In the days when I used to read Marvel comics regularly, I used to come to the end of certain stories in which the supervillain was defeated, and try to work out myself how he or she was going to get away from the seemingly impossible situation that the writer had created. Many times, the solutions couldn’t possibly be thought up at the time, because the writer bringing them back down the line was working to their own agenda, and where necessary, rewrote history. Such solutions often strained credibility – and I’m beginning to feel that way about the resistible rise of the Penguin in this show.
Mr Cobblepot (who seems now to be totally happy with his nom-de-villainy) has been playing both ends against the middle for a considerable time and it was inevitable he would get his comeuppance at some point. However if it had been any other character in the show, this would’ve been the end – and actually I would rather that we had seen the car crusher coming down, and not find out for some time later (at least the following week) how he had escaped. It seems wrong to complain about credibility being stretched in this show – even the characters themselves comment on how only in Gotham could such weird things be taken for granted – but this just felt like a step too far.
That’s not to knock the earlier part of the episode, with the game of truth between Penguin and his erstwhile colleague making a neat contrast to Jim and Bullock’s pursuit of Dr Crane, and both detectives’ rather clumsy approach to dating. I much prefer Jim with the good doctor from Arkham than with Barbara, who just hasn’t come across as a strong enough character – yet, anyway.
Verdict: A nice balance between the supervillain creation and the Gotham Broadwalk Empire elements. 8/10