GOTHAM, EPISODE 21
The Ogre confides in Barbara about who he is, and who she is to him, while Jim and Harvey track him. Edward Nygma deals with the body of his first victim. Oswald Cobblepot initiates a gang war by attempting to assassinate don Maroni. Bruce investigates Wayne enterprises' partner, Sid Bunderslaw, and meets Lucius Fox, one of Batman's greatest allies.
April 27, 2015
Gotham tells the story of the famous Batman ally Commissioner, Jim Gordon, as he climbs the ranks of the Gotham City Police Department. Alongside the history of Jim Gordon, and oftentimes intersecting with his history, are the stories of other famous Batman characters, such as the villains the Penguin (Oswald Cobblepot), the Riddler (Edward Nygma), and Catwoman (Selina Kyle). Gordon also interacts with a young Bruce Wayne and other allies like Harvey Bullock, Dr Leslie Thompkins, and Alfred Pennyworth.
Recently in the series, Bruce and Selina tracked down Sid Bunderslaw, a corrupt Wayne Enterprises board member responsible for the attack on Alfred Pennyworth (and maybe more). Jim Gordon learns that the Ogre, a serial killer that targets GCPD officer’s loved ones, has Barbara Kean. Oswald Cobblepot enlists Don Carmine Falcones second-best hitman to help him kill don Salvatore Maroni. Edward Nygma kills the girl he loves’ (Kris Kringle’s) boyfriend, GCPD Officer Tom Dougherty.
“The Anvil or the Hammer” starts with Barbara Kean and the Ogre in his penthouse. The Ogre reveals to her his intent to kill her originally. Barbara tries to flee, but the front door to the penthouse is locked and he easily catches her. Later, she is shown bound and hanging by her arms in the Ogre’s dungeon; he shows her the many women he’s encountered in the past while looking for “the one,” and tells her that she is the one. He asks her to drink an unknown substance, assuring her it is water, but she feints soon after and begins to act strangely. After calling to taunt Jim Gordon, the Ogre takes Barbara to her parents where he confronts the detective head on.
Detective Jim Gordon dismisses Dr Leslie Thompkins suggestion that he rest and eat, because he needs his strength to find the Ogre. Jim blames himself for Barbara being captured because he fell into commissioner Loeb’s trap.
Detective Harvey Bullock brings in a suspect, Jake the JV Pimp, that might know the Ogre’s location. Jake refuses to give Jim and Harvey information, asking for a bribe for anything useful, but Gordon warns Bullock that he might violate the interrogation rules so Harvey leaves. Moments later Jim leaves the interrogation room with the new information that Jake worked at a brothel known as the Fox Club. Harvey recognizes the name and offers to infiltrate the brothel undercover if they can locate the Fox Club and get an invitation–the Fox Club being notorious for moving constantly, and requiring an invitation to get in so as to avoid the GCPD.
Jim decides to, again, use his relationship with the Penguin to get access to Gotham’s criminal underworld, despite Harvey’s hesitations. Jim goes to the Penguin’s club to ask for help. When Oswald Cobblepot teases him about Gordon already having owed him for a favor, Jim lashes out and attacks the Penguin. Eventually, he gets the location of the Fox Club and an invitation, and sends Harvey in undercover.
At the Fox Club, Harvey witnesses a grotesque sexual encounter (off-screen) and arrests the people at the brothel. At the GCPD precinct, the brothel’s owner refuses to talk, but one worker does. The woman shows that she was attacked by the Ogre and reveals his penthouse location to Gordon and Bullock.
When Jim arrives at the penthouse, the Ogre and Barbara are gone, but Jim still smells Kean’s perfume. The Ogre’s home phone rings, and, when Jim answers, the Ogre taunts him about not being able to keep Barbara safe. Gordon and Bulock recognize the background noise on the phone as being a bridge that leads to Barbara Kean’s parent’s house. They head there and discover her parents murdered by the serial killer. The Ogre knocks out Bullock and tries to take Barbara hostage, but eventually Gordon gets a clear shot and kills the Ogre.
Jim returns to the GCPD precinct to the applause of the other officers. He apologizes to Leslie Thompkins for being short with her, and she offers to take a look at his hand that the Ogre wounded while fighting. The celebration at the GCPD is short-lived, as Captain Sarah Essen gathers all of the officers to explain that Mafia dons Maroni and Falcone are starting a gang war.
Edward Nygma arrives at the GCPD precinct with two large and noticeably heavy suitcases, ostensibly full of the deceased Officer Tom Dougherty. In the medical examiners office, Nygma opens the suitcases to reveal cut up pieces of the late Dougherty. Nygma decides to get rid of the body in order to avoid being caught. Kris Kringle approaches Nygma in the examiner’s office about Dougherty’s whereabouts, but Edward chases her off. While destroying the body, Nygma decides he needs to write Kringle a letter (as Tom Dougherty) to give her closure on the relationship. He later discovers the file-keeper crying and tries to console her. Nygma also reveals a clue to the officer’s disappearance in the letter–a memento common to the future Riddler.
