Review: Gotham – Season 2, Episode 9 “A Bitter Pill to Swallow”

The TL, DR version of my review/recap:

After burning through Jerome, the Riddler becoming the Riddler, and the Penguin/Galavan conflict in less than half a season, Gotham is all


Gordon Meets His Dark Side
Galavan has been arrested and his sister is upset because Barbara pulled a cliche villain and jumped through a stained glass window. The sister goes to hire an assassin and ends up talking to a vision in menswear. This woman is utter perfection and all I want is to study every single thing she does so I too can one day be just like her.

Screen shot 2015-11-17 at 9.41.01 PM

Girl crush…ACTIVATED

I’ve always wanted to wear menswear. I think it looks classy and edgy and fucking cool all rolled into one. Unfortunately, my tits prevent me from wearing button down shirts without it gaping open. ONE DAY, MENSWEAR. ONE DAY.

Tabitha gives Lady Perfection money to kill Jim Gordon. Because of course she does. Why wouldn’t the mayor’s sister, upon the public announcement of her brother’s horrific corruption and subsequent arrest, hire a hit man to kill the police officer who arrested him? NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW!! GOOD MOVE, TERRIBLE SNIPER!!

Meanwhile, Jim is having a sad feel while staring at Barbara’s basically brain-dead self. I really hope this show gets canceled before the inevitable, “But Jim…I don’t REMEMBER anything that happened after I was abducted by Milo Ventimiglia! All I know is I love you and you love me! Oh wow, we’re fucking! Oh wow, I’m pregnant! Oh wow, it’s a girl! Oh no, I died in childbirth! Oh, you named our daughter ‘Barbara’ after me! And look! She’s a redhead!!” storyline. Please, TV gods, no. Anything but that.

Back at the precinct, Leslie wants to know why her dumb boyfriend is being a dick face. The only answer he’s got is “THE LAW! JUSTICE! THE CASE!!” He runs away from Leslie and goes to Galavan’s to gather evidence. That’s when he’s almost killed by a guy wearing Sally Jessy Raphael glasses. Jim beats him unconscious with his Fists of Darkness, and Lady Perfection is forced to send more assassins after him.

Jim tries to throw the guy with Sally Jessy glasses out of a window, which upsets Ben Grimm. Apparently he doesn’t tolerate that kind of behavior this episode, but he could always change his mind later (like he did in the Firefly episode.) Are we sure Ben Grimm is not actually twin brothers taking turns running the GCPD? Is this season of Gotham a crossover with The Patty Duke Show?

The assassins arrive and shoot the shit out of everyone before dying. Jim kills a guy because it’s not an episode of Gotham if Jim doesn’t shoot anyone. When Ben Grimm suggests that they leave the apartment before more assassins arrive, Jim says no because they could possibly lose the Galavan evidence in the apartment. Hey, Jim? You guys just contaminated a crime scene with ANOTHER CRIME SCENE. There are now new bullet holes and blood and finger prints and hair all over your original crime scene. I’m sure really good forensics experts could do the painstaking work it will take to reassemble each crime scene, but you only have a guy who is busy breaking into vending machines to leave himself darkly humorous riddles, so…good luck?

Before they leave, Jim finds a monk robe in a closet and he instantly knows that this is a clue. He’s got no reason to believe this is anything other than something a weird rich person owns because he’s both weird and rich, but he knows THIS IS THE PIECE OF EVIDENCE HE NEEDS.

Ben Grimm then gets stabbed in an artery and cannot move. Lady Perfection hires a cannibal created by Grant Morrison to kill Jim. While waiting for the cannibal to come kill more cops, Jim and Ben Grimm have a talk about the line and the law and the darkness that lives inside Jim. Wouldn’t it be cool if the audience actually believed Jim was struggling with this as an actual problem? But we don’t. We’ve never seen Jim as a straight-laced cop battling against his baser instincts. We’ve seen Jim crossing the line and doing shady shit in the name of justice since the pilot. Jim threw a guy out the window for information. Jim pretended to kill Penguin to fit in. Jim teamed up with Falcone (and then let him get away) to bring down another mob boss. Jim killed a guy so he could get Penguin to get Loeb to retire so he could be reinstated as a detective. Jim got a bunch of cops killed by disobeying orders and knowingly walking into an ambush set up by his ex-girlfriend. In light of all this, when Flamingo arrives and kills (more) cops, Jim shoves a gun in his mouth and no one is that surprised. Jim not pulling the trigger is supposed to represent restraint and a decision to not cross the line. It doesn’t do that here because we know he’ll cross the line again (most likely in the next episode when he gets revenge for his fridged colleague, The Only Good Cop in Gotham. RIP. OGCIG. You made the mistake of being a woman near a main character who needs to learn a Lesson. Your death will provide him with motivation for learnin’.)

