Gotham: Season 1 Episode 7 "Penguin's Umbrella" (REVIEW)
written by Omar Castillon (@omar_castillon)
The violence level goes to eleven in this week’s episode of Gotham. Say what you will about the previous episodes, it was all setting up for the moment Jim Gordon is proven innocent of his involvement in the Cobblepot incident of the first episode. So much anger from Bullock and yet it was all just a cover for his fear of Falcone striking back at both himself and at Gordon in a way. Regardless of theories, one thing is certain and it is that this week’s episode delivered.
After last week’s discovery of Cobblepot still being alive, Bullock and Gordon face off in the locker room with a gun pointed right at Gordon’s head. Of course Gordon talks Bullock down and the tension between them fizzles only for a bit as they have to now deal with Gordon’s consequences in not killing Cobblepot a long time ago. Those consequences come in the form of a hitman sent by Falcone along with two other cronies that join him to kill Gordon. Don’t worry, nothing too bad happens to Gordon but I can say that there is a gunfight and there is also indication of the corruption at Gordon’s precinct. I say this because once the hitman walks in and Gordon tells him that there are over 50 cops waiting for them to do something, the hitman tells everyone to leave and Gordon is left alone to fend for himself. That spoke volumes in terms of how powerful Falcone’s grip is on the police.
Before I get into any further highlights, let me put a spotlight on the mysterious hitman that was sent to try to kill Gordon. The hitman is none other than Victor Zsasz. I know plenty of people on the internet were confused about why the hitman was cutting another tally mark on his arm. Well, that’s Zsasz’s signature trademark. In the comics though, it is said that his origins consist of coming from being the head of an international company, sinking into gambling issues and contemplating suicide only to be assaulted by a homeless man to whom he proceeds to stab him in order to “liberate” him from his life. Essentially, Zsasz is a serial killer that eventually ends up in Arkham Asylum. Of course, Gotham took a bit of creative liberties and went a different route with the origins of Zsasz. While yes, it is shocking to see him shoot an innocent cop down, Zsasz in the comics would have stabbed them to death. With that being said, let’s move on to the rest of the episode.
Fish Mooney is back in action still trying to take Falcone’s spot but also extremely furious that Gordon didn’t kill Cobblepot. This leads to a meet up with Falcone and the Russian mobster and their discussion about how to handle the situation. Nothing much else can be said although Mooney’s “weapon” has been sort of a bust since she has done nothing too intimate but instead bakes for Falcone. It’s a bit odd but there is a motive behind why she hasn’t been able to take out Falcone. By the end of the episode, all will come clear (a little too clear) about Falcone’s plans and how Cobblepot is such an important chess piece in the mob wars.
It was pretty awesome seeing how Maroni and Falcone go at each other’s throats. Trust me when I say that Cobblepot is the biggest highlight in the episode. He shows his manipulative side while working with Maroni’s men and even displays some apathetic murder on one of Maroni’s men after Cobblepot and his crew raid one of Falcone’s “business” spots.
The consequences of Gordon’s actions do end up becoming a center piece once he is saved by Montoya and Allen. He reconciles with Bruce at his mansion after he realizes that he may be killed by Falcone and assures Bruce that both Montoya and Allen can be trusted in the investigation of his parent’s murder. Next on Gordon’s going away tour is Barbara. Barbara is told to leave Gotham City and to never come back. Gordon specifically tells her to stay in hiding until he gets back to her or else she stays away from the city for good. But no, she completely messes it up and is leverage against Gordon close to the end of the episode. Honestly, Barbara is looking like a damsel in distress and only came back to Gotham City because she loves Gordon. That’s sweet and all but if you are in danger of being killed by the mob and you are specifically told to stay away from a certain place, you stay the hell away from that place. As frustrating as that sounds, it’s just a plot device to move the story forward. This may be the one flaw of the episode this week in that Barbara was a huge weak link.
Overall, yes Barbara loses some respect points in the episode, but everything else from the shootout to Cobblepot being an asset to the mob wars that are going on, are all deemed worthy. This was one of the finer examples of exciting television where there is a sense of unpredictability and wonder of what will happen next. I’m sure the Zsasz reference is off putting to the hardcore fans, but to those that take the show for what it is, they will still find some greatness in the episode. Although yes, Zsasz should have used a knife on his victim rather than on himself, but we shall see what other liberties the show will have on other Batman villains.