Well that was interesting. After a week that gave almost all the main cast of characters some kind of storyline, this week was Bruce, Alfred, Selina, Barbara and Tabitha-free as Gotham introduces on of the comic’s newer villains, Professor Pyg, played by Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris (you may also remember him from Fringe as The Observer), not that you’d know it because he’s always wearing a pig’s head (we only get a very brief glimpse of him without the head at the very end).
So who is Professor Pyg? It’s interesting that they’re bringing him into the Gotham universe as he has only appeared in the comic books since 2007, and in a series where Bruce Wayne is long dead and there is a new Batman. That Pyg also have a different modus operandi than the one on the show, turning people in to “Dollotrons” by creating plastic masks and attaching them to his victims’ faces (and most likely performing lobotomies and othere surgeries in the process). Here, Pyg has an even more nefarious plan and I’m surprised they even got away with it on the show due to the use of the derogatory nickname some people have for the police.
On Gotham, Professor Pyg has set his sights on crooked cops, namely the ones who have been working for Penguin. Pyg somehow knows where each of his victims will be, slits their throats and places a pig’s head over their own heads. The episode was quite liberal in its use of the term “pig” when referring to the dirty cops, which was a bit shocking. When Jim and Harvey figure out Pyg is targeting Penguin’s bag men, they try to find out from other officers who is working for Penguin but no one wants to rat out their brothers. They just see this as a witch hunt, not realizing lives are in danger.
But the cops are always one step behind Pyg, and he gets the upper hand on them both after planting a grenade in the belly of his final (for now) victim. Jim wakes up duct taped to a chair and Harvey is nowhere to be seen, but Pyg assures him he’s still alive … for the moment. Pyg also assures Jim that he is perfectly safe because the two have the same agendas, to cleanse the GCPD of its crooked cops. Jim says that could be half the force, and I’d say he’s probably being very conservative in that assessment.
When Harvey starts making noise from another room in the warehouse, Pyg runs off, leaving Jim to figure out a way to get to them. And the only way is down, plunging himself over the edge of the upper floor, smashing the chair and managing not to break anything else on impact (and it looked like he could have broken his leg but didn’t). Pyg gives him enough of a hint that Harvey is just as dirty as all the others and cuts his throat … which had my jaw on the floor … but only deep enough to make Jim choose between saving Harvey or going after Pyg. He chose Harvey. In the hospital, Harvey admits to taking money from Penguin becasue the commissioner ordered them to abide by the licensing system and because he just needed the money to pay off his own debt. Jim told him it stopped now, and Harvey was obviously guilt-ridden. This new twist will obviously fracture the mens’ relationship moving forward. And Pyg will return to continue with his agenda for several more episodes.
Elsewhere, Penguin was stood up for the lunch he was to have with Sofia Falcone and then had to endure some relentless teasing from Victor Zsasz about this date gone wrong. The interaction between these two is terrific and brings a little humor to the otherwise dire situations. But Victor just kept poking at Penguin and it was great. Victor was ordered to follow Sofia and he came back with the information that she’d had a private meeting with the mayor and the zoning commissioner at an old hotel she just bought and had a wall and gate installed. Penguin believes she’s building a fortress to wage war with him and decides to show Sofia who runs Gotham now. But she insists that she’s doing no such thing and brings him to the building which she’s turned into … an orphanage! Well, doesn’t Oswald feel silly now. But what’s Sofia’s real game here?
Meanwhile, Ed is raking in the dough with his new best friend Solomon Grundy at the underground fight club, but he’s also interested in knowing why Lee is working there. The two of them also shard some witty banter but anything Lee said to Nygma was dripping with sarcasm. He does learn that she has a small clinic where she attends to Gotham’s under-privileged citizens and that’s the only reason she’s working for Cherry. Ed wants her to make him smart again, which she refuses, but when she runs out of antibiotics and needs money, she agrees to take his earnings and do what she can. Can Lee help make Ed smart again?
Gotham airs Thursday at 8:00 PM on FOX.
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