[Season 1 !Season 2: Rise of the Villains !Season 3: Mad City ]
This is the pre-Batman version of the city, when things look bad for the city but there is still hope. But it is not Smallville it is much darker, more like the new version of Green Arrow . Predictably, a few future characters are introduced; a little red-headed girl named Ivy and a mysterious cat-burglar girl.
Bruce Wayne’s parents are brutally gunned down, the pearl necklace from the Dark Knight version of the story playing a prime role. Detective Gordon and his cynical partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) are on the case. They suspect that a 1920s Flapper-cum-Gangster named Fish Mooney ( Jada Pinkett Smith ) may be involved. Her slimy sidekick, Oswald Copplepot (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ), is playing both ends against the middle.
The homeless girl with the cat fixation, Selina Kyle, witnesses yet another crime. This time it is the abduction of some street children by Lili Taylor and Frank Whalley ( Broken Arrow ). By incredible coincidence, Detective Gordon gets the case. Are he and his partner the only detectives in what is presumably the largest precinct in the city?
Gordon is meant to be the straight arrow in the Gotham Police. But with regards to torture, he takes the relativistic approach of James Tiberius Kirk; the greatest good for the greatest number. Nice to see that Gordon has shades of grey; after all, the corrupt police are at their worst when mistreating minorities, which is what Gordon has practically endorsed!
Meanwhile, Oswald Copplepot’s mother ( Carol Kane ) has reported him missing. Everyone else (other than James Gordon) believes him to be dead. But he makes a couple of new friends along the way. The thing is … how long can he go without adding to his body count?
In a miniscule sub-plot, Bruce Wayne is testing himself by holding his hand over a candle. His masochistic tendencies have yet to find the focus provided by his later bat obsession, but Alfred (Sean Pertwee - Event Horizon ) is still worried about him.
As promised last week, Selina tells Jim Gordon what she knows about the Wayne killings. But she is a claustrophobe who mistrusts authority figures, so she does not want to hang around and place her faith in the Gotham PD’s version of Witness Protection.
This week’s antagonist is a vigilante who handcuffs crooks to a weather balloon filled with enough helium to carry them to a lethal altitude.
Detective Montoya is virtually stalking Jim Gordon’s GF. This is not just a professional grudge against the detective she wrongly believes to be just another corrupt cop. No, the two ladies were lovers until quite recently.
Gordon may not be a corrupt cop, but his actions have negative consequences. Oswald Copplepot (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) returns to Gotham, and adds two more bodies to his list of victims. The less palatable killings are off-screen, to make the character seem less unsympathetic. He takes the next step in his plan to start a gang war, by taking an entry-level job at a restaurant frequented by Falcone’s main rival.
A freelance hitman starts bumping off City Councilmen, in order to influence a real-estate deal. The Wayne plan (now backed by Falcone) was to replace Arkham Asylum with a new mental health facility, and to rebuild and regenerate the entire area. The rival plan (backed by Falcone’s rivals, the Moroni family) is to build a waste treatment plant there. Any compromise will be seen as a sign of weakness on Falcone’s part, and thus indicate that a gang war is closer than ever.
Barbara ( Erin Richards ) confesses that she has been keeping a secret from Jim - Montoya was her lover. But in the spirit of openness, she demands he tell her what happened to Oswald Copplepot. Jim will not lie to her, so he stonewalls her.
Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) is working as a bus-boy in a restaurant run the Moroni family. Some thugs try to rob the place, while the cash from Moroni’s criminal enterprises are being laundered there. Will Oswald get himself a nice promotion?
Fish Mooney ( Jada Pinkett Smith ) has her own cunning plan. She recruits a girl singer to seduce her boss, Falcone, who has been single since his girlfriend was brutally mugged in the previous episode. Of course, competition is fierce so she needs to pick the most dedicated one.
Gordon and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) continue their normal police investigations. For Bullock, that means prioritising food and getting beaten up. For Gordon, it means seeing cat-girl but not catching her.
Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) decides that his next step in promotion within Don Moroni’s organisation is to be honest about who and what he used to be. This is not a good idea, because the Don is not very trusting. He calls in Gordon to verify everything Oswald said.
Fish Mooney keeps on with her plan to have her new protégé seduce her boss. The key is to remind him of his mother. In the meantime, she develops a public rivalry with a fellow under-boss. All part of her plan, of course.
Bruce Wayne realises that the gangsters Falcone and Moroni could only have gotten shares in the Arkham project through Wayne Enterprises. And since his parents would never have sanctioned such a project, it would give someone a big motive for murdering them.
The main plot of the ep is someone giving away free samples of a new drug. It is not a narcotic, it is a steroid that gives the user superhuman strength but also gives them a god complex. Turns out it was manufactured by the military-industrial complex as a super-soldier formula, but was binned because of the side-effects. But guess which company made it? Wayne Enterprises, with their now apparent undercurrent of corruption.
The best line is Bullock’s contribution to the interrogation. Priceless! And ironically, it helps bring the case to a speedy conclusion.
Ten years ago, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) and his partner (Dan Hedaya - Alien: Resurrection ) cornered a serial killer called the Spirit of the Goat. The victims were the eldest children of the richest people in Gotham. The killer wound up dead, but Bullock’s partner did not end well either. Unfortunately, in the modern day a fresh body turns up. This is not a mere copycat; whoever killed this victim knew details that only the real killer knows.
Young Master Wayne is impressed by the killer’s use of a mask to terrify his victims. Alfred (Sean Pertwee - Event Horizon ) points out that as the eldest child of the Wayne family, and one of the few millionaire offspring still in town, Master Bruce is a prime target. However, nobody bothers increasing security so Catgirl just wanders in and steals things. Despite seeing Batboy’s Wall of Weird she does not bother leaving any clues, despite telling Gordon she got a good look at the killer’s face. Could she not put a ring around the appropriate mugshot?
