Gotham Season 5 Episode 5: “Pena Dura” Recap & Review


The Two Sides Of Edward Nygma

After last week’s shocking ending, we return to Gotham this week for a much more intimate look at Ed Nygma. This episode reveals what’s been happening to our amnesia-stricken foe whilst furthering the complicated relationship between Bruce Wayne and Selina. All of this culminates in a climactic reveal at the end of the episode that leaves the door wide open for next week. As always, spoilers ahead!

The story opens this week with Jim Gordon hot on the trail of the gun dealer who sold Edward Nygma the RPG. Upon finding this out, and running into one of his old army buddies back in Gotham to help, Jim Gordon bursts into The Riddler’s lair and holds him at gunpoint, declaring him under arrest. Of course, things are never quite what they seem and it turns out the floor is wired with pressure plates linked to a bomb. After being forced to let Nygma go for now, Gordon puts out the call to the remaining G.C.P.D. cops to find The Riddler and bring him in.

It turns out they’re not the only ones looking for him and as word gets to Penguin, he begins plotting his own crusade into finding his former best friend. After escaping from a crazed hillbilly family, Nygma winds up face to face with him and the two bitterly reminisce on old times. It’s at this point where all forces converge on Penguin’s lair and all hell breaks loose. Ever the opportunist, as the reinforced police arrive, Barbara shows up and informs Riddler she may hold the answers he’s seeking.

Nestled between this predominant story is the continued complicated relationship between Selina and Bruce Wayne. After killing Jeremiah, Bruce finds Selina at the Ice Lounge, drowning her problems in booze. Knowing this behaviour all too well himself, Bruce tries to talk sense into his friend only to receive an ice cold retort back and a moment to ponder over what transpires. All the while wondering if this is the right call of action.

There’s no time to dwell on this though and it’s at this point where the main storyline reaches fever pitch. Barbara’s tip leads Nygma straight to Hugo Strange who nonchalantly shrugs him away, declaring he doesn’t know anything. We don’t have to wait long to find out if he’s telling the truth though and what follows from here is a climactic finale that eventually results in Nygma chasing Jim Gordon out into the streets of Gotham.

The final scene of the episode reveals a big secret and the return of another villain to the fray. Promising to deliver a showstopping ending, Gotham’s future is left in the balance with only Jim Gordon and a handful of police left to try and hold the peace.

While there is some good story work done here and the episodes themselves are okay, it all feels a little underwhelming given this is the last season of Gotham. There’s been little in the way of Bruce’s transformation into Batman and it often feels like the characters are going round in circles without any meaningful development. Don’t get me wrong, Gotham is a lot of fun and the villains have always been the star of the show , but with 7 episodes to go I just hope Gotham really pulls it out the bag and delivers a finale worthy of remembrance. For now though we’re left with another good, but somewhat forgettable, episode to digest until next week.

 

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  • Episode Rating
  • Provisional Season Rating
3

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