Last week on Gotham, we saw more of the same, plus a few interesting twists and turns. Gordon and Harvey Bullock were out busting heads as usual. The Penguin was busy trying to live out his life as a low-rent gangster. Fish Mooney was climbing the ladder of her current underworld structure, even to the point of carving her own eye out in hopes of getting that promotion she wants. And poor Alfred was busy getting stabbed by his so-called buddy because $Money$. So where does that leave us with ‘Everyone Has A Cobblepot’? As it turns out, this one happened to be one of the better episodes of Gotham.
We begin with Alfred, laid out in the hospital from stab wounds. Gordon stops by to see if he can get any information about the man who did said crime, but Alfred is having none of it. He wants to have his own sort of revenge against his old “pal” Reggie, and it doesn’t involve the police. Bruce is taking care of his friend and, when Selina Kyle happens by, he mentions that he wants to go on the hunt for Reggie since Alfred is physically incapable of doing so. Selina offers to help but – little Batman being what he is – Bruce wants to play the part of the loner.
In the main story arc, we have Gordon and Harvey once again embroiled in a huge mess. The cop that Gordon busted – Arnold Flass – is beating his rap. Why? Well, because Commissioner Loeb is a corrupt bastard. He has some dirt on Harvey Bullock and forces him to act as a witness in Flass’ defense. Naturally, Gordon is less than pleased with this turn of events.
So he delves into the real strength of the Commissioner – the fact that he has dirt on pretty much every cop in the GCPD. He’s been forcing them to do bad things for him so that there’s always something to hold over their heads in times of need. It’s a crazy conspiracy that keeps Loeb in control. And Gordon isn’t going to let it fly. So he begins to do… questionable things.
When he finds out that Loeb has some sort of evidence cache lying around, he decides to go on the hunt for it. After a couple of fails, desperation eventually leads him to The Penguin. In order to get Penguin’s help, he has to promise him “one favor”. Famous last words. Yes, Gordon is playing the game now and it doesn’t look like it will end well. Unfortunately for him, the trail that Penguin provides leads not to a pile of evidence, but to the Commissioner’s daughter. As it turns out, she’s a bit loopy in the head and killed her own mother. The Commissioner is keen on keeping her away from Arkham, so he’s had her hidden away.
As the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place, Penguin takes advantage of the situation. He lets the guardians of Loeb’s daughter go free with the promise of getting them out of town. They accept and that turns out to be a very poor decision on their part. And Gordon uses what he knows to blackmail Loeb. He could turn the guns on the Commissioner, but instead opts to play the power game. Yes, even Gordon must work within the corrupt system in order to get things done. Oh, and he even gets a place as the president of the Policeman’s Union in the deal!
In the meanwhile, we see Fish Mooney working her way up the ladder of Doctor Dulmacher’s (AKA The Dollmaker) structure. She has a new eye, a promotion and the promise of a brighter future. Assuming she can handle the crazy-ass bastard without getting killed. And poor Edward Nigma finally makes his move on Miss Kringle. Unfortunately for him, she’s taken and denies him. There’s no question that THAT can’t end well…
This was one of the better installments of Gotham thus far. The show has used Gordon as a villain-of-the-week killer for most of the season. Now, we finally get to see the bullshit that he has to go through and watch as our hero caves in to the pressure of a completely corrupt system. His morals are in question, he’s using blackmail to promote his own career and now he owes The Penguin – the fucking Penguin! – a favor. Bad move, Gordon.
One thing that surprised me is that I am actually enjoying Penguin’s rise to power. I started the show wanting to watch him move quickly toward being the bad-ass that is one of my favorite Batman villains. Then the little mishaps and failures began to annoy me. But now, I feel like the slow-paced progression of The Penguin really lends power to the eventual mastermind that he will become. He’s been appeased with a nightclub and a pat on the back, but he’s always ready to stick his neck out if it means a chance at bigger and better prospects. Gotham has done a very good job with his development, even if at some times it had me pulling my hair out.
Bad stuff this week? Not much. I have a little issue with the fact that Gotham insists on putting almost every character into every episode, as if they need to remind you that these other people exist. I think that concentrating on one story arc at a time might work better. But they do stick to the “30 seconds on-screen” format, so you never have to feel like the main arc is being overwhelmed by the reminders.
So what’s going on with Gotham next week? NOTHING! It’s gone until April 13th, so you’re going to have to wait. The final four are coming up and, if what the writers have put together thus far is any indication, we’re in for quite a blowout. And here’s a sort-of trailer to keep you interested: