“Love conquers all.”
Wow. This episode just exploded everything about this show. The discovery that Oswald Cobblepot is still alive causes the Falcone camp, particularly Fish Mooney, to go berserk in trying to get Jim Gordon. The intensity of this episode consistently escalated throughout giving “Penguin’s Umbrella” an exciting experience to watch.
No time is spared in the bad guys coming after Jim Gordon’s weak spot, Barbara. A very intimidating scene between Barbara and the goons was well acted by Erin Richards giving off that silent, terrified stare that keeps you holding your breath alongside her. After her rescue, Jim forces her to leave Gotham as he prepares to go out with guns blazing against the mafia. Harvey Bullock’s decision to finally “join the good guys” was especially rewarding as he shows up to Gordon’s house drunk with a prostitute. The pieces of Gordon’s crime fighting team are finally coming into play. I also enjoyed the scene where he returns to the GCPD building where every single cop stops and stares at him. These are definitely the first steps to Gordon cleaning up the GCPD.
Victor Zsasz, played by Anthony Carrigan, was an interesting approach to the character. Having this adaptation present him as a more or less assassin working for Falcone was an interesting choice, though I do look forward to his slip into madness as he becomes more and more obsessed with marking himself for each of his kills. Throughout this episode, I was thinking he looked awfully familiar. Sure enough, I recognized him from CW’s The Flash which he happened to play another DC villain called the Mist. Weird that both shows choose the same actor, but they are driving at the idea of a Multiverse. Zsasz was particularly creepy in all of his scenes particularly the way he stares at people.
Robin Lord Taylor continues to impress with his portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin. His delivery makes the Penguin way more interesting than I ever thought possible. His genious climb through the ranks of Maroni’s operation is incredible. One major scene included him killing off Maroni’s right-hand man. The Penguin has planned ahead in bribing the goons to essentially work for him which makes his rise in power possible.
The ending blew my mind. The Penguin is a genious. Without spoilers, the Penguin has clearly proven himself as an essential character in this TV show. His actions remind me of the Star Wars prequels where the Emperor is playing both sides in order to take control of whichever side wins. Manipulation and deceit revolves around the character to the point that we have no idea what to expect from this character. And now, I respect Falcone as a character more than ever now. I cannot wait to see what happens next!