The sides in the war for Gotham are gendered

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Sep 3, 2019, 8:26 AM EDT (Updated)

SPOILER WARNING! The following recap contains spoilers for tonight's Gotham episode, "Things That Go Boom."

Previously on Gotham ... Penguin ate a people pie. It was gross.

Now on Gotham ...

There's an unexpected mystery surrounding Professor Pyg's true identity, Lee is figuring out her leadership role in the Narrows, Ed's back on his Smeagol/Gollum bull$#@!, and Detective Harper is ... getting knocked out. Again.

But the star of tonight's episode is the cold war between Oswald and Sofia, which has finally turned hot.


It has taken almost the entire first half of Gotham's fourth season for Penguin to figure out that Sofia Falcone doesn't have his best interests at heart. Oh, sure, he's had his suspicions from the start, but a little dab of goulash here, a little touch of foot rubs there, a house full of orphans and some gentle assurances and Bob's your uncle -- Penguin's fears were repeatedly allayed.

There are two main points of interest in Sofia's mask finally slipping:

1. It remains somewhat obstructed just how much of this is still going according to plan. Sofia did want Martin to tell Penguin she was kissing James Gordon. Sofia had, in fact, already planned for a trip to Penguin's not-so-friendly dentist (four out of five dentists agree, he tortures the best). However, we're led to believe she had planned for this war to be between Oswald and James, not Oswald and herself. Or had she?

2. Which brings us to the other interesting aspect of the new war for Gotham -- where the lines are drawn. On the one side, we have Sofia Falcone, who has allied herself with Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina. And on the other side, we have Oswald, who has allied himself with James Gordon and ... Victor Zsasz, I guess.

In addition to being a battle between the young upstarts and the establishment, it also places our Gotham guys and gals on opposite sides of the proverbial high school dance hall.

I have no idea how to feel about this development. On the one hand, we're kind of living this very conflict in real life: a growing group of women looking at men in power and deciding that, between the breathtakingly inept leadership and the general $#@! treatment of women, it's time to overthrow the current regime.

On the other hand, Sofia is being written as the villain in this scenario. Also, she doesn't seem to be teaming with Barbara and Co. because she wants to, but because she has to. And it's been suggested that Sofia is trying to take over Gotham in order to gain daddy's approval. Which, ugh.

Meanwhile, while Penguin is a villain who has killed lots and lots of people, Gordon (who has also killed lots and lots of people) sides with Penguin over Sofia. Why? Uh ... there isn't a reason? Sofia tried to control Gordon and he got huffy about it? But Penguin has held Gordon's morality and mortality for ransom many times over, but that's okay?

I like that Penguin is sympathetic. I do. I thought the fakeout death of Martin was shocking and added to Oswald's many layers. But this "the devil you know" tactic Gordon and Penguin are taking in their alliance feels like it's being written as the side we, the audience, should be on, and that is no bueno for this Gothamite. Slap a "The Future Is Female" button on my lapel, because I have been #TeamSofia all season.



  • Has anyone started keeping a running tally of how many times Detective Harper gets bopped on the head, shot, or kidnapped? Honestly, the only way for a girl to get ahead in Gotham is to go full-tilt psychopath.
  • First Penguin and Riddler broke up, and now Martin is being sent away? Must Gotham break my and Penguin's heart at every turn?
  • Okay, but the dentist got a family, tho? Wife and kids? What they doing in the off hours? They go to the zoo, or is the whole family just creepy, getting all latexed up together, going out for a drill on the town? Where's that show? I would watch it.
  • Every time Ed starts talking with his evil doppelganger in the mirror I think, just buy him a copy of the one ring from Barnes and Noble or Think Geek or wherever? Give him a Rubik's Cube? That baby boy just needs to keep his brain occupied.
  • Okay, but do you think Lee has a different wardrobe for when she's helping sick kids in the clinic, or do you think she just dresses like she's ensemble in a Baz Luhrmann production of Guys and Dolls full time?
  • We have now established that Pyg used to be someone else and changed his serial killing MO for no apparent reason. I still say Sofia is behind this. Don't @ me.