There cannot be many who did not cheer when Penguin left the brainwashed Oswald Cobblepot behind in Gotham Into the Woods. When the former King of Gotham does a Theatre of Blood on Grace Van Dahl’s two snotty, and murderous, kids the series hit a season highpoint.
Actually, the episode had several season two “bests” with the capture of Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) and the return of Barbara Kean (Erin Richards). The main story was Jim Gordon hunting down who framed him with the help of Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) and later, the man who set him up, Ed Nygma.
The electric chair Gordon was sitting on at Ed’s apartment.
Robin Lord Taylor as Cobblepot snapping and reverting back to form when he discovers the poison that Van Dahl stupidly held onto. The “roast” scene was a brilliant homage to the 1973 horror film Theatre of Blood starring Vincent Price.
In the film, Price plays a hammy Shakespearean actor who kills off the theatre critics who conspired to keep him from winning an award. He kills of each one and feeds one critic his cooked dogs. Actor Robert Morley‘s character repeatedly asks for his “babies” just as Van Dahl keeps asking for Sasha and Charles.
Barbara Kean standing in front of Jim’s door, “Hi Jim.”
Bullock at his “friend’s” apartment, “We ain’t got all night!”
Selina throwing the repaired jacket away.
Miss Peabody really dislikes Kean and one wonders if she will decide to make Barbara into a nail, despite Strange wanting to take it easy on Barbara. It is a shame to see Nygma caught so soon, especially before he could fully transition to The Riddler.
The scenes with Nygma and Gordon in his apartment were brilliantly tense and uncomfortable. Ed’s taking umbrage at Jim’s calling Pinkney’s killer a psychopath and the cuckoo clock were spot on. Adding to the tension was Ed’s talking to himself.
It is also amusing to note that when Nygma is caught at the end, when the killer falls face first into the snow, the strongest word out of his mouth is “crud.”
Gordon’s heading to Kyle’s place after Ed shoots him maintains that connection between the two and gives Selina the line of the evening:
“Great! A dead cop in my crib now.”
By the end of the episode, all the Van Dahl’s are dead, Nygma is in Arkham Asylum (surrounded by lunatics) while Bruce and Alfred are looking eagerly at the computer that Lucius Fox repaired. Jim calls Lee but does not speak to her, Penguin sits at the family dining table all blood-spattered and drinking wine and Barbara stops by for a visit.
A lot went on in this episode, the cat and mouse game between Ed and Jim was excellent but the top spot of the episode was the “Vincent Price” remix by Cobblepot where he killed and cooked the two younger Van Dahl’s and fed them to their mother.
Bruno Heller has hit a note of gruesomeness that promises to keep the show interesting and fun for quite a while.
Gotham airs Mondays on FOX.