Gotham Recap And Review – S02E07 – “Mommy’s Little Monster”


The seventh episode of Season 2 of Fox’s Gotham, “Mommy’s Little Monster”, sees Penguin plan his revenge against the Galavans.  Though this is, so far, writing-wise, the best episode of Season 2 to-date, Gotham failed to capture the suspense and thrills due to its initial framework of showing the audience too much.  If the writers had injected more mystery into Theo’s plans earlier in the season, this episode could’ve been more compelling.

Spoilerific Recap: Butch takes Penguin and his men to the warehouse and they find Gertrud in a prison cell.  Theo and Tabitha surprise them and reveal that Butch is no longer under Penguin’s control.  After Butch takes out the men from his own team, Penguin starts to beg for the life of his mother.  Theo lets out Gertrud, but the reunion is short-lived.  Tabitha stabs Gertrud in the back and she dies in Penguin’s arms.  When Penguin is about to be executed by Theo, he takes the knife used to stab his mother and slashes Theo’s throat — injuring, but not killing him.  Penguin quickly dives through a window and escapes.

Nygma awakens from a nightmare of his last moment with Kristen.  His other half appears and taunts him, telling him that he took her body.  His other half directs him to an envelope placed on a bed.  Nygma opens the envelope and finds a riddle which gives clues as to where Kristen’s body is hidden.  One of the clues points him to GCPD.

Theo, Tabitha, and Silver watch a news report projecting Theo to be the winner in the mayoral race.  Theo tells Silver that she needs to keep her game going with Bruce, as she definitely has him under her control now.

At GCPD, Harvey asks Jim if he trusts Theo.  Jim admits that he’s suspicious about all politicians.  The two suddenly see Theo and Harvey Dent enter the office of Barnes.  As Jim and Harvey join in on the conversation, they find out from Theo that Penguin made an attempt on his life.  This gives the GCPD something to work with in terms of apprehending Penguin.  Theo uses his new special powers as mayor and gives Unit Alpha full authority to hunt down Penguin.  Jim is worried that this is martial law.  However, Theo reminds Jim that it was Jim who came to him for help.

At Wayne Manor, Selina sneaks in through the study room’s windows.  As Bruce greets her, Selina catches wind of Silver’s purse.  Soon, Silver enters and charms Bruce into leaving her and Selina alone.  When they’re by themselves, Silver warns Selina to never come by again and threatens her.

At GCPD, Nygma figures out that he needs to look for anything that has Kristen’s initials — “KK.”  He deduces that the “KK” slot in a snack vending machine is where he’ll find what he’s looking for.  As he goes through the line of snacks, he finds Kristen’s severed hand as the last item.

Tabitha voices her concern to Theo that Penguin will only end up going underground, making the search for him that much more difficult.  Theo is confident that Penguin will show himself due to his need for revenge.

At Penguin’s new hideout, Penguin and his men watch Theo’s press conference on television.  Penguin smashes the television and makes plans to kill Theo tonight.

Harvey tells Jim that Butch has gone solo and has created his own gang.  As they leave to find Butch, Leslie arrives and gives the key to her apartment to Jim.

At Wayne Manor, Alfred serves Bruce, Sliver and Selina their afternoon tea.  Silver attempts to make conversation and plays up her feigned innocence.  Selina calls her out on it.  Silver musters up some fake tears and leaves.  The manipulation works, making Bruce turn against Selina.

As Nygma closely examines Kristen’s severed hand, he discovers another hidden clue — a riddle.  His other half reappears and continues to taunt him.  As he thinks deeper about the riddle, Nygma comes to the conclusion that Kristen’s body is hidden somewhere in the medical examiner’s lab.

Jim and Harvey pull up in an underpass near where Butch is now holed up.  Jim reveals his concerns about Theo’s sudden rise to power.  The various events (showing up right after Mayor James goes missing, the rescue at the gala, etc.) seem orchestrated and suspicious.  Jim’s thoughts are interrupted when they see a pizza delivery man enter Butch’s bar.

