What’s worse for the future of Gotham City: running out of supplies or Penguin’s ego being hurt? Apparently, it’s the latter. Oswald’s bruised ego led to explosive repercussions this week on Gotham. After being reminded yet again that he doesn’t quite measure up to James Gordon, he took his tirade to the streets in the hopes of getting back what he thought was his. At some point, someone needs to sit Oswald in a corner for a timeout–he’s acting like a child.
It’s no secret that Oswald thinks highly of himself, especially in his moniker as The Penguin. Though, he takes that confidence and self-love to a highly annoying level. His morning greeting service and the memorial choir were just the cherries on this sundae–he’s actually that person who needs to wake up having their ego inflated. And when he’s wronged or feels inferior, he will do anything to raise himself up over others. “Penguin, Our Hero” served as Oswald’s temper tantrum episode because his friends wanted to play with James Gordon instead.
It’s interesting to note, however, that whenever Oswald’s actions go pear-shaped, he immediately turns to James Gordon for help. Here is the perfect example of his flip-flopping attitude: he corralled the street gangs to invade Haven because James Gordon’s popularity grew, and then when the criminals turned on him, he sided with James and the GCPD to be an anti-hero for the week. Sure, this could be a “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” deal, but this tactic has happened too many times to count. Oswald is definitely one for consistency due to the fact that his actions align with this character development.
James needs to find out who blew up Haven. Was it the street gang who sneaked in or did one of the super-villains make their first move? Penguin, Barbara Kean, James, Harvey Bullock, and the remaining survivors will have to team up or else they might be next.
Side-note: Edward is becoming the breakout star of Gotham’s final season. The little puppy steals the spotlight in every scene he’s in and he has the acting talent to boot. Maybe the Academy should create a flavored-award treat when the time comes?
“BatCat” (translation: the pairing of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle) has some major relationship issues they need to work through if they ever want to reach a healthy place again. Selina’s journey through trauma has moved from depression over to anger. Her actions during “Penguin, Our Hero” cemented the fact that the gunshot made by Jeremiah Valeska left a bigger emotional and mental mark than it did physically. Right now, that trauma is driving her to seek revenge against her attacker, and she’s pushing away Bruce because of it.
Whenever Bruce tried bringing Selina back from the brink of blind rage she lashed out at him for getting in her way. She didn’t need logic or common sense. She wanted Jeremiah dead at all costs. We can’t forget that Selina Kyle/Catwoman is technically a neutral anti-hero. At the end of the day, Selina will do whatever suits her best interests, regardless if it’s good or bad, whereas Bruce Wayne/Batman is solely good. Bruce brought up reasonable actions based on his moral compass or logic, but Selina went with her instinct and gut emotions instead.
Thankfully, the pairing isn’t over yet. There’s still chemistry between the characters, but their current goals separate them. Gotham seems to be setting up an arc where Selina is hunting Jeremiah in the shadows with her newly created Catwoman powers while Bruce will work to save her in the end. The separation will put their friendship/romance to the test in the newly-created Gotham world. Selina has all the power and ability to get what she wants unfiltered, but will she become the same monster to seek revenge? And will it destroy the few relationships she has left because of it? This will be an interesting development to follow as Gotham moves along.
The standout moment of “Penguin, Our Hero” came from the scenes within Jeremiah’s cult. Francesca Root-Dodson shined in her role as the psychotic Ecco (aka Mummer), bringing to life Gotham’s precursor to Harley Quinn. Her unhinged and raw performance as Ecco’s new villainous alter-ego had an infectious and lively quality to it that made it so much fun to watch. And her banter with Selina during the fight and Russian Roulette game unveiled her charismatic quality with characters–Ecco previously stayed quiet for much of her appearances. The highlight had to be when she said “Puddin’” for the first time! I can’t wait to see the moments of when Jeremiah and Ecco are onscreen together. Let’s hope it channels major Joker and Harley Quinn vibes.
“Penguin, Our Hero” played a balancing act when it came to its plots. While Penguin’s tirade came off more as a nuisance, Bruce and Selina’s journey to the cult had all the fun and flair. (Though, it also helped that it was the flashier of the two.) As with most cases, Gotham ended things with a bang, and even though we’re losing the safety of Haven (and a few minor characters to boot), the story is being set up to get more intense from here on out.