Gotham S1:E7 – Penguin’s Umbrella (held in Gotham against my will…)


Open on Oswald walking down the street with a couple of large thug bodyguards. Cut immediately to a LOL-worthy Fish Mooney temper tantrum, bitching about Oswald being alive and demanding his head. Throw it to Jim who is telling Barb over the phone from the GCPD locker room to get out now. Once he hangs up, Harvey is there to punch him directly in the jaw and hold him at gunpoint, stating that he’ll have to “take (Jim’s) body back to Falcone and beg – BEG – for mercy.”

Oh no. I am so very afraid for Jim Gordon’s life. Y’know, not knowing any of his future story.

Bullock gets distracted, Jim gets his gun, tells Harvey he has a plan. Harvey tells him that he hopes he doesn’t see him again. Jim storms out.

Barb’s phone vibrates on the dining room table as a Falcone thug (with partner) tells her she has a very nice place (still too nice for a police detective, if you ask me). They’re holding her until her fiance comes home. Just as the thug starts talking all rapey (we get it, they’re bad guys) Jim rounds the corner, gun drawn. A Mexican standoff turns into Jim getting the upper hand (knocking out the talky-rapey one and shooting the gun-haver). Jim and Barb make it to the bus station and Jim sends Barb away telling her to never come back to Gotham, since we’ve seen how well that line has worked in the past. She tearfully boards the bus like a good Stepford woman and the title card hits.

Gordon returns to the noisy police station and silences the place with his very presence, asking for “blank warrants that Judge Bam Bam (?) signed. He gets them and walks out.

Falcone is tending to chickens (WTF?!?) while Fish and her Nico Bellic clone (fellow crime boss) bitch that Gordon and Oswald should both be taken out immediately. He tells them that he knows what he’s doing and brushes off their request. We find out from Fish that the Lorde Girl she hired to seduce Falcone is holed up in Falcone’s house cooking and cleaning. He, according to Fish, likes to watch her do chores which, as stated, is weird but seems to be a lightly misogynistic and pretty much harmless fetish if true.

Back at the GCPD, Gordon is typing up those pre-signed warrants when Capt (not) Sarah shows up and asks what he’s doing. He reveals to her that he’s written up arrest warrants for the Mayor, Carmine Falcone, and his close associates on the charge of perversion of justice in the Wayne murders. Kinda out of left field, but whatever. The Captain predictably tells him he’s completely effing crazy and makes him realize that the city is too corrupt to prosecute and imprison their major figures. The Captain tells him to get out of town but Jim, staunchly and in the most noble fashion, Jim says, “No, this is my town, blah blah justice blah.”

At the same time, in the bullpen of the GCPD, a bald Billy Corgan looking dude and a couple of dominatrixes (dominatricees? dominatrixis?) walk in and start acting like they’re in charge. None of the cops seem to want to lift a finger to this as Billy Corgan climbs onto a desk and announces himself as Victor Zsasz (pretty awesome, honestly) and tells the congregation of blue shirts that he was sent by Carmine Falcone personally and is looking for one Jim Gordon. Predictably, everyone points out exactly where Gordon is because he has made absolutely no friends here. Zsasz was apparently told to bring Gordon in alive. Jim tells him, “There are fifty cops in here. Try something.” Zsasz tells all the cops to go away and they do without a second thought. Things devolve into a gunfight between Jim, Zsasz, and his fetish models. Jim quickly runs out of ammo and, while attempting the old throw-the-garbage-can-at-the-gunman trick, catches a bullet to the lower abdomen while making good his escape through the back door and into the motor pool. The bad guys give chase and there’s the typical tense “hide and seek” moment as the injured Jim is taunted by Zsasz.

They use every trope in the book for the last moments of the standoff as, Just when Zsasz is about to find Jim, a rookie looking officer strolls in (apparently having missed the memo from upstairs) and tells Zsasz to freeze or hold it or some other thing. While Zsasz is busy shooting that woman in the kneecaps, Jim tries to sprint away and catches another bullet in his back for the trouble. As Zsasz closes in for the coup de grace, Montoya and Allen, our favorite MCU detectives, ride to Gordon’s rescue! Oh, wow! They’re able to fend of Zsasz and the Leather Girls long enough for Jim to get in the car and escape! Miracle of miracles! Sigh.

Best part about this scene: Zsasz finishes off the poor young female officer with a shot to the heart (and he’s to blame), promptly produces a box cutter, and slashes another hash mark into his arm, proclaiming her “twenty-eight”. Ok, that was pretty cool.

After commercial, Jim wakes up in a university dissection lab. The doctor says she’s a friend of Montoya and Allen. She pulled out the bullets and, amazingly, none of his organs were damaged. She calls out to detective Allen by his first name, Crispus, when Gordon gets out of bed.

It’s here I pause the show. Renee Montoya’s partner is Crispus F***ING Allen?!? How did I not make this connection? It’s right there in the comics. I feel shame. More on this later in the post.

Fish is taking a meeting with Maroni over Oswald. Blah blah threats blah. Maroni calls out Penguin and there’s a pretty funny scene in which Maroni makes Penguin apologize to Fish who then calls Oswald a scaly-faced bitch before slapping him and leaving. Really, the whole exchange plays off as a comedy.

