'Gotham' Season 1 Pre-Batman Ultimate Guide

Gotham City was a crime-ridden place with a history of corruption and lots of costumed sociopaths, long before Batman put on the mask.

An often divisive superhero television series, Gotham is a show to be binged on. It is a fantastic voyage into the setting of the stage for what would be one of the most iconic superheroes ever, from comic book to TV to movies. Batman is a legendary hero. A hall of famer. And so is the city that created him. Gotham the series is less superhero TV than it is cops chasing bad guys. But the bad guys are not your common criminals. The bad guys are the stars of the show, and they are ruthless sociopaths who bask in the violent drama of gang warfare. Gotham is the story of a few good men just beginning a battle that will take many lives and last many years until a boy becomes a man and a city can take no more bloodshed.

Pilot

The audience is introduced to a young Bruce Wayne in the Season 1 Pilot of Gotham.

Wondering why most well-to-do-citizens of Gotham City don’t just pack up and move is probably the only comic book mystery that’s never been explained. Is there some mysterious hypnotic force that keeps the ten nice people who live in the city locked into leases that are impossible to get out of? Depending on which comic books you’ve read, Gotham City—the fictional home of DC comic book hero Batman—is a crime-ridden place with a history of corruption, and lots of costumes. Luckily, for dramatic story reasons, there are always a few good guys inexplicably willing to stick it out. And the premier of Gotham, the good guy isn’t Batman, it’s rookie detective James Gordon.

Though she doesn’t get a ton of screentime in this debut episode, the first character we’re introduced to in Gotham is clearly Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman. A nimble and likable thief, Catwoman only steals some random person’s wallet and someone else’s milk, which she unsurprisingly gives to a few stray real cats. If it weren’t for the next scene, you might wonder what kind of weird low-stakes show you were watching. Oh! I hope the milk-stealing lady doesn’t get in trouble!

But, then Gotham gets down to business with a sequence that plays out pretty much exactly as it does in both 1989’s Batman and in 2005’s Batman Begins; A kid and his parents are robbed at gunpoint, moments after leaving the theatre. The parents are Martha and Thomas Wayne, and their son is Bruce. No spoiler here: they both get shot, and Bruce watches the whole thing go down. Boom. Gotham is happening.

Gotham - First Look Season 1

The rest of the episode focuses primarily on James Gordon, who is not even close to being Gary Oldman, and is at this point, a young, straight-forward guy who seems to be from out of town and really wants to be a clean cop. This is hard in Gotham City, we learn, as everybody seems to be corrupt on purpose, or putting up with backroom mob-deals because they just don’t want to get killed. In particular, Gordon’s partner, Harvey Bullock, heavily advises Gordon throughout the episode to turn a blind eye from loads of corruption happening literally everywhere. At one point it’s suggested that Gordon get a transfer, and you kind of have to wonder why he doesn’t do it.

But the straight-up heroics of Jim Gordon are part of what make this show work, and it’s easy to like him when he’s surrounded by so many baddies. Actually, of all the character introduced,other than Jim Gordon’s girlfriend, Barbara, everyone is an antagonist. He’s literally the only good person, that it’s almost comical, and if this weren’t a comic-book adaptation, but just a regular cop show, might be too much to take. The first episode of Gotham not only introduces us briefly to Catwoman, but also to early-incarnations of The Penguin, The Riddler, Poison Ivy, and maybe, just maybe, the Joker. The show also boasts big Gotham City crime boss Carmine Falcone, and new villain, the nightclub owner Fish Mooney. In one scene, as Gordon is getting beat up by tons of thugs, and you’re thinking about all the future-villains you’ve just met, it’s easy to start wishing Batman would come in and save everybody from this nonsense. But he’s not coming, because Batman is still a little kid.

Gotham isn’t the first Batman TV show to go-out-of-its way to not feature Batman himself; 2002’s Birds of Preydepicted a probably-future Gotham City abandoned by Batman and being “saved” by Oracle, Huntress, and Dinah, daughters of Jim Gordon, Catwoman, and Black Canary, respectively. Batman’s absence in that particular Batman show was frustrating and confusing, but because Gotham is a prequel, it doesn’t really have that problem.

Excitingly, the show is playing with the Batman mythology to create a whole host of new mysteries. We’re still not sure who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents, and seeing how it plays out in the show will be almost as interesting to see if it ends up being any of the previous comic book suspects like Joe Chill, or, the Joker. And even a casual comic book fan might be thrown off a little that Jim Gordon seems to be dating someone named Barbara, rather than having a daughter with that name. Could this Barbara be headed for troubled, untimely death, which will lead this Jim Gordon to name his daughter Downton Abbey-style, after her dead mother? Will Bruce Wayne get in on the action, maybe even as a little kid?

Funko POP's Bruce Wayne

Wait, how old is Bruce Wayne at this point? Well, the actor playing Bruce Wayne in Gotham is David Mazouz, and he’s about fifteen years old in our universe, but it’s safe to say Bruce is supposed to be a little younger than that. Most depictions have him at about 8 years old to 10 years old when it happens, so let’s say this Bruce Wayne is 11? The producers of Gotham have made it clear this isn’t a specific prequel connected with any other existing Batman movie, meaning it’s sort of a loose prequel, generally just happening “before,” everyone’s collective “idea” of Batman. This sort of thing has happened before on Smallville, a Superman show that for ten years didn’t feature Clark Kent as Superman until the very last episode. If Gotham is successful, it’s possible we’ll still never see Bruce as Batman. If Gotham is unsuccessful, we definitely won’t.

Luckily, the charm of this first episode is doing exactly what good TV show should do: keep us coming back for more. And in this case, Gotham has stolen that particular I-can’t-wait-for-the-next-one storytelling technique from an appropriate place: comic books.

Selina Kyle

Selina Kyle is connected to the Wayne family in Season 1 Episode 2 of Gotham

As we discovered in the pilot episode, rooting for a protagonist is fairly easy if they are the only protagonist swimming in a steel and concrete sea of super-meanies. Detective Jim Gordon of Gotham City may have convinced his totally corrupt police department that he is part of the “program” of being owned by organized crime. In Gotham’s second outing, he’s an even better person than he was the first time around. If you want hero building, show us the hero has a child or let them save children. Gotham is a TV show that isn’t screwing around with hero building, so it just does both.

Funko POP's Selina Kyle

So far, in a lot of ways, Gotham has tapped into what makes the whole Batman mythos work: hero-building, and TONS of bad guys. If Muppet Babies showed us Kermit in a diaper and X-Men: First Class showed us tender-young mutants, then Gotham is giving us a better class of comic book adaptation; one where the good guys don’t do a whole lot, because they’re not that interesting. Batman and Jim Gordon as characters—either inGotham the show or the comic books—probably aren’t as compelling as we all pretend they inherently are, but instead, are made interesting by their antagonists. It’s been said over and over again that the “rogues gallery” in Gotham City is more well-known than any other collection of comic book baddies. I know Captain Cold is one of the Flash’s arch-nemeses, but the average person is more aware of Mr. Freeze. It’s for this reason that Gotham smartly features the Penguin’s journey back to Gotham City as wonderful subplot lurking in the background.

Jadda Pinkett Smith

Hitchhiking back to Gotham, the Penguin is picked up by a couple of dude-bros who look and act exactly like the Winklevoss twins from The Social Network. After kicking back a cold one with his new bros, the Penguin snaps when one of them calls him “the Penguin.” He doesn’t kill them with a cool sword hidden in an umbrella or with special knock-out gas, but, instead, a broken beer bottle. Tonally, this is where Gotham is walking an interesting line: It’s trying to be realistic—a super villain killing frighteningly conventionally—but having this happen in an episode where cartoony villains are abducting children.

Homeless children are being snatched from the streets of Gotham by two overly-cheerful people who we later learn are working for the Dollmaker. Now, while villains with the moniker “Dollmaker,” have appeared in DC comics since the 60s, this Dollmaker (though unseen) is likely connected with the contemporary New 52 comics version of the Dollmaker. And though we don’t see the Dollmaker in this episode, his/her/its hench-people in aren’t near as frightening as the Penguin. The contrast between the almost-realism of the crime bosses Fish Mooney and Carmine Falcone and the absurdity of the Dollmaker gang is shocking. Gotham, right now, is a TV show that is based on a comic book, but also wants to be a regular TV show. And yet, with the Dollmaker stuff, things actually seem a little cartoony.


This same thing occurs with the cops. Jim Gordon is a TV cop—a good guy who always has a clean shave, and is totally infallible. He’s also smart and we know he’s going to do the right thing. His partner, Bullock, is a comic book cop, he has one or two character traits, but can occasionally surprise us if the plot requires it. Everyone else are cartoon cops. The guy who pulls up at the beginning of the episode to check on Gordon and Bullock blubbers about going to a restaurant, but stops short of saying anything about donuts. Gotham is playing with a fairly big spectrum here: which thankfully all works for a television drama of this kind. There’s a little bit of a believability problem with some of the characters—Selina Kyle doesn’t seem like she’s actually thirteen—but because there are dangling bits of information to get us to the next episode, those tonal mixes aren’t a super-big problem, yet.

Gotham isn’t the first Batman TV show to go-out-of-its way to not feature Batman himself; 2002’s Birds of Prey depicted a probably-future Gotham City abandoned by Batman and being “saved” by Oracle, Huntress, and Dinah, daughters of Jim Gordon, Catwoman, and Black Canary, respectively. Batman’s absence in that particular Batman show was frustrating and confusing, but because Gotham is a prequel, it doesn’t really have that problem.

Who is Selina

In contrast with the first episode, this one actually seemed like more of a set-up for big stories. Fish Mooney really wants to take over the mafia in Gotham, which we worry probably won’t happen assuming all of these events actually lead to a “regular” Batman universe in which Falcone is still in power by the time Bats shows up. (By the way, why would anyone keep coming back to Fish Mooney’s club? Like as a regular patron? Every time we visit there something really awful happens, and often in a clean, well-lighted spot of the club!) Still, maybe regular continuity won’t be adhered to all that much, since this version of Gotham also shows us a less-than-patient Alfred, and a Jim Gordon who is becoming more of a pseudo father-figure to Bruce Wayne than the famous butler. Perhaps the biggest twist Gotham could serve would be a total alternate mythology - one without Batman and instead a weird Obi-Wan Kenobi relationship that Bruce has with Jim Gordon. So, maybe Fish Mooney will take over. Maybe there is no Batman. Maybe Catwoman becomes the good-guy savior of the whole thing.

In the end of this episode though, the biggest plot point—more important than what The Dollmaker is up to or if the mafia thing will work itself out—is who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents and why. In the excellent final scene, the titular character, Selina Kyle, tells Jim Gordon she knows who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents. Even if this is a lie - which it most certainly is - the show reminds us what it’s really about: an unveiling of the biggest villain of all, the killer of the Waynes.

And the cool thing is, because of the mixed comic book mythology, we actually don’t know who that’s going to turn out to be.

Fish Mooney

A malicious storm is brewing in "The Baloonman," Season 1 Episode 3 of Gotham.

Continuing its thematic drumbeat of the city-gone-bad, the third episode of Gotham serves up its brand of grey justice with the story of “The Balloonman,” centering on the notions of the need for vigilantism, a growing storm in Gotham City, and helium as a murder weapon.

In Episode 2, Selina Kyle—the future Catwoman, but here still “Cat-teen,”—told Jim Gordon that she knew who really killed the Waynes. This turns out to be a little bit of a fake-out, as Selina really just wanted to be put in a position where she could escape, yet again, from police custody and Gotham’s deranged version of Child Protective Services. The downside of having a bunch of crooked-cops running Gotham is not just the massive amounts of mob influence, but also that the cops apparently don’t really search people they’ve arrested. I mean, how long had Selina been hanging around the police station, and nobody checked to see if she had an awesome lock-picking tool in her pocket?

Logistic believability aside, the aesthetic of Gotham continues to feel like a simultaneous homage to both the 90’s Batman: The Animated Series and the more recent Christopher Nolan Dark Knight films. A boxy retro television set is perched on the side of the street early in the episode, the police cars drive by the GCPD seem like they’re from the 1980’s, while taxi-cabs appear even older. All of this mashed-up with a relatively contemporary looking New York City backdrop, and somewhat modern fashion sense from both Jim Gordon, his girlfriend Barbra, and even Fish Mooney, give the whole mood of the show a bizarrely effective comic book feeling.

This isn’t the world as we know it, and not a lot of people are on cellphones or Facebook. Unlike a detective show like Sherlock (or even Elementary) the Internet and technology doesn’t play a big role in how the various clues are gathered. In this episode, even young Bruce Wayne obtains police files on his parents murder, which are actually, real life physical files and not something he hacked. Gotham is going out of its way to be analog, and for the most part, it’s working.

This time around, corrupt citizens of Gotham are being pulled into the sky by weather balloons, presumably to their doom. First, a Bernie Madoff ponzi-scheme type character is killed, next a crooked cop. This seems like a weird way to kill people, and it’s also kind of strange that the GCPD (or somebody) doesn’t have a helicopter to rescue these people on their way up into the atmosphere. A balloon isn’t a rocket, so there’s got to be a little bit of time to save these people, right?

But saving these corrupt people isn’t the point, and the idea that the city rallies around the vigilantism is of course, intentionally designed to mirror the popularity of a the future-vigilante, Batman. Young Bruce Wayne, watching the news of the Balloonman’s antics seems to take note. Authoritatively, future-Batman even notices something wrong with the Balloonman’s methods. “He killed people,” he tells Alfred, “That made him a criminal too.” This is a great scene for any Batman fan, and like a few previous episodes of Gotham, sort of makes you feel like there will be a sudden flash forward to adult Bruce putting on the cape and cowl. But that day is still not coming! There was also a big portion of the episode that I thought the Balloonman was going to be revealed to be Bruce Wayne and that he and Jim Gordon were going to cover-it-up, right after Gordon gave Bruce a big talk about how you can’t kill people. Though the revelation of the Balloonman as a disgruntled social worker was good and more realistic, but I still wish it had really been tiny Bruce.

Playstation Gotham Contoller

On the other Bat-mythology fronts, the Penguin has already made his way back to Gotham City, and has apparently taken a job as a bus-boy in a restaurant run by the Mob. There are whisperings here of Arkham Asylum being “re-opened,” making one wonder what role the famous stomping-ground from criminals will have in this iteration of the Bat-verse; will it actually be a faux-base of operations for criminals? Or does the mob really want to lock people up there?

Meanwhile, Jim’s girlfriend Barbara is confronted by Renee Montoya of the Major Crimes Unit in the GCPD. As intoned in previous episodes, it seems Montoya and Barbara had a relationship prior to Barbara and Jim. Montoya is kind of one of the good ones in Gotham it seems, even if she incorrectly thinks Jim is one of the bad ones. This is refreshing, if only because it makes another cop in Gotham a nice person. These scenes also solidify the fact that this Barbara’s apartment and not Jim’s, meaning he moved in with her. Why Barbara wouldn’t have the locks changed after she and Montoya broke up is a little not-realistic, but hey, somebody who calls himself the Penguin is a bit of a stretch, too.

Speaking of which: in the episode’s big closer, the Penguin full-on shows up at Barabra and Jim’s apartment—which is seriously nice, by the way—with some kind of evil intentions/a showdown. Hopefully, this confrontation will bear exciting comic-book plot fruit, and not be a faux-cliffhanger like the previous Selina Kyle “I know who killed the Wayne, oh, wait, just kidding” thing.

Either way, Gotham is still delivering the goods, the question is now, is what can really change? A regular person would assume Gotham City will only get worse from this point on, because it has to be really bad by the time Batman is a grown-up. What can we expect from this point on? Will the next few episodes see thePenguin’s rise to power? Could a second season of Gotham jump ahead a decade or so? For now, fans will just have to wait and see what happens to the only friend, savior and hero in this town, Jim Gordon.

Arkham

The bodies pile up in "Arkham," Season 1 Episode 4 of Gotham.

For those wondering what happened with Oswald Cobblepot showing up at Jim Gordon’s door in Episode 3, you don't have to wait too long for answers. The opening scenes of Episode 4 of Gotham show the treacherous Cobblepot pretending to be a long-lost chum. Jim hustles him outside and roughs him up a bit, which is followed by an uncomfortable few moments of Oswald openly begging to be Jim’s informant. He also drops a hint about Arkham, but then vanishes just when Jim actually wants to talk to him. Typical.

This ominous clue from Copplepot sets the audience up for the case of the week. The next scene flashes to a regular joe, acting perhaps too casual, approaches town councilman, Mr. Jenkins, and encourages his bodyguard to look through a small, telescopic device. Unfortunately for the bodyguard, this looking glass is actually just a facade for a secret spear. Immediately the bodyguard goes down, followed soon after by Jenkins, who gets a more personal stabbing treatment. Naturally, Gordon and Bullock are put on the case. Bullock thinks that it wasn’t a politically motivated killing, but smart cop Gordon has his own suspicions. There are few real answers for Gotham's finest detective until he finds an official-looking book of plans titled "Arkham District Development Proposal" while at Wayne Manor.

The mayor starts discussing Arkham on TV, and turns out there are two opposing deal-with-the-district-of-Arkham sides. One is the plan to turn most of it into low-income housing and to replace the old asylum with a new and improved modern one (this plan used to be backed by the Waynes, but now it’s backed by mobster Don Falcone). Plan two is backed by opposing mobster Don Maroni, who wants to tear down literally everything and built a waste disposal facility. The mayor is backing plan A, and Bruce is pretty passionate about it too. Logical Jim Gordon is mostly worried that, if either mobster ‘wins’, it’ll set off a war.

This appears to be coming true, because the next moment he gets a call from Bullock, who says that another councilman, the Maroni-supporting Zeller, has been involved. More to the point, he’s been abducted. Cut to a dark car passing through the eerie ‘Arkham Asylum’ archway. The same fellow who murdered Jenkins rolls out a barrel, which, opened, is revealed to contain Zeller. Zeller screams and begs for his life as the killer douses him in gasoline and lays down a trail for lighting, but the nameless assassin remains cheerful and sympathizes about the horrible-yet-inexorable death bit . . . then calmly lights the fire. Burn. (Literally). Next day, same location, Jim explains his gang war theory to Bullock (who wants to know where the hell a goody two-shoes like Jim got all this info anyway), and Edward ‘Riddler’ Nigma pops in and says that Zeller had spear injuries too, so they were probably done in by the same killer. Either that or a whaling ship’s in town.

Time to ask a jailed assassin about the local assassin population. He quickly spills that the guy with the switchblade-spear is called Gladwell, then gives up a work address, which turns out to be a typing office. The secretary confirms that a Richard Gladwell works there, but he escapes before they can catch him. Luckily, Bullock finds two newspaper clippings starring Jenkins and Zeller, respectively, and Jim Gordon finds a note with ‘-C -L -M’ written on it. It’s evidence time.

Actually, it turns out to be time for some romantic drama. Favorite future husband and wife Jim and Barbara snip at each other a bit before she finally flat out asks Jim to tell her who Oswald Cobblepot is. He rightly figures that she must’ve been talking to Montoya, and then Barbara comes clean about their past relationship. The usually controlled Jim is pretty pissed off by the reval of the lies. Later she apologizes for not telling him, then presses him again about Oswald. Jim replies that he won’t talk about his work, and she tells him that she can’t live like that, he has to either let her in or let her go. It's nice someone can stay adorable in the midst of all these murders.

Meanwhile, at Bamonte’s Restaurant, Oswald’s washing dishes when he sees Maroni-goons come in and stash two huge bags of cash. Maroni’s both gleeful and sure he’ll get his way with Arkham. Unfortunately for all, a day or so later the place is shot up and one money bag is taken. Oswald saves the other one and hides in a freezer. When told, Maroni swears to make Falcone pay, then tells Oswald that he did good and appoints him as new manager. Time to break out the evil grin.

Jim’s still pursuing the CLM lead, but Bullock wants to work the case in his own way. "Tell her I said hi," Jim snarks as Bullock leaves. Bullock does indeed go right to Fish Mooney, who agrees to help out for the promise of a favour owed, despite thinking it’s a waste of time. The deal is so important to Falcone that he’ll just use somebody else if this plan fails. She’s obviously hoping for Falcone to go down and drop hints about a back-up plan.

While they chat, Jim gets a call from Oswald, who informs him that Maroni’s planning a major political hit and knows how to get around police protection units. Jim checks out the detail logs and finds that the officers guarding the mayor are Campos, Lazenby, and Martins. That's when it hits him: CLM! He makes it to the mayor’s, finds the protection car empty. and is forced to defend the mayor when ‘Gladwell’ attacks . . . leading to a quick knock down and drag out. He’s perched on the edge of being impaled when Bullock turns up and saves him. They end up teaming up to fill the guy with bullets before exchanging a meaningful look. The intensity just keeps going.

Trading Card Binder

In the background of the whole episode, Fish has been auditioning girls for the role of her new house singer, sidekick, and "mini-me" rolled into one, but can’t decide between a girl who is a fantastic singer, or the brazen and take-charge Liza. Sadly Two-Face isn’t around to flip a coin, so she goes to the next best option: a fight to the death. It's difficult logic to follow, but makes for excellent entertainment. Liza ends up winning brutally, then saunters casually over to Fish and asks when she can start. Fish is going to adore her.

The Arkham situation concludes with a compromise. Falcone can have part for his lost-cost housing, and Maroni will be awarded the other half to have at some waste disposal and retrofit the asylum. Bruce is upset, but Jim tries to comfort him. "Do you believe Gotham can be saved?" Bruce asks. "I believe it’s worth trying," is hero cop Jim Gordon's noble response.

The literal manifestation of the question posed by Bruce Wayne is reinforced moments later by none other than the oily Oswald Cobblepot. The devious character continues to be the proof that parts of Gotham City just aren't capable of being saved when it’s revealed that Oswald set up the whole robbery and murder thing at the restaurant. He and the robbers chat as they count the cash, but soon enough Oswald kills them all via poisoned cannoli (as one does) and walks out like a boss, with a big bag of cash. He almost looks conflicted, but doesn’t stop. I sense a defining character moment.

