James Andrew O’Connor

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Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The FOX Network series “Gotham,” opened its second season with an episode that should eliminate any doubts the series is going to suffer from the sophomore blues. The show-runners made every moment count in this fast-paced and gripping chapter. The powers that be have labeled season two as “The Rise Of The Villains,” but it could be subtitled “Doing The Right Thing Isn’t Always Pretty.” Alliances were formed that blurred the line between good and bad, in order to achieve the desired endgame. This results in show that no longer pits the white hats against the black hats, now all the characters are varying shades of gray.

Season two opens seconds after the first season finale on another rainy day at Wayne Manor as Bruce and Alfred head down the staircase they discovered hidden behind the fireplace. When they reach the bottom of the staircase, there’s a door in front of them with the carving of a creature that appears to be a cross between a man and a lion. The door’s locked and the only way to enter it is through a keypad. Bruce furiously punches in a number of codes, but the digital display reads access denied with every entry.

We watch a montage of the rest of the characters set to a the Lou Reed classic “Perfect Day,” a perfect counter-balance to what we watch unfold on the screen. Lee helps Jim with his tie as he prepares to direct traffic, now that he’s been demoted to patrolman. His former partner Harvey Bullock quit the department rather than accept the demotion, he’s now a bartender and picks a drunk’s head off the counter to clean it. Penguin now the King Of Crime in Gotham City, kisses a bald man on top of his head before he has Victor Zsasz shoot him to death. We see Barbara Kean arrive at Arkham Asylum and we see a familiar face among the inmates, Jerome Valeska who many fans believe will evolve into the Joker.

We then get our first glimpse of the character that appears destined to become the “Big Bad” of season two, as Theo Galavan gives a hefty man wearing what looks like a superhero costume including a helmet a liquid and tells him to drink it. The man responds yes master and consumes it all.

Gordon’s directing traffic in Gotham City when the dude in the suit comes down the stairs of the elevated-train system and announces that he’s Zaardon Slayer Of Souls. He then pulls out two pistols and fires overhead into the metal bridge, then throws the pistols down and unsheathes a sword and grabs a young woman. Gordon tells Zaardon he doesn’t want to shoot him as there’s too much paperwork involved. Zaardon pushes the woman away and Gordon’s able to deflect the sword, overpower the dude and cuff him.

Just then the uniform that’s supposed to relieve Gordon arrives, another hefty guy munching on a burger as he arrives. Gordon barks at him that he’s late and the uniform smirks and asks Jim what’s his problem and Gordon just pushes him away due to his frustration. He whips around and pulls his weapon, pointing it at some would-be looters and growls bad idea. The guys put down the stuff and take off.

Gordon brings Zaardon back to the station and tells him he’s heading for Arkham Asylum. Zaardon responds that Gordon won the battle but his master will win the war. He tells the patrolman dark days are coming and Jim thanks him for the heads up.

Gordon goes into the men’s room and sees Ed Nygma standing in front of a sink staring into the mirror, without his glasses on. Jim asks him if he’s okay and Ed responds he’s fine and Gordon leaves. We then realize that Jim interrupted a conversation between Nygma and his reflection. His reflection starts talking about pursuing Kristin Kringle in a romantic relationship, but Ed says they have to leave Miss Kringle alone.

We’re now in Captain Sarah Essen’s office along with Essen, Gordon, Commissioner Loeb and the uniform that Jim pushed Officer Frank. Loeb asks Gordon if he put his hands on Frank and he replies that he did and Frank leaves the office. Loeb tells Gordon that the infraction calls for him to be dismissed from the force and tells Essen to take Jim’s gun and badge. The Captain starts to protest but Jim tells her to stop. He then shakes hands with Loeb and says that he told the Commissioner he’d break him and he intends to fulfill that promise.

Jim tells Lee and she tells him that she’s glad he got fired, as he was far too good to be directing traffic. She says she knew he’d never quit so she’s thankful that the decision was taken out of his hands. We can see by Gordon’s expression he doesn’t share her opinion.

Barbara’s reading a magazine in the communal cell at Arkham Asylum when Jerome comes over and introduces himself. He tells her that one of their fellow inmates Richard Sionis wants to be her friend, Kean responds that she’s not interested. Jerome tells her that a girl needs a friend at Arkham as the guards refuse to intercede. She then gets the attention of Aaron Helzinger, a gigantic bald man that looks like a wall with a face. She asks Aaron if he’d become her friend and protect her if someone tried to hurt her. He said of course and Barbara cooed and called him a cutie and thanked him. Jerome says she got a gorilla but Sionis runs Arkham and can get her what ever she wants, Barbara replies she wants a phone.

Gordon goes to see Penguin and says they need to talk, Cobblepot kicks out all his staff except for Selina Kyle, who apparently joined up with Penguin after Fish Mooney’s apparent demise. Jim says Penguin owes him a favor for saving him from Sal Maroni’s guys. Oswald says he thinks they’re even but he tells Gordon he’ll grant his favor. When Jim says Penguin doesn’t know what he wants, he responds that Gordon wants to be reinstated as a detective and Loeb to resign as Police Commissioner. Gordon tells him that’s indeed his wish and Penguin responds that he wants Jim to do him a favor in return and collect a debt. Jim refuses and wishes Penguin luck as he says goodbye.

Jim heads down to Harvey’s bar and soon he’s stinking drunk. He says screw the Penguin, Loeb and the GCPD and asks his former partner if he’s going to join him in a drink? Bullock says he’s been sober for 32-days, without the stress of the department he doesn’t need the booze. He tells Jim that he’s got a woman that doesn’t dislike him, a home and he sleeps well every night. Jim hugs him and tells him that’s great.

Gordon decides he needs to sober up and he decides to walk to Wayne Manor to accomplish that. By the time he reaches Bruce’s home he’s sober as a judge and asks Bruce and Alfred why they’re so dirty? He then tells Bruce that he got fired from the GCPD and so he can’t fulfill his promise to find the killer of Bruce’s parents. Alfred asks if there’s any way he can get reinstated and Jim says he could but it would mean becoming a collector for Penguin, an act he believes is morally wrong.

