TV ReviewsGotham Season 4 Episode 15: A Dark Knight: The Sinking Ship, The Grand Applause Review

Keith NoakesMarch 23, 2018

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Bullock and Gordon try to track down someone who is key in Sofia’s control over Gotham. Meanwhile, Penguin, Lee and Nygma enlist an unlikely ally as they seek revenge, and Selina asks Bruce for a favor to help rid her of her guilt over Ivy. (IMDB)

Writer: Seth Boston

Director: Nick Copus

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 42mins

Airs: Thursdays at 8pm on CTV (Canada)/Fox (United States)

What easily could have been the best episode of the series of course had to be ruined by a few questionable turns and a few too many shoehorned subplots.

The episode episode started with Martin (the little boy who couldn’t talk if you don’t remember) escaping his captors thanks to Ed’s (who is now The Riddler) help. Meanwhile, the newly appointed leader of The Narrows, Sampson, was taking charge with his different leadership style. Also, in order to take down Sophia, Gordon needed more evidence but at least he could count on Bullock to help. When it was over though, Gordon had to be held accountable for his involvement. Selina needed Bruce’s help to get back something she stole from the man that Ivy killed.

Bullock found a lead from one of his contacts about a confidant for Carmine Falcone, his bookkeeper named Mr. Penn (Andrew Sellon) (basically the guy with the clipboard who we’ve seen countless times this season). Hearing the news about Martin, Sophia wanted Penguin dead but unfortunately, Zsasz had to bring along the annoying Headhunter. Later when Bullock tried to talk to Penguin, they showed up and during the chaos that ensued, Penguin escaped.

Getting their group together to take on Sophia, Ed and Penguin visited Lee who they didn’t know had her hand broken and who lost control of the Narrows. Despite her weaker position, she was still determined to have her revenge on Sophia. She realized Ed had become the Riddler. To get inside Sophia’s stronghold, Ed had a plan to use Freeze to make Penguin into a trojan horse. To find some muscle, Ed tracked down Grundy who he didn’t know was Butch again. Penguin grew impatient with Ed so he decided to go on his own.

Soon, Penguin ran into Gordon and Bullock. Penguin wanted to be left alone to take care of it but they of course wouldn’t let that happen. After he gave them a lead on Mr. Penn, they were interrupted by Zsasz and Headhunter who were there to kill Penguin. Lee helped Penguin get away by taking their car.

Barbara wasn’t feeling all that well for whatever reason but it didn’t matter since Grundy brought she and Tabitha Ed. He let them deal with him. They decided to just give him to Sophia and let her deal with him. After learning that Gordon was after Penn, she sent Zsasz and Headhunter after Penn too.

Lee and Penguin went to see Freeze to convince him to freeze Penguin and to bring him to Sophia in exchange for money to fund research into curing his condition. Meanwhile, after getting the item she stole back, Bruce consoled Selina by reminding her that it wasn’t her fault. While Sophia was having Ed tortured, they were interrupted by Freeze delivering Penguin. Before he could unthaw, Sophia had already gone but Penguin learned that Ed was being taken to the pier to be killed.

Gordon and Bullock found Penn at an institution where older men were treated like actual babies. Penn gave them some much needed evidence against Sophia but Zsasz, Headhunter, and Sophia were there as well. In the shootout that ensued, Gordon got shot yet he decided to stay and deal with them while Bullock took Penn to safety. In the process, Gordon got shot several more times. Although Sophia had him cornered and vulnerable, Gordon was still unwilling to give in to her. When it looked like Sophia was going to kill him which was never going to happen anyway, Lee showed up and killed Sophia.

Penguin saved a surprised Ed from his fate. He chose revenge over him because he trusted Ed. They both never wanted to see the pier ever again which was a funny moment. Bullock was in Gordon’s hospital room and when Gordon woke up, he told him that Lee saved him and that Sophia wasn’t dead after all but in a coma. Gordon vowed that once he would confess once he got out of the hospital, however, Bullock changed his mind about it and thought he should keep it a secret.

Back in the Narrows, the people took hold of Sampson so Lee could smash his hand with a hammer. Barbara was still suffering from flashes and looked over to see Ra’s al Ghul in the distance coming towards her.

Overall, this could have been the best episode of the series if not for Sophia being alive and Bullock flip-flopping at the end. While they were fine, they also could have gone without the Bruce and Selina and Barbara subplots as the episode simply glazed over the former and the lack of character development hurt the latter. It was obvious that Ra’s al Ghul was going to return somehow since Alexander Siddig is still a series regular, however, what seemed to be his return didn’t quite work here. The good episodes that show up every once in a while make it worth watching but there is very little indication that this will continue.

Score: 8/10

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