GOTHAM RECAP: “A Bitter Pill to Swallow”

This episode sets up a lot of things that will probably come to a head in the mid-season finale. But lets start from the beginning. Barbara is in a coma. Jim goes to see her, and that upsets Lee because she fears that Jim is giving in to his dark side. Is he?


Because Barbara is in a coma, and her brother is in jail, Tabatha Galavan puts out a hit on Jim Gordon. She goes to see a fancy-shmancy Hit Madame to arrange for his demise. And the stylish lady guarantees that the job will be done by sunset. For those super-geeks out there, the actress who plays this new character is from ‘Doctor Who’. She portrays the current version of The Master.


The injured Penguin wakes up in Edward Nygma’s care. And Ed is channeling Kathy Bates from the movie ‘Misery’. He’s going to help Penguin whether he likes it or not. And I guess he’s being a dirty-birdy, cause Penguin gets a hypodermic needle in the neck when he tries to reject Ed’s help. Needless to say, now that Ed has killed three people, he’s changing, and not for the better.


Detective Gordon, Captain Barnes, and Officer Parks go to Galavan’s place to look for evidence. Unfortunately, that’s where the first killer chooses to strike, trying to give Jim a piano-wire necktie in the elevator. After a scuffle, Jim subdues the guy. But that’s not the end of it. The Hit Madame sends out a second team to finish the job. And they intend to take out Jim, the Captain and whoever is in that building.


Bruce Wayne invites Silver, Galavan’s no-good niece, over for a chat. He wants to find out who killed his parents. Galavan claimed to know, but now he’s in jail and not tailing. But before Bruce can really get to the point, Alfred shows up and shows Silver the door. Of course Bruce throws a hissy, as he often does, but for once Alfred man’s up and takes control. After all, he is the adult in this equation.


Jim, Captain Barnes, and Officer Parks, survive the second attempt on their lives, but not without casualties. Captain Barnes takes a knife to the chest, protecting Jim. He doesn’t die, but he is too injured to move. So they’re stuck, waiting for backup to arrive. And that’s when Hit Madame plays her last card. She calls in Edwardo Flamingo, the cannibal killer. He eats his victims, or a least pieces of them.


Edward Nygma, still in ‘Misery’ mode, tends to a reluctant Penguin. Ed wants to learn the ins and outs of being a killer. But Penguin is still reeling from his mother’s death and wants to leave that life behind. Ed is persistent though, not taking ‘no’ for an answer, and presents Penguin with a man to kill. It’s one of Galavan’s men. But Penguin’s not in the mood and goes back to bed.


Jim is afraid that he is going dark, like Lee said. And that he’s close to crossing “The Line.” That’s when the injured Captain tells Jim about the time he killed a man, when he was in the military. And he reveals the truth. There is no “Line.” When push comes to shove, men are just men. And the only thing that separates them from the animals is the law. It’s a pep talk that Jim needs.


Backup arrives, almost in time. But Flamingo gets to them first. Jim and the Captain watch from the surveillance cameras, as Flamingo kills, and then proceeds to eat pieces of his victims. That’s when Jim’s had enough, and he goes down to face him. They fight, and of course Jim wins. Because he’s Jim. And though Jim wants to kill Flamingo, for killing his fellow officers, and trying to kill him. Jim does not, adhering to the law.


Edward and Penguin emerge from their tough-love session unified in their badness. Penguin is once again the killer he once was, and to prove it, he’s going to kill that stooge that Nygma brought him early


Jim relaxes, now that he’s back with Lee. He knows that for once he did the right thing, letting Flamingo live to face justice. But there are no happy endings on Gotham. Jim gets a phone call from the precinct. Before Flamingo was put away, he got free and took a bite out of Officer Parks’ neck, killing her. She was a good cop. And if Jim had followed his darker inclinations, she’d still be alive. That’s a bitter pill to swallow, if there ever was one.


And in the epilogue, we see Tabitha talking to her big bad bro in jail.   As it turns out, his ominous plan is still about to unfold. And we see evil Ninja-monks arrive at the docks and kill a security guard. Galavan isn’t out of the game after all. And if his plans come to fruition, he’ll be running Gotham and Wayne Enterprises, and Bruce Wayne will be dead. Stay tuned.

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