Oswald Cobblepot, the Penguin, works with don Carmine Falcone’s second best hitman, Conner, on the assassination of don Salvatore Maroni. The Penguin has Butch Gilzean, his right-hand man, place weapons at the unnamed bar he procured in “Beasts of Prey” and tells Conner and his men to meet Maroni and his men at the bar. They are going to be there celebrating the release of another hitman, Tommy, from prison.
Conner and one of his men arrive at the bar, where Maroni’s men search them for weapons before letting them in, and offer a gift of expensive alcohol to don Maroni. Conner pulls one of the hidden weapons and attempts to shoot don Maroni, and, at the same time, his man pulls a machine gun; however both weapons jam and Maroni’s men make short work of Conner and his man. Butch Gilzean approaches the Penguin with the news that the assassination attempt failed, and Oswald Cobblepot reveals that he had removed the firing pins from the hiitmen’s weapons so that a war between don Falcone and don Maroni would start. Don Maroni and his men attack multiple Falcone establishments.
Bruce receives the key to Sid Bunderslaw’s safe from Selina Kyle (the key she pick-pocketed in “Beasts of Prey.”) Bruce visits Wayne Enterprises headquarters, and, while on a tour, pulls the fire alarm and breaks into Bunderslaw’s office. Sid Bunderslaw sneaks up on Bruce, right as he discovers the safe is empty. Bunderslaw explains that Bruce’s father, Thomas Wayne, and his grandfather (unnamed in Gotham, but Patrick Wayne in the comics) knew about Wayne Enterprises’ illegal activities and were complacent. Sid Bunderslaw suggests that Bruce learn that Wayne Enterprises cannot be changed and must work as it does to survive. Lucius Fox, Wayne Enterprises’ youngest partner (no relation to the Fox Club brothel), arrives and walks Bruce out of Sid’s office to the elevator to return to the tour. Lucius reveals to Bruce that he was close with Thomas Wayne and that Bruce’s father was not as corrupt as the board members believed.
“The Anvil or the Hammer” is a spectacular, penultimate episode for the first season of Gotham. Continuing the arcs started in “Beasts of Prey,” but with a much better storyline (a la “Under the Knife”), “The Anvil or the Hammer” sets up the final episode perfectly. The Ogre’s reign of terror might not be over just yet, because while Barbara’s neck wound was superficial and she should be physically OK, we don’t yet know how mentally stable she may or may not be. If her strange behavior isn’t due to some type of drug, then she has likely snapped.
Edward Nygma has truly shined in the last two episodes, finally showing what the Riddle man is capable of. Oswald Cobblepot seems to have found his place; after all of the apparent sniveling, the mastermind has moved the chess pieces of Gotham’s criminal underworld to oust all of his enemies, save for Falcone and Maroni, and now the two are at war. Bruce’s quest to find out who murdered his parents and why, and his enlisting Selina Kyle’s help in doing so, has shown how the World’s Greatest Detective got an early start in a captivating way.
The final episode, where the Penguin’s manipulation of Gotham’s top two criminals comes to a head, and Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock deal with the fallout, will hopefully be less like “Beasts of Prey” and more like “Under the Knife” and “The Anvil or the Hammer”!
Violence: “The Anvil or the Hammer” has a couple gruesome scenes, mainly involving Edward Nygma’s attempt to deal with the mutilated corpse of GCPD Officer Tom Dougherty. There are a couple of gunfights–one that ends with a character being shot in the forehead. Barbara Kean suffers a superficial laceration to the neck.
Language/crude humor: After two viewings of “The Anvil or the Hammer” there were very few expletives. I counted less than five.
Sexual content: Harvey Bullock visits a brothel that specializes in erotica.
Drug/alcohol use: It is possible that the Ogre drugs Barbara Kean. There are multiple occasions where adults are shown drinking alcohol.
Other negative themes: “The Anvil or the Hammer” contains murder, sexual deviancy, corporations breaking the law, and more.
Positive Content: Other than Jim Gordon bringing down the Ogre, there is not a lot of positive content, spiritually speaking, in “The Anvil or the Hammer.” Hopefully, the final episode will have resolutions with more positive content, but for now the series is building to that final episode by increasing the tension in the various storylines.
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+ Lucius Fox!
+ The Penguin truly is a mastermind!
+ Edward Nygfma is enthralling!
- The Fox Club scene is a little mature for a 7:00 show
- The Ogre's storyline ends a little anti-climatically (...or did it?)