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‘Gotham: Rise of the Villains’ Recap ‘A Bitter Pill to Swallow’

Let’s start by saying that I just
love the title of this episode, “A
Bitter Pill to Swallow” because
the title is
spot-on to describe the emotional plateau every character has
hit. The episode
opens on a
rainy, cloudy Gotham, where a newsstand owner opens a new stack of
Gotham Gazette, only to remind us that
our beloved Mayor Galavan has been
arrested. Of course Tabitha Galavan
happens to be walking by and wanders
into a
dingy-looking bar. Here she asks for a “High Smith Royal no ice”, and
of course
the bartender
opens a secret passage to yet another secret assassin/villain club
with spunky hairstyles and leather
jackets. Tabby sits down at a table
with Doctor Who’s Michelle Gomez (but
here she’s just The Lady, how Missy
her), and of course Tabby wants James Gordon killed, and she can’t do it
because last week,
Gordon practically blew her arm off.

In the next scene, Gordon
is in a hospital watching
Barbara, who isn’t looking good, and a doctor
tells Gordon that she’s in a coma

and they don’t know when or if she’ll make up, but regardless she’s
to Arkham. The doctor
asks if Gordon he will be riding there with her, and he

is a scene with my personal two favorite
characters, Nygma and Penguin.
wakes up the Nygma creepily smiling at him, which who wouldn’t freak
Penguin starts yelling
and flailing to which Nygma tranquilizes him to put him
back to sleep.
Nygma’s last line is “Rest up my
feathered friend, we have a big
night ahead of us”, then fade to black.

Does anyone feel bad for Lee? Does anyone find her likable? I
mean, yeah
Gordon kissed his
psycho ex-fiance, but hey it was just a kiss. Lee confronts
Gordon by
telling him about Barbara, which Gordon
says he knows because he went
to see her. Lee gets defensive in saying that
she’s not jealous, she’s just

worried about Jim’s “dark side”. Honestly, I’m kind of tired of Lee, only

because all she does is state
the obvious, but I suppose Gordon still wants her
around…for now.

Next we see
Silver and Bruce sitting in the Wayne home, and she asks
if Bruce believes the
about her uncle, and Bruce’s love-struck, preteen self says “Of course
Just as Bruce starts to ask for
Silver’s help in finding the name of his
parent’s killer, Alfred storms
asking for Bruce’s help. Seeing
Silver, Alfred
immediately asks her to leave despite Bruce’s protesting.
Before exiting, Silver
Bruce a key to her hotel room. (Preteen love stories gross me out) Alfred

sees Bruce’s intentions and
explains that Bruce is in way over his head and that
Bruce doesn’t have the
skills to deceive Silver into
telling Bruce secret
information. Does Bruce really have any skills at this
point? The conversation
in Alfred forbidding Bruce to see Silver or pursuing Galavan and basically

grounding Bruce.

Jim Gordon is on
his way up
to Galavan’s penthouse when a
strange (yet stylish) man gets into the
elevator. This scene is a great
example of just how awkward elevators
can be. He
offers Gordon a caramel, and Gordon declines despite telling Jim
how good they
are. (Who turns
down free caramels??) The weirdo then pulls out piano wire and
attempts to
strangle, I told you elevators are
awkward. Jim and the Caramel Guy
fight it out (since when did Jim learn to
run up walls?) There’s a nice bit

where the elevator opens, soothing elevator music playing, and Jim and
Guy are going at it. Jim
knocks the guy out, about forty punches later, and
drags bloody Carmel Guy
into Galavan’s penthouse, what an
entrance. The guy’s
phone rings and Gordon answers by just breathing into
the phone, on the other
side is
The Lady and boy does she look disappointed. She then goes on to invite
group of gambling assassins to
kill Jim. Oh what fun!

again we revisit Nygma and Penguin,
where Penguin
says he recognizes Nygma but doesn’t know where. Nygma
explains he works for
the GCPD in
forensics, but then asks if Penguin believes in fate. Penguin
however is
more concerned about where his grimy
suit went (Nygma hilariously
replies that he threw them out because they
smelled). Penguin then asks why

Nygma has him there to which Nygma explains that he’s going through a
aka murdering people (no
joke he admits it). This is where the pair’s
relationship takes an
interesting turn, because Nygma simply
wants advice on how
to be a murder? Maybe? Penguin is pretty much stuck in
his own self-pity at this

point and insists that he leave until of course he passes out.

We go back to Gordon and Carmel
Guy where Gordon hangs him out the
window to get him to talk, so the
Chief comes
running in scolding Jim for using “out of bounds methods”. An
officer notices
three people
holding guns, meanwhile Caramel Guy starts laughing and saying that
if the
first man doesn’t get the job
done, The Lady just sends men until it is.
The usual Gotham bloodbath takes
place, losing one of the
forensics guys. As
Chief, Jim, and Banks (the fourth, surviving officer) go
to leave, one of the

assassins gets up and attempts to stab Jim, however the Chief gets stabbed
the leg, and apparently
punctures an artery. So basically, they’re stuck there
until either
paramedics arrive, or more assassins. I


Photo courtesy of Nicole Rivelli/FOX.
Robin Lord Taylor and
Cory Michael


Back the Nygma and Penguin!
Penguin wakes up to a man
whimpering, tied to a chair, with a bag over his
head, and of course Nygma is

behind creepily smiling. Ta-da! Nigh explains that he captured this guy
he works for Galavant who
is now in Blackgate. Nigh wants Penguin to kill this
guy as a “present”, but
Penguin refuses and insists that
he’s going to leave
Gotham forever. Nygma simply wheels the man away, but
hears Penguin humming
under the blankets. Creepy.

