Gotham (2013) season 2, episode 9
"A Bitter Pill to Swallow"
WRITER: MEGAN MOSTYN-BROWN
DIRECTOR: LUOIS SHAW MILITO
AIR DATE: November 16 2015
"A Bitter Pill to Swallow" - a saying that applies to more than one character in this episode of Gotham, in the wake of last episode’s big events. Theo Galavan (James Frain) is behind bars, fallen from grace, arrested for the kidnapping and torture of Mayor James. Barbara (Erin Richards) is in hospital in a coma, having had barely survived her fall. Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Leigh (Morena Baccarin) are trying to deal with the unresolved issues that Barbara brought up. Bruce (David Mazouz) is trying to come to terms with losing the information on the deaths of his parents after coming so close.
Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas), outraged by the downfall of her brother and particularly what happened to Barbara, takes things into her own hands. She’s fixated on Gordon, on killing him, and enlists the aid of a hit agency to take him out. One of the killers, a particularly brutal assassin with an appetite for cannibalism, is a man named Eduardo Flamingo (Raul Castillo), a character based on a comics assassin of the same name. Flamingo makes an impression, to say the least, as formidable and brutal as Victor Zsasz has been in this series.
Bruce finds himself at odds with himself after seeing the file on the deaths of his parents literally go up in smoke. Silver St. Cloud (Natalie Alyn Lind) seems to still be playing her part in Galavan’s plans, trying to play on his sympathies. Alfred (Sean Pertwee) can see through her. So can Selina (Camren Bicondova), who warns Bruce about her. It’s a small moment, but I like how the writers let the character’s inner humanity show itself beneath the toughness - Selina has nothing to gain by being honest with Bruce, but she’s driven by concern for him.
a very sick man...
The other primary storyline playing out this time features the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), who’s not at his best physically after recent events, being tended to by Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith). Aside from one brief (and funny) interaction in season one, they haven’t dealt with each other. This episode has the two future Bat-villains talking. Edward’s confession is surprising, but so is his insight that the people they’ve loved have both been their weaknesses. It’s a tough thing to say to Oswald, who’s spent his life trying to please his deceased mother, but he’s right.
Things end on an ominous note, with the strange religious sect Galavan belongs to converging in the city. Of course, with a leader being played by Ron Rifkin, you just know this is going to get worse before it gets any better.