'Gotham' recap: Jim picks lesser of two evils in 'Mommy's Little Monster'

Well, that's one character I'm not sad got killed off.

The "Mommy's Little Monster" episode of "Gotham" begins with Penguin rushing to his mother's rescue. There, he finds Theo and Tabitha taunting him. With just enough begging from Penguin, they release Gertrude, and she runs into her one true love -- err -- son's embrace. As they're hugging and rejoicing, Tabitha stabs his mother's back, and Momma Penguin dies in her son's arms.


To which I say, good riddance. I can get plenty of Carol Kane's zaniness sans stomach-churning incest vibes from "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."

(Side note: Watch it if you haven't. Kane is fantastic and almost redeems herself for that sponge bath incident with her on-screen son in Season 1 of "Gotham." Almost.)


Theo then orders Butch and Tabitha to kill Penguin. But Penguin insists that Theo does the killing and won't settle for his cowardice.

"No wonder your family was run out of town," Penguin spits. "You come from a line of cowards!"

He's found Theo's weak spot. Theo saunters over to kill Penguin personally, but then Penguin surprises him with a gash to the neck. Theo sics Tabitha on him, but Penguin jumps through a glass window to safety as he dodges bullets miraculously. He's determined to get his revenge.

Penguin rolls up to Theo's celebratory party with a gang of lookalikes -- limps, combovers and all. Except he's not in the crowd with them as they storm the mansion and shoot up the place. As he stays back and out of harm's way, he overhears Theo's location and books it to find him.

There, he draws his shotgun and aims it right at Theo. Jim, doing his job, covers Theo and tells Penguin to drop his weapon. "Shoot him," Theo tells him. But Jim won't take orders from him, even if he is the mayor.

"He killed my mother!" Penguin wails to Jim.

"I know," Jim says.Theo's "confused German Shepherd" head tilt is priceless. That's right: He's onto you, Theo.

Penguin is Public Enemy No. 1 in Gotham, but Jim knows he's the lesser of two evils. Mobster, murderer, momma's boy (blech) -- call Penguin what you want, but he's no liar when it comes to his mother's well-being.

That confirms Butch's intel about Penguin working for Theo to orchestrate the Wayne Enterprises bombings. Jim's been suspicious of Theo for a while, and now it all makes sense.

Theo's quick rise to fame, the sudden disappearance of the mayor around his arrival, the uncanny coincidence that he became a hero while the rest of the mayoral candidates were all assassinated -- finally someone was able to put the pieces together, and, thankfully, it was Jim.

What surprises me, however, is that neither Jim nor anyone from GCPD found it odd that Theo's bodyguards let Penguin get close enough to him to talk to him, let alone slice him. Did they forget that first (yet phony) assassination attempt?

Apparently so, but what Jim lacks in memory skills, he makes up for with good old, reliable logic.


"That seems like a pretty extreme reaction, even for Penguin," Jim says to Theo's claim that Penguin attacked him because he denied his request for an allegiance.

I'm guessing Jim doesn't know about that time Penguin stabbed a farmer in the neck to steal his truck back in Season 1. Or the dozens of other times he's gone all stabby-stabby for no good reason.

But in a city that toxic, it really does help to have a friend on the inside. It's sad, but Jim and Penguin kind of are old friends. When was the last time we saw Jim hang out with someone other than his partner, Harvey?

That'd be Ed "Certifiably Psychotic" Nygma. First Barb, then Penguin, now Ed: Jim sure does know how to pick them.

More highlights from "Mommy's Little Monster:"

Best Harvey one-liner: "Questions like that are above my pay grade and below my sense of wonder." -- Harvey's response to Jim's on-the-nose conspiracy theory about Theo rigging the election to become mayor.

Say the word: Tabitha said Penguin used a "trigger word" to control Butch. Now I'm curious. What is it?!

Head case: I am glad to see that Theo and Tabitha didn't brainwash Butch to join their side. Now that he can think for himself, he's become a rather reliable informant. But I don't see him becoming besties with Jim anytime soon.

Best burn: "That smell really does slap you in the face, doesn't it, Alfred?" -- Selina to Alfred about his fancy-pants tea. I thought he punched Selina in the face last time they met. Either way, it's still out of line, and I wonder what Bruce will say to Alfred if he ever finds out.

Cattiest moment: "How long have you been a two-faced slut?" -- Selina to Silver in front of Bruce. Damn, I know she called you "nothing more than a piece of gutter trash," but slut-shaming her for making moves on your crush? Cat, you're better than that.

Grossest moment: Tabitha stomping her stiletto into the sharpshooter's neck. Gah!

Look who's here: Ed just earned his latest psychopath patch to becoming the Riddler. Last week he killed Kris after she called him a freak for admitting to killing her ex. Now, in a psychotic trance, his evil side takes over his body and hides her body at GCPD. To add more suspense, his dark side leaves a series of riddles and clues to find her before his crime-fighting colleagues can. "How did it feel?" his dark side asks when he hides Kris' body from Leigh in the medical examiner's room. "Beautiful," he replies with an eerie sense of relief and accomplishment. The Riddler's here at last.

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