Bruce says that Gordon can fulfill his promise to Wayne and bring reform to the GCPD, but he refuses to take it as he’d be working for Penguin and that’s demeaning. Then he asks if Jim’s sure it’s not his pride standing in the way of the greater good? Alfred tries to stop Bruce, but Wayne says Gordon wouldn’t have walked there if he wanted Bruce to keep his thoughts to himself. Wayne says doing the right thing isn’t always pretty, but it’s necessary. The two shake hands and Alfred shows Gordon out.

Gordon heads to a night club that’s also the headquarters for the guy that owes Penguin money, Ogden Barker. Gordon enters Barker’s office and says he’s there to collect the debt owed to Penguin and Barker laughs in his face. Gordon says he’s not leaving without the money and Barker pulls out a gun and sticks it in Jim’s face, Gordon says he’s going to count to three and Barker and his henchmen start laughing. Jim grabs the gun then knocks out Barker and two of his goons telling the third guy to fill the bag he gives him with money. He runs out just as Barker recovers and he growls get him.

Gordon starts running on the street with the two goons in pursuit when they see some uniforms ahead of them and one of the guys yells stop thief, so the patrolman start chasing Gordon. However he gives them all the slip as he ducks into a parking garage. His troubles aren’t over as Barker steps out of the shadows and starts shooting at Jim, he misses but Gordon kills Barker with return fire. We see the anguish on his face but Gordon runs off.

Bruce’s frustration not getting the right password on the keypad, causes him to destroy it with a hammer. He then enters the library with a bag of fertilizer and some other objects. He tells Alfred he’s taking his own advice that doing the right thing isn’t always pretty and he’s going to build a bomb to blow the door off his father’s room. He says he’s building it with or without Alfred’s help, his guardian and butler tells Bruce that he’ll need another ten bags of fertilizer to do the job.

Gordon delivers the money to Penguin, who apologizes that things got messy and pledges that Gordon’s name will never be connected with Barker. Jim asks if Penguin knew Barker would react that way and Cobblepot responds that he had no idea things would go down the way they did. He then tells Gordon that his favor will soon get granted.

Jim heads back to his apartment with Lee and she sees something’s bothering him and asks if he’s alright and he responds he’s fine. His cellphone rings and he picks it up and Barbara’s on the other end. He asks her how she got use of a phone and she says the only thing that matters is they’re talking. She then tells Gordon there’s been a terrible mistake, she didn’t attack Lee, Lee attacked her and she’s insane. Jim growls don’t ever call me again and hangs up. Lee asks who it was and he says a salesman, which of course Lee realizes is a lie.

Then her landline rings and Jim tells her not to answer it because it’s Barbara, it goes to her answering machine and we hear Kean say hey girlfriend, sorry I missed you. I just want to wish you a painful death with you going out screaming. Jim says that she’s locked up in Arkham where she can’t cause them harm. Lee suggests they move away and start fresh in a new city and Jim replies he can’t, because he did a bad thing.

Loeb’s in bed asleep that night when he’s woken by noises downstairs. He enters his kitchen and he sees Victor Zsasz standing there, then suddenly we hear Penguin asks Loeb if he’s got any peanut-butter. Loeb asks what Cobblepot said and Penguin puts on the kitchen lights and again requests peanut-butter. The Commissioner shouts for his guards and Zsasz produces a disembodied head that he proceeds to use like a ventriloquist’s dummy. Zsasz moves the heads lips and says in a high squeaky voice Hi Boss, how about a bottle of beer. Penguin and Victor laugh as Zsasz throws the head into the kitchen sink.

Penguin tells the Commissioner as he makes him a peanut-butter sandwich, that usually he threatens his victims with unearthing scandals about them, but Loeb lacks any dirty-laundry. Penguin says that he knows that any threats of force would get ignored by Loeb so he’s just going to have Victor kill him. He says he needs some requests granted, but it will be far easier dealing with Loeb’s successor as Commissioner. Loeb asks Penguin what he wants and Penguin says he wants Gordon reinstated as a detective and Loeb says he’ll do it.

However Penguin says even if Loeb does reinstate Gordon, his hatred of the former detective would cause him to eventually fire him, so he’ll still have to kill him. Zsasz pulls out his gun and Penguin says, unless you’d resign as Commissioner.

Zaardon arrives at Arkham Asylum and he’s put into the same communal cell as Barbara, Jerome and company. He proclaims that he’s Zaardon Slayer Of Souls, but Sionis tells him to shut-up he’s telling a story. After a couple of minutes Zaardon interrupts the story and threatens the other inmates. He then collapses but as he hits the floor, a blue gas comes out of his mouth and knocks out the other inmates. Seconds later an explosion takes place at the other end of the hall and a young woman and a bunch of mercenaries, knock out the guards and grab the inmates.

They come to in another facility and they’re all strapped to large cement poles. One of the inmates asks where they are and Jerome says they’re out of Arkham so things are improving. Theo Galavan and the woman who broke them out of Arkham enter the room, he introduces himself and the woman as his sister Tabitha. He says he broke them out to form a super-band of criminal geniuses. Kean says she just has issues and Galavan says she has ferocity, beauty and desire, that’s all she needs.

Sionis tells Galavan that he wants no part of his plan and wants to be released, he says he’ll get Galavan a million dollars as soon as he hits the street. Galavan says he’s disappointed and the money means nothing to him. Galavan demands that he and Barbara get released and Galavan says oh you’re trouble we need to get rid of you. Tabitha releases the binds then produces a whip and strangles Sionis with it, then when she has him on the ground she slices him to pieces. Galavan asks if anyone else wants to leave.

The next scene’s at the retirement ceremony for Loeb and a men’s choir sing a song from The Sound Of Music. The spokesman takes the podium and says the Mayor couldn’t attend the ceremony but sent a friend in his place. He introduces businessman, scientist Theo Galavan. Galavan says that he’s an adopted son of the city, having recently moved there but he already feels Gotham City’s magic. He thanks the outgoing Commissioner and his replacement Commissioner Sarah Essen.

