‘Gotham’ 2.09 Recap: “I Believe in the Beauty of Extreme Measures”

This week, a league of eccentric assassins come gunning for Jim Gordon, two emerging supervillains team up, and evil monks invade the city. That’s just how things go on an average workday in ‘Gotham’.

Mayor Galavan’s arrest is all over the news. His sister Tabitha makes her way to a bar with a secret casino hidden in the basement. There she meets an Irish woman known only as The Lady (Michelle Gomez) who clearly runs the joint. Tabitha inquires about hiring a hit-man to bump off Gordon. She’d do it herself but her arm is in a sling from a bullet she took last week.

Jim heads for Galavan’s penthouse suite to meet up with Capt. Barnes so they can scour the place for any clues they may have missed. As he gets in the elevator, a friendly piano tuner slips in next to him and makes a little smalltalk. Of course, he’s the assassin. He tries to strangle Jim with piano wire. They have a big fight in the elevator until Jim finally overcomes him and drags him into the penthouse unconscious. After the man wakes up, Jim threatens to toss him out the building window if he doesn’t confess to who sent him. Barnes yells at Jim about his behavior. That’s not how they do things anymore. They need to operate above-board and by-the-book.

When the Lady calls her hit-man to find out if the job is done and gets Jim on the phone, she realizes that he failed. She declares open season on Jim Gordon and sends a bunch more assassins to the building. One of them sneaks in and kills the piano tuner before Jim sees and shoots him.

The remaining assassins lay siege to the penthouse. Jim and Barnes are trapped inside with one inexperienced rookie and a CSU guy who’s never fired a gun before. They call for backup but it may not arrive in time. In the ensuing battle, Jim smashes through a wall and discovers a monk’s cassock hidden behind it. Barnes gets stabbed in the leg and punctures an artery. They defeat the attackers, but Barnes can’t move or he’ll bleed out. They have no choice but to sit and wait.

In desperation, the Lady calls upon the craziest and most dangerous hit-man she knows, a flamboyant oddball – not to mention a cannibal who eats his victims – named Eduardo Flamingo (Raúl Castillo from ‘Looking’). As soon as two squad cars pull up to the building to assist Jim and Barnes, Flamingo quickly takes out all the cops inside. He’s so cocky that he then calls up to Jim to announce his presence. Wanting to end this, Jim says that he’ll come down to face him.

You’d think this would give Flamingo plenty of time to lay a trap for Jim, but the one he sets is pretty half-assed. He and Jim fight in the street. Jim eventually beats the hell out of Flamingo, but holds back from killing him. Instead, he just arrests the man. Jim has taken Barnes’ lecture to heart.

The rookie thanks Jim for saving her life and hauls Flamingo down to police headquarters. As they reach the building, Flamingo attacks and bites her throat, killing her. When he hears the news, Jim is devastated. If he hadn’t listened to Barnes, the girl would still be alive. What lesson is he supposed to take from this?

In the aftermath, Tabitha visits her brother in prison. He’s furious at her for taking action against Gordon. He says that everything that has happened is part of a plan and he’ll cut her throat if she endangers it again.

At the city docks, a group of mysterious monks led by Father Creal (Ron Riffkin) debark a boat and head for town.

The Riddler & The Penguin

After having stumbled across him in the woods, Ed Nygma dopes Penguin and brings him back to his apartment to recuperate from his injuries. When he wakes up, Penguin naturally enough wants to get the hell out of there, but Nygma won’t let him leave. He tells Penguin that he’s a huge fan and asks his advice. Now that he’s started murdering people, and is having a blast with it, he could use some guidance on the best ways to get away with it.

Nygma kidnaps one of Galavan’s flunkies and offers him up to Penguin as a token of friendship. However, Penguin won’t kill the guy. Feeling dejected about his mother’s death and his fall from power, he says he’s done with revenge and with his life of crime.

Ed challenges Penguin. He tells him that his mother’s death has freed him. Now no one can ever hold anything over him again. Penguin mulls this over for a while and decides to kill that flunky after all. Atta boy!

Bruce

Galavan’s niece Silver visits Wayne Manor to see Bruce. Alfred promptly kicks her out and asks Bruce what the hell he was thinking by talking to her again. Bruce claims that he hoped to find out what Galavan knows about his parents’ murderer. In a stern fatherly tone, Alfred tells the boy that the game he’s playing requires a level of deception that he simply doesn’t possess yet.

As evidence of that fact, Bruce later tries to sneak out to see Silver anyway, but he’s a terrible liar and Alfred sees right through him.

Episode Verdict

I wonder if the writers of this episode were intentionally trying to channel ‘John Wick‘, or if that was just coincidental? The crazy assassin stuff strongly reminded me of that movie (though the action scenes aren’t nearly on the same level). Derivative or not, the Gordon storyline is pretty suspenseful. I also think it’s very interesting the way that Gordon on this show is so morally conflicted, when every previous interpretation of the character has been portrayed as a straight-laced do-gooder.

I’m less sold on the Bruce Wayne storyline. I don’t really like the way that his infatuation with Silver has turned the kid into a dope. He seemed to be on the right track toward eventually becoming Batman, but she’s set him back when he really ought to be able to see through her. I’m sure that’s intentional on the writers’ part, but it feels like a stalling tactic.

Not much has come of Riddler and Penguin teaming up so far, but I hope that leads to something fun later in the season.

1 comment

  1. “Not much has come of Riddler and Penguin teaming up so far” Only the shippers going crazy, including the actors (Robin Lord Taylor & Cory Michael Smith, or ‘Smaylor’ for short) portraying them. I like to imagine their amazing chemistry and obvious friendship off-screen prompted this wonderful storyline. It harkens somewhat back to the campy 60s film, I think, with just a dash of ‘Batman Forever’. I absolutely adore ‘Nygmobblepot’, and can’t wait to see it develop. (And, judging by a preview clip for next episode, its going to be crazy fun!)

    About Silver: To an extent, I agree. It does feel like, by now, Bruce should’ve seen thru her already, and yet the writers have to drag Selina out to smack him upside the head with Harsh Truth(s). On the other hand, he is still young, despite his posturing, so it somewhat makes sense. I’m actually intrigued about Silver. She’s.. what, 14? 15? How did she become such a skilled/trained deceiver? (I hesitate to use ‘seductress’, though that could certainly apply). Certainly hoping next ep sheds some light on her backstory.

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