Gotham season 5, episode 8 review: Nothing’s Shocking


Gotham introduced two more villains this week, just how much damage did they cause?

After last week’s explosive episode, the heroes and villains of Gotham got some downtime to reflect on who they were, who they are, and who they’re going to be. Of course, it wouldn’t be Gotham if they didn’t do that while also fighting for their lives.

Jane Doe

This week’s episode mostly revolves around Harvey and a case from his past. It’s very reminiscent of season one’s Spirit of the Goat. We are even treated to the not-so-triumphant return of Detective Dix. Detective Dix is in trouble because two former cop buddies of his were killed at Barbara’s club, and the killer was ID’d as being Detective Dix himself. The conundrum Jim and Harvey face is that Detective Dix is supposed to be paralyzed, so how could he have stabbed two guys in the neck while standing?

Jim and Harvey don’t have to ruminate on that for long before the true killer reveals their (lack of) face. The killer is none other than Jane Cartwright AKA DC Comics villain Jane Doe. Jane wants to get revenge on the cops who forced her to become implicit in her mother’s arrest for killing her abusive father and then got her sent to Arkham Asylum where she was experimented on by Dr. Hugo Strange, thus becoming a “monster” that can shapeshift.

But those two cops weren’t her only targets. She also has Detective Dix and Harvey on her list. She’s able to get to Dix and kill him but is forced to run before she can get Harvey. But Harvey tracks her down and apologizes to her for everything that happened to her. But it’s too late for apologies. She tries to shoot Harvey, leaving him no choice but to shoot back, leaving two bullets in her and a lifetime of guilt for him.

Harvey’s had to face the sins of his past before, and this one is no different. The man he was before, the man who would be complicit in fudging with a crime scene and do things against the book, is not the man he is now, although he doesn’t much see it that way. But Jim’s influence on him has made him the kind of man to not realize the difference between right and wrong but to actively stay on the right side of the law now.

The Ventriloquist

We also got the brief return of Penguin’s henchman Arthur Penn. Penguin and Nygma are working on their plans to build a submarine and fighting the whole time. Nygma thinks he’s doing all the work, while all Penguin contributes is a new Butch-like henchman named Dale. But Nygma proves himself to be right about the uselessness of Dale when Penn shows up unannounced with a new friend, a dummy named Mr. Scarface. DC fans will recognize him as the other classic DC villain, The Ventriloquist. And he is a villain in every sense of the word, as shown when Penn, claiming to be controlled by Mr. Scarface, shoots and kills Dale.

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What Mr. Scarface wants is Penguin’s stolen goods, which of course Penguin is not going to give up, especially to a dummy. But Nygma speaks up and convinces the dummy not to just walk away with the treasures but to come with them on the submarine. But he only did this to buy time to come up with a plan to get rid of Penn and Mr. Scarface. But before he has to enact on any plan, the situation basically implodes on itself. Penn, through Mr. Scarface, goes on a tirade about how horrible Penguin treated him, which Penguin disagrees with.

After managing to get the gun away from Penn, Penguin shoots Mr. Scarface. While thanking Penguin for freeing him from Mr. Scarface’s control, Penn is shot in the head by Nygma. Nygma says there’s no room for a lunatic like that on their team, and they are in fact on a team. Both Penguin and Nygma agree that they’re the same kind of person and they, in some sick, twisted way, belong together.

This whole ordeal led Nygma and Penguin to come to terms with their relationship and accept each other as-is. It’s a nice reminder of the close friendship they used to have, and it seems like they’re finally getting back to that place.

A City over Troubled Water

Bruce and Alfred are dealing with the after-effects of the loss of Wayne Manor and the chemicals Jeremiah released into Gotham’s waters. After Bruce and Alfred question a woman that was attacked in the sewers, they go down there by themselves to find her missing husband and whatever attacked them. They find both. The husband is fine, but the person, mutated by the chemicals, is not.

Now we’re starting to see just what the effects Jeremiah’s special concoction is going to have on Gotham’s citizens, and it’s not pretty.

A New Barbara?

Barbara just gets a little screentime here, but what little she has is filled with so much character reflection. After Jim questions Barbara about what kind of mother she’s going to be, she’s upset enough to confront him about if he’s going to send her to jail and take away their child. Even though she claims she likes the way she is, it looks like she might be willing to change that if it means keeping her baby.

Next. The 25 greatest Gotham villains of all-time. dark

Gotham will be back with a new episode next Thursday at 9/8 Central on FOX, and it looks like the action will pick back up again. How did you feel about this week’s slower episode?