Essen goes up to Gordon and congratulates him for whatever he did to pull off his amazing feat. Lee congratulates them both then tells Essen that Gordon’s a determined man. Essen excuses herself to take a call and Lee says to Jim I hope this was worth it, Jim replies he does as well. Essen returns with some distressing news six inmates escaped from Arkham including Barbara Kean.

Alfred runs the fuse to the bomb out to the library, then fastens it to an ignition switch and asks Bruce if he’s certain this is what he wants. Bruce says he is and pushes the switch, the bomb knocks the door off it’s hinges and the two enter the room. We see a couple of computer monitors and keyboards covered in cobwebs, on one of the keyboards is a letter for Bruce from his father, that Thomas wrote shortly before he and his wife were shot to death.

He tells Bruce that if he’s reading this message that Thomas has died and Bruce figured out the code for the keypad was Bruce. He then says that his son’s responsible for the room, as Thomas became a better man after he became a father, Then he started to ask the tough questions.

He says he’ll dispense with fatherly advice, except to tell his son he can’t have happiness and the truth. That he’ll have to choose what path to take and he begs his son to choose happiness, unless Bruce feels a deep calling to pursue the truth. We then see Jim Gordon straightening his tie in the men’s room of the GCPD, ready to resume that calling within him.

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

All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Any Television series based on comic-book characters, that respects its audience enough to use the first line from one of the greatest novels ever written, as the title for the their first season finale, deserves high praise. However there’s far more to salute the FOX series “Gotham,” about as they drew the first campaign to a close, Monday night. The show-runners have built a back story for a set of legendary characters, that has shown its viewers why the characters that have entertained millions for over 75-years, act and react the way they do.

We came into this series knowing Batman and the Gotham City that he inhabits, we now are aware of what pointed Bruce Wayne, James Gordon, Oswald Cobblepot, Selina Kyle and Edward Nygma, on the paths that each would follow. The battle-lines got redrawn in the final episode of the first season, as some characters met their demise, while others embraced their destiny. Former friends became enemies and some unlikely bonds were formed, while secrets were also unearthed, that will change the characters dramatically when the show returns.

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

We begin the evening along Gotham City’s waterfront, as Selina Kyle and two other teens try to warm themselves over a burning barrel. Kyle hears something and looks into the water, where she sees a rowboat heading to shore, with a figure standing in the front. As the boat gets closer, we realize that Fish Mooney’s made it back to Gotham City, along with the prisoners she helped escape from the facility that used them for spare parts for patients needing organs.

As Fish approaches the barrel to warm her hands, the two other teens back off but Selina greets Fish with a smile. Fish smiles back and says good morning child, Kyle says they’re not children and it’s still nighttime. Mooney smiles and says morning’s coming soon, the start of a wonderful new day.

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

A graphic tells us it’s two-weeks later, as we join Bruce Wayne in the family library, looking for a clue he believes his late father left behind. The boy’s guardian and the family butler Alfred Pennyworth, enters the room and tells Bruce that his thoughts that his father had a secret life are foolish. He says that if Thomas Wayne did have a secret life, he’d have known about it, then says that Wayne came straight home from work each evening, then worked in this very room, once he got home.

Bruce says that he remembers and he couldn’t bother his father, while he was in the library. He says the one time he did try to get his attention, he found out the library door was locked. He says to Alfred that his father’s secret’s contained in the library and he’s determined to find it.

Carmine Falcone’s driven to the waterfront and he heads to a group of caged chickens, he takes one hen out of her cage and tells her he likes her style. Suddenly a motorcycle pulls up about 50-yards away with two people on the bike, the person sitting in the rear gets off the bike and sets up a rocket-launcher, firing a missile at Falcone’s Cadillac.

We arrive at Jim Gordon’s precinct, they have two cells filled with criminals, one cell containing Sal Maroni’s soldiers, the other stuffed with Falcone’s men. Harvey finds Gordon and tells him that Don Falcone just got hit, Jim asks if he’s still alive. Bullock responds he’s at the hospital, he just got banged up but he could be dead soon as GCPD Commissioner Loeb’s decided to back Sal Maroni in this war. Gordon says that Maroni’s too much of a loose cannon to run the city, Harvey responds they don’t have any say in the matter.

It looks like Falcone’s time’s about to run out, as he’s handcuffed to a gurney in a grimy looking hospital room. Penguin and Butch Gilzean walk in and Falcone tells Cobblepot to get him loose, but Penguin informs him that he’s the reason Falcone’s about to die. He thanks him for being a wise mentor and good friend, then pulls out a scalpel and puts it next to the old man’s throat. Falcone gets a reprieve as Gordon comes in and handcuffs Oswald and Butch, then frees Falcone.

Gordon heads out into the hallway and Tommy Bones walks in from the street and asks what he’s doing there? Gordon shrugs, Bones goes back outside and returns with Commissioner Loeb, who orders Gordon to leave the premises. Jim smirks at the Commissioner and says he can’t wait to see Loeb behind bars. The Commissioner gives Gordon a dirty look, turns around and leaves and tells Tommy Bones to have fun. Suddenly there are five gunmen looking to take Gordon out.

Gordon’s able to kill all five of his assailants, he’s ready to start shooting again, but it’s Harvey who’s arrived on the scene. They go to the basement, with Falcone, Penguin and Butch, commandeer an ambulance and drive past Maroni and his soldiers.

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred have removed every book from its shelf in the family library. Alfred tells the boy they’ve looked all over the room, but there’s no hidden secret left by Thomas Wayne. Bruce refuses to give up, he’s certain he’s on the right track and will find what he’s looking for eventually.

