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Gotham – Penguin’s Umbrella Review

"Way too much rain for the Penguin's umbrella to handle. "

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If tension equals rain, then the water fiercely poured all over this episode. Penguin’s Umbrella is fit to be the season finale but it is only the seventh episode of Gotham. Filled with action, tension and misdirection this week’s episode hit the climax of the whole season. While certain actions were exaggerated, the unique characters kept the episode on a high note. After Penguin revealed himself, the two most wanted men in Gotham became Gordon and Cobblepot–who now seems to be permanently known as Penguin.

The episode began with action scenes and 40 minutes into the show the tension was still up. There were moments of relaxation but even during those moments emotions ran high. Take the scene when Mooney once again faces Penguin. In an occasion of mere dialogue, there was still such angry passion radiating out of Pinkett Smith. Her acting really sells the fear of what will happen to the unprotected Penguin if Mooney ever gets her hands on him. Even little Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) delivered a performance of emotion and anxiety. The love he has developed for Gordon (in such a short time) brings out the anxiety of the danger Gordon is confronting. Of course, the music added to the effect but it only shows that tensions grew more even in scenes with little action.

Like I mentioned before, there were certain actions set in motion that were exaggerated. The energy put into looking for Gordon and the Penguin was over the top and unnecessary. Let’s begin with Gordon, how many men does it really take to find one detective in a city filled with citizens scared of the mob? Both Mooney and Falcone sent out their best men and no one delivered Gordon. Heck, he willingly walked into Falcone’s house on his own. An assassin, who has killed 28 people, couldn’t even do the job and he came with two henchwomen. While Victor Zsasz was the best character and actor of the episode, it was still too much energy for one man who has proven to stop at nothing for his hero’s quest. A second act of exaggeration was the capture of the Penguin. It was clear by the end that Mooney needed him dead more than Falcone but dragging in nuns was unnecessary. This constant back and forth battle between Falcone and Maroni is played out. The Penguin as well as Falcone has been two steps ahead of everyone, so the first hit on Maroni was a waste of nuns. Sure, the whole plan was to kill Nikolai in the first place but isn’t he really bound to die? Working with Mooney—a character who time and time again has shown to only care about herself—wasn’t going to end well for him.

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Of course, the actions shown in the episode doesn’t hide the beauty of the characters. Anthony Carrigan who played Victor Zsasz was the best part and it is a shame that he only appeared twice in the whole episode. Arkham’s Richard Gladwell has nothing on the crazy that is Zsasz. I previously labeled Gladwell (Hakeem Kae-Kazim) as a young Candyman but Zsasz is an assassin without remorse. More concerned about his tally, this man enjoys the feeling of killing and is nothing like Gladwell. Carrigan, who also played Kyle Nimbus in the CW’s The Flash, has shown to be a killer without a conscious and that is only a small part of his terror. His skill to dodge bullets and still have accurate aim makes him impossible to bring down. Then there are his face reactions which are both friendly and diabolical. His eyes especially show the lack of a soul inside of him. Looking into them for too long will cause an ominous feeling. An assassin with no remorse and has Funkytown as his ringtone is a character I would like to see more of in the future. Again, it is a disappointment that Carrigan was only in two scenes.

Zsasz is a new character to look forward to but this episode also shined a positive light on the rest of the cast. While Barbara continues to be a disappointing character, Montoya and Allen are not. Of course, it was because of Montoya and Allen that Gordon is in danger, but they did come to the rescue and as a result became useful characters. It is a nice change of events to see these two share Gordon’s goal and instead of bringing him down are in a partnership. Donal Logue (Bullock) and Zabryna Guevara (Captain Sarah Essen) have also turned their characters around. The writers have created—intentionally or not—less pressure on Ben McKenzie’s character Gordon by flipping the switch on the rest of the characters. This causes Gordon’s army to grow, which is a good sign especially since Gotham’s police department is filled with Cowards.

All in all, the action packed episode is keeping Gotham on its role of success. But if this is the climax, then will the falling action be a downfall or will it continue to deliver amazing episodes?

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Final Thoughts
• This episode is perfectly fitted to be a season finale.
• This is only the seventh episode and seems to be the climax. What is left over for the rest of the season?
• Anthony Carrigan did a fantastic job and I can only hope he will return to the show.
• While Penguin has his own interests in mind, it is becoming vague who he is snitching for.

Rating
8.0
Pros
  • Anthony Carrigan
  • Montoya and the rest of the cast
  • Gordon gets to fight another day
Cons
  • Exaggerated actions
  • Climax hit early

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