This episode doesn’t have as many overt Easter eggs as last week’s, but it does have at least on - and a few maybes. Ready? First, a new detective, Charles Alvarez, is talked about in the first few minutes. In the comicsverse, Alvarez appears in some Catwoman issues. Back with villain news, three girls dressed as clowns are shown at one point, perhaps a hint about the potential appearance of Joker's gal, Harley Quinn? Next, the assassin’s spear/switchblade (spearblade?) looks like something the Penguin might appropriate. And, finally, Gotham keeps its weekly possible-Joker teases going with the super pale, red-lipped, first girl to audition at Fish’s club.

Viper

The villains are circling in "Viper," Season 1 Episode 5 of Gotham.

Gotham's fifth episode brings bone-crunching, manipulative singing, casual Penguin torture, and the use and abuse of many milk gallons. Yep, it’s Jim-Gordon’s-life-sucks-o-clock. The case of the week starts off with a suspicious-looking guy (with one mangled ear exacerbating his sketchiness) dropping a vial of lurid green into the guitar case of a busker. In defense of the odd act, the street performer did have a sign in there saying "why lie, I need money for drugs."

Drugs you shall have. In addition to the poison green, the vial has a couple of fanged snakes on it and text reading "breathe me". The guitarist does, then undergoes a bodily upheaval and starts rabidly drinking his way through gallons of milk at a nearby shop. When the shop’s employee threatens him with a bat, he snaps the bat in half (giving several viewers flashbacks, or, technically, flash forwards, to The Dark Knight Rises).

Meanwhile, Jim and Bullock are eating lunch when Jim sees Selina Kyle pick-pocketing a businessman. Good cop Gordon immediately pursues her, but the crafty future Catwoman quickly disappears into the serpentine streets of Gotham City. Unfortunately, this is the only glimpse of the young vigilante viewers are granted this episode. Just after losing her, Jim hears an alarm sounding and follows it to the shop, where he and Bullock find milk and empty jugs spilled everywhere. The terrified employee tells them everything and also that the perp had singlehandedly torn his ATM from the wall and stolen it. Jim and Bullock prepare for one of those weeks.

Things are as intense and convoluted as ever in the underground crime world of Gotham. Fish Mooney’sconfrontational at a mob meeting called by Don Falcone, where she clashes with another sub-boss, Nikolai, about Falcone’s failure to secure all of Arkham. Nikolai’s pissed about it. Fish defends Falcone in a dramatic scene. While Falcone and co. talk it out, Jim and Bullock question a hooker who tells them where the ATM-stealing milk lover might be hiding out. They do indeed find him there (along with a sea of empty jugs), but, when they track him down, he just pleads for more of the drug and identifies the man with the mangled ear as the fellow who’d initially hooked him up. Jim and Bullock try to take him into custody and it doesn’t end well. He breaks into a full rage and tries to throw the ATM at them, only to be thwarted when all of his bones crunch and splinter and he’s crushed beneath its weight in a graphic climax of violence.

Alfred Action Figure by Diamond

While the detectives try to figure out what’s going on, young Bruce Wayne takes up his own form of detective work in earnest. He tacks a bunch of pictures and articles up and goes intensively through files, telling Alfred that he’s not looking for revenge, he just wants to understand how Gotham works. Alfred thinks he’s wasting his time, but Bruce eventually discovers that the mobsters were most likely given their shares of the Arkhamproject by members of Wayne Enterprises. Alfred’s impressed with his work. He still disapproves, mind you, but he’s impressed.

The media dubs the new drug "Viper", and the seedy underbelly of Gotham explodes with cases after the man with the mangled ear starts handing out vials at an alarming rate. Viper grants its users super strength, but causes them to die rather horrifically not long after. Nygma explains that this is because it burns victims’calcium (which explains the dairy cravings) and seems far too excited about the whole thing. Villain foreshadowing: it’s for breakfast. He also says that Viper requires an extremely high tech lab for its creation, so Jim and Bullock decide to check out Gotham’s biggest lab, WelZyn which happens to be a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises. There's something ominous about this connection.

They meet with a WelZyn representative, who denies any chance of WelZyn’s personal involvement in Viper but admits that the man with the mangled ear sounds like an ex-employee named Stan Potolsky. He’d worked for them for years as a biochemist before becoming angry that he wasn’t working on more important stuff, getting more and more enraged, and finally attempting to cut off his own ear during an argument. Ouch. However, she claims that he’d vanished after being fired and they’d never seen him again.

Funko POP's Fish Mooney

Time for your weekly dose of Penguin. Oswald hears Don Maroni discussing a casino heist and offers his assistance (he knows a back way in), but then makes the unfortunate mistake of disclosing his entire back story, including his previous employer, Fish. Maroni embraces the nope and knocks him out, then sends a guy to go fetch Jim. He agrees to come under threat of having the Oswald-is-still-alive-and-kicking news spread around Gotham and quickly finds himself at the world’s most uncomfortable dinner party with Maroni.

The pathetic scene shows Oswald kneeling beside his chair while Maroni eats lobster like a barbarian. Motivated by threat of death, Jim tells the full story of he and Oswald’s involvement, which matches Oswald’s and induces immediate cheerfulness in Maroni. He embraces Oswald, then promises Jim that he won’t tell anyone but they’ll "call him again if they need him", implying a watchful eye. Luckily for Oswald, his casino-breaking plan ends up working. He’ll live to become the Penguin another day.

Post-Maroni, Jim and Bullock find clues to track down a philosophy professor who’s close to Potolsky. When they do, they ask the prof about Potolsky’s firing. He’s confused that WelZyn had described Potolsky’s work as minor, because he’d actually worked in the making of pharmaceutical weapons, "Viper" being the first batch. The second batch, with fewer side effects, was dubbed "Venom".

After producing this dangerous batch Potolsky was having second thoughts and asked his bosses to stop the program. When they refused, he went over their heads to the Waynes, and, with their help, the program was stopped until their death. Now Potolsky’s resorting to drastic measures to have the program shut down for good. After putting down the professor (who, turning out to be a partner in the plan, downs some Viper and jumps them), Jim realizes that Potolsky intends to attack a big Wayne Enterprises charity event.

Bruce is already at the event with Alfred, where he’s introduced to a Wayne Enterprises employee named Molly Mathis who’d worked closely with his father. He discusses his concerns with her and she dismisses them, but says she’ll do what she can to help. While they’re talking, Potolsky kicks his plan into gear and throws up a video explaining why he’s doing everything as he hooks a barrel of Viper up to the ventilation system.

Killer Characters

Luckily for all, Jim and Bullock arrive in time to help everyone escape and corner Potolsky on the roof. He jumps to his death, but not before telling Jim to go check out WelZyn’s warehouse 39. Unfortunately, when Jim (accompanied by a cynical Bullock) checks out warehouse 39, they find only a stripped-bare lab. As they leave, dejected, Mathis watches them from a hidden car, relaying their movements to an unknown person on her phone and basking in a strong aura of secret evil.

After the charity event, Bruce is sitting at home researching Mathis when Alfred sits down and starts helping him out. Aw. Flash to another ‘happy ending’ ---- Nikolai, tied with ribbons to Fish Mooney’s bed. Surprise! They’re secretly lovers, pretending to hate each other so Falcone won’t notice their plotting. Nikolai wants to strike soon. Fish murmurs, "Yes, but softly." She’s been coaching her new girl (Liza) on singing, speech, and mannerisms, and, when Falcone’s out feeding pigeons, he catches sight of Liza wandering toward him. She’s dressed in a classy vintage style and is quietly singing along with an aria on her headphones. Falcone tells her that his mother used to sing that song to him as a child (stopping just short of telling Liza how much she looks like dear ol’ mom), and gets all emotional about it, leading her to assure him that it’s okay and offer him an ear bud. They listen together, smiling for very different reasons.

This episode’s primary comics reference/possible foreshadowing is the mention of Viper 2.0, "Venom", which is the drug primarily famous for keeping Bane in his permanently jacked state. (Special mention here to that first Viper victim breaking a bat in half while under the influence, which just might be a nod to Bane’s famous ‘breaking of the Batman’). We also see young Bruce really getting to flex his sleuthing muscles. World’s Greatest Detective, here we come. The countdown to Don Falcone’s doom has begun, Wayne Enterprises is increasingly shady, and the Penguin’s on thin ice.

Spirit of the Goat

The "Spirit of the Goat" is back in Season 1 Episode 6 of Gotham

In this episode of Gotham, we’ve got goat-related murders, Bullock flashbacks, and a Penguin bath scene (and no, you haven’t tuned in to Animal Planet). Episode 6 is called "Spirit of the Goat," and we find out why in a flashback to 10 years ago. A younger and more idealistic Detective Bullock and his then-partner Detective Dix track a killer called ‘The Spirit of the Goat’ (henceforth referred to as TSOTG)who they believe to be a man named Randall Milkyto an old theatre. Bullock wants to storm the place, but Dix cautions, “Gotham’s golden rule: no heroes.” Just you wait, Dix. Determined to save the latest victim, Bullock charges in anyway (followed reluctantly by Dix), finding the victim dead and shortly after tussling with Milky, who’s wearing a mask and is convinced that he’s a goat spirit of death. Bullock awards him a shiny new lead infusion. After killing Milky he rushes to locate Dix, finding him unresponsive on the ground after falling through a stage trapdoor.

End flashback. In the present day, Bullock’s dismayed to find another dead girl, the eldest child of a rich Gotham family, at an eerily similar crime scene. It’s the TSOTG’s M.O., and Bullock’s both frustrated by the similarity and irritated by Nygma, who’s chirpily pestering him with riddles. When Jim turns up, Bullock fills him in on the old case and his theory that the victim, Amanda Hastings, was most likely known by her killer. Off to talk with the parents. Unfortunately for our favourite detectives, Mr. and Mrs. Hastings seem extremely out of it, she staring blankly ahead, he shaky with one hand opening and closing convulsively. No help there. Their family therapist, Doctor Marks, quickly declares the interview over.

Funko POP's Harvey Bullock

Bullock and Jim check out the house Amanda had been taken from, but can’t find any signs of a break-in. Milky had worked for an air conditioner repair company and used his position there for victim access, and Bullock thinks that this ‘copygoat’ probably does the same. Time to look up rogue employees . . . but, first, it’s time for an autopsy break. The medical examiner says that Amanda was asphyxiated with either ether or chloroform. He doesn’t have much else, until Bullock asks him to check for a stitched-closed incision at the base of the skull, and (when the examiner finds one) correctly predicts that he’ll find a penny secreted inside. Randall Milky’s M.O. again, but the penny detail is baffling ---- it had been intentionally scrubbed from the case to avoid tempting copycat killers and the only people in the know were Bullock, the medical examiner at the time (currently deceased), and the now ex-Detective Dix. Bullock obviously wants to avoid talking to Dix, but the Captain insists.

Dix, it turns out, had broken both legs in the fall ten years ago, and is now confined to a wheelchair and lives in a care facility. They ask him about the pennies and he swears that he’d never told a soul. The only explanation, according to him, is that Milky hadn’t been working alone. He thinks it’s a conspiracy, an idea so grating to Bullock that he leaves the room. As Jim gets up to follow, Dix warns him to look out for Bullock, describing him as a loose cannon who thinks he’s a white knight. Jim’s surprised that he’s referring to Bullock, of all people. He’s again surprised when he leaves to find Bullock talking to an employee ---- seems like Bullock secretly pays not only for Dix’s board at the facility but also for things like a (strongly hinted to be dirty) magazine subscription.

Funko POP's James Gordon

While the goat-chaos rages on, Jim and Barbara finally get around to discussing their relationship, especially as pertains to his job. “I came here to be a cop,” he says, “this city needs . . . something else.” (Yes, that is foreshadowing that you smell). She says that they’ll be okay, but only if he lets her in. She wants to try to carry half his burden. Aw. Jim promises to tell her everything. Shortly after this, Barbara tracks down Montoya and promises to tell her everything, hoping that it will exonerate Jim. She swears that he’s not a bad guy, just a protective one. Too late. Montoya lets slip that she and Detective Allan had found a witness to the dockyard ‘killing’ of Oswald Cobblepot, and they’d just gotten a warrant to arrest Jim.



Oswald Cobblepot Action Figure

After spending his spare time hitting awkwardly on the department’s cute records keeper Kristen Kringle (yep, really), Nygma’s delighted to be finally called in on the copygoat case when another wealthy girl goes missing. Jim tells him to check everything out and find a worker with both: 1. access to the girls’ houses, and 2. enough time off to have been able to complete the murders and intricate presentations. Nygma narrows the suspects quickly to a guy called Raymond Earl ---- and, the moment he hears where the guy’s supervisor thinks he’s been squatting, Bullock knows that they’ve got their man. That’s right, it’s the old theatre from ten years ago. When they break in, Jim goes to save the still-living victim and Bullock takes on Earl/TSOTG, who attacks him with a claw hammer. Earl’s about to get Bullock when Jim throws himself into the fray and knocks him out. Bam.

Edward Nygma Action Figure by Diamond

It’s Penguin time. Oswald turns up at his mom’s apartment with a casual ‘hi mom, I’m alive’, and then spends some time talking over his ambitions and denying that he’d become tangled in the clutches of a painted hussy. His mom’s weirdly delighted to know that ‘there’s no other woman’. Okay, mom. She then draws him a big bath and creepily washes him (eeesh), reminding him that he can trust nobody but her. Stroking her hand, Oswald tells her that he thinks he’s found a police officer who’s trustworthy, a real friend, and will help him come out all right.

The Captain’s delighted that they’ve caught the killer, but Bullock’s not so sure. Both Milky and Earl had a history of mental illness, but neither were previously violent. Bullock thinks that they’re missing something, but it’s not until he sees a shaky Earl convulsively clenching his hand that a lightbulb goes on. He rushes over to the Hastings’ and confronts their therapist ---- who, it turns out, is a hypnotherapist who’d managed to hypnotize the killers into thinking that they were TSOTG and their real personalities were a compulsion to be vanquished. She believes that she’s cleansing Gotham of the greedy rich. Bullock manages to shoot her in the leg and bring her in, even after she sics a hypnotized Mr. Hastings on him.

While Bullock kicks some hypnotherapist butt, Jim arrives home to find Barbara with packed bags. She tells him about Montoya’s warrant and pleads for him to leave with her before he’s arrested . . . only to be interrupted by a knock. Jim says that he can’t run. He opens the door to Montoya and Allen, who take him off in cuffs. At the station, Bullock’s explaining Doctor Marks’ role in the killings to the Captain, but they put it on pause when they see Jim dragged in. Montoya explains what the warrant’s for. Jim emphatically denies the charge, with Bullock backing him up. Sadly for him, Montoya and Allen are there to arrest Bullock too, as an accomplice. Tensions raise among all, and it looks like a fight might break out until the door opens. Everyone looks. Oswald’s standing there, smiling. “Holy crap,” Bullock says, disbelieving, then realizes the situation and rounds on Jim. Jim’s not one to be cowed and meets him halfway. They glare into each others’ eyes, as the screen fades to black.

This episode has a few interesting references. First off, we have TSOTG’s mask, which looks extremely similar to Batman’s mask. (Also, fun fact: the name ‘Gotham’ originally came from ‘goat homestead’). Entertainingly, young Bruce wonders why TSOTG would choose a goat as his totem, thinking it’s not very threatening. In other youth news, Selina breaks into Wayne Manor and steals a little box, crouching stealthily on everything so we can really get the cat comparison. Bullock even gets in on the action, uttering a startled, “Holy Ghost on a bicycle!”, much like Robin’s nonsensical surprise quotes. Nygma drinks from a green coffee cup with a question mark on it (and is exceptionally riddley), and, in one scene, there’s a flash of the stylized ‘Q’ for Queen Consolidated on a building ---- Oliver Queen becomes the Green Arrow. Lastly, Montoya and Allen threaten Jim with being sent to ‘Blackgate’, comics-Gotham’s most notorious prison.

That Gordon/Bullock face off was one of Gotham’s best cliffhangers so far. Can their partnership be salvaged? Get ready for article #7, and more Gotham!

Penguins Umbrella

The "Penguins Umbrella" opens up in Season 1 Episode 7 of Gotham.

In Episode 7 of Gotham, butt will be kicked. Sure, Jim Gordon’s been a badass before, but in "Penguin’s Umbrella" he takes that intensity to new levels. The episode starts off with the Penguin himself, Oswald Cobblepot, walking down the street carrying an umbrella and smirking, flanked by two huge bodyguards. Life is good in Camp Maroni. Meanwhile, Fish Mooney rages in her club, ranting about Jim’s lack of killing him. She wants Jim brought to her, alive.

At the station, Jim gets into an altercation with Bullock, who’s also pissed about Oswald’s still-living status. Jim manages to escape injury and asks Bullock to join him. Bullock says that Jim had better hope he doesn’t see him again. Ouch. The hits keep coming in Barbara’s apartment . . . Fish’s right-hand man Butch and a goon with a gun menace her, waiting for Jim. When he appears, he refuses to go with them, and, when Butch threatens to torture and kill Barbara, Jim incapacitates them both (like a boss!) and whisks her off to the bus station. He insists that she leave Gotham and promises to join her in a couple of days, if he can. They part tearfully.

Time for a Falcone-mob meeting. Fish demands Bullock, Jim, and Oswald all dead, and Falcone seems rather amused by her anger ---- even though he agrees. He says that she should go ask Maroni politely to hand overOswald. He’ll send ‘Victor’ around for Jim. Fish walks off in a snit, accompanied by fellow sub-boss Nikolai (who’s being extremely obvious about their ‘secret’ relationship). Fish expresses her worries about Don Falcone suspecting something. He’s looking a little too Mona-Lisa-ish for her liking.

Funko POP's Oswald Cobblepot

Jim causes a big stir when he walks back into the police department, and the Captain wants to know why he’s still there. He informs her quite calmly that he’s got arrest warrants filled out for Falcone, the Mayor, and their associates ---- after all, they’re going to try to kill him anyway. He wants to make them pay. The Captain’s arguing that nobody will help him when they’re interrupted by the entrance of a shifty-lookin’ (and armed) bald guy accompanied by two dominatrix [NSFW] style ladies holding guns.

He introduces himself as Victor Zsasz, says he’s been sent by Falcone for Jim, and asks all the cops to get out. They do, all except the Captain. Jim tells her to go too, assuring her that he’s got it. For the record, he don’t got it. Badly outnumbered, he’s shot in the side and struggles down to the car park, where Zsasz shoots him again, this time in the leg. It’s looking hopeless when a car swerves into the lot, provides covering fire, and rescues our hero. It’s . . . (wait for it) Montoya and Allen! With Jim gone, Zsasz kills another cop and breaks out an X-Acto knife, adding another mark to the collection of scars on his arm. The cop makes #28.

Oswald Cobblepot

Fish meets with Maroni, who’s both disinclined to hand Oswald over and interested that Fish cares so much. She says she doesn’t, it’s about respect. Maroni then calls Oswald in and has him apologize sincerely for any disrespect caused. Smooth, Maroni. Smooth. Fish is furious, makes a bunch of threats, and then smacksOswald before leaving. Maroni thinks it’s hilarious. He thinks it’s less hilarious when Fish’s people start blocking his trucks, in one case stealing a load of guns and kneecapping the drivers. They say that they won’t stop until he hands over Oswald. This just makes Maroni more determined to keep him, and Oswald’s able to nimbly manipulate Maroni into vowing revenge, then tells him he knows just where he should strike.

Montoya and Allen take Jim by a university lab to get bandaged up. After Montoya apologizes for misjudging him (and she and Jim shake hands), they turn up at Wayne Manor, where Jim tells Bruce that he might not be able to keep his promise to find his parents’ murderers, but, if he can’t, Montoya and Allen will take over the case. Bruce demands to know exactly what’s going on, so Jim tells him that yes, everything’s sort of connected to the murder of the Waynes. He offers Bruce his hand. Bruce stares at it, then suddenly hugs him. Aw. Jim slowly hugs him back.

Time for the striking back. Oswald leads Maroni’s guys to Nikolai’s cocaine warehouse, where they annihilate Nikolai and his people in one fell swoop. Russians down, Oswald has another problem to contend with ---- Maroni’s second in command, Frankie, who’s disliked him since day one and now plans to kill him. Unfortunately for Frankie, Oswald’s already paid off the other guys there. They hold their ex-boss while Oswald stabs him, tells him that love conquers all, strokes his hair while he dies, and finishes by kissing him on the top of the head. The goons are weirded out. Post-fight, Falcone and Maroni meet civilly, with Oswald (Maroni doesn’t know who killed Frankie) and Fish as their seconds. Falcone says that Maroni can keep Oswald, but he’d like something in return. That something ends up being Indian Hill, a toxic waste dump on an Indian burial ground in Arkham (Lovely!). Fish glares daggers at Oswald, who smiles at her in that disturbing way he tends to.


Oswald Cobblepot Action Figure by Diamond

Cut to Jim loading a bunch of guns in his apartment. Bullock ends up coming over, saying that he’s doomed so he might as well join Jim and go out as a good guy. The boys are back. Next morning, they stride out loaded for bear, kidnap the Mayor, and use him to Trojan Horse their way into Falcone’s living room. Falcone informs them that, if they try to take him in, they’ll bite it pretty speedily. They don’t care, as long as he’ll be going with them . . . until Falcone tells Jim that he has Barbara, who’d returned to beg him for Jim’s life. Or, more accurately, Zsasz has her. Falcone says that he could prove he’s telling the truth, but he won’t. Jim’s got to believe him, and lay down his arms on faith alone. Jim does (much to Bullock’s dismay), and he’s made the right call ---- Zsasz leads Barbara in. Plus, based on Jim’s display of faith in him, Falcone decides to let them all go. Zsasz is pretty disappointed. He’ll have to save his X-Acto for another day.