Harvey and Jim arrive with their motley-crew to Falcone’s warehouse, as they pull into the building Harvey asks Falcone if he’s positive that nobody knows about this place. Falcone chuckles, then says anybody who did know about this place is dead. Suddenly we hear foot steps and we see that somebody’s walking towards the group holding an automatic weapon. It’s a young woman who at first says hello, then switches to what’s up, turns out the young woman is the newly coiffed Selina Kyle, now working for Fish.

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

A door opens to the groups left and out marches Fish and her band of loyalists, each clutching a weapon. Mooney sees the shock on the group’s faces and says that sometimes she even surprises herself, as to just how resilient she can be.

Lee Thompkins treated Barbara Kean’s injuries, after Gordon rescued his former fiancée from serial killer Jason Lennon in the previous episode, but Lee told Kean that she needed psychological counseling, after what she went through. Barbara says the only person she’d talk with is Thompkins, at Barbara’s apartment. Although Thompkins has had minimal counseling training, she agrees to help her.

Kean tells Lee that she feels like she’s dreaming and is about to wake up. Thompkins says that Barbara got imprisoned by Lennon, then watched him murder her parents. She says that part’s real, but she feels like this conversation’s a dream. She says she knows she’s about to wake up and Jason will still be alive and ready to start torturing her again.

Fish contacts Maroni and makes a deal with Sal to get all her territory back in exchange for Falcone. Fish has Gordon, Bullock, Penguin and Falcone hanging from the ceiling by their hands when Maroni enters the building. He goes over and hugs Fish, then he tells Falcone that this is his last stop, Sal’s about to end his life.

Penguin decides to try to stir the pot, he tells Fish that if she hands Falcone over to Maroni, she’s signing her own death certificate. He says that Maroni’s going to make sure he has no rivals left. Sal says Fish won’t be a rival, just another underboss. Mooney blanches at that description, saying underbosses take orders and she doesn’t want to take orders. Maroni then calls her Babe, which really ruffles Fish’s feathers and she asks him not to refer to her that way again.

They finally hammer out an understanding that they’ll be partners, with him being number one and Mooney as number two. He then calls her Babe again and her face turns cold, he tells his soldiers never to call Mooney Babe or Toots. Mooney’s patience runs out and she plants a bullet in Maroni’s head, he hits the floor and dies instantly. Sal’s soldiers start going after Mooney’s people and Gordon and the rest escape, while their captors are preoccupied.

Falcone, Jim and Harvey hide in a holding container and the Crime Lord tells Gordon that if he survives this he’s retiring, he’s got a place down south on the water and that’s where he’ll live out his days. He barely finishes his sentence, when Selina and Mooney’s people take them back to the warehouse.

Tied up once again, Carmine tells Fish that he’s decided to retire, she asks if that means she doesn’t have to kill him now and he replies he hopes that’s her decision. But the conversation ends there, as Penguin surprise them with a machine gun, causing all to scatter. He shouts for Mooney, then sees her taking the stairs so he follows her to the roof.

Barbara starts telling Lee what happened with Jason. She starts talking about the road trip they made to her parents house. She then tells Lee that she was talking to them as she killed them, Thompkins tells her that she didn’t kill her parents, Jason Lennon did. Barbara says she stabbed them both several times and then she slit both their throats. She picks up a carving knife from the table and Lee runs.

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

She locks herself in the bathroom, but Barbara starts breaking down the door. Lee wraps her arm, then smashes the mirror, grabbing a large shard of broken glass as a weapon. Kean breaks down the door and goes after Thompkins with a metal rod.

Kean gets the early advantage as the two women roll across the living room floor. Lee gets on top of Barbara, slugs Kean in the jaw then slams her head repeatedly against the wooden floor. Barbara’s comatose, when Gordon, Bullock and Falcone walk in. Lee tells Jim that Barbara went crazy and attacked her.

Back at the precinct Kristin Kringle comes to police scientist Ed Nygma, with the goodbye note supposedly sent to her by her ex-boyfriend GCPD Officer Tom Dougherty. She shows Nygma that the first letter of each sentence of the note spells out Ed’s last name. He laughs and says what a wild coincidence that is, she doesn’t seem sure if he’s telling her the truth but leaves, wishing him a pleasant day.

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Not being able to live with the guilt of killing Dougherty, Ed has a meltdown. He hears voices in his head and then starts arguing with himself, one voice representing good, the other evil. He starts talking about Kringle, the evil half saying she doesn’t care about him and treats him like dirt. He struggles with the two sides, but we can see that the evil side’s victorious.

Penguin slowly searches the roof for Fish, holding a pistol, but she ambushes him with a pipe when he turns a corner. Suddenly Butch shows up and they both tell him to shoot the other one. Butch tries to fight off the hatred for Fish that Falcone’s people planted in his head, but the best he can do is put a bullet into each of them. As soon as he shoots Mooney he apologizes saying he loves her.

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Jessica Miglio/FOX

Penguin and Mooney start fighting again and Cobblepot pushes his former boss off of the roof and she falls into the water below. Penguin suddenly realizes what he’s done, he climbs up on the ledge of the roof and starts shouting that he’s the King of Gotham.

Falcone and Gordon have a conversation on Barbara’s balcony, looking at the city below them. Carmine’s sticking to his word, he’ll leave for his Southern retreat within days. He says that Gotham City doesn’t need a criminal running things, it needs a lawman and Falcone tells Gordon that he believes it’s him. He then gives Jim his knife as a going-away gift. He tells the Detective that the knife used to belong to Gordon’s dad, who gave it to Falcone as a present when both were young men. He says Gordon’s father was the most honest man he ever met, yet he still carried a knife.

Bruce’s rather desolate, after he and Alfred tore the library apart, without finding anything of his father’s. Pennyworth tries to cheer the boy up with a quote, but he tells the butler the quote comes from a Roman Emperor, who was also a stoic like Thomas Wayne. Bruce finds the book about the emperor and finds what looks like a remote control unit, hidden in the book. Wayne presses the button and the fireplace recedes from the wall, revealing a passageway. They look into the passageway and see stairs leading to a cave below the house.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

There are many reasons why the FOX series “Gotham,” may evolve as the best network series ever based on comic-book characters, one of those reasons being the ability to juggle stories covering the present, the near-future and the long-term future of those characters. The latest episode “The Anvil Or The Hammer,” illustrated that point perfectly, as the GCPD attempted to apprehend a serial killer, Bruce Wayne had “The Talk” and the criminal element finally engaged in a long simmering war. Yes, this is the war Oswald Cobblepot predicted early in the season and it looks like his vision of the conflict was spot-on.

