Tuesday, May 30, 2023

‘Pena Dura’ Sets Up Gotham’s Final Big Bad

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The plot thickens this week on Gotham as Nygma searches for the answers to his own crimes and a new face may spell disaster for the city.

Jim and Harvey are tracking down the weapons dealer who sells RPG, but he isn’t forthcoming with information. He holds Jim and Harvey at gunpoint, but they’re saved when the army arrives in Gotham. The commanding officer, Eduardo Dorrance is an old friend of Jim’s from his army days. He tells them the army is in Gotham to help resort order.

The weapons dealer’s ledger has Ed Nygma as the buyer for the rockets. Jim and Edward go to Ed’s place to bring him in. Ed’s clinging to his innocence, begging Jim for the chance to uncover what’s happening to his mind. Jim seems to believe him or at least believes that Ed is convinced he didn’t destroy Haven, but he still has to take him in. Seeing that Jim isn’t going to let him go free, Ed activates a trap that leaves Jim and Dorrance in the middle of a room filled with mines. Ed escapes to search for answers. With some nimble footwork and clever thinking, Jim is able to deactivate the bombs.

Meanwhile, the word’s gotten out that Ed was the one to destroy Haven, and the entire city is on the hunt for him. He’s captured by a family who wants revenge for their dog, which was killed in the explosion. They restrain him in an electric chair hooked up to car batteries. The shocks don’t kill him, but they do jog a memory. One of Penguin standing over him, promising to fix him.

Ed tricks the family into breaking the fuel line on the car, causing an explosion. He uses it was a distraction to escape. At the mayor’s office, he confronts Penguin about what he did to him. At first, Penguin has no sympathy for him, not after he destroyed Haven. But Ed reminds Penguin he’s never been someone who kills indiscriminately. Oswald believes him and admits he hired Hugo Strange to save his life. If anyone tampered with his mind, it would have been Strange.

In Gotham, a true friend is one who’ll look you in the face as they try to kill you.

Ed turns to Barbara next, looking for Hugo’s location. Like everyone else, she’s ready to kill him for Haven as well. He convinces her that he was under someone else’s control. He just needs Hugo to prove it. Ed also promises her information on whoever is controlling him.

With her information, he finds Hugo. Turns out the doctor did mess with his mind, implanting a chip that allows Ed to be controlled remotely. Hugo knocks out Ed and repairs the chip so Ed isn’t aware of being controlled anymore. Fortunately for Ed, Jim and Dorrance find Strange and free him. Unfortunately for Ed, it’s revealed that Dorrance is the one who controls the chip.

For reasons yet unknown, the Senator who deployed the army to Gotham also used Ed to destroy Haven. Jim refuses to kill Ed, escaping from Dorrance. Dorrance sends the mind controlled Ed after Jim.

Meanwhile, Bruce and Selina’s relationship takes a turn for better or worse. Bruce is worried about Selina after she killed Jeremiah. Selina, however, is doing fine, celebrating her victory at the Siren’s Club with Barbara. When Bruce confronts her, she says she’s never been a good person. Not like him. Going back to the night his parents died, she reminds him she was there but did nothing to help. She didn’t help not because she was scared, but because she was more concerned about herself. It’s a deep blow to Bruce, who was already beginning to question if the city has any good left in it.

But Selina’s victory turns out to be an empty one. Jeremiah isn’t dead. He’d let Selina stab him to make them believe he was dead. That’s only the beginning of what he has planned. The episode ends with him admiring the new faces of a man and woman. While the episode doesn’t reveal their faces, it seems like Jeremiah might have created Thomas and Martha Wayne lookalikes.


This episode was a lot of set up. It only began to unfold the larger plots for the characters who may be the season’s big bads. But there were some good scenes sprinkled in. Namely Penguin and the Riddler’s scene together. The chemistry between the two, as always, was a delight. Robin Lord Taylor and Cory Michael Smith have always worked well when paired together and their dynamic will be one of the things I miss the most when Gotham is over. Here’s hoping their moment of reconciliation can lead to more scenes of them together before the final curtain.

As for the new face in town, Eduardo Dorrance, press releases have already clued in that this character is going to have a big role to play. This provides the first clue as to who Penguin, the Riddler and the GCPD were fighting in that teaser shot from the start of the season.

Unsurprisingly, Jeremiah isn’t dead. There is more of his insanity to come. If that couple really is Wayne parent clones, whatever he’s planning doesn’t bode well for Bruce.

Images courtesy of Fox


  • Dayana

    Proud Trinidadian. Writer, poet and game writer when she isn't busy dissecting fictional worlds or galavanting through the latest video game.

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