Gordon takes a back seat as Bullock leads the investigation. Since Montoya from MCU is still after Gordon for killing the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ), Bullock has to do most of the work himself for a change. However, Gordon finally discovers what Bullock spends his bribe money on.
Ed Nygma, Gotham City CSI, turns out to have a secret crush on the girl who works in the filing room. She has spectacles and a ponytail, the clichéd geek-girl look exemplified by Felicity Smoak in Arrow .
Gordon is now a marked man. Fish Mooney ramps up the pressure, sending Butch Gilzean to capture the detective alive. When Gordon resists, Falcone sends Victor Zsasz round to the police station.
Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) is justifiably annoyed with his partner. However, Gordon has a few other allies. The MCU do not operate out of his precinct, and since they have acted as Internal Affairs they are the most honest cops in Gotham. Also, Albert and Bruce Wayne still want to find out who killed Ma and Pa Wayne.
Oswald is doing very well for himself, since he has Don Moroni’s ear. However, Fish Mooney demands revenge. The city goes to the brink of a gang war.
Falcone seems to be the man with the plan. Gordon targets him and the Mayor, unfairly so, because there is nothing to link them to the Wayne murders. In fact, decapitating the city’s infrastructure would only encourage others like Moroni, Mooney and Penguin to get greedy. Falcone, on the other hand, is more intelligent and merciful. And he actually has a reason for keeping Gordon alive.
Gordon is still angry at the Gotham PD for failing to have his back against Szasz and Falcone’s mob. But he still has Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ), so he continues to investigate crimes. This week someone is getting office workers to kill each other in order to win a job. Ed Nygma (overlooked, despised by his incompetent co-workers) is the one who puts it all together. The Priest from The Originals runs a company linked to the victims. He is obsessed with taking the Business is War maxim literally, and also sizes Gordon up quite well. The reason Gordon wants to take on Falcone and the Mayor is that Gordon lives to fight!
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) has a sit-down with Fish Mooney. Fish continues with her secret plan, stealing Falcone’s greatest secret and lying about her own past to motivate her pawn. Meanwhile, Penguin discovers that Fish has a secret of her own.
Gordon’s relationship with Barbara ( Erin Richards ) should be sorted out by now. She no longer believes him to be a murderer, and her ex-lover is no longer sniffing around.
Elsewhere, Cat-girl is burglarising commercial premises. Since she works alone, she does not have anyone to act as a lookout or getaway driver.
The thing is, since crime is so rampant in Gotham, it must be nearly impossible to get insurance there, and thus impossible to run a business. Without goods and services, the city will slowly disentigrate. Those who cannot afford to move to a different city will be trapped.
Gordon stashes Cat the one place he knows she is safe; at Wayne Manor. Bruce is happy to have a friend his own age. Alfred (Sean Pertwee - Event Horizon ) does his best, but is very unhappy with having to host a runaway.
The District Attorney, a certain Mr Harvey Dent, is an eager young man. He tells every villain in town that THEY are personally implicated in the Wayne Family murders. Sooner or later, there will be a backlash.
A skilled bomb-maker is broken out of Blackgate Prison. The prison is evidently a reference to racial segregation; the convict and his guards are just about the first African-American faces we have seen since the Councilman and his assassin. Gordon complains that the prison lacks adequate facilities to cope with the mentally ill. Surely Arkham Asylum would be a better place for them ...
The bomb-maker is used in a plot against Falcone. But who has a grudge against him?
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) closes in on Fish Mooney’s spy. Just how ambitious is he?
Barbara ( Erin Richards ) has given up on her relationship with Gordon. He hung up on her phone call last episode because he had to save Gotham again, And she evidently decided that being a Cop’s significant other was too much hassle. Therefore the last thing she would ever do is hook up with her ex, another cop!
Lesley Ann Brandt visits Wayne Manor. Last seen as a babelicious assassin fighting The Librarians , here she is doing more of the same. Someone hired her team to kill Cat-girl. Is she this show’s version of the daughter of Ras-Al-Ghul? After all, that character is played by another Spartacus Veteran in the other DC universe shows, Arrow & Flash .
Bruce and Selina go on the run together, back on the girl’s home turf of downtown Gotham. At least the city is racially and ethnically diverse, something that the whiter-than-white cities in the other DC universe shows lack. They bump into a fellow pre-teen character - Ivy, whose father died in the first episode. She is an orphan now, because her mother could not bear to live without having a drunken wife-beater around the place.
Alfred Pennywise - oops, Pennywhistle - teams up with Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) as they go looking for Cat in Fish Mooney’s part of town. These are two of the more interesting supporting characters, it is nice to see them work together.
Gordon goes looking for Lovecraft, the Oligarch whom District Attorney Harvey Dent suspected of being behind the Wayne killings. He is the main suspect, so he has the most to gain from killing the only witness. But this being Gotham, he may have been a pawn in the hands of an organised crime figure - Mooney, Falcone or Moroni. The chances are he will not live to end up in Arkham.
Gordon tried to arrest the Mayor a couple of weeks ago for being friends with Falcone. Now he finds out that the Mayor can mess his career up a lot more than Falcone has. His only friend, Harvey Dent, is a bit two-faced when it comes to the Mayor. Dent is a political player with ambitions, while Gordon is a straight arrow.
After last week’s abortive heist, Falcone suspects Moroni is the one behind it. He blames Penguin for not warning him, but Penguin points out it was an inside job. Only Fish Mooney has the know-how and ambition to take on Falcone. But since Penguin is well known to hate Fish, he will need proof to back up his assertions.