We also witnessed Edward Nygma losing his fear and starting to embrace his destiny as the Riddler, as he gets rid of GCPD Officer Tom Dougherty’s body in the GCPD lab. His logic’s that without a body there isn’t a crime and he learns that being dishonest with people, might serve him better than being direct.

Along with that we got our first meeting with another familiar and in this case friendly face, as Bruce Wayne got introduced to a man that will prove to be one of his most trusted allies, one day. Once again young Bruce’s bond with his guardian and family butler Alfred Pennyworth, showed to be unbreakable as the boy confessed to keeping secrets from Alfred. All and all, it made for another entertaining and fast paced hours.

The immediate issue that the show had to deal with, was the whereabouts of serial killer Jason Lennon, otherwise known as the Ogre. Detective Jim Gordon’s aware that his former fiancée Barbara Kean’s being held captive by Lennon, but the GCPD doesn’t have any information to help them track the killer, except for a sketch drawn by Lennon’s plastic surgeon.

It’s the morning after the Wayne Enterprises Charity Ball and Kean walks downstairs from Jason’s bedroom to his kitchen, as Lennon puts the finishing touches on the breakfast he prepared. She says she’ll skip breakfast and though he talked a great game at the ball, she knows he was pretending. He tells her he was pretending, but not the way she thinks he was. He tells her he was going to murder her the night he met her, until he discovered the real Barbara Kean. He tells her that she embodies everything he’s dreamed of in a woman. He then says he’s going to let her go, then they’ll have breakfast together. However she bolts for the door, which she can’t get out of. He puts a black bag over her head and carries her away, saying he’ll have to do this the hard-way.

Gordon’s at his desk at the precinct when Lee walks over with some breakfast but he refuses it. She tells him it’s not his fault that Barbara’s with the Ogre, but he responds that the serial-killer warned him. He says that if Barbara dies, her blood’s on his hands.

Ed enters the station dragging two steamer trunks and brings it into his lab. We watch him open one of the trunks, revealing Dougherty’s body cut up into pieces. His plan’s to use the GCPD facility to help him cover-up the murder he committed outside of Kristen Kringle’s home the night before.

Harvey walks in with a teenager whose been bragging on the streets that he knows who the Ogre is. They inform him that he’s got another intended victim in his grasp and she’s a good friend of theirs. The kid asks how much she’s worth, after Gordon scares the punk to death, he reveals that the Ogre was a regular at a traveling brothel, the Fox Club.

Our first visit of the evening to Wayne Manor, as Alfred delivers an envelope to Bruce, that came via a messenger. The boy puts it aside and continues reading the sheath of papers in front of him. Alfred says he’s off to identify the body of Reggie Payne, it just doesn’t make sense to him that his old mate’s dead. He tells Bruce he’s going to take care of the funeral arrangements and he won’t be back until the evening. As soon as Alfred leaves, Bruce opens the envelope containing the key to Sid Bunderslaw’s safe. There’s a note attached: Hope you find what you need. Be careful. Selina.

Butch Gilzean pays a visit to Lydia’s restaurant, the dump that Penguin recently became a silent partner in. This is the day that the hitman Connor, that Penguin hired will knock off Sal Maroni and all his gang-leaders. Gilzean plants a revolver under the bar and a machine-gun behind the jukebox. Their discussion ends as Gordon walks into the Umbrella.

Gordon says he needs the location and an invitation to the Fox Club, Cobblepot’s surprised at the request. Gordon asks if he can help him or not, Oswald says he enjoys their give and take relationship, but he seems to be the only giver in the tandem. Gordon grabs the Penguin by the lapels with one hand, and aims his pistol at Butch with the other. He says to Cobblepot, that he thinks he knows him, but he has no idea what Jim’s capable of. Cobblepot says this is a big day for him, so he’ll accommodate the detective’s request, but now Gordon owes him a huge favor. Jim smiles cruelly as he lets got of the Penguin’s jacket.

Bruce’s being guided around Wayne Enterprises by a public relations employee, when they get to the division that Bunderslaw runs. He excuses himself to use the restroom, but instead pulls the fire alarm. This is the chance for him to enter Bunderslaw’s office undetected and to find out what the executive keeps in his safe.

Jim tells Harvey that the Fox Club’s now in the old Klondike Building, he’s got one invitation and Bullock will pretend to be a John. He’ll bust them and then they’ll squeeze hard until someone gives up the Ogre.

Jason’s got Barbara hanging from the ceiling by her wrists and a gag around her mouth. He enters his playroom, apologizing that he’s left her alone for so long. However he says he wanted to give her time to realize the situation’s she’s in is real. He tells her the walls are sound proof, so don’t waste her lungs, she spits in his face instead. He unbinds her hands and lets her stand on the floor unchained, she slaps him in the face, once she feels her legs are recovering.

He says that she’s scared and that’s why she slapped him, she says Jim will rescue her and he slaps her in the face, her legs give way. He says the only time he’ll get angry is if she says Gordon’s name. He then calls her over to look at something, when she looks down he says you have to kiss a lot of frogs on the road to love. She sees the pictures of his victims, then asks if he killed them all there. He says yes and she crumbles to the ground, but her eyes remain open, he says he won’t kill her he’s going to set her free.

With the complex being evacuated due to the fire alarm, Bruce sneaks into Sid Bunderslaw’s office, finds the safe and opens it, to find the safe’s empty. Suddenly he hears Bunderslaw’s voice, saying he’s been expecting Bruce, since the boy’s friend borrowed Bunderslaw’s key. He then offers Bruce a cookie, saying when he was a boy he never turned down the offer of a cookie.

