Gotham Season 2 Episode 9 Recap “Hard Pill to Swallow”
The day after the arrest of Theo Galavan for the kidnap and torture of the former mayor Audrey James, his sister Tabitha enters a dive bar early in the morning. Tabitha isn’t at the bar to drown her sorrows. She’s actually searching for The Lady, a woman who has the hookup when it comes to hiring assassins. Tabitha tells The Lady that she needs the assassin to kill Jim Gordon and avenge her brother’s arrest. She would do it herself but she hasn’t fully recovered from the bullet wounded inflicted by Gordon during their last confrontation. Although Tabitha says her vendetta with Gordon isn’t personal, it’s clear she isn’t being 100% honest. She demands that Gordon is killed before the end of the day.
Gordon visits Barbara in the hospital. In case you forgot about Barbara Kean’s nasty fall out of the second story window of the cathedral, it quickly comes back to mind when you see her heavily bandaged and unconscious in a hospital bed. Gordon looks on sadly, as the doctor tells her she may never wake up from her coma. Eventually, she’ll be moved over to the medical wing at Arkham Asylum.
Two episodes ago Penguin was injured during his attempt to kill Theo Galavan. We didn’t get to see much of him during the last episode until Edward Nygma discovered him in the forest, still trying to recover from his gunshot wound. Ed seems intrigued by Penguin and wants to help the wounded crime boss get back on his feet. But why?? What business does Ed have with Penguin? I’m sure Penguin is wondering the same thing when he wakes up with Ed Nygma standing over him grinning happily. Penguin starts to panic but Ed quickly sedates him with a huge syringe. Ed tells Penguin to rest up because the two have a big night ahead of them.
At the GCPD, it’s still awkward between Leslie Thompkins and Detective Gordon. Leslie is stunned to find out that Gordon had gone to visit Barbara in the hospital. She has every right to be surprised considering that not even 24 hrs. earlier, Leslie and Jim stared down the barrel of Barbara’s shotgun as she attempted to kill the two of them. Not to mention the awkward kiss that happened in the interrogation room. Leslie tells Jim that he’s been embracing his dark side lately and it’s beginning to worry her. But Jim doesn’t have time to discuss Leslie’s concerns; he’s late for a meeting with Captain Barnes at Galavan’s condo.
Galavan’s niece Silver sits in the parlor of Wayne Manor giving Bruce the “puppy dog pout.” She’s trying her best to convince him that her uncle is innocent of the crimes he has been accused of committing. Silver looks pleased when Bruce assures her that he believes everything she is saying. Bruce begins to bring up the deal he made with Galavan about the identity of his parents’ murderer when he is interrupted by Alfred who has decided this is the perfect time to do some yardwork. I find it really hard to believe that Bruce and Alfred do the gardening at Wayne Manor but that’s neither here nor there. Alfred stops in his tracks the moment he notices Silver sitting in the room. Alfred quickly advises Silver that it would be in her best interest to leave, especially in light of the recent events concerning her uncle. Bruce stands up for Silver telling Alfred that Wayne Manor belongs to him and he wants Silver to stay. For a split second I thought Bruce was going to fire Alfred again but Silver decides to leave on her own. She gives Bruce a big hug and slips him the key to her hotel room! Once she’s out of earshot, Bruce confronts Alfred and tells him that his ultimate goal was to get Silver to tell him what she knows about the identity of the person that killed his mom and dad. Alfred warns Bruce that getting information out of Silver requires a certain level of skill that Bruce just doesn’t have at this moment. He forbids Bruce from seeing Silver for his own good.
As Gordon rides the elevator to the floor where Theo Galavan’s lair is located, he is attacked by an assassin disguised as a piano repair person. The assassin attempts to strangle Gordon with a piano wire but Gordon manages to get the better of him and beat him to a pulp. He drags the unconscious assassin off the elevator and into Galavan’s lair where Barnes and another cop are investigating. Elsewhere The Lady attempts to reach her assassin on the phone and when he doesn’t pick up she instantly opens up the job to take out Gordon to whoever will take it. She has guaranteed Tabitha that Gordon will be dead by the end of the day and she fully intends on making that happen.
Once again Penguin wakes up startled to see the face of Ed Nygma. Penguin attempts to leave Ed’s home but Ed won’t allow it. Not that Penguin would get far anyway in his current condition. Ed is trying to embrace his new identity of being a serial killer and would like Penguin to be his mentor. Unfortunately for Ed, Penguin’s spirit is broken from the murder of his mother at the hands of Theo Galavan. He attempts to leave one more time but collapses to the floor.
