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REVIEW: Gotham 2×05 “Rise of the Villains: Scarification”

This week’s episode, entitled “Scarification” saw a lot of action.  However, before I can get into the details, I must warn you…THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!

We begin at Theo’s place, with Penguin doing what he does best: “groveling”. Unfortunately, Theo and Tabitha are not falling for Penguin’s pleas despite Penguin’s pledge of loyalty to them even after his mother is returned. After a rejected Penguin begins to leave, the siblings however tell him to “wait by the phone”. So…wait, do the Galavans want Penguin’s help or not? 

After Penguin and Butch have left, Tabitha opens a large chest, containing Bunderslaw. To save you the google search, Bunderslaw is the guy with access to safes that contain secrets about Wayne Enterprises. Knowing this, Theo gives Bunderslaw the choice between divulging all the dirty details about Wayne Enterprises or torture. Even though, I’m pretty sure Bunderslaw was going to cooperate, Tabitha cuts some unseen body part from a screaming Bunderslaw. Ew.

Meanwhile, in some shady office where accountants don’t wear pants, the Strike Force barge in intent on busting everyone present. Suddenly, some random guy comes out of nowhere and fires a rocket launcher in order to stop the bust. EXPLOSION!  After they manage to subdue the guy with a couple of bullets to the chest, Barnes and the strike force seize $2,000,000 worth of illegal funds. While Gordon stands around and does absolutely nothing, Barnes is confident that this bust will deeply affect Penguin’s business. Maybe I’m missing something as I don’t dabble in illegal finances, but …why does Penguin like his accountants in underwear?

After realizing that he actually is just standing around doing nothing, Gordon decides to finally tell Barnes about “The Merc”: a place that sells “heavy weapons”. You know Gordon, when you have an important piece of information, you share it. You don’t just WAIT AROUND until the captain has to ask the criminals where their rocket launcher came from. Ugh!

Back at Penguin’s, Penguin is still reeling from his exchange with the Galavans. Rather than going after Theo directly, Butch suggests that Penguin go after Tabitha, which is actually really smart if you think about it. Not only do Theo and Tabitha have a weird incestous love for each other, but also without Tabitha murderous ways,Theo is essentially nothing. Anyways, while Butch’s plan is a good one, Penguin argues that Theo’s love for Tabitha is no where close to Penguin’s love for his mother. A henchman then interrupts their conversation and informs Penguin about the loss of $2,000,000. This news seems to be the last straw for the Penguin as he seemingly enters a “Penguin-style” mental breakdown: beating the henchman to death. Fortunately (well, maybe not for the henchman), the bloodshed provides Penguin with an idea.

In the meantime,Gordon is approached by Theo. Theo pretends to be remorseful about killing Jerome and sucks up a bit to Gordon. Theo even goes so far as to call Gordon “a symbol to people of this city”. Alright Theo…Let’s calm down. The point of Theo’s brown nosing is to ask for Gordon’s endorsement. Unfortunately, Gordon declines, stating that politics and police work don’t mix.

Later, at Penguin’s, Tabitha provides Penguin with an assignment: arson. She hands him a small silver case that is needed to finish the job. Penguin opens the case, and of course we don’t get to see what’s inside. However, the content’s are clearly disturbing as Penguin gasps in horror.What’s in the case?

After convincing/paying Selina to vouch for him, Butch hires the Pike Brothers to perform the arson throughout Gotham. This scene bothers me for many reasons. Not only are the Pike Brothers super mean to their sister Bridgit, but also the Pike Brothers are Fish Mooney loyalists, so there is a lot of talk about Fish’s possible return. Please…noooooooo.

We are then brought to The Merc, which is like a grocery store for ammo. There, the smallest Pike Brother shops/shoplifts for explosives. Suddenly, the Strike Force storms in, causing the Pike Brother to flee out of the store. Gordon and Barnes manage to catch up with him outside, thanks in large part to a tall fence, and the two cops shoot him until he explodes. Something tells me that they didn’t think that one all the way through, especially since there is a high probability that he might have explosives on him… But who cares? EXPLOSION!

Afterwards, the remaining brothers force Bridgit to take their dead brother’s place and help them carry out the plan. Even though she resists, the Brothers give her an ultimatum: either get kicked out onto the streets or stay and perform the arson. Bridgit chooses the latter despite her aversion to fire.

