Gotham: Queen Takes Knight

queentakesnight

This town isn’t big enough for two crazy women who are both Jim’s ex’s…

Gotham hits the mid-season finale with “Queen Takes Knight.” As nervous accountant Penn tries to keep hold of the army of thugs, the Sirens show up and trash them all. Sofia is with them, and getting very demanding about where Penguin might be. I suspect Penn is going to have a bad night.

Gordon leads a bunch of cops into a building where things are a bit odd. They go up some stairs to get to a pool, which just seems like a bad design. In the drained pool they find a plastic surgeon who wishes he was dead and writing on the wall in blood. It sounds like Pyg has left town.

The alliance between Sofia and the Sirens is showing signs of strain, and probably won’t last all that much longer. While this goes on, Gordon gets back to Gotham Central to various bits of bad news. Harper tells him about Zsasz springing Sofia, and another cop fills them in about the Sirens/Penguin battle under the bridge. Gordon tells them Pyg has a new face now, and they have a war to stop.

Sofia and the Sirens go to Carmine Falcone’s place, and Barbara is very taken aback to see the man himself there. For his part, Carmine isn’t happy about Sofia being in Gotham at all. With his health concerns, Carmine doesn’t really care about Gotham anymore. He’s also displeased she’s sleeping with Gordon, which comes as an unpleasant surprise to Barbara as well. Then Falcone pulls another surprise when Penguin comes in and reveals why Carmine is back.

While Alfred cleans up from another of Bruce’s morning afters, Gordon arrives at Falcone’s for his own series of surprises. Carmine is a master of the urbane, civil, yet chilling threat, and he does that with Gordon here. Sofia isn’t happy, standing there listening to the various men make a deal about her future, but kisses Gordon goodbye, probably just to tick off her dad. As the meeting is breaking up, there’s another surprise as a black van pulls up and a heavy gun opens up. Gordon, at least, manages to escape unscathed, but neither of the Falcones can say as much.

The news covers the shocking death of Carmine Falcone, and we see various reactions to it. Alfred watches while Bruce slouches in and continues playing spoiled rich brat. Zsasz makes sure Penguin didn’t do it, still feeling the pull of loyalty to Falcone. For his part, Penguin seems genuinely confused.

The funeral is at what appears to be a cathedral. Sofia is wheeled in, recovering from her own injuries. Gordon, Penguin, and Zsasz are all there as well. Gordon tried to visit her at the hospital, but she told them not to let him in. Zsasz pays his own version of respects involving a bullet before walking out and leaving Penguin behind, surprised. Bullock shows up and blames everything on Gordon. Penguin seems to offer a heartfelt goodbye to Falcone, moves on to threaten Sofia, and Gordon intercedes.

Later that day, Penguin and Zsasz come calling at the GCPD. Penguin blusters and threatens, but no one is willing to tell him where Sofia is. Penguin asks if Gordon is going to war for her, and the captain replies that he’s upholding the law. Penguin gets surprised when the cops not only don’t cave to his demands, but actually throw him out of the building. Then Gordon gives a great rallying speech, followed quickly by a pitched gunfight between the cops and Penguin’s thugs. Elsewhere, the Sirens escape from other Penguin thugs in an almost slapstick series of events.

Gordon and Sofia debate tactics in dealing with Penguin, and she gives him a clue. After a great scene between Penguin and Zsasz, Gordon shows up and arrests Penguin for, of all things, Martine’s murder. This one of the few crimes Penguin didn’t commit, but he can’t really prove that. Penguin thinks he has an alibi, but he gets a nasty surprise. Gordon and Zsasz have their own scene of as close to mutual respect as those two can get. Penguin is brought in, hands cuffed, and Gordon gets a round of applause. After that, we see Sofia getting a new ally which is going to shift the balance of power in Gotham’s underworld.

Barbara is thrilled they have their club back. Tabitha is less interested, and goes to try and “cure” Butch/Grundy. As this goes on, Bruce heaps more abuse on Alfred. Things finally come to a head between them, and it gets ugly. This is the nastiest I’ve seen them get, and it’s a really grim point in their relationship.

Ed is having another breakdown, yelling at the mirror where he sees his “evil twin.” After a few surprising quips from Grundy, Ed leaves and Grundy gets captured by Tabitha. Considering he doesn’t even have blood anymore, I’m not quite sure how her method worked, but I guess the writers liked it. She ends up holding him prisoner, chained in place, as she tries to recreate the moment where Grundy briefly remembered her. If you recall how that happened, you know Grundy’s in for a bad day.

Gordon and Sofia have a meeting where Gordon gets a lot of surprises and has to make a few decisions. As Bullock warned him, nothing comes for free in Gotham. Gordon finally decides what he needs to do, and takes some fairly definitive action, and then starts a coverup that I have no doubt will come back to bite him sooner or later.

There are a series of wrap up scenes, and a lot of them are nasty. Bruce pulls a surprise on Alfred, and I have never wanted to punch out that damn kid more in my life. I’m not quite sure how they’ll eventually come back from this one, but it’s going to take a while. Tabitha gives up on her rehab project for Grundy and walks off. Gordon and Bullock have a scene that doesn’t really go well for either of them. Off on their own, a character has an awakening. And Penguin, locked away in Arkham once more, makes a new friend.

What I liked: They really ramped things up for this season break. I was surprised they killed Falcone, and I’ll miss him, but it made sense. As always, Zsasz is fun to watch. Sofia turns out to be even more devious and clever than I thought, and it was really slick.

What I didn’t: The Sirens seem to be a lot less competent than they used to be, and at times it’s like they’re just stuck in an episode to be there. I’m getting tired of sulking Harvey Bullock, and even more so of bratty Bruce. I hated his last scene with Alfred this episode.

It was a pretty good episode. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when they come back with all the balls they have in the air.

Taking the Week Off: They managed to get in all the major players. I think the only recurring characters that didn’t make it were Lucius Fox and the long-absent Ivy.

Rest In Peace, Carmine Falcone.

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