Camern Bicondova

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Photo Courtesy Of Nicole Rivelli/ FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Nicole Rivelli/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Normally a recap would be filling this space as the FOX network aired their final episode of “Gotham,” for 2015, as the show will go on hiatus and return with new episodes in February. Regular readers of these pages are well aware that I have a soft-spot for “Comic-Book Series” in general and I’ve written before that I believed that Gotham had the potential to be the best of the lot. Since the series is a prequel to Batman, the show’s creators and writers have been able to put their twist on a tale that first appeared in Detective Comics in 1939.

When you decide to reboot an iconic story, there’s certainly room for some flexibility in the new version. We’ve seen Jimmy Olsen morph from a freckle-faced ginger-haired photographer into a Black Man in the CBS show “Supergirl,” and the change got accepted eagerly by the fans. Jeri Hogarth is a shark in stilettos in the new Netflix series “Jessica Jones,” even though the character’s a man within the pages of Marvel Comics. These are minor changes that leave the big picture unchanged and even the staunchest traditionalist won’t be bothered by moves like that.

However over the last decade or so, we’ve seen the creative community expand their visions of familiar tales by breaking continuity with what should be hard and fast rules. You can set Robin Hood in ancient China populated by Shaolin Monks or in Alaska with a cast of Eskimos, as long as you stick to the constant. Robin Hood takes from the rich and gives to the poor, want to change those parameters then give your story and characters other names.

Back in 2013 director Zack Snyder released “Man Of Steel,” the reboot of the Superman series and broke continuity with every other version of the tale ever told. One of the changes was relatively minor and likely scoffed at by the casual fan, the fact that the Son Of Krypton grew a beard on Earth. Kal-El/Superman’s beard not growing on Earth’s been a constant through comic-books, Radio and TV shows and in movies since the character’s creation.

The second deviation from the “Superman Bible,” however altered the character and made this version of Kal-El different from all his predecessors. Kal-El broke the neck of his Kryptonian opponent General Zod, killing him and violating one of foundation blocks of tale of Superman. Superman Never Kills. There’s no room for negotiation in that statement. Zack Snyder’s creation can never truly be Superman in my eyes.

Which brings us back full-circle to the subject at hand, the final episode of Gotham for 2015.  The creators of this series can play as hard and fast with the characters as they choose to, however when the series airs its final episode when ever that occurs certain paths have to remain unchanged. Selina Kyle will grow-up to become Catwoman, Alfred Pennyworth will live to see Bruce Wayne go deeply into his adult years. Of course Bruce will either be on his way or actually donning his cape and cowl in the series finale and Jim Gordon will become the Commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department.

Everything else is up for grabs, they can throw a fake Joker on the screen and the fans will accept it. They can give young Bruce a doomed romance that forever affects his heart. They can have Harvey Bullock turn on Gordon and fall back into the corrupt cesspool that Jim first found him floating in. However they can’t alter those four tent-pole storylines, otherwise it’s a different tale.

The majority of the episode entitled “Worse Than A Crime,” was fast paced, gripping and entertaining as it all came down to a battle between Theo Galavan and the Brothers from the Order Of The Dumas and Jim Gordon, Alfred, Harvey, Cat, Penguin and his crew to save Bruce Wayne from imminent execution. Galavan sneaks away as Team-Gordon takes out all their opponents, culminating in the death of Father Creel as Harvey finally reaches the battle after struggling with the stairs.

At this point the story turned sideways and though it seemed puzzling one could make sense out of it. The only ways out for Theo, his sister Tabitha and his niece Silver are by greeting the police or by parasailing out of their penthouse window. Problem’s they only have two chutes and three people who need to escape. Theo expresses his disappointment in his niece and goes to choke her but he’s stopped as Tabitha comes up from behind and knocks him out with a blow to the top of his skull. Suddenly a devoted sister turns on her benefactor brother, without any real indicators? Strange but acceptable.

However what came next was not as Gordon finds Galavan in his office and tells the Mayor that he’s under arrest and to cuff himself. Galavan smiles and says you scared me there for a minute I thought you were going to shoot me. Gordon says this time he’s not getting away and Theo asks the detective if he’d like to wager on that, as that’s what Jim thought the last time he arrested him. The detective glares at Theo and says maybe he’s right and perhaps he should guarantee that Galavan never sees freedom again and puts his service revolver against the billionaire’s head. Galavan goes into begging mode quickly saying he was just talking big.

Just then Gordon’s commander Captain Nathaniel Barnes arrives on the scene with a uniform and orders Gordon to step away from Galavan. Barnes earlier in the episode issued a warrant for Gordon’s arrest, not knowing where his detective was located and he’d been charged with assaulting Galavan, still the city’s mayor. Barnes tells Gordon to put his service revolver on the floor and to put his hands on his head until Barnes gets the stories straight. Seconds later Barnes hits the floor as Penguin’s snuck up from behind him and hit him in the head knocking him out.

Cobblepot tells Gordon they can’t just let Galavan go through the system again and once again get set free. He reminds Gordon that he’s got all the judges in his pocket and he’d soon be back in his penthouse and running the city. We then see Gordon opening the trunk of a car and helping Galavan to his feet. Theo says you’re a moral man Jim, you’ll regret this and Gordon says he has greater things to regret than him. Penguin raises a baseball bat over Galavan as he lies on the sand near the ocean and says this is for his mother and beats Theo until the mayor pleads for his death. Gordon lets Oswald hit him another couple of times and then screams enough. He then pulls out his service revolver and executes Theo Galavan.

Gordon meets Lee Thompkins in a park, he sent her out-of-town just before the gunfight. She told him she’s carrying his child and he was about to leave Gotham City with her when he found out Bruce Wayne got kidnapped by Galavan. She sits on a cement bench and he walks over to her  and says it’s all over then asks her to marry him.

Do the creators of Gotham expect the audience to accept this brutal execution as part of the baptism by fire that helped shape James Gordon into the man who’ll become Commissioner of the GCPD. Gordon killed a man earlier in the season when he did a favor for Penguin to get reinstated on the force, but that was in self-defense. This was a premeditated act of execution and I don’t know how the character or the series recovers from this move.

I’m certain that there will be plenty of discussion from the creators of the series as well as from other observers. I’m hoping that there’s a rational explanation behind this event that allows us to forgive and to root once again for Jim Gordon.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

If a TV show compels me to repeatedly yell to a character to keep their mouth shut, it automatically passes my litmus-test. That actually occurred several times while watching the latest episode of the FOX series “Gotham,” much to my wife and our dogs’ consternation. That sub-plot was one of many that kept this viewer glued to my seat throughout the evening, indicating that in an era when the industry’s embracing comic-book shows, Gotham just maybe a cut above the rest. A war’s taking place in Gotham City and there are wolves masquerading as sheep, while others get pushed into situations they originally wanted no part of.

The blood-feud that’s developed between Theo and Tabitha Lucas and Oswald Cobblepot’s keeps boiling as the Penguin attempts to get Butch Gilzean deep within the Galavan organization. Cobblepot whacked off Butch’s hand with a meat-cleaver near the end of the previous chapter, this week opens with Gilzean telling Theo, Tabitha and Barbara Kean that Penguin’s lost his mind.

Butch tells the trio that Penguin blamed him for the bust at his counting-house and accused Gilzean of plotting behind his back and being a traitor. Butch told them that Oswald then grabbed the cleaver and chopped his hand off, he said that Penguin tried to hit him again but he slipped on the blood and Gilzean escaped and then woke up in a hospital. He then asks Theo for a job, but Galavan doesn’t think it’s a good match.

Butch says he’s got brains and nobody knows Gotham better than he does. Theo asks the women their opinion and Tabitha says she thinks he’s cute and reminds of a sad bear. Kean says that they had an incident last year as Gilzean held her prisoner in her own apartment. Butch says that’s true and he apologizes, Tabitha suddenly gets animated and says them can put a hammer or a knife on his stump. Kean  suggests a mini chainsaw and both women giggle which convinces Galavan to welcome Butch aboard.

We watch a guy running as fast as he can through a seedy Gotham City neighborhood with Jim Gordon in hot pursuit. The suspect knocks over a homeless man  trying to slow Gordon but he sidesteps him. He reaches the end of the alley and two members of the Strike-Force take him down. Gordon slugs the guy and says he’s looking for a firebug, and he knows the guy’s one. The dude says he’s been out of arson for years.

Gordon says he’s looking for a girl who wears a costume and uses a flamethrower, the guy responds he doesn’t know any female firebugs, he says they’re Mad-Rare like unicorns. Gordon punches the guy in the gut and leaves him sprawled among the garbage in the alley. The male Strike-Force member says to Gordon that Captain Barnes’ demanded that any breaking of policy must be reported even if committed by a superior officer. Gordon barks back you do that and stomps away.

Bridget Pike’s staying with Selina and while Kyle’s sleeping she starts cleaning up the condemned apartment. Selina wakes up and asks what she’s doing and Pike replies she can’t sleep she just killed a cop and she’s unwelcome at home. She says she can’t go to the police and asks Kyle what she should do, Selina responds she needs to leave town. Bridget responds she’s got no money and Kyle smiles wickedly and says she knows a way to solve that problem, they’ll pull a heist. Pike’s against the idea but admits it’s her only option.

Just how depraved is Gotham City? How about holding what appears to be a nightly auction where the clientele bids for sex-slaves held against their will? Selina tells Pike this is the place they’re robbing and tells the teen to go in through the back door but to remain hidden until Kyle makes her move.

Both girls enter the building and Selina gets the crowd’s attention by shooting her gun towards the ceiling. She says that the crowd’s getting robbed and some of the folks start to laugh until Bridget shoots a flame into the audience. Pike  wants to free the women who are caged but Selina says they don’t have the time. They gather the money and run out of the place after Bridget shoots another burst fire from her flamethrower to keep anyone from following them.

Back at the precinct Barnes’ reads the riot-act to Gordon telling him we don’t ever beat suspects. He then shows security-cam footage to Jim of the girls entering the auction house, Barnes identifies one of the teens as the firebug but says he’s got no idea whom the other girl is. Gordon realizing it’s Selena says he knows her.

Alfred’s continuing Bruce’s boxing lessons in the cave under the library and he keeps telling Wayne he needs to focus that distractions will lead to his death. He tells Bruce to throw a left at him but it’s a tap and he gets Wayne in a headlock as Bruce struggles to get free. Alfred tells him he needs to fight dirtier than that and his ward bites down hard on his hand making Alfred pull back his arm and Bruce gets free. After complaining about the pain he smiles and tells Bruce good job.

The two resume sparring and Wayne says to Alfred he’s ready to take on the board of Wayne Industries. Pennyworth tells Bruce that Silver St. Cloud called and invited Bruce to the Galavan’s for dinner. The teen drops his hands and stands flat-footed as he processes the news and Alfred knocks him to the ground as he hits him flush in the nose. Pennyworth smiles and says you’re far from ready and extends a hand to help Wayne up.

Kristin Kringle and Lee Thompkins stand in the station engaging in some girl-talk, specifically Kristin saying how sweet and gentle Ed’s been to her. She says she kind of wishes he’d be a little less gentle, says she likes a little fire in a man. Ed’s been standing in the adjoining hallway listening and at that point walks in and invites Kringle over for dinner that night.

Harvey Bullock’s an old-school detective and that’s what makes him so valuable on the Strike-Force. While everybody else runs around like their hair’s on fire, Bullock relies on the same things he’s always done working leads and interviewing people with connections to others. Harvey’s got Ivy Pepper sitting at his desk as he tries to track down Selina Kyle and asks Ivy where she’s living. Ivy looks back at him blank-faced having never heard of Selina Kyle and she’s surprised that’s her friend Cat’s real name. Harvey says if she doesn’t tell him he’ll have child-services take her away, but if she tells him he just might grab a candy-bar and forget she’s at his desk.

Bullock’s chewing on a candy-bar when he finds Gordon and tells him Uncle Harvey knows where Selina lives and gives Jim the address. Gordon says he knows the place thanks his partner and takes off to find her on his own. Bullock advises he take back-up but Jim says with Kyle the quiet way’s more effective.