So later, at some posh-looking penthouse, Bridgit sets the explosives in place as her brothers walk her through the process, and continue to be complete poop-holes to her. After being told to light the fuse to the bomb, which gives her a minute and a half to escape, the Brothers tell her to steal a knife from a nearby safe. Couldn’t she have done that before she lit the fuse? It’s not like the safe is going to sound an alarm since she opened it with the contents of the mysterious case: Bunderslaw’s eyeball. Ew. Anyways, the place explodes, and even though Bridget’s leg catches on fire, she manages to escape in time.



Some time later that night, after carrying out four more explosions, Bridgit is back home, sewing together a suit. Selina comes by to collect the stolen knife for Penguin. After learning that Bridgit is making a fire-retardant suit and has developed a penchant for blowing $hiT up, Selina worries about her friend. The two then get into a fight about independence and I cringe in pain at the bad acting happening before me.

Once the knife is in Penguin’s possession, Penguin hires Edwige on Butch’s recommendation. Edwige, the owner of an antique shop, examines the knife and claims to know nothing about it. Penguin quickly sees through her lies, and forces her to tell him why she is scared of the stolen knife. Cue exposition I mean flashback as Edwige orates the story behind the knife.

Apparently, 200 years ago, Gotham was ruled by five families, with the Waynes as the most powerful. After catching a Caleb Dumas attempting to force himself on a beloved Wayne daughter, the Waynes “seized the Dumas [family] holdings and banished them socially”. On top of that, the Waynes also used the knife to cut off Caleb’s arm as a form of extreme punishment. Afterwards, Caleb Dumas then took exile at a religious sect with deep ties to the Dumas family. The Waynes then proceeded to completely wipe out the Dumas from Gotham’s history.

Back in the present, Penguin correctly surmises that Theo and Tabitha are part of the Dumas family. Having figured out Theo’s motivation for wreaking havoc, Penguin smiles as he finally has the upper hand.

At the same time, at the GCPD, Gordon smiles as he actually did real police work and figured out that all the properties that were exploded belonged to Wayne Enterprises. Wow, he figured it out all by himself.

Back at Penguin’s, after making Butch drink shots, Penguin explains that Butch will serve as a double agent and infiltrate Theo’s organization. Basically Butch will do what Penguin did in Season 1. In order to sell the “Butch turning traitor” act, Penguin chops off Butch’s arm “Caleb Dumas-style”. Ew.

Meanwhile, Gordon and Bullock are on a stakeout when the Pike Brothers (and sister) pull up to another Wayne property. The two detectives along with the rest of the strike force immediately take action. The Brothers panic and drive off, leaving their sister to fend for herself. Equipped with a flamethrower and a flame-retardant suit and mask, Bridgit shoots fire at the officers, and manages to set one officer completely on fire before fleeing. Oh no! I hope that isn’t the attractive (*swoons*) Strike Force member!

The next morning, Gordon and the Strike Force learn that Garrett, who I think is the attractive (*swoons*) Strike Force member, died from severe burns. Nooo! His death not only hardens Barnes’s resolve to clean up Gotham, but also to begin a manhunt for Bridgit, who is now branded a cop-killer. Touched by Barnes’s speech, Gordon approaches Theo and changes his mind about the endorsement. Man, Gordon has no intuition at all. First Penguin, and now Theo? He teams up with the worst people possible.

Finally, at his place, Theo is visited by a hooded man dressed like Darth Sidious. Theo and the man, Father Creel, discuss their plans to take over Gotham. Uh oh. I think Father Creel is from that religious sect that took in Caleb Dumas. According to their schemes, some serious poo-poo is about to go down in Gotham. Besides talk of warriors coming to Gotham, Theo and Father Creel reveal their intentions for ultimate revenge: killing Bruce Wayne.


Final Grade: D+

While a lot of things happened, I felt like nothing actually happened. I just kind of felt empty and bored the whole episode.


Extra Thoughts:

+Barnes: “City council can suck my tailpipe…Delay that order, no one gets pants”. Best quote to take out of context.

+Bridgit Pike’s acting—yikes…

+Nygma and Kringle are a couple, and they go on a double date with Lee and Gordon. Not going to lie, kind of cute.


What did you think about this week’s episode? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Elizabeth Banalagay