The Sinking Ship, The Grand Applause definitely gave Gotham one of its most intriguing title yet. This episode is packed with existing characters and some great returning guest characters. It is funny, nail biting, and doesn’t fail to shock you. By the end of the episode everything is pretty clear why it was uniquely tilted in this way. After the first viewing of this episode words actually failed me to describe just how brilliant this episode is. I am a huge Gotham fan and maybe biased but Gotham is really one of the best Dc shows on television. Who’s ship sank at the end of this episode? Lets start at the beginning…
Martin is under guard by two of Sofia’s men. There is a great Easter Egg in this scene, one of the men is reading a very old Detective Comic. Whilst he is chuckling away Martin sees some written messages on his notepad giving him instructions. Martin draws a picture of a toilet which the man with Comic let’s him go. Martin goes into the kitchen turns on the gas burners on the oven and goes back into the room. A rocket launcher is fired through the kitchen window, the two men run into the kitchen. Martin puts his fingers in his ears like instructed on his notepad and the kitchen explodes. Out the smoke appears The Riddler he puts his hand out to Martin who is hesitant “Uncle Penguin sent me to get you. Come on, let’s get Ice cream.”
The Narrows has now been put in charge of Samson. Lee watches in the crowd dressed in a hooded cloak so she isn’t seen by the residents. She watches in horror as Samson shoots a father of a family because he won’t pay the protection fees that Samson expects them too.
Captain James Gordon discusses in his office with Harvey Bullock that Don Falcone warned him about what he has brought on the city, Jim at the time didn’t realise that he meant The Pyg. With someone informing Don Falcone and has links to Sofia and The Pyg’s murders. Harvey asks why doesn’t Jim just come forward with what he knows but it would be just Jim’s word against Sofia’s. Harvey actually thinks Jim is afraid this is going to drag him down too and presses on Jim harder to find out exactly when he knew but Jim swears to Harvey that he knew when it was too late. With the Sofia problem bigger then both of them Jim opens his drawer and places Harvey’s GCPD badge on the desk. Jim really does need Harvey’s help, in which Harvey accepts his badge back but he makes it clear that Jim will pay for what he has done and Harvey personally guarantees it. Detective Harvey Bullock leaves to go and speak to an old time assassin who used to work for Falcone called Scandinavian Skinner as Harvey has history and they might spill some information.
Bruce can hear a disturbance coming from the kitchen at Wayne Manor. Selina is going through one of the kitchen cupboards looking for food. Bruce asks what is she doing there and what is wrong but Selina denies at first there is nothing wrong. Bruce naturally doesn’t believe her then Selina admits she needs help which is a first for Miss Kyle. Bruce knows Selina needs money. Some items Selina stole she pawned off and now she wants to buy them back. Bruce wants to know why Selina can’t go to Barbara and ask for the money but Selina doesn’t want to get her involved and she doesn’t have time. Bruce presses her for more information on why Selina wants to buy them back? It’s the jewellery that Selina stole from Roland Charles the scientist who worked for Wayne Enterprises that Ivy killed. Bruce can see that Selina feels guilty as she didn’t know Ivy was going to kill him. Bruce agrees to help and tells Selina where the cookies are.
A guard is dragging Oswald Cobblepot along a corridor in Arkham Asylum. Another guard just received a message and is waiting to give Oswald the message, “I could lend you a hand but you won’t find me helpful. My name might sound tasty but the flavour is dreadful?” Oswald solves the riddle which the answer is a knuckle sandwich then realises before it’s too late the guard punches him in the face.
Harvey arrives at a confectionery and says hello to a lady called Agnes, she is a mature lady, slight frame with white hair. Harvey also calls her The Skinner which gets her attention, Agnes has retired and doesn’t go by that name anymore. Her grandchildren arrive and help themselves to some sweets. Harvey doesn’t hang around he gets straight to the point and asks Agnes who was Don Falcones eyes and ears whilst he lived down south. Agnes isn’t prepared to give up the information easily and wants to know why she should, because Harvey and her have history. History that got her put away for four years. Harvey takes the opportunity to give Agnes a choice give him the name of the person or he will tell her grandchildren that she used to skin people alive. Agnes begins to quietly tell Harvey that the person that Don Falcone trusted went by the name of the bookkeeper and he always smelt of fish. Mr. Penn is the person that has the information that will bring Sofia down, but Harvey has to find him first as he has vanished.