Gordon is now a guard in Arkham Asylum. Unfortunately, the craziness there gets worse than ever. Someone starts giving the staff unauthorised electro-shock therapy. Gordon is ordered to investigate. Is it an inmate like rent-a-villain Christopher Hyderdahl ( Supernatural ), or a member of staff - either the Lilly Tomlin lookalike nurse, or the suspiciously beautiful lady doctor ( Morena Baccarin ).
The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) runs into trouble on the waterfront.
Catgirl and Ivy crash at Gordon's apartment.
Gordon's ex remembers why she split up with her ex. After all, it makes no sense to go from one cop to another (and back!) because their job is too stressful and time-consuming!
Fish finally makes her move against Falcone. Will the old man retire gracefully? Fish's grounds for extortion are incredibly weak. Is Falcone still the murderous psychopath he must have been to become Don? And will Butch's gang stand a chance against Victor Szazs and his dominatrix enforcers?
The Electrocutioner is after the Penguin's boss, Don Moroni. Can Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) out-maneuvre Moroni, the Electrocutioner and the cops in time to help Falcone?
Bruce Wayne and Alfred (Sean Pertwee - Event Horizon ) go looking for Catgirl again. But she does not like being penned in.
Fish and Butch are in the hands of the Don’s hitmen. But Victor and his Dominatrices must be off celebrating, because the B-Team have been put in charge. Naturally, the victims’ survival chances go up quite a bit. Hopefully the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) will not count his birds before they have hatched. And how will he explain to Don Moroni that Don Falcone has given him Fish Mooney’s club to run?
Gordon and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) investigate a drug-related homicide that involves a target of the narcotics squad. Things soon spiral out of control, as a witness gets taken out. Gordon takes this personally, and makes it his mission to take down the corrupt cops involved. His popularity with the rest of the Precinct has never been lower.
Ed Nygma is likewise victimised by the leader of the Narco squad. The tough-guy detective loves to mock the weakling lab tech, to impress his buddies (and the pretty filing girl). Will Gordon make an unlikely ally?
Gordon knows that Don Moroni controls the local drug trade, so he asks a favour of the Penguin. Oswald is in a very good mood and is more than happy enough to comply. He sees Gordon as being an actual friend, and hopefully Gordon will realise how much he owes to this friendship. It turns out that the Penguin and his enforcer are much better at police work than Gordon and Bullock are. Yes, in a city where the cops are crooked ... it takes the crooks to watch the watchmen!
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) gloats over his victories. But he has made a couple of mistakes. Firstly, Fish Mooney is still alive. Secondly, Don Moroni will not be forgiving when he realises that Penguin is friendly with Falcone. So when Moroni gets a mysterious phone call, then invites Penguin for a weekend in the country ...
Fish is on a cargo ship heading as far from Gotham as possible. However, it sails into unknown waters.
Gordon drops off his keys at Barbara’s apartment, where Cat is still hanging out. This seems to be the end of his relationship with Barbara ( Erin Richards ). However, he has a replacement - the lady Doctor from Arkham ( Morena Baccarin ). Not only is she GF material, she could also replace the Medical Examiner. Not only is the ME either corrupt or incompetent (Gordon refers to a previous episode where he mistook a stabbing for a suicide) but he also hates CSI Ed Nygma. Poor Nygma gets suspended from duty, and the office girl he likes is strangely ambivalent about this development. Could the Riddler-to-be get a GF too?
Fish Mooney wakes up in an underground prison compound. Yes, her well-planned escape from Gotham got her into even more trouble. What are the chances of that happening? The showrunner has written out Barbara ( Erin Richards ), the other much-hated character, but rather than kill Fish off or put her aside for a few episodes she gets her own story arc! How long before she is running the prison? I give her one episode ...
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) now runs Fish’s club, paying tribute to Don Falcone of course. But he is otherwise in the same position as always - only now instead of Falcone keeping Fish off Penguin’s back, he has to keep Moroni off too!
Gordon and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) are still after the fear-killer. They have identified him as Doctor Crane (Julian Sands - ), who goes on the run with his teenage son Jonathan. Yes, another super-villain gets an early introduction.
Bruce Wayne goes off on a hike in the mansion grounds. He insists on going alone, and shirks off Alfred’s offer of company. Will young Master Bruce fall into a cave, see some bats and be inspired to become a vigilante dressed as a flying mammal? Or will he just learn an all-important life-lesson?
After the events of the previous episode, young Master Bruce has decided to stop feeling sorry for himself and to take a pro-active approach. If he cannot find the trigger-man, he will lure out the paymaster.
Gordon takes the Lady Doctor ( Morena Baccarin ) out on a date - to the Circus! They see some acrobats - the future parents of Dick Grayson. The carnies have a brawl - Dick’s parents were a Romeo and Juliet couple, it seems. Then a dead body is discovered ...
The lady Doctor is the Police Medical Examiner, and a witness to the discover of the body, but she now fills Bullock’s role as Gordon’s partner in the investigation. They interview witnesses (including the victim’s son Jerome - a pale-faced red-headed type with a frightening grin) and search for evidence together. A Medium gives them a riddle to solve, but they do not bother to ask for Ed Nygma’s help.
Back at Oswald’s (the new name for Fish Mooney’s), the business is not running smoothly. Both Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) and his mother get time on stage, but there are few other acts booked. Customers seem few and far between. Falcone sends Victor Zsasz round to give Penguin some help. Specifically, a brainwashed individual who used to run the club for Fish.
Fish gets to meet the administrator (Jeffrey Coombs - Reanimator ). She coerces him into a discussion, but she forgets that he will do whatever it takes to maintain the upper hand. However, she will make incredible sacrifices - we get hands-down the best, most gruesome act shown on mainstream television since - probably forever! Yes, this is definitely not a kids show, more like something out of Kill Bill .