Later on, Falcone goes out to check on his chickens (every mob boss has to have a hobby, after all). While he’s in the henhouse, we get some tense music. Oswald limps determinedly up the hill nearby, umbrella shielding him neatly from the drizzle. "Don Falcone!" he says. Will he kill him? Will he do some sketchy Penguin-thing? No, actually. They . . . hug? Cue flashback to their first meeting, where Oswald’s in chains after snitching onFish. Oswald swears that he can tell a secret of great value ---- if only Falcone will give the job of killing him to Jim Gordon, who might just let him live. If that happens, he promises to use his talents to come back to Gotham under an assumed name, work his way into the Maroni family, and snitch for Falcone. Falcone considers it. Deal. In exchange, Oswald tells Falcone about Fish and Nikolai’s secret affair, and their plot (driven by Fish) to overthrow him.

"It’s almost uncanny," Falcone says, back in real time, "everything played out exactly as you said it would." Oswald smiles. "But," Falcone goes on, "I think we made a mistake letting Gordon live. He’s trouble." Oswald gazes up at him like an exceptionally sincere Penguin-puppy and thanks him sweetly for sparing Jim and promises that Jim will ‘see the light’ one way or another. Pleased, Falcone claps him on the shoulder, and they stand together under Oswald’s umbrella gazing out across Falcone’s grounds.

The Mask

"The Mask" hides nothing in Season 1 Episode 8 of Gotham.

In Episode 8 of Gotham, "The Mask," prepare for finance worker fight club (yes, really). We begin with a couple of office workers fighting to the death, being watched by a mysterious someone on camera. Bullock and Jim end up investigating the dumped body of the loser... who has a severed thumb in his mouth. Nygma continues to be way too into the grisly details. They ID the victim and bring in his mom, who says that he was looking for a job in finance. While Jim questions the mom, the Captain asks Bullock how he (Jim) is doing. Bullock tells her that Jim’s still pretty angry about every cop collectively running out on him (in "Penguin’s Umbrella") and now they’re all treating him like a leper because the mere sight of him reminds them what cowards they are. "Lucky he’s got you," the Captain says, quietly. "Yeah," Bullock simply replies.

While the cops practice their hairy eyeballs, Oswald and Fish meet up to talk Maroni vs. Falcone terms—which happens for about a minute before Fish switches the conversation to commenting snidely about Oswald’s change in status. Oswald tries to be polite and gives her a fancy broach (that he’d nabbed off a rich lady earlier that day, naturally), but Fish promptly stabs the dagger-esque broach pin through Oswald’s hand and licks off the blood as he fights to remain calm. Stay classy, Fish. She rants about his lack of being dead and says that he should pray for Don Falcone’s good health, he being the only reason Oswald’s still breathing. Oswald evil-giggles and says that he does, yet Fish continues to suspect nothing. Later Oswald kidnaps one of her men and tortures out of him the information that Fish has somebody close to Falcone.

Having checked regular hospitals for a patient missing a thumb and come up with zilch, Bullock and Jim stop by the ‘office’ of the most famous black market doctor in Gotham and ask him about their missing thumbless wonder. He denies everything until Jim spots a discarded button-up shirt splotched with ink, just like their victim’s. Caught, the doctor gives them a vague physical description and hands them a card for Sionis Finance, which had fallen out of the man’s pocket. A lead! Jim has the doctor taken in anyway for lying, where they’re confronted by another detective (Alvarez) who argues that a lot of cops rely on the doctor for information and Jim’s screwing them all over by booking him. Jim gets in his face and asks how it feels. He’s finally drawn aside by Bullock, who asks Jim to please play nice for his sake. Jim replies that he’s sorry, but he can’t. (The hashtag #sorrynotsorry was apparently made for Jim).

Next stop: the finance firm. The owner, Richard Sionis (who has a vast in-office collection of Asian warfareitems, including masks and weapons), tells them that he doesn’t know the victim and attributes the obvious injuries visible on a number of his staff to touch football. Uh-huh. Jim’s condescending about his warrior collection, and Sionis bites back by invading Jim’s personal bubble and delivering a smarmy villain speech about how Jim probably misses killing people in the army. Jim finally accuses him of murder (‘Prove it,’ Sionis dares him) and stalks out, promptly encountering and following a blood trail into the staff bathroom ---- where he’s taken by surprise when The Man With The Missing Thumb leaps at him from a stall and almost escapes. He’s only knocked down when Bullock unexpectedly opens the bathroom door.

Their thumbless suspect confesses that Sionis had told the top three candidates for a company position to fight it out in an abandoned office building. Winner got the position. (It wasn’t supposed to be to the death, mind you, but these things happen). Unfortunately for our heroes, a lawyer appears and silences their suspect before they can get anything else out of him. They’ll have to split up and check the buildings owned by Sionis one by one. Time now for a chat with the Captain, who’s wondering why Gotham’s suddenly going to hell. Jim theorizes that the ugly was there all along and maybe only really surfaced when the Waynes and their vision of a better future were murdered. Gettin’ deep, Jim. As he takes off, Bullock tells Jim that he thinks Sionis was correct about Jim loving to fight. Then, Barbara (who was earlier shown freaking the hell out after her abduction by Zsasz, and pleading with Jim to tell her that monsters don’t exist) phones. Jim’s pretty curt and hangs up in the middle of her saying ‘I love you’. Ouch.

Bruce, meanwhile, has been forced to go to school by Alfred, who wants him to socialize more with kids his own age. It doesn’t go well. One boy in particular, Tommy Elliot, seems to delight in harassing Bruce and tormenting him about the deaths of his parents. When he starts talking about Bruce’s mom, Bruce slaps him ---- and gets pulverized in return. Alfred to the rescue, in his own special way. He gives Bruce a pep talk, a drive to Elliot’s house, and his father’s watch to use as brass knuckles. When Elliot answers the door, Bruce punches him repeatedly in the mouth while telling him not to talk about his mother, then is backed up by Alfred, who says mildly to Tommy that he should remember this when he next sees Bruce. Bam. Then he takes Bruce out for pizza. Best. Butler. Ever.

Back to Fish. She instructs her girl Liza to steal a paper from Falcone’s desk and she does, but almost gets caught and wants out due to danger. Fish won’t let her and finally brings Liza back around with the tragic tale of Fish’s own childhood, penniless with a prostitute mother who was killed by one of Falcone’s men. She’d promised her terrified child self that she’d never again be powerless. Aw. Slightly less aw afterward, when the old lady who’d been singing over Fish and Liza’s meeting asks why Fish is ‘telling stories’. "A lie with a heart of truth is a powerful thing," Fish says, then squeezes the woman’s hand. (This has got to be Fish’s actual mom).

Jim finds the correct building quickly ---- and is quickly tasered into unconsciousness. He wakes up surrounded by three men, who are told that the first to kill him will win a company position and a million dollars. Jim’s in trouble. While he fights for his life, Bullock tries in vain to get the other cops to help look for his missing partner. Finally he yells at them, saying that not one of them had stood up for Jim when he needed it before and that won’t be happening twice. They’re reluctantly on board. By this time Jim’s emerged victorious, only to face Sionis himself, masked, with sword in hand. Jim, being a badass (and showing no sign of his multiple gunshot injuries from the last episode), defeats him as well, tossing Sionis’s sword away just as the Captain appears with a rescue party.

Edward ‘The Riddler’ Nygma

After they get back to the station, Jim thanks Bullock for getting the cops involved and for having his back in general, then goes on to say that Sionis was wrong, Jim doesn’t love fighting, but he’s not afraid to do it either and won’t stop until he’s stamped out all the corruption in Gotham. Harvey displays his ‘what have I gotten myself into now’ face. Jim then calls Barbara ---- but she doesn’t pick up. She’s shown leaving, with an envelope bearing Jim’s name left on the table. Jim leaves a message promising that everything’ll be better soon and he loves her. When he hangs up, he’s summoned to go see a perp who claims to know him . . . and it’s Selena, who’s been picked up for burglary. "Hey detective," she says, grinning, "miss me?"

At Wayne Manor, Bruce quietly admits that he’d enjoyed hurting Tommy. "Of course you did," Alfred replies, with a smile, "he deserved it." Bruce talks about being angry all the time and then asks Alfred if he could teach him how to fight. "Yes, Master Bruce, I can," Alfred promises. Time for Batman to begin?

There are three big comics references in this episode. The first is the Black Mask, Roman Sionis, who’s a failed-businessman-turned-insane-cult-leader in the comics. The Gotham character is named Richard, but he’s clearly a version of the classic supervillain. Next we have Tommy Elliot. In the comics, he’s a childhood friend of Bruce’s who eventually grows to become a supervillain (and supervillain puppetmaster) called Hush ---- whose first supervillain team-up is with Edward ‘The Riddler’ Nygma, another Gotham character. Lastly, the black market doctor that Jim arrests is almost certainly intended to be the Crime Doctor, although we never hear a name to confirm it. In the comics, the Crime Doctor began his villainous career by treating criminals for money at his own underground clinic.

Harvey Dent

"Harvey Dent" arrives in Season 1 Episode 9 of Gotham.

Episode 9 of Gotham is packed with explosions in the form of the appearance of Harvey Dent, Fish Mooney going proactive, and the cat and (future) bat bonding over bagels. The whole shebang begins with Jim taking Selina back to his/Barbara’s apartment, where he sees the note Barbara’s left for him. In it, she says that she’d thought she could be stronger, but she’s terrified of Falcone and she knows Jim doesn’t need those worries dumped on him. She’s going to go sort herself out elsewhere. Selina wants to know if she’s staying, and Jim says no... he’s planning to take her to Wayne Manor.

At Wayne Manor, Alfred’s very much against Selina staying, thinking it’ll endanger Bruce, until Jim tells him that the witnesses who stick around and testify are the ones who care about the victims. Play nice, Alfred. He also mentions that he, Montoya, and Allen will be meeting with a trustworthy ADA that afternoon. Alfred, as the series official Deadpan Snarker, expresses his surprise that one exists.

After that, Jim stops by the station, where Bullock fills him in on the crime of the week: a serial bombernamed Ian Hargrove was being moved when the truck he was in was ambushed, the guards shot, and Ian taken. Ian’s only visitor at Blackgate was his brother John, who explains that Ian had only blown up weaponsand munitions factories, believing he was doing good, and he’d been devastated by the accidental killing of two janitors on his last demolition. He’d been mentally ill since he was a child and needs help. Cut to Ian, reluctantly making a bomb and giving it to his captors. They use it to blow up another munitions factory, along with a bunch of guards. After checking out the scene, Jim and Bullock discover that a significant amount of a powerful explosive was stolen. Business may be about to boom a little too much.

Penguin time! Oswald breaks into Liza-the-secret-weapon’s apartment, goes through her stuff, and smells her nightie. (As one does). Post-smelling, he makes his way over to Fish Mooney’s ---- slightly before his arrival, she’d been talking to her second in command Butch about something dangerous that they’re planning ---- where he says that he’s trying to be friendly and then gives her a good long sniff. Lilacs, just like Liza. Busted!

Fish, who doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing, amps up her frost level to 9000, and Oswald takes this cue to deliver a speech about reaching out in friendship before leaving. "Man," Butch says, "that dude is creepy." Got it in one, Butch. Oswald keeps on doin’ the creep back at Liza’s apartment, where he says that he knows all about her spying for Fish (and is quite threatening about it), but promises to keep the secret.

Jim ends up spilling about Barbara to Bullock, who’s in the middle of imparting some Bullockian wisdom when Nygma pops up, natters about video games, and invades their personal space before finally saying that he’d found a name plate from an abandoned factory in the bomb rubble. Jim and Bullock go to the source, where they find Ian chained to a bench. He manages to tell them that the kidnappers are Russians, one’s named Gregor, they’re planning something against Falcone, and they’ve been forcing him to work by threatening his family before he’s dragged off again by returning Russians.

Back at the station our heroes encounter the mayor complaining about the case, and Jim takes the opportunity to inform him that it’s his own damn fault for putting the mentally ill in Blackgate, where they have to be driven elsewhere for treatment. The mayor is not amused. Bullock, getting all productive, quickly identifies ‘Gregor’, but isn’t sure who he works for now. It’s got to be somebody powerful who hates Falcone. Hm. Could be anyone . . . except it isn’t, it’s Fish Mooney, because of course it is. Cut to Fish meeting with the Russians, talking about hitting Falcone where it hurts: in his money.

Bruce and Selina have a bit of a culture clash at Wayne Manor. She’s openly contemptuous of his training methods, telling him that he wouldn’t survive five minutes on the street. Cue sad panda Bruce. They also have a talk about their families. Selina says that her parents are alive and her mom has an incredibly successful show business career as a front for her true job as a secret agent. (Bruce actually believes this). She goes on to tease him about not having kissed a girl, and continues that in the morning, where she tosses a bagel at him over breakfast and challenges him: if he can hit her back, he can kiss her. It fast turns into a room-wide food fight, with both kids laughing and having fun. Alfred grudgingly admits that she’s ‘a breath of fresh air’.

Back at the station, they discover that the next target is the old Gotham Armoury, recently bought by a probably-Falcone-backed investment firm. To the armoury! There, the Russians are loading packages of cash on their truck when the entire Gotham police force descends . . . just before the truck explodes, killing the Russians. Jim saves Ian. (From a distance, Butch watches with the trigger device). Then one explosive situation to another ---- we switch to Dent’s office, where he threatens Lovecraft with a murder charge.


Villains & Heoes

Lovecraft’s very self-assured until Dent snaps, getting in his face and scaring him, with half of his own face in shadow. We all know the significance of that foreshadowing (pun intended). Afterward, Dent comes by the station to tell Jim with great intensity that Lovecraft is definitely involved. When Dent leaves, Bullock’s got some unwelcome news. 1. The mayor’s decreed that all mentally ill criminals (including Ian) be moved toArkham, even though it’s old and decrepit, and 2. Ian didn’t build the truck bomb and doesn’t know who did. Sadly, they stop short of describing the situation as ‘fishy’.

When he gets home, Jim calls Barbara and leaves a heartfelt message pleading for her to come back, telling her that he needs her, loves her, and has nothing without her. Barbara listens to it while tearing up, lying in a bed surrounded by obvious signs of a romantic evening with another person beside her. When the other person moves, we can see them clearly: it’s Montoya. Time for Barbara and Montoya 2: The Revenge Of. They kiss.

There are a few comic references in this episode. First off, Bruce is dedicating more time to training, Selina is still doing her cat thing, and now they’re playing kissing games. Soon they’ll be all growed up. In comics references, we’ve got more Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Penitentiary, and the big reference/character of the week is obvious: Harvey ‘Two-Face’ Dent. The Two-Face hinting isn’t what you’d call subtle either ---- he’s obsessed with his coin, his face is often half in shadow, he likes saying ‘I bet’ a lot, and his mood swings are impressive. In the comics, he’ll have one side of his face damaged by acid and turn into a duality-fascinated supervillain.

Dick Lovecraft could be referencing ‘Dr. Lovecraft’, one member of a group of villains who tried to take on theJustice League in the early ‘80s, but is more likely referencing horror giant H.P. Lovecraft. DC Comics’ Arkham Asylum was named after the asylum in Lovecraft’s fictional city of Arkham, Massachusetts, which appeared in many of his stories. Lastly in potential comics shout-outs, there’s a girl onstage at Fish Mooney’s club near the end of Harvey Dent who looks quite a bit like the villainess and Joker-lover Harley Quinn.

Lovecraft

"Lovecraft" brings death to Gotham City in Season 1 Episode 10 of Gotham.

Episode 10 of Gotham, "Lovecraft," has one of the highest kill rates so far. Let the bodies hit the floor! The carnage begins with a woman (later revealed to be the assassin Copperhead), accompanied by two men, killing a gardener outside Wayne Manor and smearing herself in his blood. Charming. Inside the manor, Bruce works on his balancing, aided by Selina. She asks if he wants to kiss her. Bruce admits that he does, but he feels like she’s got ulterior motives and doesn’t really like him like him. Selina retorts that she’s just trying to be nice, and Bruce tells her that she doesn’t seem like a nice persongood, maybe, but not strictly nice. "Screw you, orphan," she says, and stalks off. Kitty has claws. Downstairs, Copperhead manages to get inside by posing as a car crash victim, but when she sees Selina her eyes light up and Alfred immediately knows what’s going on. Yelling for the kids to run, he takes on the assassins. Being a total badass, Alfred manages to do some serious damage and shoot one of the male assassins, although he’s injured himself and the remaining two dash off after Bruce and Selina.

When Jim and the cops show up, they find no sign of the kids, although Bullock discovers a picture of Selinaon the dead assassin and wants to know what the hell she’s doing getting mobbed by assassins at Wayne Manor. Time for Jim to ‘fess up about the Selina situation, including the ploy that he and Dent had tried with Lovecraft. Alfred’s angry that Lovecraft had somehow intuited that their witness was Selina. Bullock’s angry that Jim’s trying to reopen the Wayne case. After some yelling, it’s settled: Jim will hunt down Lovecraft and try to make him call off his dogs, and Bullock will search the streets in case Selina took Bruce there. Alfred informs Bullock that he’s coming with him, and Bullock’s cool with that ---- after all, Alfred’s pretty handy for a valet. No, Alfred corrects, sternly, he’s a butler.

While Jim prepares to drag in Lovecraft, Falcone does drag in Oswald, demanding to know about Maroni’s ‘theft’ of his money in Harvey Dent. This is complicated by the fact that Maroni didn’t do it, which Oswald points out, then tells Falcone that he must have a mole (cough, Liza, cough) who probably works for Fish Mooney. He offers to find said mole, but has no intention of giving up Liza. Dilemmas, dilemmas. While the Penguin plots, Falcone holds a dinner for all his associates, shoots one for not guarding the armoury well enough, and then decrees that everyone’s tariffs will increase by 25%. Two associates aren’t pleased about this. Fish supports Falcone and he holds her up as an example, but he’s clearly messing with her. Let the head games begin!

Back to Bruce, who Selina’s led into the heart of Gotham. When they find a phone, she says that Bruce can call Alfred, but she’s got to leave. Bruce pleads with her not to go (she’s got to testify!). She tells him that the trial was never really going to happen and takes off anyway, pursued by Bruce. Selina jumps a big chasm between two buildings . . . and then Bruce chances it and follows her, just barely making the gap and earning her respect. He can come with. She takes him to a big abandoned ballroom crowded with tables, which she describes as being like a mall for street kids. They’ll be safe there for a while.

Butch, Fish’s usually-ruthless second in command, is getting a bit nervous in the meantime. Fish assures him that Falcone couldn’t know for sure that it was her and tells him to stick to the plan: reel in the two associates who were irritated by Falcone’s tax raises. She leaves, and that’s when Bullock and Alfred (who were told to ask Fish about Selina’s preferred fence by a street kid) turn up, wanting to see her. Butch refuses ---- until Alfred goes all Jason Statham on him and holds him at knife point, prompting Fish to turn up of her own accord. However, she doesn’t want to help . . . until Alfred again saves the situation by being a charming gent and telling her sweetly that he knows that she’s ‘not a woman who would let petty self-interest outweigh honor and compassion’ (Ha!). Fish agrees to make some calls. Smooth, Alfred, smooth.

On the quest for Lovecraft, who seems to have entirely vanished, Jim storms into Dent’s office and angrily presses him as to how, exactly, Lovecraft and co. figured out that Selina was the witness. Dent admits that he actually had mentioned Jim’s name for credibility purposes. Jim is not amused. He goes off to break into one of Lovecraft’s secretly-held condos, surprisingly finds the man in question, and even more surprisingly finds out that Lovecraft’s not in charge of the assassins. In fact, he’s also being targeted for knowing too much. He starts showing Jim an incriminating file that he’s dug up on the Wayne murders . . . but never finishes, because just then Copperhead and her remaining male companion appear. Jim has a go at fighting her and is swiftly choked out. (And then she pervs on his unconscious body. Girl’s got issues). He wakes to his cell phone, with Bullock on the line. Fish has located Selina’s fence and he and Alfred ---- who still seems to be getting along, er, swimmingly, with Fish ---- are heading over. Once offline, Jim goes looking for Lovecraft and finds him dead in the bathtub, shot with Jim’s own service weapon. Ouch.

At the ‘mall’, Bruce and Selina run into Ivy Pepper, who’s very twitchy and obviously unnerves Selina. The day keeps on being unnerving when the fence that Selina goes to imprisons the kids, intending to hand them over to the assassins. The kids break out and a game of cat and mouse begins as Bullock and Alfred show up, Alfred charging into the building in a hail of gunfire. Bullock waits for Jim, then they mount a co-charge. Copperhead ends up catching Bruce, but when he tells her truthfully that Selina’s gone (she’d escaped out a window), she lets him go unharmed. He and Alfred are happily reunited, and they hug it out.

Things aren’t going so well for Jim. The mayor yells at Jim and Dent about Lovecraft’s death. He’s planning to frame it as Lovecraft breaking down under Jim’s relentless questioning and ending it all with Jim’s gun. He wishes that he could get rid of both of them . . . but two scapegoats would look like panic, so he’s settling for Jim. Jim stands up very slowly, facing the mayor, and grits out, "Mayor James . . . kiss my ass." Then they enter the Stareoff Olympics. Jim wins, but loses when he finds himself being ‘assigned’ to a new job ---- security guard at Arkham Asylum. He wishes Bullock luck with his new partner and goes to shake Nygma’s hand in farewell, but is surprised when, instead, Nygma pull him into a hug before darting off. "Maybe you should take him with you!" Bullock jokes. We see what you did there, Gotham.

Back to Wayne Manor. Bruce is gazing at his detective wall when he hears Selina’s voice behind him. She gives him back the things she’d stolen from the house, saying that she wants to keep things honest between them. Aw. He offers to let her keep them, and she refuses, although she does plan to keep the winged cigarette box she’d nicked on an earlier visit. When Bruce looks from it to her, she kisses him, then swiftly vanishes out the window at Alfred’s approach. Alfred, however, knows all, and (after closing the window) remarks that the house seems very quiet without her. "Yes," says Bruce, "it does."

