“Anything for You”
Original Airdate: October 17, 2016
Well... THAT happened. To call this episode bananas is an understatement, as plenty of crazy went down. This was, hands down, one of the series’ absolute best. Penguin’s storyline was put front and center, which allowed for all the series’ best qualities to shine.
Cobblepot hasn’t been mayor for more than a day or so (as seen by helping in soup kitchens, opening a new school, introducing a speech and statue of his own mother... the usual mayoral things) when he already faces his first major issue. The Red Hood Gang, not seen since last season, has resurfaced, destroying the statue of Penguin’s mother and warning Penguin that the city is theirs.
Penguin, naturally, doesn’t take too kindly to this and assembles a gaggle of criminals, including everyone’s favorite sociopath Victor Zsasz. Penguin orders them to hunt down and eliminate the Red Hood Gang, while he goes to celebrate his victory at Barbara and Tabitha’s club.
The Red Hood Gang is playing cards at their hideout, waiting for the boss to arrive. That boss turns out to be none other than Butch. Butch tells the boys that there’s still work left to do and gives a select few suits orders to crash Penguin’s party while the others cause chaos in the streets.
Tabitha and Barbara discover Butch and his goons, as well as what they’re up to. Butch explains he’s using the Red Hood Gang to cause chaos, only to kill them later in order to become Cobblepot’s right hand man again, as he felt overshadowed by Nygma’s sudden rise. Tabitha and Barbara agree to keep quiet regarding the plan, but warn Butch that he owes them.
Penguin then finds the Red Hood gang’s hideout and contacts Butch to rendezvous. Butch, realizing that things might need to be accelerated, kills the gang just as Penguin comes in. Penguin and the media hail Butch as a hero, putting him back in the limelight.
Butch’s plan elevates him beyond that of a normal henchman. He’s loyal to his boss; but in time, he could become a formidable threat in his own right. In a way, it’s reminiscent of what we saw a few episodes ago with Penguin and Mooney: one creates the other, whether they realize it or not. Butch and Penguin’s relationship feels eerily similar to Mooney and Penguin, and it’ll be interesting to see how it further develops throughout the season.
Before we see Butch continue his plan, let’s see on how Barnes, Gordon and the rest of the GCPD is faring.
“I HAVE MISSED ALL OF YOU”
At the GCPD, the police are investigating the Red Hood massacre. Barnes is worried about his recent run in with Alice’s blood, fearing its power. This isn’t helped by the fact that he keeps hearing reports of it being contaminated.
Before anyone can make a move on the Red Hood case, Nygma walks through the front door, in what might be one of the funniest scenes of the show. After all, Nygma was the one who lied about Kringle and murdered her. So to see him walk in the door, with the biggest grin on his face, is darkly ironic.
Barnes demands that Nygma leaves, but Nygma states that, with his new position, he will become the new liaison for the Red Hood case. Barnes initially refuses vehemently, but realizes he has to live with it, lest Penguin elect a new commissioner.
Nygma immediately heads to his old stomping grounds, where he runs into Lee. Lee, not forgiving him for killing Kringle, punches him square in the face. Nygma is initially angered, but Lee threatens that she’s about to be married to the son of Carmine Falcone, and if she so much as whispers, Nygma’s a dead man.
It seems Lee is fully aware of what she’s getting herself into with Mario, which leads one to wonder if she herself is heading down a dark path. It’s an odd choice, given how much of a shining light Lee has been within this madcap world. She’s the voice of reason — the one who remains sane throughout the insane.
Barnes talks to Lee about Alice’s blood, doing the old trick of “finding information for others when it’s really for yourself.” Lee explains that the blood was tested on three rats: two of them began showing immense strength, but the third went berserk and murdered the other two violently. This obviously worries Barnes, as now he has that potential power inside of him (it’s like a more violent Jim Powell Sr., and if any of you remember what character that show is from, give yourself brownie points).
But now, there’s a party to attend to — one that’s about to set things off!
