Well, you can’t say that Gotham doesn’t deliver on the big moments. This week some massive stuff went down, and some serious surprises took us completely off guard. Let’s take a look at “Mommy’s Little Monster.”
One thing that was definitely NOT a surprise was the trap that awaited Penguin at the beginning of the episode. As soon as we saw Butch get “worked on” by Tabitha last week, it was clear that Galavan would be using him to trick Penguin. Sure enough, when Penguin comes to rescue his Mama at the start of “Mommy’s Little Monster,” Galavan and Tabitha are waiting. But the big shocker – that I totally did not expect – was Penguin’s Mama getting murdered. Even for Galavan, that was a truly cruel act – not cool bro. Again, Gotham has me all confused in my feelings. I mean, how do they keep getting me to feel sympathy for this ruthless, psychotic little man named Penguin? Somehow, they have done it again, and when Penguin jumped out that window after vowing to kill Galavan, I was pulling for him to succeed more than ever.
Maybe an even bigger “what the @#&!” moment came when little Silver St. Cloud, Galavan’s cherubic niece, shows her true, evil colors. It turns out, she is a willing agent in Galavan’s scheme to take down Bruce, and as Galavan himself notes with pride, “she has become quite little vixen.” Say whaaaaat?! Her two-faced manipulation of Bruce in this episode was truly a frustrating thing to watch; I get that he has fallen hard for her, but come on, he’s usually so smart and careful. This week, he was like some love-sick puppy, and as Silver herself brags, she has him wrapped around her little finger. Thankfully, Bruce does have a true friend in Selina (whether he realizes it or not), and you know that she is not going to go away until Silver is exposed – the question is, can she wake him up before it’s too late? My advice to her: sitting in a tree looking into his windows is not going to help her cause. Just saying.
In the middle of all this seriousness, we get the continuing downward spiral of Edward. His story thread is almost like a sick comedy relief at this point – not the normal kind of comedy, mind you, but the depraved dark gallows humor that Gotham has always excelled at giving us. Edward’s recent murder of Kristen has split his personality, and now the evil side has hidden her body, and is making the good side find it, with a fun riddle game, naturally. Edward is led on a ridiculous scavenger hunt of sorts, collecting parts of Kristen’s body from various locations – one particularly funny/sick moment is when he has to buy her hand from a vending machine, like a chocolate bar. As much as I enjoy Edward’s internal battle, it blatantly rips-off the Golem/Smeagol dynamic from Lord of the Rings so shamelessly, I was half expecting Edward to go on a coughing fit. Not to worry, though, as it looks like the evil side has completely taken over by the end, and at that point all I feel for Edward is sadness.
And another NOT so shocking moment was the climactic end of the episode, where Galavan has pulled off his plan to take the Mayor’s office. By now, Gordon is on to his scheme, as he has put together all the events up till now (and oh yeah, Butch told him everything). To be honest, I have never bought into the way the show wants me to see Galavan – as some sort of brilliant, Machiavellian architect. We are clearly supposed to be in awe by this episode at Galavan’s ability to pull of such a complex “master plan.” But I’m sorry, I think his plan is nuts, first of all. It doesn’t really make sense. And also, it isn’t very “brilliant” either. It’s actually a pretty standard, Gotham-type plan: kill, blackmail, kidnap and lie until you get what you want. And lo and behold, it worked. Sorry, but it has all been very predictable up to this point – all I am hoping is that his downfall unfolds just as predictably.
“Mommy’s Little Monster” was full of genuine surprises – poor Mama is dead and Silver’s character is much more tarnished than we thought. Edward’s downward spiral appears to be complete – it remains to be seen where he goes from here. Will he become “The Riddler” now, or will he continue to bide his time, pretending to be the same old Mr. Nygma? Lastly, the main plot is heading towards a major war between Galavan and Penguin, with Bruce caught innocently in the middle. It looks like it’s once again up to Gordon to save Gotha from itself.