Remember the week before Thanksgiving when Gotham gave us Professor Pyg’s musical number and a cleaver fight? If that’s a thing you can forget, I will never understand you. Let’s settle in and talk about the crazy “Let Them Eat Pie”.
A Father Guido Sarducci lookin’ guy passes out doughnuts to Gotham’s homeless. By now, we know enough to recognize Professor Pyg in disguise. Then he lures several of them into his van to take them for pie. While they eat, he takes pictures of them and lays out the Polaroids on a table, each one labeled with the person’s name. (In calligraphy.) He talks about the haves and the have nots as everybody drops dead from poison pie. He drags them to a slaughterhouse, puts on his costume, and starts hacking them up. This episode is going to be wild.
Gordon shows up at work just as Bullock is emptying out his old office. He reminds Gordon that, in their first case, Gordon refused to kill Penguin and maybe things would be a lot different if he’d done it. Gordon says he did the right thing and Harvey leaves – he’s officially “on leave”, but he indicates he’s not interested in coming back.
Oswald and Sofia prepare a big fundraising gala for the orphanage, but he’s much more interested in talking about how Gordon ended up as the new captain. Sofia’s all “Boy, somebody pulled some strings” and Penguin makes it clear he’s going to find the person who did it and get revenge. He’ll probably be too busy with murder to come to the party, but he promises to at least show up for a song the kids are doing, because his little buddy Martin is taking part. Oh, also the Mayor went missing and that’s who Penguin needs to talk to about this. So he decides to recruit Martin as a spy. Man, I love that Penguin has an evil kid to hang out with.
Sofia calls Gordon to tell him what’s going on and that she arranged for the Mayor to leave town. Then he gets another call – Professor Pyg! He congratulates Jim on his promotion. Harper traces the call while Pyg says that Gotham’s elite are going to feel the pain. He tells Gordon to look outside for a clue and he finds a tent all set up for a fancy party, including two well-dressed corpses and the live pigs who are eating them. It’s very Deadwood.
Stately Wayne Manor. Hungover Bruce demands noon breakfast and Alfred is in no mood for this nonsense. Alfred calls him out – he’s being an a-hole because he killed Ra’s al Ghul and doesn’t know what to do. Also, this is the day that Bruce’s dad took him camping every year, and they would put rocks with their initials on top of Mt. Bristol. I don’t understand that tradition, but it’s fine. Alfred intends to continue that tradition and he’s got the rocks ready.
Hey, it’s Lucius! He examined the bodies and determined that they were homeless based on the long-term damage, and they’ve had all their internal organs removed. He thinks Pyg might be using them to make a statement, since he said his next victims would be the elite and then the dead homeless people turn up. More usefully, they have chemical residue on their skin that’s consistent with paper manufacturing, so Gordon and Harper go to check out the abandoned paper plant.
Once there, they find a bunch of bodies and a smoker oven, so now they know he’s cooking humans. Pyg sneaks up on Harper and puts a knife in her shoulder. Gordon drops his gun and Pyg escapes with his hostage, telling Gordon that it’s almost time for the final act.
Bruce and Alfred make it out to the woods and Bruce is still grumping. And after that two second scene, the Penguin tells Martin that he’s suspicious of Sofia and needs him to keep an eye on her. I really like this interaction because Penguin does not talk to him like he’s a kid. He’s even tempered but beyond that, he treats Martin like an adult. It’s very cute in its way. Martin agrees to help.
Gordon sets up an APB for Harper and then gets hassled by the press. One reporter asks, if he fails, will he be pushed aside like Bullock was. So that’s the end of the press conference. Then he checks with Lucius because the press knew about the cannibalism – they figure that Pyg probably leaked that to the media himself, because that’s kind of his style. Also, Lucius found where Pyg left a quote from A Modest Proposal, which is a clue that they’re talking about orphans and that points Jim to the fundraiser.
Sofia talks to her new chef. He’s Pyg in disguise, of course. He shows off the meat pies he’ll be serving and, hey, fun fact. Michael Cerveris played Sweeney Todd on Broadway. That guy is always cooking his victims!
Alfred starts to tell Bruce how he met his father and Bruce tries to cut him off. Alfred goes on to talk about waking up after a bender, covered in blood. He went to the cops to turn himself in, assuming he did something awful, but he met Thomas at the station and after a short conversation, Thomas Wayne told the cops that he was attacked and Alfred saved him. That bonded them for life, and I’m pretty sure this is a new idea and I love it.
Bruce doesn’t want to hear it, though. Instead, he goes out to the car to get the rocks, but really to drive off and leave Alfred there alone. Oh, Bruce. Bruce being terrible to Alfred really bums me out.
Penguin and Martin show up to the orphanage fundraiser and Sofia seems very happy to see them. Man, she is playing absolutely everybody 100% of the time. Gordon also shows up, sneaking in the back. Sofia catches Martin writing something in his notepad. Have we talked about how Sofia is very attractive? I know that’s a bold casting choice for this show to make, but here we are.
