Although it still seems that ‘Gotham’ plans to stop short of ever introducing Batman as a fully-formed character, this week’s episode finds young Bruce Wayne making his first significant step toward becoming the World’s Greatest Detective. And doesn’t Miss Kyle look adorable in a foofy dress?
Bruce and Selina
Bruce is still in shock after Selina murdered Reggie, but Selina is unrepentant. She did what needed to be done, because Bruce couldn’t bring himself to do it. Bruce is conflicted in how to feel about this, but still needs Selina’s help investigating the man who hired Reggie, a Wayne Enterprises executive named Bunderslaw.
Their best opportunity to scope him out will be at a charity ball held by the company. Bruce makes plans to attend, under the pretense of introducing himself to more of the corporate management and learning what they do. (I’d think that the show he put on a few episodes back of giving the Board of Directors notice that he’s aware of their illegal activities would put a quick end to this ruse.) Alfred offers to go with him, but Bruce insists that he’d rather go with Selina. He acts like this will be a date, and holds back from telling Alfred what their real plans are. Instead, he asks Alfred to arrange for Selina to receive a fancy dress to clean up for the event.
At the ball, all eyes are on Bruce and Selina. The executives all want to know what the meddlesome Wayne boy is up to. Bruce tells Selina that killing someone is a line he will never cross. He’s developing a moral code. Selina has no such compunctions. This obviously foreshadows the split that will eventually drive them apart. In the meantime, Bruce distracts Bunderslaw while Selina swipes a key from his pocket and makes an impression of it. That’s as far as we get in this episode, so we’ll have to pick up this storyline next week.
Jim and the Ogre
Now that he’s committed to hunting down and arresting the serial killer known as The Ogre (Milo Ventimiglia), Jim worries that his girlfriend Lee’s life will be put in danger. He asks her to leave town for a little while, but she stubbornly refuses.
It turns out, however, that the Ogre’s information isn’t quite up to date. He thinks that Jim is still with Barbara, so he seduces her at a bar and returns with her to her apartment. When Barbara informs him that she’s single, he says goodnight and simply leaves.
As Jim and Harvey begin their investigation, the Ogre stalks them from afar. They follow the clues to a plastic surgery clinic. On the way out afterwards, Jim spots someone spying on him from a car in an alley. The Ogre speeds off and almost runs him down. Later, he calls the police precinct to let Jim know that he’s watching and to issue a warning. Jim, of course, refuses to take the hint. He breaks the code of silence around this case by holding a press conference to tell the city about this murderer, and announces that, “I’m coming after you and I’m not gonna stop.”
Eventually, Jim learns that the Ogre’s real name is Jason Skolimski. He was the son of a butler, and his father worked for a batty old rich lady. As a child, young Jason had a hideous Elephant Man-type deformity on his face. He fantasized that the rich lady was his mother. When she spurned him, he murdered her, took her money and had plastic surgery to fix his face. Now he tries to work out his serious mommy issues by killing women.
The Ogre next shows up at the Wayne Enterprises ball, where he runs into Barbara again. He dances with her, and offers to change her life. He brings her back to his house and shows her his S&M room. Rather than run away scared, Barbara smiles slyly. She might be into this.
The Penguin formulates his plan to kill Maroni and recruits an Irish hit man named Connor to do the deed. In the meantime, however, Maroni shows up at Penguin’s club and puts on a show of wining and dining his mother. Penguin is horrified but can’t say anything while his mother is present.
The evening takes a dark turn when Maroni tells Penguin’s mother that her son is a psycho killer. Of course, he denies it, but she passes out from shock. Penguin tells Maroni that he’s just declared war. He later takes his mother home and lies to her, but she can tell that he’s dishonest and says that he has broken her heart. Enraged, Penguin kills a flower delivery boy that Maroni sends over to fan the flames.
At the police station, Ed Nygma discovers that his unrequited crush Kristen Kringle is being abused by her cop boyfriend, Tom. Nygma tries to man-up and protect her. He warns Tom to stop hurting her, but Tom simply ridicules him.
Later, after a night of drinking, Tom wanders toward his home and is accosted by Nygma, who threatens him with a knife. When Tom laughs in his face, Nygma stabs him. Then stabs him again. Then stabs him a lot more times. Realizing what he’s done, he repeatedly mutters, “Oh dear…” over and over again. He’s terrified by what happened, but at the same time laughs with giddy excitement. This may finally be the birth of The Riddler.
Fish Mooney is notably absent this episode. I guess we’ll need to wait to find out what happens to her, but the season only has two more episodes for that to happen.
A big chunk of this episode is devoted to Jim hunting The Ogre, and it’s disappointing that the episode ends without any resolution to that. I don’t really care enough about Milo Ventimiglia to want to see him as a recurring villain. On the other hand, I’m very curious to find out what’s going on with Barbara. In a major break of Batman canon, is the show going to turn her into a villainess? I think that would be pretty interesting.
The Bruce and Selina storyline is pretty strong, but I especially like Nygma’s reaction to his first murder. Actor Cory Michael Smith does an excellent job portraying what appears to be his psychotic break.