“A Dark Knight: The Sinking Ship The Grand Applause” was the long-awaited downfall of Sofia Falcone on Gotham. The reigning crime queen of Gotham City had clawed her way to the top on the dead bodies of Carmine Falcone, Professor Pyg, and all the people she manipulated in her path. Things were looking up for her, especially since she put Lee in her place and had James Gordon on the run. However, as we’ve seen in the past, staying on top is the hardest thing for any criminal to do. Plenty of Batman villains have fallen throughout the seasons of Gotham, and now Sofia has joined their lowly ranks.
Sofia’s path to destruction (and Lee’s bullet) was a complex series of events that kept us at the edge of our seats. If there was any way for her to go out, this was a good farewell… for now. For much of the episode, she was on top and holding onto her control of Gotham City. To really cement her claim and remove any threats, all she had to do was eliminate her loose ends. The problem was that James Gordon and Harvey had made amends to work together again for the purpose of stopping Sofia. Say what you will about the character of Harvey, but he and James make a great team. Whenever they work together, they find a way to complete the mission and stop the bad guy. This was the first strike against Sofia’s luck.
Another thorn in her side was Penguin. She should’ve done away with Oswald when she had the chance because the bird came back to bite her in the end. He had the information James and Harvey needed to find Sofia’s connection. Unfortunately for her, he’s like Catwoman – he has nine lives. Penguin survived every attempt on his life Sofia tried to make AND he found a way to reunite with The Riddler. Just like the other powerful connections in Gotham (i.e. James/Harvey, Barbara/Tabitha, Bruce/Alfred), Edward and Oswald are a dangerous duo when they team up. She had both Riddler and Penguin in her grasp, but she let them get away and diverted to a new target.
Sofia couldn’t have predicted that Penguin was working with Mr. Freeze to fake the ice block, but she allowed her complacency to ignore the body in front of her. Her fascination with James Gordon was her undoing; she ignored Riddler, Penguin and the other targets around her to finish Gordon herself. Sofia was too keen to eliminate the next big target instead of properly eliminating the threats already in front of her. Her determination to silence James brought her in vicinity to Lee, who ended up being the one who shot her.
How she survived the gunshot to the head was mind-blowing; that attack would’ve killed anyone else. Though, we’re led to believe Lee was just that good of a doctor. We’ll have to dispel the disbelief for a bit until we see Sofia’s eventual return. The shot will no doubt have consequences on Sofia, and people know that she ordered the murder of her father. Let’s see how this plays out later on if Sofia does come back to finish the job.
Selina reaching out to Bruce for help was a heartwarming scene; minus the robbing of his kitchen, of course. Does anyone else realize that she always goes to him for help? Whenever things get rough or she needs money, Selina finds her way back to Wayne Manor and ends up working with Bruce to solve the problem. These two characters naturally find a way back to each other – and I welcome every scene of it. David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova have great chemistry together and they feed off of each other in their roles as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Her reaching out to him for money was just another way for them to reconnect through all of the chaos.
What was going on with Barbara Kean? The headaches were a curious concern because her hand started glowing and she saw Ra’s al Ghul walk through the crowd at the bar. Will she get powers? Does this mean he’s coming back? Her attack was teasing something big for the future. Let the theories run wild!
“A Dark Knight: The Sinking Ship The Grand Applause” was a plot-heavy episode that saw many of the characters weaved together into the same main story. We don’t see this often on Gotham as there are usually several different stories going on at once. With the exception of Bruce/Selina, the progression led to the downfall of a powerful villain during an action-packed climax. In fact, in some ways it felt like a season finale. If the rest of Gotham season four’s episodes are like this, things are about to get extremely intense.