Same Geek Channel: ‘Gotham’ 02.09 “A Bitter Pill to Swallow”

Reading Time: 8 minutes
Barbara Kean resting after her fall (Image via FOX)
Barbara Kean resting after her fall (Image via FOX)

This week we begin with Tabitha Galavan. Her arm is in a sling, but she is alive and well after being shot last week. Tabitha visits a mysterious woman in an effort to hire someone to kill Jim Gordon.

Jim Gordon is visiting Barbara Kean in the hospital. She has yet to regain consciousness. The doctor explains that she will be taken to the medical wing at Arkham. Will she end up at Indian Hill?

Good morning sunshine! (Image via FOX)
Good morning sunshine! (Image via FOX)

Penguin is awakened by Nygma. Penguin struggles and tries to get away, but Nygma gives him a shot to go back to sleep to ensure that he is able to heal. He then says “Rest up my feathered friend. We have a big night ahead of us.”

Lee Thompkins and Gordon have a tense conversation about Barbara. Lee says that she is not jealous, but she is worried that Gordon is giving in to his dark side far too often.

Silver St. Cloud and Bruce Wayne are having a conversation about Theo Galavan. She asks Bruce if he believes that Galavan did those terrible things, to which Bruce answers “Of course not.” I really hope he is just playing her to get information on his parents’ killer, or he is not going to make a very good detective. Alfred is not too happy to see Silver and demands she leave immediately. Before leaving she slips Bruce a key to the hotel that she is staying at. Alfred wants Bruce to give up pursuing Galavan, and believes that the whole thing was a ruse. Bruce is willing to take the risk if it means finding the killer.

Enough awkward elevator conversation. Can we just fight, please? (Image via FOX)
Enough awkward elevator conversation. Can we just fight, please? (Image via FOX)

Jim Gordon enters an elevator to go up to Galavan’s. The door is just about to shut when someone stops it and enters. Things are about to get rough. Ryan Gosling in Drive comes to mind, but as violent as Gotham is, I doubt that it goes that far. The guy decides to attack Gordon with awkward elevator conversation! Thankfully, he tries to strangle Gordon and end it quickly. A fight ensues, with Gordon coming out on top. The assassin’s phone rings. A flip-phone, that is. Do smart phones not exist in Gotham? On the other line is the woman who set up the hit. Realizing her man did not complete the job, she hangs up without saying a word. She then opens up the hit to several assassins, stating that Jim Gordon will not see the sun rise.

Penguin is again awakened by Nygma. This time Nygma convinces Penguin to rest. Nygma once again has the line of the night: “Recently I have been going through a sort of change. What kind of change you ask? I’ve started murdering people.” Nygma is thrilled to say that out loud. Penguin laughs when he hears it has only been three people. Nygma wants advice from Penguin, to guide him on his new path. Penguin attempts to leave, but passes out from his injuries.

Don't look down! (Image via FOX)
Don’t look down! (Image via FOX)

Gordon wakes up his would-be killer. In an effort to find out who sent him, Gordon hangs him outside the window. Captain Barnes orders Gordon to stand down. Barnes wonders if Gordon is losing it. Their argument is interrupted by the arrival of more assassins. While everyone is focused on the door, an assassin is able to sneak in from upstairs and kill the forensics officer (who was relegated to red-shirt status this time since there were no strike team members present). The door explodes and the assassins come in firing! Gordon, Barnes, and Officer Parks are able to kill all the newcomers, but the original assassin is able to grab Parks and threaten to cut her head off. Gordon, in a close second for line of the night says “You know what I like about those glasses? They look bullseyes.” Sure enough, Gordon hits one of the bullseyes.

Galavan's cassock. (Image via FOX)
Galavan’s cassock. (Image via FOX)

Barnes orders everyone to leave before the next wave of assassins comes. Gordon refuses, and wants to stay because it is their best bet to get evidence against Galavan. Barnes convinces Gordon that they are outgunned. As they are about to leave, Gordon notices that a wall was torn up in the battle, and behind it he finds a monk’s cassock. (That’s a robe, I looked it up.) Suddenly, one of the assassins tries to stab Gordon in the back. Forgetting that he is not the Thing, and not actually made of orange rock, Barnes pushes Gordon out of the way and is stabbed before shooting the assassin. The good news is that Barnes was only stabbed in the leg. The bad news is that it appeared to catch an artery and he is bleeding heavily. My guess is that it is the femoral artery. I’m not a doctor, I learned that from Dexter!

Not the wrapping paper I would have used. (Image via FOX)
Not the wrapping paper I would have used. (Image via FOX)

For a third time, Penguin awakes to the smile of Ed Nygma. This time he has a gift! Penguin was talking in his sleep about Galavan killing his mom. Nygma brought an employee of Galavan to Penguin, so that he could kill him and take some retribution. Penguin is not into it. He announces that he is done, and that he is going to get some rest, then leave Gotham forever. Nygma is initially disappointed, but seems cheered up by the idea that he gets to kill the man, now.

