Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gotham Ep. 7 “Penguin’s Umbrella” Review

Gotham Ep. 7 “Penguin’s Umbrella” Review
By Rob Jefchak

After the gargantuan garbage heap that was last week’s episode “Spirit of the Goat,” I was beginning to wonder if I would ever feel that same rush of excitement and intrigue I felt when I saw “Gotham” for the first time. I feared what kept me compelled to watch week after week was being eroded by worthless cameos of characters who refuse to develop and grow and lackluster serial killers who only wish they had a fraction of the intrigue these potential DC villains are SUPPOSED to have.

However, “Penguin’s Umbrella” brought everything full circle in ways I had hoped and ways I never even expected as well. After his public “resurrection” to the cops and crooks of Gotham city, Penguin has both the Falcon and Maroni crime families at each other’s throats; with Jim Gordon stuck in the middle since his failure to kill Penguin has now gone public.

Falcon dispenses a hitman by the name Zsaz (a favorite char from many DC fans) to take Gordon out; forcing him to work with a number of unlikely allies. What I admired about this episode’s approach was the desperation each character exuded; like every person in this story had a last ditch effort to show their guts and make a move that would change the course of their lives forever…and they did. 

Falcon sending a hitman to a police station for Gordon was a gutsy movie, but the real shocker was seeing the police actually leave Gordon for Zsaz because he ordered them to. It’s a sick sign of how bad things truly are in Gotham despite Gordon’s best efforts, but it’s shocking and not shocking at the same time because we have a good enough grasp of how things are done in “Gotham” that this isn’t too much of a surprise.

The move to acknowledge and publicize this inner corruption was an impressive turn none the less. The Penguin himself; naturally is the focus here and just like every other time he appears onscreen; he does not waste a minute of his screen time. The Penguin is the only comic character (other than Gordon) who truly seems to be acting as the person we expect he will grow into.

His cunning manipulation of both Falcon and Maroni families continues to excite and entice viewers. I first feared this show would be predictable but after this episode, I honestly can’t say I know where Penguin’s plan is going or how Gordon is going to handle these change of events. Gordon’s valiant effort to clean out Gotham’s biggest scumbags was a bold one but sadly, seemed doomed to fail no matter what. 

The introduction of Zsaz was handled with a greater sense of focus and attention than I expected. If he continues to show up and ooze more creepy sadism then maybe he will prove to be worth the hyper everyone seems to be giving him. I know less about him than any other DC comic character, only that many fans like him and were quite pleased to hear he’d be on this show. 

Though the fact a B stringer villain like Zsaz got more spotlight focus than the advertised rogues like Catwoman and Poison ivy completely baffles me. “Gotham” is back in top form and top shape; with my interest renewed more passionately than ever. This is an excellent highpoint episode for the series and though I know it will be impossible to permanently maintain this buzz; I’m at least hopeful than before that “Gotham” won’t deliver another “Spirit of the Goat” anytime soon.