Back in Gotham, Penguin’s club has run out of booze. Don Moroni controls all liquor distribution in the district, and everyone fears him more than they love the Penguin. Luckily, Butch Gilzean is still around and he knows the system.
There are other crooks in town. A gang of robbers are doing bank heists - they carry guns, but do not shoot anyone. Better, one of them decides to wear a red hood and to use some of the stolen cash as a distraction. This sets them up in the public imagination as a Robin Hood gang. Gordon scoffs at the idea and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) says that when the public prefer crooks to cops then you have anarchy. However, neither of them behaves in an overly honourable manner. Gordon knows that the gang is turning on itself, so he releases the only suspect (from a dodgy line-up) in the hope of stirring it up. Bullock is happy to coerce statements from a wounded suspect by denying him life-saving medical attention. And yet they both wonder why the citizens prefer crooks and anarchy?
Alfred the butler (Sean Pertwee - Event Horizon ) maintains his honour. He meets an old colleague from his SAS (Special Forces) days, and invites him home. The old friend has a bit of an edge, and starts training Bruce Wayne in street-fighting. Alfred prefers the Marquis of Queensbury rules, which is great for sport but not practical for a life-or-death struggle. That said, Alfred is the one who taught Master Wayne to use knuckle-dusters as an equaliser when sucker-punching a bigger and heavier opponent.
Barbara ( Erin Richards ) offers to give Cat and Ivy a make-over. Cat feels cornered, and (metaphorically) bites the hand that feeds her. This is a deliberate attempt by the showrunner to desexualise the teenage catwoman, but it also makes Barbara look like a weak character.
Alfred (Sean Pertwee - Event Horizon ) is in hospital, but he and Master Wayne swear blind to Gordon that they did not see the attacker’s face. However, Bruce has noticed that his files are missing - the attacker was a spy, not a burglar. Cat-girl offers to help out, although her primary reason for being in the hospital is because that is where Poison Ivy steals food from.
Fish Mooney wakes up in a hospital bed. The Doctor (Colm Feore - Chronicles of Riddick ) has operated on her face, but she does not seem to be pumped full of painkillers. She asks for a promotion - and since the office manager (Jeffery Coombs - Reanimator ) is out of favour, she gets a chance to earn it.
Gordon investigates police corruption. The Commissioner has not only gotten the murderous Narco Detective freed from prison, he even got him a promotion! Gordon teams up with ADA Harvey Dent, the only man he can trust to be incorruptible. Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) is vulnerable to the Commissioner’s blackmail files, so he cannot be entirely trusted any more.
Alfred (Sean Pertwee - Event Horizon ) wants to track down his old comrade in arms. Unfortunately, since the butler is walking wounded (until his stitches reopen, and he can no longer stand) Young Master Bruce takes it upon himself to do the necessary. With aid from cat-girl he tracks down the traitor, who is now a helpless junkie shooting up ...
On Doctor Dollmaker’s island, Fish Mooney tests security . She has a plan, involving a boat and the six toughest goons in the basement. After all, it seems nobody there knows how to fly a helicopter. Unfortunately the Doctor still does not entirely trust her. And he has only just met her, so he must be a very good judge of character!
Gordon gets involved in another detective’s case. The Ogre (Milo Ventriglia - Heroes ) abducts beautiful women and makes them act like 1950s housewives. Unlike the character in Dead Zone , he kills them when he is done with them.
It is the evening of the Wayne Foundation’s Annual Charity Ball. Bruce Wayne picks Selina Kyle as his date, sending her a selection of dresses and whatnot. Luckily, Barbara ( Erin Richards ) is going to the event too. Her date (Milo Ventriglia – Heroes ) senses she is a kindred spirit. Will she enjoy his perverse take on 50 Shades of Grey?
Gordon and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) start to close in on the uncatchable killer. Yes, this show is actually a good police procedural as well.
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) recruits a hitman for the Moroni job. But Moroni has plans of his own. The gangster pays a social call to Penguin’s nightclub, and makes friends with Penguin’s mother ( Carol Kane ). The poor lady has no idea that her little Oswald has killed so many people. Will she believe Moroni when he spills the beans about her little boy?
Gordon has a new lead on the Ogre. He must send Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) undercover at a high-class brothel. But first, they must get Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) to arrange an invite. This will be the SECOND favour that Gordon owes Copplepot.
Bruce Wayne makes his play for the board member’s office safe. He discovers something about his father that he had not expected … and he meets Lucius Fox, a junior executive with great prospects.
Penguin’s assassination attempt on Don Moroni goes ahead. But Oswald has a new plan, one far more ambitious than before. Will he get out of his depth again?
Gordon has Barbara ( Erin Richards ) checked out by the Police Doctor, Morena Baccarin . He also suggests they meet for a therapy session. Remember what Micky said in the Dr Who (2005) Episode set in the school: Welcome to every man’s nightmare – when the missus meets the ex! Will we get an amazing cat-fight? Will we discover why Barbara’s dress was drenched in blood while the Ogre’s suit had not a drop on it? Keep watching!
Falcone gets hospitalised, but without him Gotham will tear itself apart. Who will get to him first – Gordon, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) or Moroni? Since Falcone is the only one protecting Penguin from Moroni, surely Penguin should want to keep the old man alive until Moroni is dead. And Gordon owes Penguin two favours … how much is Gordon’s word of honour worth?
Fish Mooney has not been seen in several episodes. Suddenly, as the gang war heats up, a mysterious boat sails up Gotham river. The female captain recruits an army of homeless people, handing out shotguns. Cat-Girl joins up, declaring it the coolest thing she has ever been a part of. This means forsaking all loyalties and being party to pre-meditated murder.