Sofia smashes a glass at the fireplace as Zsasz watches, she has just heard that Martin has disappeared. Sofia orders Zsasz to go to Arkham and kill Penguin. A friend of Zsasz has just got out of the hospital and asks Sofia if he can tag along. A familiar assassin who I thought was no where near as professional as a Victor Zsasz, Wendell HeadHunter has survived being stabbed by Penguin. Sofia doesn’t really care who Zsasz takes along with him just as long he kills Penguin.
Harvey is asking a guard at Arkham why Oswald is in the infirmary. He explains Oswald got mouthy with a guard then slipped and hurt his head. Harvey goes over to the bed which Oswald is laid out on. Oswald has wadding stuffed up his nose is genuinely surprised to see Bullock. As Harvey begins to ask about one of Oswalds former employees someone starts screaming. Harvey demands the door to be opened, draws his gun and looks down the corridor where Zsasz and Headhunter have arrived. Bullock warns them not to come any closer, he doesn’t care why they are there in Arkham and orders them to leave. Zsasz and Headhunter draw their guns and make it clear they are not leaving until they have killed The Penguin. Red lights flash and alarm bells start to ring as it’s announced that Oswald Cobblepot has escaped from Arkham Asylum. Harvey runs to the window near Oswalds bed in the infirmary he can see Nygma firing a gun into the air with Oswald running behind him getting into a black van.
Selina comments how different Bruce is as they arrive at the shop where she sold the jewellery. Bruce doesn’t quite understand what Selina means, she means Bruce acted like a douche bag at the Sirens nightclub. Selina teases Bruce as he goes to apologise, she wants him to save it as Bruce will probably be a douche bag again later. In a really great moment between Selina and Bruce, he admits that he missed her too. The owner of the shop Floyd greets Selina by calling her kitty cat. Selina asks for the item she sold to him, Floyd has the items in his pocket and calls out that Selina had already tried to break in a steal the item because he checked the security camera. Selina asks Bruce does he remember what she was saying about being a douche bag? Selina offers Floyd double the amount that he gave her for the items, Floyd asks Selina if Bruce is her bank. Both Selina and Bruce notice the three other customers are closing in on them, Bruce throws Selina a statute to hit the person behind her with and in a great fight scene Selina and Bruce take out the other people. Floyd loads a gun from a display box, Selina uses her whip to wrap around his wrist so he shoots the ceiling. Bruce warns Floyd next time take the deal and gives him a right hook to the face. Selina takes back the jewellery and Bruce throws the cash on top of Floyd.
Riddler and Penguin are walking on the streets of Gotham. Riddler is telling Oswald how he knew as soon as Sofia found out about Martin going missing she would send Zsasz to Arkham to kill him. Ed informs Oswald, Martin is safe. Ed hands Oswald his hat, removes his gloves, loosens his tie and is eager to tell Oswald how he found out the whereabouts of Martin. Apparently Zsasz is a fan of the disco but Oswald has not got time to listen as he wants to know what’s next in the plan. Ed opens a door and Lee is sat behind a desk, she holds a gun but lowers it as she soon realises it’s Ed. Nygma tries to be old Ed, I think you can see Lee notices Ed is acting differently. Ed notices Lee hand is bandaged up and when he finds out Sofia is responsible and Lee is no longer in charge of the Narrows. Ed shouts to Oswald as his plan isn’t going to work, Oswald appears and Lee wants to know what is going on. Oswald explains that he helped Ed out of his cage and in return The Riddler helped Oswald out of his cage. Lee can see now that Ed is now The Riddler again. Oswald wanting to know Riddlers next plan after all he does have a back up plan. Riddler plans to have Mr Freeze turn Penguin into a block of ice a chilly Trojan horse and hand him over to Sofia. Oswalds reaction is priceless but Riddler thinks it’s a brilliant plan. Lee interrupts as she can help even though she is one handed at the moment and she would gladly pull the trigger on Sofia. Ed just sees this as tough talk from Lee. Oswald decides they need muscle which Lee agrees, she knows where they can look. Lee indicates that someone with muscle misses Ed, Oswald is desperately curious to know who it is.
