Gotham, ‘Let Them Eat Pie’ is a Breath of Fresh Air After Watching Justice League

Let Them Eat Pie
Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/FOX

Let Them Eat Pie Plot Summary:

As Gordon (Ben McKenzie) assumes the Captain’s chair, Professor Pyg (Michael Cerveris) escalates his final plan to humiliate and destroy the elite and corrupt of Gotham.  Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) keeps a close eye on Sofia (Crystal Reed), and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) tries to rein in a rebellious Bruce (David Mazouz).
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Gotham was a breath of fresh air after watching Justice League. That film offered one of the most horrendous, generic villains in the history of the superhero genre, while this episode was not afraid to go morbid and wonky with Professor Pyg. Complete polar opposites. This isn’t the first great villain Gotham has delivered, but it was the most twisted and thoroughly entertaining displays of villainy we’ve seen in a while.

Every moment involving Professor Pyg escalated in demented ways, and the first scene wasn’t exactly a mild start. Professor Pyg wants to make a clear demonstration of the haves and have nots of Gotham by punishing both sides. You know where this is ultimately going, but as Gordon tracks him down, you get weird foreshadows along the way. Once we finally get to the climax, it showcases Professor Pyg in his most insane state.

Michael Cerveris has been fantastic. That voice is one of a kind. To see Professor Pyg sing and dance with his victims at his mercy was both entertaining and uncomfortable. What he forces his victims to do is poetic in the sickest way possible. My only complaint is that we’ve seen this plot device before, but I’ll allow it, as it worked very well. Not only do we get a great villain performance, but we even see character development along the way.

This may have been a top five performance from Robin Lord Taylor. Much like he was when his mother died, or when Nygma rejects him, we see Oswald in a vulnerable state.  Building off the revelations from last week, Oswald suspects Sofia’s betrayal by confronting her directly.

As he attempts to learn the truth, he stops short of the predictable vindictive Oswald.  As he is genuinely friends with Sofia, he wants to uncover proof first.  While the Sofia storyline offered a lot of twists and turns to her true allegiances, it returns to status quo by the end.  The final scene with Oswald’s acceptance of all the facts was a powerful moment from Taylor, and a great way to end the episode.

Outside the Sofia conflict, we get one of the rare episodes where Oswald acts like an actual human being. In many ways, he’s better than the elite scumbags who technically aren’t criminals. His reaction to a fellow hostage not bowing down to Professor Pyg’s threats was one of the best Oswald moments I’ve ever seen on this show. That was awesome. Not only did you see Oswald in one of his more human moments, but also his nastiest. Perfect.

Then we have the man burdened with chasing after the Pyg, newly made Captain, James Gordon. We only get one scene with him and Bullock (Donal Logue), but it’s a good one.  I’ve said it a hundred times, but they are hitting home season one hard. We get a nice call back to one of the show’s most pivotal minutes of Gordon not shooting Oswald on the bridge. Bullock flat out asks him if things would be better if he just killed Oswald right then and there. Gordon’s response is pretty standard, but it’s all you need.

The Gordon/Pyg rivalry has been riveting since it began. This episode was no different. Pyg really puts Gordon through the ringer, and we even get a great fight scene to cap it all off.  My only complaint with the Pyg arc was a very lazy plot device. Seriously, he forgets to check a cop for weapons?  Come on.

The only other storyline that didn’t involve Professor Pyg was Bruce Wayne being Mr. Teenage Rebellion. Getting hung over. Hanging out with douchey friends. Being moody to Alfred. You know the drill. This was fine, but a pretty typical, “You’re lost, Bruce.  Let me help you,” arc. The only scene of note between Alfred and Bruce was at the end when Alfred lays down the law to Bruce’s bratty friends. Bruce also has a nasty line to Alfred.  You really hate the little punk after that one.

Bruce and Alfred butting heads definitely took a back seat to Professor Pyg, who stole the show.  His presence had a ripple effect on all the other characters. It got so bad, even the press had some nice words for Gordon when it was all over.  Wow. When do you see that happen?  

Gotham has proven time and again they are wonders when dealing with lower level Batman villains.  At a recent comic-con, I believe The Ventriloquist has been hinted at.  It’s time for Gotham to get their beautiful hands on that one.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Great)

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.