Selina’s taken her cut of their bounty, leaving Pike with enough money to leave Gotham and start a new life. Kyle says to her when she gets to the bus station to take the first bus heading south and ride it to the end of the line. Bridget asks what she does then and Selina says she’s got plenty of money so she can do what ever she pleases. Suddenly a van drives up to them with Bridget’s brothers inside, the oldest one Joe grabs Bridget and shoves her in the van. Selina tries fighting the younger brother and though she wrests his rifle away, they take off with their sister.

Kyle goes back to her place for more weapons and ammo and Gordon busts down her door holding his pistol aimed at Kyle but she’s holding a twin-barreled shotgun. He tells her to lower her weapon and she gives him a look like get real. Jim says she’s running with a really dangerous girl who could get her killed and Kyle says she doesn’t know who Gordon’s referring to. He says he saw the two of them together on surveillance footage and then says she torched six buildings and killed a cop. Selina says that Bridget didn’t want any involvement but her brothers forced her to, she says they’ve physically abused her and have kept her in chains for years.

Jim holsters his pistol and says to Selina then let him help her. He gives his word that he’ll do everything he can to keep her safe. Selina puts down the shotgun and gives Gordon Bridget’s name and address. He reassures Kyle that he’ll handle everything and save her friend.

Bridget’s in handcuffs as her brother’s count her take from the robbery and it’s six grand and Bridget says they can keep it. Joe says he’s going to keep it but what he’s upset about is she was about to leave them. As he berates her he starts chucking firecrackers at her which she manages to dodge. Joe then comes right up to her and asks if she wants to be part of the family again then lights an M-80 and holds it under her chin and she screams yes.

Joe releases her from the handcuffs and tells her if she ever tries it again he’ll kill her and her fiend Cat as well. He asks if she understands and she says yes. Then he shoves her and tells her to fix their dinner. Bridget’s seething washes her hands and then goes into another room.

Butch pays Penguin a visit with a mallet attached to his stump. Penguin says well at least it’s useful and Butch tells him not to start. Penguin then asks how things are going and Gilzean says he’s in and he’s got Galavan’s trust. Cobblepot asks if he’s located his mother and Gilzean says not yet it takes time. He says if he pushes too fast and too hard he’ll blow his cover. Penguin then starts controlling Butch via the brain-washing process that Victor Zsasz put him through last year. He asks Gilzean if he’s his lord and master and Butch responds he is and then he agrees when Penguin says  he has to follow every order Cobblepot gives him. Penguin then spits out for Gilzean to locate Oswald’s mother or he’ll cut off Butch’s other hand.

Bridget comes out of the other room wearing her costume and carrying the flamethrower. Joe asks if she intends to kill them with a sneer on his face and Bridget says yes then turns on the flamethrower and barbecues them both. She then grabs her money and takes off.

Minutes later Gordon and Bullock walk into the apartment and sees the two bodies on the floor. As Harvey goes over to examine the remains one of the brother’s sits up and grabs Harvey by the ankle and starts talking. Harvey’s scared out of his mind and kicks the guy until he lets go. Gordon then feels for a pulse and he’s dead, Jim says nice going Harvey. Bullock looks at Gordon like he’s insane and says oh my kicking him killed him? Perhaps it was getting roasted extra-crispy style that ended his life.

Ed and Kristen are just finishing dinner at his apartment and she says he’s got to stop spoiling her. He says he intends to spoil her for the rest of his life. They start kissing and she asks if that’s his bedroom, they both smile and head in there.

Gordon and Bullock head back to the precinct and Barnes’ tells Jim he wants that girl and he wants her now. Gordon tries to explain to Barnes that Pike’s brothers forced her to commit the crimes and they abused her and held her prisoner for years. Barnes basically says he lacks any pity for her and she’s going down.

Butch heads back to Galavan’s office and while he’s alone in there he turns on a monitor and sees Mrs. Cobblepot. Galavan walks in and greets Butch, he quickly shuts off the TV. Theo says that Gilzean’s hard-working and the most loyal man he’s ever met, then says it’s too bad that it’s Penguin that Gilzean’s loyal to. He asks Butch why he allowed Oswald to cut off his hand and Gilzean says that Penguin’s his lord and master.

Tabitha enters the room and Theo says we might be able to do something about that. He tells Tabitha that Penguin brain-washed Gilzean and asks her if she can reverse the process and she says she thinks she can. She wraps her whip around Gilzean’s neck until he passes out. Theo reminds his sister that dinner’s in an hour.

Theo, Silver and Bruce sit at the table in the Galavan’s dining room when Tabitha enters and apologizes for running late. She has a spot of blood on her cheek and Theo motions to her to wipe it off. He then proposes a toast to family for in the end that’s all we’ve got.

Kyle goes to Bridget’s building and finds her friend on the roof next to her pigeon-coop. Selina tells Pike she’s got to run, but Bridget says she’s not afraid anymore. She’s going vigilante and she pledges to rid Gotham City of all the scum and pervs that came after them. Selina says nobody ever came after her and once again says she needs to run, Bridget says it’s nice realizing somebody cares. Kyle says she doesn’t care she just thinks Pike’s stupid and starts to walk away but then rushes back to Bridget and hugs her telling her to be careful. Selina then calls Jim and says she thinks she knows where her friends going.

Pike returns to the auction house and after she burns one of the employees to death, she opens the cage and frees all the women. They all run out to the street just as the Strike-Force arrives, when Bridget walks out of the building Gordon tells the other officers to hold their fire and then starts to walk over to Pike with his hands up.

He tells the teen he’s aware that she got forced by her brothers to pull the heists and to kill Officer Garrett. He says if she puts down the flamethrower and comes with him they’ll work things out. Bridget says she’s not going to jail and Gordon says she’s a minor and there’s other options. She gets scared and turns on the flamethrower just enough to push Gordon  back, but a uniform fires a shot hitting one of her tanks and soaking her costume with the accelerant.

Barnes’ repeats the hold your fire command but the shot put Bridget over the top and she starts incinerating a cruiser. Gordon calls out to her to stop, but the cruiser explodes and the fire ignites her suit and she bursts into a ball of flame.

