Season 4, Episode 8: “Stop Hitting Yourself”
Directed by Rob Bailey
Written by Charlie Huston
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “A Day in the Narrows” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Let Them Eat Pie” – click here
At Cherry’s (Marina Benedict) fight club in the Narrows, we see Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) impersonating Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) in a hilarious, scathing act. After that Solomon Grundy (Drew Powell) comes into the ring, fake strangling the “most hated man in Gotham.” The Riddler leads the crowd in a chant: “Stupid, lame bird brain!” This is more a theatrical spectacle than just a ring with a few fights at the centre. Then we’re privy to a fight between Mr. Murderface and big, bad Grundy from Slaughter Swamp. While the contender beats on Grundy the big man has a few memories of Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) surface at the back of his mind, though it’s not long until he beats a guy to death with the guy’s own ripped off arm.
Things are switching up at the GCPD, as Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is being promoted to Captain. The other officers aren’t happy with Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), he’s “a disgrace.” Reluctantly, Jim considers the position. In the meantime, Penguin isn’t worried about that yet, because he’s just hearing about Ed making fun of him, as well as Barbara (Erin Richards), Selina (Camren Bicondova), and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) robbing people under his nose. He sends them down to Cherry’s, to try getting hold of Nygma for him.
The ladies go to the Narrows, they take in one of Ed’s little comedy shows before the fights. Barb also sees that Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) is there. Then, Tabitha gets a glimpse of the reanimated Butch, Mr. Grundy. They watch the man tear another arm off, beating his opponent. When Tabitha goes to find her former man, she only finds a zombified Solomon. And while Barb chats up Lee, the Cat finds Ed easily seeing as how the guy’s not exactly running on all cylinders these days.
Harvey isn’t doing well. He blames himself for what happened at the courthouse, not listening to his old pal. Worse news, there are no forensic clues at the Pyg crime scenes for Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) to work from, which puts a snag in the investigation.
Jim talks to Sofia (Crystal Reed) about what’s going on re: Penguin, the GCPD. He doesn’t want to take the job, she urges him to do so, but it isn’t so easy. Meanwhile, Cobblepot is taking Ms. Falcone’s advice, trying to find an “interest outside the business” by mentoring a young boy with a propensity towards violent retribution. Sort of a perfect, sinister fit. He shows the boy how to manipulate his enemies, turn them against one another. Devious. Teach them while they’re young!
Solomon’s ready to tear everyone to pieces when Selina and the ladies are trying to take Ed. Until the Cat suggest the “code of the Narrows” by settling things in the ring. Oh, my. This will get quite wild. Winner walks away with Ed, to boot. It’s Solomon v. Tabitha. She believes she can appeal to the Butch still inside him. They face off in the ring, and he starts beating her viciously. It takes a spiked bat to start getting through to his old memories. Right as Butch almost comes back she knocks him out.
At the bar where Harvey’s supposed to be giving out the latest trophies for the “Bullet Hole Club,” it’s Jim who has to do it. Bullock can’t bring himself to come, full of shame, regret, guilt. He can’t face the cop he shot himself during the Pyg’s plot at the courthouse. I love seeing this whole angle, because it puts a new tension into the relationship between Gordon and Bullock, providing something a bit new we haven’t seen from them.
Barb is ready to take Ed, then Firefly (Camila Perez) shows up, ready to burn them to a crisp. Poor Solomon can’t do anything, he’s scared of fire. Bridgit isn’t letting any of them off free, so Lee steps in and puts a shot into the fiery little lady’s gas tank.
This is also when Dr. Thompkins reveals Cherry informed to Penguin about Ed. Not waiting long, Barb puts a bullet through Cherry’s eyes, the crowd goes wild. Yay, murder! In the Narrows, a new leader is ascending. Lee is a healer, a fighter, a force with which to be reckoned. That poor, beaten down place looks to her now. Hopefully the power, like the Tetch virus before it, doesn’t swell her head.
That evening, Jim talks to Harvey. After their conversation he decides on taking the Captaincy at Gotham Central. This, of course, looks like betrayal to Bullock, whereas it was only Gordon doing his job, serving the law, trying to protect the citizens of Gotham and his own cops. I wonder what sort of antagonistic relationship these two will have going forward. Man, that’s tough.
At the same time Jim’s star is rising he’s seeing what it looks like to deal with a Falcone. It’s still unclear what Sofia’s endgame is, though she is smart. One thing’s for sure, both Penguin and Captain Gordon need to keep their eye on her.
This season is just utterly great noir mixed with Batman universe, the best of Gotham!
“Let Them Eat Pie” is the next episode, getting closer to our Season 4 A Dark Knight mid-season finale.