If you were on the fence about Gotham, last week hit you with an episode so good that it erased any concerns or doubts about the series. It is an episode so strong, so packed with action, drama, deceit, unexpected plot twists, and great acting all around, that one may wonder if it was written and filmed before the show got confirmed for the full season treatment (running 22 episodes). However, even if the last two episodes had been good at character introspection, the rhythm of the show had declined a little, and though it’s true that the seeds for a really big conflict between Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) — along with the rest of GCPD — and Criminal Kingpin Carmine Falcone (John Doman) had been planted, I honestly didn’t expect such an early and explosive payoff. And that might be one of the things that makes this episode shine so bright, the surprising way it is constructed, feeling like the big, dramatic conclusion to the Gordon-Falcone arc that had been building since the pilot. And like every great conclusion, it is permeated with that sense of “anything can happen,” with the feeling that no one is safe. Not the good guys, not the bad guys. And seeing Gordon basically exploding and saying “ok, gloves are off” to the bad guys, whether they were henchmen sent by Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) (to terrorize his girlfriend, Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) and to capture Gordon), the vicious Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) (playing perfectly the serial killer that has a soft spot for knives and that Batman will have to put down in the future many times), or Carmine Falcone himself, at a priceless final showdown. But how does this madness and all-out chaos jump out of proportion so fast and hard? Well, the answer should be obvious at this point. Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), feeling stronger than ever, appears at the Police Station — as we saw on last episode’s cliffhanger — and changes the status quo. Now everyone, from the GCPD to Fish Mooney to Barbara Kean to…well, everyone, knows two things they didn’t: Penguin is alive and well, working for mobster Sal Maroni (David Zayas), and Jim Gordon is no killer. This means not only that Jim cannot be convicted for murder, as Detectives Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena) and Crispus Allen (Andrew Stewart-Jones) intended, but also that he is revealed as the one isolated stranger in the GCPD who hasn’t played by Falcone’s rules; that he was only pretending to the whole time. This alone would make for a triumphant Penguin return, but thankfully for us things don’t quite stop here, as his former employer, Fish Mooney, upon learning of Cobblepot’s current status, explodes with rage, demanding a very peaceful and relaxed Falcone kill both Penguin and Maroni. But Falcone refuses and demands that she go and have a nice talk with the two of them without any bloodshed. We get to see that “peaceful” encounter, and as many scenes of this great episode, the sequence is priceless, filled with false double-talk about “honor” that this show gets so well. Meanwhile, Jim Gordon has sent Barbara away and stayed in Gotham to do the unthinkable — detaining Mayor Aubrey James (Richard Kind) and Falcone himself. McKenzie plays his best Gordon yet, a determined man that feels he has no need to restrain himself, as he has nothing to lose, now that the truth is out in the open. One of the many high notes of Gordon’s depiction in this episode and McKenzie’s portrayal is, without a doubt, how he stands tall in front of Captain Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara), stating why nobody is going to make him leave Gotham. From here on, it’s Gordon versus the world, with some friends along the way, like Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen, who save him after his confrontation with Victor Zsasz and two other thugs Falcone had sent to the GCPD premises to off him; Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Alfred (Sean Pertwee), that share a tender and intimate scene with the Detective before he gets all Rambo with the help of another character that changes for the best, siding with Jim until the last consequences, Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) a shadowy character that may have reached a turning point, both in his relationship to Gordon and on the way he approaches Gotham’s inner workings. However, the best twist is left for the ending, as it is revealed that Penguin has been Falcone’s snitch since before Gordon faked his murder; something the little bastard had anticipated, due to Gordon’s nature. So, yes, all this time, Falcone has been in the know. About Mooney’s plans to take over Gotham, about Maroni’s moves, and of course, about Penguin being alive. And Penguin still has plans for Gordon, as he manages to convince Falcone to let Bullock and Gordon live. This great last twist explains a lot of things, like Falcone being so calm amidst the storm, and sheds a different light on the Penguin, who now feels more crucial than ever in the coming mob war. Gotham 1.07 "Penguin’s Umbrella"4.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.