[Spoilers]4×08 Stop Hitting Yourself Review

This episode further shows the rift between Jim and Harvey, where Jim has to make another choice between his career and his friend and sets up a fairly interesting plot for Lee, Grundy and the Riddler, while the Penguin gets small story

The Riddler takes to mocking the Penguin at Cherry’s where Grundy has quickly become the star
attraction. This gets the Penguin’s wrath on them, who sends the Sirens to the Narrows to get Ed. While we are teased with the knowledge that Grundy still has his memories of being Butch. When Babara and Tabitha get distracted by seeing Lee and Grundy respectively, It’s up to Selena to go and get Nygma. This leads to a conflict that gets solved with a fight between Grundy and Tabitha, with Tabitha winning but not before Grundy mentions Tabitha by name, before getting knocked out. Firefly who was sent as insurance if the Siren’s failed or missed the deadline comes to burn down the club. Firefly is stopped by Lee, while Cherry who was a mole for the Penguin is killed by Barbara who along with Tabitha and Selena refuse to work for him anymore. Lee at Nygma’s urging becomes a leader in the Narrows, taking Cherry’s place.

Cherry being poorly used, is sadly not all that surprising, with characters being brought in to advance a plot. It would have been nice if she actually had personality, which Alex who appeared and died in one has her beat in that department. Instead, she ended up as just the owner of a convenient enough meeting place, before getting killed off as a spy for the Penguin. Lee and Barbara’s interactions were great, as they still cooly dislike each other, while Tabitha fighting Butch, and trying to get him to remember was quite sad. However, seeing Lee thrust into a leadership position is something new, even if it among the poor and mistreated, having Nygma as an advisor, who even with his reduced intelligence had made a great case for why she should be a leader in the Narrows, should be interesting.

Jim is offered the rank of captain, but it still does not make him trust the mayor, however, has to accept it which he is on the fence about, because he does not want to ruin his relationship with Harvey. It’s revealed that Sofia was able to convince the mayor to do so, which causes Jim to try and have faith in Harvey that he can still do the right, and not have to feel indebted to her.

That faith goes out the window when Harvey can’t muster up the will to go to an informal meeting with several cops that have been shot in the line of duty, including the one he mistakenly shot in the last episode. So Jim decides to take his place but rebuffs the idea of celebrating with Sofia and still wants to turn the force around. Jim still values his friendship with Harvey and wanted to have faith in him. However, Harvey is right to realize that Jim owes somebody whether he wants to or not. Which means Sofia could come to collect meaning that Sofia’s uneasy relationship with Jim could go south real soon, especially since he wants to wash his hands of her.

The Penguin factors into this episode as someone so angry for any slight that it kicks off half of the plot, a small side plot is where on the advice of Sofia Penguin takes up a hobby, to calm down. This hobby is mentoring a young child named Martin not to make the same mistakes he did in his efforts for revenge, which is a call back to Penguin doing the same in season 3, but showing how he has “grown” by rejecting friendship. It was great to see the Penguin actually go back to basics and show he still has his trademark sense of deception and cunning while providing a bit of humanizing for him, in his own way.

Rejecting Martin as a friend but considering him a co-conspirator, apparently has made Cobblepot slightly less volatile, not killing Mr. Penn when he receives more bad news and but he still seems fond of the child even if he won’t admit it. The Penguin is starting to take his own lessons to heart and has finally begun to suspect Sofia might not be all that she seems.

I would give this episode a 9/10. Barring the use of Cherry as nothing more than an owner of a place for main characters to meet and then get killed off, the plot was strong. This episode had the right mix of emotional moments such as seeing Harvey too ashamed to work and Jim losing faith in him because of that, to the possibility that Butch could still remember Tabitha, and seeing the Penguin in a supportive mentor role.

Plot-wise the Siren’s finally seem to be going their own way, while it looks like we are going to see both Jim and Lee as reluctant leaders.Sofia is going to have to find another tactic now that Jim feels he does not need her and the Penguin is getting suspicious of her.

Author: False Facer 92

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