– by Mark Cook

The released synopsis for this week’s episode: “Penguin struggles to keep his promises to the city as crime soars to an all-time high; Butch takes a dark path with the Red Hood gang; Bruce looks into Ivy’s whereabouts.”  Has Nygma’s actions pushed Butch over the edge?  How will Ivy cope with her transformation?  Read on to find out!


****Gotham: Season 3, Episode 5 Spoilers!!****


Gotham opens with a parade for the newly elected Mayor Cobblepot and his Chief of Staff, Edward Nygma.  He begins his reign by serving food to the homeless, and other events earning publicity.  At a public speech the Red Hood Gang returns decapitating the head of the statue of Penguin’s mother that he brought to his speech.

Nygma returns to the GCPD, and throws his weight around establishing his new found power Penguin has instilled in him.  There is some great banter between Lucius and Nygma where Fox claims that if Nygma ever threatens him or Bruce again, that he will be dead.  He then runs in to Lee, who punches him for killing Kringle.  This plot line has been great.  Nygma came in overly confident and keeps getting put in his place by all those he offended.

The Red Hood Gang is seen waiting for their boss to arrive who turns out to be…Butch!  This is an interesting twist and I think Butch will use the gang in order to look heroic for Penguin in order to gain his favor over Nygma.  He knows how much Penguin’s mother means to him, which is why he told the gang to go after the statue. Next, the Red Hood Gang sets fire to a school bus and tells the students to let the press know it was Penguin’s fault.  Butch was the mastermind behind the plan and when he is talking to the gang about going to Penguin’s party that evening, Tabitha and Barbara show up.  They are looking to help Penguin in order for him to watch their back.  Butch confides in them saying that his plan was to take down the Red Hood Gang at the party in order to look heroic and gain the Penguin’s favor back.  He promises Tabitha to let him see this through and he will protect them.  Tabitha says he will owe her more than that and she will come to collect.  I hope to see more of Barbara and Tabitha this season.  Their interactions together are always strong, and you never know what expect from either of them.  Butch ends up killing the gang because Penguin found out where they were.  Nygma seems suspicious of Butch being there by himself.  It looks as if Nygma and Butch will be constantly trying to one-up each other this season.  Nygma goes back to the crime scene in order to do his own investigation where he finds the suits Butch was going to give to the gang to wear at Penguin’s party.  There is an interesting twist at the party.  Nygam confronts Butch about being behind the Red Hood Gang.  He then asks Butch to help him kill Penguin so that they can split the city and take control!  Nygma says he was never good at being number two.  I thought this twist was great because I didn’t see it coming.  I couldn’t tell if he was serious, or trying to set Butch up.  I’m glad the writers are staying close to the source material with Nygma.  He truly is self-absorbed and manipulative leaving the viewer trying to guess what his true intentions are.  It reminds me of the Hush storyline where Nygma was behind the entire scheme.  Corey Michael Smith has done an amazing job embracing the character which has resulted in an accurate portrayal of the character.  He and Robin Lord Taylor are by far the strongest actors on the show.  Another twist follows when Butch denies Nygma’s approach and we find that Nygma has actually enlisted Zsasz’s help and Zsasz has captured Tabitha!  Once again Nygma is numerous steps ahead and backs Butch into a corner telling him to put on the Red Hood and kill Penguin.  It comes to pass that Nygma gave Butch blanks and he and Zsasz had set him up the entire time in order to have him reveal himself as the leader of the Red Hood Gang!  Tabitha escapes being trapped by killing anyone in her way in her typical bada** fashion.  Barbara has to restrain her and she looks on as Butch strangles Nygma.  Penguin hits him over the head with a champagne bottle while Ivy looks on with a smirk.  Nygma tells Penguin why he didn’t tell him of his plan, because he needed his reaction to be true which made him a hero to the city.  He then tells him that he would do anything for him.  Is he truly being sincere, or is he merely putting on a façade for a future plan?  Finally, Tabitha follows Butch’s ambulance and highjacks it in order to get him back.  I always thought Tabitha was using Butch, but this part made me think that deep down she does have some feelings for him.

Bruce stops by Gordon’s apartment in order to hire him.  He wants Gordon to try and find Ivy.  During the investigation Lee lets Gordon know that her engagement will be in the paper thenext day.  She is shocked to find out that Gordon already knows Mario’s last name is Falcone.  Bruce comes to Penguin’s party where Alfred tells him that he needs to put on a front.  Bruce wasn’t happy about the suggestion, but this leads to the character trait from the comics where Bruce displays a fake life in order to hide his secret identity.  He will eventually come to a realization, but this was an interesting start to the character we know will come.

We finally see Ivy at the party when she stops Selina.  She doesn’t reveal who she is as she says it is too much fun.  A much older man comes to give her a drink hinting at her manipulative nature from the comics.  Bruce later confesses his feelings to Selina.  Even though this has been a slower part to the story-line, viewers do get to see good dialogue between the two which shows that they are similar yet are completely different due to their backgrounds.  She kissed Bruce then tells him to never tell her what to do.  The character dynamics are close to the source material with the romantically-tense relationship Selina and Bruce and Catwoman and Batman have in the comics leading to the hero / anti-hero roles.

In other minor story lines:

-Valerie Vale returns and she has been staying with Gordon.  They begin talking about Tetch and his sister.  She asks Gordon questions about the case, and Gordon can’t tell if it is information for a story, or if she is truly curious.

-Captain Barnes visits Lee in order to ask about Alice’s blood.  We find out that the blood gave strength and speed to three of the rats it was tested on, yet the third killed the other two.  He is later seen realizing he doesn’t need his cane and that his limp is gone due to the new blood.  Will this change the personality / characteristics of the wholesome police captains we are used to seeing?

-The show concludes with another disturbing display by Tetch.  He is seen talking to a girl tied to a chair, dressed as Alice, as if it were his sister.  He has a wig on her and is clearly living out a deranged fantasy.  He then slits the girl’s throat and writes Gordon’s name in her blood.  Next week’s episode looks to be action backed as Tetch is going after Gordon.  He also looks to make him choose between the life of Valerie Vale or the life of Lee!!

What did you think of this week’s episode of Gotham?  What is in store for Butch?  Will Gordon be able to save Lee and Vale next week?  What will happen between Penguin and Nygma?  Is the relationship sincere? Is your faith begin restored in the series, or has it still disappointed?  Leave your comments in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!