Gotham Season 5 Episode 3: “Penguin, Our Hero” Recap & Review


Gonna Take You Right Into The Dark Zone

With Gotham now into its last season before it comes off air, the third episode of this fifth season continues to impress with another solid 45 minutes of action. With a smartly worked dual storyline and some interesting characterisation, the gang wars and Selina’s crusade to find Jeremiah both see some serious development this week. The latter resulting in quite the surprising appearance from a new face in Gotham. With the episode finishing on a massive cliffhanger, it’ll be interesting to see where the show goes from here but for now, Gotham continues to up the ante and excitement as we draw nearer to the finish line.

The episode begins with a look at Jim Gordon’s newly acquired haven for refugees. Bullock grows ever more concerned that this will paint a target for the gangs to come looking for them and unfortunately that target is being painted by our very own Penguin. After most of his cronies up and leave him to go to Haven, Penguin enlists the help of the street gangs to clear out the camp and bring everyone back to where they belong. This being Gotham of course, things inevitably go awry and results in Bullock sneaking off to enlist the help of Barbara.

While things escalate for Jim Gordon, Bruce and Selina embark on their own crusade after a rather unsettling nightmare spurs our femme fatale into action. Together, they travel deep into the heart of the Dark Zone where Jeremiah is rumoured to be held out only to find a familiar face to anyone who’s read the comics or knows the lore around Batman. I won’t spoil this here of course but suffice to say it’s a bold choice and something that actually works really well, given the context of the story.

We leave both of these plots unresolved for now and finishing on pretty big cliffhangers. Bruce and Selina are still in the Dark Zone and Jim Gordon has a big job on his hands come next week after the dramatic events that unfold at the end of the episode. How our grizzled cop deals with the ramifications of what’s happened is up for debate but if I had to wager a guess, this is going to lead Jim into the Dark Zone to find Jeremiah and our three protagonists possibly joining forces.

While the story itself continues to move the pieces forward, there’s a good amount of action this week to chew over. Selina’s newfound acrobats are put to good use as her and Bruce tackle one of the many gangs in the streets while the sprinklings of gun fighting inside Haven helps keep the episode moving at a quick pace. The real talking point here is likely to be the new character that’s come into the fray and it’s here where the fan-base is likely to be split.

Personally, I think the character choice is a good one and the new design and maniacal persona is a really good fit given the mood and tone of Gotham in general. The acting during these segments are excellent and there’s some really interesting juxtapositions between Selina and the new character regarding the way they flirt with death. In a way, it’s a useful tool to show just how far Selina could fall down the rabbit hole if she continues to stare death in the face but for now, these moments are fleeting as the story continues to move toward its finale.

Given the ending we’re dealt this week, it’ll be really interesting to see where Gotham goes from here. The two storylines work well to keep things fresh although it seems likely now that a lot of the supporting villains are going to be reduced to cameo appearances this year given the relatively short 12 episode run for Gotham. I’ve said it before but as individual episodes, Gotham really thrives and has had some wonderful stand-alone pieces over the years. As a collective whole and looking at the overarching plot, Gotham has sometimes felt messy and a little disjointed so hopefully this is something that doesn’t happen during the last season. Still, Gotham is a lot of fun and while it may not be the best superhero show on TV, it still packs quite the punch.

 

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  • Episode Rating
  • Provisional Season Rating
3.5

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