We close it out with Jim, walking up to the formidable Arkham Asylum. An armed guard lets him in, and Jim makes his way into the building as the big iron gates swing closed. This episode’s references are mostly recurring: Bruce is training more, he and Selina get closer and share a kiss, and Dent’s half in shadow most of the time. We also have Ivy back again, noticeably more disturbed than she was in her previous appearance.

While Copperhead’s actual name was never mentioned in Lovecraft, it’s Larissa Diaz. She appears to be a female version of the male supervillain Copperhead, who’s a master contortionist and wears a snake suit from which he derives his mostly-poison-related ‘powers’. There’s a female version of him in the video game Batman: Arkham Origins, who, again, is a contortionist, although she prefers poisoned claw gloves to a snake suit and runs with a gang of South American assassins. Gotham’s Copperhead is a bit of a puzzler. She hasn’t used poison so far and hasn’t done much for contorting either, unless you count martial arts moves. However, the presence of her co-assassins (and her female-ness), seem to echo the Arkham Origins character.

Rogues' Gallery

"Rogues' Gallery" exhibiting villains in Season 1 Episode 11 of Gotham.

Episode 11 of Gotham, "Rogues’ Gallery," is a display of all things villainous. We begin with Jim-the-resigned-security-guard in Arkham Asylum, watching the inmates put on a production of The Tempest (the line "but doth suffer a sea-change / into something rich and strange" is emphasized, because Arkham Asylum). Unfortunately for the arts, a viewer attacks one of the actors and everything goes to hell. Later, the director, Dr. Lang, digs into Jim for not being a better guard. Apparently they’ve had four incidents in the four weeks Jim has worked therewhich doesn’t actually sound too bad for a minimally-guarded asylum full of the criminally insane, but Lang’s still pissed. The nurse, an older woman named Dorothy, blames herself for the choice of play. When a doctor shows up to tend to the victim, Jim’s surprised to find that it’s a gorgeous woman named Leslie Thompkins. She tells him that she admires what he’s doing, and they’re so friendly that even the inmate tells them to get a room.

Later, Jim’s checking on the inmates in their cells when he finds ‘Frogman’ Jones, the fight’s aggressor, sitting frozen with scorch marks on either side of his head. Cue Leslie, back again. She tells him that the marks are from brain-fryingly huge amounts of electroshock, leaving Jones essentially a vegetable, and whoever did it must have anatomical knowledge and electrical tools . . . plus a cell key. Dr. Lang’s hate-on for Jim continues, but he refuses to let Jim call the cops. Instead, Jim questions the guards, finally finding one who had lost his keys during the earlier brawl. Time to question the inmates. A particular standout among the raving mob is Jack Gruber, a polite and well-spoken sociopath with a long record of violence. The last to be questioned is a quiet soul named Aaron, who (according to Dorothy) never lies or is violent ---- except for that time when he slaughtered his whole family with an axe. Nobody confesses to the key theft. Darn.

Things are quiet after that, until Jim finds the original fight’s victim with scorch marks, mindlessly repeating words from The Tempest. "Aw hell," Jim says. We hear you, Jim. Leslie pronounces it to be the same job, just less drastic, and Jim thinks that the perpetrator might be refining his methods. He tells Leslie that she should leave, he’s starting to suspect that a staff member might be behind everything and he doesn’t want her caught in the crossfire. Aw. Dr. Lang is once again angry and asks if Jim’s trying to force his hand and make him call the police. "No," says Jim. "I already called them."

It’s Bullock, who’s so delighted to see Jim that he actually kisses him (not on the lips, mind you). "You weren’t exaggerating . . . freaky as advertised," Bullock declares, about the electroshock victims, and then moves on to supporting Jim against Dr. Lang. Eventually he drags the director down to the station for questioning so that Jim can work unimpeded. The ex-partners salute each other with great humor. Somebody give them a buddy cop movie. Meanwhile in mob-town, Fish Mooney’s trying to sway the two bosses unhappy withFalcone to her side, but one of them (Jimmy Saviano) wants to take over himself. Butch says he’ll talk to Jimmy, seeing as they grew up together. When they meet up, Jimmy asks Butch to come work with him, as Fish is doomed and Jimmy will give him far more than she ever could. Butch says that he’ll think about it. Later, when he sees Fish, he tells her that Jimmy’s stubborn, but Butch is optimistic. Mm-hm.

While Fish plots, Oswald (who’s now fully embraced the penguin motif) tries to bully some fishermen into paying Maroni more taxes. (Maroni does not know about this). The fishermen are 100% not on board, don’t respect Oswald in the slightest, and end up calling the cops, who punch and incarcerate him. He’s looking pretty sorry when he sees Bullock come in with Dr. Lang, calls him over, and begs the detective to help him out. Or, failing that, to be allowed a phone call to Maroni. Nah, Bullock says, he really enjoys being able to look over from his desk and see Oswald in a cell. "It’s soothing . . . like a bonsai tree," he tells him cheerfully. Oswald’s co-prisoner asks what a bonsai tree is. Oswald thunks his head against the bars in despair.

Nurse Dorothy brings Jim a cup of coffee while he works and they get to chatting, with him eventually asking her to show him to the old records office in the long-abandoned basement. Back at the station, Bullock asks the Director who among the staff he’d pick to be their perpetrator. The Director says nobody, he’s known them all for years . . . and then pauses. "No," he says, "she couldn’t . . .". (Who else has a bad feeling about this? Everyone? Good). At the asylum, Leslie encounters Jim being led downstairs and asks if she can come, prompting Dorothy to get weird. It's an "a-ha!" moment for Jim and the light bulb goes on shortly before Dorothy shoves Leslie at him and bolts. Jim takes off as well (after telling Leslie to induce lockdown), getting a call in transit from Bullock. Turns out Dorothy’s not staff, she’s really an inmate ---- and now she pulls a lever, releasing everyone from their cells. They quickly form a mob and run for the ward exit, fatally trampling Dorothy and gaining on Leslie. Luckily for Leslie, Jim meets her at the exit and distracts the inmates long enough for them both to slip through and securely slam the door.

Meanwhile, Barbara’s still at Montoya’s, and is blindsided when Montoya tells her that they can’t be together anymore, they’re toxic and it’s triggering Montoya to drink and do drugs again. Montoya wants her to call Jim. Barbara’s extremely upset and tries to leave, but Montoya insists that she stay as long as she needs. Montoya will go. Barbara does end up tearfully calling Jim, but it’s picked up by Ivy, who Selina had brought to the apartment because she’s sick and won’t see a doctor. Trying not to giggle, Ivy pretends to be in bed with Jim and asks who Barbara is. (The beginning of a career of villainy? Possibly). Barbara’s totally devastated, but it’s hard to muster sympathy.

At the station, it’s revealed that Dorothy had killed five kids with poisoned candy ‘for homework’ when a nursing student and had spent half her life at Arkham, probably hiding in the basement when the asylum had shut down and reappearing to pass herself off as a legit nurse when it reopened. Case closed, until the ME shows them his findings: Dorothy has the same scorch marks as the other victims, except hers are a month old . . . and she couldn’t have made them herself. Yes, it’s villain-reveal time, and that villain is the quietly sociopathic Jack Gruber. At the asylum, he praises a scorch-marked Aaron as his best work yet after having him unlock the exit door and kill a guard. Then they catch sight of a terrified Dr. Lang, who Gruber greets politely. This won’t end well. It doesn’t ---- Jim and Bullock arrive just in time to see the Director die of his injuries. Clutched in his hand, Jim finds a note from Gruber, where he confesses to practising his electricity skills for quite a while. Dorothy was an early success. He closes by saying that it was nice to meet Jim and he hopes he’ll see him around, and signs it ‘all the best, Jack Gruber’. Ah, polite villains. Always the most vicious.

Back with the Penguin, Don Maroni finally shows up and tells a bedraggled Oswald that he’d actually known that he was locked up, but had left him there to teach him a lesson about overreaching his bounds. Oswald apologizes with his usual puppy eyes and Maroni lets him out and forgives him, but reminds him that ‘you’re a smart monkey . . . but you’re a monkey, and I’m the zookeeper’. Oswald seethes quietly. On the docks, Butch meets with Jimmy and says that he’s in, before bringing up a story of a time he’d screwed Jimmy over when they were kids and asking forgiveness for it. Jimmy’s confused as to why he’d mention it, but readily accepts his apology. "Thank you," Butch says calmly, before shooting Jimmy in the head. No deal, apparently. Butch leaves the body and drives away, as the camera pans out over the waterfront.

There are quite a few comics references for "Rogues’ Gallery". Ready? In the comics, Dr. Leslie Thompkins is an older woman and Wayne family friend who helps to parent the orphaned Bruce and later knows of his identity as Batman. She runs a free clinic in Gotham. For the villains, Jack Gruber is the Electrocutioner. In the comics he wears an electric-shock-generating costume, and the costume (along with the title) is passed on from person to person. The Electrocutioner is sometimes portrayed as a vigilante, but Gruber seems to be all villain. His new minion, Aaron Helzinger, is also in the comics as Amygdala, an incredibly strong man who’d had his amygdala removed to control his rage. While still prone to explosions of anger, Amygdala is often peaceful and childlike, and tends to be used as a pawn by the more villainous villains. Aw. In Gotham-universe hints, Ivy tells Selina that she’s a vegan, and Dr. Lang (when pressed by Bullock) admits that he’s hiding something big. He swears that it’s unrelated to the case and says that Bullock shouldn’t dig any deeper if he knows what’s good for him. Two new villains are loose, Oswald’s approaching a breaking point, and Butch is turning ever more dangerous. Something’s going down in Gotham City.

What the Little Bird Told Him

"What the Little Bird Told Him" is revealed in Season 1 Episode 12 of Gotham.

In Episode 12 of Gotham, "What the Little Bird Told Him," everyone makes a move, and the Electrocutioner (AKA Jack Gruber) gets one of the most badass character openings since Supernatural’s Death introduction. He strides down the sidewalk to Johnny Cash’s God’s "Gonna Cut You Down," all geared up in a snazzy new rubber coat with an electrical claw-thing in one hand. His minion Aaron, also rubber-clad, follows behind carrying a vast number of batteries, and they make their way unhurriedly to an electronics storewhere Gruber electrocutes the shop boy and politely asks the terrified owner where his stuff is. The owner leads Gruber to said "stuff" (electrical equipment, naturally), while protesting that the double-cross wasn’t his idea and pleading that Gruber doesn’t have to kill him. Maybe he doesn’t have to, but Gruber straps an electrical headband on him anyway.

The Captain, meanwhile, gives the cops a rundown on Gruber and Aaron. The Commissioner’s even there, and so is Jim, who manages to antagonize his way into a private audience and extract a promise that he can have his badge back if he captures Gruber within 24 hours . . . but, if he doesn’t, he and Bullock will end their careers in Arkham. Bullock’s not too jazzed about the prospect. Luckily they get some breaks: Nygma crosschecks fingerprints and finds that ‘Gruber’ is actually a career criminal named Jack Buchinsky who, with a crew, had pulled four successful bank robberies before being caught seemingly by chance and had probably bribed his way into a name change and a transfer to Arkham. He’d never named his accomplices. Just after that info drops, a call comes in about the now-abandoned van that Buchinsky had used to escape Arkham. Jim and Bullock find the electronics store nearby and with it the dead shopboy ---- and, in the back, the nowzombie-esque owner mindlessly scrawling ‘I will not betray my friend’. Yikes.

After having a vision of his mother, Don Falcone and Liza take a walk together and share some sweet moments before he goes off to work and she takes a trip to the market for dinner essentials . . . where she’s kidnapped, and her bodyguard is killed. This turns out to be the work of Fish Mooney, who tells Liza that it’s time for her to move on Don Falcone. She phones him up with a voice modifier, informing him that ‘they’ have taken Liza and an intermediary will be in contact soon. While Falcone crumbles, the detectives get yet another lead. Dr. Leslie Thompkins from Arkham comes by with a doll and the information that a patient in her wing is a pagan sorceress who curses dolls made to look like other patients’ enemies in return for soda and candy. Even Buchinsky had given her a doll to curse, a ‘Mr. M’ who looks suspiciously like Don Maroni.

Cut to Maroni, who’s at his restaurant cheerfully dining with his associates. Outside, the door-guard notices a van sparking suspiciously. Inside, Oswald gets a call from Falcone about the Liza-napping and quickly begs off dinner with the excuse that his mother’s ill and needs him. Leaving, however, is not in the cards. When he touches the metal door handle he’s electro-blasted to the floor, just before the guard from outside staggers past him with a glowing blue device. There’s a great electrical crackle . . . but Maroni and co. emerge relatively unscathed. The police arrive and Maroni talks to Jim, who brings up Jack Buchinsky and says that he knows Maroni must have been one of his never-caught partners ---- probably the one who sold him out. Jim wants to use Maroni as Electrocutioner-bait, serving the double purpose of catching Buchinsky and getting him out of Maroni’s hair. As Maroni considers this, Oswald bolts upright from his electrically-induced swoon and shakily blurts out that he must be going, he’s got very urgent business with Falcone. Then he collapses again. Maroni is 110% not impressed.

He does, however, agree to Jim’s plan. Bullock suggests that they should keep Maroni somewhere that Buchinsky can more easily access him, rather than the security of the station, but Jim believes that a man as crazy and arrogant as Buchinsky will come after Maroni either way and will enjoy the challenge. Somebody who isn’t enjoying a challenge is Oswald, who wakes up on a cop’s desk and is freaked the heck out to realize that he’s been unconscious for two hours. He’s frantic to ‘go see his mother’, but Maroni thinks that dear ol’ mom can wait and asks what exactly he’d meant by ‘urgent business with Falcone’. The Penguin’s feeling the heat.


Harvey Bullock Action Figure by Diamond

Meanwhile, Fish calls Falcone, saying that she’d been contacted to be the intermediary, but he immediately realizes what’s what. Sadly, he confesses that he didn’t think it would be her. Aw. While Fish admits her treachery, she gives him the option of leaving Gotham entirely. If he does, Liza won’t be hurt and he can take her with him. After a moment, Falcone agrees, and Fish tells him to wait for her call. At the club, Butch wants to celebrate, but Fish is more solemn ---- after all, Falcone was great once. She rationalizes that she’s probably doing him a favour by giving him an easy out before he’s killed. You keep on telling yourself that, Fish. Said ex-great man now sits thoughtfully at home, listening to Victor Zsasz asking him to please allow him to kill Fish and her people. Unhappily for a twitchy Zsasz, Falcone muses that it might be time to step down anyway. He’d actually enjoy a country life with Liza.

Back at the station (and after some hefty dramatics), Oswald swears on his mother’s life that he’s never had business with Falcone and is finally given license to go . . . but is knocked out along with everyone else when Buchinsky flicks a switch, sending electricity crackling through the huge wire he’d attached to the station’s metal arches. The atmosphere is electric. Literally. When he enters, he’s confronted by Jim, who’d taken the precaution of thickly rubber-soled footwear and remains unfried. Jim’s resistance rather annoys Buchinsky, who asks Jim to just let him kill Maroni and get on with his life. This is not destined to be. Jim gets the drop on an attacking Aaron and knocks him out, then, after Buchinsky indulges in a villainy monologue (and works himself up into a truly impressive electrical display), Jim throws a glass of water over the Electrocutioner’s control panel and shuts him down like a non-melting Wicked Witch of the West. "Huh," Buchinsky says, looking down, then smiles ruefully and puts his hands up.

Pictures are taken of the triumphant Commissioner and Captain beside Buchinsky (who doesn’t seem to mind), and then Jim is formally awarded his badge back . . . where he takes the time to murmur, ‘the next man who tries to take away my shield, one way or another, I’m going to make him eat it’ in the Commissioner’s ear. "I hope you have some nasty pictures of him," Bullock tells Jim after the ceremony, "because I bet what you just said was very very rude." Jim replies that he’s done being careful. Bullock’s amazed that he thinks he’s been careful so far.

Oswald finally arrives at Falcone’s and tells him about Liza, only to be smacked and told that he’s wrong. "When have I been wrong?" Oswald asks. Good point. When Fish and Falcone finally meet up, he demands to see Liza, then protectively takes her hand and asks if she’s all right. She is, but she’s thrown for a loop when he follows by asking how long she’s known Fish, telling her that a little bird had told him that they’d been friends for a while and Fish had told Liza things about his mother to play him. Liza denies it and Fish excuses that the little bird must be simply making mischief. Falcone had hoped that too, he says, but the truth is now plain and he’s disappointed with his own stupidity.

At a signal, Zsasz and his Dominatrix-minions surround the group, and Falcone apologizes to a tearful Liza before quietly strangling her. Love hurts. After her death he’s silent a beat, then tells Zsasz to keep Fish and Butch alive for now. He could forgive all kinds of betrayal and dishonesty, he confides to Fish, but never her using his love for his mother against him ---- although he has to thank her for allowing him to remember who he really is. "You can come out now," he announces, and, to Fish’s added dismay, Oswald limps in, smirking and fully enjoying the moment. "Hello, Fish," he says, and laughs.

Jim’s obviously just showered when Dr. Thompkins walks into the station’s break room and quickly apologizes for disturbing him. He asks if something’s wrong and she says no, she was just in the area and her sorceress wants her doll back. Is that it? Well, not entirely, she admits, seeming about to say something, but then awkwardly makes her excuses and turns to the door . . . but turns back when Jim asks her to wait, then pulls her into a kiss. They part a moment before leaning back in, taking their time, and things are just becoming steamy when a cop sticks his head in and tells Jim that there’d been a big shoot-up at Fish Mooney’s. Jim looks pained, then slowly nods. He’s back on the job.

While this episode is extremely plot-heavy, there aren’t a lot of comics references. Two characters who appeared but didn’t do much are Commissioner Loeb and Detective Flass (who is Jim Gordon’s corrupt partner in Batman: Year One). In addition to them, we have the real name of ‘Gruber’, Jack Buchinsky. In the comics, the first Electrocutioner was the unnamed brother of the third Electrocutioner, Lester Buchinsky. Looks like bro #1 was named Jack. Falcone’s on top again, Oswald’s movin’ on up, Jim’s returned to the force, and Fish Mooney’s in serious trouble. All hell broke loose in "What the Little Bird Told Him" - get ready to see see what the aftermath brings in episode 13.

Welcome Back, Jim Gordon

"Welcome Back, Jim Gordon," to the violence of Season 1 Episode 13 of Gotham.

Gotham’s Episode 13, "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon," cleans up the mess left by Episode 12and raises a whole new set of issues. Before checking out the case of the week, Jim and Bullock talk Fish. Nobody’s seen her. Jim offers Bullock some sympathy, but Bullock denies having a thing for her and says that this is her own fault. But, he adds, if anyone can make it out, it would be her. The case itself concerns a murdered drug dealer named Pinky and was handed over to our dream team by the narcotics cop (and complete jerk) Arnold Flass. After Flass leaves, Bullock finds a witness to the crime, a night watchman named Leon Winkler, who agrees to come down to the station and talk to a sketch artist. Unfortunately for him, he never does. He’s fatally stabbed from behind while sitting in a room at the station, waiting for the artist. The security cameras were turned off, but Nygma’s able to identify the murder weapon as an icepick with a distinctive hexagonal handle... and it’s the same weapon that killed Pinky.

Fish, meanwhile, is having an equally bad day. She’s being tortured in a grimy lab by an affable fellow named—wait for it—Bob, but refuses to back down or show fear. Instead, she alternately hits on and mocks him. (You may hate Fish, but you can’t deny she’s a champ under pressure). After an attempt at suffocating her produces no result other than derision, Bob decides to up the ante and smash her knee with a hammer. Luckily for Fish, just before he swings he’s thrown to the floor and then beaten severely by Butch, who’s managed to free himself from his own captors. Fish tries to hide her relief, but can’t entirely. Butch for the win. He takes her to a hotel and tends to her, and she thanks him, but refuses to leave town. Despite the Falcone situation, she’s determined to stick around and perform some forcible (and fatal) surgical procedures on Oswald.

Back at the precinct, Jim’s sure that the killer’s a cop. Bullock’s against the idea. So’s the captain, but she’s reluctantly okay with Jim moving forward as long as she’s informed before any big moves . . . a condition that Jim deals with by totally disregarding it. When Jim discovers that an officer named Delaware had tampered with the guard’s logbook, he runs him down (finding drugs identical to Pinky’s in his car), then cuffs Delaware and roughly muscles him through the station with everybody staring. "Damn right I am," Jim growls, when Bullock asks if he’s trying to make a statement. That statement, however, is short-lived. The captain, accompanied by Flass, tells Jim that, 1. Delaware had possessed the drugs for undercover work, and 2. he and Bullock are officially off the Winkler murder. Flass continues to be condescending.

Later, in a diner, Bullock tells Jim that Flass and his people have been busting drug dealers and taking over their operations, and Flass is protected by serious folks ---- including higher-ups in the department. He wants Jim to back off, but this is Jim we’re talking about. He wants to bust the operations in the hope of finding something Flass-incriminating, and Bullock reluctantly provides locations and backup. It doesn’t go so hot. They bust Delaware’s stash house, only to get roughed up before Delaware smirks and provides a search and seizure warrant (sanctioned by the commissioner himself), showing that he’s got a perfect right to be there. Jim and Bullock have nothing. Jim’s even more frustrated when they return to the station and find that Winkler’s murder was ruled a suicide. When he pushes back, the captain tells him that the commissioner had a hand in it and, while she and others would like to help, they’ve learned the hard way that they can’t.

While everybody else has a bad day, Oswald happily shows his mom Fish’s club, which he’d been given by Falcone. She’s absolutely delighted. Oswald’s glowing, and perks up even further when Jim walks in. After introducing him to his mother, Oswald draws Jim aside and says shyly that he was very glad to hear from him, it’s been far too long since they’d seen each other and he was beginning to think that Jim had forgotten him. (Is it just me, or does Oswald turn into Cinderella at the ball whenever Jim’s around? It’s uncanny). Jim lays out the situation with Flass and asks if Oswald can help. Indeed he can. When Jim asks what he owes, Oswald replies ‘friends don’t owe friends, silly, they just do favours because they want to, because they’re friends!’. Jim breaks out his most awkward smile for the occasion.

