmatic assassin Victor Zsasz (played by recent Flash baddie Anthony Carrigan as, in a way, Fringe‘s September on caffeine pills).

And then there was of course the Gordon/Bullock blow-up behind closed doors, as Harvey whipped out his gun and laid out for his partner the grim ramifications of his duplicity. With a leg sweep, Gordon physically gains the upper hand, then sets off to make his world right, first looking out for his fiancee’s safety. Alas, Falcone’s men got to Barbara first — but that doesn’t keep Jim from protecting his sweetheart, defying to be easily brought in for a “meeting” with Fish and putting a bullet in one of the henchmen. Jim then puts Barbara on a bus headed far out of town, so that he may enact his plan without a second thought.

Jim’s next order of business is to use some rubber-stamped warrants to haul in Falcone and the Mayor. But when Essen gets wind of his plan, she deems him a bit insane — and “maybe I am,” Jim allows. Their convo is cut short‎ by Zsasz’s almost polite storming of the squad room. After Gordon’s chickens–t colleagues clear out as asked, gunplay ensues between the Boy Scout and Zsasz and his female cohorts. Jim takes one bullet before slipping out the back, then is popped again just as Montoya and Allen pull up and drive him to safety (or at least to the rat-filled dissecting wing of the university). After a half-second of recovering from the bullets’ removal, Gordon’s next stop is Wayne Manor, to assure Bruce that even if he doesn’t live to see another day, the MCU detectives will stay on his parents’ murder case.

Meanwhile, the crime bosses trade figurative punches. Falcone intercepts his foe’s guns run, leading Maroni to strike back at a cash-rich target of Penguin’s picking. After that raid, Maroni’s No. 1 looks to roast their “golden goose,” but an unaffected Penguin notes that Carbone’s passion — money — shall be his undoing. Cue Frankie’s two colleagues holding him down as Oswald gleefully drives a blade into him (and then kisses his keppe).

Bullock shows up at Gordon’s home (at least two sheets to the wind and with a floozy on his arm) and declares himself on board for whatever his partner is planning — why not go down in a blaze of glory, right? Their first stop is to grab/arrest Mayor James, then use him to gain access to Falcone in his manor. The Don, however, responds by brandishing an ace up his sleeve — he’s got Barbara, who foolishly,  foolishly came back to town to (foolishly) beg Falcone to spare her fiance. Yet even though he holds all the cards, Falcone opts not to whack the detectives, which is a mysterious call….

…until the final act, where we learn that Falcone and Penguin have been in cahoots since late in the pilot, when Oswald traded intel on Fish’s affair/alliance with Nikolai the Russian and her plan to eventually usurp the Don. In exchange, Falcone assigned Gordon to whack his snitch, knowing he’d never go through with it. Their scheme played out quite perfectly (even Falcone must admit), and it was as a favor to Penguin that he has spared Gordon.

“He’ll see the light, one way or another,” Penguin says of the good detective. “I guarantee it.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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34 Comments
  1. Azerty says:

    Definitly the best episode yet. I am not easily surprised but that twist with the penguin? I did not see that coming. No villain of the week, not too much of Bruce Wayne already acting like Batman, the story focusing on the real storyline (and the main villain(s)) and things moving: that’s the recipe for Gotham’s success.

    • Yeah I appreciate that they went lighter on the detectiving of Bruce Wayne, if he’s gonna be in every episode that means you can take your time developing Bruce and I mean really slowly considering how young he is.

    • jenna says:

      agreed! I definitely didn’t see the penguin twist coming! As a fan of the comics I LOVE what they’re doing with the penguin character, can’t wait to see where the story will go from here!

  2. Brigitte says:

    Best episode yet!

  3. James D says:

    best episode yet for sure. I’ve been disappointed in this show thus far, but tonights episode could be a turning point which gets this show back to where it ought to be IMO.

  4. Overselling it a bit. Technically speaking it was probably the best episode so far but in a sea of ‘meh’ to ‘awful’ that really isn’t saying much.

    • This was definitely the most tense and well scripted episode so far but I actually think that there have been better episodes.

    • Christy says:

      I had the same reaction. I was going to stop watching until I saw the headline. I watched this night’s episode and well, yeah. The Penguin actor is amazing, but I just can’t get into it. I’m glad other people like it though.

      And ugh, Falcone’s eating noises, why? Ew. So unnecessary.

  5. I thought it was great, but the Nolanites are still hate-watching it.
    The imdb board has become a flame-war zone.

    • Thank you for letting me know what their name is because I hate Nolanites and how they believe his version is the end all be all.

    • jenna says:

      the biggest thing I disliked with Nolan’s version was bale’s ‘batman growl’ it sounded so ridiculous and over the top. I’ve never understood hate-watching (seems like a waste of time to me) but as long as the ratings do well I hope they continue!

  6. Netty says:

    I’m really trying to like Gotham, I can hardly sit through it

  7. The Penguin is finally starting to act like the politician (politician of gangsters that is) instead of the cartoonish lunatic he has been. I also appreciated the start of the dynamic between Oswald and Falcone that will lead to their rivalry.

  8. It was a great episode. Now that Montoya knows that Jim is an honest man hopefully it means that the whole psuedo-lesbian drama between Montoya and Barbara is over. Its will be good to have two more good cops on Gordon’s side.

