The Anvil or the Hammer
Gotham Season 1



Critic Ratings: 19
Critics Consensus

Though the plot twist was surprising, "The Anvil or the Hammer" disregarded Gotham's own history, muddying up the narrative with a nonsensical story.

Episode Info

Gordon and Bullock track the Ogre, who manages to break down Barbara's emotions; Penguin leads a massacre that kick-starts an epic war; Bruce learns the truth about Wayne Enterprises; and Nygma deals with his recent actions.


Benjamin McKenzie
as James Gordon
Donal Logue
as Harvey Bullock
David Mazouz
as Bruce Wayne
Zabryna Guevara
as Capt. Sarah Essen
Sean Pertwee
as Alfred Pennyworth
Robin Lord Taylor
as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin
Erin Richards
as Barbara Kean
Victoria Cartagena
as Renee Montoya
John Doman
as Carmine Falcone
Morena Baccarin
as Dr. Leslie Thompkins
Milo Ventimiglia
as Jason Lennon
Drew Powell
as Butch Gilzean
David Zayas
as Don Maroni
Chelsea Spack
as Kristin Kringle
Richard Poe
as Mr. Kean
Michael Potts
as Sid Bunderslaw
Chris Chalk
as Lucius Fox
Show More Cast

The Anvil or the Hammer Photos

Critic Reviews for The Anvil or the Hammer

Today, this is not a Gotham reference guide. This is a "that doesn't make any sense" guide, in which I point out everything on this installment of Gotham that didn't make any sense. Which was everything! Has Gotham driven me insane? Maybe! Haha!

Apr 28, 2015 | Full Review…

This is the format the show needs: to no longer worry about jamming in as many bad guys as possible and to focus on the overall arc of the story.

Aug 22, 2018 | Full Review…

The writing and plotting was just as bad as it has been, but at least occasionally this time it was entertainingly bad.

Jul 19, 2018 | Full Review…

I really wish that the smart person with great taste who has been picking Gotham's tunes all season long would get promoted to a writing job.

Jul 18, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

There is serious cause for concern about the dearth of strong ladies on Gotham, barring the fifteen-year-old Catwoman.

Jul 17, 2018 | Full Review…

The episode ends on a high... with the shooting war boding well for an exciting end of season finale.

May 22, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

It turns out Barbara wasn't exactly the perfect match for the Ogre.

Apr 28, 2015 | Rating: 3.6/5 | Full Review…

God help us, it's all enough to make you miss Fish Mooney.

Apr 28, 2015 | Full Review…

Just when I think Gotham has reverted to its early-season train-wreck status, it goes and throws something like "The Anvil or the Hammer" into the maw that manages to make up for the sins of "Under the Knife" and the entire flimsy Ogre storyline.

Apr 28, 2015 | Full Review…

Gotham's inability to gleam any sort of suspense or worthwhile conclusion in both single and multi-episode arcs in the majority of its 21 episodes to date might be its largest shortcoming.

Apr 28, 2015 | Rating: 6.5/10 | Full Review…