Stop Hitting Yourself was a weird Gotham entry. Underneath its goofy moments, some major developments occurred that put the first half of the season in a very interesting place.
Penguin learned Riddler was mocking him at the Narrows fight club and sent Barbara, Tabitha and Selina to bring him back. They’re terrified to see Butch has become Solomon Grundy and is literally beating opponents with their ripped off arms prompting chants of Stop Hitting Yourself.
With his blood pressure boiling, Sofia suggests Penguin get a hobby. Predictably, that didn’t go as planned as he decides to mentor Martin, a bullied young mute in the art of murder and manipulation. Penguin is probably the only character who could make the line we’re more than friends, we’re conspirators seem so heartfelt. I like the potential here with Penguin trying to help a similarly damaged young boy from going through the same emotional drama he did. And through mentoring Martin, Penguin is starting to see through Sofia’s deception.
Barbara confronts Lee and is taken aback by her cold new demeanor. Gotham always like to throw in some major twists but if Stop Hitting Yourself laid the groundwork for a Barbara/Lee relationship, that would be one of the series most illogical decisions.
After a previous fight, Grundy started having flashbacks of Tabitha and when she rang his bell a few times, the old Butch started coming out. Too bad Firefly ruined the party as Cherry was outed as Penguin’s informant. That was a puzzling reveal as Cherry didn’t seem to have a lot to gain from aligning with Penguin. It didn’t matter as Lee ended up killing Firefly and Barbara killed Cherry. With a void in leadership, Lee is now the somewhat reluctant leader of the Narrows.
One of the best aspects of Gotham is the writers’ willingness to dramatically shake up the characters. This direction for Lee is unexpected, but at the same time, it’s a fun switch for her with a slew of possibilities.
The only subplot that failed to connect was Gordon’s reluctance to take the captain role from Bullock. After everything that happened and the constantly shifting loyalties of the GCPD, Gordon had to know Bullock was on the outs and wasn’t fit to lead. Sofia manipulating that along was interesting as it seemed to divide Gordon and Sofia. But it also raises the question if she wasn’t working Gordon all along. I like where this is going.
Stop Hitting Yourself kept Bruce on the sidelines, but set up the supporting cast for some fun storylines going forward.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/FOX