TV REVIEW: Gotham S4E9 ‘Let Them Eat Pie’ (Spoilers)

After not checking in with Bruce (David Mazouz) for a week, Gotham found him still coping with his murder of R’as Al Ghul through partying and booze in ‘Let Them Eat Pie.’ Meanwhile, Penguin’s (Robin Lord Taylor) friendship with Sofia Falcone (Crystal Reed) continued to splinter, and the crown of GCPD’s captaincy weighed heavy on Jim Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie) head as he swore to take Professor Pyg (Michael Cerveris) down once and for all.

The title of this week’s Gotham episode referred to the meat pies that Professor Pyg cooked up using the bodies of murdered homeless in the Narrows. While this storyline was as upsetting as it was disgusting, ‘Let Them Eat Pie’ was clearly a commentary on how the most helpless members of a society are treated the further that society sinks morally speaking. And even though Jim is a good man who wants to change his city for the better, one man can do very little – especially when he has almost no support. With Harvey (Donal Logue) on leave and smarting from Jim’s betrayal, Captain Gordon faced another murder spree on his first day, and on the GCPD’s front lawn no less. Not only that, but his best detective Vanessa Harper (Kelcy Griffin) wound up kidnapped by the Pyg as well.

Though the tides were turning against Jim rather quickly, he managed to right the ship with some help from the ever-resourceful Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk), who really deserves to be on Gotham more. It was a relief to see Jim finally collect some wins after weeks of the police department being proved incompetent when up against even run-of-the-mill villains, but nevertheless he appeared somewhat weak every time he and Sofia interacted. We have been asked to believe there is an undeniable pull between them from her first episode, but while I can understand that she needs him for her plans, I have yet to pinpoint just why he is drawn to her. At the moment, it feels like ‘Let Them Eat Pie’ just puts their so-called relationship into play to further her story with Penguin.

Speaking of Penguin, his paranoia actually served him well in ‘Let Them Eat Pie.’ For once, he didn’t fly off the handle when it came to his suspicions about Sofia and instead turned to his newfound orphan conspirator Martine. The road to discovering that Sofia was metaphorically two-timing him with Jim, and that she had been behind Gordon’s ascension to GCPD Captain, was long and winding but worth the wait. The only question that remains is what he will do with the information, since it’s clear that he has come to care deeply for her. The biggest issue with this plot was that it seemed to sacrifice both Jim and Sofia’s characterizations in order to push Oswald forward. Given how badly Jim wants to turn over a new leaf, why would he have allowed himself to be maneuvered by Sofia? And more pressingly, what about Jim drove Sofia wild enough to throw caution to the wind when she had previously plotted every step of her rise to power? Unless she has another card up her sleeve and wanted to create tension with Oswald, I’m calling foul on his discoveries.

Regardless of some character inconsistencies, ‘Let Them Eat Pie’ had an incredibly tense climax, with a final showdown that showed Penguin, Sofia and Jim’s abilities under pressure very well. Not only that, but it contained one amazing rendition of “Cell Block Tango” – which Professor Pyg reworked into “The Meat Pie Tango.” If you have no other reason to watch Gotham, this song just gave you one.

The final storyline of the night, though relatively minor, was also the most open-ended. Bruce kept partying and drinking with his rich new buddies, testing Alfred’s (Sean Pertwee) patience until he forced his charge to go on a camping trip in memory of Thomas Wayne. At the camping site, Alfred opened up about the night he met Thomas in the most emotional scene of the night. Normally this would be enough to turn Bruce around, but it seemed that he was too far gone this time. Though I respect that Bruce needs time to grieve, it feels like his disrespect of Alfred and disorderly conduct is dragging without any proper build or resolution. We’ll have to see where the plot goes in the next few episodes, but for now I’m left wondering when Alfred will show Bruce who is really the boss.

‘Let Them Eat Pies’ is Gotham at its wackiest, but in a good way. Jim got a chance to shine as a great villain arc wound down, and now all that’s left is for Bruce to pick himself back up so that both of the city’s heroes can set things to rights.

Rating: 3.5/5

Reviewer: Tatiana Hullender (@myrcellasear)

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

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