Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn't seen tonight's episode of Gotham.
Always proving its distinction as one of TV's most bizarre dramas, Gotham spent tonight's episode, "The Executioner," focused on three stories: the resolution of Captain Barnes' weird monster turn (which seemingly confirmed our prediction last week), Bruce and Selina's adventures with Poison Ivy, and Riddler dealing with the death of Miss Kri...er...Isabella. And it was for this last storyline that Penguin seems to have agreed to let his quest for Ed's affection put his former henchman Butch's life on the line. Dun-dun-dunnnn.
For a quick step back: Oswald was thwarted by the arrival of Isabella, who quickly won Ed over and looked past his many warning signs, and when Oswald's more innocent break-up attempt was turned down by Isabella, he went full Penguin and snipped her car's brake lines, sending her to meet her demise via speeding train. After finding out about Isabella's death, Ed went into a funk that Oswald eventually drew him out of, and this is when viewers got to watch Riddler seek answers to not-so-amusing questions. And his fruitful search led him to the belief that Butch was responsible for killing Isabella.
When Ed - who got his knowledge about Isabella's from a blind homeless man, because why the hell not? - showed up and told Oswald about discovering Isabella's murder, few deer have had a "deer in headlights" look that bested Robin Lord Taylor during the duration of this scene. And his instinctive response isn't to try and sway Ed away from that assumption or any other diversionary tactic; no, he just immediately smiled and agreed that they will tell Butch that something has to be done about it all.
At one point, it would have been extremely weird for Penguin to put Butch on the potential chopping block, but one episode a few weeks ago totally fractured their relationship. To win back Penguin's attention from his bespectacled new cohort, Butch started up the Red Hood Gang again in an elaborate scheme that would ideally end with him saving his boss' life and earning a spot back as Penguin's number two. Instead, the Riddler figured it all out and forced Butch to confess in front of the Penguin, and the henchman obviously went way too far when he tried choking Ed out.
It's possible that Penguin didn't mean flat-out murder when he said they'd make Butch pay, but Isabella's death won't be quickly forgiven, and if Butch's penance isn't death, it'll have to be something beyond normal means. He'll obviously deny any involvement, but we'll have to wait and see if Ed takes that seriously or not.
I quite enjoy everything that's happening between Penguin and Riddler at the moment, and while it hasn't given Robin Lord Taylor that much to do by way of changing Gotham City, it's an interesting detour from how we normally view the comic book villains. And regardless of whether or not Butch lives or dies, it can't possibly be long before Ed realizes that Oswald, his good buddy and boss, is the real source of his latest misery, and their relationship will undoubtedly get even more twisted. If Penguin manages to get some happiness during all this, isn't it worth the lives of Isabella and Butch, and probably plenty of others?