Nygma goes looking for Grundy in the sewers in a very vocal way wearing a miners lamp on his hat. Ed announces that he is smart again in his own elaborate way. Grundy appears and Ed is delighted to see his pale skinned nobody upstairs buddy. Ed quickly explains that himself and Penguin have teamed up and they are planning to take out Sofia and they need Grundy to help. But Grundy is looking at Ed in a strange way as Ed isn’t the only one who got smart. Butch is back still in Grundy exterior, he grabs hold of Ed. Because Ed isn’t Ed anymore and Grundy isn’t Grundy and he isn’t willing to help.
Oswald is starting to get impatient whilst waiting for Ed, he is starting to think that Ed has betrayed him again. Lee wants Oswald to calm down as Ed will be back soon with Grundy. Oswald decides that he can’t wait any longer and leaves Lee’s office.
Just around the corner Jim and Harvey are discussing how Nygma got in touch with Penguin. Harvey is complaining about all the people they need to talk to find different people or as Jim suggests why not talk to Oswald who has just limped around the corner. With guns drawn on him Oswald grabs a bottle and smashes it to use as his weapon of defence. Oswald immediately tells Jim that his charges that put him in Arkham are useless as he has proof that Martin is alive. Jim asks Oswald to produce Martin but Oswald refuses until Sofia Falcone has been dealt with permantly. Jim relaxes with his aim as this is good news and he wants the same thing as Oswald for Sofia to disappear. Oswald needs Jim and Harvey to turn around and walk away so he can do what he does. Jim needs Sofia in jail as evidence and he needs to speak to Oswalds bookkeep Mr. Penn, this quickly makes Oswald realise Mr Penn was also working for Sofia and sends Oswald into one of his rages. I love how Robin Lord Taylor acts out these tantrums and rages they are great to watch but he does need to calm down. In order to calm down Oswald, Jim puts his gun away and explains that if he tells them the whereabouts of Mr Penn he is willing to let Oswald walk away. Oswald doesn’t believe Jim, Harvey explain Sofia sent Zsasz to Arkham to kill Oswald and there are still her men looking for him. Oswald takes a moment to think then drops the glass bottle and begins to tell Jim and Harvey the whereabouts possibly Mr Penn could be. Oswald often overheard Mr Penn talk about a place that offers special therapy called “Bo Sh Sumka Spa and Resort.” So if Mr Penn is hiding that is where he will be. Oswald walks away and in another first in Gotham, Jim holds out his hand to Oswald and says “thank you” Oswalds tired posture changes and he accepts the hand shake. Harvey has other ideas he immediately arrests Oswald as he didn’t agree to let Oswald walk free.f
Lee has been watching from a distance as Jim and Harvey take Oswald to their car. Jim reassures Oswald that if his information about Penn is correct he will be free of Sofia, this conversation has been overheard by Zsasz and Headhunter from across the road and Zsasz makes this known. Zsasz wants to confirm that Penn is important and recognises Jims ‘yes’ face and gives them the option of come quietly or the fun way. Both Zsasz and Headhunter are delighted that Jim and Harvey have chosen the fun way. With shots being fired Oswald is in the car trying to avoid the bullets Lee runs across jumps in the drivers seat much to the surprise of Oswald and steals Jim and Harveys only car.
Barbara is suffering with major migraines and describes them to Tabitha that she feels like she has been hit in face with a brick. Barbara gets even more irritated by arrival of a stink. Butch arrives dragging Ed behind him gagged and bound. Tabitha tells Barbara its him she knows but Barbara doesn’t realise its Butch not Grundy until he says hello to her. She grabs a cork screw which Butch sarcastically remarks how scary it is. Butch continues to tell Tabitha that Ed tried to recruit him to go against Sofia as Ed is now working with Penguin. Butch is giving Tabitha the option to kill Nygma because of what he did to her. Tabitha doesn’t want to Butch to walk away again but he promises her that he will find a way of becoming his old self again. Barbara has another migraine attack and quickly decides that Ed should be given to Sofia to torture to find Penguin and once Sofia is done with Nygma, Sofia will kill him too so no more headaches for Barbara and Tabitha.
