Gotham S04E08: Stop Hitting Yourself – Recap & Review

The Penguin teaches an orphan how to gain a person’s trust for their own benefit. Here is a review of the season’s eighth episode titled Stop Hitting Yourself.

Warning: Possible spoilers ahead!


Plot Summary

After Professor Pyg’s attacks on the Gotham City Police Department’s cops, Detective James “Jim” Gordon is given a choice that could set his future on the right path.

Oswald Cobblepot/ The Penguin sends Barbara Kean, Tabitha Galavan, and Selina Kyle to retrieve Edward “Ed” Nygma from wherever he has been hiding. Meanwhile, The Penguin himself teaches a young child at his orphanage how to take advantage of another person’s trust.


In this episode, we see James Gordon being offered a promotion as Captain, a step closer to being made Commissioner of the GCPD. By the end, we see him making his choice. This makes his authority over the department much more challenging for future episodes to come. Of course, he could not have done this without the help of others. He soon learns that “nothing in Gotham is free.”

Barbara Kean encounters an old face and notes both of their changes since the previous season ended. We learn about making decisions derived from making other decisions. Barbara is told, “We don’t all make decisions based on what it can get us. There are other people in the world.” From this, we can learn that our choices can feed our pride and ego, or it can also benefit the world around us instead of just us.

Oswald teaches a boy that “minions are so much better than friends.” From his perspective, a close friend can know so much about you that they are more able to crush your world and use that to their benefit, whereas a minion is loyal to another degree and will do anything to see you win. Maybe we will see him have the young orphan do his dirty work in a future episode.

Also, we see good character development in characters such as Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock, Barbara Kean, and Lee Thompkins. Gordon and Thompkins find themselves taking over their respective businesses for their partners, who proved unfit to do their job in a certain manner. In addition, the dynamic between Gordon and Bullock reaches new heights on this rollercoaster ride of a relationship, especially with that emotional scene towards the end.

Overall, this episode of Gotham was pretty good. We see Jim Gordon enter a path that will change his life for the better, although this does not necessarily mean it will get any better from here on out. Stop Hitting Yourself does not feature a villain for our hero to fight and instead focuses on the troublemakers dealing with other troublemakers. This episode deserves a 7 to 8 out of 10.


Easter Eggs, References, and Trivia Facts:

  • Penguin’s famous look –
    • During the beginning scene of the episode, Edward Nygma is seen in the middle of the wrestling ring in a costume mocking his “stupid, lame bird-brain” friend-turned-rival, Oswald Cobblepot. This appearance is that of the Penguin’s signature look: a pointed nose and an umbrella.
  • Tigress
    • In the wrestling ring, Nygma has Grundy fight against Tabitha. Ed gives her the nickname Tigress. In the comics, this is the name of three supervillains. Perhaps she will don a costume with feline features in a future episode. Or does her outfit suit you already?

What are your thoughts on the season so far? Let us know! For more Gotham-related news and reviews, follow Geek Motivation on Twitter (@GEEKMOTIVATION) and Instagram (@geekmotivation).

Written by: John Tangalin


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