Meanwhile, Falcone’s rapey thug from earlier rolls up on a group of nuns while in the back of a molester van. He kidnaps them, chains them together, and puts them in the middle of the street in front of a Maroni Moving and Storage truck. The truck stops (lucky day to be a nun) and rapey thug tells the drivers that Falcone won’t let any Maroni trucks through until they get Penguin. He kindly offers the men a choice between a beating and a bullet because a serious message must be sent. The scene is actually pretty darkly funny including the part where he puts holes in both of their shins.

Maroni won’t give up Penguin, vows revenge, Penguin tells him that he knows exactly where to hit them, blah blah gangster blah.

Montoya apologizes to Jim for being a dick while they sit outside Wayne Manor. Alfred catches Allen around the perimeter and holds him at knife point until realizing he’s with Gordon. We go to stately Wayne Study (still the only room in the biggest house in Gotham), Bruce does his whole “one day I’ll be Batman” schtick while Gordon tells him that everything is connected to his parents’ murder. Jim vows to Bruce that, should he die, Montoya and Allen will take over the investigation in his place. Gordon does the whole “now I have to go it alone” bit and offers a handshake to Bruce who hugs him instead. How unexpected and heartwarming.

Penguin leads a group of Maroni thugs to destroy a Falcone drug lab. They kill everyone inside including Nico. Maroni’s main thug, after all the murderation, punches Penguin and calls him out on being nothing more than a snitch. He threatens to kill Oswald and blame it on one of Nico’s men just to get Penguin out of his boss’ hair. Oswald calls the thug a cheapskate and it’s revealed that Penguin has bought off the other thugs who hold the guy down while Penguin knifes him in the stomach. His psychopathic and eloquent monologue proves that Oswald is the best thing on this show.

Maroni and Falcone meet (Penguin and Fish on their respective sides). Maroni bargains a piece of land (according to Fish, a “toxic waste dump on an Indian burial ground) in Arkham for Penguin’s life. Everyone walks away happy.

Jim is back at his apartment and looks to be gearing up for war when Bullock happens to show up, drunk with a prostitute on his arm. Bullock says he’s “doomed anyhow, so he’s going to join the good guys”. Jim tells Bullock his plan about arresting everyone everywhere in the city in any way involved with the framing of Mario Pepper and the Wayne murders. Bullock proceeds to bang a prostitute in Jim’s bed without much real objection from Jim. Gross.

They pin the mayor down in his limo in a funny-yet-stereotypical buddy cop maneuver and arrest him. They kidnap him to the Falcone estate and use the mayor to get inside. Without any effort whatsoever, they make it into Falcone’s inner sanctum with rifles and shotguns because when you’re dealing with a mob boss, there’s never any real security right? They serve a warrant, Falcone says Zsasz has Barb and pretty much LOLs in Gordon’s face. Falcone won’t prove this but dares Jim to bring him in if he thinks Falcone is lying.

We’re treated to Lorde girl in the kitchen making muffins with Zsasz as we see Barb sitting at the kitchen counter, hostage. Zsasz gets a phone call, looks at Barb and says, “What a shame…” Of course, it’s because Barb isn’t going to die. They release Barb to Jim. Falcone lets them go citing that there might still be hope for Jim. Zsasz is disappoint because he doesn’t get another hash-mark. Falcone does a lot of lecturing before they leave, blah blah foreshadowing.

Barb and Jim go home and kiss. Yay.

Lorde-girl is happy as Falcone is pleased with her muffins (and apparently not with her muffin itself) and goes to tend his chickens (again, WTF). Oswald appears, looking like he’s got a murder on, and calls Don Falcone by name. Falcone embraces Oswald and we get a flashback to the night before Gordon “killed” him.

All of a sudden, in a huge holy shit twist moment, we find out that Penguin and Falcone engineered EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN THE MAFIA PART OF THE SHOW SO FAR. Penguin made a death-row deal with Falcone to have Gordon be the one to kill him, knowing Jim wouldn’t do it. He promised to come back to Gotham, embed himself with Maroni, and then snitch to Falcone about everything Maroni was up to. This before Oswald dropped the big bomb that Fish and Nico were out to off Falcone himself. We also find out that Jim only lives because Oswald asked Falcone not to kill him as a favor.

Wow, that twist actually made this show a lot better. I have to admit, while it is still very cheesy in parts and some of the bits are grossly inaccurate, this show is growing on me.

About Crispus Allen… yeah, totally forgot that he was Renee’s partner in the comics. In the books, he is unjustly murdered by another colleague and winds up becoming the third incarnation of The Spectre – God’s own holy vengeful wrath. We probably won’t see that on this show but it’s nice to know they at least got Montoya’s partner right. We also probably won’t see Vic Sage and Montoya’s progression into becoming The Question but that’s ok too.

No real complaints again this week. All the stupid Fish Mooney crap almost feels vindicated knowing that Oswald has the upper hand in this whole scenario. We’ll see what happens next. This show is officially coming into its own. I might not have to write any more of these unless some larger inconsistencies crop up.

Bidula’s Last Word – 6/10, if only for the twist.

Keep fighting the good fight.

Oh, and, I’m running a Gofundme to help take Unlucky Seven to Con. You should check it out. There’s rewards and stuff.

—end transmission—

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