Gotham "Bitter Pill to Swallow" (REVIEW)

written by Omar Castillon (omar_castillon)

At this point in the series, it should be called consequences the TV show. It seems that every little thing from the previous episode have bled through to this week’s episode. Galavan has now been put away in Blackgate Prison, Tabitha Galavan has to hire from a third party to enact revenge on Gordon and Nygma found a new friend in Penguin after discovering him in the middle of the woods where he buried Kristen.

First off we have Gordon investigating Galavan’s penthouse trying to find more evidence to pin him with the other crimes relating to Gotham and Wayne Enterprises. He and Leslie try to figure out what was really going through his mind during the Barbara freak out wedding. Gordon being dismissive as usual wants to talk about it later. This of course leads to Gordon going to Galavan’s penthouse and attacked by one of the assassins Tabitha sent. It’s the first of multiple attacks Gordon experiences throughout the night. At first the assassin just looks like an old man minding his business until he pulls out the piano wire Agent 47 style and demonstrates one of the more intense elevator action scenes in the series so far. Obviously Gordon takes the guy down but the assassin warns him of the ways his organization deals with jobs and foreshadows the onslaught Gordon and Captain Barnes will have to deal with soon. 

Nygma has his own solid side story in the form of a twisted Stockholm syndrome relationship with Penguin. Nygma is aware of Penguin’s actions but since Penguin lost his grip in Gotham’s criminal underworld, he is lost. At first Nygma comes on too strong for Penguin. A bit comedic and then immediately creepy when Nygma talks about the 3 murders he committed compared to the countless other murders Penguin has done throughout the series. In a sense Nygma idolizes Penguin even though Penguin shows signs of vulnerability towards the loss of both his empire and his mother. That’s not to say this is a bad thing since Nygma sees something more for Penguin. In that sense they become criminal buddies. They do have that one common denominator aside from being killers and that is Jim Gordon and the influence he has on both criminals.

Back to Gordon and Barnes, they end up having to fight off multiple assassins in a brief yet violent firefight worthy of a low-end R-rated film. The action comes to a halt when Barnes is critically injured by one of the assassins. The two officers exchange stories waiting for the next wave of assassins. Gordon’s logic for staying stems from the realization that the evidence present in Galavan’s penthouse could possibly be destroyed if they were to leave. As the action takes a break, Barnes finally asks Gordon why he’s been acting so off the cuff. Gordon confesses to almost killing Barbara in the church. He fears going off the deep end. Barnes then tells Gordon a war story about going over the edge and it is one of the more intense backstories to any character on the show. It’s actually my favorite scene from the episode because it humanizes Barnes since before hand he didn’t seem to have much depth in characterization other than being a clean-cut cop with morals. 

The assassin game book ends with a cannibal of all things trying to lure Gordon and finish the job Tabitha ordered. Eduardo Flamingo with his pink highlights and hunger for human flesh definitely took a sharp turn to the dark side since he is introduced cutting off the ear of a hostage and then playing with the ear afterwards. Pretty damn shocking for network television but I’m not complaining too much. Flamingo and Gordon square off in a final battle in front of Galavan’s penthouse and that is the point in which Gordon almost executes Flamingo after beating him mercilessly. 

One other side story that was touched upon but not really explored is Bruce insisting Silver St. Cloud is not a threat despite being a witness to Galavan’s arrest. Alfred obviously comes to Bruce’s senses as they have another one of their common sense fights. It’s only until Selina comes back from out of nowhere and tells Bruce that Silver is nothing but trouble. This will probably be one of the points to look out for in the following episodes along with the mysterious final scene where a group of hooded men mercilessly stab a patrolling police officer. League of Shadows? Order of St. Dumas? We won’t know exactly until later in the season once Galavan finally puts his plan into motion. It looks like this crazy ride will get even crazier sooner rather than later.