Warning: Spoiler Alert
Looks like our old friend Oswald Cobblepot’s going to have a challenger as King Of Gotham City’s world of crime. In the second episode of the second season of the FOX hit series “Gotham,” we watched Theo Galavan’s band of escapees from Arkham Asylum make their presence known in grand fashion. Galavan’s the ultimate marionette, keeping his identity in the shadows as his escapees wreak havoc and getting Gotham City Mayor Aubrey James to publicly disappear through pure intimidation. Can the Penguin and company stand up against Galavan, his sister Tabitha and his escapees?
Published reports during the summer stated that two major characters would get killed off in the season’s first few episodes. One of those deaths took place in this episode and unfortunately our prediction in our season preview article turned out to be correct, ushering in a new day in Gotham City.
The episode opens with a meeting between Galavan, his sister Tabitha and Gotham City Mayor Aubrey Plaza, who finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having a wooden box covering his head. Theo tells James that he’s going to open the latch in the front of the box and one of two things will occur. Either James agrees to call his secretary and tell her he’s run off with a woman and he’ll send her written instructions of what to do, or Galavan will put a tarantula in the box and close the latch. Naturally the Mayor chooses to make the phone call.
James asks Galavan why he’s doing this to him and the businessman and community leader tells him that he’s just a part of the great endeavor, the great cleansing. Theo tells the Mayor that monsters are coming, who’ll cleanse the city in fire and blood.
We head to the offices of the Gotham Gazette and we see the editor in chief turn up his nose at the paper’s headline asking Where’s The Mayor. The editor starts shouting at his staff that he could care less where James is or whom he’s sleeping with, he says that’s not news. As he gives his lecture, we see bodies coming from the roof, dropping past their windows. The reporters rush to the windows to find out what’s going on.
On top of the roof we find the four men that Galavan and his sister busted out of Arkham Asylum, in the first episode. They’ve got seven hostages up on the roof, in straight-jackets and Jerome spray-paints a letter on each of their jackets and Aaron Helzinger picks them up and throws them to the street below. When they’ve finished the dead men on the ground spell out MANIAX! They’ve introduced themselves to Gotham City.
New GCPD Commissioner Sarah Essen’s working out of her old office in her old precinct. She addresses her officers and informs them they’re dealing with a massive problem, then turns over the floor to reinstated Detective Jim Gordon who gives a rundown on the MANIAX personnel. Jerome Valeska killed his mother, Arnold Dobkins’ a schizoid, a thief and rapist. Robert Greenwood murdered and then ate six women, Aaron Helzinger murdered his entire family with his bare hands and Barbara Kean killed her parents. The seven victims were all from the Yellen shipyard.
Galavan’s meeting with the four men planning their introduction, he says what they did was just the overture. Jerome impresses Galavan the most and when the boys get into a spitting contest over whose the boss, Valeska bests Greenwood in a game of Russian Roulette and winning the title.
Barbara and Tabitha enter the room with James in tow, still with the box on his head and the lid’s latched. The women are taking turns whipping him and tell Theo they’re bored. Kean asks when it’s going to be her turn to do something dastardly and Galavan smiles and says soon. Them he asks her what she knows about Jim Gordon?
Alfred and Bruce are down in Wayne’s father’s secret cave located below Wayne Manor and Alfred’s distraught at what he’s finding in there. There’s a cache of weapons and a bullet-proof vest with two slugs embedded in it. Bruce wants to turn on his father’s computer, but Alfred asks him to think it through. Wayne responds he’s thought about it enough, this contains all his father’s secrets. He turns it on, but Pennyworth destroys the server with a sledge-hammer, saying that what’s inside the computer likely cost Bruce’s father his life and he won’t let Bruce get killed. Wayne tells his butler and guardian that he’s fired and for him to leave and never return.
Jim heads down the bar that Harvey bartends at and he has an unpleasant reunion with Bullock’s fiancée Scottie Mullens. She asks why he’s there and tells Harvey he’s going to ask him to go back to being a cop, but Bullock tells her she’s mistaken. Jim says she’s right, that’s exactly why he came and Harvey tells him he’s got a life now and won’t go back. Before Gordon leaves Harvey tells him to look for a connection with Yellen shipyards, where all the hostages got taken from.
Alfred comes into the library with a small suitcase and bids goodbye to Bruce, Wayne tells him if he needs a reference that he’ll give him a great one. Alfred’s hoping the boy had a change of mind, but he leaves the mansion and heads to the train station.
Harvey’s hunch panned out, the MANIAX stole a filled-up fuel truck from the shipyard and the guys have chosen their victims, a school-bus filled with cheerleaders from Gotham City High School. Jerome soon has all the cheerleaders manacled to their seats and then sprays them all with gasoline from the truck’s hose. He goes to light the gasoline, but his lighter doesn’t work, so Arnold Dobkins tries his, just as the police arrive. The MANIAX fire on the GCPD realizing they won’t receive return fire, standing in front of the schoolhouse. After shooting some officers they take off leaving Dobkins whose lighter’s failing to spark. Gordon grabs him but it’s a second too late as he finally lit the gasoline trail on the ground leading to the bus.
Jim knocks Dobkins to the ground with a punch in the face and then drives the bus to safety, seconds before the gasoline fire explodes. Gordon grabs Dobkins and asks who busted them out of Arkham, but before Arnold can respond Tabitha shoots him through the head with a high-powered rifle from a nearby rooftop. Now the MANIAX are down to four.
