GOTHAM: Episode 121 “The Anvil or the Hammer” Recap

GOTHAM: Episode 121 “The Anvil or the Hammer” Recap

Gotham is becoming one of Fox’s most popular shows since it’s debut last Fall. It’s tried to make a name for itself in a timeline that isn’t often explored in great detail in the city of Gotham. It’s before Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) becomes Batman, before Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) becomes Catwoman, and before many of the normal villains become super villains for Bruce Wayne to deal with when he gets older. The directors have said the first season is about turning Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) into the infamous Penguin. Gotham’s main star is Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), a man who is adamant about cleaning the streets of Gotham, but he doesn’t know that corruption exists in the GCPD (Gotham City Police Department) as well. He’s given a partner, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), who isn’t eager to join Jim on his goal of cleaning up Gotham.



In this week’s episode, things are beginning to get crazy! The Penguin is planning to pull his hit on Don Maroni, the epic finale of Jim Gordon vs the Ogre is reached, Edward Nygma comes to terms with what he’s done, and Bruce Wayne attempts to find out more about Bunderslaw at Wayne Enterprises. There is so much to cover, but let’s get started with the star of last week’s show: Edward Nygma the Riddler!


What happened: At the beginning of the episode, Edward Nygma is seen carrying two large trunks into the GCPD. Inside of both of the trunks are presumably all of the body parts remaining from Officer Dougherty, his first victim from last week’s episode (1.20 Under the Knife). He mutters to himself “No body, no crime. No body, no crime.”

gotham 121 riddler

No body. No Crime.

As he attempted to reassure himself that he would get away with his first murder. When he is attempting to dispose of the body, Ms. Kringle comes by into the Forensic Examination Room unknowing of whose body it was that he was handling with since only limbs were exposed on the table at the time. She asks if Edward has seen Officer Dougherty, but Edward quickly denies that he has not. Ultimately, she had been visiting for some case files, but ends up mentioning to Edward that she pities him for the job that he has to do because “he’s around death all the time”.

Edward is eventually left with the skull of Officer Dougherty, which he soon puts into a sack and slam against the table numerous times as he imagines Officer Dougherty screaming in pain from the experience in his own mind. Edward ends up sending a fake letter to Ms. Kringle from Officer Dougherty, claiming that he was leaving Gotham and Ms. Kringle. Ms. Kringle wasn’t surprised that he wouldn’t say it to her face. However, as she walks away Nygma points out to himself where he put a riddle in between the lines spelling “N.Y.G.M.A”.

“NO BODY, NO CRIME.” – Gotham

What we thought:

Cory Michael Smith’s portrayal of Edward Nygma continues to be a highlight of the show. It’s very clear that Edward Nygma shows no remorse for Officer Dougherty’s murder.  Although he’s only in a few scenes in this episode, it’s clear how warped Edward Nygma has become throughout the season.  It is in this episode that he truly begins his transition into The Riddler, using his sharp mind to not cover up his crimes, but to incorporate his trademark riddled confessions as well.

What’s happening next:

The director’s said the major villain of Season One was supposed to be the Penguin, so I’m beginning to think that they’ve set up the Riddler to be the major villain of Season Two. It’s likely that at some point in Season Two that Edward Nygma will end up leaving a trail back to himself. I’m eager to see the games that begin between Jim Gordon and Edward Nygma.


What happened:

Junior Executive Lucius Fox tells Bruce a secret about Thomas Wayne.

Junior Executive Lucius Fox tells Bruce a secret about Thomas Wayne.