Again – how many fucking cops does the GCPD have? How do they get anything done with such a high body count? They must spend 95% of their days attending police funerals.

I wish I had access to awesome editing software and several hours of free time. If I did, I would cut the sickest “Penguin/Riddler Are Friends!!!” trailer and set it to the Perfect Strangers theme song.

Penguin is Balky, obviously.

After the encounter in the woods, Riddler takes Penguin back to his apartment. He tends to Penguin like he’s Kathy Bates and this is Misery. Then he gives him a pep talk about how killing is great and not having anyone you love is, like, totes awesome. See, the Penguin is ready to give up because he lost his mom. I don’t believe for a second that the Penguin, the man who walked back to Gotham after Jim shoved him off a pier, the man who was so hellbent on becoming a kingpin that he brazenly fucked with all the mob bosses in town to advance his own position, would EVER consider quitting just because his mom is dead and he’s wanted by the GCPD.

Oh, PS, the Riddler sure loves goin’ murdering. Then the Riddler and the Penguin have a sing-a-long while eating Chinese food before deciding to kill together. This is the weirdest sleepover in history.


Child Abuse, the TV Show
Bruce and Silver are having a chat about what it’s like to yell at fire and expect an answer when Alfred walks in carrying a rake. He kicks Silver out of the house and tells her never to come back. I bet his slapping arm was itching to pop her one. I bet he had to slap himself just to get his slap fill for the day.

Pictured: Alfred

Silver slips Bruce the key to her hotel room because this is Gotham and the writers have no fucking clue how to get Bruce involved in a story without treating him like he’s 25. He believes that Silver knew the name of the man who killed his parents. Sure, Bruce. What uncle doesn’t tell his niece the valuable information he’s going to use to bilk a kid out of his company? This is the eventual WORLD’S. GREATEST. DETECTIVE. (Let’s not talk about Alfred telling Bruce that getting information out of a girl “like that”…”requires a level of deception that you do not yet possess.” Uh…)


While Alfred is technically correct about Silver being evil and terrible and in on Galavan’s nefarious plot to DESTROY, this is the second friend of Bruce’s that he’s banned Bruce from seeing. The kid has NO FRIENDS. Alfred has isolated him from contact with anyone outside himself. (Side note – anyone know what happened to Lucius Fox? Is he still trapped in Wayne Dungeon trying to fix the computer that Alfred destroyed?)

Later, when Bruce tries to sneak out to see Silver, Alfred catches him. Bruce decided to hire a car and have it wait for him down the road…after Alfred told Silver he’d seen her car on the same road earlier in the day. Bruce knows that Alfred is watching the roads…so he tries the same trick? Dude. Come on. How can Bruce be this fucking dumb? He’s not Batman yet and it’s going to take some time before he resembles his future self. But why aren’t we seeing the spark of intelligence and ability to problem-solve that will become essential to him in his later years?

Bruce tries to sneak out again but Selina is at the window because…? Bruce told her to go away last time he saw her, his butler has slapped her across the face and told her to fuck off, yet here she is, sneaking into his house again. Selina as a character usually has more pride than that.


She’s here because she has “evidence” that Silver is bad. YAWN. You know what would be better than this? BRUCE doing some digging and finding out Silver is bad on his own. And THEN enlisting Selina’s help in a scheme.

THIS FUCKING SHOW, YOU GUYS. (AND! AND – there was no Bullock this week! WTF, show???)




4 thoughts on “Review: Gotham – Season 2, Episode 9 “A Bitter Pill to Swallow”

    • Yeah, but I was hoping to see flashes of it here. Bruce is 13, that’s old enough to see him reading and thinking and scheming. You don’t turn 18 and become a genius when you haven’t laid any groundwork for it.

      • the comics, bruce traveled around the word, maybe he became smart that way? I don’t think gotham’s writers gonna send him away. besides, he was a spoiled rich kid, alfred is right to say he’s not ready. season 2 is all about the raise of the villains, so I guess writers don’t care too much bout bruce.

      • I think we’re talking about two different things. I’m talking about Bruce’s natural born intelligence. As much as I’d love to say anyone could become Batman as we know him, it’s not true. You’d need to be born with a very high IQ attached to an analytical mind so you at least have the potential to learn all things Batman has learned. Sure, as a kid he won’t have the wealth of knowledge he’ll have as an adult, but he should at least be smart enough to tell the taxi to wait out of sight of he’s trying to sneak out of the house. 😉

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