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Gotham: A Violent Changing Of The Guard

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.

Gotham: Love Can Cut You Like A Knife

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

For the first time in over a month, the FOX series “Gotham,” returned to Television, with a new villain in tow and lots of outstanding issues, seeking resolution. Although Gotham City Crime Bosses, Carmine Falcone and Sal Maroni, sat this episode out, the criminal element, was still well represented, by Oswald Cobblepot, Fish Mooney and Dr. Francis Dulmacher. Their exploits, along with young Bruce Wayne’s search for Alfred’s mate, turned assailant, Reggie Payne and Gordon and Bullock’s search for the GCPD’s dirty little secret, lead to an entertaining episode.

We start the evening, on the island that Fish Mooney and countless others find themselves imprisoned on, serving as an endless supply of parts, for wealthy patrons looking for organ transplants. Dr. Francis Dulmacher’s, the sadistic genius, running the operation, nicknamed “The Doll Maker,” for his bizarre experiments, using random body parts, to create a new hideous being. Mooney’s ingratiated herself with Dulmacher to an extent, but has yet to earn his total trust. His instincts are good, as Mooney’s looking for a way to escape her prison.

In the hospital part of the facility, Fish peers outside a lace-curtained window, seeing the landscape covered with snow, bordering an ocean with a ship not far away from the dock. After making promises to patients, she looks out a pair of French doors, seeing a helicopter, feet from the building. She breaks the padlock on the doors, setting off an alarm, then casually saunters towards the chopper. A bunch of jeeps containing a bunch of guys, with a whole lot of guns, quickly arrive, including the man known as the “Catcher,” head of security for Dulmacher. Fish tells him she thought she could roam outside and apologizes, he responds her next mistake will be her last.

Our next stop, stately Wayne Manor, as young Bruce gets a visit from Detective Jim Gordon, wanting to know if Wayne and Alfred lied, about not knowing Pennyworth’s assailant. Remembering Alfred’s words, that a man doesn’t squeal on a mate, he attempts to squirm out of answering. Gordon tells him, that if Alfred wants to handle this affair, it’s one thing, but Bruce needs to stay out of it for his safety. Wayne, replies he understands what Jim’s saying.

Gordon’s riding high on his victory over GCPD Commissioner Loeb and his recent installation, as President of the GCPD Union, meaning he’s ripe for a fall. Jim’s pride gets the best of him, as a uniform flatters him as a role model, to convince Gordon to take on an abandoned case. He says he was a first responder to find the body of a young woman named Grace Fairchild, down by the river, she called her mother from the South Village District, four months before her body got discovered. Jim’s got no idea of what he just undertook, a case that could change his life forever.

Gordon heads to the forensics examining room, to meet Lee for their date, but she she’s him carrying a case file and asks if it’s new? He says he’s picked up a cold case, Lee says this happened near where she lives and thanks her boyfriend to taking on this case and catch the man she refers to as a monster.

Fish heads down to the prison part of the facility, her friend Kelly’s back in the population, one kidney lighter. He spits at her what do you want, when she tells him they’re escaping. He asks if she’s serious, she responds, or die trying.

Alfred’s back at the manor, but his breathing’s labored as he walks about the library, gathering things. Bruce asks what he’s doing, the butler responds he’s going in search of Reggie, saying he’s gone to all the bars by now, he’s likely at a shooting gallery. Bruce says fine let’s go, Alfred starts to tell the boy’s he’s not going, when he feels a sharp pain in his side, his wound’s reopened.

Our old friend The Penguin’s attempting to become a silent partner, in a dive bar/restaurant, with an older woman named Lydia, but she doesn’t want his money. However she wants her granddaughter to return home, as she’s living with this guitarist, the woman calls Lucifer. Cobblepot promises her home for Sunday Mass.

GCPD Scientist Ed Nygma, arrives with a list of watering holes in the South Village District, including speak-easies, that apparently have become in fashion there. Harvey senses something’s wrong and tells Jim that flying too close to the sun gets you burned, but he agrees to help his partner with the investigation.

Fish meets with five of the most hardened criminals in the facility, to aid her with breaking out. She tells them they’re taking the boat, one of the guys says they should take the chopper, she asks if anyone can fly and gets met by silence. She says the gates are unlocked, she’ll get the keys for the craft from Dulmacher’s office.

Jim and Harvey interview, the woman behind the bar at a speak-easy and she recognizes the picture of Grace Fairchild, though she visited about four-months earlier, because her date was hot. We then see a flashback of the beginning of the relationship between Jason Lennon and Grace. She asks him how he’s still single, as he’s charming, good-looking and has money. He says what he wants scares people, unconditional, intense, undying love, she grabs his hand and says that’s easy.