Wayne finds his voice and accuses the executive of trying to kill Alfred, Bunderslaw counters that he sent Bruce’s guardian’s comrade to the home to determine what Bruce knew. He says he never sanctioned anyone getting hurt. Bruce says that Wayne Enterprises is involved in criminal activity. Bunderslaw sounds somewhat jovial, when he responds Oh my yes. He says they’re a multinational corporation, that would usurp the laws of every nation if it could to make a profit.

He then says he told the board that Bruce was special and needed to have “The Talk” early on. He tells him when members of the Wayne family reach a certain age, they are sat down and informed of all the dealings of Wayne Enterprises. He says his father was just like Bruce at first, coming to Sid with his secret files. But Thomas Wayne as Bruce’s grandfather, eventually came to accept the criminal activities, as part of the price of doing business.

Just then, a younger man enters the room and he introduces Bruce to another Wayne Enterprises employee, Lucius Fox. The character portrayed in the Dark-Knight Trilogy by Morgan Freeman, is played by former cast member of The Newsroom, Chris Chalk. He tells Bunderslaw that the Public Relations employee’s looking frantically for the boy, Sid tells Fox to escort Bruce to her.

As they leave the office and head towards the lobby, Lucius says to Bruce try not to let your face react to what I’m about to tell you, as it will be picked up by all the security cameras I installed here. Fox tells Bruce that he was very close to Thomas and he knew things about his father that others in the company had no knowledge of. He says your father was a good man, a true stoic, that kept lots of important information secretive. They shake hands and go their separate ways.

Barbara’s asleep on Jason’s couch he kisses her on the forehead and rouses her awake, once reality sets in she starts crying uncontrollably. He puts her on his lap and tries to calm her, but she says he’s going to kill her. He asks her if she wants her to kill him and she cries no, he asks her whom he wants her to kill instead. He then says she’s wanted to kill someone forever, but never found the strength. She whispers into his ear who the person is.

Bullock’s busted the brothel, telling everybody to stay where they are. Gordon speaks to the Madam and asks her to identify the sketch. She says you might as well arrest me, because I don’t talk about clients. Jim tells her he’ll call the Gazette and have them send a reporter and photographer, then all her clients will get their pictures in the paper. She tells the detectives to talk to Sally.

Turns out Sally was Jason’s first victim, but he just scarred her face instead of killing her. She says his name’s Jason, he assaulted her nine years ago. She remembers he lived in midtown and there was a neon sign across the street from his loft, but she could only see the last four letters, O-Y-A-L. Bullock recognizes it’s the sign for the Gotham Royal Hotel, they thank Sally for her help. She asks Jim to promise to kill Jason instead of arrest him, he says alright.

Maroni’s holding a getting out of prison party for one of his men Tommy Bones over at Lydia’s, when Connor and his man enter the restaurant. He says that Falcone sent him over as a sign of respect and gives Sal a jug of his favorite wine. Maroni says that he appreciates the gesture, then invites Connor to have a drink with them. Connor says that there’s a message with the present, he says Falcone said it wasn’t easy to decide to kill Maroni, then the pair grab the guns. However neither work, the man with the machine gun goes down in a flurry of bullets. Maroni says now Connor’s going to deliver his message to Falcone, that Connor messed up and now Sal’s going after Falcone. Tommy Bones then shoots him dead.

Harvey and Jim arrive at Lennon’s loft, but both Jason and Barbara are gone. Suddenly the phone rings and Gordon picks it up. Jason’s on the other end as Bullock and Gordon triggered an alarm when they entered. Lennon tells Jim that Barbara’s safe as milk, much safer than she ever was with Gordon. He hangs up, but the two detectives determine that he was driving on a bridge, that had a train nearby. The only bridge that meets the parameters, heads to upstate which is where Barbara’s parents live.

We’re at Barbara’s parents’ house and Jason has his gun pointed at them while they sit side by side on the living room sofa. Mrs. Kean asks her daughter what’s going on? Jason replies that their little girl’s finally woken up. He then pulls out his knife and looks at them coldly.

The Umbrella’s packed to the rafters as Butch gets off the telephone and tells Penguin that Maroni’s alive. Cobblepot laughs and says he set Connor and his man up, by removing the firing pins from their weapons. His plan all along was to draw Maroni and Falcone into a war, hoping the situation works out well for Oswald after the shooting stops.

Harvey and Jim enter Barbara’s parents’ home and encounter the butler’s dead body sprawled across the foyer. Harvey stays at the entrance near the staircases, as Jim enters the living room and sees Barbara’s parents’ bodies sitting upright on the couch with blood covering each body. Bullock thinks he hears someone, but turns the wrong way and Lennon knocks him out, then Harvey tumbles down the stairs.

Barbara walks into the living room disoriented and asks Jim why he’s there, she says he’s not supposed to be there. Lennon charges Gordon with his knife but Gordon side steps him. The two battle on the floor for control of the knife, but then Jason gets up, grabs Barbara and puts the knife to her neck. Gordon aims his gun at Lennon’s head and tells him to put down the knife. Bullock comes up from behind, Jason turns and Gordon shoots him in the forehead. Barbara falls to the ground but she’s unhurt, Jim tells her everything will be okay.

Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce confesses to Alfred that Selina pushed Reggie out the window, when he threatened to tell Bunderslaw about what they were doing. He then tells Alfred about their meeting in Sid’s office, he says that Bunderslaw told him both his father and grandfather kept quiet about the criminal activities that Wayne Enterprises engage in. Alfred says that Bruce’s father was a good man, Bruce responds even good men have their secrets.

Maroni goes on the attack, starting with sending Don Falcone Connors head in a box. Captain Sarah Essen addresses her squad-room, telling them that all leave’s are cancelled for the foreseeable future. Three of Falcone’s businesses were shot up badly, reportedly by Sal Maroni and his men and Falcone should soon respond. She says we’ve got a shooting war people.

