TV Review: Gotham - Season 2 Episode 7 "Mommy's Little Monster"
Season 2 Episode 7: "Mommy's Little Monster"
Synopsis: Butch leads Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) and his men to the warehouse where Gertrude (Carol Kane) is being held, as Penguin plots his revenge on Galavan (James Frain) for kidnapping his mother. Meanwhile, Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) deals with the aftermath of a deadly accident.
Recap: There are so many great things about where Gotham is going narratively this season that I can easily forgive some of the plausibility of how we have gotten there. By getting rid of the villain of the week format from last year, Gotham's more serialized approach to the Batman mythos has resulted in a much more interesting story that is worth investing in. With Theo Galavan's rise to power causing issues for Penguin, Bruce Wayne, and James Gordon, it is a wonder they have still managed to do a good deal of universe building and still continue to slowly develop Edward Nygma/The Riddler.
With the votes tallied, Theo Galavan is now the Mayor of Gotham City. That means that his plan has continued to stay on track even though Penguin has taken matters into his own hands to try and rescue his mother. Finding her in a warehouse, Penguin soon learns that Butch has been freed of the brainwashing and has turned on him. Penguin pleads for his mother to be freed, to which Galavan obliges before his sister stabs her in the back. Holding his deceased mother, Penguin questions Galavan's manhood and calls out what he learned about his family line. Galavan holds a gun to Penguin who slashes at his throat before escaping.
Galavan heads to the GCPD to discuss a curfew and martial law in Gotham in order to track down and destroy Penguin which raises Jim Gordon's eyebrow. Gordon, who was in support of Galavan until this week and now, inexplicably, has added everything up. Despite everything going Galavan's way in his rise to power, no one questioned how he rolled into town and managed to succeed at every turn. Gordon and Bullock decide to try and find Penguin and locate Butch in the process, learning he is building his own crew. When they confront him, they are quickly met by Mr. Zsasz and an armed group of Penguin's men. Butch reveals that Galavan was behind everything and alludes to his having murdered Penguin's mother. A massive shootout ensues in which Butch escapes.
While I was getting worried about the direction Penguin was heading in this season, this episode pulls it all together wonderfully. Robin Lord Taylor continues to excel as Oswald Cobblepot whose plan culminates in this hour by launching an attack on Galavan's victory party with a small army of Penguin lookalikes. While somewhat goofy, it felt exactly like something a Batman villain would do and delivered a great action set-piece. There was even an ultraviolent kill by Galavan's sister involving her stiletto and the throat of one of Gordon's Strike Force cops. The Galavan/Penguin showdown came to a close with Gordon and Penguin holding guns on each other while Penguin tries to convince Gordon to let him kill Galavan. Gordon also reveals that he knows about Galavan's duplicity before Penguin gets shot in the arm and gets away. Gordon and Galavan then have words where the cop vows to the criminal mayor that he will take him down.
In side plot details, the love triangle between Bruce Wayne, Silver St. Cloud, and Selina Kyle moved forward a bit with the two girls meeting each other. Silver made no mistake to try and scare Selina off, but Selina instead turns and tells Bruce that his new friend is using him. Silver runs off in tears and Bruce asks Selina to leave. Not sure how long the future detective genius will fall for Silver's lies, but I hope it isn't too long. We also finally get Edward Nygma's transformation into The Riddler. Through the episode, his split personality sends him on a quest to find the body parts of Kristen Kringle which does deliver some light and gruesome moments and a close call at the morgue with Lee Thomkins. In the end, the two halves of Nygma merge and we are left with the genesis of the future villain. How he will play into this season remains to be seen, but his long gestating origin was worth the wait.
Another strong episode from the new season of Gotham with the focus remaining on Galavan's master plan as well as the further growth of both Penguin and The Riddler. I definitely like that Nygma is growing right under the nose of the GCPD, but it does bother me that Jim Gordon cannot spot a bad guy unless he has a gun pointed at him. Gordon continues to be one of the weaker characters in my opinion but at least we got some more Bullock in this hour. I continue to find myself wanting to know where things will go with all of these plot threads and feel more invested than ever in what comes next. The biggest waste this week was Harvey Dent who merely showed up for two scenes just to deliver a pair of lines to move the plot forward. The showrunners need to take a cue from THE DARK KNIGHT and build Dent to be more of a hero than a loose cannon.
Episode Final Verdict:
Next Episode: "Tonight's The Night" airs November 9th - Galavan sends Barbara after Jim Gordon, while he tries to make a business deal with Bruce Wayne. Barnes and Bullock are hot on Barbara’s trail, and Nygma has a run-in with a familiar face