Back at Galavan’s mansion Theo and Bruce have a private conversation and Galavan asks Bruce if he knows a Wayne Enterprises executive named Sid Bunderslaw. Bruce responds that he does and Theo tells him that he’s missing and presumed dead. He then says he’s done extensive research on Wayne Enterprises and he discovered Bruce’s father was a very good man but Wayne Enterprises has a lot of sketchy deals under their control. He tells Bruce he realizes how mature he is and says when he becomes Mayor he’d like to help Bruce clean up his family’s company. Bruce thanks him and they shake hands.

Butch arrives at Penguin’s with his face cut-up, he tells Cobblepot that he’s found Oswald’s mother but they realized he’s a plant and Tabitha tortured him. However he says he escaped and they can save Penguin’s mother if they move now. Penguin says Butch’s loyalty will get rewarded and to sit down while everybody gets armed. Has Gilzean really returned to lead Penguin into a trap.

Gordon tells Selina he tried his best but Bridget didn’t make it. She immediately blames him but Jim says it seemed like she wanted to die and then asks Kyle again who ordered the Pike’s to set the fires? Selina says like you’re going to  do something about your little friend? Jim looks shocked and asks why Penguin hired them. Selina advises Gordon to talk to Cobblepot as she’ll never speak with the detective again.

Ed and Kristin are  basking in the afterglow when she shows concern, Ed asks her what’s wrong and she says she’s afraid her former boyfriend Officer Dougherty’s going to come back and kill her. Ed smiles and says she’s got no reason to worry. Kringle says that’s sweet but Ed’s too gentle to take on Dougherty and then Ed blows it all by telling Kristin he killed Dougherty. Kringle’s immediately repulsed and gathers her clothes so she can get dressed and leave, she says he’s psychotic and he’s going to prison where terrible things will happen to him.

Nygma pleads with her not to talk like that and attempts to calm her down and he puts one hand over her mouth and the other grips her neck. He says he fell in love with her at first sight and she just wanted to protect her. He says Dougherty beat her and he wanted him to stop, so Ed stopped him. Suddenly he realizes she’s not breathing, he accidentally killed her and starts crying cradling her corpse. Looks like the Riddler’s on his way.

We watch two orderlies pushing a gurney with a heavily bandaged body on it. The talkative one says she’s not dead, they said the suit melted onto her skin. She’s fireproof now, that’s right she can’t burn. That’s why we brought her down here with the rest of the monsters so they can perform tests on her. Bridget opens her eyes and sees that every room contains a heavily guarded “patient’ within.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 8:00 pm on FOX.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Season two of the FOX series “Gotham,” introduced a new “BIG BAD” in the season’s premiere Theo Galavan. Although he’s the mastermind behind countless murders and seemingly endless destruction throughout this campaign, Galavan’s perceived by the people and civic leaders of Gotham City as a hero. He captured the city’s admiration and respect by killing his own henchman Jerome Valeska as he terrorized the guests at a charity event for Gotham Children’s Hospital. Although he kidnapped Mayor Aubrey James, Galavan’s the favorite to win the special election to replace the missing Mayor.

We’ve known that Galavan’s avenging his ancestors, whom he told Barbara Kean had helped build Gotham City yet there’s no mention of the family’s name. Episode five gave us the “Big Reveal,” as we found out exactly what’s fueled Galavan’s obsession with vengeance and we found out that he and his sister Tabitha aren’t working alone in their quest.

Our first scene takes place in Galavan’s office as he’s seated at his desk with Tabitha standing by his side. Oswald Cobblepot and his right-hand man Butch Gilzean are also in the office along with a trunk that they’ve acquired for Galavan. Penguin tries to convince Theo to release his mother, the reason that Penguin started doing Galavan’s bidding, Galavan refuses and Penguin tries to hide his anger and fear for his mother’s safety.

When Cobblepot and Gilzean leave Galavan opens the trunk revealing that Wayne Enterprises executive Sid Bunderslaw’s inside it. The executive recognizes Galavan and asks him what’s going on and Theo says he’s aware that Bunderslaw knows all the dirty little secrets of the Wayne family through the generations. He’ll either reveal them to Galavan or get tortured to death, however before Theo asks a question Tabitha pulls out a knife and scoops out one of the executive’s eyeballs.

Back at Penguin’s office Cobblepot starts saying they’ve got to hurt Galavan badly for not releasing his mother. One of Penguin’s lackeys walk in and tell their counting-house just got busted and they lost all the money that was on the premises. Oswald takes out his anger on the guy whacking him twice in the head with a tire iron, before he stops and tells Butch he’s got a plan.

Captain Barnes makes good on his promise to start cracking down on the Penguin, as he Gordon and Bullock lead the Strike-Force in a bust of one of Cobblepot’s money-laundering operations. Almost all the employees hold up their hands to surrender, but one guy tries to hit Barnes with a rocket-launcher and misses badly. He’s soon dead riddled with bullets courtesy of Barnes and Gordon.

Barnes’ wants to know how a Gotham City criminal could possess a rocket-launcher and Gordon tells him there’s a weapons-supply store named Merc’s that’s still operating due to the fact they’ve got half of City Council in their pockets. Barnes’ says he could care less about the City Council and they’re raiding Merc’s the next day.

Tabitha walks into Cobblepot’s office and gives Penguin a list of businesses her brother wants torched. She also gives him a silver-box which she says the arsonists will need for one of their stops. He’s still wired and increasingly paranoid and Galavan tells him to pull himself together and get things done.

Butch meets with Selina Kyle as he needs for her to vouch for him to the Pike brothers, a trio of arsonists that used to work for Fish Mooney. Kyle knows the guys through their sister Bridget who she hung out with when they were younger. Bridget opens the door and Selina says she and her pet-gorilla have some business to discuss with her brothers.

The Pike’s ask Kyle why she’s there with Butch and she tells the brothers that Butch is good people. When they respond that he shot Fish, Selina responds it’s complicated. Butch gives the oldest brother the list of places they’re going to torch and a set of instructions. He says this is going to take a lot of work and Butch says they’re getting well compensated in return. They make a deal and the youngest brother says he’ll take a trip to Merc’s the next day to get the supplies they’ll need.

