Queen Takes Knight was the episode a lot of Gotham fans have not so patiently been waiting to arrive. Give Gotham credit. Few shows deliver mid-season finales this satisfying.
I’ve been suspicious of Sofia all season, but she still managed to surprise me as much as she did Gordon and Penguin. This was easily one of the best character payoffs Gotham has done in four seasons.
From Carmine Falcone to Fish Mooney, Penguin studied at the feet of some of Gotham’s most strategist thinkers. He’d mastered the art of war so when Sofia escalated their conflict, he was all set with a counter — calling up her old man. Carmine had no interest in his daughter waging a war and came to bring her back to the coast. But, Sofia’s stint in Gotham wasn’t done yet as a drive by left her paralyzed and Carmine dead.
In a nice nod to The Long Halloween, Sofia wore a neck brace and was in a wheelchair for her father’s funeral. Gotham has been so focused on creating its own take of the Batman mythos that it doesn’t specialize in these more subtle Easter Eggs.
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Who killed The Don could have been a mystery that played out the rest of the season. There were a lot of viable suspects, even if one of them was not Penguin. He had nothing to gain from killing an old rival, especially since it would cost him the loyalty of one of his most trusted allies in Zsasz.
Now with the full support of the GCPD, Gordon led the take down of Penguin’s armies. This was a big moment that actually felt important. The police are with Gordon and it didn’t take too long to arrest Penguin once Zsasz lied and said Penguin did kill Martin in the car bomb. I liked the Penguin/Zsasz alliance, but it does help to keep the players fresh on the board. While he’s got everyone else’s support, Bullock is no longer a charter member of the Jim Gordon fan club and turns in his badge and gun. It’s ironic that Gordon’s most reliable ally is the one who’s not around when things are turning around with the department.
The pacing on Queen Takes Knight was solid despite having to check in on most of the cast. Ed is being tormented by The Riddler, who suggests he might be in love with Lee. Tabitha tried to beat some sense into Grundy and long after she’d given up, Butch woke up and wondered what the heck happened to him. I still can’t believe Gotham managed to make Solomon Grundy work.
Bruce was still in full spiral mode and sleeping in the same bed with two girls. Their state of dress would probably be a bit different if Bruce was a few years older. Alfred is on Operation: Save Bruce Wayne and tries the Tabitha approach of reluctantly knocking some sense in him. That didn’t work so hot as Bruce runs off to get emancipation papers and fires Alfred. That final shot of a dead inside Bruce was terrific.
Gordon meets back up with Sofia, who reveals her masterstroke of manipulating Penguin and him as well as her secret partner, Lazlo. This was the real surprise, but Professor Pyg served a purpose and with it served, now he too was disposable. Sofia knew she had won. Penguin was in jail and Gordon couldn’t tell the truth without losing the loyalty of the police force he’d worked so hard to earn. In Gotham it’s always the characters who think 20 steps ahead of everyone else that come out ahead. Power, craziness, etc. will only get folks so far, but it’s the schemers who win in the Game of Gotham.
At least that’s how it normally works. Someone at Arkham definitely needs to get fired by putting Penguin’s cell next to Jerome. Looks like the second half of this season is going to feature Joker and Penguin! That’s good news for viewers and awful news for Gordon…and possibly Sofia.
File Closed: Queen Takes King fully asserted the new crime boss in Gotham and successfully maintained the intrigue for the rest of the season.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/FOX