GOTHAM Season 4 Episode 8 Review: Stop Hitting Yourself

After last week’s episode, this episode takes a break from Professor Pyg and goes back to the show’s root characters. It’s nice to have an episode dedicated to the aftermath of the previous episode events. After Harvey and Penguin took to the Narrows to take down Pyg and fell for his setup, all the different cliques of Gotham are reacting differently. 

The people of the Narrows are ready for a fight. They’re angry at Penguin, and for all of Nygma’s stupidity, he still understands how to capitalize on something. He is dressing up as Penguin and putting on a show before the Grundy steps up to fight. 

Somehow, the news of Nygma’s show reaches Penguin, but the news of a large man beating another man to death with his arm wasn’t deemed important enough. Penguin sends Tabitha, Barbara, and Selina to see the act and collect Nygma. If they don’t do it, they will be burned alive by Firefly, who is still in this show, remember? 

Once they get to the club, Tabitha is quickly distracted by Butch, Barbara goes off to talk to Lee, and Selina is the only one left focusing on the job. Luckily, Nygma is so stupid that all it takes is Selina to capture him. At least someone in their crew got a win. Otherwise, Butch doesn’t recognize Tabitha and Barbara gets smacked in the face by Lee, even if the dynamic between Barbara and Lee was delightful nonetheless. 

It sets up an odd combination between groups: Lee, Nygma, and Butch versus Barbara, Selina, and Tabitha. Lee and Butch don’t want Nygma to be taken from the Narrows, so Selina suggests a challenge befitting of their surroundings. Take it to the ring. Just Butch versus Tabitha. Winner takes Ed. Tabitha is convinced that Butch is still in there and loves her too much to hurt her. At first, this doesn’t seem to be true, but he briefly recognizes her before she knocks him out. Hopefully this hints at the fact that Butch will eventually regain his memory. 

This fight doesn’t really matter; Penguin will get Ed one way or another. Even though they eventually won Ed, they took too long to do it, and Penguin sent Firefly to burn them alive and get Ed herself. Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina aren’t happy to be accosted by her, and Selina hates Firefly’s attitude. Firefly clearly has no attachment to Selina anymore, and she has all her memories intact; she has no excuse. 

Butch is super afraid of fire and won’t fight her off, but, surprisingly, Lee is the one who takes care of her. Then, Lee exposes the lady in charge of the club for ratting out Nygma to Penguin. Barbara takes back the spotlight for a moment and shoots the lady in charge. After all their incidental teamwork, Barbara and Lee share a long look before Barbara leaves. 

Now that the lady in charge is dead, the people of the Narrows need a new leader. After killing Firefly and directly causing the old leader’s death, everyone is now looking at Lee to take charge. I do love this crowd’s affinity for a woman leader. As Barbara said, Lee is now sexy and self-righteous, but now that she is the leader of the Narrows, that may change her attitude a little bit. 

Gordon still has no idea that Lee is in town, but after Barbara meeting her, he may find out soon. At the moment, he’s a little busy as the new captain of the GCPD. After seeing Harvey break apart after falling for Pyg’s setup and hearing some manipulative words from Sophia, Gordon is convinced that he is too weak to continue as the captain. Even though Gordon feels incredibly bad about it, it seems like the best decision. Harvey is just spending his time getting drunk in the office while everyone sees Gordon as a hero. He has the opportunity to make some changes now. 

Although, the only reason that Gordon was given the title of captain was because of Sophia’s interference. Harvey thinks that this title will come at a cost, and Gordon will have to pay up eventually with Sophia. After hearing this, Gordon goes to confront her. He tells her he doesn’t want her help anymore, and wants her to leave. She assures him that she isn’t going anywhere in a very suspicious manner. 

We still have no idea what her true intentions are in the Gotham. So far, she’s could run under the radar with all her actions, but now her intentions are being questioned. Not only by Gordon, but also by Penguin. 

Penguin feels like his entire business is falling apart, and Sophia suggests that he finds a new relaxing side project to invest his time into. She actually suggests that he buys chickens like her father did, and there was a brief moment when I was excited that Penguin might buy penguins, but that dream was quickly crushed. Penguin starts mentoring one the bullied orphans. 

Yet, Penguin’s form of mentoring is a bit different than the average mentoring. He is literally tutoring the boy in revenge. The boy wants to murder his bullies, but Penguin suggests friendship. Then, his friends can fight his bullies for him. Penguin is still very sensitive about having friends after the whole Nygma situation. After all these lessons on the dangers of friendship, Penguin begins to question Sophia’s friendship. 

While this seems like it may threaten Sophia’s plans in Gotham, I’m not sure if that’s true. Her intentions are so hidden that maybe this is part of the plan. However, it seems next week takes the attention off of her once again, and focuses more heavily on Bruce and Pyg. The storytelling has gone much slower this season, and it is really paying off.

Written by Nicole Teeters, GOTHAM Beat Writer 

Related Posts:
GOTHAM Season 4 Episode 7 Review: A Day in the Narrows

GOTHAM Season 4 Episode 6 Review: Hog Day Afternoon

GOTHAM Season 4 Episode 5 Review: The Blade's Path