When it comes to delivering “wow” episodes, you can count on Gotham to do that a couple of times a year. With the season finale fast approaching, they really upped the “wow” factor this week with the Court of Owls, Barnes, Bruce, Lee, Penguin and Riddler.
With Selina recovered from her fall, she set out to do exactly what she promised Ivy — kill Bruce, or Not Bruce. The two were enjoying a real knock down, drag out fight when Alfred interrupted. When Alfred noticed the stab wound in Not Bruce’s side from which he felt no pain, the whole scene confirmed the suspicions he seemed to not want to believe. And Alfred finally flipped out. This was one brutal hand-to-hand, skull-to-skull fight that was simply shocking to watch. Sure, Alfred was fighting an invulnerable, GMO version of Bruce, but the optics of this man fighting a teenager was still shocking. Unfortunately for Alfred, it ended with a blow to the head and Not Bruce’s escape. When he came to, Selina was no help to Alfred, refusing to assist him in finding the real Bruce because there was nothing in it for her. Alfred probably cut her the deepest when he said she was just like her mother. Ouch.
Jim wasn’t having a better day as Kathryn and Barnes were about to pass judgment on him for betraying her trust. Jim nearly lost his head, but was able to distract Barnes long enough with some talk and a tricky maneuver to get him close enough for Jim to trigger one of Barne’s grenades which alerted Harvey and the GCPD to his whereabouts. But Barnes still managed to escape.
What Jim and Harvey now know, however, is that the crystal owls hold a map to all of the Courts locations around Gotham. When they located one while looking for the virus bomb, it was smashed during an encounter with Barnes. Luckily Alfred still had the one that Jerome had broken, and Harvey had a guy from forensics come and put it back together. Surely the Court must be holding Bruce at one of these locations.
As luck would have it, Kathryn was brought in and placed in an interrogation room where Jim was questioning her. When Alfred learned who she was, he barged himself in to get some answers as to Bruce’s whereabouts. The takeaway from the questioning was that Kathryn was not the head of the Court, and Alfred would do anything to get an answer including stabbing Kathryn through the hand! First gasp-worthy moment of the episode. Then explosion rocked the building as Barnes returned to continue his execution of Gordon. With Harvey, Jim, Alfred and Kathryn attempting to escape without Barnes seeing them, Kathryn decided it would be a good idea to get Barnes’s attention. As she stood before him to give him an order, Jim piped in with a list of Kathryn’s sins and … GASP! … off came her head courtesy of Barnes’ axe attachment. I did not see that coming. Unfortunately, without Kathryn, the GCPD is pretty much back to square one with the Court.
The episode also gave us some great moments with Oswald and Ed, both being held by the Court but neither knowing what they Court wants with them. There was some funny stuff here as Oswald kept taunting his nemesis by calling him Ed, but he had some solid reasoning. Ed insisted that his name is now The Riddler, the moniker he took on after he killed Oswald. “Guess what,” Oswald said, “I’m not dead!” Ed had to concede that one to him. But he teased Oswald, telling him he bribed the guards to poison Oswald’s coffee … while he was taking a drink! No, he didn’t, but it was funny. He did, however, grab a tranquilizer dart which he rolled up in a piece of paper and shot into Oswald’s neck! While he attempted to pick the lock to his cell, Oswald made enough noise while collapsing to get the guards’ attention. After he woke, Oswald asked Ed if the guards beat him, and Ed said he knew very well they did, and Oswald just said “good.”
Then the pair came to the conclusion that the only way they would get out of this mess would be to work together. They concocted a plan in which it would seem that Ed was about to kill Oswald, and then he slit Oswald’s throat … a very clever ruse using strawberry jam. Able to subdue the guards, the pair escaped with Ed complimenting Oswald on his dying act. “I’ve had plenty of practice,” Oswald answered. There was one little caveat to their escape plan: a six-hour moratorium on them trying to kill each other, because knowing Oswald was going to go after him as soon as they got out of their cells would be distracting. Oswald begrudgingly agreed and once out of the Court’s clutches, the two parted ways.
And what of Bruce? What is the Shaman’s game here? He wants Bruce to let go of the pain of his parents’ murder so that he can become the protector of Gotham. He even showed Bruce one of his own memories, of killing an Owl who was responsible for the Waynes’ deaths. But are these real memories that the Shaman is showing Bruce, or just another way to manipulate him. Bruce seems to be under some kind of hypnotic spell now, not even flinching when the Shaman shows him how much control he has over the Court’s Talons, zombie-like assassins mindlessly able to cut off their own fingers at the Shaman’s command. So is Bruce being groomed to be a hero for the city, or just another of the Shaman’s automatons?
And Lee finally seems to be accepting that Mario was infected and Jim’s shooting of him was justified. But why was it necessary for Jervis Tetch to infect Mario in the first place? Unfortunately, Lee could not let this issue rest and went to get answers from Jervis. What he told her did not sit well however as it all went back to the mad tea party where he shot Valerie Vale. He knew Jim loved her, and that she loved Jim but infecting Mario would make her hate Jim, holding him responsible for everything. In the end, Lee came to the conclusion that it was neither Jim’s nor Mario’s fault … it was hers. Heading back to the GCPD in the aftermath of the days events to “pick up a few things” — and still giving Jim the cold shoulder — they discovered after she left that the vial Strange had given them with the virus was missing. Lee, overcome by her own guilt, took the blood and injected herself, consumed by the madness immediately. Will this spell the end for Lee? (Probably depends on how things go with the new show she was working on for NBC if it moves forward.)
What did you think of this episode? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.