Merc’s turns out to be the Home Depot of weapons clerks are helping customers, the aisles categorized and signs tell the customers where they can find anything from brass-knuckles to automatic weapons. The youngest Pike brother starts doing his shopping and sees an explosive device and promptly steals it by sticking it down the front of his pants. Right then the Strike-Force arrives and tells everybody they’re busted.

Pike tries to run away but Gordon and Barnes chase him down and corner him. Both officers have their weapons aimed at Pike and tell him to surrender, but he goes out in a blaze as he tries shooting first and Barnes and Gordon unload their weapons into him. Jim hits the explosive in Pike’s pants and both officers stand there shocked when he explodes.

Ed Nygma and girlfriend Kristin Kringle are dinner guests of Lee Thompkins and Gordon and he walks in as everybody’s already eating. Jim tells Lee he’s sorry he’s late and Lee tells Gordon that Ed’s actually pretty cool and charming with Kringle. Nygma proposes a toast and says the less you have the more valuable they are, friends and everybody smiles and clink glasses.

The two remaining Pike brothers are trying to figure out a way to torch the places without having their entry guy and the older brother tells Bridget she’s been promoted. She tries begging off saying she doesn’t want to have anything to do with fire. But the brothers tell her she either joins the gang or they’re kicking herb out of the house and she agrees to help.

The trio have five stops that night and they coach Bridget through her first installation of a bomb. When she lights the fuse the oldest brother tells her to run to the wall safe and take the thing out of the silver-box and hold it up to the scanner. It’s Bunderslaw’s eyeball which the scanner recognizes and opens the safe. She’s told to grab the knife within it and get out. She’s a second to late and her pants’ leg catches on fire burning her leg, but they still do the other four hits.

Barnes and Gordon discuss the five cases of arson that took place in the city the night before, when one of the members of the Strike-Force Garrett tells them the lab just called and all of the fires got started by using Thermite and high-end accelerants. They realize they’re dealing with pros and Barnes asks why they’d hit five locations in one night.

Bridget finds some fireproof cloth and starts sewing herself a suit so she doesn’t get burned on their next round. Selina walks in and realizes Bridget’s now part of the gang and tells the girl she doesn’t need to do this, she can leave and be free as Kyle is. Bridget says what’s good about freedom if you’re always alone and Selina counters with what’s good about family if you’re a slave. She then shakes her head and leaves the place.

Penguin gets the knife from the Pike’s and asks Butch why Galavan wants a knife with the Wayne family crest on it? He says he thinks there’s a connection between the two families but he can’t find one. Butch says that if Cobblepot has questions about the history of Gotham, there’s just one person to talk to. Edwidge who runs the antique shop in Butch’s old neighborhood.

Butch brings the older woman to Penguin’s office and Oswald shows her the blade and she loses all the color in her face and stammers that she’s never seen that knife before. Cobblepot says he knows a liar when he sees one and tells her that her choice’s to tell him about the knife or he’ll use it on her. Naturally she agrees to tell him the history.

She says the knife’s cursed it was involved in a heinous act that took place nearly 200-years earlier. Back then Gotham society was ruled by five families, the Kane’s, the Elliot’s, the Crowns, the Dumas family and the most powerful by far the Wayne’s. Celestine Wayne was known as the Crown Jewel of Gotham and she’d been promised to marry the oldest Elliot son.

At a party at the Wayne mansion celebrating Easter, Caleb Dumas and Celestine went missing. Her brothers searched the house for her and found her in the arms of Dumas and both got dragged to the library. Caleb swore the two were very much in love and had been for some time, but Celestine swore on her mother’s grave that he attacked her. Oldest brother Jonathan Wayne took the blade and cut off Caleb’s arm.

The Wayne’s destroyed the Dumas family and seized all their assets. They forbade the newspapers from mentioning their names and the city was purged of any street or building with the name Dumas on it, after they fled Gotham. Caleb moved to Europe and lived out the rest of his days with a religious sect in a monastery. Celestine never married and died an old maid and the remaining members of the Dumas’ clan changed their names.

As soon as Edwidge finished her tale, Penguin asked what the Dumas family changed their names to and she congratulated him for being so quick. Of course they changed the family name to Galavan and she became worried when Theo and Tabitha came to Gotham City. She tells Penguin he’s swimming in deep waters and Cobblepot breaks out into a grin and says that’s where Penguins thrive.

Harvey’s on the phone with a C.I. and tells the guy if he hears anything about the arsonists to call him immediately. Jim walks over to Harvey’s desk and Bullock knows that Gordon’s got some sort of lead. Jim tells him that all the buildings are property of Wayne Enterprises and says the next building they’ll hit will be the Gotham Book Depository. Harvey says he’ll bring the donuts for the stakeout.

The Strike-Force waits for the arsonists to arrive the following night at the building and Gordon spots their vehicle and alerts all the team to be ready. Bridget gets out of the van looking like a giant fly, her body covered in the gray material and her face covered by a mask that looks like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. She’s carrying a flame-thrower as she exits the van and the Strike-Force tell them not to move, the two brothers hit the gas and drive off leaving Bridget on her own. Trying to escape she turns on the flame-thrower and starts burning the debris around them, but the machine jams and Garrett tries to take her out.

They struggle for a bit when the machine starts working again and she lets off a burst of flame that accidentally catches Garrett’s pants on fire and soon he’s a walking ball of flame. Gordon gets him down on the street and smothers the fire with a blanket and calls for an ambulance. Selina’s watching from a fire-escape and helps Bridget flee the scene.

Back at Penguin’s office, Butch walks into find Cobblepot’s got a brand of Gilzean’s favorite whiskey on his desk. Penguin tells Butch to have a glass and Gilzean says he’s not up for it, but Penguin tells him to have a drink. Butch winces then pours himself a glass and Oswald’s gleeful as the conditioning that Victor Zsasz used on him last season still works and he’s got to do whatever Penguin tells him to do. He then says Butch’s the only person he can trust and Gilzean asks him if he’s alright.

