Last week on Gotham, we saw Firefly running around and causing all sorts of havoc while Gordon and his team attempted to stop her. Edward Nygma made yet another mistake that involved leaving a dead body behind. Galavan was sucking up to people, particularly Gordon and little Bruce Wayne. And The Penguin was playing a dangerous game, trying to get back at Galavan while rescuing his mother at the same time. This week’s episode, ‘Mommy’s Little Monster’, brings the pain as Galavan’s secrecy begins to unravel even as The Penguin and Nygma sink deeper into their respective psychotic meltdowns.
We begin pretty much where we left off. The Penguin has followed Butch’s lead and gone after his mother. Unfortunately, Galavan and his sister are waiting for him. A newly freed Butch eliminates Penguin’s back-up and leaves him at the mercy of Galavan, forced to beg for his life. In the end, he does manage to get his mother released, but her life is forfeit. Fortunately, The Penguin lives to fight another day. Which leads to some unpleasant consequences later down the road…
Meanwhile, back at the GCPD, Gordon begins to figure out the grand design. Inconsistencies in his old friend’s behavior are the first clue, though they won’t be the last. Galavan plans on implementing martial law in order to get at The Penguin, a move that rubs Gordon raw. And further cements Gordon’s distrust of Gotham’s new mayor.
When the GCPD finds a new lead that may direct them to the missing Penguin, Gordon heads out. He finds Butch, newly freed from his former employer’s influence. Naturally, Zsasz has to show up with a bunch of Penguin’s thugs to ruin the party and a shoot-out ensues. But not before Gordon learns a few new things about Galavan, including the fact that he has been manipulating The Penguin the entire time.
Later, mayor Galavan has an election victory party. Worried that he may end up dead, the GCPD is there to protect him. But Cobblepot is one clever man. He dresses his entire crew up to look like him and even has them walk like him. Thus, the assault on Galavan’s party leaves the new mayor somewhat vulnerable.
Unfortunately for The Penguin, Gordon is the one in charge of evacuating the mayor from the chaos. The two have a heart-to-heart and The Penguin reveals even more of Galavan’s master plan, including a tidbit that tempts Gordon even though it remains unsaid. A few shots are fired, but everyone ends up going their own way, leaving the final confrontation for another day.
In the background, we see more of little Bruce Wayne, Selina and Silver St. Cloud. Young Catwoman shows up while Bruce is entertaining his new lady and ends up invited to dinner. She also ends up getting threatened by the evil Silver. When Selina tries to confront them both about the reality of the situation, Bruce shoots her down. Somehow, however, I don’t think that’s going to stop Selina from making Silver into her temporary arch-nemesis.
And then there’s Edward Nygma. He wakes up post-murder only to discover that his “other half” has hidden the body of Miss Kringle. What’s more, the only way to find said body is to follow a series of clues and riddles. When he finally does pin the body down, it’s another discussion between the two Nygmas, one that results in them merging into what surely must be Riddler incarnation 1.0.
This episode, following up on last week, was excellent all-around. We finally got to see the potential dissolution of Galavan’s secrecy after weeks of him lurking in the shadows. It’s a testament to the writers that they didn’t drag out the Galavan-wins-every-time approach and allowed Gordon to see though all his bullshit. We also get Selina on the other side of things, seeing through Silver’s bullshit. The show is primed for some serious confrontation and I’m glad they didn’t take forever to get there.
The Penguin was, as always, brilliant in this episode. His plan to assault the mayoral party shows that he’s smarter than most give him credit for. It’s a Penguin worthy of the comic series that we’re seeing here and I love to watch them play with new ways to show just how clever he can be in a pinch, despite all his long-standing cowardice. This is another area in which the writers of Gotham excel.
And, of course, there are those characters that spend less time in the spotlight. Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock is always a pleasure to see on-screen. I’m hoping that the future presents more opportunity for story arcs that revolve around him. Nygma is another one who always steals the show. And Cory Michael Smith has all the time he needs to shine right now as they melt his character into a lunatic and prepare to introduce The Riddler. I’m eagerly waiting for the day when he makes his first truly villainous move.
All-in-all, another great installment in a show that has had many low points since it first aired. There’s little I can say to criticize this week, though I’m guessing they’ll drop the ball eventually. Let’s just hope that there are many, many episodes between now and then.
Next week, ‘Tonight’s the Night’ sends Barbara after Jim and looks to be focused on this pair of former lovers almost exclusively. Check out the trailer below and see what you think.