TWISTS AND TURNS
Penguin’s party at Sirens is under full swing, allowing for many of Gotham’s elite to show their support, with two of those elite being Bruce and Alfred. Bruce spots Selina and, going off on the advice Gordon gave to him earlier in the episode, wishes to speak to her privately. Ivy is also at the party, as she briefly teases Selina about her true identity.
Bruce and Selina head to the roof, where Bruce admits that he likes Selina. Selina initially rebuffs him, stating he only likes her because he’s the only girl that he’s ever really talked to (so I guess we’re going to forget the whole “Silver St. Cloud was briefly my girlfriend even though it was a lie” thing ever happened?). Bruce persists, stating that he knows Selina feels something too. Selina tells him that no one tells her what to do, and they kiss. It’s a brief but all too bittersweet moment for the young lovebirds, as come adulthood, both of them will be on opposite sides of the ideology of good and bad.
Remember when I said earlier that stuff hit the fan in this episode? It starts here. Nygma confronts Butch during the party, stating that he knows Butch is the leader of the Red Hood after examining the crime scene and finding inconsistencies.
Rather than turning him in, Nygma offers him a deal: Butch will don the Red Hood mask and take out the Penguin, while Nygma will divide the city with Butch so that they may rule Gotham together. Nygma claims to have played Penguin all along, stating he had no intention to be number two upon freedom.
Butch initially refuses this offer, to which Nygma issues an ultimatum: don the mask or Nygma orders Zsasz to kill Tabitha, who is being held at gunpoint. Butch reluctantly agrees, and dons the mask. While Penguin is in the middle of the speech, Butch attacks. The bullets that Nygma gave Butch are, however, non-lethal, and therefore have no effect on Penguin.
Nygma begins to gleefully gloat in Butch’s ear, before publicly revealing Butch as the leader of the Red Hood Gang. Cobblepot, overcome with fury, berates Butch for betraying him after everything they’ve done. Butch then attacks Nygma, and — in order to save his friend’s life — Penguin hits Butch on the head with a bottle.
It’s a powerful scene between the three actors that shows many layers to their characters. Cory Michael Smith, Robin Lord Taylor, and Drew Powell have consistently been on their A game week after week, and with this episode, they bring their characters to a turning point. Butch’s fury toward how he used to be someone with Penguin is a testament to how far the character has come in the past three seasons.
Speaking of Smith and Taylor, they get an emotionally powerful moment toward the end of the episode. While Penguin tends to Nygma’s injuries, Nygma apologizes for not letting Penguin in on the plan, as his reaction needed to be genuine in order for the public to believe and embrace him. Penguin, touched by this gesture, leans in towards Nygma and hugs him.
It’s been widely speculated by many that Penguin and Nygma were about to kiss, leading them into something more. It would certainly be an interesting twist on the characters, especially as to where it may lead them somewhere down the line. The relationship between the two thus far has been very personal with each other, but as to where it goes from here, it’s truly anyone’s guess.
BEFORE WE GO
While Butch is being taken away in the ambulance, Tabitha tails and later captures the ambulance, freeing Butch. Barnes angrily finds out about this, but soon discovers that he no longer needs his crutches and is walking normally. This is immediately followed by his veins going haywire, just like last week.
Meanwhile, Valerie Vale is having dinner with a medical examiner trying to find more information about Alice’s blood. Gordon, taking his own advice that he gave to Bruce, goes to visit Valerie and the examiner right when the examiner starts being a bit more... pushy.
Gordon threatens him to leave and sits with Valerie, stating that he wants something more than what they have now, and they proceed to have their first official date.
The final scene of the episode concerns Tetch, who has now been driven to madness and has embraced his Mad Hatter persona. He kidnaps a girl and dresses her eerily similar to Alice, before murdering her in cold blood. Tetch then writes Gordon’s name in her blood while uttering, “Those who hurt you will feel my pain when my sweet and terrible vengeance upon them rains.”
As I stated previously, a LOT happened this week. However, in doing so, Gotham delivered one of its finest episodes to date, expertly bringing to a head multiple plotlines while also forging new paths for old favorites. One can only hope this upward trend of can continue after this episode.
NEXT EPISODE: Nygma sees a familiar face from the past and the Mad Hatter is even more deranged after the death of Alice.