Episode title: Mad Grey Dawn
Director: Nick Copus
Writers: Bruno Heller (developed by), Megan Mostyn-Brown (story)
Stars: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Morena Baccarin, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Nicholas D’Agosto, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Michael Chiklis, Drew Powell. Jessica Lucas, Nathan Darrow, Erin Richards, Kristen Hager, BD Wong, Tonya Pinkins and more.
Duration: 42 minutes
Things get shaken up in an eventful episode where the fortunes of some of the main characters go through major changes.
After last weeks’ filler episode that served as a bridge from what went before and what is going on now, in the grim metropolis, this most recent episode was an eventful one, setting up some storylines that will, I assume, play out through the rest of the season, as the fortunes of some of our favorite characters rise and fall.
The episode begins with a visit to Butch and Tabitha where Penguin inexplicably decides to pay a visit, he arrives bearing a gift of some cupcakes and claiming he is now cured of his former evil ways and sane. A changed man. Butch decides he is no longer a problem and decides to let him go, but Tabitha wants to punish him in some way for killing her brother Theo, who we know is part of Strange’s collection of dead people in tanks at Indian Hill in Arkham.
When we see Penguin next he is showing evidence of having been tarred and feathered as his punishment at her hands. He got off light. I am still puzzled by the non response by law enforcement regarding Penguin’s release. No one seems to care this former mad dog killer and criminal is on the streets again.
Penguin next visits the grave of his recently murdered mother, where he meets a man, Elijah Van Dahl (Paul Reubens) who is also visiting the grave. After a brief exchange this man turns out to have known Penguin’s mom many years earlier, and is, in fact, Penguin’s father. Van Dahl is apparently quite wealthy with a fancy car, and a gothic (what else?) mansion for a home.
He welcomes Penguin into his home and introduces him to the rest of the VanDahls. Penguin’s fall from being the King of Gotham has landed him in the lap of luxury. The family seems happy to meet him, but it is apparent this not really the case. They resemble the usual suspects from any typical British murder mystery, as they cheer his arrival with thinly disguised malice.
Meanwhile, Edward Nygma has made plans for dealing with the threat of Gordon’s investigation into the whereabouts of Miss Kringle, who as we know Nygma killed and disposed of. Nygma’s alter-ego has emerged and become the dominant part of his personality. He goes about framing Gordon for murder and in the process commits some crimes, including the murder of officer Carl Pinkney (Ian Quinlan). His chosen form of expression is explosives and he nearly kills Gordon as part of his scheme. He earns the nickname “the bomber” from the GCPD as a result of his activities.
His devious plan succeeds. Gordon is arrested, put on trial, and convicted so fast, that if you had to left the room for a moment, you might have missed it. In an odd, and surprising brief moment, Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) is shown waking up from her coma back in Arkham just as Gordon is thrown in jail. We are left to ponder what direction her character will be taken in next.
Bullock responds to Gordon’s incarceration by promising to clear him and find out who was responsible for his frame up. Dr Thompson is beside herself with dismay at this development. The way this was handled did seem overly rushed and almost treated as if it was not a big deal, but how could it not be a big deal? Gordon is finally paying for his sins, and his fall into the dark side has its inevitable result.
Nygma is emerging as a more cerebral and devious sort of criminal that we have seen previously on this show. The show’s writers have taken the time to craft his character well leading up to this episode. He has begun to leave his calling card of his trademark green question mark at this point, and it holds the promise of good things to come regarding this character’s role in future episodes. He is becoming the classic character we are familiar with.
There is also a small part of this week’s show devoted to depicting Bruce’s travels into the underbelly of Gotham, with Selina as his guide into the workings of criminal life in the city. There is a surprise appearance by Ivy (Clare Foley), who works for a gang growing mushrooms in their basement. She is just as unsavory, disquieting and creepy as ever, but it was still oddly nice to see after her long absence from the show.
They plan a robbery from the drug dealing gang led by Gilizean’s nephew, Sonny (Paul Pilcz), but Bruce and Selina get caught in the act. Bruce calls Sonny a coward, for attacking Selena, and gets the snot beat out of him by Sonny for his trouble, but Bruce doesn’t back down from the much larger Sonny, and he and Selena manage to escape. Bruce explains later it was a transcendent, and educational experience for him and that he learned something about himself and the his inner spiritual strength. he is showing the first signs of the indomitable will that will serve him in the future.
All in all, it was another quite good episode, eventful and an entertaining slice of life in the dark city we love. It wasn’t a truly great episode, but it was a good one. The quality we have begun to expect from the series was there, mostly due to the excellent cast and writing. As always the episode left me hungry for what happens next with several threads left hanging to whet my appetite for more.