TV REVIEW: Gotham S4E7 ‘A Day in the Narrows’ (Spoilers)

Gotham finally returned to the Sirens storyline with ‘A Day in the Narrows,’ while also continuing the terrifying thread of Professor Pyg’s (guest star Michael Cerveris) vendetta against dirty cops. Speaking of plots the episode picked up, we also get a glimpse of how Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is coping after killing someone and a peek at how Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) continues to be his own undoing.

After Pyg wreaked havoc on the GCPD and nearly ended Harvey’s (Donal Logue) life, one would think he learned his lesson and would cease all collaboration with Penguin’s goons. Unfortunately, Bullock seems to take the exact opposite tact, much to Jim’s (Ben McKenzie) chagrin. This plot rang hollow precisely because losing several cops the week before should have shaken something up for Bullock, but perhaps fear is a good enough excuse for him to hide even more closely behind Penguin’s supposed protection. At the very least, it gave Gordon a few more chances to prove he really is the hero of the story – even if he rightfully got called out a few times for having been dirty himself before. Despite the frustration of watching the cops of Gotham run into metaphorical brick walls over and over again, ‘A Day in the Narrows’ adequately set Jim up as the person who knows what the city needs and justified Pyg’s twisted obsession with him. The two men are clearly on parallel paths, though hopefully there will be two very different outcomes for each.

While it is difficult to watch the GCPD fail time after time, there is slightly more joy in watching Cobblepot fail along with them – especially when it’s all part of Sofia’s (Crystal Reed) master plan. She had hardly any screen time in ‘A Day in the Narrows,’ but her presence loomed large throughout. She knew perfectly well how to pull her new friend’s strings by acting as a saintly guardian of orphans and doling out wonderful advice that he is sure to reject, causing him to orchestrate his own downfall without ever suspecting her intentions. There is still no indication of what she plans to do with Gotham once it’s finally back under Falcone control, but it’s sure to be one heck of a ride no matter what.

Someone with a lot less control in ‘A Day in the Narrows’ is poor Bruce, who was reeling from his choice to kill R’as Al Ghul and could hardly control himself enough to keep from throwing punches around. Despite Alfred’s (Sean Pertwee) well-meaning concern, the young Wayne escaped a fundraiser for one of his father’s charities thanks to a visit from an old classmate named Grace. She took him to see some other rich kids from school, including Tommy Elliot (of Hush fame), and they decided to sneak into a club to blow off some steam. While this storyline didn’t go anywhere important in its first outing, it is clear that Bruce is on a dark path until either Alfred intervenes or he pulls himself out of it. I look forward to seeing where it goes, but fair warning that I don’t take kindly to Bruce macking on anyone who isn’t Selina.

The final portion of the episode was also its most uplifting, with the long-awaited return of Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) and Selina (Camren Bicondova) to the forefront. Barbara (Erin Richards) disbanded their gun-running outfit due to R’as death, but the other two girls were not willing to go out so easy. Given that Tabitha and Selina had already bonded on their own when they thought Babs was dead, it made sense that they would be more unified at this juncture than their so-called leader. So when Selina went off on her own mission to steal from the Demons biker gang and was in danger of getting herself caught, it was no surprise that Tabitha showed up to rescue her. What was a surprise was Barbara’s ice-cold heart melting a fraction, allowing the girls to come out of their hit unscathed and the doors of the Sirens’ first venture to stay open a little longer.

 

‘A Day in the Narrows’ firmly positioned Jim Gordon as a righteous man who defends the poor and innocent, which is going to be important in the battle against corruption to come. At the same time, Gotham began detailing the potential fall of another hero in Bruce as well as the start of comeuppance for everyone’s favorite villain in Penguin. Though this episode was not as narratively strong as the previous ones, it still had a lot to offer in terms of the season arc.

Rating: 3/5

Reviewer: Tatiana Hullender (@myrcellasear)

Gotham airs Thursdays on Fox at 8/7c in the US.

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