Alfred Pennyworth has been called in by the medical examiners to identify the body of Reginald Payne, who was pushed out a window by Selina Kyle.  This causes Bruce to feel guilty for not informing Alfred of what he knows. However, while Alfred is gone, Bruce decides to head to Wayne Enterprises to figure out what was in Bunderslaw’s safe. When he arrives, he pulls a fire alarm, giving him a long enough diversion to get into Bunderslaw’s office. However, he finds the safe empty, and, seconds later, Bunderslaw enters into his office.  He informs Bruce that he’s been waiting for him, revealing the many crimes Wayne Enterprises commits for profit.  He goes on to explain that Bruce’s father had taken part in these shady business practices. Bruce refuses to believe what he’s hearing, but has no choice but to accept what he hears for the time being. As he leaves the office, Bunderslaw introduces him to Lucius Fox. When they are alone, Fox reassures Bruce that his father was not the man that Wayne Enterprises wants him to believe he was.  After leaving, Bruce admits to Alfred that it was Selina who pushed Reginald Payne out of the window.  He also reveals what Bunderslaw and Fox told him of his parents.  Alfred reassures him that his parents were good people, but Bruce interrupts him and reminds him that “even good men have secrets.”


Bruce discovers Sid Bunderslaw's safe.

Bruce discovers Sid Bunderslaw’s safe.

What we thought:

When Bruce met Lucius Fox, he ended up causing Bruce to rethink his image of his parents.  This is an important development for Bruce to go through, as he’s being shown the true colors of the world — even at Wayne Enterprise.  Alfred reassuring Bruce a second time should only further convince him of his parents (relative) innocence.

What’s happening next:

It’s looking like Bruce is going to end up finding a bit more about his parent’s in the finale next week, which should be an interesting to watch.  He appears to have obtained a key to a safe in the Wayne Estate to something that his parents have had hidden. What will he end up finding out? This would be an interesting way to reveal an early version of the Batcave.


What happened:

Harvey infiltrates the mysterious "Foxglove" club to track down the Ogre.

Harvey infiltrates the mysterious “Foxglove” club to track down the Ogre.

The Penguin sends Butch Gilzean to the bar he acquired a couple episodes ago.  Butch ends up leaving weaponry behind the bar counter for the hit on Don Maroni.  Shortly after, Butch they are interrupted by Jim Gordon’s arrival. The Penguin is quickly intimidated by highly aggressive Jim Gordon, but agrees to help him with the invitation to the Club he needs for his investigation.  The Penguin, however, adds a sizable stipulation: Jim now owes him one “really big” favor.  After Jim leaves, the Penguin meets with the mercenaries concerning his hit on Don Maroni, and assures them that this is what Don Falcone wants to happen. The hitmen ultimately agree, and head to the bar to do the hit on Don Maroni. The hitmen end up failing their hit on Don Maroni, not realizing that the Penguin removed the firing pins from Butch’s weapon cache. Don Maroni is now alive and out for blood, blaming Don Falcone over the incident. This, it turns out, was what the Penguin planned all along, giving him the chance to escape from both of the Crime Bosses. Don Maroni ends up sending Don Falcone one of the hitmen’s severed head, and begins to attack his businesses. The Penguin is last seen smiling and laughing as the Crime War of Gotham begins.

What we thought:

The Penguin has proven that he’s a criminal mastermind once again. He’s organized something that Fish Mooney dreamed of doing: pitting Don Falcone against Don Maroni and hoping to claim the spoils when it’s all said and done.  It’s going to be interesting to see what the Penguin does in the finale to try and stake his claim on Gotham.

What’s happening next: I believe in the next episode we’ll see the return of Fish Mooney and a possible alliance with the Penguin.  In the end, I believe that Penguin and Fish Mooney will end up standing tall as the two new major bosses of Gotham, while Don Maroni and Falcone end up dying. If the show ends up taking this route, it will certainly be drastically different from what we’ve experienced in both the comics and the films. How will crime families find a place back into Gotham? It’s something we’ll have to see. This is probably one of my BOLDER predictions, but I feel there is a great chance of it happening.


What happened:

At the beginning of the episode, we learn that Barbara (Gordon’s former girlfriend) has finally managed to anger the Ogre enough to earn his wrath. However, he hasn’t killed her yet, because he is convinced she is his “soul mate.”

gotham 121 ogre barbara

Barbara understands that her relationship with The Ogre is best described as “complicated.”