The Season Finale For Gotham Airs Next Monday Night at 8:00 pm on FOX.

Photo: Courtesy Of ABC

Photo: Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The ABC series “Forever,” returned to the airwaves after a hiatus, with a splendid episode entitled “Dead Men Tell Long Tales,” introducing a new character in the process, Mega-Rich entrepreneur and industrialist, Isaac Monroe, portrayed by Academy-Award winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. Monroe will stay with the series over the next two episodes, as NYPD Detective Jo Martinez and Medical Examiner Henry Morgan, meet him as a possible suspect in a murder case. However the jet-setter’s soon cleared of any guilt and takes a shining to Detective Martinez. While Jo’s exploring the future with the charismatic businessman, Morgan’s exploring the past as the case they’re working, played an important part in Henry’s lifetime.

We open the episode among strangers in a bar, a shaggy-haired, bearded man, comes to his table with four shots, we never see enough of the three other people at the table to identify them. The man puts the glasses on the table, then says to his companions, he realizes they’ve had their differences, but they completed their mission, walking away with a huge haul. He then says to the other three, to keep their mouths shut, as the most dangerous part of a treasure hunt’s after they find the treasure, he then makes a toast and all four clink their glasses.

The next scene takes place in the man’s office at Medford Deep Sea Salvage, he’s still drinking, but he hears a noise and walks out of his office to check it out. Suddenly we see a pair of hands, grab the harpoon from the company’s sign and runs it through the shaggy-haired man killing him instantly.

At Abe’s Antique shop, Abe’s happy as a schoolboy, as he just received some ancient and rare maps, for a customer and he’s intrigued by them. Henry sees what Abe’s doing, looks at the maps and recognizes the name of the cartographer, a man whose family, engaged in a feud with the Morgan clan, ending in a duel. Abe’s heard the story countless times and tells Morgan as much, so it’s kind of a relief when Detective Martinez arrives to take Henry to check out a new case.

The case naturally is the murder of the shaggy-haired man, named Rick Rasmussen, owner of the salvage company, Lucas and Henry have to saw the harpoon in order to remove, less they risk damaging Rasmussen’s corpse. Morgan of course identifies the harpoon including manufacturer and the year it got produced and Hanson turns to Lucas, saying he’s not surprised that the assistant Medical Examiner’s “partner,” has the complete lowdown on the harpoon.

During the autopsy, Henry tells Martinez and Hanson that Rasmussen’s body shows signs of recently returning from a dive, as air-bubbles in the blood and a jelly-fish wound on his arm attest to. They also found gold particles in the victim’s mouth, as if Rasmussen bit down on a gold coin to prove it’s real. They leave the morgue, heading to Rasmussen’s warehouse and start checking out the stuff the salvage owner acquired on his latest trip.

There’s no gold among the items, however Henry finds something that rocks his world, the steering wheel of the ship bearing the craft’s name, The Empress Of Africa, which he tells Jo and Mike, was a slave-ship. Jo once again asks the question she must repeat in her sleep; “How Could You Possibly Know That Henry?” What Morgan can’t tell Jo’s The Empress Of Africa’s the ship he got killed on in 1814, for the first time, leading to him escaping death for the last 201-years.

Henry returns to the shop and told Abe of their find, Abe tells him as much as he’s learned about his father’s other situations, in which he cheated death, Morgan’s always remained secretive about what happened on that ship. Abe and we find out, that the reason Henry’s kept the tale to himself, is because he feels he’s to blame for the death of 300-slaves, who were in the hull of the ship on that voyage.

The Empress Of Africa, belonged to Morgan’s father and was part of the slave-trading fleet, that captured free men from Africa, bringing them to the United States, to become slaves on Southern plantations. Henry, blissfully unaware his father sunk to slave-trading to keep his company alive, until finding out from the friend of a friend, was determined to free the slaves on the ship he sailed on.

He went to the holding cell and sought out a man named Obi, who spoke English, he told the African he’d return later with a key, that would release all the slaves shackles, as well as the cell door. When they left the cell, Henry said to head to the ship’s armory and grab all the weapons you can and you can take over the ship. He asked the man if he understood and Obi replied he did. However Henry never got to deliver that key, as the craft’s captain shot him to death first. He says they’re bloods on his hands and call his immortality, a curse, not a blessing. Abe refutes the statement, then mentions they made it one thousand miles north of where they’d been headed, so Henry has no idea what went on.

There’s a tribute being held for Rasmussen, at a bar on the wharf, so Jo, Mike and Henry attend. We see a man with longish hair in his forties, thanking the folks for showing up, even though Rick could be a mean son-of-a-pup. They raise a glass to Rasmussen, then the man named George walks towards the back of the bar. Jo realizes he’s Rick’s former partner and tries to question him, but he says people in the salvage industry don’t talk to cops and walks way. Mike steps up just as George leaves, telling Martinez, he keeps getting the same response, but Henry says he’ll get some answers and walks up to a young guy at the bar, with a jelly-fish wound on his right hand.

The guy named Davey, refuses to cooperate with Henry and Morgan notices there’s a huge-guy at the end of the bar, giving Davey the stink-eye. Davey finally gets up and walks away, Henry tells Jo and Mike to follow Davey and the guy who looks like a wall with a face into the parking lot. They say fine, but tell Henry to stay in the bar. He sits down at the bar, getting a female bartender with “David Bowie Eyes,” one blue and one green and of course Morgan remarks about it, she tells him he’s full of information.

He notices she’s shaking pouring his shot and deduces she’s a diver and suffering from decompression sickness, he starts questioning her and she tells him to enjoy his drink then leaves the bar area. Henry decides to disregard what Martinez and Hanson told him and goes to the parking lot, he sees the big guy banging Charlie against a fence, while the bartender Margo tells the big guy Chappy, to stop. Henry interrupts them and Margo says he’s a cop, they start to run, but Mike and Jo arrest them and put them all in handcuffs, Hanson asks which part of stay inside, was too tough for him to understand?

