[This is a review of Gotham season 2, episode 8. There will be SPOILERS.]
Gotham finally turns its attention to Barbara (Erin Richards), who has largely been on the sidelines thus far this season. Despite her constant urgings to have a more substantive role to play in Theo Galavan's (James Frain) plans for Gotham, she has stood impatiently by while others have taken the forefront. So, with Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) largely sitting out this installment after last week's episode, all eyes are on Barbara, as the Galavans close in on Wayne Enterprises. Let's discuss "Tonight's the Night".
The episode opens with Barbara's trippy nightmare wherein she's about to marry Gordon (Ben McKenzie), only to have her groom and everyone else turn against her. It's a chilling way to establish right out the gate that Barbara may be even more disturbed than even fans think she is. She awakes to the news that Theo will give her the chance to kill Gordon, allowing him the chance to convince Bruce (David Mazouz) to sign over Wayne Enterprises (more on that later). Just as Gordon is informing Barnes (Michael Chiklis) that Theo is behind all the chaos, Barbara appears at the GCPD and claims she has a "surprise" for Gordon. Clearly torn between his own feelings and his duty, Gordon decides to go along with Barbara, despite Leslie's (Morena Baccarin) protests and the fact that he rightfully suspects it's a trap.
On the way, Gordon tries unsuccessfully to get Barbara to implicate Galavan. The cops are ambushed, and Gordon ends up tied up in a church, with Barbara wearing what would have been her wedding dress. She attempts to get Gordon and Leslie -- who she's also kidnapped -- to be honest about who Gordon really is and the dark side he shares with Barbara. Just in the nick of time, Bullock (Donal Logue) discovers where they're being held, and the cops emerge, with Barbara injured and in custody. Thankfully, before she gets hurt, Barbara discloses the location of Mayor James, who implicates Theo directly. This storyline nicely propels the ongoing Galavan saga and opens up the possibility to delve deeper into Gordon's darker urges as well as his lingering attachment to Barbara.
A CROSSROADS FOR BRUCE
Unaware of Theo's sinister plans to snatch Wayne Enterprises, Bruce comes to meet with him. Theo asks Bruce what his one dream is, and naturally, the young man says he wants to kill the man who murdered his parents. Theo then tells Bruce of his dream to save Gotham and the dark discoveries he's made at Wayne Enterprises. Bruce vows to investigate further, but Theo offers to take the company off of Bruce's hands, that it is key to his goal of fixing the corruption in Gotham. Plus, he offers the identity and details behind Thomas and Martha Wayne's killer as a "signing gift".
Bruce tells Alfred (Sean Pertwee) about Theo's offer, and the butler says that Bruce shouldn't even consider Theo's manipulative proposal, since it's a clear case of extortion. The company is his parent's legacy, Bruce says, but Alfred corrects him, saying that Bruce himself is the Wayne family legacy. Tired of not knowing what happened to his parents, Bruce breaks down, admitting that he just wants it all to be over. Finally, he returns to Theo's office and is about to sign away his parents' company when Bruce suddenly changes his mind. Just then, Gordon emerges and arrests Theo, who swiftly tosses the paperwork regarding the Waynes' killer into the fire. Bruce screams in horror at the realization, since he is now firmly back at square one. No doubt Theo will continue to use the killer's identity as a bargaining chip.
LOOSE ENDS, NEW FRIENDS
The inner conflict within Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) appears to be resolved, as he takes the remnants of Kristen's body out into the woods for disposal. Side note: the fact that his license plate essentially said "Riddler" was a clear sign that the dark Nygma is here to stay. He even proclaims that he was a "broken man" who is now "whole" thanks to Kristen. However, someone stumbles across the burial site, and Nygma knocks him out, forcing him to improvise.
Just as Nygma returns with the tools necessary to make this second body fit in the gravesite he has prepared, he discovers that someone has ransacked his picnic meal. He follows the tracks to a secluded trailer and comes across none other than Penguin, still wounded for his run-in with Galavan and the cops. Fans have been anxiously awaiting the moment these two key future members of Batman's rogues gallery would finally cross paths, and an alliance between them should be right around the corner now. At this point, Penguin is desperate for allies after all - and someone as smart and bloodthirsty as Nygma would certainly prove to be an invaluable asset. This should be interesting.
What did you think of "Tonight's the Night"? Share your thoughts on the episode in the comments section below.
Gotham returns with "A Bitter Pill to Swallow" next Monday at 8pm on FOX.