Well…this is getting interesting, isn’t it?
Gotham continues to show it has it’s act together, as “Mommy’s Little Monster” proves that not only can they subvert expectations, but they can capitalize on the characters they’ve invested in.
We all knew that at the end of the last episode, Penguin was walking into a trap. What I didn’t expect was the scene with Penguin’s mother. Not only his reunion, but her death, in the first 5 minutes! Gotham has not been afraid to kill characters that may or may not have been killable depending on your belief in Batman lore. I fully expected Penguin to save his mother and kill Theo, not to have Penguin hold his dying mother in his arms. That was tragic. Not sure how a hobbled Penguin outran a supposed marksmen like Tabitha…but I’ll let that slide.
And then there was Gordon, who was once again getting played by Theo, but this time it appeared Theo overplayed his hand by incriminating Penguin for slicing his neck just because he “wouldn’t form an alliance” with him. This may seem trivial, but for Gordon, this raised red flags. It’s important to remember that part of what makes Gordon such a good detective, not to mention person, is that he knows people. And all of season 1 he got to get a read on Penguin, so when this event (among the others of the previous episodes) didn’t make sense, Gordon knew something was up.
Add to that Butch’s “confession” about Theo controlling Penguin through his mother, and the light was fully shined on the situation. Can I just note how fun and epic that shootout was with Zsasz? From the “leave now and you won’t be killed” fleeing of Butch’s henchman. To Bullock and Gordon unloading on Zsasz (blindly, but still epic) to Zsasz’s “we’ll come back later”. It was a very fun scene.
This of course led to the epic climax, where legions of Penguin’s men stormed Galavan’s inauguration party…dressed up as Penguin! That was a brilliant move, as Penguin knew that both Galavan and Gordon would be ready for him if he just hobbled in…so he had everyone hobbled in.
Then, for the epic Mexican standoff between all the big players, with Penguin ready to die in order to kill Galavan, Gordon admitting he knew Galavan was dirty, with Theo literally right behind him, Penguin getting wounded, and more, this scene showed this will not be the last time all these people meet.
A side note Tabitha’s killing of Martinez was also unexpected, but given how she killed him (stilleto shoe to the throat) this may cause more ripples than may be expected.
The other two big storylines was with Nygma and Bruce. Bruce was further indoctrinated by Silver, who revealed herself to be quite evil (which was unexpected to say the least) going to so far as to threaten Selina (not a smart move) and cause Selina to make quite a scene which kinda/sorta backfired with her. I honestly didn’t like Bruce’s reaction, he should know that Selina doesn’t do anything without a reason, and it was clear earlier that she did consider Bruce a friend of sorts. Yes, Silver’s “brainwashing” of him was clear, but it still didn’t fit. However, it appears Selina will still be watching over Bruce for a while.
Meanwhile, in Riddlerville, the birth of Riddler was pretty much sealed, and in a fun and creepy way. I liked how the “Riddler” side of Nygma emerged via his “projection” and used riddles to not only help him find the “disappeared” Ms. Kringle’s body, but also to show what kind of man he is. Remember, Riddler is a narcissist of the highest order, and he uses riddles to prove how brilliant he is. That end scene of the two sides talking about how that feeling of almost getting solved but not showed just what the Riddler is all about. The only question now is, where do they go from here?
“Mommy’s Little Monster” continued to show just how strong Gotham is in its second season. The storylines are building, the character arcs are converging, and bad things are still approaching Gotham. How will this all end?