After everybody leaves, Oswald gets totally (and joyfully) hammered on champagne, but his fun’s cut short when Fish Mooney enters with Butch . . . and a baseball bat. She beats him and forces him to kiss her boots, but can’t crush his glee at being able to outfox her. She’ll settle for crushing other parts of him. Just as she prepares to do some serious damage, Victor Zsasz and his dominatrix brigade arrive and start shooting, saving Oswald and sending Butch and Fish running. Before the assassins catch up, Butch manages to wrench open a window, push Fish out it, and (against her protests) stay behind to buy her time. "What do you think, girls? Should we kill him, or should we take him home to play with?" Zsasz asks his posse, after shooting Butch in the leg. We don’t get to see their reply, but I’m guessing Butch lives. The man’s like a cockroach.

Butch isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and neither’s Jim, who’s out of leads and sitting wearily at his desk. He’s roused when Oswald’s chief henchman, Gabe (earlier shown extracting information from Delaware by torturing his wife), drops a bag beside him. "Murder weapon and a tape of Delaware rolling on Flass," Gabe provides, then returns a polite ‘you’re welcome’ to Jim’s stunned thanks and leaves. Jim has a moment of indecision, glancing from the captain’s office to a laughing Flass, but quickly makes up his mind. All eyes are on him when he strides up to Flass and announces that he’s arresting him, Flass is a drug dealer, a murderer, and undeserving of the badge ---- he’d killed Winkler, an innocent man who’d trusted them, just to cover his own ass. Although some cops make agreeing noises, they don’t step forward, and Flass derides Jim, boasting that he’s protected and no cop in the station would let Jim arrest him. He’s quieted abruptly when the captain tells him to shut up. As everybody watches, she walks up to a protesting Flass and cuffs him, informing him that he’s under arrest for murder. Jim’s not quite as alone as he’d thought.

Late that evening at the Gotham port, Bullock meets with Fish. He gives her his jacket for the cold (what a gent) and asks what her plan is. When she says that she’s leaving for a while but will return to kill Oswald, he advises her to not come back at all. It’s not safe. Fish brushes his concerns aside and tells him that he will see her again. In the mean time, she asks him to please find Butch and, if he’s still alive, help him. Bullock agrees. "Be good," he tells her then, and they both lean in for a slow, affectionate kiss. "Always," she replies, after they reluctantly part. (Considering she tried to have him killed in a slaughterhouse twelve episodes ago, this is an impressively tender relationship). Bullock drives away, and, left alone on the pier, Fish walks out towards a boat.

As Jim’s leaving the station, he’s waylaid by Delaware. The man looks frantic, and asks Jim repeatedly if giving him the evidence means that they’re even, and his family will be safe. Jim doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Delaware takes his denial as an unspoken theat, finally promising wildly to say nothing to anybody and getting down on his knees to brokenly plead with Jim to keep his wife and kids out of it. Jim finally realizes what had happened, and the conflict between justice and the means of getting that justice play out across his face.

This episode doesn’t have many comic references. The biggest is Flass, who had a cameo in episode 12 but didn’t do much. Flass appeared in Batman: Year One as Jim Gordon’s corrupt (with the full knowledge and support of Commissioner Loeb) partner. In Welcome Back, Jim Gordon, we also have Bruce and Selina’s relationship becoming more rough. He seeks her out and she seems happy, but, after he invites her to stay at Wayne Manor ---- saying that they can help each other, with her helping to find who killed his parents and him giving her a better place to stay ---- she turns chilly. She tells him that she’d lied about seeing who’d killed his parents and that she can’t help him, so he can stop trying to be her friend. She’s useless to him. Bruce is devastated, but I’m guessing she’s just hurt and lying. Talk about on again, off again. Lastly, the Penguin acquires his first nightclub, a business shared by his comics-self.

Fish Mooney’s gone (although not for good, if we believe her), Oswald’s got a club, and Jim Gordon’s slowly bringing the police around ---- but at a cost. Remember to tune back in for episode fourteen’s article, and see what happens next week on Gotham!

Gotham’s episode thirteen, (‘Welcome Back, Jim Gordon’), cleans up the mess left by episode twelve ---- and raises a whole new set of issues. Before checking out the case of the week, Jim and Bullock talk Fish. Nobody’s seen her. Jim offers Bullock some sympathy, but Bullock denies having a thing for her and says that this is her own fault. But, he adds, if anyone can make it out, it would be her. The case itself concerns a murdered drug dealer named Pinky and was handed over to our dream team by the narcotics cop (and complete jerk) Arnold Flass. After Flass leaves, Bullock finds a witness to the crime, a night watchman named Leon Winkler, who agrees to come down to the station and talk to a sketch artist. Unfortunately for him, he never does. He’s fatally stabbed from behind while sitting in a room at the station, waiting for the artist. The security cameras were turned off, but Nygma’s able to identify the murder weapon as an icepick with a distinctive hexagonal handle . . . and it’s the same weapon that killed Pinky.

Fish, meanwhile, is having an equally bad day. She’s being tortured in a grimy lab by an affable fellow named ---- wait for it ---- ‘Bob’, but refuses to back down or show fear. Instead, she alternately hits on and mocks him. (You may hate Fish, but you can’t deny she’s a champ under pressure). After an attempt at suffocating her produces no result other than derision, Bob decides to up the ante and smash her knee with a hammer. Luckily for Fish, just before he swings he’s thrown to the floor and then beaten severely by Butch, who’s managed to free himself from his own captors. Fish tries to hide her relief, but can’t entirely. Butch for the win. He takes her to a hotel and tends to her, and she thanks him, but refuses to leave town. Despite the Falcone situation, she’s determined to stick around and perform some forcible (and fatal) surgical procedures on Oswald.

Back at the precinct, Jim’s sure that the killer’s a cop. Bullock’s against the idea. So’s the captain, but she’s reluctantly okay with Jim moving forward as long as she’s informed before any big moves . . . a condition that Jim deals with by totally disregarding it. When Jim discovers that an officer named Delaware had tampered with the guard’s logbook, he runs him down (finding drugs identical to Pinky’s in his car), then cuffs Delaware and roughly muscles him through the station with everybody staring. "Damn right I am," Jim growls, when Bullock asks if he’s trying to make a statement. That statement, however, is short-lived. The captain, accompanied by Flass, tells Jim that, 1. Delaware had possessed the drugs for undercover work, and 2. he and Bullock are officially off the Winkler murder. Flass continues to be condescending.

Later, in a diner, Bullock tells Jim that Flass and his people have been busting drug dealers and taking over their operations, and Flass is protected by serious folks ---- including higher-ups in the department. He wants Jim to back off, but this is Jim we’re talking about. He wants to bust the operations in the hope of finding something Flass-incriminating, and Bullock reluctantly provides locations and backup. It doesn’t go so hot. They bust Delaware’s stash house, only to get roughed up before Delaware smirks and provides a search and seizure warrant (sanctioned by the commissioner himself), showing that he’s got a perfect right to be there. Jim and Bullock have nothing. Jim’s even more frustrated when they return to the station and find that Winkler’s murder was ruled a suicide. When he pushes back, the captain tells him that the commissioner had a hand in it and, while she and others would like to help, they’ve learned the hard way that they can’t.

While everybody else has a bad day, Oswald happily shows his mom Fish’s club, which he’d been given by Falcone. She’s absolutely delighted. Oswald’s glowing, and perks up even further when Jim walks in. After introducing him to his mother, Oswald draws Jim aside and says shyly that he was very glad to hear from him, it’s been far too long since they’d seen each other and he was beginning to think that Jim had forgotten him. (Is it just me, or does Oswald turn into Cinderella at the ball whenever Jim’s around? It’s uncanny). Jim lays out the situation with Flass and asks if Oswald can help. Indeed he can. When Jim asks what he owes, Oswald replies ‘friends don’t owe friends, silly, they just do favours because they want to, because they’re friends!’. Jim breaks out his most awkward smile for the occasion.

After everybody leaves, Oswald gets totally (and joyfully) hammered on champagne, but his fun’s cut short when Fish Mooney enters with Butch . . . and a baseball bat. She beats him and forces him to kiss her boots, but can’t crush his glee at being able to outfox her. She’ll settle for crushing other parts of him. Just as she prepares to do some serious damage, Victor Zsasz and his dominatrix brigade arrive and start shooting, saving Oswald and sending Butch and Fish running. Before the assassins catch up, Butch manages to wrench open a window, push Fish out it, and (against her protests) stay behind to buy her time. "What do you think, girls? Should we kill him, or should we take him home to play with?" Zsasz asks his posse, after shooting Butch in the leg. We don’t get to see their reply, but I’m guessing Butch lives. The man’s like a cockroach.

Butch isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and neither’s Jim, who’s out of leads and sitting wearily at his desk. He’s roused when Oswald’s chief henchman, Gabe (earlier shown extracting information from Delaware by torturing his wife), drops a bag beside him. "Murder weapon and a tape of Delaware rolling on Flass," Gabe provides, then returns a polite ‘you’re welcome’ to Jim’s stunned thanks and leaves. Jim has a moment of indecision, glancing from the captain’s office to a laughing Flass, but quickly makes up his mind. All eyes are on him when he strides up to Flass and announces that he’s arresting him, Flass is a drug dealer, a murderer, and undeserving of the badge ---- he’d killed Winkler, an innocent man who’d trusted them, just to cover his own ass. Although some cops make agreeing noises, they don’t step forward, and Flass derides Jim, boasting that he’s protected and no cop in the station would let Jim arrest him. He’s quieted abruptly when the captain tells him to shut up. As everybody watches, she walks up to a protesting Flass and cuffs him, informing him that he’s under arrest for murder. Jim’s not quite as alone as he’d thought.

Late that evening at the Gotham port, Bullock meets with Fish. He gives her his jacket for the cold (what a gent) and asks what her plan is. When she says that she’s leaving for a while but will return to kill Oswald, he advises her to not come back at all. It’s not safe. Fish brushes his concerns aside and tells him that he will see her again. In the mean time, she asks him to please find Butch and, if he’s still alive, help him. Bullock agrees. "Be good," he tells her then, and they both lean in for a slow, affectionate kiss. "Always," she replies, after they reluctantly part. (Considering she tried to have him killed in a slaughterhouse twelve episodes ago, this is an impressively tender relationship). Bullock drives away, and, left alone on the pier, Fish walks out towards a boat.

As Jim’s leaving the station, he’s waylaid by Delaware. The man looks frantic, and asks Jim repeatedly if giving him the evidence means that they’re even, and his family will be safe. Jim doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Delaware takes his denial as an unspoken theat, finally promising wildly to say nothing to anybody and getting down on his knees to brokenly plead with Jim to keep his wife and kids out of it. Jim finally realizes what had happened, and the conflict between justice and the means of getting that justice play out across his face.

This episode doesn’t have many comic references. The biggest is Flass, who had a cameo in episode 12 but didn’t do much. Flass appeared in Batman: Year One as Jim Gordon’s corrupt (with the full knowledge and support of Commissioner Loeb) partner. In Welcome Back, Jim Gordon, we also have Bruce and Selina’s relationship becoming more rough. He seeks her out and she seems happy, but, after he invites her to stay at Wayne Manor ---- saying that they can help each other, with her helping to find who killed his parents and him giving her a better place to stay ---- she turns chilly. She tells him that she’d lied about seeing who’d killed his parents and that she can’t help him, so he can stop trying to be her friend. She’s useless to him. Bruce is devastated, but I’m guessing she’s just hurt and lying. Talk about on again, off again. Lastly, the Penguin acquires his first nightclub, a business shared by his comics-self.

Fish Mooney’s gone (although not for good, if we believe her), Oswald’s got a club, and Jim Gordon’s slowly bringing the police around ---- but at a cost. Remember to tune back in for episode fourteen’s article, and see what happens next week on Gotham!

The Fearsome Dr. Crane

The violence is amped up by "The Fearsome Dr. Crane" Season 1 Episode 14 of Gotham.

Episode 14 of Gotham is "The Fearsome Dr. Crane"—and no, you won’t find any Cheers or Fraiser references. We begin with a man wearing glasses (later named as Dr. Gerald Crane) using a mechanism to hoist a terrified victim over the edge of a building, where he hangs him. Later, when the police arrive, it’s noted that the killer had gone to great lengths to hoist the victim back up after hanging him, and Nygma discovers a surgical incision on the victim’s abdomen. Curiouser and curiouser. Meanwhile, Jim stops by Barbara’s to return his keys and finds Selina squatting there. He wants to put her in a safe house, but she tells him the same thing she’d told Bruce—that she’d lied about seeing the killer of Bruce’s parents—and then dashes off before he can stop her. Jim quickly heads over to Wayne Manor, where he tries to reassure Bruce that Selina’s most likely just scared, but Bruce isn’t having it and takes Jim off the case, saying he’ll investigate himself. Jim thinks it’ll be too dangerous. Alfred says that he’s got it.

At the station, a woman named Scottie Mullens comes by. (She’s a cutie. Bullock’s quickly smitten). Her number was in the victim, Adam’s, pocket, and she explains that she was his sponsor in a support group for people dealing with phobias. She’s horrified to hear the manner of Adam’s death, as his phobia had beenheights, and tells Bullock that the group’s meeting again that night, but she can’t give him specific names of those attending because it’s anonymous. Jim arrives as she’s leaving and tries to fill Bullock in on his casework so far, but Bullock’s lovin’ watching Scottie leave and is a touch distracted. He comes back to earth in time to hear Jim say that he’s traced the chair that Adam was hung in, and our daring detectives head off to the now-defunct chair factory . . . where they hear a scream and find an terrified man in a back room, tied to a chair. Three pigs nose around, and a big fellow wearing a pig mask raises a knife. Jim and Bullock are forced to shoot the knife-wielder. No word on what they’re going to do with the pigs.

While Jim and Bullock check on the newest victim, Nygma’s examining the body of the first one, directly contrary to the captain’s ultimatum to stop usurping the ME’s realm. Mid-exam, he’s caught red-handed (literally) by the actual ME, who demands that Nygma be disciplined. The captain reluctantly suspends him. Upstairs, Jim and Bullock present their findings: the second victim’s terrified but alive in the hospital, and they haven’t ID’d the pig mask guy yet. Despite their lack of ID, Bullock’s sure that he’s the only killer and takes off to go spread the good news at the support group. (No ulterior motive there, nope, not at all). Jim, however, isn’t so sure. He wants Nygma to look at the abdominal wound, and is upset to learn that he’s been suspended and Jim’s stuck with the ME who’d written that his last witness had committed suicide by ice-picking himself in the back. The captain confesses that she likes Nygma too, but can’t take down the ME as everyone’s still watching her after the Flass incident.

At Maroni’s, Oswald’s telling a carefully edited version of The Downfall Of Fish Mooney when Maroni gets a call from Fish herself, who gives him the real story. Maroni quickly whisks an unknowing Oswald off to his hunting cabin in the country, where he delivers a speech on the value of pure air and simple living. Oswald’s not into it but plays along . . . until Maroni starts making thinly veiled accusations. When Maroni goes out to get wood, Oswald quickly grabs the mobster’s handgun and tucks it at the small of his back. Just in time, too, because when Maroni gets back he insists that they demonstrate their perfect honesty with each other by exchanging secrets. Not good. Finally, Maroni spills about his call from Fish, then directly accuses Oswald as he tries to talk his way out. Talking won’t cut it. Oswald’s forced to break out the gun and shoot Maroni, but finds that it’s loaded with blanks roughly .2 seconds before descending into unconsciousness, courtesy of Maroni’s fist. It’s lights out for the Penguin.

Jim and Dr. Leslie Thompkins meet for dinner, where he asks her opinion on Adam’s autopsy results and is an awkward dork about romance. (Leslie doesn’t mind). Their date’s interrupted by a call: the second victim had recovered enough to tell staff that he’d been attacked by two men. Uh-oh. Meanwhile, Scottie thanks Bullock for coming to the group and they talk fears ---- hers is of swimming pools. Bullock reveals that he’s scared most of the time and even admits it to the group. Feelings time. Next up is Dr. Crane, who gives his name as ‘Todd’ and talks about a crushing fear of failure. Mid-speech, he’s overcome by emotion and rushes out, followed by Scottie. Bullock gets suspicious and leaves just in time to see Todd pull out with an unconscious Scottie in the back of his spacious and creeper-tastic van.

Oswald’s having an even worse day. Refusing to listen to his arguments, Maroni locks him in a to-be-crushedcar and starts the squishin’. Frantic, Oswald resorts to calling him, but Maroni unsympathetically tells him to take it like a man and hangs up. As the car rapidly reduces in size, Oswald sees the number of the salvage company and calls, getting the man operating the crusher and telling him that Don Falcone will skin him alive for killing his right-hand man if he goes through with it. Spooked, the operator shuts the crusher down and runs, followed momentarily by a confused and angry Maroni. When Maroni returns, Oswald’s gone. "Son of a bitch!" he rages. Maybe he and Fish can form their own support group.

Shenanigans are afoot back at the station. Nygma returns a now-tiny pencil to his crush Kristen Kringle, who tells him that he’s odd, but she’s sorry he’s been suspended and wishes that something could be done. Something can, in fact, be done. That night, Nygma picks the lock of the ME’s locker . . . and in the morning, when the ME opens it, he’s greeted by a deluge of dead limbs. Two cops see him. He denies guilt, but they’re not having it. He’s fired.

Figuring that ‘Todd’ will stick to his usual ‘confront them with their worst fears’ MO, Bullock talks to Scottie’s mom and learns that Scottie had almost drowned in one particular swimming pool as a child. Off he and Jim go. At the pool, Dr. Crane has a bound Scottie poised at the edge of the water when his son Jonathon shows up, needing money for the parking meter. While he’s obviously affected by Scottie’s terror, he obeys his father and returns to the van. Seconds before the detectives arrive, Dr. Crane pushes a helpless Scottie into the pool. Bullock’s able to save her ---- but Dr. Crane evades Jim and escapes. I sense a sequel episode. Later, Jim gets some new info on the case courtesy of Leslie, who had not only read Adam’s file but had also examined the body and tells Jim that Adam’s adrenals, or ‘fear glands’, were removed. She seems interested in the work and Jim suggests that she apply to be their new ME before asking her out to dinner and confessing to a powerful urge to kiss her. While he’s shy, mindful of his ‘hard cop’ image, she’s more daring and they end up making out like teenagers while the rest of the station stares.

Nygma happily regards Jim and Leslie before going to see Kristen and telling her of his reinstatement. She doesn’t seem enthused, and he’s disappointed . . . but, as he goes to leave, she calls him back and tells him that he owes her a new pencil. He’s pleased, and she smiles. Aw. Less aw is to be had on Fish’s boat-outta-town. She’s relaxing in her cabin when she hears screaming and shots. The captain throws open her door and tells her to come, he can hide her, but is soon gunned down. His murderer steps forward. He’s a black guy wearing a red beret, a knotted neckerchief, and a bandolier ---- and he and Fish seem to recognize each other. They both growl and rush forward as the screen fades to black.

The only new (and confirmed) comics reference this episode is the Crane family. Jonathon will grow up to become the Scarecrow, a psychologist supervillain who specializes in the study of fear and uses various drugs(primarily a hallucinogenic ‘fear gas’) to exploit the fears of his opponents. While this isn’t confirmed, the man with the pig mask might be a reference to the Batman villain Professor Pyg (there was another possible Pyg reference back in episode three, so the writers do seem to be hinting at something to come).

Two members of the Crane family are on the loose, The Penguin’s beaten death yet again, and Fish is gearing up for a fight. Check back next week for episode fifteen’s article, and see what’s coming up on Gotham

The Scarecrow

"The Scarecrow" is the star of Season 1 Episode 15 of Gotham.

"The Scarecrow" is Episode 15 of Gotham and, after "The Fearsome Dr. Crane," we can all guess what’s going to happen here. We kick off with an elderly high school teacher being terrified and attacked by guys dressed like zombies. Jim and Bullock investigate his death and find missing adrenals, just like the previous murders. Jim wonders what the murderer’s doing with them. Luckily, with the power of TV, we quickly find out. Switch to an atmospheric and partially-ruined mansion, where Dr. Gerald Crane uses the adrenals to create a serum. He makes his way to the base of a staircase and injects himself with it, only to experience a vision of a woman walking down the stair, enveloped in flame. Addressing him by name, she demands to know why he won’t help her. He cowers and trembles as she approaches.

At the station, Jim and Bullock say hi to their new ME: Dr. Leslie Thompkins. She and Jim pretend to be acquainted only slightly from their time at Arkham when the captain asks (which seems rather odd, given that the last episode saw them making out in full view of everyone in the station, but okay). Back to the case, Bullock flips though the yearbook of the murdered teacher’s school and is startled to find a picture of their murderer as the school’s biology teacher. High school really does kill in Gotham. Now they know his name. Off to the school, where the principal tells them that Crane hasn’t come in for three weeks. She describes him as a good teacher and a protective father, although he was sometimes very quiet. She attributes this to his losing his wife in a car crash six or seven years back.

When the detectives ask if Crane had ever talked about fears or phobias, the principal immediately guesses what they’re talking about and shows them a paper Crane had written a few months ago on that very subject. He was obsessed, believing that fear was both an evolutionary flaw in humans and the cause of all crime. Jim asks if he’d killed all those people and taken their glands to test a theory. No, says the principal, he wasn’t trying to prove he was right about fear. He was trying to cure himself of it. Back at the station, Nygma reads the paper and agrees. Crane was trying to inoculate himself again fear with concentrated doses of fear hormones. Jim checks out the paper and notices that Crane had developed protocols both for himself and a ‘subject B.' Who could this be? Switch to the mansion, where Crane again injects himself and sees the fiery woman. This time, she stays quiet and he doesn’t cower. He tells his son Jonathon that it’s his turn next, and he’ll be cured of fear forever. Jonathon is less than enthusiastic.