Penguin starts laughing and says perhaps he’s gone crazy because of his fear for his mother’s safety, but maybe he’s got the perfect plan to take out Galavan. He then says that Theo’s locked in a blood-feud and that’s clouding his judgement and Cobblepot intends to exploit that.

He tells Butch that Gilzean will go to Galavan’s and tell him that Penguin thinks Butch betrayed him. Gilzean says Galavan won’t buy that as he realizes how loyal Butch is to Penguin. Penguin says but he’d believe I thought you betrayed me, we only have to sell it the right way. He says Tabitha saw him acting paranoid before and now they just have to give Galavan a reason to feel sorry for Gilzean. He then picks up a meat-cleaver and cuts off Butch’s hand, as Gilzean screams in pain and shock.

Back at the precinct, the Strike-Force awaits word on Garrett’s condition when Barnes walks in looking ashen. He tells them that Garrett passed earlier that morning and one of the other recruits says he was going to be a great cop. Barnes’ says he already was a great cop and they’ll mourn him but that needs to wait. Right now there’s a cop-killer on the streets and they have to bring her to justice.

Theo walks into his home and sees a man wearing a monk’s robe in front of Galavan’s fireplace. The man turns around to Theo and says it’s been a long time, Theo smiles and calls the man Father Creel and the two embrace. Creel says that Theo’s surrounded himself with luxury and Galavan says it’s necessary to play the part. However it’s already paying off as he’s got the knife. Creel asks if Galavan’s captured Bruce Wayne yet and Theo tells him not yet but he will soon.

Creel smiles and says we’ve waited almost 200-years for this moment of redemption and we’re not in a rush at this point. He tells Theo that their cousins are coming over from Europe at that moment, a group of warriors like this city’s never witnessed. He says Gotham will be redeemed in blood and Bruce Wayne will die.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 8:00 pm on FOX.

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The show-runners for the FOX series “Gotham,” have two episodes remaining in their freshman campaign and the show’s wrapping up its initial run strongly, as characters start to reveal their true selves, some setting and others crossing limits. The multiple subplots within the series, took some dramatic turns in the episode entitled “Under The Knife,” a title significant in many of the stories.

We start the evening seeing Bruce Wayne on the wrong side of Gotham City, getting harassed by some punk, who tells Wayne he’s too far from home. Selina Kyle, scares the guy off flashing her knife, she’s just returning from the shooting gallery, they found Reggie Payne in, during the previous episode and where Kyle pushed him out a fifth-floor window to his death on the concrete below.

Bruce asks her why she killed him and she said if she hadn’t Payne would have told his boss Sid Bunderslaw, a Wayne Enterprises executive. Selina says that he’s likely the guy behind the attempt on her life, the attack on Alfred and perhaps the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Bruce says that Bunderslaw’s likely has any confidential information in the safe in his office. Selina will get a chance to steal the key to the safe, as Bruce’s guest at the Wayne Enterprises Charity Ball.

Jim head’s to Lee’s apartment to check on her when she doesn’t answer her cell-phone, she’s in the middle of taking a bath, when she hears the sound of broken glass in her apartment. She wraps a towel around herself, then grabs a carving knife from the kitchen, nearly losing it when a stray cat comes out from under her bed. The cat came in via the fire-escape of her open window, she places the cat back on the fire-escape and starts making a call, when she feels someone behind her and whacks Jim in the head with her land-line receiver.

As he recovers from the knock on the noggin, he tells Lee about the Ogre, a serial killer that’s murdered at least 12 women over the last eight-years. The reason he’s evaded capture, is he killed the wife of the first detective on the case. Ever since then the GCPD have kept his killings the department’s “Dirty Little Secret.” He tells Lee she needs to leave Gotham City, she says you want to protect me, catch him.

Jason Lennon, the Ogre’s in a Gotham City bar and introduces himself, to the woman he believes is Gordon’s girlfriend Barbara Kean. She invites him back to her place and he sees an invitation for the Wayne Charity Ball. She says she’s part of high-society, she goes there every year to have her picture taken and hands Jason a drink. He asks if she’s not scared of him being alone with her in her apartment? She smiles and asks if he’s dangerous, he says what if her boyfriend walks in and she says she never said she had a boyfriend. He says well I assumed because you’re so beautiful, she interrupts him, saying that he thought she had a boyfriend and was the kind of girl who would cheat on that boyfriend. He’s got a knife out, but he puts it away when she says if a bus hit her the next day, nobody would notice.

She asks if that changes things and he says it does, she says he’s spared himself the chance to meet the real her, which would send him running away screaming, like everybody else. She then tells him to let himself out, Lennon’s actually intrigued by her, no longer perceiving her as a target.

We head over to the Umbrella, as Penguin’s trying to keep his mother patient, while he goes to meet a guy named Connor about taking out Sal Maroni and all his gang leaders. Connor asks if Falcone’s approved the move, Cobblepot says he will when it’s done. Connor starts to walk away, when Penguin says he guesses the hitman’s satisfied being in second place. He says Carmine Falcone always goes to Victor Zsasz, for any contract hits, but if Connor brings him Maroni’s body, the equation would change. Connor likes the way Oswald thinks and tells him to meet him the following afternoon at the bar.

Harvey brings in Detective Ben Mueller, who was the first detective on the Ogre’s case and his wife got killed by Lennon. Gordon asks about the notes he scratched out eight-years earlier, Mueller looks at Bullock saying he already lost his wife to this guy, he’s afraid of losing his daughter. But the pair convince him the Ogre needs to be stopped and he reveals the medical clinic, the first victim worked at. It’s a cosmetic surgery clinic located at 80th and Grant, as Jim and Harvey leave the station, Lennon’s sitting outside in his car, taking pictures of Gordon.

Ed Nygma catches Kristen Kringle kissing a uniform in her office. The cop Tom Dougherty, asks if she forgives him, he walks by Ed calling out hey riddle man. Kringle asks if she can help Ed and he says he’s got files Gordon wants looked up. He notices some bruising on her wrist and asks if Dougherty left the marks? She says it was her fault, she got him upset with something she said, but Ed responds he can’t do that to her. She tells Nygma it’s none of his affair and she has to get back to work, but as Ed leaves, we see something’s snapped.

