Final Thoughts From the Gotham Episode "A Bitter Pill to Swallow"

by StevenHelmer

Thoughts from the season 2 television episode that first aired November 16, 2015.

Synopsis: Gordon (Ben McKenzie) becomes the target of a group of assassins and must fend them off while protecting the injured Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) and seeking evidence that will convict Galavan (James Frain). Meanwhile, Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) nurses Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) back to health.

Nygma and Penguin Make an Interesting Odd-Couple-Like Pairing

The thing I found most interesting about these two future criminal masterminds is the way they really are exact opposites, at least as far as murder goes. Penguin will kill if necessary but seems to look at it more like a necessary part of his criminal empire. Nygma, on the other hand, actually enjoys killing people. It'll be interesting to see which one influences the other one more or, more likely, whether their underlying differences will eventually cause a rift.

Gordon Needs a Vacation

A big part of this episode was Gordon's dark side starting to show after his encounter with Barbara (Erin Richards). But, part of me wonders if maybe the detective just desperately needs to get away for a while.

The best thing Barnes can do for Gordon is give him a leave of absence and a plane ticket to Hawaii. After all, he's faced several serial killers, had to arrest both his ex-girlfriend and a man he thought was an ally and now has someone trying to outright kill him. It's actually a bit surprising he doesn't completely snap and end up at Arkham Asylum.

Where Was Bullock?

Bullock (Donal Logue) was noticeably absent from this episode, which was a huge surprise considering he's supposed to be Gordon's partner. You would think the more experienced detective would have been investigating Galavan's apartment too or, at minimum, been one of the officers that arrived to back him up.

I Think It's Only a Matter of Time Before Tabitha Turns on Her Brother

So far, Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) has been very loyal to Galavan. But, I think that loyalty is starting to show some cracks, especially after he chewed her out for trying to have Gordon assassinated. She doesn't seem like a person who really enjoys taking orders and I wouldn't be surprised to see her betray him at some point, especially if she's forced to choose between him and Barbara.

Is Bruce Really That Gullible?

Personally, I think Bruce (David Mazouz) is very lucky to have Alfred (Sean Pertwee) looking after him because, when it comes to his new girlfriend, Silver (Natalie Alyn Lind), he just seems to be clueless. Heck, he isn't even willing to listen to Selina (Camren Bicondova) unless she shows him proof.

Early on in the series, Bruce seemed like he wasn't easily fooled. So, I'm wondering if he really believes Silver is his friend or if maybe he realizes the truth and is trying to deceive everyone in an effort to find out about his parents. If it's the former, I'm honestly disappointed in him.

Final Opinion

Overall, I thought this was a decent episode. It had plenty of action in it and those scenes with Nygma and Penguin were very entertaining to watch. I definitely enjoyed this one as a result of that.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 11/17/2015, StevenHelmer
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dustytoes on 11/18/2015

Really? That's an interesting theory. I don't know my Batman villains very well, but I was surprised when the guy who looked like he'd become the Joker, died.

StevenHelmer on 11/18/2015

My theory (and this is, admittedly, a long shot) is she is going to be the one to become the Joker. The writers have already turned one traditionally male character, Firefly, into a female and Barbara actually possesses many of the necessary traits. She's insane but manipulative and I could see her somehow becoming deformed and snapping even more.

dustytoes on 11/18/2015

Why is Barbara still alive? I was so hoping to see the last of her. Penguin and Ed are both so entertaining to watch, and putting them together is a unique twist. I still miss Fish, and am hoping she may eventually pop back into the storyline.

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