However not as creepy as opening
the next scene to half of a body in a
furnace and the words, “Why just smell
the fear on your victims when
you can
taste it, right?”, followed by a man continuously screaming. A
phone rings and
the assumed
killer answers the phone, and it’s who? The Lady! She greets him and
asks if
he could help her kill Detective
Gordon, despite the fact that he was
kicked out of the “assassin club”
because HE EATS PEOPLE. Oh well, we
both know
that’s normal Gotham stuff.

Courtesy of Nicole Rivelli/FOX.
L-R: Erin

back to
Galavan’s penthouse,
here Chief and Gordon discuss crossing the line by almost
shooting Barbara
in the church. Chief responds with
an anecdote about shooting a
child-prisoners and the best line is the
episode, “There is no line, there’s

just the law. That’s what separates us from the

Back in Wayne manor, Bruce pretends to apologize for
the way he
treated Alfred and says he won’t pursue
Galavan, so he is simply
going to retire for the evening. Alfred slides in
the fact that he sent the taxi

Bruce called away and pulls out the hotel key Silver gave Bruce. You have to

love a sassy butler. Bruce
storms off in a rage, teenage boy style and Alfred
continues to read his

Back in the hostage situation at Nygma’s, the
scene opens with a song
about a
mother’s love playing softly. Apparently this is the song Penguin was

humming under the blankets earlier.
Penguin STILL insist that he’s leaving and
tries to exit, but Nygma stops
him by saying that Penguin’s mother
was his
weakness. Of course this doesn’t go over well and Penguin puts a
knife to
Nygma’s throat, so to
defend himself, Nygma talks about how Penguin is free now
that he has lost
everything he loves because there
is nothing to hold against
him anymore. The idea of newfound power of course
causes Penguin to submit.

Jim gets a call from the

cannibal, who first murders the
backup, then tell Gordon his name is Eduardo
Flamingo. Gordon replies with,
“Is that name supposed to mean
something?”, which
is funny because Flamingo is a cannibalistic character in
DC comics, so yes it
mean something. Jim decided to meet Flamingo outside where he gets
by Flamingo wielding a large
chain. Interesting… The two brawl it out,
although Flamingo just laughs with
every punch, Jim has him pinned
on the ground
and puts his gun in Flamingo’s mouth to kill him. However, Jim
resists and
arrests him
instead. Good job Gordon.

the episodes comes to an end,
there are a couple of quick scenes to see
what everyone is doing at this
point. Nygma and Penguin are singing
over Chinese
food, so it seems like they’ve bonded over love, riddles, and
murder…? Anyway,
they seal
their friendship by deciding to kill Galavan’s employee, who just
happens to
still be tied up, sitting in a
closet. the scene closes will Nygma
taking him out of the closet. Bruce
wonders around the study, opens the
and who pops out? Selina Kyle! She claims that she has proof that
Silver is a
lying you-know-
what. Flamingo is being taken to lock-up, but collapses and when
Banks tries to help him, he um…bites
her necks and starts eating her.
The scene does do a good job of making
sure it’s not too gory. (Even though
think we’re all pretty desensitized to people eating people from The
Dead) Gordon and Lee start
to resolve things, when Lee answers Gordon’s phone to
get the news that
Banks is dead. Poor Gordon. FINALLY,
we see Galavan in
Blackgate, chastising Tabby for hiring (very unsuccessful)
assassins and asking
her if
it’s about Barbara, and of course it is. Galavan reassures Tabby that if
puts their plan in jeopardy
again, he won’t hesitate to kill her. Snap!
That’s some true brother-sister
love. The episode closes with a
bunch of hooded
monks of the dock, headed by Galavan’s special monk friend.
Their meeting is
by the world’s dumbest security guard who just walks up and tells
them that
they have to leave. So what do
they do? They gang up and stab him to
death. I mean come on, 15+ guys versus
one security guard? Is there no
Who knows.

Overall, I
thought the
episode was
eventful and the “pairings” were fun. Nygma and Penguins
friendship will be exciting, maybe
Penguin will finally buy him a
green suit. (Hopefully). As for the tension
between Bruce and…well everyone

because he’s a stubborn teenager, I’m still waiting to see where all this

tension will go. Training to be
a fighter? Following his parents’ case? Exposing
Galavan? Or just trying to
get into Silver’s hotel room?
Ugh, boys. Gordon and
Lee were left on an interesting note because their
relationship seems very, “one

step forward, two steps back”, maybe Barbara indirectly will really tear
apart. Next Monday can’t
come soon enough.

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