Warning: Spoiler Alert
The two prevailing themes so far in the second season of the FOX Network series “Gotham,” have been turbulence and change and we saw a lot more of both in the season’s fourth episode. Gotham City’s gotten shaken like a snow-globe in the young season and we witnessed a whole lot of shaking going on in the chapter entitled “Strike Force.” The show-runners have quickened the pace in their sophomore campaign, making this a tighter, more exciting and more jam-packed series than the show presented last season.
This episode opens with all of Gotham City’s crime-bosses gathered at a conference table and everybody’s talking at once, until the Penguin picks up a shotgun and fires a round into the ceiling. He then asks all gathered to conduct themselves with more civility, as they discuss the problems they’re facing.
Penguin wastes no time getting to the matter of their collective concern, who masterminded the breakout of five inmates from Arkham Asylum. Cobblepot tells the group he finds it very difficult to believe that not one person in the room has any knowledge about who set-up the escape. He then says the GCPD’s main suspect’s a blind old man, murdered by Jerome Valeska. Oswald says it again this time over-emphasizing the word BLIND.
As Penguin’s voice hangs in the air, there’s silence until one of the guys seated tells Cobblepot they thought he arranged the escape. Penguin laughs derisively at the notion, telling all in attendance that he gave each of them all the freedom they wanted and the money was rolling in and everybody happy. Why would he mess a great situation up by bringing chaos into it. He tells the crime bosses they’ve got to reestablish their brand and rid Gotham City of the turmoil plaguing it, then sends them on their way.
As all the hoods leave, Penguin’s right-hand man Butch Gilzean introduces his boss to Tabitha Galavan who entered the room in the middle of the meeting. She tells him that her brother wants to speak to him about a matter that could benefit both of them. She tells him there’s a car downstairs waiting to take them both to see Theo.
Jim Gordon’s arguing with another detective in their precinct house when a large bald man wearing a dark blue three-piece suit stands in the doorway. After watching the back and forth for a couple of minutes, the man picks up a wooden chair and breaks it apart with his hands, then throws the pieces on the floor. He says my name’s Nathaniel Barnes, Captain Nathaniel Barnes and yes I’m your new boss. He then points to a uniform and tells him to clean up the mess he just made.
Barnes then talks about the building surrounding them, telling his personnel that it’s over 100-years old. He says they don’t make them like this anymore, this old girl’s solid and tough. Then he says that didn’t stop some psychopath from coming in here a few days ago and killing your Commissioner and nine of your fellow officers. He says he’s ashamed of it and he wasn’t even there. He then says that if there’s a person in the room that’s not angry and embarrassed they should resign right then and there, the room remains silent.
Barnes chuckles and says some of you are lying to yourselves, I’ve gone through all your files and read them all. He then calls seven officers over and tells them they’re not police officers they’re lowlife criminals. He then tells each of them what crimes they’ve committed and tells them all to hand in their badges and guns to the desk sergeant as they’ve all been fired.
He then tells his remaining staff that the days of looking the other way have ended. He says if you fail to enforce the law you’ll get terminated and if fear or disdain keeps you from helping a fellow officer you’ll get terminated. He then tells his staff to get back to work and tells Gordon he wants to see him in his office.
Barnes asks Jim his thoughts on what he said and Gordon says he agreed with every word the Captain said. Barnes asks Gordon if he’s a brown-noser and Gordon chuckles and says not at all. The Captain then says he went over the detective’s file, his history in the service, the police-academy and the GCPD. He says you’re a trouble-maker and a fighter, would you agree with that description? Gordon smiles and says yes sir and Barnes tells him he’s going to make him his second in command.
Theo Galavan and Penguin meet and we can see by Cobblepot’s expression that he’s confused about why Galavan summoned him. Then Barbara Kean walks in and Penguin quickly realizes that Galavan engineered the escape from Arkham Asylum and set himself up to be the hero at the Children’s hospital charity event. Galavan laughs and says that’s correct and Penguin’s going to be his destroyer.
Cobblepot smiles and says he’s honored that Galavan thought of him, but that’s not his style. He’s a builder and idea man and Theo says then that Penguin will be greatly interested in a new project he’s planning. He removes a sheet and shows Oswald a scale model of this huge modern office-park. Penguin says that the project would be in what’s currently a residential neighborhood and Galavan would need all sorts of political connections to get the houses knocked down and his project built. Theo says when he becomes Gotham City’s new mayor that will clear all the hurdles.