Back at Galavan’s lair, Gordon wakes up the battered assassin in an attempt to find out who he works for. When the assassin doesn’t cooperate, Gordon reverts back to his aggressive interrogation techniques. Barnes sees Gordon getting carried away and steps in to reprimand him. He asks Gordon if the church incident has been messing up his mind. The two begin to argue about the best course of action in stopping Galavan when they notice a number of gun-wielding assassins on the surveillance camera monitor. The “Piano Repairman” announces that the assassins have come to finish the job that he failed to complete and none of the police officers will leave alive.
When the assassins burst into Galavan’s lair, Gordon, Barnes, and the young Officer Parks protect themselves the best they can, killing the piano repairman and several others. Barnes is stabbed by one of the assassins and because of the extent of his injury, he isn’t able to leave the condo. The officers are forced to wait for the arrival of an ambulance.
Ed has a surprise for Penguin. He overheard Penguin talking about Theo Galavan in his sleep and he figured that providing one of Galavan’s minions for Penguin to kill would cheer him up. He also tells Penguin that Detective Gordon arrested Galavan for kidnapping Mayor James. But Penguin isn’t in the mood to kill anyone. He wants to get some rest then leave Gotham for good. Ed removes his hostage from the room as Penguin hums himself to sleep.
The Lady contacts Eduardo Flamingo to hire him to kill Jim Gordon. Flamingo, a cannibalistic assassin, immediately takes the job. It seems like he may have been one of The Lady’s go-to assassins but something about him eating people probably doesn’t sit right with most employers. Either way, he seems eager to take on the task of murdering Detective Gordon.
While Barnes and Gordon await the arrival of an ambulance, Gordon brings up Leslie’s concerns about him embracing his dark side. Barnes reveals to Gordon that he too is no stranger to the dark side. He tells Gordon that the only thing that separates the law enforcers from the animals is the law itself.
Dressed in his robe, Bruce walks into the parlor where Alfred sits reading the newspaper. He tells Alfred that after much thought he agrees that pursuing Galavan on his own is too risky. He tells Alfred goodnight and assures him that he plans on calling Detective Gordon in the morning to enlist his help instead. As Bruce turns to go to his bedroom, Alfred surprises Bruce by exposing that he’s aware that he intends to sneak out to go to Silver’s hotel room. Bruce is generally just a bad liar. Pissed, Bruce tells Alfred that he will never give up on finding out who killed his parents.
Once again Penguin is awakened, this time by Ed Nygma’s singing voice. He’s singing along to the song Penguin was humming when he fell asleep. Penguin tells Ed that his mother would sing that song to him when he was young. He attempts to stifle his tears as he tells Ed that the memories of his mother are like daggers in his heart. Ed tries to cheer Penguin up but for the 3rd time Penguin tries to leave. Ed finally has no choice but to give Penguin some tough love. He tells Penguin that his mother was a hindrance. His mother’s death was his fault because he was too weak to prevent it. Now that the two of them have lost the only people in the world that they love, they no longer have any weaknesses.
Eduardo Flamingo arrives outside of Galavan’s condo and kills four police officers. He calls up to the lair to let Gordon know that he’s coming to devour him, Barnes and Officer Parks. At this point, Gordon can’t take it anymore. He refuses to sit idly as yet another assassin attempts to kill them. Barnes tries to stop him but eventually agrees that Gordon should go downstairs to meet Flamingo head on. When Gordon makes it to outside, he’s immediately attacked by Flamingo. The two battle it out in a vicious fight but Gordon’s rage is just too much for the assassin. There’s even a moment when it looks as though Gordon is going to blow Flamingo’s head off with a pistol but he’s able to restrain himself and allows the assassin to live.
The Ed and Penguin bromance is in full effect as the two sing and harmonize over Chinese takeout. Penguin’s finally getting back to his old self. He even takes Ed up on the offer to have a little fun with Galavan’s lackey who was still tied up in the other room.
The Brothers are Here
At Wayne Manor, Bruce makes yet another trip to escape and go visit Silver. This time, he’s stopped by Selina Kyle. She tells Bruce once again that Silver cannot be trusted. Only this time she has proof.
Leslie and Gordon are back at her apartment. Gordon fills his girlfriend in on his day as she helps treat his wounds. The two are just getting back to a better place in their relationship when the phone rings. The call is from the GCPD alerting the Gordon that Eduardo Flamingo killed officer parks before they could get him into lockup. Gordon is visibly upset and probably feels very guilty that allowing Flamingo to live has led to the death of another yet innocent police officer.
Tabitha goes to visit Galavan in prison. Theo can’t believe Tabitha would send hit-men to after Detective Gordon against his wishes to avenge Barbara. He fears that the police could try to connect him to the attempts on Gordon’s life which could put his long-term plans in jeopardy. Theo is disappointed in his sister and threatens that if she endangers his plan to take over Wayne Enterprises and Gotham City again, he will have no choice but to cut her throat. Theo reminds Tabitha that “The Brothers” are coming and in the final scene of the episode, we see the hooded individuals led by Father Creel have arrived in Gotham and already murdered their first victim.
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