The doctor in charge of the clinic tells the pair the first victim worked their briefly and was recommended by a patient. He refuses to give up the patient’s name, forcing the two detectives to get a warrant. As they leave the clinic, they see Lennon’s car in an alley, Jim says the same car was in front of the station. Lennon heads straight for the two cops as they dive out-of-the-way, they don’t see his face but they know it’s the Ogre.

They return to the station and tell their commander Captain Sarah Essen and a uniform comes over to Gordon telling him he’s got an urgent call. Gordon picks up and it’s Lennon on the other end and they both get into a spitting contest. Gordon tells his Captain they have to show the Ogre they’re not afraid.

After making sure Lee approves, Jim holds a press conference, telling the citizens of Gotham City they’ve got a serial killer in their city. He’s killed with impunity for eight-years, supported by a culture of fear and silence from the GCPD. He says that ends now, we’re releasing the names and pictures of all the victims and are asking for any information. He then says to the killer, I’m coming for you and I’m not going to stop, Jason watches it on the TV in his loft.

Alfred is feeling better and back to duties, surprising Bruce, but young Wayne tells his butler that he’s attending the Wayne Charity Ball that evening and he’s invited Selina as his guest. Alfred says he’ll be there as chauffeur only, staying with the car as the young couple dance. Bruce has the proper clothes sent to Kean’s apartment for Selina to wear to the ball.

Bullock gets a call at the station the client that recommended the first victim’s Constance Van Grut, a member of one of the city’s oldest families. Harvey thinks maybe she’s the mother of the Ogre so they head to the address.

Penguin gets back to the Umbrella, happy as a kid at Christmas as Connor’s agreed to take out Maroni and his men, Penguin’s partner Butch Gilzean, tells him to shutup as Maroni’s in the bar and having drinks with Cobblepot’s mother Gertrude. Maroni tells him to join them.

Bruce meets Barbara as he arrives to pick up Selina, whose not too pleased at getting dressed up and complains the shoes hurt. Barbara tells them to have fun and to look for her at the event.

Harvey and Jim arrive at the Van Grut mansion, just in time to cut the family’s butler from hanging himself to death. He’s Jason’s father and Van Grut’s decomposed body’s still in her bed hidden by the butler Jacob Skolimski. He says his son made just one mistake, the rest are all lies. We see pictures of Skolimski with his son Jason all over the house, but each picture has Jason’s face scratched out.

Bruce and Selina dance at the ball looking for Sid Bunderslaw, he says she crossed a line in killing Payne she can never cross again. He says he wanted to kill him as well, but that’s a line he’ll never cross. She says that’s where they differ, because she’d react the same way and feels no guilt at all. Bruce looks across the room and sees Bunderslaw, they start to head towards him.

Skolimski tells him that Van Grut formed a very strong bond with her son as a child and Jason believed she was actually his mother. She was senile and cruel and pretended that she was, but when he got older he wanted her to declare him her son and she told him it was all a prank. He snapped and killed her, that was the last he’d heard from his son, until earlier that day. But he said his son couldn’t seduce any women, he has two photographs of Jason, his face terribly disfigured. Jim thinks perhaps he had plastic surgery done at the clinic his first victim worked at. The doctor who runs the clinic confirms he performed surgery on Jason.

Barbara’s standing and drinking at the ball when someone asks her to dance, it’s Jason. She asks why he didn’t tell her he got invited, he says he wasn’t on the list until earlier that day, when he donated ten thousand dollars to the charity, hoping to see her there. He then tells her he thinks they’re very much alike, very different people inside than people perceive them to be. He says he created the person he is now and can do the same for her. He then whispers in her ear and she smiles.

A little bit further down the dance floor, Bruce introduces himself to Sid Bunderslaw, as Selina picks the executive pocket, getting the key for his safe. As he walks away, Selina sees Barbara starting to leave, escorted by Jason Lennon, Bruce asks her what’s wrong and she says all’s good.

Back at the Umbrella, Sal asks Gertrude if she’s putting on an act, does she realize that her son’s a psychopath, or is she really that stupid? He asks her when she first realized she gave birth to a monster, the old woman nearly faints from the shock. Oswald says Maroni will pay for his actions, Sal that may happen but now she knows the truth.

Nygma follows Kristen Kringle back to her apartment then sits in his car waiting for Tom Dougherty to show up. When he does, Ed gets out of his car and yells for Dougherty to stop, then tells the cop he thinks he better leave Kringle alone and he should leave the city. Dougherty laughs before punching Ed in the gut, he sinks to the ground and Tom picks him up to hit him again, but Ed stabs the cop in the gut with a knife, repeatedly until Dougherty falls to the ground dead. Nygma looks at the knife, covered in blood, and keeps repeating oh no, but then starts hysterically laughing. We’ve seen the birth of the Riddler.

Maroni sends roses to Gertrude, Penguin tells the delivery man to tell Maroni he’s a dead man and throws the vase on the hallway floor, then slams his apartment door. He opens it quickly, tells the deliveryman he’ll deliver the message himself and slices the man’s throat open with the shards of glass.

The final scene’s in Jason’s loft, she sees his S&M room and asks what’s in there, he tells her to check it out. She walks in and sees all the bondage stuff, he enters soon after and he’s met by a smile from Kean.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 8:00 pm on FOX.

Courtesy of FOX

Courtesy of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Alfred sits upright with Bruce at his side when Gordon arrives hospital cafeteria fare for Bruce. Alfred is on a strict ‘doctor’s orders’ diet. When Gordon inquires about the assailant, Alfred is intentionally vague, knowing full well who did it. Bruce follows suit. Gordon tends to some police business. Alfred gives Bruce the line about protecting your mates. Then asserts that he will get to the bottom of ‘why’? Alfred begins to get out of bed and ‘master Bruce’ isn’t having it.

Fish wakes up from her impromptu eye surgery to find Dr. Dulmacher (or “the Dollmaker” played by Colm Feore) watching over her. Now that Fish has actually met “the Doctor”, its time to execute the plan. She pitches him to make her his right hand. Drop Falcone’s name which gets her nowhere. Before the Doctor departs, he informs her that due to their stock of eyes are low, they were unable to match her eye color. And that they will speak more soon. She wanders over to a mirror and removes her bandage to reveal a bright blue eye.