He then tells Penguin that his only problem’s that two already declared candidates could win the race, so he needs them knocked off and an attempt made on his life as well. Cobblepot then says Galavan needs an assassin and since this is Gotham City he can find one in the phone book under the letter A. As Penguin starts to leave, Tabitha grabs a TV remote and Theo says that Tabitha wants to share her favorite reality show with Oswald. When the monitor comes on Penguin sees they’ve got his mother imprisoned, he agrees to help Galavan.
The next morning Lee Thompkins and Jim are sleeping when her phone rings. She picks it up and she’s surprised to find herself speaking with Captain Barnes. Barnes tells her he’s heard great things about her and can’t wait to meet her, then asks to speak to Gordon. She gives Jim the phone and Barnes tells him to meet him in an hour at the Gotham Police Academy. He then tells Gordon that everybody knows he’s sleeping with the Medical Examiner.
Gordon arrives at the academy first and he’s looking through the trophy cases when he hears the Captain’s voice behind him. Barnes says that Gordon was oldest in his class, wasn’t the most athletically or academically gifted, yet he finished at the top of his class. The Captain says that’s because Gordon’s a warrior, but he can’t win the battle to clean up Gotham City on his own. Barnes says that graduation for the academy’s the following week and they’re going to recruit some of these folks for their precinct.
Barnes settles on four recruits, three men and one woman. He tells them they are now the Alpha Unit of the GCPD Strike-Force. They’ll report directly to Gordon and Jim will report directly to him. All seem pleased with the new arrangement, Gordon telling his Captain they’re a great group of kids.
Later that morning Galavan receives a medal for honor and valor for saving Bruce Wayne’s life and killing Jerome at the charity function. A TV news-reporter asks Galavan why he hasn’t declared himself as a candidate for mayor yet? Just then a sedan passes by and a guy leans out the window firing an automatic weapon at Theo but missing him by a mile. When everybody returns to their feet Galavan tells the reporter since the bad guys don’t want him to run he now feels obligated to throw his hat in the ring.
Bruce’s back at school and starts heading to where Alfred’s got the limo parked. As Pennyworth gets out of the car he sees Selina Kyle sitting on the stone wall behind him and asks her if she’s waiting for somebody. She jumps from the wall like a gymnast then tells Pennyworth no that’s his job. Alfred then slaps Kyle across the face and says that’s for Reggie, I know you killed him.
He then says he doesn’t know what she wants with Bruce but from his vantage point his ward’s better off without her. He says so do yourself a favor treacle and jog off. Selina appears to be holding back tears, but she smiles and says all’s good and climbs back up the wall and takes off just before Wayne arrives. Alfred gives his ward a change of clothes and a pair of sneakers. He says your preparation begins today, it’s likely a 90 minute trek home possibly two-hours depending on how many stops Bruce makes. Wayne looks at Alfred and asks you expect me to walk home? Pennyworth corrects him, telling his ward he expects him to run home.
Penguin and Butch show-up at the campaign headquarters of City Council member Caulfield, as she’s one of the other two-declared candidates for mayor. Gilzean has a ski-mask over his head, while Penguin’s sporting a derby and has a bandana tied around his nose and mouth. He walks into Caulfield’s office and she asks if he’s there to kill her, Penguin says that’s correct. She pleads with him not to, saying she’s a mother. Cobblepot suddenly gets agitated and says he’s got a mother too. After Penguin finishes Butch tells the two witnesses to keep their mouths shut as they have their names and addresses.
Ed Nygma’s trying to summon up the courage to ask Kristin Kringle out and he’s getting more awkward every time he practices. His alter ego steps out of the shadows and tells him he saved Kringle’s life and she owes him, so take what he deserves. Ed writes something on a piece of paper and interrupts Kristin’s conversation with three uniforms. Nygma excuses himself and then says Miss Kringle dinner tonight at eight and gives her the address, she smiles and says I like that, he smiles back and says yes you will. She’s suddenly interested in Ed.
Barnes, Bullock and Gordon talk to the four new officers and Barnes stresses they can never look the other way, because the situation will only escalate. If they see a kid breaking a window and let him go, he’ll only go on to do commit worse crimes and eventually end up with a gun. Just then the meeting’s interrupted as they’re told that City Councilor Caulfield’s been murdered.
Harvey and Jim go down to the headquarters and Jim asks if anybody saw anything and swears they won’t have to testify in court. The woman who was there tells the pair they have their names and addresses and Gordon says that Caulfield got stabbed multiple times and likely drowned on her own blood. Harvey says they’re wasting their time, but the woman says the guy with the knife was short, well-dressed and walked funny. Jim immediately realizes it’s Penguin.
