This week’s episode of Gotham, while just the third of the season, seemed almost to be another reset with The Scarecrow out of the picture (and not even a visit to Arkham) and no sign of whatever Ivy has become, focusing completely on our core cast of characters. But there were a couple of twists along the way.
For starters, we got to see the origin story of Ra’s al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) starting with his death and rebirth in A.D. 125 courtesy of a dip in the Lazarus Pit. It’s interesting how Gotham is not set in The CW’s “Arrowverse” but they both have been able to use this particular character. And upon his resurrection, he’s tasked to “find his heir” and presented with an embalming dagger … which he somehow loses over time because it ends up in a lot of other items that Penguin is about to put up for auction. What we don’t know is how it slipped through his fingers and into Penguin’s clutches. Convenient plot device?
When Barbara pays a visit to Penguin before the auction to make him an offer far beyond what the dagger would fetch when put up for bidding, he rebuffs her because she won’t tell him who the client is for whom she is trying to acquire the dagger. But if a girl can’t get a dagger honestly, the only other way is to steal it so she sends Selina to the docks to prove she’s worth partnering with.
But our little masked vigilante in training mucks it all up when he’s also spying on the activity at the docks and sees a thief — not knowing it’s Selina — try to make way with one of the crates. Attempting to find out which thief is trying to steal from another thief, he gets caught by Penguin’s goons and manages to fight his way out while Selina runs for cover … without the dagger. Reporting back to Barbara, she’s told the only thing she’s good for at this point is mopping the floors.
Bruce is intent on finding out what was in that crate by pretending to be a street urchin looking for his uncle on Penguin’s ship and getting caught again. Thankfully , Alfred was not far behind to do a little improv and get Master Bruse out of another jam. But they now know the dagger was in the crate and doing some research, Bruce found a stunning piece of information — the dagger belongs to Ra’s al Ghul and there’s a picture in a 2000 year old book to prove it. Bruce remembers the healing waters of the Lazarus Pit and assumes that is how Ra’s is still walking among us. But what is so important about that dagger?
Attempting more improve, Bruce and Alfred attend Penguin’s auction with Bruce acting the complete opposite of his nature, a rich, spoiled brat, loudly greeting Penguin and casually throwing money around. “I LOVE ART” he yells as he wins a painting he says he’ll put in his … bathroom. Alfred’s not too keen on Bruce reaching into his endless pockets but Bruce tells him he has to bid on other items to not appear suspicious — a little bit of improv on his part, impressing his mentor. Just before the dagger is auctioned, Barbara appears and immediately bids $100,000. Bruce bids $100,000 and one, and Barbara i=goes right to $200,000. Bruce again adds one dollar to the bid and she tells him to let someone else have some fun and she bids $500,000. Bruce adds to her bid by one cent, and before she can bid again he bids $2 million. Before Barbara can even open her mouth, Penguin jumps in and proclaims the item sold to Bruce … because he just likes to see Barbara lose. But he warns Bruce she’s not a good loser and will come for that dagger.
And she does. Well, Selina does and Bruce wonders why Selina is acting as Barbara’s lapdog. Selina tells him she needs the dagger to look good in Barbara’s eyes, but he refuses to do her “a solid.” Later, Barbara gets a visit from Ra’s and the two engage in a little hand-to-hand combat but there’s a twist: Ra’s is Barbara’s benefactor, the man who gave her the funds to open her new arms dealing business and the man who dipped her dead body in the waters of the Lazarus Pit. I loved when Bruce first set eyes on Barbara and commented that he thought she had died, and Penguin quietly spit out, “No one stays dead in this town.” But rather than being upset that Barbara failed to get the dagger back, he seemed rather pleased that Bruce had it. The plot thickens.
Meanwhile, while Penguin is away from the Iceberg Lounge, someone sneaks in and takes a blowtorch to the frozen Nygma. And he’s not happy to find the centerpiece of his club missing. Victor Zsasz thinks it opens the place up. When Ed wakes up, he’s still not able to move but it seems like he’s living out a scene from Stephen King’s Misery as it was his number one fan and third grade school mate Myrtle Jenkins (Ilana Becker, better known as Irritabelle, the irritable bowel, in those Viberzi commercials). Myrtle tells Ed he’s been frozen for five months but she’s been working hard learning Penguin’s schedule and making cute outfits to act as his sidekick once he’s better. But there’s a problem — Ed’s brain is just not working, failing to answer even the simplest of riddles:
“What’s black and white and red all over?”
“A zebra, with a gaping hole.”
“No, a newspaper.”
“That’s ridiculous. There’s nothing red on a newspaper.”
“I have a face and two hands but no arms. What am I?”
“A deformed baby.”
“What’s green and red and spins?”
Ed couldn’t even answer that one, but his frustration with Myrtle and his newly working musculature allowed him to whack her in the head with her joke book (he was especially upset when he found out they were just children’s riddles) so he could make his mistake. But crossing Myrtle was not a good idea because she confessed her deeds to Penguin (and even Victor Zsasz was able to answer the “frog in a blender” riddle) but it did not end well for her. At least Victor complimented her dress before shooting her.
While all this was going on, Jim Gordon took a little trip to sunny, sepia toned Miami, arriving at Carmine Falcone’s compound in a 1950s looking cab. I love how this show mixes different eras together, keeping the show in a strange, surreal timeless state. While talking with Carmine, Jim also meets Falcone’s only daughter, Sofia (Crystal Reed). Jim tells Falcone he needs his help in bring Penguin down by calling in some favors but Falcone tells Jim he can’t return to Gotham because he’s dying, so Jim is on his own. But Sofia has taken an interest in him, not even holding a grudge for killing her brother (she somehow knows he was infected with the Tetch virus), and the two end up taking a walk on the beach that ends with a kiss.
Back in Gotham, Jim is introduced to Detective Alvarez (JW Cortes) before being interrupted by a visitor — Sofia Falcone. She’s decided to come to Gotham and help Jim in his quest whether he wants it or not because she’s a Falcone and this is her city. Jim may have gotten a lot more than he bargained for with that trip to Miami.
What did you think of this episode? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.