After hearing of Oswald’s near-death-via-Maroni experience, Falcone gives him Fish Mooney’s old club, telling Oswald to redecorate it. He’s publically with Falcone now and needs to open the club again and make some money. Falcone will deal with Maroni. The two mobsters meet and chat, but Maroni’s still pretty into the idea of Penguin murder. Falcone says that he likes Oswald because he’s clever and knows his place, and knows that a ‘freakish little man’ like him will never be the boss. (Readers, feel free to pause for laughter). He ends up trading Maroni the chance to torture a previously-captured chief justice of Gotham in exchange for Oswald’s life. Everyone’s happy with that deal. Well, except the chief justice. Him, not so much.

Oswald, meanwhile, arrives at the station to hand-deliver an invite to his club’s opening party to Jim and is annoyed to have a run-in with Nygma. He doesn’t appreciate Nygma’s riddles. Nygma snarkily dispenses penguin facts. They’re both cattier than an entire season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. After getting rid of Nygma and death-glaring after him, Oswald goes over all sunny upon catching sight of Jim and happily invites him to the party . . . then, when Jim says ‘no thanks’, offers to help out if Jim’s on a difficult case. Jim shoots him down in no uncertain terms and says that he doesn’t want either Oswald’s help or for him to come to the station. Aw. Oswald immediately goes pale (well, paler than usual) and tells Jim that he shouldn’t treat him this way, one day soon he’ll need Oswald’s help and ‘walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.' He wishes Jim good luck with the case before pressing the invitation into his hand and asking him to please reconsider coming. It won’t be the same without him.

When Oswald leaves, Jim crumples and tosses the invite. Rejected. On the case front, Jim suggests that they need to figure out why Crane’s so obsessed with fear. His wife was killed in a car crash, Bullock provides. They check out the accident and find that it wasn’t a car crash at all, Karen Crane had burned to death in a house fire with Gerald and Jonathon downstairs. Most likely, the fact that his own fear prevented him from possibly saving his wife is what’s driving Gerald’s particular brand of crazy. The detectives head out to the old Crane house. At the house, Gerald’s finally able to extinguish the flames in his vision. He shouts for Jonathon, to administer his second injection, but is forced to chase him down when he sees his son running away. He catches up with a tearful Jonathon by an old scarecrow and brings him back to the house, where Jim and Bullock arrive just as he’s preparing the injection.

Gerald grabs his equipment and bolts with Jonathon in tow, fetching up at the base of the scarecrow and readying a syringe, whispering that it’s the only way when Jonathon tells him that it’s too much. "It’ll be fine," Gerald says, disturbingly robotically, "I love you, son." He injects Jonathon with a massive dose of serum as the teen yells for him to stop, then collapses backward and stares up at the scarecrow. As the scarecrow appears to him to come to terrifying, snarling life, Jonathon starts to scream. Jim and Bullock follow the noise and shoot Gerald when he walks toward them, firing his own gun and proclaiming his lack of fear. With Gerald down, Jim rushes to Jonathon and cradles his seizing body. The scarecrow looms ominously over them both.

Meanwhile, almost nobody comes to Oswald’s party . . . except Maroni, who says that he’s safe for the time being, but he’d better hope that Falcone lives a long life. The second he’s out of the picture, so’s Oswald. Comforting. Things aren’t going so well for Fish either. She wakes in an underground prison-thing and right off the bat is faced by a couple of potential rapists, who she successfully faces down. A smaller guy beside her is impressed. She talks to him, learning that his name is Kelly and he doesn’t know where they are. The prisoner in charge is a guy named Mace, holder of the only blade in the prison. With Kelly backing her, Fish manages to get close to Mace. (Assuming that this prison’s in Gotham, it’s kind of strange that none of these people know who she is. But they don’t, giving Fish space to be her unexpected and badass self. Score).

Mace pulls her onto his lap, telling her not to talk so much and calling her ‘baby’ ---- only to be most surprised when she snatches his knife and stabs him in the neck, calmly telling him not to call her baby. As he bleeds out, Fish takes control of the crowd and announces that she’s in charge now and things are going to change. Just then, armed guards drag in an obviously injured woman, dumping her on the floor and retreating. "Myeyes . . . they took my eyes," the woman manages, casting her bloody sockets up as Fish approaches. Yikes. Fish’s storyline is getting pretty dark, even for Gotham.

Jim visits Jonathon in hospital and is told by the doctors that he’ll live . . . but also that they’d run a CAT scan on him and discovered that, although the hormones have worn off, the effects remain. The doctor tells Jim that Jonathon is in a state of constant terror, seeing the thing he fears most every waking hour. Cut to Jonathon’s perspective. He’s restrained in his hospital bed, struggling desperately as he sees the nightmarish scarecrow crawling over his bed and lunging at him. It darts forward as if to bite him, and he throws his head back and screams.

The primary reference here is, of course, that Jonathon Crane will eventually become the Scarecrow, a supervillain whose greatest weapon is fear. He’ll definitely have a lot of personal experience to draw on. There’s also a subplot in The Scarecrow where young Bruce goes hiking in an attempt to recreate a yearly hike with his father, and, in the process, ends up tumbling down a rocky hill and badly injuring his ankle. He’s forced to create a makeshift splint and haul himself hand over hand to the top, which reminded me of the pit scene in The Dark Knight Rises. He and Alfred end up staying in the woods until daybreak, and Alfred says that the woods are ‘positively cushy’ compared to other places he’s slept, another hint that he’s based on Alfred-the-former-Royal-Marine from Batman: Earth One. Lastly, we have a likely teaser in Leslie, who mentions buying circus tickets for Jim and herself. This seems like it might be where Gotham will introduce the Flying Graysons, already confirmed to appear at some point during the series.

The Blind Fortune Teller

"The Blind Fortune Teller" reveals the future of Season 1 Episode 16 of Gotham.

Episode 16 of Gotham is "The Blind Fortune Teller." Joker fans, this is probably your time. The episode begins with Jim and Leslie at the circus, watching the Flying Graysons and getting all lovey-dovey. The love is cut off rather abruptly when a group of clowns comes out, one socks a Grayson, and the two groups start brawling. Jim announces himself as police, then gets to interrogating. Nobody tells him anything. Leslie, who’s helping to patch up the victims, has more luck. She tends to young John Grayson, who, while being patched up, argues with a girl named Mary Lloyd. The Graysons and Lloyds have a long history of bad blood, and John and Mary let slip that they think this fight was over a woman named Lilah, a snake dancer in the sideshow. Apparently she’d ‘snake danced’ with both Lloyd family head Owen Lloyd, and Grayson family head Alphonse Grayson.

When she tells him, Jim praises Leslie for her investigating and tells her that he’s arranged for her to get a ride home. She, however, is not content to be sidelined. Jim eventually agrees to let her tag along. The ringmasterleads them to Lilah’s trailer, but the only one there is a sturdy ginger teenager in a long green coat-Lilah’s son, Jerome. He says that he doesn’t know where she is, she was supposed to be home ages ago and he’s worried. The ringmaster tries to convince Jim that she’s off on a one night stand, but Jim thinks not (she hadn’t taken her coat, hat, or purse) and asks Jerome to release her snake, Sheba.

The four of them follow Sheba the bloodhound-snake . . . who leads them to Lilah’s obviously murdered body, under a tarp in the back of a wagon. Jerome collapses to his knees and Leslie comforts him. Jim, meanwhile, notices a hesitance in the ringmaster’s demeanor and, after pressing, forces the man to admit that he’d known she was there. Still, he claims, she’d been dead when they’d found her and they’d planned to give her a proper funeral. He takes Jim to the place where she had been found. Only he and the heads of the various circus families had known, and they’d figured that, if an outsider had killed her, they wouldn’t be caught. If it was one of them, they’d find out and deal with the culprit. Sounds legit. Jim arrests him anyway.

While Jim deals with the circus, Fish Mooney continues to take charge of her co-prisoners. While standing on another inmate as a podium (no, really), she passionately addresses the crowd, saying that they’re being used as transplant donors and are merely spare parts. Unless, that is, they do exactly what she says and follow her plan. Some will die, but many will live. The crowd’s in. Next time the guards come to demand a prisoner, Fish steps forth and proposes a trade: sixty crates of water and thirty blankets. If they don’t agree, Fish will have the prisoner they want killed. They make the mistake of threatening her, and, at a gesture from Fish, the prisoner dies. The lead guard says that she’ll have to come meet "the manager." Fish says that she’ll only go if he stays as hostage. After asking their boss, her suggestion is implemented. Time to meet the manager.

At the station, Jim brings a bunch of circus performers in for questioning and takes Jerome aside, asking him about his mother. Jerome seems open enough. Maybe . . . too open. He talks very candidly about his mother’s extensive sex life, including confirming that both Alphonse Greyson and Owen Lloyd were lovers of hers. Off to question them. Owen’s story is that Alphonse had killed Lilah because she was about to choose Owen over him. Alphonse believes that Owen had punched him because he’d murdered Lilah and feared Alphonse would kill him in revenge. Both agree that their family feud began over an accusation of horse-stealing back before WWI. While having statements taken, John and Mary keep arguing over whose family had killed Lilah. It comes out that they used to be a couple. The case is further complicated when Leslie puts the time of death at 3:00pm, as both Owen and Alphonse had been in rehearsal from 2:30pm-4:15pm.

Jim holds onto them, but tells everyone else that they’re free to go back to the circus-although not before telling them to stop fighting, to look at where their friends are and see the good their feud’s doing them. As the circus folks clear out, an old blind man approaches Jim. Introducing himself as Paul Cicero, he tells Jim that he’s a psychic and has a message from beyond the grave from Lilah, "The servant of the devil lies in the garden of the iron sisters." Jim’s sarcastic and disbelieving, but Leslie’s interested. That night she invites Jim over for dinner, and he’s just beginning her delicious home-cooked meal when she suddenly has a lightbulb moment and figures out the message. It’s telling them to search in the park under Arkham Bridge. Jim would rather stay and eat, but Leslie insists on checking it out right then. Off they go.

As they search the park, Jim remarks that it’s ‘no place for a lady’ and Leslie tells him he’s a hypocrite, wanting a strong woman yet wanting her to stay home and bake. They argue playfully until Jim finds a bloodiedhatchet, just like the one that possibly killed Lilah. It’s got an inverted pentagram and THFC marked on the side. Jim tells Leslie that it stands for The Hell Fire Club, a Satanist cult who’d committed a series of ritual murders, but they hadn’t been active in years and he doesn’t think they’re starting again now. Next stop, the station. Jim had phoned before driving over, asking uniforms to pick up two people and hold them separately without realization of the other’s presence, and it’s been done. He heads toward the back. Leslie’s pretty upset that he’s leaving her out (although Lord knows why, seeing as she’s not a cop), and they have an increasingly emotional (and, on Jim’s side, confused) argument, until he finally caves and brings her along, saying that she’d been right about his hypocrisy.

Interview room one contains Mr. Cicero, and Jim straight-up accuses him of planting the hatchet to divert attention from the real murderer. The psychic sticks to his "a little ghost told me" story. At a signal, a uniform brings in Jerome, who asks if they’ve found out who killed his mother. "You killed your mother, Jerome," Jim says flatly, then goes on to say that Mr. Cicero must be Jerome’s father, given the extent of his helping. Jerome denies both, but, when Mr. Cicero finally admits that he is, in fact, Jerome’s father, the boy puts his head down and whimpers . . . whimpers which slowly turn into maniacal laughter as he lifts it again. Interspersed with periods of sudden politeness, he viciously insults both his mother (calling her a ‘nagging drunken whore’) and Mr. Cicero, then dissolves into cackling. It’s an ugly scene. Afterward, Jim tries to comfort Leslie but she tells him she’s fine and had actually found it rather thrilling. "You are an unusual woman," Jim says, perplexed. "You just don’t know many women," Leslie replies. They smile and kiss, not noticing Barbara, who’s crushed to see that Jim has moved on.

Falcone, meanwhile, is less than pleased with Oswald’s club-running savvy. He’s letting his mother sing, his patrons are bored and confused, and he even knifes a guy who boos dear ol’ mom. Falcone sends Zsasz around with Butch. Initially, Oswald’s terrified, but he calms when Zsasz tells him that Falcone hadn’t wanted to throw Butch away, so he’d had Zsasz effectively brainwash him into submission. He knows everything about the club scene and is here to help Oswald out. Amazed, Oswald commands Butch to dance for him, which he does. "I do good work," Zsasz says proudly, as Oswald grins. John and Mary end up getting engaged and stop by to thank Jim for solving the murder and making his speech, causing their families to reconcile. John says that they’ll name their son after him, if they have one. Mary’s not so sure, but is thankful either way. After the happy couple leaves, Bullock wanders over and teases Jim about being cheery. Based on hissleeping somewhere without a razor and smelling of ladies’ soap, Bullock says that he’d definitely been dancing the horizontal tango last night. Jim tries to hide his smirk, but fails.

This episode has, of course, the big reference-the Joker. Jerome certainly seems a lot like Batman’s arch-nemesis, although he hasn’t yet been confirmed. Still, the similarities are pretty overwhelming. Mind you, there’s been a strong fan theory during Gotham’s run that Oswald will shed his Penguin feathers and turn out to be a surprise Joker, and there’s a line in this episode that seems to hint in that direction. During his interrogation, Jerome often breaks off streams of vitriol to look at Jim and end a statement with ". . . you know?" While Zsasz is being vaguely threatening to Oswald, Oswald looks at him and says, "Good manners cost nothing, you know?" with almost the exact same intonation as Jerome. Coincidence? Possibly, but it did feel intentional. Another big reference is the introduction of John and Mary, who will go on to become the parents of Dick Grayson (Robin, and, later, Nightwing). He’s not named Gordon, but detectives have been nicknamed "dicks." In a final possible reference, Bruce is shown with a notebook full of monster drawings, and one seems to look an awful lot like Bat-villain Killer Croc.

Red Hood

Bank robbery is the specialty of the "Red Hood" gang in Season 1 Episode 17 of Gotham.

Episode 17 of Gotham, "Red Hood," is the one containing that sceneyep, you know the one. Steel yourself. We begin with a bunch of guys robbing a bank. Just before they head in, one of their number (later revealed to be named Floyd) pulls on a handmade red hood, clashing with everybody else clad in black and messing with their collective robber-chic style. They’re not pleased. Still, the heist goes off well: Floyd takes charge, makes some jokes, tells customers that they’re stealing the bank’s money and not the peoples’, and even remains un-hit when a guard empties a clip in his general direction. When sirens are heard, he casts handfuls of cash into the air, and the resulting scrum of people enables their escape. Success! Later, less success. He starts excitedly talking about how they’re being referred to as ‘the Red Hood gang’ and he’s going to be famous, then declares that whoever has the hood should lead. The oldest guy there, Destro (and no, not the G.I. Joe villain), promptly shoots him and takes the hood. Nobody objects.

"Another freak in a mask, awesome," Bullock says, when he and Jim get the case. We feel you, Bullock. The detectives eventually find a tape of Floyd casing the bank and notice he’s wearing a work shirt for Kleg’s Auto. Robber fail. They check Kleg’s out . . . and find Floyd’s body shoved in a freezer. Yes, the case is literally cold. Next day the gang pulls another job with Destro doing his best to imitate Floyd (including grudgingly tossing some cash to grateful patrons), and Jim and Bullock get a break ---- a Mr. Chiang says that he’d seen the Red Hood’s face, and he’s willing to describe him in return for having his parking tickets erased. Done. They form a lineup of suspects according to his description, and, when he quickly identifies Destro, the detectives decide to follow their suspect in hopes of catching the rest of the gang.

Meanwhile, at Wayne Manor, Alfred answers the door late at night and is surprised to find an old war buddy, Reggie Payne, who’s fallen on hard times. After his wife’s death, he says, he’d slipped into alcoholism and is now homeless. Bruce invites him to stay a few days. (Who else has a bad feeling about this?). The next day, after hearing that he and Alfred are training, Reggie asks Bruce to show him. Their exchange ends up getting pretty heated, and they’re just about to start a round with canes when Alfred puts a stop to it. Bruce is none too pleased. When Bruce leaves, Alfred asks Reggie if he’s ever had to raise a child before, describing it as the hardest thing he’s ever done. Reggie hasn’t, and apologizes if he’s overstepped, but says it’s obvious how much Alfred’s helped Bruce. Alfred corrects that Bruce had helped him and he’s a better person for knowing him, then tells Reggie that they should keep their past in the past.

Despite the addition of Butch, things aren’t going so hot at chez Oswald. Patrons heckle a comedian onstage, and, offstage, there’s another problem . . . they’re out of alcohol, and nobody will sell them more. (Butch explains that this is because Maroni controls the booze trade and loathes Oswald, and nobody’s willing to cross him). When Oswald plans to jack a truck of alcohol to replenish their supply, Butch steps in with some cops he’s got on his payroll and simply confiscates it for them. Guy’s pretty useful. Afterward, he and Oswald share a drink, toasting to ‘no longer playing the sidekick’. Noticing that Butch’s hands are getting shaky, Oswald asks if he misses Fish and confesses that he does, even after everything she’d done to him. Perhaps, he muses, it’s not their friends but their enemies that define them. He proposes a toast to her, but Butch declines, saying she’d gotten what she deserved. Ouch.

Don’t count her out just yet, Butch. Fish is led along a corridor ---- with rooms on both sides showing victims with missing parts ---- and shown into an equally creeptastic office. The glasses’d guy within tells her that he’s not the doctor, (who, he says, is a Dr. Dulmacher), but is authorized to speak on his behalf. She asks who he’s stealing body parts for. He replies that they have clients all over the world . . . and also there’s the doctor’s personal experiments. Shudder. He compliments Fish on her presence and gaze, then says that her eyes will fetch a pretty penny. Cue the Jaws theme. A man grabs her from behind as Glasses Guy announces that she has two choices: he can kill her and all her friends, or take her eyes now. "You forgot option three," Fish says, staring him down, then momentarily breaks her captor’s hold and grabs a nearby spoon, fighting through the pain to gouge out one of her own eyes and crush it underfoot, traumatizing viewers everywhere and securing her place as #1 Gotham badass. She manages a victorious smile before collapsing.

After a night spent telling war stories, (in which Reggie describes he and Alfred’s missions in the SAS to Bruce and comes a bit too close for comfort mentioning the mission that had ended with Alfred’s being taken prisoner), Bruce heads off to his room, and Reggie takes the chance to ask why Alfred’s hiding his true cold-blooded and lethal self from the boy (who’s actually listening around the corner). Alfred calmly informs Reggie that it’s been nice seeing him, and he’s found him some new clothes and packed a lunch for his departure the next day. Sayonara, Reggie. Not so fast, though ---- Alfred hears a noise in the night and comes down to find Reggie in the study, stealing valuables. Reggie claims to be in ‘real trouble’, but won’t tell Alfred when he asks. Then, when Alfred squeezes his shoulder and assures him that there’s always another way, Reggie stabs him in the chest and leaves him to bleed out on the floor. That’s cold. Bruce finds Alfred and frantically calls an ambulance, but it’s not looking good.

Destro goes back to his apartment, where he’s startled to find another member of the gang. This one demands the hood to make himself seem more impressive to his girlfriend (yes, really). Request denied. When the other guy pulls a gun, Destro calmly says, ‘you’d better use that thing, before I make you eat it’. He’s promptly shot. Oops. Jim and Bullock, who were outside practising their lurking skills, rush in, missing the intruder but finding Destro still alive. Jim also finds four loan rejection letters, three from now-robbed banks. Turns out Destro has been trying to get a loan to open a pastry shop. (Bullock approves of this). When the remaining robbers try to rob the fourth bank, police surround them, filling them with lead when they open fire. The third Red Hood is the last to go down, and, when it’s over, Jim removes the hood and stares at it . . . before getting a call about Alfred’s attack and dropping everything to rush off to the hospital.

There Jim finds a tearful Bruce standing at the foot of an unconscious and heavily intubated Alfred’s bed. Bruce tells Jim that he can’t lose Alfred, he’s all he has, then sobs into Jim’s chest as the detective holds on tight and comforts as best he can. Meanwhile, at Wayne Enterprises, Reggie shows snaps of Bruce’s detective wall and tells the assembled higher-ups that Bruce has nothing concrete or actionable, and that he doesn’t think he’s sought outside help. Yes, all of this was backlash from Bruce’s informing Wayne Enterprises management of his suspicions. Reggie goes on to say that this is a great time to make a move on Bruce, with Alfred, if he lives, in hospital for weeks at least. Molly Mathis (first introduced in Viper, where she was outwardly Bruce-friendly and inwardly pretty darn sinister) thanks him for his service.

Back with the slain robbers, police cover the bodies as, unnoticed by them, a young man picks up the red hood from the sidewalk nearby and puts it on. Staring at a police car, he slowly points his finger like a gun, squints, and pulls the ‘trigger’.

In references for this episode, first we have the Red Hood, and yet another Joker tease. In the comics, the Red Hood is a title passed from character to character, and, in The New 52, the Red Hood Gang is one of a young Bruce Wayne’s first targets before he officially becomes Batman. And here’s for the Joker hint ---- the first Red Hood appearing in comics was a man who, during the execution of a crime, fell into a vat of chemicals and emerged permanently disfigured. Quickly going insane, he became the Joker. And yes, the first Red Hood in this episode acted a fair bit like the Joker, easily jesting and playing to the crowd. The young man who picks up the hood isn’t entirely un-Jokery either, what with his fake ‘gun’.

Next, the Dollmaker (AKA Dr. Dulmacher). We first heard of him in Gotham when he was kidnapping homeless children. In the comics, he’s a gifted surgeon and serial killer who makes ‘dolls’ out of human body parts and wears a mask partially constructed from his dead father’s skin. Yikes. After that we have the confirmation of Alfred’s military career, seemingly modelling him after the Alfred of Batman: Earth One, who’s a former Royal Marine. Lastly, we have Selina and Ivy, who are now living with Barbara. Barbara lets the girls choose new clothes from her closet, and Ivy picks a green cardigan with a leaf pattern. Foreshadowing, anyone?

Everyone Has a Cobblepot

"Everyone Has a Cobblepot" in Season 1 Episode 18 of Gotham.

