After weeks of solid episodes, Gotham struck with a near perfect episode that combined many of the storylines so far and added numerous twists, turns, and surprises, all grounded by amazing character performances.
“Anything For You” really focused on the fallout of Penguin becoming mayor, and what it meant both for the city, and for those close to him. And while many were fine with it, some needed something more. The crux of this issue was the topic of loyalty, as Butch, Nygma, Barbara, and Tabitha all made moves to be in Penguin’s good graces even more than they were before. This led to a nice web of lies, backstabs, and murders.
It was interesting to see Butch just want to be appreciated by Penguin again after Nygma helped him get elected. You could see the frustration in his eyes as he simply tried to be the No.1 partner to the mayor, even being willing to kill the men he hired to mess with him just to prove his loyalty. It was good stuff. Then, when Nygma figured it out, and made him try and go through with it, all to show Penguin that it was he, not Butch, who should be trusted, it was masterful.
Props to Nygma, who showed his many talents throughout the episode. His “return” to the GCPD was easily one of the best scenes in the episode. As he got to “reconnect” with everyone, and show many of them their place. The interaction with Lucius Fox was particularly entertaining, as was the right hook from Leslie. Who even invoked the name of her soon-to-be father-in-law to make sure Nygma didn’t do anything. Then, when we thought he had “turned” against Penguin, and showed that he “had gotten to” Zsasz? Classic.
But Nygma wasn’t the only one who got to shine. Gordon, Bruce, Selina (especially Selina), all were given scenes to shine. From Bruce trying to be…well…Bruce, and even admit his feelings for Selina, Gordon trying to be something different than he was, while trying to be with Valerie, and Selina just being Selina, these characters are what make Gotham special, and it’s fun when they all get the chance to be great. Heck, Gordon wasn’t even a key part of the story, and yet it was fine without him.
Now, there was two things that didn’t really work for me. One, the “reveal” that Tetch had escaped after the death of Alice in the climax of last weeks episode felt odd. Because it didn’t make sense that he could have escaped. Then again, it did allow for that very haunting ending scene that was a true callback to the character in the comics. Finding blonde haired girls, calling them Alice, and doing horrible things to them.
Then…there’s the Bromance between Riddler and Penguin. On the surface, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s funny, and these two characters, especially now, are some of the best on Gotham. However, they almost went into very dangerous territory with how “far” into the Bromance they’re going. Penguin and Riddler in the comics are very straight. In fact, they’re so nuts, it’s hard for them to have a relationship in any capacity. Now, yes, they haven’t crossed the line…yet…but it was dang close tonight with that embrace. If they go full stop, it could spell a massive backlash from the fans.
These small qualms aside, “Anything For You” was a triumph of storytelling. And that’s of course not even talking about the fact that Butch was saved by Tabitha, and is still in the game, Tetch is coming for Gordon, Ivy toying with Selina, and Barnes is starting to feel the effects of Alice’s blood. All fun things, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.