Zsasz and Headhunter bring news on their findings of Penguin to Sofia, she wants to know why they are wasting her time and not back out finding him after he escaped again. They bring news that Jim is looking for Mr Penn which stops Sofia in her tracks. Now she orders Zsasz to find Penn before Gordon does but Zsasz wants to confirm who to prioritise Penguin or Penn, both is top priority.
Oswald thanks Lee for rescuing him, but it was done out of necessity otherwise Lee would not be able to get to Sofia. Oswald and Lee are stood in freezing cold room and Oswald can’t believe that they are going to go through with Eds plan. Lee has taken control because Ed and Grundy have not shown up. Mr Victor Fries aka Mr Freeze brings up the last time Oswald convinced him to help reclaiming the city he was promised resources to help reverse his condition, Oswald is regrettable about this and will rectify if given the chance. Lee reminds Mr Freeze that he could earn a lot of money if he helps them out, Freeze gives Oswald a timer to keep on him. Oswald starts to panick and tells Lee that he cannot afford to have his brain messed up like Ed’s. Freeze doesn’t give Oswald time to think if this was a good plan after all. Mr Freeze gets his ice gun and turns Oswald into a popacle Penguin.
Selina sits looking at the jewellery as Bruce applies ice to hand. Bruce notices Selina is still feeling guilty as it wasn’t really about the money Selina wanted Bruce to return the jewellery for her. Bruce reminds Selina she did not kill Roland Charles. Because Selina was there she doesn’t see how she can go back to the family and say sorry for stealing the jewellery. Bruce has become wise and saying sorry is enough sometimes.
Nygma is being tortured by another familiar character The Denist. Ed’s face and shirt is covered in blood. The Denist is impressed at Ed’s strength of mind as he won’t give up where Penguin is. Sofia pats Ed on the back and tells him that he will tell her where Penguin is or she will make his torture seem like a pleasant dream. Ed laughs and decides to give Sofia a riddle “i can be done with the teeth, the eye and mind. What am i. I can be humerus but never funny what am i?” Sofia isn’t impressed so she stabs Ed with a metal tool in his thigh, but Ed still refuses to give up Penguin. It’s annouced Sofia has a visitor, a guy has turned up with Penguin. They push frozen Penguin in for Sofia to see which she admits is unexpected. Mr Freeze asks for payment of $100,000 which Sofia doesn’t refuse to pay. Ed looks over his shoulder briefly and is delighted that Lee and Oswald went with his plan and it has worked so far. Zsasz gives Sofia more good news as he knows where Penn is, then Sofia orders Ed to be taken to the famous docks and shot.
One of the wonderful things about Gotham they know how to do weird correctly. Jim and Harvey arrive at Bo Sh Sumka Spa and Resort the therapy that they discover is probably nothing like they have experienced before. It is place that adults can live out their fantasies of being a baby or a toddler again. There are grown adults playing with rubber ducks, a paddling pool full of balls and building blocks with alphabet letters on. The adults are dressed in baby grows, bibs and bonnets on their heads some even have dummies in their mouths. Harvey calls this a new level of hell. Jim asks the lady in charge where Arthur Penn is but she is under confidentiality agreement not to reveal any names. Behind Jim and Harvey the wonderful Mr Penn is crawling on his hands and knees dressed in a romper suit, bonnet and a bib with a yellow duck on the front. Jim spots him, Mr Penn stands up and removes his bonnet and is quite embrassed he has been found.
Back at Falcone mansion the remote timer in frozen Penguins pocket is flashing and the ice begins to break. The Denist is clearing up after his torture session he turns to see a very chilly wet looking Oswald behind him. Oswald again rages at discovering another person had been double crossing him with Sofia, he hits The Denist across the face with the gun he is carrying and wants to know where Sofia has gone. Oswald telephones Lee who is waiting to hear if he has killed Sofia yet. With news of Sofia gone to get Mr Penn at the spa resort Oswald tells Lee to meet him there and they will finish her together. Oswald sees Nygma’s hat on the table and demands to know if Ed had really been there at the mansion. The Denist explains that Sofia had him torture Ed for information on Oswald whereabouts but he refused. This leaves Oswald in a dilemma does he go to the docks to stop Sofia’s thugs from killing Ed or does he go and get his revenge on Sofia?
