After last week’s head-scratching episode I really had no idea where the showrunners were going to take story this week. Thankfully, they went back to their strength, that being over the top violence, cartoon-like characters you can’t help but enjoy and some really creepy and dark scenes. It certainly wasn’t perfect but it was nice to see a return to all the things that make Gotham enjoyable.
Grundy is going to be a tragic figure to be sure, and Gotham much to my surprise is leaning quite heavily on him right now. This would seem like a bad thing but it’s really a lot of fun. I guess the whole ‘fight club’ thing going on, combined with the weird team of Nygma and Lee Thompkins make it easier to digest but it is a darkly comedic storyline that seems to fit right in. Lee is a lot more fun now that she has a darker edge and I can’t help but wonder just how much help she is really going to be in terms of helping Nygma unthaw his brain.
Meanwhile, Gordon and Harvey are trying to track down a killer named Professor Pyg who is killing officers of the GCPD. On any other show, you would laugh out loud at the name Professor Pyg but he is quite a nice mix of horrible and insane to give him a great feeling of menace and dread. This also allows for some great Gordon/Bullock time together that ends up with a revelation that was a welcome twist into their usual cop buddy life. Gotham does the right thing by showing Pyg as what he is, a killer who doesn’t shy away from the gore. This heightens the tension and makes him a very disturbing character on the show.
The big problem with the episode revolves around Penguin and his new/maybe/possible love interest Sofia Falcone. This plot arc is really falling flat as the two just don’t mesh together well and up until now, it’s really been a boring story. The writers have really painted themselves into a corner here, what with all of Penguins past foes or rivals are now either dead, mutated or mentally unfit to challenge him. This is something that needs to be corrected very soon as Penguin and his air of viciousness and cruelty is something a show like Gotham really needs.
It was a strange episode in that there was no Bruce or Alfred this week yet it was still full of storylines. Gotham seems to be trying to fit as much as it can into each episode and while this is admirable it rarely works and something usually is bad enough to drag the episode down. In this case, it was the Penguin storyline, a once very strong character now flailing around like a lovesick puppy. Get on with it folks and get Penguin back in the psycho saddle before he becomes the kind of cartoon that this show can do without.
Three and a half Gotham stars out of five
- Professor Pyg is delightfully gruesome
- Grundy, Nygma and Lee...what a team
- Penguin has officially become a bore. Time for him to show off his psycho side again
- Even with Bullocks admission, he's still a better cop than Gordon