Dent meets with Gordon and the Chief to inform them that Commissioner Loeb provided an eye-witness that exonerated a murderer, drug dealer, and detective Arnold Flass. In addition, Loeb is backing Flass for President of the Gotham City Police Union. Now, since the corruption seems to go to the top, that is where Gordon must strike next. Only this time, Loeb is holding all the cards. The ‘eyewitness’ testimony that exonerated Flass came from Harvey Bullock.

The fallout from Loeb’s office, for the moment, seems marginal. As Harvey put it, “some of us have our own Cobblepot, mine never came back.” Harvey, like Gordon, was given a choice to kill a bad guy or die himself.

Bullock: Half of the cops on GCPD have their own Cobbelpot, and Loeb knows about all of them.
Gordon: Well. It ends now.

Gordon meets with Dent at a diner in part to read Dent to see if he too is in Loeb’s pocket. Dent tries to relate with Gordon on the relationships between partners, then pauses, and left without saying anything. Dent and Gordon escort the man who once called Loeb a partner (back in his homicide department days). He resists, but Gordon leans in and picks up on the older cop’s hesitation.

Griggs: I don’t know what you two are talking about. If I did, I’d say you should ask Xi Lu, Chinese bookkeeper on Huron. Loeb always said, you wanna keep something safe, give it to Xi Lu.

The Doctor and Fish negotiate terms of her purposed deal. He will return Fish to the basement and see just how efficiently she hold up her end of the bargain by supplying the Doctor with a steady flow of new product, or in other words, fresh bodies to harvest parts from. She inquires as to the what if she fails. He responds by showing her what has happened to his former office manager that Fish out played. He is now sporting feminine limbs and augmented feminine breasts. Which was done merely for the Doctor’s amusement.

Selina drops in on Bruce and Alfred. She tries to downplay the severity of the situation, but reads Bruce’s temperament. Then leans in and hugs him. Bruce believes Reggie is the key to everything. Reggie showed up shortly after Bruce informed the board of Wayne Enterprises that he was personally investigating them. And he’s right. Pursuing this is a different story altogether.

Gordon and Dent find the location of the bookkeeper. Whether they were actually talking to the bookkeeper is a different question. They are asked to wait. That gentleman chuckles and leaves. Then everyone else in the room stands up. Gordon and Dent flee. Outside, Bullock pulls up in what becomes the get-away car. Bullock tells them that they didn’t push Griggs hard enough. Or at least not in the right way. Next we find Bullock on top of Griggs with Griggs’ upper half hanging out of a moving car at not a slow speed. Loeb and Falcone are in cahoots. Now they need someone on the inside that might talk. Insert Cobblepot.

Cobblepot understands exactly what is being asked and he is not frightened. Gordon may be slightly clouded by his desire to nail Loeb. Gordon agrees to a favor to be determined later and five minutes with the files when they are found (to not include cop stuff) to help Gordon and Bullock take down Loeb and by some extension Falcone.

Fish returns to the basement to find her ‘family’ divided. Facing opposition from some of them she tells them they will return the Doctor’s guard. Then gives the Doctor one of her more loyal subjects. “Doctor’s Orders”. When one starts to turn, she informs them that ‘their sacrifices ensure your safety”.

Penguin sits in the back seat (preferable to the trunk) when they arrive at “the farm”. Penguin wants no part of entering the premises. Then an old man (Brooks Hatlin old) knocks on the windows and Penguin secures entrance into said farm. It appears that Loeb owns the house this old couple reside in. Surprise surprise, Marge (the Mrs.) worked at Arkham. Quickly we discover that Marge wears the pants in this relationship, or so it seems. Marge goes to fetch the ‘keys’. If by keys they mean guns. The old couple defends the house admirably, but fall to Gordon’s gun.

Upstairs is padlocked door. Inside is a woman in a converted who we must presume is confined there. The assumption to this point is that Commissioner Loeb is hiding his involvement in his wife’s murder. Miriam Loeb (the attic woman) is not his wife. It’s his daughter. She’s clearly not all there. Gordon slowly and delicately inquires about Miriam’s mother’s death. Expecting a revealing detail about Commissioner Loeb doing the deed we discover it was Miriam that did the deed. There is a disturbance, Gordon races downstairs. Penguin is on the floor. A truck races away. Penguin wants to see what’s in the room. He turns around to see Miriam.

Miriam: Who is this? He looks just like a bird. I like birds.

Gordon walks into Loeb’s office without knocking. Drops a necklace made of bird bones (something Miriam makes as a hobby) on Loeb’s desk. Gordon doesn’t want Loeb’s resignation. He wants to maintain his leverage over Loeb. He demands Bullocks file and the files of all GCPD cops sent to Dent. Loeb counters. All that information would surely put a target on his head. Instead, Gordon gets Bullock’s file, Miriam stays put, and Gordon has Loeb in his pocket. And one other request. Loeb publicly endorses Gordon for President of the Police Union, not Flass.

Gordon enters the locker room where he finds Bullock putting something in the locker. Gordon hands him his file, essentially freeing Bullock of the thing that keeps him in check. I expected more gratitude, but instead Bullock conveys a story that comes down to, ‘no matter how much good you do, you can’t escape that one bad thing”. A cautionary tale about the deal he made with the Penguin.

Back at the club, we find the Penguin set up everything at ‘the farm’ to look a certain way. The elderly couple charged with protecting the farm and its content, were in Penguin’s pocket. At the club they were under the impression Penguin would relocate them to Arizona. Irony alert. He informs them that there is only one ticket to Arizona. So Marge gladly kills her partner of decades to win the tickets. Then she stands up, turns to Penguin, who in no uncertain terms lets her know there were never tickets to Arizona. Not unlike Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight recruiting henchmen and forcing them to fight to the death.

The Doctor is pleased with what Fish was able to do and welcomes her into upper management. He also is pleased to show her exactly why he’s not worried about her escaping or betraying him. They are on an island.