This week’s Gotham got off with a shocking bang as Bruce and his Shaman, who we now know is the actual guy in charge of the Court of Owls … at least as far as it comes to the board members … come to discuss that little matter of the Court murdering the Waynes. The Board justified the murders as Bruce’s father was threatening to expose them, but they had no reason for killing his mother. Not accepting that as a satisfying response, the Shaman instructed Bruce to give the order. But he hesitated, so the Shaman did it himself and … the Talons slit the throats of every board member in retaliation! Yikes! Bruce promised the Shaman he would not falter the next time.
That was a shocking way to start the penultimate episode of season, but that wasn’t the end of it. So much going on between finding Bruce, stopping the bomb and helping Lee, Jim and the GCPD had their hands full. For Jim, his main focus was helping Lee, but she’s already transformed from the virus she injected herself with, releasing her deepest desire, which is actually Jim Gordon. But she knows there is a darkness inside him as well, and she wants him to infect himself. When he refuses, she knocks him out, puts him in the trunk of his car and … buries him alive! The only way out is to take the virus. But Harvey hopes he can find Jim before it comes to that.
Meanwhile, Ed is having a confab with Barbara, Tabitha and Butch, revealing Penguin is still alive and they have to work together to kill him. Luckily Ed knows where all of Oswald’s safe houses are and it isn’t long before they find him and Ivy. Selina took off but was clobbered by Tabitha before she could get away. But Ed forgot one important detail: they were in a safe house, meaning Penguin had a means of escape, which he did. Luckily for them, Selina only cares about herself and easily sold Oswald down the river for some cash and the promise that Ivy would not be harmed.
At GCPD, Harvey hauled Professor Strange in to hopefully get some answers about the bomb, but when Lee showed up and told them Jim was buried alive somewhere, he had to divert his attention to that, putting Lee in the cell next to Strange. I have to give a tip of my hat to B.D. Wong for his terrific facial expressions and reaction to Lee as she was escorted to the cell. He was intrigued by her reaction to the virus, but he was also terrified of her as well. A wonderful performance.
But then there was still a little matter of that bomb about to go off somewhere in the city. Harvey gave Alfred full authority to question Strange in any way he saw fit, and for Alfred that meant holding Strange off the edhe of the roof of the police station by his necktie. Alfred offered him a deal, talk and go free or don’t talk and get a one way trip to the sidewalk straight down. Strange is always one about self-preservation, so he revealed the bomb was to go off at 5:00 PM and that Bruce had been taken to Wayne Enterprises.
While the clock was ticking for both Gotham and Gordon, and communication with Jim via short-wave radio was not helping locate him, it was determined from a past clue that the bomb was inside the clock in Central Station which would be packed at that time of day. Jim knew that Harvey was not going to find him before his oxygen was expended, so he did the unthinkable — injected himself with the virus and clawed his way out of his grave like a zombie, hoping he would get to the bomb in time.
Back at Ivy’s place, Oswald lamented that he had no army of monsters, but Ivy gave him the “good news” that Selina had called and said she’s found Bridget/Firefly and that they were coming over. Selina was right, Ivy is not the sharpest thorn on the rose. Oswald freaked because he knew it was a set-up, but Ivy insisted Selina would never do that to her … unless she was being paid. Whoops. And then Ed and his posse arrived, prepared to kill Oswald right then and there but Ed insisted his nemesis do one thing before he died … call him The Riddler. Oswald refused to call him “that ridiculous name” and Barbara was reminding Ed that the clock was ticking. But who should come to Oswald’s rescue? The one and only Fish Mooney!
It’s always great to see Fish, and I loved the exchange she had when Butch asked how she was doing. “I was alive, then I was dead, then I was alive again so things are looking up.” And as easily as she strolled in (and one has to wonder if she also paid Selina for that information since she just showed up out of nowhere), she strolled out with her little Penguin in tow, leaving everyone else a bit slack-jawed.
Alfred made it to Wayne Enterprises to talk Bruce down from whatever mind control he’s under, but he kept trying to protect the Shaman from being shot. It seemed like Alfred was considering taking a non-lethal shot at Bruce to get him to drop the detonator but could he do it? Meanwhile, Jim had made it to the bomb and Lee, who had grabbed the keys to her cell, was there as well, knowing Jim had injected himself (and for the record, Harvey was only a few minutes away from locating Jim). But as Jim attempted to dismantle the bomb, the Shaman grabbed Bruce’s hand and pushed the trigger starting the 30 second clock. Alfred shot him in the process and with his dying breath he told Bruce he had to meet the man who had chosen him to be Gotham’s Dark Hero.
Lee said it looked they’d be having company as the seconds ticked down, but Jim certainly was going to be able to stop the detonation, right? Shockingly, no, he did not and the bomb went off, ejecting the weaponized virus into the air. A shocking turn of events leading into the finale. And there is only one person who can really offer an antidote, Professor Strange, and his whereabouts are a mystery at this point. Alfred gave him his freedom, but he also knocked him out before he could escape. So is he still unconscious on the roof of the GCPD, or did he get away? And what about Fish, Penguin and the others? Are they far enough away from the city to not be infected? And Harvey? Will this spell the end for him? And who does Bruce have to meet? (Okay, that’s an easy one since we already know Alexander Siddig was cast as Ra’s Al Ghul and that was clearly his voice over the preview for the finale.)
We’ll hopefully get some answers in the two-hour season finale!
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