SPOILER WARNING! The following recap contains spoilers for tonight's Gotham episode, "Let Them Eat Pie."
While last week was an introduction to gang leader Lee, tonight's episode of Gotham was a proposal of Juvenalian proportion. With the appetizer of Bruce Wayne continuing his descent into sociopathic rich kid mode, Professor Pyg's main course hides a secret ingredient -- people. But the secret lies in the question -- which people?
THE PEOPLE ARE PENGUIN, SOFIA, AND GORDON
Sorry. I just didn't want to bury the lede. Anyway.
Who would have guessed that Gotham would go full A Modest Proposal? "Madman kills the poor, cooks them into pies, and then feeds them to the rich" is not, despite everything, the kind of place you expect a show based on comic book characters to go on network. Not even Gotham. Or Fox.
But here we are. And while Professor Pyg is one of the best things to happen to Gotham in years, what makes "Let Them Eat Pie" work so well is that Pyg feels more like a sacrificed pawn by the end than he does a king or queen in this season's game of chess.
I believe that Pyg delighted in killing those poor people so he could feed them to the so-called elite of Gotham. I believe that Pyg thinks that Penguin's corruption of the GCPD is more contemptible than almost anything else. But I also believe that there's a real possibility Sofia Falcone is secretly responsible for Pyg's actions.
Consider: Sofia wants to upend the Pax Penguina, and she wants to control both James Gordon and Oswald Cobbelpot in the process. But, as a Falcone, Sofia knows that Jim and Oswald would be hard pressed to trust her completely, if at all.
Also consider: By episode's end, Sofia comes off as the victim even though she has gotten exactly what she wants. Yes, Sofia gets a knife in the hand, but the Pax Penguina is over and Gordon, while cautious, does seem to at least temporarily believe that Sofia did the right thing by maneuvering him to the Captain's chair. Sure, Martin rats on Sofia to Penguin for kissing Gordon, but even that could still be part of the plan. She does speak to Martin in a scene whose details we, as the audience, do not see.
If this doesn't sound plausible, let me ask you this: If you had been stabbed in the hand and almost forced to eat a homeless person, would you be smiling at the end of the day? I know I wouldn't. And, yet, Sofia seems happy as, well ... happy as pie. Meanwhile, Gordon and Penguin are still completely lost in the weeds of whatever Sofia is planning.
In short: If you thought this was Professor Pyg's story, you are probably wrong. And also: Sofia Falcone is REAL CRAZY.
HUMOROUS OBSERVATIONS TO ELICIT SOFT CHUCKLES FROM THE READER
- Did anyone else think it was weird that Chicago is the musical place Pyg goes to and not Sweeney Todd? I mean I know they both have murder in them, but Pyg feels more like a Benjamin Barker than he does a Velma Kelly or Roxie Hart to me.
- The hair! Penguin's is purple now and Martin, sweet baby child, has hair so big it feels like he might tip over from the weight of it. When will the madness end?
- I see you, umbrella detail on Penguin's sleeve cuff. Gotham's costume department is not messing around this season.
- I love that Pyg's hideout is an abandoned paper mill, because real-life New York definitely has lots of weird abandoned buildings ripe for supervillain lairs, and also every Batman '66 villain hung out in an abandoned something-or-other building. So it's fun to feel like something is a shout-out in multiple ways.
- Okay, Sofia is great, Lee has been better, the proto-Gotham City Sirens has been solid -- when the @#$! is Detective Harper gonna get hers? She's the only woman who is definitely good and yet, like the rest of the GCPD, she is woefully inept. She's basically the damsel this episode, and that's so boring. If Harvey's out, let Harper be a good replacement partner for Gordon. God knows he needs it, and the show needs a fun female character who isn't a crazy monster.
- Is anyone else not about Bruce Wayne treated Alfred like a literal butler? I mean, I know he's gotta deal with killing Ra's and all, but damn, Bruce! Don't be the least likable Bruce Wayne when Ben Affleck exists, my guy.