Gordon blames himself for the predicament that Barbara is in, beginning to fear the worst.  He’s been punishing himself by working endlessly on the Ogre case, but realizes that even with a small lead about the Fox Club, it won’t be enough to find the Ogre or her.  He ends up going to The Penguin for help gaining entrance into the Fox Club.  After intimidating him, the Penguin agrees to help Gordon, but he will owe him a “big favor,” seeing as he already owed him a favor to begin with.  Jim Gordon sets up Harvey Bollock with the invitation to the Fox Club in hopes he won’t be recognized, but when Harvey arrives at the club, he realizes that the establishment is ultimately a den of exotic fetishes. He quickly becomes so disgusted that he reveals himself as a member of the GCPD. When Jim Gordon and the GCPD arrive, they find that the Ogre’s residence is across from the Gotham Royal Apartments.  Jim and Harvey arrive at the apartment, but Barbara and the Ogre are nowhere in sight. However, Barbara and the Ogre hadn’t left yet. When Harvey and Jim Gordon split up, the Ogre gets a jump sending him tumbling down a staircase. Jim finds Barbara, and manages to fight off the Ogre, until the Ogre takes Barbara as a hostage. The Ogre threatens to slit her throat if Jim tries to shoot him.  Luckily, Harvey distracts The Ogre long enough for Jim to get a shot off, bringing him down once and for all. When it’s all said and done, Dr. Thompkin is glad Gordon is safe, and Gordon admits that he loves her more than he ever loved Barbara.


The Ogre takes Barbara as a human shield before he is gunned down by the GCPD.

The Ogre takes Barbara as a human shield before he is gunned down by the GCPD.

What we thought:

We saw a different side of Jim Gordon this episode. His sleep deprivation has turned him into a much more aggressive, willing to interrogate their first lead and threaten the Penguin.  He was even willing to kill the Ogre without any restraint.  These are all things that we haven’t come to expect from Jim, which I stems from him learning that if he wants to clean the streets, he’s going to have to get a little dirty.

What’s happening next: Jim Gordon, Harvey Bollock, the GCPD, and Gotham are going to be put right in the middle of the brewing Gang War between the Maroni and Falcone families.  Sleep deprivation is taking a toll on Jim, and I believe that may cause him to make a few hasty, out-of-character decisions in this finale. An aggressive Jim Gordon is a dangerous man. However, an aggressive Jim Gordon is what fans have been dying to see.


Things have finally reached the tipping point for the season finale. The upcoming Crime War will likely take precedent, and it is clear that Fish Mooney will be returning amidst the chaos, but what will she end up doing?  Would she consider helping Don Falcone again? It’s doubtful.  It’s more likely she’d form an alliance with Don Maroni, but she may also feel that it would be better to wipe out him in the chaos as well.  It’s going to be crazy to see all of the characters of Gotham interacting in one last episode for this season, but we also have to wait and see what Bruce Wayne is going to uncover in Wayne Manor.


+ Jim Gordon vs the Ogre was the most exciting saga so far. I hope opponents like him will continue to appear in future seasons because it allowed proper character development for Jim and the Ogre to the viewer. – When Bruce Wayne is caught by Bunderslaw, it feels like a justice has been done to Bruce Wayne for all of his meddling. However, the immediate appearance of Bunderslaw seems to be a bit too strange, and something out of character for a man of his stature to do. Why would he deliver a warning personally to Bruce Wayne?
+ The Penguin’s scheme finally seems to be coming full circle. The Crime War that he’s organized between Don Falcone and Don Maroni is going to shake Gotham to it’s core.
+ Edward Nygma is nearing his full transformation to the Riddler. He incorporated his first trail back to him with his victim’s “letter” to Ms. Kringle.

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