Penguin, Our Hero was a great reminder of the importance of TV series going out on their own terms. That means Gotham’s writers can go nuts wrapping up loose ends, killing off characters beyond shock value and finish the framework of setting up Batman’s life in the city.
Penguin has gone full tilt power mad. He wakes up to a group serenading his praises, but he’s getting increasingly annoyed that some of his people and the other sectors are defecting to Haven, the GCPD’s safe zone. Naturally, this triggers Penguin’s ego, but even moreso when his accountant Mr. Penn, chorus and even his dog, leave him for Gordon. I’d probably slam a show for having a dog defect, but Gotham long since abandoned any pretense of reality and it’s fun watching all of this foolishness play out.
A desperate Penguin makes dumb decisions such as aligning with the Street Boys, Black Light Skeleton crew and other gangs who wrongly think he killed their fellow gang members.
One of the cooler developments over the last five years is that David Mazouz is actually taller than Ben McKenzie now, which gives us a nice visual foreshadowing of Batman and Commissioner Gordon.
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In the other main subplot, Selina is tired of being tormented by having nightmares of Jeremiah shooting her. Time to suit up in a skintight black outfit with claws to take him down. Not so surprisingly, Bruce agrees to help her since he thinks Jeremiah’s latest round of crazy is his fault. They go into an appropriately named Dark Zone and almost immediately run into some whack jobs. But not just any whack jobs as they’re decked out and speak like the mutants from Dark Knight Returns. That’s some A+ levels of fan service there. Selina goes off on the leader and slices him up until Bruce uses his grapple gun to stop her. I’m loving the small Batman touches we’re getting more and more each episode now.
Selina tries to infiltrate the Church of Jeremiah only to run into Ecco, who is now decked out and acting decidedly more Harley Quinn-like. We’re falling just short of getting alter egos for everyone now, but this episode really did feel like Catwoman (and Batman) vs. Harley Quinn.
When she gets the drop on her, Selina is perfectly fine killing Ecco until Bruce stops her again. This time, Selina isn’t as forgiving and handcuffs him to a grate so she can go on her own. While Gotham’s take on Joker definitely has a Dark Knight inspired vibe, it’s neat seeing Gotham’s Selina have more in common with Michelle Pfeiffer’s Batman Returns.
Gordon and his crew are nearly out of supplies, but try and standoff Penguin’s gang conglomeration. But when the bullets run out, it’s off to the prison cells for Gordon and the GCPD. Bullock got out in time to seek help namely Barbara, who’s harboring a kill him dead vendetta against Penguin. I loved her ‘you should have led with that!’ response to Bullock’s plea to get to help stop Penguin.
Before the cavalry arrives, Gordon gets a new cell mate in Penguin since the gangs never trusted him anyway. Good thing for Gordon, the gangs never bothered to care about Will Thomas, the kid the GCPD rescued from Sanctuary. Gordon took enough of an interest in him that Will wanted to return the favor. After securing some guns, Gordon and Penguin take out the gangs, but not without one significant casualty — Mr. Penn, who dies telling Penguin that everyone hated him. Penguin gets his payback by killing the gang leader and now everyone is legitimately cheering Penguin for saving the day. Man, these Gotham refugees are fickle!
With the dust cleared and the gang dispatched all is well at Haven until Barbara comes in guns ready to blaze and kill Penguin. Gordon gets between them hoping to calm her down, but before they can settle things a massive explosion rocks Haven leaving the surrounding buildings in flames. In No Man’s Land it’s only a matter of time before even Haven gets turned to hell.
What a brutally effective ending. This probably would be the midseason cliffhanger if Gotham was lasting a full 22 episodes. I can’t wait to see the follow-up to this one as it was a real shocker. Gotham continues to not hold back on its final season as it delivers another fun episode with some solid Batman Easter Eggs.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: FOX