GOTHAM Review: “Pieces of a Broken Mirror”

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Gotham explores its ridiculously diverse story world in “Pieces of a Broken Mirror.” Seriously, Gotham walks away from more story potential than most shows ever begin to create. Tonight, they return from winter break with a fan treat, entertaining, grand slam episode. Alfred teams up with Bullock to beat on community trash, Ivy returns and finds an old friend, Nygma battles The Riddler, Lee and Gordon smoke up a scene at Cherry’s, and Grundy moves out when Butch finds his way home.

Bullock hasn’t returned Gordon’s calls since he walked away from GCPD. This story beat had me worried, Bullock is one of the show favorites. Gordon finds a brothel Bullock enjoys on a regular basis and leaves his card with the management, he just wants his old friend to touch base. Gordon is good with gun, but Bullock is the vest that protects him from everything he doesn’t see. Many Gotham episodes end with two or three plotlines coming together, “Pieces of a Broken Mirror,” splits several plot lines from the opening location in The Narrows.

A roaming gang of small hoods finds the pharmacy where we last saw Ivy. They break in looking for recreational drugs but find a large pulsing pod. The tall kid pokes at it and Ivy rips her way out. She barely touches the boy and his blood stream turns green with her personal toxin. The other thieves run off when he drops dead. Ivy’s memory is a little foggy at first, she barely remembers her name.

Alfred draws the attention of kind café waitress named Tiffany, but also three thugs who follow him outside because of his expensive shoes. The thugs try to mug Alfred in the alley which is much harder than they figured. Gordon walks by and breaks it up, giving the thugs a chance to escape and Gordon a few minutes to catch up with Alfred.

Meanwhile, in a building close by, Lee gives a campaign stile speech to the people of the The Narrows about how they should be helping each other instead of stealing form each other. Nygma assists as a hype man and message crafter while Grundy keeps the meeting secure. Most of the people listen to her and accept her message with one exception. In the back row, a small quiet man prepares a small remote controlled airplane and sends it forward. Grundy sees the thing headed towards Lee and punches in out the window where it explodes.

Lee, Grundy, and Nygma all escape the blast while Gordon and Alfred help the audience to safety. Gordon knows there were many witnesses, but no one talks, no snitches in The Narrows. Lucius Fox discovers parts of the model plane and explosives residue. Fox leads Gordon to the few hobby shops capable of that level of craftsmanship and finds “Krank Toys.” The owner’s son fields their questions, but his father does all the custom work in a private workshop. Gordon and Fox barely escape when a few heavily armed toys attack. Young Krank helps his father escape but gives Gordon one piece of information. He overheard his father on the phone mention the name, “The Doc.”

Grundy’s memory returns slowly. He remembers his real name, Butch. Then, he remembers Barbara Kean shot him in the head. Finally, the love of his life returns to his thoughts. Butch knows Tabitha can’t be too far off. Ivy doesn’t like what she sees on the city streets. Pollution chokes vibrant plant life anyplace it tries to take root. Things look worse around the world when she takes over the apartment of a vacationing couple and watches TV. Then, she sees a commercial for a club opening, “Sirens,” and recognizes the three women in it; Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina.

Butch goes to visit Tabitha and it’s a really sweet scene. They both lost their hands, but Butch got his back when he was dumped in the swamp goo. Tabitha is happy to see him, but doesn’t respond whole heartedly when he mentions his feelers for her. He leaves with his head low. Where does Butch go from here? On a more homicidal front, what is Tabitha going to do now that she has him back and can surprise attack his murderess, Barbara?  I love how Gotham wedges the hearts of its soulmates.

Gordon drops in a Barbara because she probably has the 411 on “The Doc.” The dramatic irony of Gordon’s search is almost too much for her to bare.  She tells Gordon where to find The Doc, that Nygma protects The Doc, and that The Doc is so dangerous, better to shoot first and ask questions later. She never mentions Lee. Gordon walks into Cherry’s as Doc delivers another one of her speeches. People are behind her now. Gordon warns Lee, Toy Maker is out to kill her. This scene is heavy with good performance. Two wounded people with a wedge of tragedy between them.

Nygma spots Toy Maker in the crowd, and chases after him when he realizes Grundy is gone. Toy Maker corners Nygma in the alley and says he’s been looking for him all day. Nygma, as Riddler, paid Toy Maker up front to kill Lee so he could take over The Narrows. Nygma had no memory of what his alter-ego did but he doesn’t underestimate Riddler either. Gordon rounds the corner, sees Toy Maker, assumes Nygma is in trouble and shoots the fiend. Nygma tells Gordon no one hired Toy Maker to kill Lee, it was his own idea. Riddler returns at the best time.

Alfred’s scenario takes a nasty turn. Tiffany and all the other customers at the café give him the hero treatment for heling people after the explosion in The Narrows. Even the three thugs who attempted to mug him express their appreciation. Alfred notices an abuse bruise slightly hidden under a few stands of Tiffany’s hair. He confronts her lowlife boyfriend about the abuse, but she still goes home with the guy. Later that night, nasty Gil Rooney beats Tiffany to death and frames Alfred for it.

Alfred escapes arrest by GCPD and tracks Rooney to a bar where he confronts him and two of his friends. There’s a fight and Alfred holds his own for a bit, but Rooney’s goons get the upper hand and pull a knife, ready to kill Alfred. Bullock, the bartender, swings to the rescue with a bat (baseball type.) Bullock calls GCPD and Gordon shows up to see his old friend. This was a big episode but Gotham still has several top players on the bench; Penguin, Joker, and Sofia just to name a few. They have critical mass heading into next week.

TB-TV-Grade-B+

Season 4, Episode 12 (S04E12)
Gotham airs Thursdays at 8PM on Fox

Read all of our reviews of Gotham here.
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Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
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