Back in Wayne Manor, young Master Bruce has Alfred (Sean Pertwee - Event Horizon ) help him take all the books off the shelves. There may be a secret something hidden in the room.
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) is now the undisputed King of the Gotham Underworld. His underbosses now include:
In comparison, the cops are no better off than before. Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) has retired and is now a bartender. A pity that he did not get a job as Falcone's bodyguard on a tropical island, but at least he is still in the show. His interaction as Gordon's partner made him vital to the show, and he may not be as interesting as a mere barman.
Gordon has been busted down to patrolman, but he has earned the wrath of the Police Commissioner so he gets himself fired. It was only a matter of time - the Commissioner was a reasonable man, but Gordon is an obsessive who lacks the brains to keep his mouth shut and his fists to himself. And the next logical step is for Gordon to ask a favour of the one person who might help. Penguin is a forgiving person, but he requests Gordon actually repay a favour. Will Jim do a simple one-off debt collection job? After all, Penguin has inherited the marker from Falcone's money-sharking, so the money is morally his - even if the loan was technically illegal. And the gangster who owes Penguin the debt is a drug-dealing scumbag. Gordon also fails to note that if Penguin has to collect the debt himself the result will be a bloodbath, a case of having Victor Zsasz conduct a Termination with Extreme Prejudice to avoid a new civil war.
With the corrupt Commissioner on his way out and the corrupt Mayor keeping a low profile, there is a new power in town. Rent-a-villain Theo Galavan (James Frain - Invasion ) is a powerful businessman with political connections, just like Frain's character in The Cape . Well, if Vinny Jones would play a Scales type character in Arrow then there is no reason that other villains from that show could not pop up in the DC universe.
Speaking of villains, Barbara ( Erin Richards ) is now in Arkham Asylum. The wards are not gender-segregated, so she is put in with male inmates like Jerome (one of the Joker suspects). She is obsessed with revenge on Gordon - but the truth is, she is now an interesting character! And she is not behind bars for long, because the Season villain is recruiting a team of hench-people.
Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne has discovered a secret door. He does not bother trying to guess the password, instead he gets Alfred (Sean Pertwee - Event Horizon ) to help him construct a massive ANFO bomb. Will this damage the foundations of Wayne Manor, leading to subsidence and the eventual collapse of the massive building into the nascent bat-cave?
Bruce and Alfred (Sean Pertwee - Event Horizon ) go exploring in the batcave. Alfred has his doubts about the idea of a teenage boy taking up the mantle of a vigilante After all, Bruce has not even kept up his attendance at school! Worse, young Master Wayne thinks he can fire his Butler - who is also his legal guardian, and the only adult in the whole Mansion. Rather than leave his charge in a Home Alone situation, Alfred calls upon the services of Lucius Fox. Yes, finally there may be a Black Man as a regular cast member. Well, realistically semi-regular at best but it is a start.
Rent-a-villain James Frain ( The Cape ) unleashes Jerome and his henchmen, the gang of Arkham Asylum escapees now called the Maniax. Barbara ( Erin Richards ) has a special mission - targeting James Gordon himself. What the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) feels about this is never explained, because he and the mainstream Organised Crime types do not appear on-screen this episode.
Back in the GCPD precinct house, the new Commissioner is getting used to her old office. Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) is still absent, since he is enjoying his premature retirement as a bartender. Ed Nygma is under so much stress from being on speaking terms with his now-single love interest that, as of the previous episode, he has manifested a new split personality. The alternate Ed stands up straight, does not stutter and does not need spectacles.
We get further insight into Theo Galavan (James Frain - Invasion ), the mysterious millionaire plotting to attack Gotham from the inside. His motivation makes him seem like the same character he played in The Cape , but without the cool alternate identity. Jerome is the front-man.
Where will the villains attack next? Gordon is clueless, and Bruce Wayne is too busy preparing for a charity banquet. A pity Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) is not around to ask What's altruism?
Is Jerome the Joker? What about the stand-up comedian at Fish Mooney's place, or the kid who stole the Red Hood? They say Laughter is contagious - is Jerome the original, and the Joker a copycat?
Theo Galavan (James Frain - The Cape ) needs a new footsoldier now that Jerome is out of the way. He chooses Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ). Luckily for Theo, our Oswald has one major flaw. While Penguin loves his mother, he did not bother to move her into the Godfather's mansion with him. And now she is Theo's bargaining chip.
Alfred the Butler (Sean Pertwee - Event Horizon ) confronts Cat-girl. He brutally registers his displeasure with her for killing his old mate Reggie (the man who stabbed him and left him for dead). He also orders her not see master Bruce again, because she is a bad influence. Poor Bruce will be lonely without his only friend, but not for long. Theo Galavan has a blonde niece named Silver St Cloud, who is of the same age as Bruce and is now attending his school.
Gordon meets his new boss - the charismatic and enthusiastic Captain Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis - Fantastic Four ). Chiklis played a nice-guy Commissioner in The Commish and a violent corrupt detective in The Shield. This new character is a cross between the two - both incorruptible and violent. His first step is to fire every cop with a history of corruption - although Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) is never mentioned on the list. Step two is to form a new Strike Force, recruited straight from the Academy - yes, just like in The Untouchables.
Theo Galavan (James Frain - The Cape ) tortures info out of the corrupt Wayne Enterprises Executive who outsmarted Bruce and Cat last year. Next stage, Theo gets Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) to send Butch to hire some arsonists for a snatch-and-burn job. The best arsonists in the city are loyal to Fish Mooney, despite being repulsively blue-collar misogynists. This is an excuse for Butch to take Cat-girl along, because despite being all friendly with Penguin a few episodes ago she is still homeless and famous for being Fish Mooney's favourite hench-person. Also, Cat-Girl is friends with the arsonists' step-sister.