In the words of Harvey Bullock, Mr Penn was being a triple agent. I absolutely love the backstory of Arthur Penn the history of his working relationship with Don Falcone then Carmine asking him to keep an eye on his daughter whilst he worked for Mr Cobblepot. Mr Penn agreed as it’s the only way to survive in Gotham. With the information Mr Penn gave to Sofia she managed to stay ahead of Oswald. It was Mr Penn who found Lazlo Valentine aka The Pyg but he kept Don Falcone informed at all times. With a red light shining on Penns chest, Jim and Harvey see Zsasz, Headhunter and Sofia have turned up to collect Mr Penn. Jim is hit in the side with bullet and Harvey takes Penn to safety. Sofia is calling out Jim and how he has ruined everything. Jim runs into the kitchen and manages to shoot Sofia’s men that have followed him. Another bullet hits Jim but this one is from Sofia, she walks towards Jim looking the most stylish she has looked with the darkest of expressions ever on her face. Jim is out of bullets and tries to reload one handed but Sofia fires again at his shoulder.
Lee arrives as Harvey takes Mr Penn to safety. Lee heads towards Sofia and Jim. Sofia is still pursuing Jim and telling him the reason why she killed her father because he disappointed her just like Jim has. Sofia shoots Jim again but claims she still cares for him, she wants Jim to beg for his life. Jim manages to sit up and tells Sofia to go to hell. This enrages her further and is prepared to pull the trigger on Jim one last time as this is where their story ends. Sofia receives a surprise shot to stomach, when she turns round Lee puts another bullet in Sofia’s forehead. This is a great moment in a Gotham as it shows how far Lee was prepared to go to get The Narrows back.
Nygma is on his knees at the docks waiting for his final fate, the two thugs who have taken him there give him some really bad riddles. With more surprise gunshots to the heads of the thugs Ed turns round with a gun aimed at Oswald who is limping towards him. Ed asks Oswald if he killed Sofia? Curious to know why Oswald didn’t wait at the mansion for Sofia to return, Oswald answer is simple he would not of got to Ed in time. So Oswald did give up his revenge on Sofia to save Ed. Trust is very hard to find in Gotham and Oswald trusts Ed. Oswald puts his gun away so does Ed, they both look out over the water and Ed admits he has a very strong desire to never see the pier again. Oswald could not agree more.
Harvey asks Jim whilst in his hospital bed is he surprised that he survived? Lee managed to keep him alive even though she is one handed at the moment. The big reveal is that Sofia is in a coma even Harvey is amazed she isn’t dead. Jim decides he is going to confess all his connections to The Pyg and Sofia, but Harvey won’t let him. Harvey won’t let Jim be the martyr as Jim would only benefit form it. The GCPD would loose their hero and Jim has to live with his debt just like Harvey does. Jim sees this as Sofia winning but its what the city of Gotham needs.
Samson is being beaten up in The Narrows fight ring, he swears to Lee that he will leave. Lee is sure he will leave but first she wants to pay him back. Lee asks one of her people to hold out Samsons right hand and just like Sofia did to her, Lee takes a hammer and hits his hand continually whilst the people of The Narrows cheer on their Queen.
Barbara continues to have bad migraines, Tabitha is going on at her at the news of Sofia and now possibly Penguin coming back to gain control. Barbara yells at Tabitha to shut up, the music continues to thump away in the nightclub as Barbara notices a glow in the palm of her hand which spreads up her arm. Barbara turns and is horrified to see Ra’s al Ghul coming towards her. Finally we are moving on with this storyline. Can’t wait to see what exactly Ra’s passed on to Barbara whilst he was in Blackgate prison.
Did this episode deserve a grand applause? Absolutely its in my ten top episodes from all the seasons of Gotham so far.
Gotham returns on Thursday 29th March titled “One Of My Three Soups.” This episode has been directed by the brilliant Ben McKenzie. Arkham’s “finest” give Gordon and Bullock a run for their money, as they hatch a plan to escape the asylum. Meanwhile, Bruce devises his own strategy to thwart their plans. Also, Barbara gets an offer she can’t refuse.