Episode eighteen of Gotham is ‘Everyone Has a Cobblepot’, and yes, we finally get to meet the Dollmaker. Fish wakes up with a bandage over her left ex-eye, being presided over by a guy who introduces himself as Dr. Francis Dulmacher. He seems intrigued by her. Before leaving, he comments that eyes are tricky things and they hadn’t been able to match her original color. Yes, that does mean what you think it means, and Fish removes the bandage to find a bright blue eye gazing back. Next time she sees him, she repeats that she could be the solution to his problems, the people in the basement trust her. He agrees conditionally, if she can retrieve his guard and prove she can provide him with the bodies. He also shows her what’ll happen if she fails. Giving gamers everywhere traumatic flashbacks to Outlast: Whistleblower, he reveals the head of his former manager on the cobbled-together body of a woman. As the man wakes and begins to scream in horror, Dulmacher looks on fondly and remarks that it’s amusing. Ah, villains.

Meanwhile, Jim’s outraged to hear that Flass is being released. He’d been totally cleared by a mystery witness, who Dent says was provided by Commissioner Loeb—who’s also backing Flass for President of the Policemen’s Union in the upcoming election. Determined to fight, Jim stops by Loeb’s office and accuses him of perverting the system. It was Jim’s investigation, and he knows there’s no witness with enough credibility to trump their evidence. Loeb is only too happy to show Jim a video of Bullock admitting to presenting false evidence. Yikes. Shocked and confused, Jim takes Bullock to task back at the station, and Bullock confesses that if he hadn’t done it he’d have lost his job and gone to prison. When he’d been held at gunpoint and told to shoot a suspect, ‘my Cobblepot didn’t come back’. And it’s not just him. Half the cops in the GCPD have a ‘Cobblepot’ and Loeb’s got the goods on all of them. It’s what he does.

Teaming up with Dent and disregarding the danger, Jim explains that Loeb’s blackmail scheme is the source of all his power. Is there anyone Loeb might’ve trusted with the evidence? Dent suggests that Loeb might’ve trusted Griggs, his old partner from back when he’d been a detective. Griggs, sadly, is not forthcoming, although he does react when they bring up Loeb’s wife’s death (she’d died suspiciously twenty years back, but nobody could prove Loeb had a hand in it) and especially when they mention Loeb’s secret files. Jim guesses that Loeb’s blackmailing him too, and Dent tells Griggs that this is his chance to breathe easy. Finally Griggs sends them to a bookkeeper named Xi Lu. Dent asks Jim if he wants to bring in Bullock. Nope. This later proves to be a poor decision, when Xi Lu gets a call during their visit ---- and every employee in the place promptly attacks Jim and Dent with knives. They’re only rescued by Bullock, who knocks a gate down with his car in order to save their bacon.

Yep, Griggs had set them up, and now Loeb knows they’re after his evidence cache. Bullock’s incredulous that they’d go on Griggs’ word anyway, describing him as a guy who’d turn on anyone to save his own skin as long as you scared him enough (and apparently not seeing the irony). Mind you, Bullock’s certain that he can get the truth out of Griggs. Sure enough, Bullock’s idea of dangling him out of the car while Jim drives proves compelling, and the man quickly spills that Falcone and Loeb are in it together and only they know where thestash is kept. Darn. Much to Jim’s reluctance, it’s time to visit the Penguin. Oswald’s delighted to see them, but wants something in return for the whole certain-death-by-Falcone risk he’s running if he helps out. Finally he agrees to assist for five minutes alone with the information and a favour from Jim.

Off to a farmhouse, which Oswald had overheard Falcone telling Loeb was a safe place. Our heroes (plus Oswald) wrangle an invite in by saying that they’ve been sent by Loeb. Soon, however, the elderly couple who lives there becomes suspicious . . . and then opens fire. Despite being taken aback by the sudden elder assault, Jim and Bullock manage to subdue them and leave Oswald armed and in charge while they go check out the upstairs. (Protip: never leave the Penguin armed and in charge of anything). When the detectives open the suspiciously-locked attic and go inside, they’re surprised to find it decorated like a child’s bedroom. Inside there’s an obviously disturbed woman who’s dressed like a little girl and introduces herself as Miriam Loeb. She asks if her father had sent them and talks of him fondly. He visits every week.

While Miriam retrieves her craft projects to show off, Jim theorizes that maybe she’d seen her father kill her mother and that’s why Loeb had locked her away. This idea is quickly quashed when Miriam shows them the projects in question ---- necklaces made from the bones of songbirds that she’d lured to her window and killed. She describes crushing their skulls, and Jim carefully asks if the same thing had happened to her mother. No, she says, she’d used a candlestick on her mother. Like the birds, she had refused to stop singing, and it was Miriam’s turn to sing at dinner. Ah. Just then a bang is heard from downstairs, and Jim and Bullock find that the old couple has rushed Oswald and escaped. Oops. Oswald’s just as unsettled to see Miriam, especially when she talks about how much she loves birds and advances on him.

While Oswald reconsiders his Penguin-y life choices, Jim heads over to Loeb’s office and drops one of Miriam’s necklaces on his desk. Immediately realizing what’s up, Loeb tells Jim that he could weather the scandal if Jim exposes him, and Jim says he’s sure he could . . . but that’s not why he’d kept Miriam locked away. He loves her, he’s done everything he can to keep her out of Arkham, and Jim believes he’ll keep doing it. In return for keeping Loeb’s secret, Jim demands Flass to be tried fairly and for every piece of evidence Loeb has on Bullock and the other cops to be delivered to Dent. Loeb refuses. If he does that, he says, he’ll be dead. He offers Jim Bullock’s file alone, and Jim agrees, but asks for one more thing. That thing? Throwing his support behind Jim for Union President.

After Loeb does, Jim delivers Bullock’s file to the man himself. He’s happy to have it, but tells Jim to be careful. Oswald will be coming for that favour. Switch to Oswald, who’s telling the elderly couple that he knows he’d told them that he would get them out of town to avoid their inevitable punishment, but he’s only got one train ticket ---- and he’ll let them decide who gets it. He ends up sipping his drink and laughing as he watches the woman strange the man, then, when she asks what time the train is, says, ‘oh, there’s no train. I just needed your help. I was down to one shell’ and blows her away via shotgun. The Penguin’s quickly amping up his evil factor.

In the basement, the prisoners are getting restless when Fish turns up and says she’d presented their demands to the man upstairs. First, he requires them to release his guard as an act of good faith. They do. Then Fish snaps her fingers, and guards seize a few prisoners, including Fish’s loyal second-in-command, Kelly. "I’m sorry, honey, you’re on a list," she tells him, "doctor’s orders." He’s shocked and confused, and the remaining prisoners start showing signs of revolt. Fish sternly tells them that she’d warned them that not everybody would live, and the sacrifice of the taken prisoners means the possible survival of the rest. Upstairs, Dulmacher applauds her and welcomes her to upper management, then shows her to a window. Drawing the curtain, he tells Fish that now she’ll see why he’s not worried about her betraying him and escaping. She does see. They’re in the only building on a rocky and secluded island, totally surrounded by choppy waves.

There aren’t a whole lot of new comics references this episode, although we do get the big reveal of the Dollmaker. In the comics, he’s a masterful surgeon who makes ‘dolls’ out of people-pieces, and Gotham’s version seems decently accurate ---- although he does forego the in-comics mask made out of his dead father’s skin. (Probably not conducive to running a big luxury hospital). Bruce, meanwhile, is forming a plan to track down Reggie, having figured out that he’s working with Wayne Enterprises. One more step toward Batman. Dent again appears in this episode, and again one side of his face is usually shadowed. Nygma tries once more to woo Kristen, and finds out that she’s dating a cop ---- who calls Nygma ‘Riddle Man’. Hint hint. Lastly, we have the Penguin having a sadistic good time by tricking the elderly lady into killing her partner, then surprise-killing her. This seems to lend a bit of credence to the fan theory that Oswald might eventually turn into Gotham’s Joker, as it seems far more Jokery than Penguiny.

Beasts of Prey

"Beasts of Prey" roam free in Season 1 Episode 19 of Gotham.

In Episode 19 of Gotham, "Beasts of Prey," Bruce moves closer to the truth, Fish Mooney is her usual badass self, and 50 Shades of Grey goes terribly, terribly wrong. We kick off with Fish investigating ways off Evil Institute Island. She sees a helicopter and a boat, but, when she ventures outside, an alarm sounds and a posse of armed guys (led by "the catcher") almost take her out before she’s able to convince them to let her off with a warning. Not the best escape route. She heads downstairs to find her former minion Kelly, who’s lying wounded on the floor, and tell him that she’s got an escape plan but needs his help. Later, she acquires the support of some of the bigger male prisoners, and tells them her plan: leaving via the boat, after she steals the keys for it. One guy asks why they’re not taking the chopper. Fish asks if any of them can fly one. Nope. “That’s why,” she tells them.

At the station, a young officer named Moore praises Jim for being a Gotham detective who actually closes cases, then tells him about a case he’d been a first responder on. A woman named Grace Fairchild was found brutally stabbed to death, and the detectives assigned to it have gotten nowhere. Jim’s initially hesitant to take it on, but says he’ll look into it when Moore tells him all about how he wants to be a part of the cleaning up of the GCPD and how bringing Jim in on this case is his way of trying to do that. Aw. Later, when Jim stops by the morgue to take Leslie to dinner, she sees the file and asks about it. The crime’s strange because Grace had been found two weeks ago, but been reported missing four months earlier, and Leslie’s startled to find that she’s about Leslie’s age and build and had disappeared in Leslie’s own neighbourhood. (Cue spooky music). The last contact from her had been Grace calling her mom from a bar, but detectives hadn’t been able to find it. Leslie suggests that Jim check out the trendy new hidden speakeasies.

Jim does, roping in a reluctant Bullock, and manages to find a bartender who remembers Grace from four months ago ---- primarily because of her hot date. Here we get a flashback to Grace and the guy, who’s named Jason Lennon, and it’s pretty clear that Gotham’s spoofing 50 Shades of Grey with an innocent-looking (and frequently lip-biting) Grace sitting across from the broody and dark-suited Jason. He tells her that what he’s looking for frightens women. Not, it’s not BDSM, it’s ‘unconditional love’. Grace is quickly on board to head back to his expensive-looking home, which she compliments as Jason hangs up her coat . . . and we catch a glimpse of his vast collection of leather restraints. We already know that this won’t be ending well. Later, Leslie tells the detectives that she’s completed Grace’s autopsy and finds it strange that she’s not physically damaged apart from the stabbing. Bullock suggests that she might’ve run off on her own and the disappearance and murder aren’t related, but Jim’s certain that Grace was taken. Cut to another flashback, where Grace, unaware of her 50 shades of prey situation, tries to leave in the morning for work. Jason soon makes it clear that he won’t let her go.

Back at the evil institute, Fish sneaks into Dulmacher’s office to steal the keys, and is just about to leave when he returns. Busted. He accuses her of trying to escape and threatens to shoot her, but is mollified when she claims that she’d in fact been trying to use the knife on his desk to kill herself, because she’s so terrified of ending up as one of his creations. Tearfully, she tells him that she’s faced dangerous men, ‘but none like you,Dollmaker’. Too buzzed from the ego boost to realize that this isn’t an in-character Fish move, Dulmacher tells her that, if she tries anything like this again, her nightmare will come true. He’ll bring her back from the dead if he has to and make her into something the world has never seen. (Sadly, he does not cackle evilly). Then he lets her go, keys still in her pocket.

A break in the Grace Fairchild case occurs when Nygma comes up with a missing piece of evidence. Or, rather, a photocopy of a missing piece of evidence. Upon seeing the photocopy of the hand-painted picture of a broken heart that had been left by Grace’s body, Bullock reacts immediately and tells Jim that he’s dealing with a serial killer. Another flashback, where Grace and Jason are having a quiet dinner ---- with her in restraints. When he finds that she’s burned the meal, Jason snaps and tells her that he doesn’t think this is working out before tying her up and taking a photo (and putting it with his collection of 12 other snapshots of previous victims). “You know, I really thought you were the one . . . but don’t worry, sooner or later, I’ll find her,” he says, before heading towards Grace with a knife. Jason, I think I know why women don’t want to date you.

Down in the institute basement, Fish tells the big guys that it’s time. Once upstairs, she hands them the boat key and tells them to run while she goes back to get Kelly. They head off, and she returns, only to encounter Dulmacher in the corridor outside the basement. He takes her to task for lying to him and, extending a stun gun, tells her what wonders he’ll make of her parts . . . before the prison doors open and Fish smirks at him. The prisoners leave him wounded on the ground and take off after Fish, as, outside, the catcher and his men pursue the big guys. Now to the helicopter, which, as it turns out, Fish can fly. Kelly straps into the passenger seat, a bunch of other prisoners climb into the back, and they lift off ---- but, unfortunately for Fish, the catcher realizes what’s up and manages to fire off one well-placed shot as they rise. Fish is struck in the side and begins to bleed heavily, but keeps control of the chopper.

With Alfred still out of commission, Bruce heads out to try to track down Reggie, enlisting Selina in the hunt. He tells her that he’s searched all the Gotham gun ranges after Alfred’s remark that Reggie would probably be at a shooting gallery for a few days, and Selina laughs at him. He, she says, really needs to get out more. She takes him to an abandoned building filled with drug addicts, where Bruce quickly recognizes Reggie and demands to know who’d sent him to Wayne Manor. After Selina threatens to drop his bag of drugs out the window, Reggie finally spills that he’d been hired by a woman named Mathis (presumably Molly Mathis, who’s appeared previously) and a man named Sid Bunderslaw, who he’d dealt with directly. They’d wanted Reggie to find out how far Bruce’s investigation had progressed. When Reggie goes to collect his drugs from Selina, he’s enraged when she drops them, and even more so when Bruce tells him that he’s sick and needs help. Reggie retorts that he’s going to inform Bunderslaw and let him go after them before leaning out the window to try to find his drugs. Bruce clearly wants to give him a push, but he can’t bring himself to do it. With no such qualms, Selina shoves Reggie, then walks away as Bruce gazes down at the broken body in the street.

Bullock fills Jim in on the serial killer, who always has the same M.O. Nobody knows his identity, but he’s been nicknamed The Ogre, and Jim hasn’t heard of him before because he retaliates against any investigating cop by killing their loved ones. Nobody’s willing to investigate, and he’s the GCPD’s dirty little secret. In fact, Bullock wonders how Jim had ended up with the case in the first place. Time to question Moore, who (upon being forcefully interrogated by Bullock) admits that Commissioner Loeb had ordered him to get Jim to take the case. Ouch. Bullock encourages Jim to drop it, but Jim replies that the blood of the next victim will be on his hands if he does. Bullock points out that, if he doesn’t drop it, that blood could be Leslie’s. Jim tries to call Leslie and gets her voicemail, then spots Loeb and confronts him angrily, telling him that he’d tried to work with him, but now he’s crossed a line. Jim’s going to find The Ogre and put him behind bars, and then he’s coming after Loeb. “You’re done,” he tells the Commissioner grimly, then leaves as Loeb stares after him.

There aren’t many new comics references in Beasts of Prey. Although there are a few DC Comics baddies with ogre-related names, none are related to the name ‘Jason Lennon’ or seem to fit into this context. Bruce does amp up his detecting fieldwork quite a bit, and he seems to be gaining more confidence in his skills, but he’s not quite at Batman levels just yet. One solid reference (although it’s not exactly a surprise) is that Fish very definitely calls Dulmacher ‘Dollmaker’, which I don’t think has happened before on Gotham.

The Ogre’s on the loose, Fish is seriously wounded, and the full extent of the Wayne Enterprises corruption seems about to be revealed. Check back next week for episode twenty’s article, and see what happens next on Gotham!

Under the Knife

The city is "Under the Knife" in Season 1 Episode 20 of Gotham.

Time for Episode 20 of Gotham! It’s called "Under the Knife," and it’s absolutely riddled with villains. Remember the end of Episode 19? Well, Jim’s still unable to contact Leslie and is freaking out that she’s been taken by the Ogre. Luckily for our hero, he finds her in her apartment before going full Liam Neeson. He wants her to leave town, but she refuses. While they’re kissing it out, the Ogre (AKA Jason) is meeting up with... Barbara. Uh-oh. They head back to her place after a drink, and, while her back’s turned, he asks about her boyfriend and gets ready to make with the stabbing—but doesn’t, because Barbara tells him that she doesn’t have a boyfriend and nobody would care if she was hit by a bus the next day. If he was thinking there would be less chance of getting attached if she had a boyfriend, she goes on, he wouldn’t get attached anyway because once he saw the real her he’d run screaming like everyone else. “I have to say, you’re not who I imagined you’d be,” Jason tells her, looking intrigued. “Surprise,” she whispers back, then turns away and tells him that he can let himself out. Smooth.

After speaking with the detective who’d investigated the Ogre’s first murder eight years back, Jim and Bullock learn that his first victim had been employed as a nurse at a private medical clinic uptown and head over to talk to the man in charge (and, while waiting, marvel a bit at the dramatic before-and-after pictures of the clinic’s plastic surgeries). The doctor confirms that she had indeed worked there as a nurse, although not for long before her death, and was recommended to them by a patient. Mind you, he won’t release the patient’s name unless they get a warrant. When the detectives leave, Jim spots a big black car down an alley and remembers that it had also been in front of the station earlier. Time to investigate. That doesn’t last long, as the car suddenly roars to life, accelerates, and almost hits them before getting away. They don’t catch a plateor see a face, but Jim’s sure it was the Ogre.

Bruce and Selina, meanwhile, are having it out. Bruce is really upset about Reggie’s death, but Selina’s unrepentant and insists that, 1. she’d saved their lives, and 2. Bruce had wanted to do it too, he just didn’t have the guts. Finally they drop it and decide to focus on investigating new suspect #1: Sid Bunderslaw, who’s also Wayne Enterprises upper management. The plan is to get the key to his office safe and look in there, so, back at Wayne Manor, Bruce tells Alfred he’s decided to go to the upcoming Wayne Enterprises Charity Ball. Alfred wants to come as bodyguard, but Bruce says that he’s already invited Selina and Alfred backs off in the interests of not cramping the style of young love. Aw. Bruce has some formal wear sent to Selina at Barbara’s place, and Barbara (not a little bit startled to find that Selina’s going with Bruce Wayne), gives youngCatwoman a polished and ball-ready makeover. It takes Bruce completely by surprise, and he’s only able to manage that she looks ‘very nice’. Bruce, you cutie. Barbara tells them to have fun and look out for her ---- she’ll be there too, representing the gallery she works for.

Ogre

Back at the station, Jim and Bullock are telling the Captain about their near-death experience when Jim gets a taunting call from the Ogre, confirming that it was him behind the wheel and assuring Jim that someone he loves will be killed if he keeps on. Jim decides to show the man he’s not afraid by (after making sure Leslie’s okay with it) holding a press conference, providing details about the case to the press before directly addressing the Ogre. He tells him that his days of hiding are over, Jim’s coming after him and isn’t going to stop. You go, Jim. Shortly afterward Bullock gets a call from the doctor. Under warrant, he tells them that the patient’s name was Mrs. Constance van Groot, and Jim and Bullock take off to the van Groot mansion. They’d figured the Ogre was rich, so maybe he’s her son.

Not so much. At the mansion, they find the long-dead body of Constance upstairs in her bed. Downstairs, they save the life of the butler, Jacob Skolimsky, who was trying to hang himself. The face of a boy (and, later, a young man) has been scratched out of every photo in the place, and they think it’s Skolimsky’s son, but there’s nothing on him in the system when they check. After Jim presses, Jacob tells the story of how Mrs. van Groot had doted on his son so much that the boy started to believe that she was his secret mother. She’d even encouraged him in the notion. About ten years ago he’d confronted her and demanded that she acknowledge him, only to have her tell him mockingly that it was all a big joke. He had killed her, but his father insists that he’s not really a bad person and laughs bitterly when Jim talks about the Ogre’s seducing of women. Jacob shows the detectives the only pictures he’d managed to save of his son, saying that even his mother couldn’t love his face, it’s why she’d left. His son was born terribly disfigured, with a big portion of his face gnarled, dark and rock-like. It certainly doesn’t seem like their man ---- until Jim has an idea and goes back to the clinic, where the doctor reluctantly confirms that they’d treated him and gives Jim a loose sketch of the man’s new face. Yep, it’s the Ogre.

To the ball, where Barbara’s standing by herself watching the dancers . . . until a man asks if she’d care todance. And it’s Jason, back for another round. He’d seen the invite at her apartment, he says, and had donated $10,000 just to get one himself. Wow. He tells her that he’d felt something with her and couldn’t let it slip away, she’d said that people run screaming when they see the real her and he knows how that feels. He knows what it’s like to be one person on the inside and have the world see another. It had almost destroyed him and he can see it destroying her, but he’d created the person he is now and can do the same for Barbara. Isn’t she tired of playing games and hiding? “Yes,” she breathes, and he starts doing some seductive ear-whispering. (We don’t get to hear what he’s saying, but, depending on the level of seduction involved, that might not be a bad thing).

Elsewhere at the ball, Bruce again brings up Reggie’s death, saying that it can never happen again. Selina tells him again that she had no choice, but Bruce replies that he doesn’t accept that. She’s right, he did want to kill Reggie, but there’s a line and he’ll never cross it. She says that she guesses that’s where they’re different then, because if she had to do it again she would, and it wouldn’t bother her one bit. Kitty definitely has claws. This argument is derailed when Bruce spots Bunderslaw, and is able to distract him long enough for Selina topickpocket his key and make an impression of it.

