Finally! Jim Gordon grew some balls, The Penguin is worth something as a character, and it looks like Fish Mooney may die. It’s taken six weeks to get somewhere with Gotham, but I think “Penguin’s Umbrella” started to take a turn in the right direction of storytelling.
The cat was let out of the bag last week when Cobblepot made his return to Gotham public. The very annoying plot line of Jim Gordon trying to hide the fact that he did not kill Cobblepot was finally “resolved” this week, and while Jim will probably be dealing with the repercussions of this via the Falcones, the Maronis, and Fish Mooney, at least the “woah is me” act is over, and maybe Barbara and Jim’s relationship will be less irritating.
The majority of the episode revolved around the three crime lords looking for Jim Gordon, and two of the three looking for Cobblepot. The order was to kill them both. But for once, it felt like the two characters who were underused in the first part of the season proved their worth – not only to the crime families Cobblepot and Gordon are trying to undermine (albeit in much different ways) but to their audience as well. Not ten minutes in and we get to see Gordon take control of his situation, which has been a rarity, particularly with Harvey Bullock aka Worst Cop Ever as his partner. Gordon enters his own apartment, where Barbara has been taken hostage, and shoots a guy in the abdomen, no questions asked. While the legalities of that move are up for debate, it was great to see Gordon finally unleash what we all knew was hiding.
In the meantime, Fish Mooney continued to be utterly ridiculous and overacted. She demands Cobblepot and Gordon, waving her arms about the whole time. Her portrayal is laughable, particularly when she does finally meet up with Cobblepot. Her use of the word “bitch” made me spit out my drink. It was not frightening in the least. But because of the revelation at the end of the episode (spoilers on that to come in the review), it seems likely that Mooney will meet her demise at some point in the show. I will be waiting for that moment, and hoping that the severe acting will die along with her.
The introduction of the newest rogue, Victor Zsasz, was very well executed. In the comics, Zsasz is a man of wealth whose parents die in an accident. After spiraling into depression and gambling much of his money, he decides to commit suicide, but is stopped by homeless man begging for money. Zsasz thinks the man, and pretty much everyone, leads a useless life and takes it upon himself to liberate them from this existence. The Zsasz in the comics also uses a creepy tally system to keep track of the ones he has “liberated.” In this episode, he works for Falcone, and is recruited to find Jim Gordon. While this changes his origin, Anthony Carrigan’s (also The Mist in The Flash) is downright creepy. He used a little bit of humor and a lot of insanity to get his point across: Zsasz is a terrifying nemesis to have because he has absolutely no regard for human life.
The defining moment of the episode was The Penguin’s revelation, and finally some sort of sense of what “Penguin’s Umbrella” meant. Even more lethal that the actual weapon that Cobblepot will more than likely acquire (I mean he does already have the umbrella, just not the pointy thing to go with it) is Cobblepot’s ability to play both sides.
This is where the SPOILERS come in. Cobblepot apparently met Falcone in an off camera scene in the first episode where they struck a deal Cobblepot convinced Falcone to make Gordon “kill” him, knowing full well that Gordon would never do that. He could come back, fake his identity and work for Falcone to bring down Maroni. In addition, he tells Falcone that Fish has been sleeping with Nikolai and has plans to take Falcone down. Then Cobblepot tells Falcone that when the plan goes through, he will be Falcone’s “snitch” forever. For-eva-eva.
It is now becoming clear that Mooney is on her way out of the scene, with her lover being dead and her cover blown to her boss. She still does have her “weapon”, but I don’t see that plot going very far. In addition, Cobblepot is a smart guy. He is playing both the Maroni and Falcone crime families against each other, putting Cobblepot in line to be the ruler of the underworld in Gotham. If that is the case, bravo writers. Well played.
- Maroni’s guys used the oldest bomb in history to blow up Nikolai’s headquarters. Was that a prop from the 60’s Batman series?
- Maroni tells Falcone “There’s nothing more dangerous than an honest man.” It’s an odd statement because it’s not true…
- What the hell is up with the chickens?
- Alfred is finally showing his badass side… but on the MCU???
- Is Barbara supposed to be a strong female character? I’m confused about what the message regarding her is. Either way, I don’t like her, which shouldn’t be the case.
- Jim Gordon just pawned off the Wayne murders on the MCU. Lol.
- Cobblepot walked up to a door and turned dramatically to his cronies saying “this way” to the campiest music ever. Yeah, I’m pretty sure they figured they were heading through the door once the came to it.
- Is there a tally on how many times they said “snitch” this episode?
Hush Comics gives “Penguin’s Umbrella” a B+ for finally showing this story is going somewhere, giving Jim Gordon balls, and using Zsasz as a tease rather than a plot point.
All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment. They are credited to Jessica Miglio.