Gotham Episode 18 Review: “Everyone Has a Cobblepot”
***As always, this review will contain spoilers. You have been warned.***
Gotham has followed a pretty basic formula throughout the season. A new villain emerges in Gotham City, detectives Gordon and Bullock try to stop him and various other story arcs continue to progress in the meantime. This week’s episode is a little different. In fact, there really is no new villain introduced in this episode because the villain is Commissioner Loeb. It’s no secret that the GCPD is corrupt, but now we know just how far that corruption goes. When Detective Flass literally gets away with murder, Gordon makes it his mission to find out why. It turns out the commissioner has been blackmailing every officer in the department. Remember when Gordon was instructed to take Oswald Cobblepot out to the pier and shoot him in the head? The other officers have all done the same thing, but their victims never turned up again. If anyone tries to cross Loeb, he simply has them arrested for murder. Gordon doesn’t take this realization lightly, so he enlists the help of Harvey Dent to do some questioning. It’s not long before we discover that everyone really does have their own personal Cobblepot, including Commissioner Loeb.
This plot is especially satisfying because it allows multiple story arcs to intertwine with one another. Gordon and Bullock eventually go to The Penguin for help and that’s when the fun really begins. He agrees to show them where Loeb supposedly keeps his files, as long as Gordon will do him a favor in the future. This is when the show briefly turns into a road trip/buddy comedy as the threesome bickers back and forth on the way to Loeb’s secluded property. Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue have always had great chemistry and some playful banter, but throwing Penguin into the mix only adds to it. These three throw around witty one liners like it’s nothing and it’s just as exciting as any of the show’s action scenes. Speaking of action scenes, this episode did not disappoint. The three make it to Loeb’s country home and are greeted by an unassuming, elderly couple. They seem innocent enough until the woman returns with a shotgun and an intense shootout ensues. It just goes to show how brilliantly the writers can blend action sequences with their own brand of dark humor. Also, seeing the mom from Freaks and Geeks wield a shotgun is pretty damn cool. What happens to her and her husband afterwards is a bit disturbing, but it gives Robin Lord Taylor the chance to show off just how devious his Penguin can be.
So, what is Loeb hiding? Gordon and Bullock head upstairs and discover what the old couple was trying to keep them from seeing. Commissioner Loeb keeps his deranged daughter locked up there, as she spends her days dancing, killing birds and making jewelry with their bones. If that’s not bad enough, it also turns out that she killed her mother and Loeb has been covering it up ever since. Gordon uses this fact to blackmail the commissioner, which can only be described as a brutally ironic turn of events. Gordon tries so hard to stand up for what’s right, but is forced to do unthinkable things to make it happen.
Gordon isn’t the only one doing terrible things to get what he wants. The newly eyeless Fish Mooney is still locked up in Dr. Dulmacher’s prison, but the terms are a bit different now. She’s graduated from basement dweller to personal assistant and she has no trouble turning on her old basement friends. She’s back to being typical Fish Mooney, only now she has an electric blue eye on one side. This particular story arc didn’t really go anywhere in this episode, but it did open the door for future events. If you thought Fish Mooney was anywhere near Gotham at this point, you thought wrong. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how she gets herself out of this one.
We also get a glimpse of Bruce Wayne as he tends to Alfred in the hospital. Once again, not much happens, but it does set the scene for what will happen next. Bruce is determined to find Reggie and make him pay for stabbing his butler friend. Selina Kyle also makes a brief appearance to offer her assistance. Bruce turns her down initially, but something tells me we haven’t seen the last of her. Let’s just hope we get to see the two track down Reggie later on and let Bruce show off some more of his Batman tendencies.
Gotham continues to deliver quality episodes each week and it clearly has no intentions of slowing down. Each hour is more surprising than the last, which makes it hard to cope with the fact that the show will be on hiatus until April 13th. The world can be such a cruel place.