If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Gordon tries to broker a deal with Penguin that involves Sofia. Lee Thompkins gains more control over the Narrows. (IMDB)
Writers: Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt
Director: Louis Shaw Milito
Running Time: 42mins
This season so far has been a mess but as we approach next week’s midseason finale, the show looks to bring all the pieces back together towards an all out war. The buildup has been messy so why would the reconsolidation be any different?
The episode started off with Pyg in prison provoking another inmate with his music choice. After being punched in the face, he readjusts it back to normal before killing the inmate with a record. Once Gordon learns about this, he was determined to learn Pyg’s true identity. Sofia showed up in his office and told him that Penguin knew what she did for him. Regardless of what may or may not happen to Penguin, he and Sofia couldn’t be together. At the end of the previous episode, Penguin found out about Sofia’s plan and went right after her and she couldn’t talk her way out of it this time.
Sofia seemed to overcome all the hurdles Penguin had put in her way until she was abducted by Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina. They wanted to use her as leverage against Penguin and it didn’t matter to them if she was now his enemy. Meanwhile, what Penguin thought he knew began to unravel once Martin admitted that he lied about seeing Gordon and Sofia kiss which made Penguin angry. Unfortunately for BTS, Penguin was not exactly willing to trade with Zsasz destroying their place of business.
We also learned that Sofia’s ultimate plan, which didn’t exactly come out of nowhere, was to start a war with Penguin that Gordon and the GCPD would finish. Instead of creating a war, Gordon went to Penguin to make a deal to allow Sofia to board a train out of Gotham in exchange for Gordon not unleashing the GCPD upon him which he agreed. BTS then abducted Martin which was coincidentally followed by Sofia getting off the train. BTS took Martin for Sofia who was willing to exchange him for control of Gotham. Penguin submitted and was given back Martin, however, he no longer wanted him to be used as a pawn so he blew up the car he was in thus starting a war and Sophia did not let this setback dissuade her from her ultimate goal.
Meanwhile, Lee was implementing her new leadership style in the Narrows. She also had to contend with a rival gang controlling a nearby territory. Ed and Grundy were available but Lee prefered a democratic approach. Once that didn’t work, Lee took a more drastic approach which seemed to work. Lee promised to help Ed be smart again but she withheld the fact that there was no cure since his problems were psychological. What he was now reminded her of the friend she used to have with him.
What was a powerful moment for Penguin in blowing up Martin was immediately taken away when Martin survived. Martin was no longer safe in Gotham so he sent him off. Old Ed was beginning to come back. The episode didn’t forget about Pyg as we learned that his real name was Lazlo Valentin, a serial killer in the South, who then adopted the Pyg identity. He also escaped prison.
Overall, this was a decent, albeit convoluted episode, that stumbles its way towards next week’s midseason finale by starting to resolve its surplus of subplots with some working better than others. Expect more of the same next week. The season has some good elements but for the most part, it has been unable to overcome its contrived nature. Hopefully, the war will reset the season as it heads into a new story arc for the second half.