GOTHAM Season 4 Episode 13 Review: A Beautiful Darkness

After last week’s warm up episode, this episode really gets into the main story lines. While the main focus of this episode was Ivy, I feel the need to talk about Jerome and Penguin first. This is what we had been waiting for after the winter finale! And the show isn’t being subtle about it in the least: Jerome is the Joker. However, Penguin’s attitude makes it much less exciting. 

For someone who took over the underworld, Penguin never really thrives in prison. All Penguin does is mope, and he refuses to do anything out of fear of Sophia Falcone. Jerome is determined to fix his attitude… by forcing him to dance for him. Then Penguin cries about his past. Then everybody beats him up for not complying. Yeah, it’s fair to say that Jerome isn’t qualified to help him. Yet, the red bow on the clown costume was a nice touch. 

Maybe there is someone out there who can help Penguin. Nygma comes to visit Penguin. Penguin is suspicious of his reasons, and knows there must be something going on. Turns out The Riddler is trying to get out again, and he needs Penguin’s help to do it. Old rivalries never die. Nygma is going to be pissed, and Penguin is inspired. 

Now, Penguin is fighting back. He tricks Jerome, plays along with his games, and beats him up a bit too. They are making a whole show of it, and Jerome is pleased that Penguin is cured. He thinks he is the one that cured him, but it’s Penguin’s hope that The Riddler will break him out and he will have a purpose again. 

Since Penguin has been cured, Jerome approaches him with a proposition. Jerome is planning something, and he wants to partner up with Penguin. Penguin turns him down because of his hope in The Riddler. I wouldn’t be surprised if Penguin eventually teamed up with Jerome. After all, Jerome is a crazy bad guy. That’s exactly Penguin’s type! Hopefully, he won’t fall in love with him too. 

Back to the focus of the episode; Ivy is treating the town like her bitch. Her perfume is like before, but enhanced so that everybody tells her that she is beautiful all the time. She is on the war path to find out what Wayne Enterprise’s Project M is and why it is killing so many plants. Selina leaves the moment she sees this plan involves killing men in front of their families, which is probably a good place to draw the line. 

Though, Selina was still at the scene of the crime, and could be identified by the family members and Gordon. When he goes to talk to her about it, she gives up Ivy immediately. She really isn’t meant for the underworld if killing a man is enough to lose her loyalty. Gordon goes along with the Ivy story; it’s weird, but easily not the weirdest thing this town has seen. 

Ivy goes to Bruce to find out more about the project. He’s not in the best head space to talk about it, considering he drunk-purchased a parrot. We’ve all had nights like that. Ivy hypnotizes him into telling her all about it before dooming him to a long and painful death. Classic villain stuff. 

This leads her to Lucius, who knows the location of Project M. She hypnotizes the entire GCPD on the way there. After many people calling her beautiful, she goes with Lucius to Project M. The point of Project M is to figure out more about Ra’s Al Ghul’s goop (I’m not sure how else to describe it) that increases cell growth at an incredibly fast rate. This could be great if used to create plants, so she takes it. Gordon attempts to stop her, but she gives Gordon the antidote to save Bruce so she can get away. I’m not sure why, after Lucius woke up from his hypnotizing, that they didn’t split up. Lucius could have easily handled the antidote while you went after Ivy with your gun, but that’s probably the reason the villains are usually on top in this city. 

Now, finding Ivy is the GCPD’s top priority. She is making deadly plants. I guess it is better to be killed by some killer plants than some killer toys like in the last episode. 

Even though Bruce was saved, he had some rough hallucinations while he was out. Ra’s Al Ghul tore his face off, an old-timey party where Gordon had a mustache, and Alfred was an agent set on taking him to a dark cloaked figure. Once again, GOTHAM wasn’t subtle in its writing, as they clearly hinted that Alfred’s mission is to make Bruce into the man he is supposed to become: The Batman. About 50 bats on the screen at once make it hard to miss. 

Bruce talks to Gordon about it, and they have a conversation about the darkness inside of themselves. Overall, it’s nothing that we didn’t already know. At the end of it, Bruce calls Alfred. Hopefully Alfred isn’t too busy beating up blokes on the street to get the message. 

What I didn’t expect from this episode was Sophia to show her face again so soon. After all, she must be busy as the queen on Gotham. Yet, I suppose one of the tasks of being queen is threatening those around you every now and again. She affirms that Gordon is wrapped around her finger, despite his best efforts to talk himself out of it. In the end, Sophia has a great weapon against him: her sister-in- law and new leader of the Narrows, Lee. I’m surprised Lee didn’t bust out that title earlier to get herself recognition in the Narrows. 

Overall, GOTHAM seems to be moving quickly towards truly becoming a show about the classic Batman tropes we all know and love. The Joker is undeniable, and Bruce becoming Batman is a quickly approaching possibility. At this point, Sophia and Ivy seem unimportant in comparison, but I’m still a little curious as to how they’ll be involved in this whole mess.

Written by Nicole Teeters, GOTHAM Beat Writer

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