Don't get too close to that fire with all that product in your hair. (Image via FOX)
Don’t get too close to that fire with all that product in your hair. (Image via FOX)

A man is being tortured, while several bodies lie around him. His assailant has a wicked pompadour, and I am at first concerned that it might be Morris Day (look it up kids, I looked up cassock). The mysterious woman phones him and promises to make it worth his while to kill Jim Gordon. I think that is code for “all the hair product you want”.

Gordon and Barnes are waiting for the backup, EMT, or the next wave of assassins, whoever comes first. Barnes takes the time to ask Gordon what’s been going on with him. Gordon explains that Barbara said he had a monster within him, and Lee seems to agree. Back at the church, Gordon thinks that he might have actually killed Barbara if Galvan’s people hadn’t have attacked. Barnes tells a story about crossing the line. In his third tour of duty in the desert, he killed a young insurgent that was bound and tried to escape. It now becomes clear why it is so important to Barnes that his officers do not physically abuse criminals. He says that there is no line, only the law, and that’s what separates men from animals.

Bruce approaches Alfred to say that he was right. It is too dangerous to go after Galavan himself. He will call Gordon in the morning. Bruce is retiring for the evening because he is tired. Alfred informs Bruce that he tipped the taxi that was waiting up the street and told him to leave. Bruce acts like he doesn’t know what he is talking about when Alfred produces the hotel key and tells him he is a terrible liar.

Penguin is awakened by music. Nygma is playing a record and Penguin demands to know why. Nygma says that Penguin was humming the song in his sleep. Penguin says that his mom used to sing that song to him every night before bed. His mom would tell him that he was handsome, clever, and someday will be a great man. (And doggone it, people like you!)

Nygma upsets Penguin by saying that his mother was his weakness. Penguin grabs a knife and puts it to Nygma’s throat. Nygma explains that Penguin has nothing to lose, now. He cannot be bargained or betrayed, and answers only to himself. Penguin contemplates this as Nygma removes the knife from his throat.

DC Comics version of Eduardo Flamingo (Image via Batman wiki)
DC Comics version of Eduardo Flamingo (Image via Batman wiki)

The backup officers show up at Galavan’s just in time to be killed by the coifed hitman, who introduces himself as Eduardo Flamingo. He promises to be up to kill Gordon as soon as he is done feasting on the officers. Gordon isn’t waiting around, he is going down to end this.

The 90's are calling. (Image via FOX)
The 90’s are calling. (Image via FOX)

On the way down, Lee calls Gordon but he ignores it. How does his flip-phone get coverage in the elevator of a giant building? He didn’t even have to pull his antenna out! Even though he does not answer the call, it seems to be a reminder to not succumb to the monster within.

Ever seen a carnivorous flamingo? (Image via FOX)
Ever seen a carnivorous flamingo? (Image via FOX)

Gordon reaches the street and is attacked by Flamingo. This is the first time I noticed the pink stripe in his hair, a subtle nod to the comic version of the Flamingo character. Gordon and Flamingo battle, and Flamingo tries to bite Gordon’s face. Gordon takes control of the fight and is beating on Flamingo. Each time he is hit, Flamingo laughs, enraging Gordon. Gordon grabs a gun and puts it in Flamingo’s mouth. The scene is eerily similar to the story just told by Barnes. Gordon yells, but takes control of himself and removes the gun. Gordon appears to have conquered the monster within, for now.

Penguin and Nygma are having a meal together when Penguin asks where Galavan’s lackey is. Nygma did not kill him, he merely locked him away in a closet. The psychopathic Penguin is back!

Bruce is sneaking out of Wayne manor. He opens a curtain to make his escape, and is greeted by Selina. She says that she has proof that Silver is bad news.

Back at the station Flamingo kills Officer Parks by biting her in the neck. I should have seen this coming when Gordon told her that she did a good job today. Should Gordon have listened to the monster inside? His dark passenger? (I have now met my quota for Dexter references.) Gordon receives the call that Parks is dead, and he seems to struggle with the same question.

Tabitha is visiting Theo Galavan in prison. He is upset that she sent hitmen after Gordon. Galavan says that the Prophet’s arrival is imminent. Bruce Wayne will die and his company and the city will be Galavan’s. If Tabitha endangers that prize again, Galavan will cut her throat. Even Tabitha seems surprised by this.

The Order of St. Dumas descends upon Gotham. (Image via FOX)
The Order of St. Dumas descends upon Gotham. (Image via FOX)

At the docks, several cloaked men meet up with Father Creel. A guard informs them that the docks are closed, and is promptly met with several sharp blades. The episode closes as the Order of St. Dumas descends upon Gotham.

Final thoughts:

I think this might have been the most violent episode yet.

I loved every scene with Nygma and Penguin! I think a spin-off buddy comedy is in order.

I am excited to see the Order of St. Dumas show up! I am sure things are about to ramp up right before mid-season hiatus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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