Mike and Jo interview all three crew-members and Hanson believes all their stories. Discouraged, Henry heads back to Abe’s shop and Abe suggests, they grab a sandwich and break into Rasmussen’s warehouse. They start searching around and they find a coffin, they open it and there’s the remains of a slave inside it, with a bullet in his head. Abe says he had a decent burial and Henry realizes that a dead slave should have gotten thrown overboard as they did to him, but here he was in a casket.

Another flashback to 1814, Henry’s got the key and is about to hand it off to Obi, when the Captain shows up, says the key’s missing and asks if Morgan knows anything about it? Henry asks if he’s getting accused and the Captain says Morgan may be the owner’s son, but on his ship he’s judge and jury. Just then an aide says Morgan’s needed to check out a slave with fever, minutes later he’ll be dead.

Someone else breaks in and although Henry and Abe lack a weapon, Henry confronts the man and chases him out of the warehouse, right into the waiting arms of Hanson and Martinez, but Henry and Abe soon show up and Martinez blows up, asking Morgan what they’re doing?

Back at headquarters, Jo asks Henry why he’s being so obsessive over this ship and Morgan says because it was a slave ship and 300-people died. That satisfies Martinez, as the reason for his interest but she tells him she needs him in the present to help solve this murder. She talks to George, who tells her that he and Rick attempted to recover the ship, but it was far too deep and a diver Rick sent down died, George says Rasmussen was responsible for the death. He’d heard rumors Rick hooked up with some financier, who bankrolled new equipment and renovations on Rick’s ship.

That financier is Isaac Monroe and he’s giving a speech that night at the Explorers Club, Jo tells Henry they’re attending, Morgan wants to get into Black-Tie, but Martinez says no. They arrive and Jo identifies them, telling him they need to talk to him, but they have to wait, as they’ve just introduced him to give his speech. He produces the gold from The Empress Of Africa, saying it’s worth $7 million and then tells the crowd the proceeds are getting donated to the Walker Institute For History Education. Henry asks Jo then why did he steal it?

Of course he didn’t steal it, his arrangement with Rasmussen all along, included getting the cold, he was paying Rick and his crew a fee after they returned. He also tells Jo he’s got an airtight alibi where he was when Rick got killed. Henry leaves the office to explore the museum, while Isaac asks Jo out for a date, she says she’s a cop and he’s a suspect and he smiles and says think about it.

Henry’s checking out exhibits when his cellphone rings and it’s Adam, whose actually about 20-feet away. He shows Henry something he thinks Morgan might have interest in and it’s the Captain’s pistol that killed him the first time. Adam explains he knows all about Henry’s history, then starts reciting it. He says he’ll get in touch soon.

The next morning Jo receives a bouquet of roses, along with a card from Monroe, asking her to have dinner with him that evening. Hanson’s at his desk and he says she should go, (so he read the card) he gave a speech at the Louvre, when Rick got killed. She accepts the date.

Henry also gets a package, his is the Captain’s gun with a note from Adam, that Lucas brings to him and it appears that Lucas looked inside the box as he knows it’s the gun from the Empress Of Africa’s Captain. He then says that it took a minute to load one and the weapon only had a range of 15-feet, he says you’d have to be a real doofus to get killed by that gun.

Jo arrives at Isaac’s apartment and he answers the door wearing an apron, telling her he planned to cook for her that evening. He says he hopes he’s not coming on too strong, she says not at all, she’s got her gun in her purse. He asks her if that’s true and she says she’s joking, he smiles and says he’s glad there’s no need for her to be a cop tonight.

Henry’s in his lab going through evidence in the case and has his first real good look at the face of the first diver, who died, he also had “David Bowie Eyes,” one blue and one green and Morgan realized Margo’s his sister. He finds Mike, asks him where Jo’s at and Hanson says she’s on a date with Monroe, Henry tells him a bout Margo and they figure her next victim’s Isaac.

Margo sneaks into the apartment as Isaac and Jo are preoccupied with each other, then Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, comes on the stereo and Martinez asks if Monroe’s going to try to pull a move and he reacts with false indignation, then admits he might, causing her to have a panic attack. She asks where the bathroom’s at and he points her toward it. She goes in there and gives herself a pep-talk, when she comes out she sees Monroe’s on the floor and she gets into a brawl with Margo.

Henry and Mike arrive at the door and start knocking but of course nobody responds, Hanson hears Marvin Gaye and thinks they might be following the songs instructions, but they keep knocking. Suddenly they hear a table move and dishes rattle and Henry says those aren’t sexual noises and Mike kicks down the door. Turns out Jo did have her gun in her purse as she pulls it on Margo. Isaac had yet to get involved in the project when her brother died.

Back at the station, he tells her she saved his life, at the very least she owes him one more date, she smiles and agrees and he says he’ll call her. Henry catches Isaac in the hall and says he realizes that recovering the Empress Of Africa was his passion, not Rasmussen’s and he asked why. It turns out the slaves did escape, when they took Henry’s dead body past their cell, the key fell out his hand right at Obi’s feet, they rose up and took over the ship. They then made it far enough North that they landed as free men and one was Isaac’s ancestor, so Henry was a hero after all.

Back at Abe’s shop, Henry gets a call from Adam, who asks if he got what he sent him, Morgan says he did and asks why Adam sent it. Adam tells Henry his first time dying was by a Roman dagger plunged into him, he believes the only way either of them can die and stay dead’s through the first weapon that killed them, so he’s provided Henry with his. He says the thing he hates the most about being immortal, is he’s lost all sense of time, the feeling that every minute could be his last. He then admits to Morgan that he once possessed the dagger, but lacked the guts to test his theory, he tells Henry to be a sport and if he ever feels like doing it let Adam know.

When Adam hangs up, Henry’s suddenly aware of the clock on the mantel ticking loudly and asks Abe when he got it fixed. Abe says the clock’s always worked fine and he winds it daily, he then asks Henry if he’s alright?

The Story Continues Next Tuesday Night at 10:00 m on ABC.