Gotham Review – “The Anvil or the Hammer” S1E21


Riddler’s no body, no crime theory: Nygma taking the body of the cop he killed in pieces to the forensic room was pretty funny. I don’t know why, but I liked it. He is so awkward, so the disposal of the cut up parts was comical to watch. In ways it reminded me of Breaking Bad’s first few episodes.

Bruce is still a kid: It was cute that Bruce thought he could break into Bunderslaw’s office, not tell Alfred the truth about Reggie, and resist that cookie. While Bruce is smart and a decent detective at this point, we can’t forget that Bruce is still a kid. And who can deny a cookie?

If I don't look at you, maybe I will forget about the cookie.
If I don’t look at you, maybe I will forget about the cookie.

Lucius Fox: The introduction to this character was short but sweet. He was well acted, which has been a struggle for this series. Additionally, he gave Bruce the truth about his dad, something Bruce really needed in the moment of being caught by Bunderslaw. I really look forward to seeing him again.

Gotham - "The Anvil or the Hammer"

Penguin’s Plan: Honestly, I didn’t really understand what Oswald was doing when the guns weren’t loaded and “his men” were shot and killed by Maroni and crew. I actually thought that Butch didn’t load the guns. But then when I realized that Oswald started a Falcone vs. Maroni war without having to lift a finger, I slow clapped for him. It’s pretty genius.


The Ogre losing his mystery: The Ogre’s story was really intriguing before he met Barbara; however, his air of mystery totally went out the window this episode. Starting out the episode by telling her he was going to murder her wasn’t exactly suave. The whole thing just kept going downhill from showing her the pictures of the dead women to asking who she wants him to kill. He doesn’t want a permanent lover, or even to torment women. He just likes the thrill of the kill, I guess. Actually his motive doesn’t make sense, and the whole thing was now just obvious filler when the series was extended from a 16-episode season to a 22-episode season. It was good until the writers didn’t know how to end it. And it fell really flat.

Gotham - "The Anvil or the Hammer"

Barbara Keane: This woman has got to be the biggest slap in the face to women on TV. That could be an overstatement, but of the shows I watch, Barbara Keane is clearly the creation of a man who thinks he knows what women are like. And whoever that man is, he has no clue. Barbara has showed her weakness throughout the series, but this episode took the cake. I can’t empathize, but if I were to be in a situation where a psycho-killer holds me prisoner, I would be doing everything I could to try to kill him. And boy, did Barbara have ample opportunity. She had an entire room full of weapons, not to mention a glass to attack him with. Who care if it worked? I would have been happy if she tried. My breaking point with this character was telling The Ogre to kill her parents. Why?! What was the point of that? Barbara’s problems are deeper than her very rich and very old parents. She could have asked him to kill, I don’t know, Jim, so The Ogre would have played into Jim and Harvey’s hands instead? If the writers have Jim and Barbara get back together after this disaster of a storyline, I will be officially done with the show. Done I tell you!

Gotham - "The Anvil or the Hammer"
Let met stare into your eyes and fantasize about my soon-to-be dead parents even though you just tried to kill me!


The Foxglove: To add insult to injury with this one, Bullock goes to The Foxglove to investigate The Ogre, and we are assaulted with images of a tame Eyes Wide Shut and the sounds of a pig and pony show. I don’t need that. I really don’t.

Gotham - "The Anvil or the Hammer"

Lack of detail: Even though Nygma getting rid of the body was good, he still had the skull left, and smashed with a hammer. That skull would have disintegrated, too. Also, when Bullock and Gordon were in The Ogre’s kill room, the number he called from had a 405 area code, which is Oklahoma. I am absolutely sure someone is paid to notice things like this. Obviously, they aren’t doing a great job of it.

Easter Eggs:

The Foxglove: The high-class gross fetish club that Bullock infiltrates is likely named after a character in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. Donna Cavanagh, AKA Foxglove, a lesbian rock and roll goddess. It doesn’t quite explain the chainsaw and pig sounds, but whatever.

Welcome to Wayne Manor: Upon receiving a package from Selina, Bruce lets us see the mailing certificate. On it is the address “1007 Mountain Drive…Gotham.” This address is a callback to the Batman: The Animated Series episode “The Demon’s Quest” (S1E60). Vivus, the courier company used, is Latin for “to live.” That’s the only thing I could come up with; surely it’s not the pharmaceutical company specializing in “sexual health” drugs, right?

Tommy Bones: The only Bones I know in the DCU has an actual skeleton for a head, and is just referred to as “Mr. Bones.” Bones’ first name was never given, but the last name of his co-creators (along with Todd McFarlane) were Roy and Dann Thomas. Could just be a coincidence, but it sounds like a good fit to me. I just didn’t think Gotham paid that much attention to their characters. There’s still a strong possibility somebody thought “Tommy Bones” had a real gangster feel to it, and vuola.

The Royal Hotel: This was a tiny little Easter Egg that only hardcore fans would catch. This hotel, seen in the background a few times in the episode, was previously used as a level in the Batman: Arkham Origins video game. It’s not used for anything special in the episode, but it was there.

Old Klondike building on Mayflower: The Klondike building, where Gordon goes to find The Ogre, is one step closer to Penguin’s famous Iceberg Lounge in name. Once the dust on this gang war settles, Cobblepot may want to upgrade the nightclub’s name. The street that the Klondike was on, Mayflower, could be in reference to the Batman and the Outsiders character, who dresses like a Pilgrim and speaks with an English accent – sounds like it’s right in this show’s wheelhouse.

Ohhhh Lucius: You didn’t think we would forget about this guy, did you?? With all the calamity going on at Wayne Enterprises, I couldn’t wait to see a young Lucius Fox. He’s secretly one of the only good guys in a corrupt corporation, and his comments about Thomas Wayne are exciting. Actually EXCITING. Thomas Wayne was once the Batman. That’s a plot line I can’t wait to be realized.


Kill Barbara: This isn’t so much a prediction as me willing her immediate and irrevocable exit from this show. She is complete trash as a character (I’m sure Erin Richards is a nice person in real life), and they can’t find anything productive to do with her. I’m not a fan of putting women in refrigerators, but this character, and the show, need it to happen.

Tragic love for Nygma: As Nygma enjoys his steep ride into insanity, there’s still one thing grounding him to the realm of normal – Ms. Kringle. Her unavoidable death has got to be the kick-starter to Nygma becoming The Riddler we all want him to be. It’s a shame, really, because you can’t help but feel like if he just got a little more appreciation and respect, he could be an amazing asset to the show.

Hush Comics gives “The Anvil or the Hammer” a C- for being a complete insult to it’s viewers that women are idiots who cry into the arms of a killer and have their parents murdered. God this show is frustrating.

All images belong to FOX and DC Entertainment. They are credited to Jessica Miglio.