The Arsonists need to stock up on supplies for their arson around. Luckily, there is a local warehouse that sells weapons to anyone with cash. Unluckily, it is the next target of the GCPD Strike Force. Even worse, something labelled as C4 plastic explosive is actually more like sweaty dynamite, because it explodes violently when hit with bullets.
The step-sister is being established as one of the next generation of super-villains. The Arsonists treat her as a skivvy, and are evil because they do not say please when they ask her to fetch a beer. However, they give her a choice of two kinds of better life. She can leave them and go live with homeless Cat-Girl. Or she can become one of the gang, a full-fledged arsonist. As a supervillain-in-the-making, her choice is clear.
Ed Nygma and his GF, Ms Kringle, are getting along quite well. Ed invites Jim Gordon and his GF on a double date. Gordon tries to talk his way out of the awkward situation, but the lady Doctor invites them all over for a fondue party at her place. Wow, there certainly is a lot going on these days. But with such a large number of characters who all have to make an appearance every single episode, this is more like a soap opera than a police procedural. A very watchable soap with lots of murderous super-villains, so what is not to like?
Penguin gets his first clue as to what Galavan's aim is. He also takes his next step in a strategy to free his mother from Galavan's control.
Theo Galavan (James Frain - The Cape ) continues his plan against Bruce Wayne. Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) continues to plot, but he is impatient and the show is only six episodes into the Season. He is also too preoccupied to care when a couple of teenage girls stage an armed robbery at the local skank-ho auction.
Gordon starts beating statements out of suspects in a hope of finding out who the accidental cop-killing arsonist is. It turns out that she is upgrading herself to being a full-fledged sadistic murderer. Also, she uses her flamethrower to burn two people to death in a room while completely avoiding to even singe the furniture.
Ed Nygma and his girlfriend take things to the next level. But she is a cliched character, someone who warmed to him far too quickly. It is inevitable that sooner or later she will revert to her Season One personality. And the better things look, the worse the twist will be for poor Ed.
Cat-girl's relationship with Gordon also runs hot and cold. She helps him when it suits her, but she is more than happy to pull a shotgun on him like when she was Mooney's goon. And she accuses Gordon of not caring about other people, just after she herself held his girlfriend ( Morena Baccarin ) hostage at gunpoint! She also disparages Penguin, despite being in his trusted inner circle at the start of the Season.
Ed Nygma's alter-ego is back. All Ed remembers is that he choked his lover until she passed out. He assumed she was dead, he did not check her pulse or attempt CPR. Instead he wakes up and finds her body missing. The alter-ego claims that he hid the body in the police station during the night. Ed has to follow a set of clues set by his subconscious.
Butch tries to get his own crew sorted. He could look for Fish Mooney's supporters like Cat, but she is busy paying a visit to Wayne Manor. She uses the side entry, so Alfred cannot stop her. Unfortunately Bruce has a guest - Galavan's niece, Silver St Cloud. Last week we discovered that Galavan's family had hidden strengths. The niece is certainly not a weak link or an innocent dupe. Her looks conceal the fact that she is an impressive piece of work.
Penguin goes gunning for Galavan. His plan involves dressing all his crew like himself, so the enemy will have no idea which one to shoot first. Unfortunately since Galavan is now the new Mayor, the GCPD are taking no chances with his security.
Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) know who the Season villain is. However, their only witnesses are Butch and Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) - both crooks, both on the run. Luckily, Barbara ( Erin Richards ) walks into the station and offers to help Jim. It is obviously a trap, but they are desperate. Barbara's insanity seems to come from her jealousy of Gordon and his new girlfriend. But has Jim actually been honest with the new girl?
Theo Galavan (James Frain - Invasion ) unveils his next step. He offers to buy Bruce Wayne's 51% controlling interest in Wayne Enterprises. After all, it is still corrupt - although none of the regulars knows about the secret Supervillain lab revealed in Gotham [Season 2, Episode 6] Rise of the Villains: By Fire. The truth is, Galavan probably still has the one-eyed Corporate Exec in a cell somewhere. But instead of Galavan telling Bruce the terrible truth, he instead offers him his heart's desire - the identity of his parents' killer. Will Bruce take the decade necessary to train as a vigilante and then become CEO, or will he just sell out to Galavan and hope the man is as honest as he seems?
Out in the woods, Ed Nygma tries to bury his problem. Unfortunately, as Ed himself says, for a remote wooded area there is an awful lot of foot-traffic.
Galavan's sister wants revenge on Gordon. She visits an Assassination Club run by Missy from Doctor Who (2005) , and puts a price on Gordon's head. Her minions corner him in Galavan's office, which is being processed by GCPD Forensics for clues. Unfortunately the place does not appear to be fortified, although Gordon has some other cops to help him. A rookie, an unarmed CSI, and the Captain (Michael Chiklis - Fantastic Four ). Gordon's usual partner, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ), is nowhere in sight this week.
The Captain repeatedly urges Gordon to abandon the office. Is he trying to distract him from potential clues? Or is he sincere when he tries to bond with him? And as for Gordon - fill he show his own dark side?
Ed Nygma has a house-guest - Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead )! They both have so much in common, such as mutual friends and interests, but now Penguin is in a state of serious depression. Even the knowledge that Gordon has arrested Galavan (James Frain - Invasion ) is not enough to bring him round.
Bruce Wayne wants to know what Galavan's research uncovered about his parents' killer. He arranges secret meetings with the blonde, Silver St Cloud, even though Alfred strenuously objects. Even Cat-girl, who Alfred also objects to, knows that Silver is toxic (so to speak).
