Gotham 2.09 – “A Bitter Pill to Swallow”

This episode really was “A Bitter Pill to Swallow” because it was filled with such unnecessary violence, murder, and grit. I’m guessing Gotham is going for the “gritty, dark” type of show, despite every other inclination that it is anything but that. That being said, there were some good moments (Ed/Oswald, of course) and I still hold out hope that this show won’t just turn into gunfight after gunfight. I feel like the past five episodes have featured a major gunfight, which I really just don’t want to see. How about instead of fight after fight we get some interesting and fun character development? Anyways, I am getting ahead of myself.

****SPOILERS BELOW****

New mayor Theo Galavan (James Frain) is arrested. His sister, Tabitha (Jessica Lucas), is injured, but her spirit is far from done. She goes to a secret club (Gotham has a ton of those!) and enlists The Lady (Doctor Who’s Michelle Gomez) to kill that damn good cop, Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie). Jim is currently visiting a beat up, unconscious Barbara (Erin Richards), who looks terrible. The doctor tells Jim that Barb may not ever wake up, so it’s back to Arkham for her. Aww, just when I was starting to like Barbara she goes and gets unconscious!

poorJimJim and Lee (Morena Baccarin) are awkward together after their fight in last week’s episode. Lee rightfully calls Barbara the “devil” and doesn’t understand why Jim keeps feeding into his dark side. Unluckily for her, Jim is the type of guy who “doesn’t want to talk about it.” Jim goes to meet Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) at Theo’s apartment. As he rides up the elevator, he gets attacked by an assassin with a piano wire. This fight was edgy and nicely shot. Jim wins (duh!) and drags the man out of the elevator into Theo’s apartment. The Lady calls her assassin’s phone. He failed…so she calls upon her arsenal of many other assassins: “Kill Jim Gordon!” Where did all these assassins come from?!

Jim interrogates the first attacker by holding him out a window. Barnes doesn’t think that is right. Is he aware of what is going on here? Gotham is corrupt and full of assassins, slavery, prostitution, mobs, and so much crime. How does he expect to solve anything? Well, Jim, Barnes, and rookie cop Parks (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut) fend off the first few sets of attacks. Barnes ends up getting stabbed, which makes him tell a sob story about the law being the only thing between good and bad. Failed again, so The Lady calls insane cannibal Eduardo Flamingo (Raul Castillo) to finish the job. Eduardo arrives, killing all of Jim’s backup. So, Jim goes down to meet him. They fight and Jim wins (duh!). Eduardo is taken into custody. Quick question: how does this society function without cellphones? Hm. Just food for thought.

redJimLater, Lee tends to Jim’s wounds and he is being a bit of an ass to her. He finally asks why she is with him. GOOD QUESTION. No explanation is given because the phone rings. Eduardo Flamingo killed Officer Parks via biting her neck before he was put away. Well, that just plain ol’ sucks. Lastly, Tabitha visits her beloved brother in prison. He is still talking about his “grand plan” to kill Bruce and control the city. How much more ridiculous and over-the-top can he get? I almost want him to start cackling like an evil genius. He also threatens to kill Tabitha if she messes up his plan again. Meanwhile, a bunch of hooded “brothers” arrive in Gotham. Alrighty…attack of the monks?!

ozzyIn the far more interesting subplot of the week, Ed (Cory Michael Smith) has taken in the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) after finding him in the woods. What follows is a crazy, fun series of moments between the struggling Penguin and the newly murderous and hilarious Ed. While Oswald is giving up on life and Gotham, Ed is relishing in it and trying to encourage Oswald to get back to his evil ways. It’s inspiring! He even brings in a lackey of Theo’s for Oswald to torture. Oswald keeps pulling back but Ed gives a great speech about how they are both better unencumbered by “loved” ones who made them weak. They are free and “a man with nothing that he loves is a man that cannot be betrayed or bargained with.” So, now these two are evil BFFs and I am all for it.

eddyAs for young Bruce (David Mazouz), he is continuing to be a full-fledged idiot, whilst sporting an all-black Steve Jobsian turtleneck. He tries to make nice with the manipulative Silver St. Cloud (Natalie Alyn Lind), but Alfred (Sean Pertwee) comes in and puts an to it! YAS, ALFRED, YAS! Thank you for finally being the ADULT and putting the child, Bruce, in his place. Later, Bruce tries to lie and pull another one over Alfred, but Alfred smacks it down. Finally, Alfred is making the most sense of all. Even Selina (Camren Bicondova) shows up and tells a sneaky Bruce that he is being dumb. It is glorious for other characters to be recognizing Bruce’s stupidity and telling him off for it. High praise to Alfred and Selina this week!

looking greenAnd there you have it! What did you guys think of the episode this week? The gun violence and constant murdering and fights is exhausting and, frankly, unnecessary at this point. If perhaps the show was more adult or more realistic, then I could see it. But this show is based off comic-books and generally aimed towards a younger age group, so I’m not getting it’s need to push towards all of this violence! Let me know what you think in the comments below! We all want more Penguin and Riddler together, right?

Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox. Watch full episodes on Fox.com, Hulu Plus and On Demand (check with your local cable provider).

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Post Author: Ben Fleck