Gotham 4×05 Spoiler-Free Review And Discussion

It’s Thursday, which means more Gotham! So much happened on tonight’s hit television series, so to start this off, if you haven’t watched tonight’s Gotham yet, go do so!

The long-awaited return of fan-favorite Butch Gilzean is finally here. After producers teasing for weeks the return/reintroduction of Butch, this episode did not disappoint. The new direction for actor Drew Powell’s character is just beginning, and it most definitely going the right way. He truly captured the dim-witted essence of his new character, who, for this portion of the article will remain nameless.

Ben McKenzie and Sean Pertwee’s characters explored quite an interesting dynamic, which hopefully will be shown again sometime soon. Both stole the spotlight in their solo scenes, and vied for the attention of the viewer during their shared sequences.

However, Penguin and Sophia truly stole the show. Their chemistry, although strange, forces the viewer to pay very close attention to every word they speak to one another (kind of like a detective would). The lengths they are willing to go to keep or gain control of the situation in Gotham is astounding.

Overall, this episode truly delivered. There were no throw-away scenes meant to kill time; just complete storytelling. The acting was phenomenal, and the dialogue was perfect. Again, if you haven’t watched already, go watch it this instant. You will not be disappointed. If you have watched it, be a part of the discussion and continue reading below!

Spoilers for Gotham 4×05 follows:

Still here? Great. This episode, like I said earlier, was amazing. So much was answered, yet so much is still left to the imagination for now. There were even a few new questions that were posed.  So, the first to be asked is, “What did Ra’s do to Barbara when she went to visit him?”

To be honest, I have no idea, but I do have a few guesses. My first theory is that he gave her some power that she must bestow upon Bruce Wayne when he is ready to take over as the Demon’s Head. Although unlikely, it would work perfectly for a Batman Begins-esque training time for Bruce. Once he would finish his training with the League of Assassins, maybe Barbara is supposed to give Bruce some sort of power?

The other theory is that it is a way for Barbara to bring Ra’s al Ghul back from the dead. For the show to use one of Batman’s greatest villains for only a handful of episodes seems foolish. It may be the last we see of Ra’s this season, but most definitely not the last time in the series. Especially if the showrunners hint that the audience might see Batman on the small screen, taking away the crucial element of his training would greatly impact how Batman is portrayed. This is definitely the most likely of the two, because as we’ve seen with so many Gotham characters before, no one seems to stay dead, which leads to the next topic: Solomon Grundy.

The transformation of Butch into Solomon Grundy has been long awaited, and it does not disappoint. Powell truly embraces the monster and gives a spectacular performance. I do have one question though: “Was tonight’s episode just the start of maybe a seven-part story arc?” The thought behind this is that there are seven days of the week, and in the source material, Grundy is known to say it all. However, tonight’s episode revealed Grundy knew only one verse of the song; “Born on a Monday.”

A seven-part story arc for Grundy would be awesome. Letting Butch/Grundy take center stage while all the criminals in Gotham try to adjust to this beast’s presence would be a sight to see. The one issue is that a seven-part arc would be extremely difficult to pull off. As with most arcs, there is a start, a climax, and an ending. It would be possible to make a three-part arc, with only one episode making up the climax, and the other six creating the start and end, but that would feel extremely rushed. Regardless of whatever arc Grundy is set to follow, hopefully he will get so much more screen time in the coming weeks.

On a smaller, possibly less important note, the portrayal of the Riddler this episode was interesting. Although this episode may only have contained Edward Nygma to further Grundy’s introduction, it seems like there was a hint of jokes that followed Nygma around. It has been long established that Nygma is the Riddler, but tonight’s episode really painted The Riddler in a different light. For instance, he used a toy gun to rob a pharmacy. What other Batman villain would do such a thing?

joker bang gun
I can’t think of who else uses a toy gun…

Anyhow, the next piece of important information from tonight’s episode comes from the dialogue between Sophia Falcone and Penguin. Penguin has been in controlling Gotham with an iron fist for months, but with the Falcone’s back in town, things are getting a little shaky. The two characters are only using one another for their own gain, however, this seems to be going directly over both their heads. For example, Sophia went looking for, and found, Oswalt’s mother’s goulash recipe. In return, he is doing nothing except attempting to force Sophia to bend the knee. But the most interesting piece given to fans was hidden in one small line spoken by Sophia while she rubbed Oswalt’s feet. She mentioned that the cold only caused more pain, while the heat helped numb the pain.

This small tidbit of information shows that Sophia is not just another pretty face. In fact, this entire episode seemed to show she wasn’t a force to be reckoned with. Her meaning of this phrase can be interpreted in basically only one way; either Penguin leaves her in the cold and she wreaks havoc on his operation, or he brings her into the fold. Either way, this season is shaping up to make quite the impact on the rise of the Dark Knight.

And finally, here comes the man of the hour; Bruce Wayne. In the beginning of the episode, we find Bruce having stayed up all night to study the expert writings provided to him about the knife that Ra’s al Ghul was after. That quite a Batman move, especially when he ignores Alfred’s mention of how he needs to rest. By the end of the episode though, Ra’s is taunting Bruce, saying that he is never meant to be a “white knight.” This is a nice nod to the fact that Batman is also called the Dark Knight. In a sense, Ra’s was right, and this was further proven when Alfred tells Bruce that is will be a dark road back to the light.

Bruce Wayne is not the hero Gotham needs, but hopefully he soon will be. Well, its either that or follow through with Ra’s’ wishes for him to become the Demon’s Head. However, now that Bruce killed Ra’s, is he the Demon’s Head? This is just another question that fans can only hope will be answered before Gotham‘s winter hiatus. And be sure to check back with Geek Motivation on Twitter for more reviews of your favorite shows!

 

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