Stay on target
Last night’s Gotham was absolutely packed with story. The show is at its best when every character has something to do and man, was that the case last night. We begin with Lee and Mario having dinner with Carmine Falcone. The conversation turns to Captain Barnes, and Lee says that while the symptoms of being infected with Alice Tetch’s blood can be hidden, the lab at GCPD has developed a test for the infection. She says it’s the first step for a cure. As Lee and Mario leave, Falcone’s valet goes to get their car. It explodes. The police arrive and Gordon makes sure Falcone isn’t coming out of retirement. He asks Falcone not to go looking for revenge, promising to figure out who rigged the car to explode. Falcone gives him one day.
The Penguin is having a meeting when Barbara walks in with a gun demanding to know where Tabitha and Butch have gone. Penguin says he doesn’t know, not having seen Butch since his Red Hood scheme. Barbara says that Tabitha has been helping Butch hide and hasn’t checked in in a while. Penguin insists he doesn’t know where they are. As Barbara is outgunned, she leaves saying that Tabitha and Butch must have run off without telling her. Penguin says people do crazy things for love.
You’ll never believe it, but Penguin does know where they are. Nygma has kidnapped them and is doing some crazy things for love. He interrogates Butch, trying to get him to admit to killing Isabella. When Butch says that he doesn’t know what Nygma is talking about, Nygma thinks he’s being difficult and tortures him. When Butch insists he’s never heard of Isabella, Nygma turns his attentions toward Tabitha.
GOTHAM: Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) and Butch (Drew Powell) are held hostage by Nygma (Cory Michael Smith). (Credit: FOX.)
Barbara keeps up her investigation and questions Penguin’s maid, who doesn’t like Nygma all that much. The maid gives Barbara a receipt from a bondage shop. Interrogating the clerk of the bondage shop and figures out what Nygma is planning. We see that Nygma has built a small guillotine, into which he’ puts Tabitha’s hand. Either the blade cuts her hand off, or she stops it and delivers a fatal shock to Butch. Butch tells Tabitha he loves her and tries to torment Nygma by saying he put a bullet in Isabella’s brain. Nygma realizes that Butch has been telling the truth, but it’s too late. The blade comes down, and Tabitha loses her hand. Barbara rushes in, and Nygma tells her to put Tabitha’s hand on some ice.
At the hospital, Butch is ready to go to war with Penguin and Nygma, but Barbara has a better plan. She’s figured out that Penguin had Isabella killed out of love for Nygma. She tells Butch they can have all the power they want without going to war. They just have to start one between Penguin and Nygma.
At Wayne manor, Selina is getting antsy about being cooped up inside for so long. Bruce, meanwhile is sore over the fact that Selina said they aren’t a couple. He channels his surly teen energy into researching the old key they found. Alfred takes some breakfast to Ivy, who has him sniff her perfume. When he does, he becomes very agreeable, and she asks how to turn off the alarms.
Selina gets the idea to dip the key in vinegar to clean it. Bruce asks why she said they weren’t a couple and Selina asks why they have to be anything? That being too much emotion for Bruce to deal with, he examines the key and finds an engraving of an owl. Alfred worries that merely possessing the key is a break of Bruce’s agreement with the Court of Owls when Bruce and Selina notice that Ivy’s missing. Alfred gets a call from the crossbow-wielding men from last week. They have Ivy and want to arrange a trade.
Selina (Camren Bicondova), Bruce (David Mazouz) and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) go underground. (Credit: FOX)
Bruce, Selina, and Alfred meet them in an underground workshop. The men demand the key in exchange for Ivy and Bruce insists that he talk to the person who hired them. He asks to speak to the woman in the mask, to gain assurance that his friends are out of danger. The man tells him he doesn’t work for the woman; he works to destroy her group. He calls his group The Whisper Gang. They were betrayed by the Court of Owls and are now out for revenge. He tells Bruce that the key opens a safe somewhere in one of the Court’s buildings. The safe supposedly contains something that can defeat the Court. Bruce proposes they work together. Later, two Whisper Gang members are attacked by a member of the Court, who demands to know if they’ve found the key before killing them both.
At GCPD, Bullock and Gordon learn that the bomb was the work of a mobster named Fuse. They investigate Fuse’s apartment and find him dead on the ground. Whoever hired him didn’t want to risk their identity getting out. Gordon investigates the scene and finds a folder full of photos leading him to conclude that Carmine Falcone isn’t the target. At the hospital, Mario is attacked by a pair of blade-wielding motorcyclists. Gordon arrives just in time and fires at the would-be assassins. As they escape, he grabs Mario and tells him that he’s the target.
Gordon tells Mario to lay low, and Mario insists that’s impossible with his wedding the next day. Gordon asks him to put off the wedding, and Mario takes offense. He doesn’t like the idea of having to cancel his wedding so his fiancee’s ex can save the day. Gordon asks Bullock to keep an eye on Mario while he goes to talk to Carmine Falcone.
Gordon (Ben McKenzie) tries to save Mario from motorcycle assassins. (Credit: FOX)
Gordon tells Carmine that Mario is the target and says that the attacks don’t feel like a mob hit. He asks if Mario is mixed up in something bad and Carmine is offended. He too thinks Gordon is only acting out of jealousy that his ex is marrying someone else. Their talk is interrupted by a call from Bullock, who says that Mario has left the GCPD to “finish it himself.” Gordon finds Mario at a jewelry store and asks what’s going on. Mario insists he doesn’t know and only wants to protect Lee and Gordon resolves to help. The gang attacks and Mario stabs one of them in the eye with a brooch, demanding to know they’re attacking. The man says Mario knows why.
At GCPD, Bullock says the feds have ordered the assassin transferred upstate, away from them. Carmine interrogates the assassin. Bullock, whose taken on the role of captain tries to convince Gordon to tell Lee how he feels. They’re interrupted by seeing Falcone ripping out the suspect’s tooth. Carmine says he knows who is after his son. He meets with the Court of Owls, who promise not to go after his son anymore for the time being. They won’t tell him why they are after him in the first place.
Lee shows up at Gordon’s apartment instead of going to her rehearsal dinner. Gordon tells her how he feels and she kisses him before telling him goodbye. Mario sees her getting into a cab and flies into a rage, killing two random street thugs. We see in his eyes that he’s been infected with Alice’s blood.
You know we’re getting close to the midseason finale because the pace has picked up in a serious way. Every character’s story took significant steps forward in an episode filled with fun action scenes and an intriguing mystery. Bruce and Selina’s teenage romance drama was a little grating, but it was made more bearable by the fact that we’re finally moving forward with the Court of Owls plot. The Mad Hatter was a fun distraction, but it was disappointing that their story was dropped three episodes into the season. Every storyline so far this season is coming together, and every scene seems to matter. Hopefully, they can keep this up as we head towards midseason.