Theo Galavan (James Frain - Invasion ) is about to face trial. However, he seems strangely confident that he will not be convicted. Gordon wants to investigate further, just to keep costs down.
Bruce Wayne still wants to know the info Galavan claimed to have. He goes to Silver again, with Cat-girl waiting nearby as backup. However, Bruce and Silver get kidnapped by Chibbs from Sons of Anarchy.
Alfred goes looking for Young Master Bruce. He runs into Galavan's sister, so we get a show-down of ex-SAS soldier versus whip-cracking dominatrix assassin.
Gordon and Bullock are busy elsewhere. Ron Rifkin ( Alias ) and his mad monks are on a killing spree across the city. The GCPD must work out who their next victim will be.
Ed Nygma gets used to his new house-guest - Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ). However, Penguin has other friends as well. His criminal empire might not be completely gone after all.
The bad news is, Bruce Wayne is in the hands of Theo Galavan (James Frain - Invasion ). The good news is, Gordon has no shortage of allies. Some of them hate Galavan - like Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) and his few remaining goons. The others are the Wayne faction - Alfred, cat-girl, even Lucius Fox turns up.
Meanwhile, Galavan gives his young niece Silver a chance to recover her status. She must seduce Bruce Wayne, and convince him she is on his side. But Galavan is a brutal task-master. He is also harsh with his sister, and her loyalty to him seems to be inexplicably fading.
The fight itself is a bit one-sided. The mad monks have big knives and superhuman strength. Gordon's team have guns. Not much of a contest.
At the end of the day, Gordon must make a choice. Will he hand Galavan over to the Captain, and let the law take its course? Or will he hand him over to Penguin, and the law of the jungle?
Someone is freezing people with a gun that fires liquid helium. Yes, yet another crime spree so weird (brutal and high-tech) that it could only happen in Gotham. Luckily Gordon is cleared for duty after Galavan's brutal death, so he and Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) can investigate the case. It turns out that Viktor Freeze, former scientist at a Wayne Enterprises subsiduary, has rebelled against the excessive costs of American health-care and decided to develop a cure for his ill wife ( Kristen Hager ) all by himself.
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) gets caught, claims insanity, and is thrown in Arkham Asylum. No trial, no jury, just instant pickup and incarceration. It seems that Doctor Strange, the man running Arkham, is a lot more powerful than anyone realises. He is BD Wong - the Prison Priest in Oz, and the FBI shrink in SVU. Now he is so much more than just a Prison Shrink. After all, he is conducting secret experiments on fresh corpses.
With Penguin out of the way, Butch Gilzean is the biggest gangster in Gotham. Galavan's sister offers him a partnership. What side will Cat-girl take?
Mr Freeze has decided to give the cure to his ill wife ( Kristen Hager ). Captain Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis - Fantastic Four ) orders Gordon and Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) to take the wife to Arkham Asylum, a secure area with medical facilities that will also function as a trap. The GCPD's beautiful lady doctor ( Morena Baccarin ) accompanies Mrs Freeze, and is dismayed to see that her arch-enemy Barbara Kean ( Erin Richards ) is still comatose in the same ward. As a side-note, the doctor used to work in Arkham and is not happy to be back there. Presumably she was not in Dr Strange's circle of trust, because she has high moral standards. She and Mrs Freeze share a sense of responsibility towards their menfolk, who have taken immoral choices.
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) is still in the Asylum, being tortured by Dr Strange (BD Wong - Oz). Gordon has decided to turn his back on his old friend, even though Penguin lied and took the fall for him. This is the lowest that Gordon has fallen, because even the murder he committed was completely provoked.
Alfred has identified a suspect in the Wayne murders. Bruce Wayne gets talked down to by the adults, but tells Cat the truth. He wants to murder the man who shot his parents, and he wants to borrow one of her leftover guns from her time as Fish Mooney's assassin.
The GCPD's beautiful lady doctor ( Morena Baccarin ) is worried about Ms Kringle's absence. Unfortunately Ed Nygma is now dangerously insane. This is not a time to get on his bad side.
Alfred goes looking for a suspect in the Wayne murders. Bruce Wayne tags along, but cannot keep his mouth shut. The lad is intent on murdering the suspect. En route they interview a woman ( Lori Petty ) who is made up to look like Harley Quinn. The weird look may become fashionable in Gotham.
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) has been released from Arkham - he is cured! He goes to pay his respects to the new Boss of Gotham - his old buddy Butch Gilzean. The good news is, Butch is in a good mood because things turned out well for him. The bad news is, Butch is now shacked up with Theo Galavan's sister. Miss Galavan is unhappy about what Penguin did to her brother, while forgetting that she is the one who beat Theo unconscious, stole his parachute and left him to die.
Gordon and Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) investigate a series of crazy crimes committed by a madman who leaves a question mark as his tag. No, it is not Slyvester McCoy from Doctor Who - it is Ed Nygma, finally beginning to emerge as a super-villain. His motives are complicated, his endgame is explained at the end. However, it must be painfully obvious to anyone who pays attention that the crimes are being committed by someone inside the Police Precinct. But then, subtlety was never Ed's strong suit.
Bruce Wayne is still hanging around with Cat-Girl. They decide to steal from the Magic Mushroom farm owned by Butch's nephew. Poison Ivy is their inside woman, since she is now a professional mushroom farmer. However, the gang cannot be so stupid that they would not blame Ivy. Luckily, Bruce decides to pick a fight with Gilzean Junior.
Gordon gets moved to Gen-pop. The Prison Warden is an old friend of Commissioner Loeb, so Gordon will soon regret his own unwillingness to form alliances.