Gordon gets to the kitchen and freaks out a waiter. The guy doesn’t seem to know what’s going on, so Gordon asks him to go find Sofia. There’s a scuffle and Pyg (still in his chef disguise) sidles up and konks Gordon on the head. They drag him to a storage room and he wakes up right next to Harper.
Sofia makes a short speech before the children perform and Penguin notices Martin is missing. She says he’s probably just off somewhere and then suggests that whoever made Gordon captain probably helped Penguin out a lot. Penguin sees right through this, but then Professor Pyg interrupts to let them know it’s time for the meal and also he doesn’t want to have to use this meat cleaver on them.
Professor Pyg is so great.
Gordon bandages Harper’s stab wound and she tells him they forgot to search her. She’s got a knife or possibly a blunt weapon that Gordon can use to take the door off the hinges and get out. I wasn’t super clear on that and it doesn’t matter because things are going nuts.
The waiters bring plates to everybody and then Professor Pyg turns on the music and performs the “Meat Pie Tango”. He is playing the Cell Block Tango from Chicago but using the names of the people he butchered to make the meat pies. It is thoroughly bonkers and Michael Cerveris puts this little shimmy into it that’s hilarious. He even does the “You had it coming” bit and this is all I could have asked for. Sofia tells him to stop, and he sticks a knife right through her hand and everybody at the table flips out.
Pyg assures her that the children and staff are safely locked up. Well, except Martin, who’s kind of a hostage. Then Pyg delivers the line “You have all fed upon the poor of Gotham for years”, which is the beginning of a big Batman speech in Year One. They gave that line to Professor Pyg! I am losing my mind right now. Anyway, he makes everybody look at pictures of the people he made into pies – they should at least see who they’re eating. (Pyg: “They’re people pies”.) And if they don’t eat, he’ll kill Martin.
The guy sitting next to Penguin says he’s not going to eat a person to save some orphan, and Penguin pull the knife out of Sofia’s hand and drives it into the top of the man’s skull. Pyg is impressed and tells Penguin he’s the whole reason that he chose this event – the rich are bad but Penguin is the worst one of all and he has to pay. And, to save Martin, Penguin just starts shoveling handfuls of meat pie into his mouth and loudly demands that everybody else do the same.
Gordon gets the door open. Pyg notices that Sofia isn’t eating. She asks Penguin for help since her hand is messed up and he starts feeding her, which is probably a fetish for somebody. That’s when Gordon shows up and shoots Pyg’s guards. Penguin tackles him because he’s afraid Pyg will kill Martin, but in all the confusion, the kid wiggles away. Everybody runs off and then it’s James Gordon v. Professor Pyg: Dawn of Justice. Pyg throws a meat cleaver at his head, just like in Arkham Knight and Gordon barely dodges. And then they’re both standing on the ornate table having a cleaver fight. Pyg manages to toss Gordon to the other side and then advances across the table, cleaver slashing with every step. It’s a very T-1000 move, except it’s executed by a man wearing a pig head. Pyg gets the upper hand but Gordon pulls the knife out of the dead man’s head and buries it in Pyg’s shoulder. That takes him down. Holy smokes, that was rad.
I have been asking for Professor Pyg since Season One, and in my wildest dreams, I didn’t think they’d deliver in such a huge way.
After all the chaos, Penguin checks on Sofia. She’s fine, and so is Martin. He then confronts her about her role in making Gordon captain. She says it was the only way to get him to end the license program, but she’s really not his enemy. He says whatever her reason, she went behind his back. But she was good to Martin, so he’s going to let her live with a warning. He’ll abandon the licenses, but Gordon can’t be captain. She says Gordon’s nothing and tells him to pick whoever he wants.
Outside, a crowd grants Gordon’s praises as he puts Pyg in the back of a patrol car. He makes a short statement to the press and they thank him for his hard work and for keeping his promise and for just a second, it looks like Gordon’s going to turn this thing around.
At Stately Wayne Manor, Bruce and his terrible friends are blaring musing and throwing things. Alfred, apparently having just made it home, smashes the record player and tells everyone to leave. Bruce tells them to stay but they get a look at Alfred and know he means business. They clear out and Bruce gives Alfred a very emo lecture about not knowing what he’s going through, and the more he talks, the more it’s clear that killing Ra’s has messed him up. But he then tells Alfred to be a butler and clean up after him before he heads out again. Between Bullock and Alfred, these last few episodes have really gotten at the old cockles.
Gordon goes to see Sofia and tells her he made a mistake going to her father in the first place, but he’s going to bring law and order to Gotham. Sofia assures him she’s not his enemy and tries to kiss him, but Gordon remains staunch. Outside Martin catches up with Penguin to report via notepad “I saw Sofia kissing the policeman”. Penguin tells Martin he’s a good friend and Sofia will have to answer for what she’s done.
–The trailer for this week’s episode has Pyg in Arkham, Barbara and the gang, Zsasz, and lots of explosions. I’m very excited