Gotham: The Blade’s Path review S4 E5

A surprising death of a major character. The debut of a Batman villain complete with comic book appropriate origin. And a shocking return of a character we never saw coming. The Blade’s Path had something for every Gotham fan and delivered another strong episode. It seems like Gotham’s fourth season has found its momentum and things are about to get really interesting.

Crystal Reed is doing an outstanding job of making Sofia Falcone’s motives a mystery. Throughout Blade’s Path, Sofia went to great lengths to get on Penguin’s good side whether perfectly replicating his mother’s goulash or massaging his feet, Sofia wants to be on Team Penguin. But does she really? I’m loving the doubt Reed is creating in her performance. Maybe Sofia sees in Penguin someone relatable who also needs a real friend? I’m still betting Sofia is up to something, but I like each week that I’m feeling less and less sure.

Gotham - The Blade's Path review - Sofia Falcone and Penguin

Now let’s talk about the expected and strangely perfect origin of Solomon Grundy. With Butch dead, retconning him into Cyrus Gold allowed Gotham writers to pull out their favorite trick — resurrecting dead characters. But when it’s done this well it’s hard to squabble. Butch’s body got dumped in a swamp filled with toxic waste from Indian Hill. That mixture proved enough to reanimate him into a walking zombie. Inspired by a song playing at a homeless camp, the simple-minded powerhouse now calls himself Solomon Grundy.

I’ve come to like a lot about Gotham, but one of the biggest reasons it’s the one comic book show that isn’t afraid to go over the top with villain appearances and origins. The Grundy origin felt like it would have been right at home in the Tim Burton Batman films. While Grundy could have been a menace on his own for a while, it was a lot more fun to immediately pair him up with Riddler.

Gotham - The Blade's Path review - Ridddler at fight club

Recognizing the opportunity to make some cash to help fix his rattled brain, Riddler used Grundy as his blunt object while Grundy tries to put sentences together. The writers struck the right balance of not making these scenes too silly, which could have been very easy. But the bigger shock wasn’t how beautifully the writers pulled of Solomon Grundy, but the surprise return of Lee as the doctor at the dive bar fight club. I’m way more interested in her redemption arc than her reuniting with Gordon as this has a ton of possibilities.

Determined not to give in to his dark side, Bruce was entrusting the legal system to deal with Ra’s al Ghul. But after learning he was going to get away with murder (literally) via diplomatic immunity, Bruce took the dagger to kill Ra’s. In a better departure from the norm, Gordon and Alfred didn’t find the guards had been working for Ra’s all along, but merely replaced the guards. I appreciated Gordon and Alfred not taking forever to realize the guards were swapped out with Ra’s’ goons.

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To Bruce’s surprise, Ra’s actually invites his murder so he can finally have a long overdue rest. Bruce doesn’t fall for the Palpatine pitch, until Ra’s threatens his future family and friends. Then Bruce shockingly plunges the knife into Ra’s and kills him. That was unexpected. Ra’s probably won’t stay dead, but

Bruce has two nice scenes with Gordon and Alfred. They both realize Bruce did what he had to do while encouraging him to continue walking the path to be a better man. Bruce might not be the hero Gotham needs yet, but he’s well on his way. I’m loving these Batman building block moments this season. It continues to be the best aspect this year and I’m legitimately interested in seeing how Bruce takes this potential vigilante defining moment.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio and Jeff Neumann/FOX

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