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) settles into life in the Big House again. Not the one he took from Falcone, but his own ancestoral pile. Yes, he has been reunited with his father (Paul Reubens - Peewee Herman ). The good news is, Reubens also played Copplepot Senior in Batman Returns . The bad news is, Penguin now finds himself with a wicked stepmother ( Melinda Clarke ) and some shallow step-siblings.
Luckily, Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ) is still on good terms with Falcone.
Gordon is out, and he tries to piece together the clues. There is only one logical suspect, but how long will it take him to work this out?
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) agrees to work as an unpaid servant for his wicked stepmother ( Melinda Clarke ) and some shallow step-siblings. After all, the will was never updated so he legally gets nothing.
Bruce Wayne is still hanging around with Cat-Girl. However, they get roped into helping Gordon on his quest for justice. It seems like Young Master Wayne's time in the underworld is at an end. But will he let Cat stay with him in the big house and join him on his own quest for justice? Or will he pretend that he is protecting her by throwing her out?
Gordon has cleared his name, but he has still quit his job as a cop. For some reason he is living with Bullock (Donal Logue - Vikings ), which makes him look like a serial monogamist. After all, when he was with Barbara Kean ( Erin Richards ) he lived in her apartment, and presumably it was the same arrangement when he was engaged to the GCPD's beautiful lady doctor ( Morena Baccarin ).
Ironically, Barbara has been let out of Arkham. Gordon may be newly single, but he does not want to get back with his crazy ex-lover. Instead he is probably holding out for a forgettable regretable rebound relationship. This is a pity, because Barbara is the only one with the skills and inclination to help him. After all, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) is off the grid and does not even appear in this episode.
Gordon's self-chosen mission is to find the person who hired the hitman who featured in Gotham [Season 2, Episode 14] Wrath of the Villains: This Ball of Mud and Meanness. It turns out he was a former associate of The Lady, AKA Missy from Gotham [Season 2, Episode 9] Rise of the Villains: A Bitter Pill to Swallow. But Gordon needs Barbara's help to get close to her. He lacks the subtlety to play along and gain her trust, but is she actually worthy of HIS trust?
Back in the bat-cave, Bruce Wayne has uncovered a secret project at Wayne Enterprises. His father has records of something called Pinewood, including an address. This may be the motive behind the deaths of the Waynes. Sooner or later Bruce and Alfred will cross paths with Gordon. Will they manage to find out who was behind the killings? The obvious answer would be the African-American businessman who fell foul of Theo Galavan many episodes ago. But it turns out that there were other villains in high ranks at Wayne Enterprises.
Back in Arkham, Dr Strange (BD Wong - Oz) is working on a new project. With the aid of the formula that Viktor Freeze created, they might actually bring someone back from the dead. And just like the Baron's assistant Igor (Marty Feldman) in Young Frankenstein they use the most abnormal brain they can find.
Dr Strange (BD Wong - Oz) sends his new creation, Azrael, after Gordon. Armed only with a sword, bulletproof armour and superhuman strength and speed, this dark angel of vengeance takes on the cops.
What Strange does not know is that two of his previous so-called successes have started to unravel. Barbara Kean ( Erin Richards ) has shacked up with Butch and Ms Galavan in a weird menage a trois. Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) has spent the last few episodes in self-imposed exile, locked in his mansion with the rotting corpse of his latest victim.
Ed Nygma is making lots of new friends in Arkham Asylum. His trick is to treat everything like a puzzle. Soon he has escaped from gen-pop and started to investigate Dr Strange's secrets.
Galavan (James Frain - Invasion ) starts to pick off his old enemies. Among them is his sister, who decides to cooperate with Gordon and Bullock to save herself. She also tries to talk some sense into Galavan, although she overlooks the fact that if he remembers who she is then he will remember how she betrayed him and left him for dead.
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) is out for blood, and Butch Gilzean has no love for Galavan either. Will they get the band back together again?
Ed Nygma decides he does not want to be in Dr Strange's Asylum of Insanity any more. Just as he is breaking out, Cat-girl (with a new hairstyle) breaks in as a favour to Bruce Wayne. It is ironic that he drove her out if his home to protect her, but now he is sending her into harm's way again.
Galavan tries to fulfill his original mission - kill Bruce Wayne. Unfortunately Alfred has STILL failed to upgrade the security of Wayne Manor. Admittedly he realises they can use the batcave as a safe room, but his first idea is let's split up and make certain the windows are all closed.
Bruce Wayne sent Selina Kyle to infiltrate Arkham Asylum. However, he does not know that she has run into her old buddy Firefly. Worried when she does not return, he goes to Gordon for help.
Bruce and Lucius bluff their way into Arkham under the pretext of an inspection. Professor Strange (BD Wong - Oz) has a face-to-face with Bruce, who finally gets to understand a bit more about his father's death. Meanwhile, Gordon sneaks in disguised as a guard. After all, he used to be a guard there so no wonder that he still has his old spare uniform.
Professor Strange has an unexpected success with one of his test subjects. It is a woman who was found floating dead in the polluted waters of the bay. Now she is back from the dead, with her memories intact and a superpower as well.
Professor Strange (BD Wong - Oz) has his orders - take the monsters upstate and then blow up Arkham. However, he has a few loose ends to tie up - Jim Gordon, Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox. Also, one of the monsters has the power of brainwashing.
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor - Walking Dead ) is back working with Butch, and Butch has teamed up with Barbara Kean ( Erin Richards ) again. Penguin gives them a tour of his family mansion, and they team up to help defeat Professor Strange.
Firefly and Freeze have a face-off. This is so much better-done than the scenes of the fire and ice characters in Legends of Tomorrow , another show based in the DC Universe.