He brings her back to his loft and she says the place must be buzzing with women, he replies he hasn’t brought anyone there for a while. He then thanks her for taking a chance on him, she responds she could definitely stay there, for a night.

Penguin and his henchmen Gabe have the guitar player, cuffed around a pole, he says he won’t give up seeing Lydia’s granddaughter, so Oswald tells Gabe to take off his fingers. He agrees after losing at least one digit, due to Gabe’s clippers.

Lee meets with Jim and Harvey about the autopsy of Grace Fairchild, she says that Fairchild was in great shape, other than the wounds that killed her, which are inconsistent with her being imprisoned for four months. Harvey asks if she possibly ran away, then got killed later on, Gordon says her captor kept her healthy until he was ready to kill her.

Another flashback, Grace wakes up the next morning and gets ready to head off to work, she kisses Jason goodbye, but he holds onto her hand. She soon catches on, that Lennon expects unconditional, intense, undying love from her and she’s not going anywhere.

Fish sneaks in Dulmacher’s office to grab the keys for the boat, he discovers her and asks if she was trying to escape as she grabs the letter opener on his desk, behind her back. He heads to his desk as she says she was just there to ask about supplies for the prisoners, he tells her he hates deceit and points a pistol at her. He says he’s about to put a bullet in her stomach, if she doesn’t tell the truth, she repeats she wasn’t trying to escape.

He looks like he’s going to fire the weapon, she puts her hand in front of her, revealing the letter opener. She says she was attempting to kill herself, to avoid becoming one of his creatures. He says if she tries it again, he’ll revive her from the dead and make her the most monstrous of all his beings.

Bruce left Alfred asleep on the sofa, while he went out searching for Reggie, but can’t find him at any gun ranges. He meets Selina Kyle, who explains that shooting-galleries aren’t gun ranges. She leads him to the seamiest sections of the city, where Payne likely is at.

Lydia’s granddaughter returns, after she embraces the girl and welcomes her back, she gives her the back of her hand tells her to clean up. Penguin and Gabe follow, soon after, Cobblepot smiles and asks should we talk terms? Gabe asks his boss, why he wanted to buy, this dump so badly, Oswald tells him this is the place he’s going to kill Sal Maroni.

Nygma comes up with a missing piece of evidence in the Fairchild case, although it’s just a photocopy of the original, but it’s enough to get Bullock terrified. It’s a small painting of a broken heart, which sends shivers up Harvey’s spine, he tells Gordon it’s the return of a serial killer known by GCPD veterans as the Ogre.

Another flashback, further along in the relationship, as Grace’s trapped in this perverse case of playing house with Lennon. She’s got her hands bound to the dining room table by manacles, as she’s concerned she overcooked the lamb. Jason agrees, gets angry, then says I think things aren’t working out, it’s not you it’s me.

She’s hung up by her arms, blindfolded and Jason takes a picture of her with an old Polaroid camera, he then opens a green toolbox and we see twelve other photographs of women in the same pose. He says he really thought it would work out this time. Just before he kills her, he tells her not to worry, he’ll find Ms. Right, someday.

Bruce and Selina find Payne passed out amongst junkies, Kyle kicks him until he wakes up, then she grabs his stash, which he calls his medicine. Bruce asks who hired him, Reggie tells the boy to stay out of it, let Alfred handle it. Selina walks over to an open window, with the bag saying she’ll drop it if he doesn’t talk. He finally reveals the name of two members of the board of Wayne Enterprises. Bruce tells Selina to give Reggie the bag, she drops it out the window instead.

He then says he’s going to tell the board members that he know their identity, he sees his bag’s on a ledge about two feet below. He hangs out the window to grab it, Bruce tries to force his hands to push Payne out, but his conscience won’t allow it, so Kyle steps in and does it. She screams he won’t tell anybody when he hits the ground.

Harvey tells Jim that the Ogre’s the GCPD’s dirty little secret, as he goes after the loved ones of any cops on his case. He asks who gave him the case and they find the uniform, Len Moore, who tells him that Loeb pressured the officer to flatter Gordon and press the case on him. Loeb’s trying to get Gordon and Bullock killed, while keeping his hands clean.

The Commissioner and the Chief of the GCPD are in the precinct house and Gordon tells Loeb his days are numbered. He’s going to take down the Ogre, then Loeb’s next on his list.

Fish tells her new henchmen the escape’s on, she’s heading back to get Kelly. She tells them to go on ahead and secure the boat and they best not leave without her. Soon the five guys realize that Mooney set them up as a diversion, she gets Kelly and some other victims and heads to the chopper, which she can pilot. However the “Catcher,” shoots her in her abdomen as she’s taking off. She suppresses the scream but Kelly sees the blood oozing out from under her hand as she flies them away.

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