[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Director: Rob Bailey
Writer: Charlie Huston
Stars: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue & Morena Baccarin
Gordon is given the opportunity to become captain of Gotham Central while Barbara, Tabitha and Selina are tasked with bringing Nygma to Penguin.
Everything in the fight club is a lot of fun. Nygma’s impressions of Penguin are hysterical and Corey Michael Smith is clearly having a blast doing it. I love how many characters already know Butch is “alive”, especially Tabitha. I expected the show to keep Grundy separated for a little while so I was happy that we’re already at that point.
The material between Gordon and Bullock is great. Bullock made a mistake and screwed up. It’s understandable, but what makes him a bad leader is his inability to own up to what he’s done. No one on the force seems to blame him and even if they did, Bullock should have faced the consequences of his actions. What Gordon has to do, essentially fire Bullock and take his place, is really sad but you completely understand why Gordon makes the choice to accept the job.
Additionally, I love the idea of this meeting in which cops who were shot in the line of duty are given the bullets they were shot with. It gives the city, and the show, some more personality. It’s a great scene and makes the universe come a bit more alive.
I’m not sure I buy Penguin’s side of this plot. He spends most of the episode mentoring a young mute who is being bullied. Most of those scenes work, but the big lesson he tries to teach the kid is that you can’t have friends because they will stab you in the back. Which is interesting because the Riddler said something similar to Gordon last season. But these lessons lead to Penguin’s realization that he can’t trust Sofia and that she may be plotting against him. That’s the part I’m not sure about. He has this belief because of what happened with Nygma even though he was the one who stabbed Nygma in the back by killing his girlfriend. But Penguin is a lunatic so we can let that kind of slide. However, he’s been referring to Sofia as a friend for a couple of episodes. Why is it just when this boy refers to friendship that we get this reaction from Penguin? It comes out of nowhere. It feels like the writers wanted Penguin to know about Sofia now and his deduction doesn’t feel genuine or clever. It just happens.
This is a solid episode. There are several great character focused scenes with Gordon and Bullock that I love. And they’re balanced well with the insanity of the fight club plot. The material focused on Penguin and Sofia feels a little weak and I’m not all that invested in that element anymore but the episode is still enjoyable.