Gotham “Mommy’s Little Monster” – aired 11/2/2015 ***** stars
Written by Robert Hull
Directed by Kenneth Fink
*Spoilers are contained within
By Joseph Grodensky
The tagline for the second season of Gotham is Rise of the Villains. So far the show has lived up to that tagline. I must warn you, there are spoilers so if you haven’t seen this episode, don’t read any further. In this seventh episode, “Mommy’s Little Monster,” we see this rise coming to a head. The episode opens with Oswald Cobblepot a.k.a. The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), and his henchmen finding the place where Theo Galavan (James Frain) has kept his beloved mother. What starts as a happy reunion turns deadly when Galavan and his sister Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) appears to confront Penguin. To make matter worse, Penguin’s right-hand man, Butch Gilzean (Drew Powell) turns on him, killing two fellow henchmen as Tabitha kills Mrs. Cobblepot as she lay in Penguin’s arms with a knife to the back. Penguin retaliates by slicing Galavan in the neck before he escapes a hail of bullets from Tabitha.
Theo Galavan has just become the new mayor of Gotham. Despite the incident with Penguin, he announces his victory celebration will go on as planned but not before he convinces the GCPD and Harvey Dent that Penguin is the bad guy. It pushes the Governor to declare a semi-state of martial law where the GCPD is given liberty to use whatever means and methods necessary to apprehend Penguin. Detective Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is never really convinced Galavan is who he says he is but has no choice but to go along with Galavan being he is the mayor. Galavan is a master manipulator, especially when it comes to using Tabitha and Silver St. Cloud (Natalie Alyn Lind) to do his dirty work. Speaking of Silver, she gets major airtime this episode and the viewers get more insight into her’s and Galavan’s motives regarding Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and even her feelings toward Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova).
Selina enters Wayne Manor the only way she knows how which is through an open window. She wants to re-connect with Bruce but notices a clutch purse on a nightstand. Before she has a chance to ask, Silver walks into the room. It’s evident they do not and will not get along. Silver invites Selina to stay for lunch to keep a close eye on her. Silver just comes out with it to Selina she doesn’t want her around Bruce anymore. According to Silver, she’s the only one allowed to be Bruce’s friend. When lunch is served, Selina serves up the subtle insults and one-liners. Her first target is Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and uses a line about tea express her feelings to him about slapping her over what happened to Reggie and how he wants her away from Bruce. However, that’s nothing compared to Silver. She unloads on Silver, bringing her to tears before Bruce throws her out of the house. Selina tries to tell Bruce what Silver is really about but he wants nothing of it.
If any two characters can write a book on a day in Gotham, it’s Det. James Gordon and Det. Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). They are a yin and yang partnership, one trying to redeem the city and the other being forced to play by its rules. The duo gets a lead on Butch and find him holed up in an old bar. However, they are not the only ones who want him. The Penguin’s hired gun, Victor Zsasz, shows up with a small army and a large amount of weapons. Butch’s henchmen flee while Gordon and Bullock are left to apprehend Butch while trying to survive Zsasz’s hail of bullets. As they fight off Zsasz, Butch tells Gordon of the incident with Galavan and Mrs. Cobblepot then detaches his fake hand and escapes arrest. However, their night is not over. Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis), orders the entire force to Galavan’s party, putting Gordon in charge of the operation. Unbeknownst to them, The Penguin orders his people to attend the party too after he is called out in public by the new mayor.
Before we get to the big party, we must not forget about Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) . In the previous episode, he accidently killed the woman he loved, Kristen Kringle (Chelsea Spack) as he begins to give in to the manic side of his personality. In fact, the incident has left him so fractured, he begins to treat his other personality as a separate being that talks to him and makes him do terrible things. Well, this episode we see the origins of a certain villain who loves the color green. Ed begins to leave himself riddles as to where Kristen’s body is located but blames it on the other personality. He leads himself to a food vending machine where he finds a hand and the morgue where he finds Kristen’s body. The first trip doesn’t go as planned when Dr. Leslie Tompkins (Morena Baccarin) walks in on Ed which forces him to lie his way out of why he was there. The second time however, is where it finally happens. Edward is “taken over” by his manic personality. Alas, a villain has risen.
As mentioned earlier, the GCPD and The Penguin are ready to party with Mayor Galavan. The GCPD is armed and ready to take out the Penguin. The Penguin is armed and ready to take out Galavan. As an army of “Penguins” storm the party, a shootout of epic proportions erupts. There are bullets, bodies and blood. Tabitha is also keeping look out and will stop Penguin and GCPD alike from getting too close to her brother. In an interesting choice of weapon, she uses her stiletto heel to stab Officer Martinez in the neck when he confronts her on the roof. Gordon gets Galavan out but is intercepted by The Penguin who is then caught by Bullock. With guns drawn, the men declare, in their own ways, someone will die. Once again, it’s Tabitha who gets the last shot when she wounds Penguin. He escapes, leaving Gordon and bullock to deal with Galavan and the wake of the shootout. Gordon’s gut feeling about the new mayor turns out to be right. When Galavan asks if he’s committed to taking down evil in Gotham, Gordon answers he is and he’ll start with Galavan himself.
In my opinion, this was the greatest episode so far in the two seasons Gotham has been airing. It brought together the environment Batman will eventually be forced to survive in. We see Edward finally embrace the spirit of The Riddler, Oswald slowly but surely work to take over Gotham by any means necessary and even Selina show traits of Catwoman, a woman scorned and forced to make it on her own who will exact payback on those who mistreated her. The actors and actresses in this show play their roles flawlessly and invoke the spirit of their comic book counterparts.
Be sure to check out Gotham Monday nights on Fox at 8pm. Check your local listings.