Jim and Harvey enter the bar with their guns drawn.  Jim wants to know where Penguin is, but Butch won’t budge.  However, he admits that he’s no longer loyal to Penguin.  Suddenly, Victor and his men show up outside.  Victor announces his plans which causes Butch’s men to abandon him.  Jim offers Butch his protection if he spills his guts to him about Penguin.  Butch agrees and tells Jim about Theo’s involvement in the kidnapping of Gertrud.  He’s interrupted when Victor and his men fire into the bar.  Seeing two military assault rifles, Jim and Harvey arm up and return fire.  Victor finally retreats.  When Jim and Harvey try to retrieve Butch, they discover that he has escaped.

Bruce arrives at Theo’s penthouse to look for Silver.  Theo greets Bruce and tells him that they’re very much alike — both from privilege, and both having suffered great loss.  He tells Bruce that his need to fill a void will consume him.  He implores Bruce to find closure.

As Penguin and his men arm themselves, one of the men warn Penguin that he will never get close enough to kill Theo, but Penguin is adamant in killing Theo himself.

Doing a final perimeter check, Harvey tells Jim that Gertrud’s landlord hasn’t seen her for some time, and that this time frame matches up with Butch’s story.  Jim agrees and voices his suspicions about Theo from what Butch has told them.

At the medical examiner’s lab, Nygma finds Kristen’s body in one of the refrigeration compartments.  Leslie catches him by surprise, but doesn’t see that it’s Kristen’s body.  When Leslie is about to discover Nygma’s secret, he lies and tells her that he had a fight with Kristen and needs Leslie’s consultation.  Leslie happily agrees to help him over coffee.

Theo meets Jim at the party.  He quickly asks Jim if Butch gave any information before escaping.  A question that raises Jim’s concerns about Theo.

Outside, Martinez, one of Unit Alpha’s snipers, spots Penguin through his scope.  Jim tells Martinez to await further instructions, but Penguin is shot anyways.  Martinez reports that it was an unknown shooter.  We find out that it’s Tabitha and the man that was shot was actually a Penguin decoy.  Panning back, the army of men headed towards Theo’s celebration are all dressed like Penguin and mimicking his walk.  As they crash through the windows, a shootout ensues between the GCPD and Penguin’s men.

Martinez finds Tabitha and orders her to drop her weapon.  She complies, but takes out her whip and uses it to take down Martinez.  As a final death blow, she brutally steps on his neck with her heel and kills him.

As the shootout continues inside, Jim tries to bring Theo to safety.  They exit to an awaiting limo, but the driver is quickly shot by Penguin.  In a tense standoff, Theo urges Jim to shoot Penguin.  Penguin tells Jim that Theo killed his mother and that he has to have his revenge.  Penguin is suddenly shot in the shoulder by Tabitha.  Jumping in the limo, Penguin makes his escape.

At Theo’s penthouse, Bruce and Silver watch Theo make another press conference on television.  Silver tells Bruce that she’s felt alone until meeting him.  Bruce admits his feelings for her and they kiss.  On the rooftop of a neighboring building, Selina watches them.

Theo, angry at Jim, berates him for not shooting Penguin when he had the chance.  He questions if Jim has what it takes.  Jim tells him he does and that he’ll start with him.  Theo takes it as a threat and warns Jim that he’s treading dangerous waters.

Nygma is back in the medical examiner’s lab.  As he removes Kristen’s body, his other half reappears and asks him how it felt to almost be caught.  Nygma fights his feelings at first, but finally gives in and admits that it felt “beautiful.”  The two egos now combine.  Nygma powers on a saw and starts to dismember Kristen’s body.

RELATED > Catch up on Gotham with a Recap and Review of “Rise of the Villains: By Fire”

Best Moment: Jim and Harvey using the assault files to ward off Victor and his men.

Final Thoughts: Even with high-octane action scenes, Gotham still fails to bring the thrills.  The fault lies with the way Theo’s story was set up from the beginning.  With the writers divulging too much early on, viewers were left with a predictable episode in “Mommy’s Little Monster.”  This could’ve been a great episode had the writers only sold the sizzle and not the whole steak for Season 2.