GOTHAM deploys the Sirens to Cherry’s fights for their first real team effort in “Stop Hitting Yourself.” The three main movements tonight involve Penguin taking in a tiny protégé, mainly to relieve stress. Gordon struggles with a promotion that alienates Bullock. And the biggie, The Sirens go to The Narrows for Nygma, but find Lee in a leadership position, and Butch alive and sort of well.
Gordon’s bit is dramatic, the mayor writes him a promotion to Captain of Gotham Central, which is Bullock’s current position. Gordon turns it down, but the mayor says he has time to think about it. Bullock is drinking on the job again. He’s staring down the barrel of an evening ceremony where he presents officers shot in the line of duty with gold plated bullets. At this specific ceremony, he’ll have to present the same officer he shot by accident when Professor Pyg tricked him. He asks for Gordon’s support and Gordon assures him he’ll be there for him. When the big moment arrives, Bullock is a no show. However, he left the box of bullets with the bartender with instructions to hand to Gordon when the ceremony was ready.
Gordon confronts Bullock back at the office about skipping the ceremony when his men really needed to see him. Bullock admits he wasn’t up to the job, but he knew Gordon could handle it. At that moment, Gordon signs the paperwork and relieves Bullock of command. However, Bullock reminds Gordon nothing in Gotham comes without a price and Jim will be expected to pay when the time comes. Gordon confronts Sofia Falcone about her role in the promotion. It was her set up all along. Bullock is weak, she wants Gordon leading GCPD. He tells her he no longer wants her help fighting Penguin and advises she leave town. Sofia confirms she isn’t going anywhere until she’s restores the Falcone name. Sofia is intelligent, that isn’t the issue, but Gotham City is a tricky place and she doesn’t have the background or advisors.
Mr. Penn informs Penguin how Nygma mocks him nightly in The Narrows before every Grundy fight. Nygma whips the Penguin hating crowd into a frenzy. He sends The Sirens in to catch the act and deliver Nygma as repayment for their unlicensed Demons heist. Penguin tells Firefly to follow them and ensure they complete their task, then he visits Sofia at the orphanage for a little work sympathy. Her schedule is tight, but she suggests he find some form of extracurricular activity to help blow off steam. Penguin has never been the hobby type, but he sees a young mute boy, Martin, getting bullied around the playground. Penguin stops Martin from setting the bullies’ book-bags on fire and takes him under his wing for a lesson in proper revenge, a less asymmetric approach.
Martin is a quick learner, smart and sociopathic enough to devise a clever plan using friendship to drive a wedge between the two bullies. Martin makes the mistake of thinking he and Penguin are friends, but Penguin explains friends are the first to stab you in the back. Enter Sofia, she hugs him when she hears he had a bad day, a friendly hug. Once again, Penguin suspects she isn’t as straight with him as she pretends to be. Penguin and Gordon both suspect Sofia of subversion, this can’t end well for her.
Nygma puts on quite the show for Cherry’s fight night. He dresses like Penguin and delivers a wrestling type narrative up to the introduction of Grundy versus his latest challenger. Lately, Grundy’s been crowd pleasing by ripping off the challenger’s arm and beating him with it. Barbara, Selina, and Tabitha arrive to kidnap Nygma, but Barbara gets sidetracked when she sees Lee watching from the upper deck and Tabitha is overwhelmed to see Butch/Grundy in the ring. Every now and then, when someone hits Grundy just right, he gets a brief glimpse of his former life and Tabitha.
Selina takes Nygma down by herself while Barbara pokes at Lee. She’s surprised to see this new look and more surprised to hear she didn’t tell Gordon she’s back in town. Barbara and Lee always have strange chemistry together. More than just anger and hate, it’s difficult to nail their intentions with each other down. Lee realizes they intend to snatch Nygma from The Narrows and goes to stop them just as Tabitha is trying to talk through Grundy’s fog, she reminds the man she loved and loves of their beautiful history. It’s a standoff until Selina suggests they fight Grundy, the winner gets Nygma. Tabitha agrees to the fight, she’s positive her love will get through to Butch. At first, it doesn’t. Tabitha takes a beating until she puts up a serious defense. Butch recognizes her right before she knocks him out. They win, but Firefly has no intention of letting them leave.
Lee saves them all from angry Firefly and outs Cherry as Penguin’s snitch. Then, Barbara blasts one through Cherry’s skull. The Sirens decide not to take Nygma back to Penguin and The Narrows crowd anoints Lee their new leader, doctor, savior. She doesn’t know where to begin so she starts with free drinks. This is a great development and I love to see The Sirens fully engaged, now where is Ivy? There’s been no sight of her since she overdosed on magic potions. As for Lee, this is the most dynamic this character’s ever been. No Jim, no Mario, just Lee and her crusade for the neglected people of The Narrows.
Season 4, Episode 8 (S04E08)
Gotham airs Thursdays at 8PM on Fox
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Eric Rodriguez | Contributor