  9. Joey says:

    This episode was great, hopefully it keeps up this quality and gets better and better.

  10. fiona says:

    The only thing that made this a B+ as opposed to an A is the foolish naive Barbara Keen. Other than that it was amazing. Best episode yet

  11. sladewilson says:

    What everyone is forgetting is the build up. While some episodes I could’ve definitely done without, the main thing was the slow build to this episode. It had answers. Finally. And some sense. Now lets see what Gotham does with it….

  12. Eve says:

    Brilliant! Got chills when Bruce hugged Gordon! Keeps getting better and better each episode.

  13. StephonJS says:

    Matt u were 100% right. this had to be the best episode this season far! I didnt see that ending coming at all. What a TWIST! A++++ work. Once a snitch always a snitch

  14. Joey Padron says:

    Great episode. Surprised about the ending.

  15. Shar says:

    I’m not a fan follower of the Batman legend so I have a question… was Barbara Gordon always written as an insipid wimp or is it just for this show??

    • David says:

      Potential spoilers….

      This is not Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl – Batgirl is his daughter. Depending on continuity (which there are several) Barbara Kean (in Gotham) is either dead or ex-wife. And depending on how Gotham will follow it, The Barbara Gordon (batgirl) will either be his daughter or niece. If you look up Jim Gordon in Wikipedia it’s all right there.

      His other “wife” in comic lore is Sarah Essen – His captain in the GCPD

  16. Bill says:

    Very good episode, I still liked the Goat one a little better. Can’t wait for next week. The show has really picked up. I am a big Batman fan and have never liked the Penguin character until now. That actor (robin lord Taylor I believe) is amazing

  17. Drew says:

    Great episode. I am really enjoying this series a lot. The weakest point for me is Fish. She is just poorly acted by Jada. But we all know that penguins consume fish, so I don’t expect her to be around for long.

  18. Allison says:

    OK, I just cannot with Barbara. I was so mad at her! I knew she was going to come back (stupid) and I knew she would try to help (stupid) and I knew it would ruin whatever Gordon had planned. But as angry as I was with her, I realized that Gordon would have been dead and gone if he had gone through with his plan to arrest Falcone if he didn’t have Barbara’s life to worry about so in a way she helped – maybe, kinda, sorta, but not really. Anyway, besides Barbara grating my nerves, the episode was great! I always enjoy the episodes with the mob power struggles and last night’s episode showed that Falcone is winning that one. My favorite line was Maroni stating that an honest man is the most dangerous man. I admit I don’t remember it exactly so the quote might not be right on the money but I completely agree with him. One thing is for sure no matter what good Gordon tries to do he will have his foolish and annoying fiancee around to thwart any progress he makes. Could she have been any dumber?! Ughhhhh!!!!! OK, I am done. I just have to say that Penguin is just awesome. The actor is so unbelievably good that I can’t help but root for him. He pulls off sinister and still manages to make me empathize with him. He takes out his enemies by getting others to do it for him or he will just do it himself. I do say that him kissing Carbone in the end left me baffled and raising an eyebrow but nonetheless it was a fantastic episode and I look forward to next week’s episode.

  19. Donna MaMa says:

    Barbara is going no where, she has to marry Jim Gordon,and have a baby named Barbara who becomes Batgirl – anyone notice that big round window in Barbara’s apartment, looks like a clock – the watchtower known as Oracle – just looks so familiar

  20. Larc says:

    Great Gotham episode last night! But one thing it clearly showed is that Jim is in severe need of more practice time with handgun firing. If he couldn’t hit fully visible Victor at point-blank range, he’d probably have trouble with the side of a barn. I know writers likely didn’t want Victor killed off so soon, but they should have worked out a scenario that would have made his survival less incredible.

    • The Squatch says:

      I actually found it amusing that his main weapon, which should hold about 15 rounds, was only fired maybe 7 or 8 times then the classic, “Whelp, out of ammo, might as well throw my gun away.” I mean, knowing he is going into a war with the mob you would think he would have fully loaded his gun or, you know, carried a few extra magazines just like every other cop ever… Except on TV or in movies. hehe

  21. rachelle says:

    I’ve always been able to see the potential in Gotham, which is saying a lot cause I raaarely ever watch new shows unless they’ve already been renewed. I’m so glad I stuck around. This episode was bomb. Jada Pinkett Smith killed as Fish Mooney. Her anger was so palpable. I’m rooting for her to get some satisfaction from that slimy, backstabbing traitor Penguin. The actor playing Penguin is also magnificent. What a perfect creep! I didn’t see the twist with Penguin and Don Falcone coming, but boy was it amazing. I’m excited to see the Arkham storyline unfold. I wanna see some crazies!

  22. Sebastian says:

    That had to have been the worst episode so far. Yes, it had Victor Zsasz in it (I’d prefer to see Victor Szasz, though), and he seemed kind of Zsasz-y, which was petty cool, and there was a decent amount of stuff happening in it, but the ending of the Gordon story nullified all that. This episode was pretty much filler because of that. The only thing that happened in it was we learned the Penguin thing, and that Barbara is too stupid to live, and the penguin reveal wasn’t very necessary. At the end of the episode, I actually felt like the time I took to watch it had been wasted.

  23. Ken Lee says:

    Robin Lord Taylor was BORN to play The Penguin….he is absolutely BRILLIANT in this role