Nygma’s not doing so well. He notices bruises on the arm of his crush, Kristen, and she confesses that her boyfriend (Officer Dougherty) had done it, but excuses that he was upset and didn’t mean to and she’d said some things she shouldn’t have. Nygma’s horrified and confronts Dougherty, who addresses him as ‘Riddle-Man’ and ridicules him for having never been with a woman. They need a firm hand, he says ---- and that goes double for Kristen because ‘girl’s got a tongue’. Yeah, he’s going to regret saying that. Nygma waits for him outside Kristen’s house that night and confronts him once more, telling Dougherty that he won’t let him hurt Kristen ever again. Dougherty laughs at and punches him, but, when he goes to punch again, Nygma drives a knife into his gut. They both seem surprised. A second goes by before he lunges again and Nygma stabs him once more, keeping on until he finally gasps ‘Riddle-Man’ unbelievingly before collapsing backward. Left alone, holding the knife in one bloody hand, Nygma repeats ‘oh dear’ . . . interspersed with bouts of hysterical giggling.

Meanwhile, Jim, Bullock, and the Captain pore over what they know. There are no signs of a Jason van Groot or Jason Skolimski in Gotham, and his father doesn’t know where he could be. Suddenly, dread creeps over Jim when he realizes that in the Ogre’s phone-taunts he’d alluded to a specific headline of Jim being ‘the rising star of the GCPD’ . . . and, in that article, they’d run an old photo of him with Barbara. He rushes to her place, where Selina tells him that she’d left the Wayne Ball with a guy and confirms that it could indeed be the man in Jim’s sketch. Jim’s distraught, but Barbara, back at Jason’s swanky place, is perfectly cool. When she asks him ‘what’s through there?’ he tells her to see for herself, then follows her as Barbara swings open the doors to his huge black and silver (and HIGHLY Christian-Grey-y) room of restraints and weapons. She moves inside, looking around, and he comes to stand beside her. No running and screaming here. Instead, she turns to him and smiles.

Again, there aren’t many new comics references here. Gotham’s more focussed on tying up its existing plot threads. Still, we have some character evolution. The Ogre still doesn’t really resemble the genetically altered ape-like Ogre of the comics, but he’s definitely charting his own villainous course and I don’t think anyone predicted the ‘team up with Barbara’ storyline that seems to be coming. Nygma finally gets around to killing a man, but he doesn’t seem terribly into it. He might be taking after the Riddler of Batman: Arkham Origins, who’s trying to make Gotham a better place by removing those who are corrupt, but ends up also risking the lives of innocents. Still, mostly good intentions there. Lastly, we again have young Batman say that he won’t kill (even if he wants to) and young Catwoman not being all that broken up about it. The Ogre just might team up with Barbara, Bruce is getting toward some real answers, and the Riddler’s taken his first life. Remember to check back next week for episode twenty-one’s article, and more Gotham!

The Anvil or the Hammer

"The Anvil or the Hammer" are slammed in Season 1 Episode 21 of Gotham.

Episode 21 of Gotham "The Anvil or the Hammer" is up, and get ready for the end of the Ogre sagaplus some sneaky villain action. We begin with Barbara trying to leave Jason The Ogre’s apartment the morning after, and Gotham seems to be totally ignoring the whole surprise bondage-and-weapons room reveal from the last episode. (Sorry about that, viewers who were hoping Barbara had darksided). Jason, however, isn’t into the whole ‘leaving’ thing and confesses, 

  1. How he was planning to kill her when they’d met, and 
  2. How he now believes she’s his soulmate. 

Barbara’s freaked out and makes a dash for it, but he easily captures her again, chains her up in his special room, and talks about how she’s the woman he’s been searching for. He’s not even deterred when she calls him a psycho and smacks him, although he does smack her back when she says that Jim will find her. Then, because he’s a romantic, he shows her the pictures of the other women he’s killed. She collapses. When she wakes up, he sweetly asks who he should kill to set her free from her fear, and, at first, she won’t give him a name... but eventually gives in at knifepoint. Who said romance was dead?

At the station, Leslie tries to get Jim to stop running himself ragged, but he’s unwilling to slow down and blames himself for Barbara’s capture. Their conversation’s interrupted when Bullock drags in a guy called Jake, who’s rumoured to know the Ogre’s identity. While initially unwilling, he soon coughs up some info after spending a little alone time with Jim. He’d worked as a barman in a brothel called the Foxglove and the Ogre was a regular, but he can’t give them a location. Bullock explains why: the Foxglove’s never in the same place twice, and it’s an exclusive club. You’ve got to know someone who knows someone to get in. The only person Jim can think of is Oswald. Bullock warns against getting any deeper with the Penguin, but Jim’s desperate ---- so desperate that he grabs hold of Oswald and threatens him when Oswald’s loath to do him yet another favour. Finally, Jim gets his Foxglove invite in return for owing a huge favour.

Meanwhile, Bruce (with safe key, courtesy of Selina) heads over to Wayne Enterprises, pretending to be interested in a tour. Midway through he leaves ‘for a bathroom break’, pulls a fire alarm, and heads to Bunderslaw’s office, where he’s caught by the man himself, who’d noticed the key theft and was waiting. He says he’d told the board that Bruce was a special case and would need ‘the talk’ early. What talk? Well, the talk where certain facts of life and business are explained to the Waynes when they come of age, like the fact that Wayne Enterprises knows they’re committing serious crimes and don’t actually care if it means profits. Bunderslaw tells Bruce that he’s just like his father, who’d also demanded justice . . . at first, before he’d come to understand the realities of the business. Bruce accuses him of lying, but Bunderslaw’s unmoved and tells Bruce that he has the opportunity to live a blessed life. He should reconsider his crusade. Just then another man walks in, who Bunderslaw introduces as Lucius Fox. Fox is told to take Bruce back to his tour guide and does, but, while they’re by the elevators, swears Bruce to secrecy before telling him that he’d known his father well and he was a good man ---- and not the man the company thought he was. He was a true stoic and kept his best self hidden. That’s all Fox’ll say, but he does wish Bruce ‘good luck’.

Bullock’s chosen to infiltrate the Foxglove and turns up looking swanky in his new suit (as lifted from the station’s evidence room). It’s a den of decadence and a sea of black latex, with erotic acts being performed, well, everywhere. Bullock’s feeling a bit out of place, but isn’t truly dismayed until the announced ‘main attraction’, which we can’t see, but sounds pretty bad. “Oh no, hell no,” Bullock says, promptly pulling out his badge. After threatening to expose everyone if they’re not told what they want to know, he and Jim are directed to a woman named Sally, who has a huge scar on her face from an encounter nine years ago (a year before the first murders) with a man called ‘Jason’ who fits Jim’s Ogre sketch. As soon as she’d gotten in his car, he’d pulled a hood over her head and tied her wrists, then taken her back to his apartment and tortured her before letting her go. Luckily, she remembers enough details to allow Jim and Bullock to find the apartment in question, but it’s empty, and our heroes are stymied until the phone rings. Surprise, it’s Ogre Jason, calling to tell Jim that Barbara’s safe and doesn’t need Jim’s protection.

While the Ogre himself isn’t helpful, Jim and Bullock are able to identify his location from the distinctive traffic sounds in the background. It’s upstate . . . near Barbara’s parents’ house. The detectives rush off, but arrive only in time to find the butler’s body in the entryway and Barbara’s parents dead and bloody on the couch, posed as if asleep. Jim’s gazing at them in horror when Barbara herself appears in a bloody dress, asking him calmly what he’s doing there. She sounds vaguely puzzled. Jim, she repeats, isn’t supposed to be there. Jim asks where Jason is, and gets his answer quick enough when Jason (fresh from coshing Bullock over the head and sending him tumbling down a flight of stairs) attacks Jim with a knife. When Jim manages to roll away and draw his gun, Jason grabs Barbara and hold a knife to her throat. If Jim shoots him, he says, he’ll be the one slitting her throat, not Jason. A stunned-seeming Barbara tells Jim to leave them alone. They’re locked in a stalemate until Bullock appears, distracting Jason long enough for Jim to shoot him dead. Barbara’s cut in the process (although not too deeply), and Jim tries to assure her that everything will be okay.

Back at the station, Jim’s celebrated by all and has a heart to heart with Leslie, who confesses that she’d been scared that Barbara would get hurt and whatever they have would die if Jim blamed himself for protecting Leslie first. Jim tells Leslie that he loves her, not Barbara, and, if he had to do it again, he’d still protect her first. Aw. Nygma, meanwhile, spends the day disposing of his romantic rival’s body and then sending a letter ‘from him’ to Kristen. It’s pretty dismissive, and Kristen laments that she always picks up creeps. When Nygma tells her that sometimes with men you need to read between the lines, she replies that sometimes with men you need a drink and leaves ---- and, in her absence, Nygma moves the letter so only the side letters are exposed, spelling ‘NYGMA’. Yes Riddler, we see what you did there.

Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce confesses the full truth of Reggie’s death, Bunderslaw’s involvement, and what Bunderslaw had told him about his father to Alfred. Not even mentioning the whole Reggie-killing incident, Alfred tells Bruce that his father was a good man. “I know, but even good men have secrets,” Bruce replies. Later, he adds a picture of his father to the detective wall. Things, meanwhile, are going better for Oswald. He’s hired a couple of Falcone-affiliated hitmen, bought a bar he knows Maroni will be in on a certain day (celebrating the release of his hitman friend Tommy Bones, to be precise), gotten Butch to stash a couple of guns in that bar, and sat back. The hitmen successfully gain entry to the bar by delivering a gift ‘to Maroni from Falcone’, then grab their guns and (after giving an Oswald-mandated message ‘from Don Falcone’ that it wasn’t easy for him to decide to kill Maroni, but business is business), try to open fire . . . but their guns don’t work. They’re both killed.

Butch informs Oswald that Maroni’s still alive and he needs to leave town, but everyone’s favourite sneaky bastard doesn’t seem to care. Yep, turns out he’d taken the firing pins out of the guns himself. Sure, he could’ve had Maroni dead, but he still would’ve been under Falcone’s thumb ---- which has grown ‘intolerable’. He’d rather have Maroni alive and out for blood. One point to the Penguin. While relaxing at his home, Falcone is given a box from Maroni and opens it to find the lead hitman’s head. Out on the street, Maroni and his men gun down Falcone’s people, and, at the station, the captain calls for everyone to listen. She’d just gotten wind of three separate attacks on Falcone businesses in different parts of town, word is it’s Maroni, and, as of right then, all leaves are cancelled and all units called in for active duty. They’re in a shooting war. Maroni and his guys keep blasting away as Falcone steels himself for battle, and in his club, Oswald laughs with drink in hand.

As Gotham approaches its season finale, there’s not much room for comics-related Easter eggs. Still, there are a few in The Anvil or the Hammer. First we have Wayne Manor’s address, which is visible on the key package and is 1007 Mountain Drive, just like in Batman: The Animated Series. We also have Nygma actually writing out a riddle and sending it to somebody (and he doesn’t seem particularly affected by the murder he’s just committed, either). A new character is introduced in Maroni’s friend, the recently-released-from-prison hitman Tommy Bones, but who he is (if he is in the comics at all) isn’t clear. The most likely suspect might be Hitman, a vigilante hero who hunts superpowered targets. His name’s also Tommy and they share a fashion sense, but there’s nothing concrete and Tommy Bones might simply be a nod to the Hitman ---- or totally unrelated. Finally we have the introduction of Lucius Fox, who, in the comics, is the CEO of Wayne Enterprises and a trusted friend of Bruce Wayne.

The Penguin’s made his move, the Riddler’s gettin’ to riddling, and there’s a gang war on the streets ofGotham. Check back next week for episode twenty-two’s article, and more Gotham!

All Happy Families Are Alike

"All Happy Families Are Alike" in Season 1 Episode 22 of Gotham.

It’s time for the Gotham season finale! Episode 22 is "All Happy Families Are Alike," and it’s going to be a longer post than usual because we’ve got a lot goin’ down. Ready? We kick off with Selina, who’s warming her hands by a fire when she spots a boat coming into the beach. The mysterious figure standing on the prow turns out to be Fish Mooney, returning to Gotham. And, if you’re on the edge of your seat wondering how she escaped death after that seemingly-fatal shot during her helicopter escape from The Island Of Doctor Bad Touch, you can settle down. It’s never mentioned again. “Good morning, child,” she tells Selina, and, when Selina says it’s not morning, Fish replies that it will be soon. It’ll be a brand new day. (Dr. Horrible fans, I’ll give you a moment to get that song out of your heads).

Skip to two weeks later. The gang war rages on, and Falcone’s caught in the crossfire when some opportunists seize the moment (and a rocket launcher) and blow up his car. Bullock tells Jim that he’s alive in hospital, but won’t be for long ---- the hit was sanctioned by the city leaders, who’ve switched support to Maroni. Thinking that Maroni’s too much of a hothead to rule Gotham and the city’ll fall into chaos if Falcone bites it, Jim dashes off to conduct a rescue, while, at the hospital, Falcone wakes up cuffed to a bed and shortly thereafter receives his first visitor: Oswald, backed by Butch. Falcone’s happiness at seeing Oswald turns sour when everyone’s favourite Penguin confesses that the whole gang war thing was his plan, and also he’s been plotting to kill Falcone ever since they first met. Ouch. (Side note, if you’re wondering where the heck Victor Zsasz and his crack team of Dominatrix-assassins are, I’m sorry to inform you that they’re whenever Fish’s gunshot wound is ---- not in this episode). Oswald’s just about to have at Falcone with a scalpel when Jim turns up and arrests him along with Butch, cuffing them to a pipe. With only minutes before Maroni’s goons show up to get their bloodbath on, Jim steps out into the hall and phones Bullock, laying out the situation. Falcone’s a bad man, he says, but he’s the best bad man they’ve got.

Jim heads back into the room and prepares to try to get Falcone to safety, but he’s not the only one in peril. Oswald points out that he’s almost certainly doomed if caught by Team Maroni, plus he’s currently in Jim’s custody and Jim owes him a favour. Well, if he puts it like that. The rescue effort is halted when Commissioner Loeb appears with Maroni’s guys and orders Jim to scram. Jim refuses to back down, then fights like a badass, clearing some breathing room just before Bullock appears. They successfully escape the hospital in a stolen ambulance and a hail of gunfire and make their way to Falcone’s safe house, which he’s sure nobody knows about because everyone who did know is dead. Yeah, not so much. Jaws drop when Selina walks in, clad in some shiny Fish-esque threads and with a trendy new hairdo.

Jaws drop further when Fish and her gang of ex-Dollmaker-prisoners stride in. Fish is once more decked out in style and has upped her hair game with a cool Mohawk-ish cut, and she’s delighted to see Butch alive, although not so much about the brainwashing. He, for his part, is happy but confused to see her back. Jim, Falcone, Bullock, and Oswald, bound and awaiting death, are less pleased. Jim tries to get Selina to help him, but she flat-out refuses to ‘blow the coolest gig ever’ just because they ‘kinda sorta’ know each other. Cold, Selina. Butch, while conflicted, similarly refuses to help Oswald. Fish lets them all know that she’s made a deal with Maroni, then tells Oswald and Falcone that they’ll be dying a slow and painful death in revenge for Butch. She’ll keep it simple with Jim. “And you? We’re cool,” she tells Bullock, setting him free. When she asks if there’s any questions, Selina eagerly asks how she’s going to kill them. Fish embraces her. Selina weirdly nuzzles the side of Fish’s head. (Cats love fish, it’s the natural order). They walk off hand in hand.

While viewers recover from Selina’s abrupt change in character, Maroni arrives and is delighted about pretty much everything. He laughs off Oswald’s warning to Fish that Maroni’ll see her as a rival and kill her after he ends Falcone, saying that he’s not threatened because Fish isn’t a boss, she’s an underboss. Fish isn’t on board. Maroni tells her to relax (“I am relaxed,” she replies) and calls her ‘babes’, which she’s not okay with. As he apparently doesn’t know her very well, he keeps ‘jokingly’ doing it and telling her to relax, then laughingly tells his men not to call her babes or toots or what-have-you, ‘it’s a women’s lib thing’. Fish, never one to tolerate disrespect, promptly shoots him clean though the forehead. “I am relaxed,” she says calmly to hiscorpse, a moment before all hell breaks loose. Bullock cuts Jim and Falcone loose in the resulting chaos (Oswald escapes all by his lonesome) and the three go on the run, during which Falcone tells them that, after this day, he’s sorry and he knows he’s letting them down . . . but he’s getting out while the getting’s good and retiring down south. They end up being dragged back again by a gun-toting Selina and gang, and the resulting discussion with Fish is interrupted by automatic gunfire, courtesy of Oswald. He mows down quite a few of Fish’s people before running out of ammo, then spots her escaping up a stairwell and gives chase. Bullock, Jim, and Falcone, all mostly unharmed, grab a car and get the heck out of dodge.

Meanwhile, Barbara’s physically healed from her Ogre experience and ready to talk to a counselor . . . but she’ll only accept Leslie as that counselor, and it has to be at her apartment. Leslie ignores the clanging warning bells and agrees to do it, but starts getting weirded out when Barbara keeps bringing up Leslie and Jim’s relationship, including odd stuff like asking if Jim had ever hit her. Leslie tries to minimize the whole relationship thing and bring the discussion back to Barbara’s ordeal, and finally Barbara tells her about Jason’s taking her to her parents’ house and tying them up, then asking her to talk to them about her childhood issues ---- stupid kid stuff like her mom calling her ‘little piggy’ when she was younger, them throwing away her posters, never nurturing her self esteem . . . just slowly, steadily, grinding away at her soul, trying to make her disappear. Yikes.

To be fair to them, Barbara goes on, they simply never understood her. They had no clue who she was. “Even when I was killing them,” she says, “they just gaped at me like fools, not understanding.” Wait, what? Leslie reminds her that Jason had killed them, but Barbara’s quite certain. She’d stabbed them several times, in fact, before slitting their throats. Then, with a demented grin, Barbara grabs a knife from the table and goes after Leslie. The fight is on. After a long battle, Leslie manages to turn the tables on a crazed Barbara and knock her out, just as the door opens to reveal Jim, Bullock, and Falcone. Hi guys. While Leslie hugs Jim and tells him that Barbara had just gone crazy, Bullock turns to Falcone and, matter-of-factly, says, “Told him that woman was trouble.” Ah Bullock, finally vindicated.

Back at Falcone’s former safe house, Oswald and Fish clash on the roof. As they struggle, they catch sight of Butch, standing indecisively with a gun. Brainwashing conflicts with loyalty, and, when they both order him, he gets more and more distressed, finally breaking down entirely and (non-fatally) shooting them both. He quickly realizes what he’s done and rushes to Fish’s side, apologizing frantically and pleading that he’d never hurt her, he loves her. Emotionally, Fish assures him that it’s okay, it’s not his fault and she loves him too. They’d messed with his mind, she repeats, and it’s not his fault . . . plus she’s going to be fine, he knows her. Butch might not be, though, because at this point Oswald rebounds a thick plank of wood off his skull and he goes down. “Goodbye, Fish!” Oswald spits, facing her, and Fish replies ‘it’s all good’ before he rushes her, managing to flip her off the side of the building and down a multi-story drop into the water below. Butch is brokenhearted, but Oswald is ecstatic. Unsteadily, he climbs onto the parapet. “I’m the king of Gotham!” he cries, as lightning flashes ominously.

At the station, Nygma’s filing when Kristen comes in and tells him she’s noticed something really weird ---- the side letters in her message from Officer Dougherty spell out ‘NYGMA’. Nygma awkwardly pretends to be surprised, but she clearly doesn’t 100% buy his story of innocence. When she leaves, he laughs, then has a flash to Dougherty saying he’s the guy who likes riddles before asking himself why he’s laughing, it’s not funny. This devolves into an increasingly manic and obviously two-sided conversation with himself, his kinder and more romantic side warring with his darker and more compulsively-riddling side. He’s clearly come more than a little unhinged, and the Penguin might have some competition in season two.

Gazing out over the city, Jim asks if Falcone won’t change his mind, the town needs him. No, Falcone says, Gotham needs a lawman now and not a criminal. It needs Jim. Jim points out that there are a lot of powerful men who’d disagree with him on that, and, slowly, Falcone takes out his knife and hands it over. He tells Jim that it was his father’s, given to Falcone long ago as a spur-of-the-moment birthday gift. At first Falcone had refused, as it was too beautiful and he had men with guns to protect him, but Jim’s father had said to take it, ‘a knife is a good friend when you have no other’. Jim’s surprised that they were so close, and Falcone replies that they were at one time, before going on that the point of the story is that Jim’s father was the most honest man he’d ever met . . . but he carried a knife. He pats Jim on the shoulder and leaves, and Jim looks thoughtfully out over Gotham.

Switch to Wayne Manor, where Bruce is absolutely sure that his father’s study holds a secret. Every single night his father had been in there working with the door locked and classical music playing, and Bruce is certain he’d been hiding something. Alfred thinks not, but Bruce insists that his intuition’s nearly always correct. That’s a common delusion, Alfred replies, and Arkham’s full of men whose intuitions are always correct. “There are none so blind,” he quotes, and Bruce immediately sits up, recognizing that quote asMarcus Aurelius, a Stoic, just like Lucius Fox had pointedly told Bruce that his father was. He grabs an old book and flips through it to discover a remote, secreted in a hidden pocket. Alfred warns him against pressing the button, but Bruce presses it anyway, causing music (classical!) to begin playing as the lit fireplace slides slowly backward. A gaping tunnel downward is revealed, and Bruce and Alfred cautiously peer down the rough-hewn stone steps as the sound of bats echo from the depths.

I didn’t spot any new comics references in All Happy Families Are Alike, but there are definitely a few characters coming more into themselves. The Penguin’s getting ready to really take over Gotham, the Riddler’s going ‘round the bend, and Bruce Wayne has both literally and figuratively found his Batcave. In deaths, Maroni’s toast, but we never see a body (or a death, really) for Fish, so I’d be surprised if she’s a confirmed kill ---- and it’s hard to believe that Falcone will stay away forever either. Barbara, meanwhile (assuming she’s still alive), seems to have gone full villain, although there’s no word on exactly which villain, and Selina certainly seems to have taken a dramatic turn for the side of darkness with her active and cheerful betrayal of Jim. Season two is absolutely setting up to start us off with a bang. With the confirmation that Gotham’s been renewed, check your news for a premiere date, and get ready for a thrilling season two of Gotham!

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