Bruce meets with Theo Galavan for lunch, Alfred tells Wayne he’ll wait for him in the lobby. Theo asks him to join them, but Alfred says Bruce wants to thank Galavan for saving his life and he’d only be in the way. Wayne then says he can never repay him for saving his life and Galavan says he’s unsure what came over him that suddenly made him that brave. Theo then starts talking about the murder of Bruce’s parents and that he’s shocked the GCPD have no leads. Bruce says he’s very disappointed and then Theo says even the board of Wayne Industries are sitting on their hands.
Suddenly Bruce looks out the window and he’s smitten by this very pretty blonde girl about his age playing with the fountain on the grounds. Theo sees where he’s gazing and he tells Wayne the young lady’s Silver St. Cloud, Galavan’s brother was her stepfather until he died. Now she’s Theo’s ward and asks Bruce if he’d like to meet her and Bruce immediately nods yes.
When they reach the fountain Silver greets her Uncle and he introduces her to Bruce. He tells her Silver’s spent the last two-years studying in Geneva but now that she’s back in Gotham City, she’ll attend the same school Bruce does. She asks Wayne what it’s like and he says he just started as he’s been home-schooled for the past year. She smiles brightly and says we’ll take it on together then.
Nygma’s actually invited Kringle to his apartment for dinner, that’s why the note read Chez Moi. He tells her he’s an incredible cook and soon the two of them are having a great time. She apologizes for being so mean to him over the years and he says he deserved it for being so annoying. She says that he was just trying to be nice, then says she can’t believe she accused him of writing the goodbye letter from her former boyfriend. She then says he’s a jerk and Ed says he’s glad he’s dead. She looks at him strangely and says he just left town he’s not dead. Nygma says he meant that he’s dead to her and she excuses herself to use the bathroom. As soon as she leaves, Ed’s alter-ego appears and says Nygma blew it, Ed screams leave me alone and Kristin thinks he’s talking to her.
For some reason Kristin thinks it’s quite normal when Ed says he talks to himself and that the more forceful part of him informed him that he ruined the mood. Kristin says she enjoyed the mood also and the two of them kiss, tentatively at first. But then they both take off their glasses and start kissing passionately.
Butch and Penguin sit in a car in front of the other declared candidate’s campaign headquarters. Gilzean says he never questions Penguin’s orders but asks him why they’re involved in this. Oswald’s voice breaks and says because they have his mother, Butch asks who has her and Penguin says Galavan. Gilzean says we’ve got to find her.
This time Penguin sends our favorite psychopath Victor Zsasz to do the hit. The candidate’s standing there with four other guys and they’re all packing heat. Victor says the odds aren’t quite fair and quickly shoots two of the guys dead. The other two grab the candidate and head to the street with Zsasz in close pursuit. Victor quickly kills one of the candidates aide’s and takes out the second one just as Gordon and Bullock arrive, with the four recruits right behind them. Gordon feels sick when he sees it’s Victor, meaning Penguin’s involved in this hit as well.
One of the recruits rescues the candidate then they all take on Victor. Zsasz hits two of the kids in their bullet-proof vests knocking them to the ground and Victor escapes. After they make sure all the officers are fine, Gordon tells him they just met Victor Zsasz and he works for Penguin.
Jim arrives at the Penguin’s and sees him sitting at the conference table taking an Alka-Seltzer. Gordon tells him they’ve got witnesses stating that Cobblepot stabbed Caulfield and Zsasz just tried taking out the other candidate and he thinks Penguin’s behind the attempted hit on Galavan. Penguin tells him he’s in no mood for a lecture and Gordon tells him they’ve got a new captain and things are changing on the GCPD.
Penguin looks at Gordon and laughs derisively at him. He says Gordon arrived alone and unarmed, is he afraid that his Captain will find out he killed a man over a debt owed to Cobblepot and that he arranged for Penguin to force Commissioner Loeb to resign? Jim says he killed the man in self-defense and Penguin asks where are the witnesses. Jim says he’s willing to face any consequences of his actions and Oswald smiles and says he’s ready too. Gordon leaves Penguin’s house.
Galavan’s excitedly telling his sister Tabitha, that while the cops hunt for Penguin he’ll steal the Mayoral election. Bruce sees Silver at their school but starts to walk past her, she calls to him and gives him a look like she’s surprised he didn’t stop. Selina’s sitting on the curb as Alfred’s words echo in her ears. Finally we see Penguin sitting in front of his fireplace with a drink in his hand. Butch enters and Oswald asks if he found Penguin’s mother, Gilzean’s face tightens and he squeezes his boss’ shoulder sympathetically. Penguin lets out a cry and throws the glass into the fireplace, making the flames more intense.
The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 8:00 pm on FOX.