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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Gotham Season 5 Episode 3: Penguin, Our Hero

January 18th, 2019 by Todd Black Comments

One of the benefits of having a shorter season is that you can’t allow for a lot of “breathing room”, as that can cause the stopping of momentum, and hurt progress. But the No Man’s Land arc is really allowing for a lot of pickup in various and unexpected ways. And while not as good as the previous episodes, “Penguin, Our Hero” did have its great spots.

First and foremost, the setup of “Haven” as a true safe haven after last weeks rescue mission was nicely handled. But, it also wasn’t afraid to show that just because you are safe there…doesn’t mean that’s perfect, or that it will last. Having Penguin lose everyone in his compound to the promise of Haven was great, as it forced him to go get new allies in such a rushed way that when it backfired, it really worked.

True, the new threat was dealt with rather quickly and Penguin got to be the hero again (and get his dog back), but it all builds up to the ending battle that we know is coming. And having Barbara feet away from her revenge, only to have Gordon stop her (despite the fact that he went to her for help) was great…as was all of Haven being blown up, presumably killing everyone that was inside it. Who blew up Haven? That’s the new mystery in No Man’s Land.

Just as big a mystery was where was Jeremiah, and Selina was driven to find out. Having her and Bruce go on a mission into the Dark Zone to get him was fun. Especially since their great chemistry leant to some very fun scenes. And yet, the dark side of Selina came forth multiple times, including when they fought the Mutants (a reference to the Dark Knight Returns), and when Selina was so focused on getting Jeremiah that she left Bruce behind. The Gotham writers no doubt have a very heartbreaking end to the “BatCat” relationship coming, and I’m very curious to see what it is.

But the biggest standout of this episode no doubt was that Harley Quinn got “introduced”. Ecco was the silent bodyguard to Jeremiah in the last season, but now she’s talking, and gone full Harley. Complete with red and black outfit and her saying “Puddin”. This was honestly a very fun live-action version of Harley that’s different than Robbie’s in Suicide Squad, and I’m sure many fans will dig her.

The only real downside of “Penguin, Our Hero” is that we didn’t see many of the other players. Where was Nygma in this episode? Why did Barbara only have two scenes, and then only show up at the GCPD with herself? Hopefully next episode brings more players to the fold because we have many mysteries to solve, and only 9 episodes left to do it in.

“Penguin, Our Hero” was a fun and forward-moving episode, and I hope this pace continues because we’re set up for a wild ride.

4 out of 5 nerds

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians (guardians-comic.com). He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!