Gotham: This Ball of Mud and Meanness


Gotham is getting bigger and crazier as Season 2 goes on and we are freaking out. Episode 14 included the rise of a hero, a villain and the rebirth of one of Gotham’s most dangerous characters. Let’s dive in.

“This Ball of Mud and Meanness” begins with Penguin having terrors from his “therapy” at Arkham. When he is done with his shock treatment for the day, Dr. Strange tests him by giving him ice cream and sending him back to the group of inmates. When an inmate attacks him for his ice cream, Penguin doesn’t fight back, which makes the doctor happy.

In a quick switch, Bruce gets a gun from Selina in preparation to hunt down his parents’ killer and get his revenge. When he gets home, Alfred is ready to assist Bruce in his hunt, but doesn’t know anything about the gun. They go to an underground fight club looking for Matches Malone’s former associate, Cupcake.

When they arrive they meet Cupcake, who is huge and violent. Once he learns who Bruce is, he asks for money in return for the location he seeks. After Alfred tries to interject, Cupcakes gets back and challenges Alfred to a fight in order to allow them to leave with their lives. Alfred finally agrees, but is pissed at Bruce for getting them into this situation.

As Alfred fights Cupcake, he talks to Bruce in order to teach him a few lessons. He tells him that he needs to pick his battles, not give up, and let the big guys tire themselves out. Alfred eventually wins and earns Cupcake’s respect and gets the name of a woman who will know where Matches lives and then Alfred passes out.

Meanwhile at the GCPD, Lee comes to Jim with a question about Kristen Kringle. Lee figured out that Kristen hasn’t deposited her last few paychecks and the HR department doesn’t have a forwarding address. Jim agrees to look into it and then pays Ed a visit.

When Jim talks to Ed about Kristen he remains calm, but internally he is freaking out. As soon as Jim leaves, Ed starts talking to himself and vows to figure out Jim’s game and why he’s trying to mess with him. Talk about paranoid.

Back to Bruce … he stays with Alfred at the hospital until he falls back asleep and then leaves to find Jeri, who is supposed to help him find Matches. When Alfred wakes up, he realizes what happened and calls Jim and Harvey for help. He tells him that he thinks Bruce is planning on killing Matches and then gives Jim the address for Jeri.

As Jim leaves, we see Bruce arriving at a club where Jeri is performing on stage. She has been waiting for Bruce and takes him into her dressing room to talk. She is totally creepy and at the same time very badass. They talk and she asks him why he wants the address, and Bruce comes right out and says he needs the address so he can kill him. She makes fun of him, obviously, and then gives him the apartment address.

Bruce is very happy and begins to leave, but Jim walks in at the same time and grabs him. He tells him that he knows about his plan, but he can’t let him go forward with it and Bruce gets angry. All of a sudden, Jeri takes the stage and yells “GCPD” and then a giant mosh pit attacks Jim as Bruce flees. Jim eventually fights off everyone and arrests Jeri, but Bruce is already on his way to Matches’ apartment.

When Bruce arrives at the apartment, he pretends that he wants to hire Matches and the man lets Bruce in. They begin talking about his previous kills, in hopes that Matches will say something about Bruce’s parents. When he doesn’t saying anything specific, Bruce reveals who he is and that he knows he killed his parents that night.

Back at Arkham, Dr. Strange tells Penguin that he is making real progress, but he needs a few more treatments in order to be fully cured, which makes Penguin visibly upset, but he reins it in. Later, Penguin is brought into a room that has a knife, scissors and a cup of water on the table. The inmate who attacked him over the ice cream is also in the room with a blindfold on.

Penguin removes the blindfold and calms the man down. He makes him promise not to hurt him, because there is no ice cream this time and therefore nothing to be mad at him for. Penguin then uses the knife to cut him free from the chair, passing his final test. Dr. Strange brings Penguin into his office and gives him a certificate that says he is sane and therefore free to go.

When Penguin goes to pack his stuff, Dr. Strange tells Mrs. Peabody that he isn’t totally confident releasing him, but Penguin is an experiment. Plus, he has bigger plans for Penguin that even Mrs. Peabody cannot know. Next, we see Penguin leaving Arkham as a free man!

Jim finally gets Jeri to tell him where Bruce went, and she says that he is definitely at Matches’ place by now. Meanwhile, Bruce has a gun pointed at Matches, but he says he’ll never tell him who hired him to kill his parents. Bruce notices that Matches wants to die, and Bruce asks him why. Matches reveals that after all these years of doing bad things and going unpunished, he’s begun to question if there even is a god.

Matches then tells Bruce exactly how to kill him and yells at him to pull the trigger. Bruce prepares to shoot him, but can’t. Instead, he leaves the gun on the table and walks out. As he leaves the apartment, Jim comes up and Bruce tells him Matches is inside. Just then, they hear a shot. Jim runs in and sees Matches has killed himself with the gun.

When Jim gets back to the station, Harvey tells him that Matches was a really bad guy, so getting him was a good thing. Jim still doesn’t know who hired Matches to kill the Waynes but Harvey doesn’t care. Jim then runs into Ed who asks about Kristen’s case and Jim says he hasn’t had any time to look into it but he will.

As Jim walks away, Ed starts talking to himself again. He thinks Jim must suspect him of something and plans to put his own plan into motion. When Ed is at home, he starts plotting his next step and keeps staring at Jim’s photo in the paper. He then writes a green question mark over Jim’s face, which means the Riddler is officially coming!

In the final moments, Alfred comes home to find a letter from Bruce. The letter reveals that Bruce has left to live in the streets with Selina. He needs to learn how the other half lives in order to someday be able to help the city of Gotham. He tells Alfred that he knows you can’t kill murder and end evil, but you can help people, which is what he plans to do someday. He ends the letter by saying he’ll be home someday, but until then he needs Alfred to leave him alone. Ouch!

Tune in tonight to see what happens next on Gotham. What is Penguin going to do now that he’s “healed” and is Ed lost forever now that his Riddler side is beginning to show? Sound off in the comments!

Photo Courtesy of FOX

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About Johnni

Johnni Macke is a freelance writer and TV addict. She is a hippie at heart and lover of all-things British. She may or may not be planning to marry Tim Riggins or live in an apartment with a purple door and yellow frame with her gal pal Rachel Green. You can follow her at @johnnimacke.