Bruce heads down to the train-station and finds Alfred sitting on a bench and sits down next to him. He tells his guardian he doesn’t want him to leave and he understands he did what he did to protect Bruce. However he says that Alfred’s either with him or against him, Pennyworth responds that of course he’s with him but he believes Wayne’s too young and not ready.
Wayne tells him that’s cool, so he wants Alfred to make him ready to teach him how to become a warrior. He says that Alfred’s lived a dangerous life and he can prepare him, the boy even says he’ll go back to school. Pennyworth agrees to the deal if Bruce follows his instructions completely and when Alfred tells him to hold back he’ll restrain himself. Wayne shakes Alfred’s hand and says he’s got a deal, but Alfred has to get the computer fixed. When Pennyworth asks how he’s going to do that, Bruce responds it’s Alfred’s problem since he broke it.
Regular readers of these pages, are well aware of my admiration of Sean Pertwee’s portrayal of Alfred. Although I enjoyed Michael Caine in the role in the Dark Knight Trilogy, Pertwee brings an edge to the part. He’s a dangerous man and when the situation calls for it, Alfred freely reveals that side of him. The next scene showcases that part of Pennyworth’s personality, as he tracks down Wayne Enterprises executive and confidante of Thomas Wayne, Lucius Fox in his favorite watering-hole.
Alfred makes it seem at first that their meeting’s accidental, but he soon tells Fox that he’d been thinking about him. Fox asks him what his thoughts pertained to and Pennyworth tells him the way he figures thing, the world’s made up of two kinds of people, those you can trust and those you can’t. Lucius agrees with him and then Pennyworth tells him that he needs to confide in him, but if Fox betrays him he’ll wind up dead. Lucius says perhaps he should pass on being Alfred’s confidante and the butler tells him that ship sailed, when he told Bruce his father was a stoic.
Lucius looks Alfred in the eyes and tells him he’s got only the best intentions in regards to Bruce. Pennyworth smiles and says he’s glad to hear that. Then he asks Fox if he can fix a computer?
Back at the precinct Gordon gets a call from Barbara Kean and he tries to play things cool asking her how she’s doing and what’s going on. Kean calls him on it and Gordon tells her she’s sick and she needs help. He says she’s really a good and loving woman and that he wants to help her. Suddenly he sees her in the doorway of the precinct, calling from a cellphone and she asks him how she looks. She leaves the precinct and he follows her out holding his pistol and aiming it at her.
As soon as he leaves Jerome and Greenwood enter the station wearing uniforms. Jerome ties up Commissioner Essen and then he and Greenwood open fire on the precinct. The pair kill almost all those in the building, Nygma, Kristin Kringle and Lee Thompkins, are among the few not badly injured in the incident. Essen’s witnessed this all before Jerome turns his attention to her.
Meanwhile Gordon’s following Barbara down an alley and he calls out to her to surrender and he’ll do all he can to help her. She says that’s just going to get her sent back to Arkham and Jim throws up his hands and says let’s talk this out. Kean says it’s too late for that and we hear a scream and Helzinger jumps down and lands on Gordon and starts pummeling him. Jim picks up a steel pipe and hits Helzinger in the head with it and then just stares when he doesn’t react. After a couple of seconds, Aaron softly says oww and then continues beating Gordon to a pulp until Barbara tells him to stop.
Jim’s on the ground on his back barely conscious and Kean straddles him and tells him she kept saying this is what she’s really like, but Gordon wouldn’t listen. She says I’m not sick I’m free, then tells Jim he best get back to the station in a hurry.
Greenwood and Valeska now concentrate on Commissioner Essen, Greenwood picks up a video-camera and starts taping Jerome’s conversation with Essen. She looks at him and through gritted teeth tells him that he’ll soon be dead and nobody will remember his name. Jerome laughs at her and says that’s where you’re wrong, I’ll leave a mark and it’ll spread like a virus throughout the city. Greenwood shouts out there’s nothing as contagious as laughter and Jerome shoots him dead saying that’s his line. Now just three MANIAX remain.
Essen head butts Jerome in the head and he says he likes it and tells her to do it again. The second time she breaks his nose and says that’ll leave a mark. Valeska laughs as blood spurts from his nose, then says now it’s my turn. When Jim arrives back at the precinct, a couple of uniforms are still alive as well as Ed, Kristin and Lee. However Sarah’s dying, her blouse covered in blood. Jim grabs her hand and says it’s a new day Jim and dies.
Lucius Fox is with Bruce in the cave as Lucius inspects the computer and smiles and says it’s certainly broken. Bruce asks him if he can fix it and Fox says he imagines so, but it’ll take some time. He then tells Bruce that he loved his father and he never got a chance to tell him that and he wishes he’d helped him more. Alfred enters the cave with a somber expression and some news for Bruce.
Jim enters Essen’s office and suddenly we see Harvey in the doorway and he says she was a Hell of a lady and Gordon responds she was a Hell of a cop. He then sees Harvey’s sporting his shield and he says he appreciates but Harvey’s not obligated to come back. Bullock says he doesn’t want to talk about it, we are what we are. Jim asks him how Scottie took the news and Harvey says she’ll understand, or she won’t.
As they head out of the office and into the main precinct, Bruce and Alfred arrive. Bruce tells Jim that he’s sorry for the losses but he’s glad Gordon’s okay. He then says he’s sorry he was so rough on Jim the last time they spoke and he gives Gordon a hug. One of the cops turns on a TV and we see a news report containing footage that Jerome sent to the station that he taped during the massacre. He tells the city they’re all prisoners, just cogs in the wheel, then tells them to hang onto their hats as they ain’t seen nothing yet!
The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 8:00 pm on FOX.